Good looking tank. Why not move the heater to the back behind the plants some so its not right out in the open? Also I would think having the heater right next to the thermometer would cause the readings to be off I could be wrong though.
Hm I never thought about the temperature too much.. good call actually. I feel like I have a lot of bulky equipment, but I'm on a student budget, so no external filter with inline heaters/diffusers for me