chumblaka, I trim the HC every week to keep it nice and low. Otherwise it gets the toupet effect where it just sits on the soil after awhile. I have to do the same thing in my Finnex too. It's tedious sometimes, but I love the nicely trimmed carpet look.
Rion, I agree! I have been experimenting with it on and off but it's going to stay on indefinitely now.
BradC, the sponge is the same one you can pick up at Petco/Petsmart. I found it in the reptile aisle actually. Meant for use with the smaller reptile filters but the mesh is smaller so shrimp have no way of getting sucked in.
Tonight I removed the Rotala Colorata (it wasn't doing well anyway, the stems were 2+ years old) and replaced it with Rotala sp 'Gia Lai' that I got from a club member. We'll see how this stuff does.
Current mission: get some plants to turn red.