09-18-2011, 11:02 PM
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Hey there! :)
Personally, I only use canister filters on my bigger tanks. I find them very efficient and low maintenance. But, there isn't much harm in using a HOB as well - as long as your fish don't get stressed from the flow! You can usually adjust the flow down on the filters, though, if the fish you want to keep are more sedate.
With driftwood, you can boil it (if it's not too big for a pot) or soak it in a tub. These methods will help it sink. Boiling will release more tannins than soaking, but it will still release some for quite some time. I would suggest you buy aquarium safe driftwood, as finding your own wood is fraught with danger - critters, disease, fungus etc.
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