Re: Aquatic Plants Digest V1 #203

re new 55 gal tank lites and laterite.  I expect there will be many 
different responses and some controversy but about a year ago I set up a 
tank like you are describing for a hospital waiting room.  It is in a 
dark area and has NO natural lite.   Two 40 w (actually 4 20w) radionic 
bulbs were used.  No laterite.  UG filters.  No other filters, but UG 
2 plates driven by Penguin 550 power heads.  100# gravel (natural color 
and mixed sizes from 1-3mm.)
Results - hard to believe.  Lites on 16 hours a day and bulbs replaced 
every 6 months.  Plants have to be thinned once a month.  Hyrgo, crypts, 
val, E. horizontis (one of these grew out of the tank and is about 25" 
tall.  Mine in my "hi tech" tank only gets about 10" tall).  This tank is 
one of the prettiest I have ever seen and is strictly low tech.  I 
attribute the success to good light, no aeration, every 2 weeks gravel 
vacuum of 20% of water, application of Tetra Florapride and nothing 
else.  Algae gets cleaned off the front glass once a week and the tank 
looks like a sparkling jewel.  Can't give you the complete list of fish 
but it is slightly overcrouded with 3 large angels, 8 cardinal, 6 red 
minor serpae, 2 corys, 4 swordtails, 1 huge male kribensis, 4 black ruby 
bars, bi color shark and a few others I can't think of now.  The tank was 
started with very healthy plants from my tank and it has looked great 
from the first day.  BTW it is a 60 gal, it think, and slightly higher 
than a 55. 
Good luck on your plant tank.   In time I bet it will be more fun than 
all the rest of your tanks.