I have a canister filter made by
, I love the thing! It's easy to use (though it did intimidate me at first) and virtually SILENT. I'm sure people do build their own, but
I hope you get some info back from The Wet Spot. They've been really helpful in my experience, I asked them soooooo many questions, lol! You have plenty of time to figure things out and dream about stocking in your tank, though!
I bet that they DO
have a nice supply of aquarium driftwood there!
I've found that local fish shops tend to have a far better selection of driftwood than the chain shops. I was lucky enough to get a LFS to order in the specific type of DW that I was looking for, so it can't hurt to ask if your LFS doesn't carry what you like. It can take a while to find what you want, since every piece is different, so if you don't see what you like on one trip, try again!
There are many aquarium shops online that sell it, but I've found that you usually don't get to choose a specific piece, rather, you pay for a type of wood based on the size and they send you what they have. This has never really worked for me, lol!
You can also look on E-bay, the sellers there tend to take pictures of each individual piece that they're selling, and list dimensions, so that's nice - but shipping can be expensive. I've also found DW for sale on forums that are more plant/aquascape based. . .
You'll have to soak/boil any driftwood before putting it into your tank, but depending on where you get it from, you may or may not have to do more. Some sellers will sandblast their wood to remove all of the bark and such before selling it, and some don't, so be sure to check, because removing bark from a piece of wood can be quite the task in my experience!
There are lots of different types of driftwood, I like to use Manzanita wood in my tanks, because it has that rooty/branchy look that I love. Malaysian driftwood is possibly the most common type that I see, but it tends to be chunkier. There are many other types of driftwood that are safe for use in a tank. . . Mopani wood, I believe, is from Africa, so you could look into that.
Hope that helps! It'll be an awesome tank whenever you get there, lol, and the more time you spend learning and researching, the better it'll be!