Hi there, justme, and welcome to the AA forum!
You can find the correct forums for your questions by entering the portal and then just locating the forum that your question pertains to, i.e. there is a freshwater forum that has various topics some general, some more specific, such as the planted freshwater tank. As for established media, I'm going to give you a link that has several articles regarding starting a new aquarium. You should read the one about the almost complete guide and FAQ to fishless cycling first. It explains almost everything you need to know to get your tank cycled. Be sure to read it before you buy your fish (unlike me) and you will save yourself heartache and needless expense, if you cycle your tank before you do anything else:http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...es-154837.html
If you still have questions about established media after reading that, then ask away in the freshwater forum. They say that the only dumb question is the one you don't ask. And have fun with your refound hobby, but beware, it is addicting.