Originally Posted by Divisible by Waffle
Thanks for the advice, Byron! I don't particularly need huge flowers, so I'll definitely pick up some anubias. What would you suggest I do as far as driftwood goes? Is it expensive? Do I need to do anything special to it once I get some?
The safest thing is to buy the wood from a fish store. It is not inexpensive, but the risk of toxins and contaminants is (hopefully) less and frankly usually non-existent. Using wood collected outdoors is risky because the wood may have absorbed any number of toxic chemicals over the years and there is no way to remove these. Insects and pathogens are easily dealt with by boiling the wood for a period of time. Also, some woods quickly rot and pollute the water, leading to terrible biological crashes. And the sap of some woods, particularly conifers, is a resin that is toxic to fish in the aquarium.
I prefer the dark brown/black bogwood, I believe it may be called ironwood, or mangrove root? If you check the photos of my aquaria you'll see what it looks like. It will leech tannins for a few weeks, unless you boil it, but they are harmless and will disappear with weekly partial water changes.