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Aquascaping and etc.

       I have been keeping plants for a few years now. I can keep just about 
anything alive that my lights can provide for. (I'd like to have some CF 
lights, but they are expensive.) I have seen the "stages of the aquatic 
gardener" addressed online. I have read alot on aquascaping, foreground, 
midground, background, plant groupings, leaf shapes, red plants. It's all 
very good advice. I have taken some pics of my tank, which I hope to post 
once they are developed. Can anyone enumerate, elucidate, or otherwise shed 
some light on the "stages of an aquascaper?" I would think that there are 
people on this list that have some artistic talents, probably a few that 
dont. Does anyone want to tell the story of how they put together a funny 
looking 10g and the transition to an award winning plant tank? Im sure Amano 
and others made some mistakes somewhere, I would like to see and hear about 
them if I could. 

       In recent posts there was some mention of an allelopathic solution to 
algae problems. I just finished another fine article by Karen Randall in a 
common hobby magazine. In the article on "Easy to grow aquarium plants," it 
is mentioned that hornwort, Ceratophyllum demersum, has (and I am 
paraphrasing, I hope I do not misquote) a better than average ability to 
produce allelopathic algae inhibitors. I wonder if there is a "percent of 
tank" guideline we could come up with that would help people who do not have 
or choose not to have supplemental CO2? I dont have a
sump in any of my tanks, but one could imagine replacing some of the 
biological media with our old friend "coontail." With the fine leaf 
structure, I imagine that a certain quantity of this plant would do as well 
as some of our modern plastic ball thingies, if indeed, plants will support 
bacteria colonies as gravel, sponges, hair curlers and plastic army men do.

Happy New Year to all, I hope I havent damaged anyone's grey matter.