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Discussion Starter #1
I currently have a 5gal tank. It has 2 bunches of anubias nana, 2 java fern, a marimo mass ball, and what I believe to be micro sword. It has 4 male endlers, 3 cherry shrimp. Temp is stable at 78F, with a 25w heater. 15w light about 8hr of light a day. Plants are growing fabulously. Endlers are active and beautiful.
water levels as of today (after my little scare of high nitrite on Monday - today's Thurs):
gh - 60
kh - 120
ph - 7.0
nitrite - 0
nitrate - 40

I decided to buy a 16 gallon tank. Aqueon brand - from petsamrt, here's a link. I'm going to pick it up tomorrow.
Aqueon® Deluxe Aquarium Kit | Aquariums | PetSmart

Now questions are about substrate and stocking and if I can buy more of the micro sword and place it in a sand substrate? What kind of supplements do I buy for sand substrate for plants? Should I not get sand / is gravel better? I plan on putting my bigger anubias nana and my java ferns, which are starting to out-grow the 5 gallon, into my bigger tank later on.

the black Tahitian Moon sand, is that the best? Can I buy at my LFS?

Or should I get something like
CaribSea Flora Max Planted Aquarium Substrate | Gravel & Sand | PetSmart or National Geographicâ„¢ Aquarium Sand | Gravel & Sand | PetSmart

Now cleaning before putting it in the tank - I've googled it but all I'm getting it how to clean it after it's already in your aquarium. How do you rinse it before you put it in? sand, I mean.

If gravel is better, do I still need to start off with supplements? Should I get tabs or drops? Recommend brand names please?

I plan once the new tank is set up to get 2 more endlers and have 6 endlers in the 16gal, and a betta in the 5 gallon. Once my shrimp start to breed, I'll start moving them into the bigger tank as well...but I think I only have males right now lol.

I can place new plants and the water they come with into my new tank without it fully being cycled right? This will help it cycle?

What IS drift wood? Is that the ornaments that look like wood on the shelves at the petstore?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I ended up buying a 13 gallon long tank:
Aqueon » 13 LED Widescreen Aquarium Kit | Products

And I bought Tahitian Moon Sand.

It comes with a 50w Heater, LED lighting, and a Medium size cartridge for the filter.

I decided on the Planted Cycle instead of a fishless or fish-in cycle. And I'm getting a lot of mixed info on that!! ):

After the sand settled tomorrow, can I add plants? Do I add tabs/suppliments in or wait? I do water changes every other day?
 
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