You are designing an aquarium, and you wish to add natural elements such as driftwood to it. Before you add driftwood to your aquarium, there are several things which you have to keep in mind. You need to spend precious time preparing the wood and considering how to ‘best-out’ its finest aesthetic qualities!
Driftwood and similar natural structures for sale, such as stone and rocks may make up a large part of your aquarium. Once you aquascape driftwood in your aquarium and add different types of fish, adjustments can become challenging and can cause severe stress. Sometimes lack of anticipation may end up in taking apart the whole aquarium and starting all over. You should always do it right the first time, with proper planning; and you can have a beautifully aqua-scaped aquarium with minimum effort and no disturbance at all.
Before setting the driftwood in your aquarium, sketch your aquarium and where you want to display the driftwood. Examine how your aquarium will look with the driftwood positioned vertically opposing to the traditional horizontal position. Do not be in such a hurry to start working on your aquarium. First, design your outlook on a table, using cardboard cutouts to represent your aquarium floor and back wall. This allows you to experiment with different ideas and certainly helps you to visualize your aquascape without disappointment and stress while the same try-out would cost you more if you worked directly in the tank. Moreover, it allows you to get everything together, tie those pieces you want to become the main component, and to secure weights at the bottom of those pieces that might float so that once you conclude your design, you are completely prepared.
Driftwood needs to be cleaned before placing. Use a brush to cleanse the driftwood thoroughly to remove any dirt or junk. Do not use soap or any chemical cleansers. Any residuals from these chemicals can later poison your aquarium. The cleaned driftwood will then need to be soaked to saturate and cure.
Although most driftwood will remain underwater, some might remain slightly afloat until it is fully saturated and waterlogged. Soak the driftwood in a bucket as long as possible, making sure that the entire piece is underwater. A minimum duration of 1 to 2 weeks is allowed for total saturation.
Soaking also allows excess tannins that can darken and discolor the water to filter out. The discoloration will not harm your aquarium inhabitants, but it will reduce the pH slightly after some time.
Monitor the soaking driftwood consistently to see if the water needs to be changed. As the color of water gets darker, empty all the water from the tank and smoothly rinse the driftwood. Fill the bucket with pure dechlorinated water and continue soaking the driftwood. As you repeat this process, you will start noticing that the water is causing less tea-staining. When you no longer notice any prominent discoloration for several days, this implicates that the driftwood is ready for placement.
Boiling driftwood has many benefits. Boiling driftwood in a large stockpot will inspire more tannins to leach out quickly, thereby considerably reducing the curing process. However, boiling sterilizes the driftwood, incapacitating algal or fungal spores that can take hold once introduced into the aquarium with the driftwood. Boiling the driftwood for 1-2 hours will completely sterilize the driftwood.
Once the driftwood has been accurately prepared, it is ready for installation.The most suitable time to organize your aquatic landscape is before putting any water into the aquarium, or right after you have removed some water from your current aquarium during a water change. Since you have experimented with the layout of your tank, simply place the driftwood in your aquarium just as you designed, and fill, or top up. With a bit of composure and some planning, you can create a beautiful aquatic landscape the first time round, with minimum stress to you and your aquarium inhabitants.