12-07-2006, 04:51 PM
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well of course it makes a difference, current or not you are not going to get uniform heat any other way, have you noticed the temperature of the water 3/4 down, and how the water is cool in the thick of plants???
Undergravel heat is a way of ensuring a balance heat for plants, a heater inline or in the tank wont provide the same temp balance for every tank. They can be used to great effect with carpet o=plants, there is nothing to suggest you can carpet without it, but you will see quicker more positive results with this method. As for the inline method, this is an expensive heater to run, and quite wasteful, quite green here in the uk, so will stick to intank heaters.
The only draw back i can think of undergravel heaters in the delay between heating the substrate and the temperature probe reading in the body of water, the delay might give rise to temp fluctuations until you have the settings down.