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[APD] Reviving a neglected tank

I haven't posted much since The Great Unpleasantness a few years ago. I have a 20 gallon tall cold-water aquarium that I'm trying to bring back to life. It has been neglected for about a year; no fish, no water changes, no CO2, but lots of light (what could get thru the algae on top.) The bottom is sand.

I scraped all the algae off the glass and skimmed it off the top and vacuumed the bottom (doing about a 50% water change in the process) and topped it up. Then waited for it to settle so I could see what I had. There's maybe 4 or 5 small anubias, some of them very small, and quite a bit of java fern (all of it has turned loose from the rocks) and some kind of narrow-leaf Vallisneria that I don't really like.

Now that the light can get through and with the water changes, the plants have started growing and the algae film is sloughing off the leaves and I continue to clean it out, and I've hooked up a small hang-on-the-back filter. Soon it might be ready for some fish. Surprisingly, I haven't had an attack of green water yet (the city injects phosphate into the water supply.) Now a few questions cuz I'm very rusty at this.

  1. The java fern and the anub's need to be anchored, but not actually
     have their rhizomes under the sand, right?  In the past I've just
     tied them to small rocks with string or used Super Glue to keep
     them on the bottom.
  2. Is there a way to get the vals to grow into nice-sized bunches
     rather than use all their energy running?  I remember that the
     stuff totally takes over if you let it, but it never really fills
     out.  I would rip it all out, but I need something fast-growing to
     act as a nutrient sponge for a while.
  3. Would rosy barbs be a good choice for an attractive hardy fish
     that will help control algae at least a little?  I'd like to keep
     the water temperature in the mid to upper 60's in the winter and
     low 70's in summer.

Thanks, and best regards,

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