Using Ocean Driftwood in Freshwater Aquarium

I recently set up my first aquarium, and I wanted some of the decor to be “special”. We got driftwood when we went to the beach and couldn’t wait to get it all set up in the aquarium! So, if you want to use driftwood in your aquarium, here’s how.

First of all, you need to boil your driftwood for at least an hour. I boiled both pieces for almost 2 hours. This is to kill any sort of critters, parasites, and bacteria that may be living on the driftwood. You don’t want to get that in your aquarium!

Second, you need to soak your wood for at least a week. This is for two reasons. One reason is that tannins will be released in the water from the wood if you do not. (Tannins can be beneficial to some tropical fish, but will turn your water brown. If you don’t mind your water being brown, or tea colored, for quite a while then you do not have to boil the tannins out and your fish will be fine). The second reason for soaking is because the driftwood will be buoyant and will float. The longer it is soaked, the more waterlogged it will become. Over time, it will be waterlogged enough to sit in the water. Be warned though, sometimes it takes upwards of two months before large pieces of driftwood will be waterlogged enough to sit at the bottom of your tank.

Because most people probably won’t want to soak their wood long enough for it to become waterlogged, have a back up plan! You can use original super glue gel to glue your wood to a piece of slate, or you can tie it down to something using fishing line or thread. (Fishing line is nearly invisible in the tank and thread will dissolve over time, either is fine).

I did soak my wood, but not long enough for it to become waterlogged. I soaked it until the tannins were no longer being released. Then I used two pieces of slate (one for each piece of driftwood). The smaller piece I was able to super glue to the slate with no problems. The larger piece, I superglued and also tied with thread. I buried the slate in the substrate so you cannot see it and it appears as though the wood is sitting on the bottom of the tank.

Do you have any other tips for using driftwood in your tanks?

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