Adding Driftwood to Your Aquarium

Fish certainly aren’t the only things that people like to keep in aquariums! That would be boring and even stressful on the fish. That’s why you’ll find things like plants and rocks inside of aquariums however driftwood is a common favorite accessory as well. Driftwood is as visually interesting as plants and it gives fish a place to explore, hide, or even spawn. What’s driftwood? Driftwood is wood that has been washed ashore. If you don’t live near a beach or river where you can pick up a piece of this stuff yourself, you can purchase some of it for as little as twenty dollars.

An Introduction to Soaking

Regardless of where you find your driftwood, the important thing is that you learn a little bit about “soaking.” Soaking is a process that conditions the wood for your aquarium. Remember that it takes a while for fish to acclimate to new things introduced inside of an aquarium. That includes driftwood as well as plants and other fish. But if you take the time to prepare the wood to a state that is similar to the state inside of your aquarium, your fish shouldn’t have a negative reaction to it.

Soaking Equipment

To prepare your driftwood, you need to soak it. But by soaking, we don’t mean plunging it into a bucket of water for half an hour or so. Soaking driftwood is a bit more complicated than that. Yes, you’ll need some water, but you’ll also need a gallon-sized pot, a bucket or some other similar large container, and aquarium salt to kill anything that might be living in the wood.

The Complete Soaking Procedure

After removing all the loose parts on the driftwood, place it in a gallon-sized pot of boiling water mixed with a tablespoon of aquarium salt. Leave the wood in this mixture for two hours and then put it in an empty bucket or large container. Pour fresh water onto the wood until it’s completely covered. After a week, you should see that the driftwood has turned the water brown. That’s a good thing – it means that the driftwood’s plant acids have left it.

You’re Almost Finished!

You’ll need to soak it again until you no longer see brown water. When the water is clear, it’s safe to place the driftwood into your aquarium. And you should do this immediately – if you wait too long and give the wood a chance to dry out – it won’t sink to the bottom of your aquarium like it should.

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