How to Treat Driftwood

Driftwood makes a beautiful piece in any type of fish or reptile environment. But in order for you to use the driftwood piece, you need to clean it and cure it so there aren’t any unwanted problems like colored water, insects, parasites, mold, and etc… There are two different ways in which you can treat driftwood (explained below), pick one based on what type of environment you will be putting the driftwood into.

Freshwater Driftwood

Freshwater Driftwood, photo by Amanda_Moore

Driftwood for Fish Tank

Clean, soak, boil, and dry are the four steps you will be taking to treat your driftwood for the fish tank.

  1. Clean: Start off by cleaning the driftwood with a clean brush to get rid of any sand, dirt, or any other debris.
  2. Soak: Once you are done cleaning the driftwood, you can then start to soak the driftwood. The soaking will be for 1 – 2 weeks for total saturation. Soak the driftwood in a large bucket making sure the entire piece is completely underwater. During this time, you are going to want to monitor the water carefully to make sure the water is somewhat clear. Tannins will usually leach out turning the water into a brown color. When you see the water is brown, empty out the water, and apply new water. You might have to do this a few times before the water stays clear. Better in the bucket, then your fish tank.
  3. Boil: Once you are done soaking the driftwood, take it out and apply boiling water to it. Slowly pour bowling water over the entire driftwood piece to kill anything that might have been growing on or in the driftwood. The boiling water will sterilize the driftwood.
  4. Dry: Let your driftwood dry out for 2 – 3 weeks outside in an elevated area where no bugs can get to.

Then you are ready for a nice piece of driftwood to be put into your fish tank.