majolo, I use a prefilter pad wrapped around the intake. But I found that it clogs up in about 5 days so now I am trying out an aquaclear 20 sponge. Unfortunately, I bought most of the plants from the pet shop and they are just sold as "bunched plants". I can guess some of them. I'd say that I've got red lotus, Asian ambulia, java moss, Rotala wallichii, Rotala macrandra, Vallisneria americana, Vallisneria spiralis, Rotala indica, another Rotala something, and one more reddish plant that I have no idea.
ringram, I'm not dosing co2 or using any additives. The setup is only 4 weeks old so I expect some of the red plants to green out. Some of the plants roots are really taking off though especially that red plant (rotala macrandra?) and the grassy plants. I found out when I took them out to trim the stems today.