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Growing plants in pots + blue-green algae cure...

What substrate should I use if I grow plants (say swords) in pots?  The
trash can the plants are going to be in is part of my turtle tank
filtration system, and doesn't have (nor will it have) any substrate. 
Is plain gravel OK, or should I be thinking of something else?  (I don't
really want to buy anything more expensive than gravel as I have no
plans to set up any other tanks in the near future, and money is
*always* a problem ;)  What kind of pots should be used? Plastic,
ceramic...?  Aesthetics are not important here!

As the plants are basically there for filtration only, they need to be
fast growers.  I was thinking swords, Hygrophilia (sp?) or Elodea, but
am open to suggestions...  I suppose java ferns, attached to rocks would
also work.  Any suggestions gratefully received!

Secondly, for Spanish* readers: I managed to cure the blue-green
invasion I was suffering using Clamoxyl, which is an over-the-counter
antibiotic easily available here.  Took a week using approximately 75mg
(60l tank) daily, with a 100% water change at the end of the week.  (The
water change forced, I should say, by a house move.  Hence the lack of
money mentioned above.)  No fish, plant or snail deaths - I've even
discovered some ramshorn snails that I swear weren't there before, but I
doubt that the antibiotic had anything to do with it :)

*Spanish as I live in Spain and have no idea as to whether this
antibiotic is available elsewhere.