What is driftwood?

Driftwood is an important component of your tank. It provides comfortable cover for fish, reduces nitrates in the water and buffers pH levels at 7-7.5.

There are many benefits to using driftwood in your aquarium such as providing a great habitat for some species of fish, offering a place to hide from stress and buffering pH levels in your tank which makes it easier for your fish to breathe.

where to get driftwood for the aquarium

If you are looking for driftwood for your aquarium, consider checking out your local pet store. This will give you an opportunity to find some pieces that may look more natural than others. You could also go outside with a pair of pruning shears and bring your own pieces home.

Just make sure that you don’t take any wood from an area where the tree is in danger of being harmed by having it removed. Also, using driftwood may require obtaining special permits from the government so be sure to check into this before you go on a trip to find some.

If you use natural driftwood, be sure to change approximately 25 percent of the water every week. This will prevent any buildup from occurring and it may also help to prevent bacterial growth that could otherwise be a problem.

Even if you choose fake driftwood as an alternative, you should still follow this same schedule of changing a little water every week. This will help to fight against the buildup of any chemicals that may be present.

On the other hand, many types of fish, shrimp and snails will get along just fine with fake driftwood, so you can always go this route if it works best for your needs. Many pet stores carry a variety of driftwood that is constructed from resins that are designed to look real without any of the negatives associated with using real driftwood.

Remember that once you place the driftwood in your aquarium, it will not last forever. The wood will continue to decompose and you may have to replace it every few months. In addition, there are certain fish that do better with live wood so if you prefer one of these types, using real driftwood may not be ideal.

The best time to clean your driftwood

The best time for you to clean your driftwood is after the tank has been completely filled with water and everything else has had time to settle in. If you attempt a cleaning before this, you could end up pushing dirt and other debris into the tank.

You can use a siphon to remove the water so you may need to place your fish in another container while you are doing this step. The amount of time it takes to complete this task will depend on how much wood is in the tank as well as where it is placed.

After completing this task, you can then scrub the tank itself with a soft sponge. If there are any stubborn spots or stains, you may want to use white vinegar. Be sure that you rinse everything thoroughly before placing your fish back in their home.

Once the wood has been cleaned and dried, place it in the aquarium. This will give it plenty of time to settle in so it can begin to look and feel more like part of your aquarium.

If you take good care of your driftwood and ensure that it remains healthy, it may last for years and continue to offer new fish an excellent environment in which to call home.

What kind of driftwood is safe for aquariums?

Two common types of driftwood that are safe for aquariums are the red and white mangroves.

Red mangrove wood is often imported from Florida, Central America, or other tropical areas. White mangrove is grown locally in the United States.

Other non-native driftwood can harbour disease and parasites that may harm and even kill your fish. It is also vital to consider the source of the wood as well. Driftwood took from polluted areas or other potentially contaminated sources should be avoided.

Some people choose to soak their driftwood in a freshwater dip before placing it into an aquarium. In this way, it enables you to remove any chemicals such as salt and other contaminants that may be on the wood. This method could also help the wood last longer in your tank since less of the tannins will leach into your water over time after soaking.

What does driftwood do to aquarium water?

Driftwood is a natural and common way to decorate an aquarium. It also provides cover for fish, making it ideal for reef tanks. Driftwood is not only important in the construction of the aquarium but also has a positive effect on the water conditions.

The tannins in the driftwood act as a filtration system, so they remove some of the nitrates from your water which can make it less acidic. This lowers water quality and makes it more difficult for your fish to breathe properly.

Driftwood also naturally buffers pH levels in your aquarium at around 7-7.5 pH by creating a chemically stable environment where pH levels do not fluctuate which is ideal for many types of fish and coral reefs.

Benefits of driftwood

The benefits of using driftwood in your fish tank are many. It can provide a great habitat for some types of fish, providing them with cover to escape danger. Driftwood also offers the perfect environment for algae and stuff like that to grow on which is beneficial to some species of fish.

Benefits include:

  • Providing a great habitat for some types of fish
  • Offering a perfect environment for algae
  • Reduces nitrates from water which makes it less acidic and easier for your fish to breathe
  • Offers fish a place to hide which reduces stress levels
  • Buffers pH levels in your aquarium at around 7-7.5 pH by creating a chemically stable environment where pH levels do not fluctuate
  • Driftwood also plays a part in the construction of your aquarium and can help to provide more aesthetically pleasing surroundings.
  • Driftwood also naturally buffers pH levels in your aquarium making it easier for your fish to live comfortably with stable pH levels.

How to store driftwood for fish tanks

It’s very easy to store natural wood in a dry, dark place. Natural driftwood can be stored on its side just like you would leave it if it were still attached to its tree or log. There are no special storage requirements for driftwood once it’s removed from the water.


All in all, there are many benefits to using driftwood in your aquarium. Not only does it provide cover for your fish and make them feel safer but it also lowers the nitrate levels in the water which means that you don’t have to change the tank as much. Driftwood also provides a great habitat for some types of fish and is beneficial to some species of algae.


It is also an important part of the construction of your aquarium.