Best Driftwood For Aquariums (Quality And Affordability)

Last Updated on 2023-08-08

When you want to design your aquarium, adding some driftwood to your tank is a great idea because it improves its aesthetic value. With rocks and moss, you can almost replicate a natural aquatic environment. And driftwood does more than just look nice and pretty in your tank. It can also make the water softer and provides your aquatic plants a place to grow. There are many different kinds of driftwood, and you should think carefully about what you put in your aquarium. This article will inform you everything you need to know about driftwood and which kinds are best.

What Is Aquarium Driftwood?

Aquarium driftwood is basically wood that washed up on a beach, river, or lake and is now used in fish tanks and aquariums. You may pick the one that works best for your needs from among many different sizes, styles, and structures. They are a must-have for aquarists who want to make their aquariums look better, and they also help your aquarium in other ways.

Adding some driftwood to your aquarium can help your fish stay healthy. Natural tannins from the driftwood will seep into the aquarium water over time. These tannins produce a mildly acidic environment, which inhibits the growth of pathogens like viruses and bacteria. It also makes it possible for plants and moss to grow in them, which is good for the aquarium because plants can make oxygen.

Even though driftwood looks like it would be a perfect addition to your aquarium, you should only use driftwood that is made for fish tanks. You should also be careful what kind of driftwood you put in your tank. Most decorative driftwood is sprayed with chemicals that are bad for fish and plants, and wood found in the wild often has mold spores and algae on it.

Choosing Driftwood For Aquarium

One of the most interesting things about driftwood is that it can do more than just look pretty in an aquarium. Even though it’s from a dead tree, it can help clean the water and give algae and moss a place to grow. It helps in so many ways that putting one in your fish tank is like doing them a favor. Here are 7 tips for choosing the best driftwood for your aquarium!

1. Make Sure It Is Aquarium Safe

This is the number one rule when it comes to driftwood. Just because it is safe for humans does not mean that it is safe for fish. There are a lot of chemicals in treated wood that can be harmful to fish, so make sure the piece you want is specifically labeled as aquarium safe.

2. Avoid Using Driftwood that You Have Found Yourself

Even if you find the perfect piece of driftwood, there is no way to know what kind of chemicals or pollutants it has been exposed to. It is best to buy driftwood that has been specifically sourced for aquariums.

3. Consider the Size of Your Aquarium

Driftwood can be a very large piece of decoration, so make sure you have enough space for it! If you are using it to create a specific look or theme in your aquarium, make sure the piece you choose is not too big or too small.

4. Think About the Shape of The Driftwood

Driftwood comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so you want to make sure you choose a piece that will fit well in your aquarium. If you have a lot of other decoration, you might want to choose a smaller piece of driftwood. If you want the driftwood to be the main focus, choose a larger piece.

5. Consider the Color of The Driftwood

Driftwood can range from very light to very dark in color. If you are using it to create a specific look, make sure the piece you choose matches the other colors in your aquarium.

6. Make Sure the Driftwood Is Completely Submerged

Driftwood needs to be completely submerged in water to stay healthy. If it is not, it will start to rot and release harmful chemicals into the water.

7. Choose a Piece of Driftwood that You Like!

This is probably the most important tip. You want to choose a piece of driftwood that you think is beautiful and unique. Driftwood is a natural piece of art, so find one that you love and enjoy looking at!                                         

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Types Of Driftwood For Aquarium

Including driftwood in your aquarium’s design is a quick and easy approach to boosting its visual appeal. But driftwood comes in many shapes and sizes, so you might want to look into some of the most popular ones. What follows is a list of top driftwood types for aquatic ecosystems.

1. Bonsai Driftwood

This type of driftwood is made by hand by gluing together different pieces of driftwood to make it look like a tree. It is easily one of the best-looking driftwoods to use as aquarium decorations. Bonsai driftwood comes in many different styles, and aquarists love it because it makes a beautiful environment for your fish and makes for an eye-catching display.

