It is really fun decorating your aquarium with colorful replicas of building and ancient artifacts. Creating wonderful themes is what I have dedicated a good part of my adult life doing and I still enjoy it to is day. But there might come a time when all you want is something natural, what you desire is a design that replicates the natural environment from where the fish came from and bring that environment into the comforts of your own home.
One of the best ways to create an all natural scene is to use driftwood. Driftwood is basically wood that has been soaking in the sea or river and through the weathering of nature has been crafted into smooth, unique pieces that looks artistic.
You can actually find driftwood yourself, especially if you live close to a natural body of water. If you don’t, there is always the option of buying them from a pet store or online. The beauty of using driftwood is that they look gorgeous in a fish tank. No matter how well we humans endeavor to create works of art, nothing beats the ability of Mother Earth in producing artworks that stand out better than anything we could ever do. These driftwood can be matched with numerous other fish tank decoration to create a theme that is unique because no two pieces of wood are ever alike.
Buying Driftwood From A Store
There are actually two types of driftwood sold in the store whether it is online or near you. They are either made of real wood or resin.
Real wood ones are either naturally harvested from some river somewhere or they are man made. By man made, I mean that they take branches and stumps from a forest and through a process of soaking them and treating them, create driftwood themselves. Among the most famous types of natural driftwood are the ones that come from Malaysia where I live now. These are either harvested from a mangrove forest or washed up on a beach and have been treated by nature, so they will ensure for a very long time.
Finding Your Own Driftwood
If you are lucky enough to live near a body of water, chances are you will be able to easily find driftwood of your own. The key to knowing what kind of wood is ideal to use is to inspect the bark. If the bark has been stripped off clean by the elements, they would usually do well. If the bark is still on, it would generally mean that the wood has not been treated enough and is still too early to be used as driftwood. Also, lift it up and test it’s weight. Driftwood tends to be lighter because the inner parts of the wood had dissolved. In this way, you would not have soft tissue rotting in your aquarium.
Preparing The Driftwood
The driftwood, regardless of store bought or found, needs to be prepared. First, give it a thorough was and scrub. This is especially important you found it. Scrub off any signs of algae and moss, and any large particles that may be clinging on.
Next soak the wood in plain water. The reason for this is twofold. The first will be to dissolve the wood tannin. Tannin discolors your water and will alter the chemical composition in your aquarium. The wood needs to be soak for at least a week, with the water changed every other day when it starts to get cloudy. The second reason is to make it sink. The driftwood will most likely float because of the air pockets in it. Weigh it down in the water, ensuring every inch of it is submerged so that the air pockets get filled with water and it will sink down when you place it in the tank.