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Help out a newbie…please

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Hi,

I'm setting up a 10g tank for a community of tropical fish, I'm gonna start with some neon tetras and go from there, but I want to have live plants. This is my first aquarium, so I need some advice.

I got some Windelov Java Fern and Anubias Nana which I plan to tie to a driftwood (when I find it.) Will both types of plants work well on the same driftwood? or should I get a rock for the one of them?

What do I need to do to the driftwood to make it ready for fish?

What other plants will go well for in the background and as a short front plant or carpeting plant? Would a moss ball work?

I bought plain gravel, but I'm thinking of switching it out for the nutrient enriched gravel with some sand on top. How does that work? Is that easy to maintain?

Also I know I need to get upgraded lights. I bought the substrate tabs, but I'll return them if I switch out my gravel. What other plant support equipment/food/chemicals do I need to get to add to the tank when I plant them?

This forum has been very helpful for me. If there's a good list of plants and where to plant them that I missed, please direct me there. Thanks for any help or advice.

-MrsSaphire
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I do not buy wood when I can find it with a small effort. One way to avoid many of the problems mentioned is easy if you know what to look for in wood. Choose totally dry wood that has weathered long enough for tannins to be removed by nature. Don't worry about the type or species of wood as it is not relevant when the wood is totally dry. Take a small folding saw along when looking for wood in nature. When you feel you have found one that appeals to you and looks dry, do a small test.
Cutting the end off will give you a look at how it has dried. Wood will dry from the outside inward.
This is cedar but totally dry all the way through and safe to use.


The uniform color tells you that it has finished drying. That usually means all tannin is gone. A simple overnight soak in bleach water will sanitize it to kill any oil, pesticide, fungus or bugs. Let it dry and it is good to go.

But then searching for wood may not require a long walk in the woods. Keep your eyes open and there are many spots.
This is a Craigslist ad which has wood which may work quite well.
 
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