how to make driftwood for aquarium?

Every home aquarium owner strives to add enchanting beauty to his aquatic world. And they successfully cope with this task using a variety of accessories, including decorative driftwood. But where to get them?

how to make driftwood for aquarium

Can I buy Driftwood For Aquarium from store?

You can always buy decorative driftwood at your nearest pet store. Almost all of these accessories are made from mopani (ironwood) or mangrove (mangrove). The choice is small, and such decor is very expensive.

Let’s not rush to empty our financial reserves, but include creativity and creativity. And we will make a beautiful aquarium accessory ourselves.

In developed countries, specialized championships-contests dedicated to aquarium design are held annually. The directions in which underwater driftwood are used are called “ryuboku” (translated from Japanese “tree”).

Advantages of Driftwood For Aquarium

Underwater driftwood is modern, natural and attractive. Plastic aquarium locks, sunken boats, ships are already outdated and unacceptable in modern aquaria. Natural beauty comes into vogue. Moreover, a well-prepared snag is not only stylish, but also useful:

  • the tree stimulates the normal ecosystem of the aquarium – this is an excellent basis for the reproduction of favorable bacterial microflora;
  • bacteria that form on wood are important for maintaining a healthy microclimate – they convert toxic compounds into harmless decay products;
  • underwater driftwood work to strengthen and increase the immune system of fish;
  • wooden pieces flooded in water emit tannic compounds, which form a weakly acidic environment, destructive for the reproduction of dangerous viruses and microbes;
  • if the aquatic environment in the aquarium is alkaline, the underwater driftwood will adjust the pH level;
  • driftwood create natural shelters for aquarium inhabitants; they use underwater pieces of wood as a spawning place;
  • driftwood is especially necessary for aquariums where axolotls or ancitruses live, neotenic larvae and adherent catfish use it for food, scraping off the outer layers from it (such a feed additive stimulates the digestive system of aquatic inhabitants).

Withered foliage has the same abilities. The leaves are often introduced into the aquatic environment of the aquarium, creating conditions for the fish that are as close to natural as possible.

How To Make Driftwood For Aquarium?

It is not difficult to do this, knowing all the tricks and nuances of such a procedure. And the search for snags, their selection, preparation, decoration, placement in the aquarium are extremely exciting activities. So let’s get started.


If desired, a good accessory can be found on the street. But it is better not to take wood material, which is located near roads and near landfills, garbage dumps, sewage treatment plants and industrial facilities. Looking for driftwood, we go to the nearest forest belt or to a local park.

The driftwood for aquamir must be firm, dry and free of mold. In the presence of soft areas, the tree will begin to rot intensively in the water, spoiling the ecosystem.

It is better to look for suitable options on deciduous or fruit-fruit trees. For example, acacia, birch, apricot, willow, apple, grape, alder, reed, beech, pear, maple, ash or cherry. When choosing driftwood, keep in mind that it is forbidden to take for aquarium decor:

  • rotten or rotten twigs;
  • young and freshly cut tree shoots (completely dry driftwood is needed for the aquarium);
  • branches of eucalyptus and conifers (Christmas trees, larch, pine, juniper, fir, cedar, etc.), they contain resinous substances and ethers.
  • The ideal option is a snorkel. These are branches that have already lain in the water for some time.
  • Among aquarists, the roots of the willow tree are considered especially valuable, which are in the reservoir for a certain period.
  • Such driftwood has an unusual shape, they are twisting and beautiful for design. And also they are easily heated and decompose for a long time.

Look for driftwood in clear water, where there is a good current, and there are no factories or industries nearby.

When collecting driftwood, also keep in mind that the flooded wood debris is already inhabited by aquatic flora. With an illiterate processing of such a tree, you run the risk of poisoning your aquarium inhabitants.


This procedure is pretty straightforward. But it will take time and little effort on the part of the aquarist.


A suitable driftwood is thoroughly cleaned from the remnants of dirt, clay, earth, silt. Sharp or jagged edges are cut from it. The remains of the bark are also removed.

Although, if the driftwood is being prepared for an aquarium with ancitruses, pieces of bark can be left – catfish will happily eat it.


It is carried out in order to completely remove the remaining harmful compounds and resinous substances from the wood. For this, the tree is placed in a prepared saline solution. It is prepared at the rate of 1 kg of salt per 10-12 liters of water. The solution with driftwood is boiled for 3-10 hours (depending on the size of the pieces of wood).

You can add a little manganese to the brine. Potassium permanganate additionally disinfects wood and gives it a pleasant, rich color.


  • After the end of the salt bath, the tree must be boiled in ordinary water. Boiling removes all salt residues.
  • If you don’t feel like messing around with water, you can use annealing instead of boiling.
  • The driftwood is placed in an oven preheated to + 200⁰C and ignited for 2-3 hours.
  • But don’t overdo it with roasting! Otherwise, the driftwood will dry out too much and begin to crumble.


The last and most enjoyable step is decorating. The driftwood can be installed in the aquarium in various ways – it all depends on the taste of the owner and the size of the container:

  • At an angle. The main part of the wood composition is placed at a certain angle. Aquatic plants are planted in the same place. Large types of crops are best placed behind the driftwood, and soil crops are used in the front.
  • Y-option. The driftwood is placed in the corners of the aquarium tank, the central part remains free. Such a task is more difficult, but with a competent approach it looks very interesting and unusual.
  • Island way. The driftwood is the centerpiece of the aquarium. Free space remains behind it and on the sides. It is advisable to use this option with an unusual, branched and beautiful form of the accessory.

Some types of aquatic plants can also be placed on driftwood. For example, ferns, anubias, or mosses. This will create a magical atmosphere and embellish the overall style of the aquamir. It is better to fasten the plants with a fishing line it is stronger than a thread.

aquarium driftwood problems: Common Question

Finally, we decided to collect all the frequently encountered questions affecting the design of the aquatic environment with snags. Knowing the answers to them will make the task easier and turn the decorating process into a fun and exciting experience.

aquarium driftwood problems

driftwood Release tannins in aquarium Water

  • In principle, you don’t need to do anything, because this is a completely normal situation. The aquatic environment takes on a brownish color due to the tannins released by the flooded wood. A similar effect is observed when foliage is placed in water. Tannins do not harm aquarium inhabitants, on the contrary, they ennoble the water.
  • But, if you want to achieve perfect transparency, the water can be purified. For example, adding activated carbon to the filter (not pharmacy, but specialized, the one that is offered in pet stores). Or change the water more often.

white fungus on driftwood in aquarium

  • The culprit of this problem is the poor-quality preliminary preparation of the tree. If a white bloom appears on the tree, observe the behavior of the fish.
  • If the habits of the aquarium world have not changed, nothing needs to be done – catfish successfully cope with bloom. Otherwise, the decor will have to be removed and the water replaced.

how to make driftwood sink faster

When driftwood stubbornly does not want to sink, this indicates the presence of oxygen in the wood. This happens when novice aquarists, after boiling a tree, take it out of the water and keep it in the air for a long time.

In this situation, the snag can be additionally secured with handy devices at the bottom of the container. Or take it out and repeat the boil (soaking).

Get rid of hydrogen sulfide in aquarium due to driftwood

This situation appears due to the non-drying of the wood and indicates that the aquarium tree has begun to rot. The snag must be removed, allowed to dry completely, and then returned to its place.

Woody parts, beautiful dry shoots, branches – all this becomes an excellent raw material for the manufacture of decorative driftwood. Competently prepared and beautifully placed, these aquatic accessories add aesthetics to the underwater world and give it originality.

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