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Aquarium / Aquascaping Setup

Natural Driftwood to beautify your Aquarium or Fish Tank

by Hoang Nguyen 30 Aug 2016 0 Comments

 An aquarium is a must-have décor item that significantly adds to the elan of the interiors and adds an ethereal beauty to the area. It may be your office, study, living room, lounge or any other place, but having a beautifully decorated aquarium beats any other décor idea. The aquarium may be big or small, but it needs to be decorated beautifully so that the entire area looks strikingly beautiful.

In order to have a well-decorated aquarium, you not only need beautiful and colourful species of fish but also accompanying aquarium decorations that give it its natural beauty. Aquarium decorations comprise of various items, mainly aquatic plants that suit the habitat of the fishes, rocks, substrates, and driftwood.


Driftwood plays an important role in creating the ambient environment for the fishes to thrive and survive and also to enhance the overall décor and beauty of the aquarium. The aesthetics of the aquarium will be highly enhanced, and the use of natural driftwood will ensure that the fishes find it closer to their original habit.

natural driftwood for aquarium

Things to consider

Though driftwood for aquariums may be found in local stores, yet some people prefer to add natural driftwood to their aquariums. The idea is not bad, but there are quite a few things that you should keep in mind while choosing the driftwood.

Many people have a wrong notion that any sort of dried branch of a tree or plant can be used as driftwood, But this idea is very wrong. If you are planning to opt for natural driftwood, you need to be very careful about your selection. Try to choose from pieces that are found close to water bodies as they have lesser chances of having bacteria.

Make sure that the piece of wood that you choose is properly dried out, or they may start rotting within the aquarium, and you will have to re-arrange the entire habitat, thus wasting time and effort.

Natural driftwoods are also prone to releasing tannins into the water, which gradually transforms the colour of the water, thus making it look dirty. Not only that, continuous release of tannins into the water may alter the pH levels of the water, thus making it toxic for the fish and thus, harming them. Thus, it would be preferable that you choose the wood that has been in water or very close to the water for a long period of time. This will ensure that the maximum amount of tannins has been washed away by the water and hence, there will be only a small amount left that can be cured artificially. Well, seasoned and weathered wood is thus the best choice as natural driftwood.

Some types of woods serve better as driftwood than other types. So, you need to ensure that you find the right type of driftwood to be used in your aquarium. Driftwoods like Manzanita fare much better than other types available.

natural driftwood

Moreover, the natural driftwood that you select should be thoroughly soaked so that they sink to the base of the aquarium and do not float. Driftwoods that do not require to be tied down for sinking are better than those that need to be tied.

The naturally collected driftwood should also be treated well to prevent any chances of contamination of the water and the aquarium as that may prove to be fatal to the fish.

You may boil the driftwood for about an hour or two so as to remove all types of fungal and algal spores. Boiling effectively sterilizes the wood.


Hardwood or softwood – which is better?

Natural driftwood has a variety of sources and depending on that, they are classified into hardwood and softwood.

Though both may appear to be the same in the eyes of a layman, yet experts say that these two types of wood have their own specific features which make them quite different. And according to experts, it would be ideal that you use hardwood for your aquarium instead of softwood.

This preference is due to the origin of the woods. Wood that comes from trees with broad leaves is referred to as hardwood while softwoods have their origins in coniferous trees like fir, cedar, and pine. The reason why wood from coniferous trees is not preferable for aquariums is due to the presence of resins in them, which may eventually be harmful to life in the aquarium.

If you scrutinize the wood properly, you will sense that the softwood possesses a particular pine-like scent. Moreover, in most cases, you can pierce through the wood with your fingernails if it is a softwood.


Your aquarium is undoubtedly one of the most important items of décor, and it brings the vast marine life directly to the confines of your room. Thus, it is very important that you take good care while selecting the items that will make it easier for the fishes and other aquatic life forms to sustain well in the aquarium.

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