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Where can I place wood in my fish tank? I'm concerned about it trapping fish food and causing ammonia build ups if it's near the walls or decorations, and I don't want to make a 'hot spot' if I put it next to the heater.

I also don't want to cause territory problems with my fish, if applicable. I have cories.

Where can I safely put wood in my fish tank?

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'Anywhere' is basically ok. But when you do maintenance it is of course easier if it is not directly against the glass. I usually keep enough space between decoration and the glass that I can easily fit my hand or a scrubber between it.

Overtime there is indeed a possibility that some waste will build up, but as long as you're not overfeeding the fish and you do your normal regular maintenance, I would not worry too much about it.
I haven't moved my big pieces of wood in almost 2 years. Some small stones I do occasionally remove when doing my maintenance. Your corries will probably spread it all over the tank anyway.

Also, corries are not territorial fish, they prefer to live in groups. All fish can suffer from stress if you are messing around in a tank and change a lot of things, because of this you should not do this too often. But it won't cause any territorial problems.

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