2. Cholla Driftwood

The dried outer husk of a cholla cactus is commonly used as aquarium driftwood. The porous structure and soft feel of this material make it a welcome addition to aquariums of all skill levels, and it is a favorite of both novice and seasoned aquarists.

3. Manzanita Driftwood

It is a type of driftwood that comes from bushes and has become popular among aquarists because it is strong and doesn’t break down easily. This piece of driftwood’s branchlike shape will enhance the overall aesthetic of your aquarium.

4. Mopani Driftwood

Mopani Driftwood is one of the driftwoods with the most varied appearances. Because of the way the wood is shaped, they make one of the best centerpieces for aquariums. It is also one of the denser types of driftwood, which makes it easy to sink in water and perfect for aquatic tanks.

5. Malaysian Driftwood

If you want to put plants around your aquarium, Malaysian driftwood is a great choice. This driftwood naturally sinks to the bottom, so you can easily attach aquatic plants and moss by using thread, rubber bands, or fishing line. One thing to keep in mind about this driftwood is that it gives off a lot of tannins, which lower the pH level of your aquarium.

6. Mesquite Driftwood

Aquarists love mesquite driftwood because of its branchy features, which make it look nice when complemented with aquatic plants and moss. But this kind of driftwood is tricky to use because it is known among aquarists that it gives off toxins that could hurt your plants and fish if you put it in an aquarium. You can clean it well before putting it in an aquarium tank, so it can still be used.

7. Root Driftwood

This is one of the more unique driftwoods you’ll find, and it’s perfect for aquariums that need a little bit of extra height. Root driftwoods have a lot of nooks and crannies for fish to hide in, and they also provide a great place to attach plants. Just be sure to clean root driftwood thoroughly before adding it to your tank.

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Driftwood Roots For Aquarium

Branches and trunks of trees make good driftwood for your aquarium, and tree roots are no different. With the right placement and decorations like moss and rocks, you can create a naturalistic aquarium that looks like real life and that your fish will love. With driftwood root, your creativity is the only limit. Here are some of the most well-known driftwood roots you can buy.

1. Spider Driftwood

Spider driftwood gets its name from the way its many branches look like the legs and body of a dead spider. It has a beautiful branching pattern, and these branches are perfect for a tree’s canopy. The downside is just that Spider driftwood has to be soaked in the water for a while before it sinks all the way, so you might have to wait for a little bit before putting it in your aquarium.

2. Redmoor Root Driftwood

Imagine pulling a tiny tree stump out of the ground, that’s what you get from Redmoor root driftwood. This driftwood features a thick web of tiny roots where fish can use to get in and out, just like they would in their natural habitat. Most redmoor takes two weeks of curing before they get waterlogged. But its beauty shows that it will be worth the wait.

3. Sumatran Driftwood

Unlike most other root driftwood, Sumatran driftwood features a unique look with its root growing out from a central point. This type of driftwood would make a great centerpiece for your freshwater aquariums because of its natural radiating shape. Also, Sumatran driftwood doesn’t make a lot of tannins because it comes from mangrove roots, so it won’t turn your water brown.

4. Marsh Root Driftwood

Due to its alluring curves and rich black color, this root driftwood is very well-liked in Europe. It’s easy to make this driftwood the center of attention in your aquarium by putting it on a light-colored base substrate and surrounding it with bright-green plants. Keep in mind is that this driftwood is usually shipped in a container full of salt water, so you really need to clean it well before putting it in your aquarium.

5. Tree Root Driftwood

One of the newest varieties of driftwood to gain popularity is tree root driftwood, which has a beautiful natural wood color and a unique appearance resembling the root structure of a tree. This driftwood can provide a great place for aquatic plants to grow and mosses can be attached on its branches. It is best to cover up the sharp edges and branches of this driftwood to keep your fish safe.

Mopani Driftwood For Aquarium

Driftwoods can vary greatly in appearance, but mopani wood is one that stands out for its distinctive appearance and variety which makes it great for freshwater aquarium use. Its wood can look like a tree trunk or thin branches that curve and twist in all different directions. Most of the time, the limbs are usually thick, with a diameter of less than an inch and up to three inches.

