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Some help with plant4ed tank filtration please

Hello all:
                I am about to set up a 23 gallon planted aquarium. And
would liek to pass      some ideas past the experienced people on this

                1. Are any of you filtering your tank with a UG filter?
                If not I presume becuase of the roots eventually cloggin
it up. If
                you are and I have one with powerhead and all that I
really hate to
                just let it go to waste would like to use.

               2. If sssuming that the UG filter is not a good prospect
for a planted tank,
                I have come up with a possible use for it so I would
like to try it
                out on you experienced folk.

                I intend to use laterite and apparently it is best
buried and not
                disturbed or atleast not allowed to get up to the
surface if at all
                possible. In this vien I was thinking why not put it in
an old nylon
                tie it off and spread it out on the bare bottom. Then
place a spare
                UG grid over it and then continue on with the rest of
the substrat.
                This way if you vacuum or have any diggers they can't
get to the
                material on disturb it.
                Is this a good idea first off or is it a non concern

                Also what would make a great substrat mixture for an
inital set up.
                Further do you suggest fully planting the tank at setup
or just
                partially and more as it completes the cycle.

                Now if the UG isn't  the optimum set up then how about
it being used as the     return end of a cannister filter?  Let the
cannister do the mechanical filtering, and a bit of the bio work but
letting the gravel substrat work that part as well.

                3.  Has anyone seen of an under gravel heater and if so
what name does it go by.
                4. Finally does any one know of any good plant and fish
shops in the LA, Valley or Costa Mesa area?

                Thank you very much.Bob