How To Make Driftwood Safe For An Aquarium

How To Make Driftwood Safe For An Aquarium

When setting up an aquarium you’re not just going to want a tank full of water and just drop your fish into it, that would be quite boring as a part of setting up an aquarium is the aesthetic of it.

With the appearance in mind adding features that look natural or are natural make it look much better than having an empty tank (besides the fishes).

When it comes to driftwood it doesn’t just serve a purpose as a decoration it can also be a crucial part of the ecosystem of the aquarium.

It is advantageous to have in the tank as it can be food for some fish as they have adapted to feed off of driftwood as it has nutrients in it, and they eat so little amounts at a time it isn’t even visibly noticeable.

It can also help with the water chemistry; some fish prefer or need different pH levels in the water and the right kind of wood can alter this correctly.

One more advantage that dropping a piece of driftwood into a tank is that it can offer a hiding place for the fish, having a hiding place will make the fish feel more comfortable and safer.

Steps To Make It Safe

To ensure that the wood is fine to go into your aquarium and please the fishes living in there, there are a few simple steps to follow that will make the driftwood a center piece to your aquarium.

Step 1: Prepare The Wood

First of all, you’ll want to go out and collect some driftwood, so find a location where you know you can gather some easily and you’ll be looking for a piece that will look nice in an aquarium, not just a small flat piece, perhaps something that will suit your current tank design.

Then you want to consider the fish in the tank, will they be able to swim around it, through it and be able to hide in it.

Be careful when selecting a piece as you want to make sure it doesn’t have signs of mold or fungi as if they’re decaying in the water, it could really negatively affect the water quality.

Once you’ve carefully found the piece of driftwood, you’re going to add to your tank it’s a good idea to have a place in mind of where it’s going to go.

You can’t just throw it in and hope for the best, especially if you’re trying to make it look nice and aesthetic.

Step 2: Clean The Wood

Making sure the wood is clean is important because if it’s covered in dirt or oil or something that could offset the water then it could really poorly affect your tank inhabitants.

Ideally, you’ll have a brush to give the wood a scrub to remove the visible dirt off of the wood as you don’t want the debris falling into your tank.

If you find any soft pieces of wood be careful to remove them as they could be rotting and continue to rot in the tank.

When cleaning the wood make sure not to use any soap or chemicals to clean it as if they remain or soak into the wood this too can be really damaging for the water and fish in the tank.

Step 3: Cure The Wood

Driftwood being wood is buoyant and is very likely to float when you add it into your aquarium, and it will continue to do so for a couple of weeks until the piece of wood completely soaks up the water enough so that it sinks.

To prevent it from floating as soon as you add it into your tank it’s a good idea to let it sit and soak in water for a week or two before you add it to become totally soaked.

When soaking the wood to make sure it sinks you can also begin to remove some of the tannins that will affect the color of your water and if left for a while it can alter the pH level of your aquarium’s water.

So, when soaking the wood keep an eye on it and change the water as it becomes darker, making sure you rinse the wood between water changes.

When you keep changing the water, you’ll notice that it isn’t becoming as brown or dirty.

Eventually the wood should stop staining the water.

Once the water remains clear after a few days this will indicate that the wood is nearly ready to be placed into the aquarium.

Step 4: Boiling The Wood

Boiling the wood is a good idea and has a couple of benefits, first of all it can get rid of algal and fungal spores that could be potential threats to your water and it also cleans and sterilizes the wood killing other bacteria.

Steps To Make Your Fish Tank Safe

Secondly, it can also speed up the process to remove the tannins quicker than using regular water, it’s recommended to do this for about an hour or two and this will help to sterilize the wood.

Step 5: Adding The Driftwood To Your Aquarium

Now the wood has been prepared, cleaned, cured, and boiled it’s finally time to add it to your tank.

With all the steps taken correctly you should be able to put your wood in your desired place.

It shouldn’t just float back to the surface and the fish will have a new feature to swim and hide around.

Final Thoughts

When finding your piece of wood, find something that looks natural in your tank, have something in mind that you want in there, you may want it to look like part of a wreck or maybe something that just looks good in the tank.

Make sure you take time to clean it thoroughly as it could completely mess up the quality of the water and that’ll be far more effort than cleaning the wood properly the first time round.

Finally, if you want to go even further with the natural look of the wood some plants can even be attached to it to make it look more at home in the aquarium.

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