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Plant Filter.

Hello All,

I'm a newbee. I've been following the list for a while now, trying to
decide what I should do with my 80 gal fish only tank. Should I plant
it, as per most of you folks, with the emphasis upon plants? Or....
Unfortunately, I find that I can't part with some of my current wet
pets. I have some nice 7 - 9" eels that I can't bear to part with
(Mastacembelus circumcinctus and M. aculeatus). They love to burrow. I
also have some other "sandslingers" in there -- I'm afraid they would
make a real mess out of everything.

I don't want to give up on the idea of using live plants in this tank
though. I like how plants and animals compliment eachother. The idea of
limited use of aquatic plants in the aquarium (Java Fern and Java Moss
on stone and wood, some clay pots housing plants, etc.) coupled with an
outside plant filter has crossed my mind. (See Lee Newman's article in
the June '97 AFM about his plant filter). How feasible would this be?
Any suggestions for types of plants to use in the aquarium and in the
plant filter? (Lee Newman used Spathiphyllum sp.) Would Java Fern be a
good emergent plant to use in the plant filter? How would the
characteristics of the plant change? More rapid growth and take up more
nutrients? Agggh! I'm rambling here.... 

Any help here in aiding me to think this thing through would be greatly
appreciated! :-)

Walter B. Klockers
In wet and wonderful Western Washington way west of Walla Walla.