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Does your tank have a heater? If so its probably residual heat energy from the heated water. Its the same concept like when your at the beach, when it gets dark and cooler the sand is usually still warm for a while before releasing all of its energy. The sand at the top is probably not as warm to the touch because the heat energy it absorbs is constantly being altered by the flow of water over it but the bottom has less currents so the sand can absorb more heat energy and retain it.
Originally Posted by nomel View Post
Like Sin and I said, sand is just an insulator, its naturally going to be warmer down near the bottom.
Watch my tank progress from Craigslist salvage to fishy habitat: Aaron's Tank
The only things that happen quickly in an aquarium are bad things.
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