First, FAQ news.  As of today, the *.aquaria FAQ has gone into beta test.
If you have a web browser, take a look at 


we will have text-only versions for ftp by release (it just takes a 
little turnaround time to get to Dustin who maintains that half).  Please 
send any comments, especially on style, usability problems, or omissions,
to faq at marge_phys.washington.edu.

The new FAQ has a plant section that is about twice as large as the old 
one... we're hoping it will encourage more would-be aquatic gardeners to 
take the plunge. :)

And hey, it even has an answer for this question:

> From: zbigniew at cais_cais.com (Patrick Farley)
> Subject: Potted Plants
> I bought several potted plants last night.
> Should I remove them from the pots and place them in the substrate, or 
> should I leave them in the pots?

---From the Plant FAQ, Q&A Section---

``Do I leave my new plants in the pot?''

Many aquatic plants are now sold in potted rockwool. Plants with 
delicate roots, such as Cryptocoryne and Anubias, are usually best left 
in the rockwool wadding, especially if you have to move them around in 
the tank. Leaving them potted also can reduce transplant shock; 
otherwise you must be patient and allow the plants time to recover in 
their new substrate. You can bury the pots in your gravel to conceal 
them. Some folks like to cut away the plastic pot, and just leave the 
plant in the wadding so it can grow out into the substrate. 

> From: Charles Bay <cbay at milton_ecte.uswc.uswest.com>
> Subject: Under-tank heating coils.
> I'm sorry, but I can't even come *close* to justifying $874 for
> the "Dupla Cable Heat System Complete for 130-200 gallon aquariums"
> from Daleco for my new (and empty) 180 gallon tank.  There has
> got to be a better way!

Some of us take the middle road.  THe cable by itself runs somewhere 
between $85-$150 (depending on the size), and you can buy a power supply
from $10-50 (again, depending on wattage -- I'd say you need a 100 watt
cable for a 180, and this means a 4 amp power supply which you'll have to 
hunt for).  You could call up that company that makes medical heating 
cables (posted here a month ago; I have the address archived on the 
Krib), and probably half the price again.   I guess I'm just scared of 
using wire-wrap or zip cord to do this. :)

> DIY heat coil options.  I can't imagine 12 gauge wire, a transformer,
> and a few temperature probes running me that much money.  

Not 12-gauge.  It's something really tiny like 30-gauge.  Herein lies the 
problem, which is that such wires are usually very brittle and fragile.

> From: Liisa Sarakontu <lsarakon at hila_hut.fi>

> Greetings from Finland. I just joined this list, and now I'm going to
> try to post here. Let's see how this works.

Allright!  Let us welcome the net's resident algae eater sketch artiste!

    - Erik

Erik D. Olson					olson at phys_washington.edu
Not at home, probably at work (Wo-hoo!)