One of the easiest ways to add simple beauty to an aquarium is through the addition of driftwood. Want to know the best part about adding driftwood to your aquarium?
Driftwood has far more benefits than just adding beauty to your aquarium!
Driftwood provides shelter to fish and invertebrates, a surface for plant growth, and some types of driftwood can help keep your aquarium pH levels in check.
Finding driftwood that you can trust will ensure you get safe driftwood that will last your aquarium a long time. Here are reviews for the 8 best driftwood for aquariums to help you find high-quality, attractive driftwood for your aquarium.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2022
The 8 Best Types of Driftwood for Aquariums Are:
1. Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Driftwood – Best Overall
The best overall pick for driftwood for aquariums is the Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Driftwood. This driftwood is available in small, which is 6-8 inches in length, and medium, which is 10-12 inches in length.
Mopani wood is a great driftwood option because it’s heavy enough to sink immediately and hard enough to withstand being submerged underwater for multiple years. The Zoo Med Mopani Wood has a smooth surface and is a nice light-colored wood with unique mottling patterns on each piece.
Even with soaking or boiling, this wood may discolor your tank’s water with tannins. Also, since this is a natural product, each piece will be unique and different sizes and shapes.
2. SubstrateSource Cholla Wood– Best Value
The best driftwood for aquariums for the money is the SubstrateSource Cholla Wood. This pack includes two 6-inch-long pieces of cholla wood.
Cholla wood is hollow and has holes throughout, making it ideal for tanks with shrimp and other small aquatic animals. Cholla wood comes from cholla cacti and is sustainably harvested. This wood is lightweight and relatively soft, so it will only last for about 7-14 months in an aquarium.
Since cholla wood is lightweight and hollow, it needs to be soaked or boiled to get it to sink. Otherwise, it will take multiple days of floating in your aquarium to sink. Like mopani wood, cholla wood pieces will differ slightly from piece to piece but cholla wood pieces are all cylindrical with diamond or oval-shaped holes.
3. Bonsai Driftwood Aquarium Tree – Premium Choice
The premium choice for driftwood for your aquarium is the Bonsai Driftwood Aquarium Tree. This piece is hand-carved from bonsai wood to resemble a tree. Each piece is unique and measures approximately 6 inches by 8 inches.
This piece can be used to create aquarium scenes with just the addition of the wood or by attaching moss balls, Java moss, or other types of plants onto the ends of the branches, to give the piece a full, tree-like appearance. Bonsai wood should last a few years submerged in an aquarium.
Since each one of these pieces is hand-carved from a unique piece of natural bonsai wood, each piece will look slightly different with slightly different measurements. This wood will float for a few days if not soaked or boiled and will release tannins into your tank, discoloring the water for a few days or weeks.
4. SunGrow Cholla Wood Aquarium Driftwood
The SunGrow Cholla Wood Aquarium Driftwood is another great cholla wood option. Each order includes three pieces of cholla wood measuring 6 inches long and approximately 1 inch in diameter.
These pieces of cholla wood are a great addition to shrimp and snail tanks and promote the growth of biofilm and beneficial bacteria. They make great hides for shrimplets or small shrimp after molting. This cholla wood is sustainably harvested and ecofriendly. These pieces of cholla wood are also safe for hermit crabs, reptiles, birds, and insects.
SunGrow recommends boiling this cholla wood for 20-30 minutes, rinsing well, and then boiling a second time with activated charcoal to thoroughly remove any toxins that may end up on the wood. These pieces of wood will float for multiple days if not boiled or soaked.
5. Fluval Mopani Driftwood
The Fluval Mopani Driftwood is an all-natural mopani wood option from a trusted aquatics brand. Each small piece measures approximately 4 inches by 10 inches. This driftwood is also available in medium and large sizes up to 18 inches in length.
Fluval sandblasts each piece of mopani driftwood to ensure they are smooth, clean, and will not contaminate aquarium water. These pieces are light-colored and mostly solid-colored, but they may have some mottled patterns. Mopani wood is a great source of aquarium tannins and biofilm growth. This wood can withstand multiple years underwater.
This wood will need to be boiled or soaked to remove some of the tannins. Otherwise, it will likely discolor your tank water significantly. Since this is a natural product, each piece will differ slightly.
6. My Pet Patrol All Natural Teddy Bear Cholla Wood
The My Pet Patrol All Natural Teddy Bear Cholla Wood is available in 11 lengths and 1-4 piece pack options. This wood can be purchased in lengths from 3-29 inches.
Teddy bear cholla wood is a fun twist on the more common cholla wood. Teddy bear cholla wood is much larger around but is less dense than cholla wood. It does still come from a type of cholla cacti and is sustainably harvested. Teddy bear cholla wood has a large enough hole in the center for larger shrimp and even some fish to get into. This type of wood is also great for reptiles and small mammals.
Since teddy bear cholla wood is so lightweight, it will take a very long time to sink if you don’t boil it. Even soaking will take upwards of 2-3 days. If you keep this type of wood in a tank with larger fish that enjoy caves, like Plecostomus, then you’ll need to plug the end holes, so the fish does not get stuck. This wood can last from 6 months to 2 years or more.
7. EmoursTM Aquarium Sinkable Driftwood
The EmoursTM Aquarium Sinkable Driftwood is available in small, medium, and large sizes and the small size is available in a pack of three pieces. This driftwood is Malaysian driftwood, which is a high-density wood.
This type of wood will last for multiple years in an aquarium and often will sink immediately due to its density. It’s an excellent source of tannins for your aquarium. Fish and invertebrates will appreciate the shade from these dense pieces of wood as well as the biofilm that grows on the surface.
The manufacturer recommends boiling this wood for 1-2 hours or soaking for up to 2 weeks to decrease discoloration of your aquarium water.
8. kathson Mini Driftwood
The kathson Mini Driftwood is an economical option for small driftwood. This pack includes 10 pieces of spider wood, which can be used to create tree-like ornaments or root-like ornaments.
Spider wood is a great driftwood variety that is named for its spidery or web-like appearance. It will last for a couple of years underwater. The pieces are all unique and come from root systems, so they are great for fish that naturally exist around root systems, like tetras. They will release some tannins into the water but will not discolor as much as some other types of wood.
These pieces of wood are small, so you will need multiple or need to attach pieces together to fill enough space in most tanks. This wood is very lightweight and will take a long time to sink, so it will need to be boiled or soaked. This wood is light-colored and is usually solid-colored.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Driftwood for Aquariums
When it comes to choosing driftwood for your aquarium, you have options! The best overall driftwood for your aquarium is the Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Driftwood since it has unique, lovely patterns and lasts a long time. For a premium choice, the Bonsai Driftwood Aquarium Tree can bring life and personalized beauty to your tank. If you’re looking for the best value on driftwood for your aquarium, then the SubstrateSource Cholla Wood is the way to go.
Driftwood is a great addition to just about any tank and hopefully these reviews have helped you identify driftwood for your own aquarium. Keep in mind that anything that releases tannins into the water can lower the pH of the tank, which can be beneficial to many fish and invertebrates, but some fish prefer alkaline water with an elevated pH.
Whatever you choose, be prepared to thoroughly inspect the driftwood for any signs of parasites or sharp edges. Clean any driftwood you purchase before adding it to your tank and don’t be surprised if you notice tea-colored water for a few days or weeks after the addition of driftwood.
Featured Image Credit: SubstrateSource, Chewy