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Home > Fish > 6 Best Driftwoods for Aquariums in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

6 Best Driftwoods for Aquariums in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

fish in a fish tank

Driftwoods have become a popular form of decoration for many aquarists who want to achieve a natural and sophisticated look in their aquarium. Driftwood looks great as a centerpiece in planted tanks and improves the depth and visual appearance of aquariums. There are many different types of driftwood, and each type has a unique appearance and releases different shades and intensities of tannins into the water over time.

The type of driftwood you choose will depend on your personal preference, as driftwood can come in many different shapes and sizes to accommodate the appearance of your aquarium. With that being said, we have reviewed some of the best driftwood pieces that you can find online to add liveliness and character to your aquarium.

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A Glance at Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Decor Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Decor
  • Natural look
  • Contains no artificial colors or resins
  • Comes in two different sizes
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Galapagos Sinkable Driftwood Accessory Galapagos Sinkable Driftwood Accessory
  • Affordable
  • Comes in 6 different sizes
  • Sinkable
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    SubstrateSource Cholla Aquarium Driftwood SubstrateSource Cholla Aquarium Driftwood
  • Encourages biofilm and beneficial bacteria growth
  • Can be used to anchor plants and mosses
  • All-natural materials
  • Majoywoo Natural Aquarium Décor Majoywoo Natural Aquarium Décor
  • Long-lasting
  • Attractive shape
  • High-quality wood
  • Fluval Mopani Driftwood Fluval Mopani Driftwood
  • Sandblasted finish
  • Ideal for small aquariums
  • Natural look
  • The 6 Best Driftwoods for Aquariums

    1. Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Decor – Best Overall

    Zoo Med Mopani Wood Aquarium Decor

    Size: Small to medium
    Wood type: Mopani
    Aquarium type: Freshwater or saltwater
    Dimensions: 6-8 inches

    The best overall product driftwood for aquariums is the Zoo Med Mopani wood because it is affordable, comes in two different size options, and does not need to be preboiled because it sinks. This piece of driftwood has a smooth surface with textured detail and a mottled dark and light brown coloration. It easily sinks to the bottom of an aquarium, so you do not need to worry about boiling and soaking this wood for a few days until it’s ready to be placed in the aquarium.

    It contains no artificial colors or synthetic resins that could leach into the aquarium over time, and it looks great in planted aquariums to offer a naturalistic look.

    Pros
    • Natural look
    • Contains no artificial colors or resins
    • Comes in two different sizes
    Cons
    • Releases dark-colored tannins

    2. Galapagos Sinkable Driftwood Accessory – Best Value

    Galapagos Sinkable Driftwood Accessory

    Size: Small to huge
    Wood type: Malaysian
    Aquarium type: Freshwater or saltwater
    Dimensions: 13 × 8 × 8 inches

    The product for the best value driftwood for money is the Galapagos sinkable driftwood accessory because it is ideal for both freshwater and saltwater aquariums and comes in a variety of different sizes, each for an affordable price. It sinks instantly so you do not have to spend extra time soaking it to get it to finally sink. This is a piece of Malaysian driftwood that has a dark brown appearance with various textures to add a focal point to any aquarium. It has space for small fish to hide underneath and the shape of this driftwood will vary depending on the batch.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Comes in 6 different sizes
    • Sinkable
    Cons
    • Needs to be rinsed before being placed in the aquarium

    3. SubstrateSource Cholla Aquarium Driftwood – Premium Choice

    SubstrateSource Cholla Aquarium Driftwood

    Size: Medium
    Wood type: Cholla
    Aquarium type: Freshwater or saltwater
    Dimensions: 6 inches long

    Our premium choice is the Substratesource cholla driftwood because it is made from high-quality and all-natural dried husk from the cholla cactus. It has a porous structure which makes it a great breeding ground for beneficial bacteria, and it also helps encourage the growth of biofilm which is great for invertebrates to eat such as shrimp and snails. It can also be used to attach and anchor down small aquarium plants because these two pieces of wood have small holes throughout.

    It is a functional decorative accessory for both saltwater and freshwater aquariums and it contains fibrous materials that are great for Plecostomus fish.

    Pros
    • Encourages biofilm and beneficial bacteria growth
    • Can be used to anchor plants and mosses
    • All-natural materials
    Cons
    • Needs to be soaked in water until it sinks

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    4. Majoywoo Natural Aquarium Décor

    Majoywoo Natural Aquarium Décor

    Size: Large
    Wood type: Mopani
    Aquarium type: Freshwater or saltwater
    Dimensions: 8 × 3.8 × 6.8 inches

    This is a natural piece of Mopani driftwood that comes in a unique twisted and textured shape with dark brown coloration. It is made with a long-lasting and durable wood that can be used for a long time in aquariums to add liveliness and as a centerpiece to planted aquariums. This piece of wood looks exceptionally great with live plants as the dark coloration brings out the lush greenness of many plant species.

