Landscaping an aquarium is so much different from landscaping a garden. For one, you have to consider the life of the fish that will dwell in the artificial habitat. It has to be livable. Yet for some enthusiasts, aesthetic qualities are as important to them as the living standards in which aquatic animals thrive in. This is somehow being addressed through the use of decorative rocks and aquatic plants. However, there is nothing that compares to aquarium driftwood when it comes to creating a realistic habitat for the fish. Submerged in water, this natural decorative piece exudes a natural appeal that even the fish may mistake for its real freshwater environment.
If you are planning to have a fish tank in your home, chances are you have been briefed by the pet shop owner about driftwood for sale. There are some things that you need to understand before incorporating this piece into your aquarium to avoid risking the lives of the fish as well as to achieve the desired aesthetic purpose.
Types of Driftwood
There are several kinds of driftwood for aquarium that are being sold these days, and which you should be familiar with. Among them are as follows:
- Standard driftwood – This type is the most common aquarium driftwood that you will find, and is also the most affordable. It consists of remnants of tree trunks and branches which are either worn by water or wind erosion. It comes in various shapes and sizes, although what makes it different from other driftwood for aquarium is that it typically floats and needs to be sunk using a slate for drilling it into position inside the aquarium (requires stainless steel screw that won’t rust). The slate is then covered with decorative rocks or substrate.
- Malaysian driftwood – This driftwood for sale is generally sourced from South East Asia. It is darker than most wood used in aquariums and can easily discolor the water. This driftwood is ideal for those who keep tetras and dwarf cichlids because these species prefer dark water. Aside from its dark appearance, Malaysian driftwood also has high tannin levels which can make water acidic.
- Mopani driftwood – This aquarium driftwood is often sold as African driftwood. It has gnarled branches and discolors the water lightly. It is self-sinking like the Malaysian driftwood.
There is also a type of driftwood for sale that has plants attached onto it. Some of the commonly used plants include Java ferns and mosses.
Preparing the Driftwood
All driftwood for aquarium items need to be cleaned before being added to the fish tank. You need a clean brush for scrubbing the surface; the purpose is to remove loose debris and dirt. Never use soap or other chemicals for cleaning.
Once the driftwood is cleaned, it now needs to be cured in order to make it sink. This can be done by soaking the driftwood. Simply immerse it in water for a few weeks until it seems waterlogged or saturated enough to remain sunk. Soaking the driftwood for aquarium also helps lessen the tannin levels which cause changes in water pH and its color.