If you want to put some driftwood in your aquarium to boost its aesthetic quality, you’ll need to explore your options. 

There is numerous type of driftwood, and each one has its own benefits to offer.

The more you learn about this wood, the easier it will be to make the best possible decision.

Benefits of Putting Driftwood in Your Aquarium

There are a number of benefits associated with adding driftwood to an aquarium, including:

  • Soften the water: Certain types of driftwood will effectively help to soften the water in your tank.
  • Beautify your tank: There are lots of driftwood options that can vastly improve the overall appearance of your aquarium.
  • Keep your fish healthy: The added tannins from the wood can help with maintaining your fish’s immune systems.

Types of Aquarium Driftwood

Below we have listed some of the more common types of driftwood used in aquariums. When you take the time to explore these options, you’ll be able to choose one that matches your needs.

1. Manzanita

This particular type of driftwood is very durable and doesn’t wear away as easily as many others. While it can be fairly expensive, it is definitely worth the money when you consider all of the benefits of having it in your aquarium.

Manzanita driftwood needs a good amount of time to fully cure, so you’ll have to keep that in mind when putting it in your tank. Make sure that you don’t put any raw wood in your tank due to the high probability of contamination.

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You will find that this wood is perfect for a variety of aquariums. It typically has lots of twisted branches that are very thin.

2. Cholla Wood

A lot of people choose to put cholla wood in their aquariums. It can be fairly difficult to find, but it is definitely worth looking around. This wood is characterized by lots of small holes that almost look like pores. One of the big drawbacks of this driftwood is that it doesn’t usually last very long. The fine nature of this wood means that it is fairly delicate and prone to wearing away quickly.

3. Mopani

Mopani wood, otherwise known as colophosphermum mopane, is another driftwood option that you should consider. It is best suited to bigger aquariums due to its unique branching. This wood can help with balancing out the acidity of the water in your tank, as well as softening it.

This is a very solid and strong type of wood that typically lasts for a long time. It can serve as a sturdy base for plants and other things. If you are looking for driftwood to put in your aquarium, this is definitely an option that is worth considering.

4. Malaysian Driftwood

When you are searching for solid driftwood that will stand the test of time, this is an excellent overall choice. Malaysian driftwood is ideal for big aquariums, and it has a one-of-a-kind orange coloration. This will be sure to add a beautiful aesthetic to the inside of your tank. 

If you are going to get this type of wood, it is very important to cure properly cure it.

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5. Mesquite

Mesquite is a very branchy type of driftwood that typically comes in big pieces. You can expect to spend quite a bit of money on a cured piece of this wood if it comes whole. It can be used in aquariums of all different sizes, making it highly versatile.

You should have no problem finding small sections of mesquite for sale, and they are usually priced pretty fairly. This wood is also very strong and lasts a long time, making it an excellent overall investment. Just remember that you will most likely need to cure it beforehand.

6. Rose Wood Roots

It is fairly common for people to use rose wood roots in their aquarium. It has a very interesting branching pattern that will be sure to raise the aesthetics of your tank in a noticeable way. This wood is quite solid and is perfect for medium to large size tanks.

7. Ribbon Wood

If you have a small aquarium at home that you want to dress up a little bit, ribbon wood is a great choice. This wood requires curing, but it is extremely beautiful. It is best for tanks that have a thin substrate. The dark brown color of this wood will provide you with some nice balance with the plants and other things in your tank.

8. Australian Pine

If you want to soften the water in your tank, Australian Pine is an excellent overall choice. While it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option, it is incredibly solid and cheap.

aquarium with driftwood

How to Prepare Driftwood

It is crucial that you follow a few simple steps to prepare your driftwood before putting it into your aquarium.

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Smaller pieces of driftwood should be boiled for a minimum of 15 minutes. This will ensure that no toxins are left on the wood, so the creatures in your tank won’t get sick. If you have a larger piece of wood, you’ll want to sanitize it with a five percent bleach solution.


  • Putting driftwood in your aquarium can help with keeping your fish healthy while adding a nice aesthetic element.
  • Manzanita is a good wood for aquariums due to its durable nature, but it does need quite a bit of time to cure.
  • Cholla wood is another great option, but it can be hard to find and expensive when you do come across it.
  • Mopani is another sturdy wood that is good for tanks, and its unique branching makes it very nice to look at.
  • Malaysian driftwood is ideal for larger aquariums, and its orange coloration is very unique to say the least.
  • Mesquite comes in both large and small pieces, making it perfect for tanks of all different sizes.
  • Rose Wood roots also have an interesting look and are a good investment.
  • Ribbon Wood must be cured, but it does offer a great overall aesthetic.
  • Australian Pine is the perfect driftwood choice for those who want to soften their tank’s water.
  • Make sure that you sanitize any driftwood you get before putting it into your tank.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".