When added to an aquarium, Mopani Driftwood creates a significant impact. This wood will gradually soften the water by leaching considerable amounts of tannin into the water, which will also reduce the PH. While this may not seem like a good thing, it is really helpful for aquarium tanks, especially for waters that need a PH of 7 or lower to flourish.

Keep in mind that Mopani wood tends to keep tree sap in it for a long time. It is not a good idea for fishes to be around this substance because it can be dangerous and even kill if it is eaten. If you see sap on the wood, you can get rid of it by boiling the wood.

Mangrove Driftwood For Aquarium

If you want to find a piece of driftwood that looks best as a centerpiece, a Mangrove driftwood might be one of the best choices. Mangrove driftwood may look stumpy and thick, with a few branches and sometimes even tangles, but it looks great whether it is standing up or lying down.

The tannins that this driftwood gives off are similar to what a fish would find in its natural environment, so they don’t change the color of your aquarium water as much. It also provides a great place for your aquatic plants to thrive. Its roots can also provide hiding spots for your fish that are sensitive to light.

Mangroves have not only been shown to be adaptable, but also very helpful. It’s not surprising that these are highly valued and protected in many parts of the world because of their usefulness. Even when it turns into driftwood, mangrove has a lot more to offer.

Manzanita Driftwood Branches For Aquarium

Manzanita is a type of driftwood with many branches that adds a natural look to your aquarium. It looks like a branchy structure that gives off shades of creamy white, brown, and red. When the driftwood is in water, these colors really stand out. One thing that makes manzanita different from other driftwoods.

It’s safe to use in aquariums because it doesn’t have any dangerous chemicals in it and has very little tannin. Because of this, it doesn’t give off a lot of yellow or brown tint, which makes it perfect for seeing the fish in the tank clearly. However, Manzanita driftwood doesn’t sink very well, so you might have to put it in a bucket of water for a while to make it waterlogged.

The colors of the manzanita will look their best when you add moss, twigs, and plants. With its featured twists and turns, it gives the fish a nice place to play. 

Malaysian Driftwood For My Aquarium

Malaysian driftwood is also called “Blackwood” because it has a deep, dark color that is almost black. The unique thing about this type of driftwood is that it changes the color of fish in your aquarium, which could make your fish look different. This is just a natural effect of Malaysian driftwood, though, and it bears no negative consequences.

Malaysian driftwood is also a good choice of driftwood if you want to have aquatic plants around your aquarium. Since Malaysian driftwood will easily sink to the bottom making it easy for you to attach plants and moss. It can also release a lot of tannin making the water look yellow or like tea, and it also makes the water softer. It also helps the fish relax because the structure has so many places for them to hide which gives the fish a sense of security and makes them feel like they are in their natural home.

Because of its laid-back style, it is relaxing to look at. When paired with Anubias Nana, the design’s inherent beauty is brought out. Malaysian driftwood is the perfect addition to a dark aquascaping scheme.

White Driftwood For Aquarium

Driftwood can be a great addition to any aquarium. Not only does it provide a natural and realistic-looking setting, but it also serves as a refuge for fish and other aquatic creatures. White driftwood is especially popular among aquarists because it has a bright, airy appearance that helps to create a focal point in the aquarium. In addition, white driftwood is very versatile and is used in a wide variety of aquascaping designs. Driftwood comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it is important to select pieces that will fit well in your aquarium. When choosing white driftwood for your aquarium, be sure to look for pieces that are free of debris and have smooth, even surfaces.

Best Moss For Aquarium Driftwood

If you want to put a plant in your aquarium that goes well with driftwood, you could choose moss. Moss has many uses, and almost every aquarium looks great with it. It can be used as grass to cover the bottom of your tank, or you can put it on driftwood to make it look like leaves while improving water quality. Also, moss has a variety of appearances, so keep reading to learn more about some of the most common types of moss used to decorate driftwood.

