How to Make Safe Driftwood Decor for Fishtanks

Introduction: How to Make Safe Driftwood Decor for Fishtanks

About: I'm a student in Pennsylvania. I would like to become an engineer. Can be found: building and rebuilding stuff, working, tinkering with engines, welding.

I was recently repairing a hiking trail, clearing logs and downed trees, when I came across a flooded stream over the trail. I was in the process of digging a better drainage channel when I found a submerged log in the stream. I pulled it up to find a hollow oak tree, with natural holes in it. I realized this would be a perfect addition for my small fish tank at home. With a little work, I could turn this into a masterpiece.


A piece of selected driftwood (try to avoid sappy wood, like pine, which could release tanins into the water.) Also, don't use saltwater driftwood in a freshwater tank.


Large container


Large pot (for boiling)

A month to wait

Step 1: Cleaning the Driftwood

Using a toothbrush, I thoroughly scrubbed off the driftwood, until all the plants, mud, and loose wood came off. I would advise for your project that you remove anything gowing on the wood (which could carry bacteria), and anything that could come off in the fish tank. I recommend that you remove any rough edges now.

Step 2: Soaking the Wood

Once it was clean, I placed the driftwood at the bottom of a large container full of water, and waited. And waited. In fact, I had to wait for about a month, so all the tannins were leeched from the wood. I refreshed the water and scrubbed the wood every couple days to insure the safety of my fish.

Step 3: Boiling the Wood

Once I had waited a month, it was time to boil it. I put it in a large pot on the stove, so it was completely covered with water. Then I simmered it slowly for about 20 minutes at above 200 degrees. This killed any remaining bacteria. Once done, I scrubbed it off with a toothbrush again.

Step 4: The Finished Product

My fish tank decoration was now done. I don't have the right glue, but adding fake flora will give a great finishing touch. I let the wood cool down for half an hour before placing it in my fish tank.

Thanks for reading this; I hope it inspired you to go create one of your own driftwood fishtank decorations.

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