    It is recommended to give this piece of driftwood a rinse and soak so that it can release any tannins that would otherwise discolor the water.

    Pros
    • Long-lasting
    • Attractive shape
    • High-quality wood
    Cons
    • Releases a lot of tannins

    5. Fluval Mopani Driftwood

    Fluval Mopani Driftwood

    Size: Small
    Wood type: Mopani
    Aquarium type: Freshwater and saltwater
    Dimensions: 10 × 10 × 4 inches

    This is a finely crafted piece of Mopani driftwood by Fluval created to add a visual focal point to an aquarium while creating more natural-looking water conditions. The wood has been thoroughly cleaned to eliminate extraneous dust and substances that occur when the wood is being manufactured. It has a bulky shape that looks best in tall aquariums. It is naturally sourced and has a sandblasted and smooth finish.

    This driftwood has a light brown color with some areas being dark and the small size can easily fit into aquariums around 10 to 20 gallons in size. It floats easily so it should be soaked in warm water before being placed in an aquarium to get it to soak.

    Pros
    • Sandblasted finish
    • Ideal for small aquariums
    • Natural look
    Cons
    • Needs to be soaked so it can sink

    6. Tfwadmx Aquarium Driftwood

    Tfwadmx Aquarium Driftwood

    Size: Medium
    Wood type: Spider wood
    Aquarium type: Freshwater and saltwater
    Dimensions: 9 to 9.8 inches in length

    This is a sinking 3-piece set of Spider driftwood that had angled branches to create a structured appearance underwater, especially when it is covered with moss. It is small and versatile and sinks quickly after it has been soaked in water. It is ideal for aquascaping medium-sized fish tanks, and it will not deteriorate underwater or damage the quality of the water. The size can vary depending on the batch of driftwood you purchase, but each piece can be placed together to create your desired shape.

    It seems to release fewer tannins than other pieces of wood, so soaking it overnight is optional, but it may still cause the water to take on a tea-colored tint.

    Pros
    • Versatile
    • Sinks easily
    • Comes in a set of three pieces
    Cons
    • Releases dark-colored tannins

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Driftwoods for Aquariums

    Why add driftwood to an aquarium?

    Driftwood is a great naturalistic ornament that can be added to aquariums. Most aquarists also like that driftwood releases natural tannins into the water, which is believed to help boost fish’s immune systems. These tannins are slowly released into the water and create an acidic environment that can help keep certain strains of viruses and bacteria at bay. Driftwood also looks attractive when paired with live plants and mosses that can be placed around the wood to create a naturalistic environment.

    Driftwood is also a popular choice in aquariums that are home to Plecostomus that will rasp on the wood, as it forms part of their diet. Whereas shrimp keepers like to add driftwood to aquariums because it encourages white biofilm to grow on the surface of the wood which is a source of food for shrimp and snails.

    What are the different types of driftwood?

    Several different types of driftwoods are safe enough to be used in aquariums, such as:

    • Bonsai driftwood
    • Mopani driftwood
    • Spider wood
    • Cholla driftwood
    • Tiger driftwood
    • Saba driftwood
    • Manzanita driftwood
    two white fish in a fish tank
    Image Credit: Engin Akyurt, Pexels

    Why does driftwood tint the water brown?

    Driftwood turns the water a brown color after it has been soaking in an aquarium for some time, because it slowly releases harmless tannins that taint the water brown or yellow depending on the type of wood and how concentrated the volume is of water is in comparison to the size of the driftwood.

    It is recommended to soak driftwood in warm water for a few days and keep replacing the water so that the tannins can be released to help you avoid tainting your aquarium’s water too darkly. Some aquarists like the natural look of discolored aquarium water because it looks more natural, and tannins also have a few benefits for aquarium water such as lowering the pH slightly and acting as a natural antibacterial.

    Most pieces of driftwood will float at the top of an aquarium until water has been soaked into the wood to make it heavy enough to sink. This is another common reason aquarists will soak driftwood before placing it into the aquarium.

     

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    Conclusion

    We have taken a look at the pieces of driftwoods reviewed in this article and chosen two as our top picks. Our first is our favorite overall, the Zoo Med Mopani driftwood, because it easily sinks and contains no artificial chemicals or resins that could leach into your aquarium. Our second top pick is the SubstrateSource driftwood because it is a great source of natural tannins and it has a unique hollowed shape in comparison to other types of driftwoods.


    Featured Image Credit: Brenda Helen, Unsplash

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