1. Mini Taiwan Aquarium Moss 

Mini Taiwan moss is nearly identical to regular Taiwan moss in appearance, but it is much more compact and grows at a much smaller scale. This easy-to-grow moss, which is known for its thick fronds, only needs a decent amount of light and CO2 to grow. The moss grows between 3 and 10 cm thick and grows on any surface, which makes it perfect for decorating rocks and driftwood in an aquarium.

2. Flame Moss 

Flame moss is not fiery orange in color, despite what its name might suggest. But this moss grows in an odd way that makes it look like flames. Aquarists love this moss because it adds a sharp green touch to any tank and has an unusual look that makes it one of the most popular mosses to put on an aquarium driftwood.

3. Christmas Moss

Christmas Moss, which is also called Brazilian Willow Moss, is a plant that is used a lot in the aquarium world. Even though the plant doesn’t grow quickly, it is easy to care for and grow, and it can be used to make a beautiful carpet moss to put on your driftwood. Even though Christmas Moss looks a lot like a fir tree, it is actually a creeping plant that forms mats by growing sideways instead of up.

4. Phoenix Aquarium Moss 

If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for moss, Phoenix moss is probably on the list. This moss, which is also called water pocket moss or palm moss, is known for sticking to any surface. It looks good on rocks and driftwood and doesn’t need much. If you stick a bunch of it to a rock or piece of driftwood, it will take about a month to grow into its natural fountain shape.

5. Java Aquarium Moss 

Java moss is a bright green plant with leaves that grow in clumps that look like carpets. One of the most common mosses used by aquarists because it’s easy to care for while giving the aquarium a naturalistic look. Java mosses are so light that they can stick to any surface, driftwood, stone, and substrate.

6. Stringy Moss

Stringy moss is a type of moss that is tall, thin, bright green, and almost see-through. It grows slower than most mosses, but it is easy to grow and care for. Most of the time, string moss is used as a background so that other aquatic plants can get the most attention.

7. Taiwan Moss

Taiwan moss is a type of moss that is known for its thick fronds and ability to grow quickly. It is a popular plant to use in aquascaping because it can be used to create a variety of shapes and can cover a lot of area. Taiwan moss needs a decent amount of light and CO2 to grow well, but it is otherwise easy to care for.


Where To Purchase Drift And Aquarium Wood?

You can purchase driftwood and aquarium wood both online and in any pet store!

Can You Use Natural Driftwood For Aquarium?

Natural driftwoods can be a great addition to aquariums, but if you want to gather your own, you need to know which kinds of wood are good and which ones aren’t. You should avoid using softwoods, but only hardwoods. There is a lot of sap or resin in most softwoods and because of this, softwoods might not work well in your tank, which could cause the wood to leak into the water.

Is Store Bought Aquarium Driftwood Safe For Aquariums?

Store-bought driftwood is cleaned so it can be an accessory for fish. Since not all wood can be used in a freshwater aquarium, the wood is also carefully chosen to fit the environment. So, only buy from a store or dealer that you know is reputable.

Rocks Or Driftwood For Aquarium

How you decide between rocks and driftwood depends on the fish you want to keep. The rocks in your aquarium will make the pH go up, while the driftwood will make the pH go down and soften the water.

What Kind Of Driftwood Is Safe For Aquariums?

You should stay away from a lot of softwoods, like pines and evergreens. Most softwoods have a lot of sap or resin, which can be poisonous and hurt your aquarium. Hardwood, on the other hand, doesn’t have these problems very often, which makes it safer.


Aquarium driftwood is wood that has been utilized in fish tanks and aquariums after washing ashore on a beach, river, or lake. Driftwood comes in a variety of types, so watch what you put into your tank with care. A quick and simple way to increase your aquarium’s visual appeal is to incorporate driftwood into the design. The guidelines we discussed above will help you select the ideal driftwood for your aquarium. It’s important to pick a piece of driftwood that is not only safe but will also complement the overall look you’re going for.

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