ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Finding, Cleaning & Attaching Aquarium Driftwood, How To & DIY

Updated on July 16, 2010

Driftwood. Where Do I start?

Driftwood is a pleasurable add to any freshwater aquarium. It gives the feel of nature, and the tank a natural look. When you look deep into an aquarium filled with live plants and real wood your mind slips reality and becomes lost in a world that you will never know.

That is the pleasure of a planted tank for me, and one of the most important elements of a planted tank in my opinion is driftwood.

Driftwood can be bought from your favorite pet store, found at your local lake and even shipped from Countries a thousand miles away.

Cleaning Driftwood

First step to cleaning found or bought driftwood to scrub it well with a wire or thick bristled scrub brush and give it a good wash. After that it is always advised to use one of the methods below to sterilize the wood before you introduce it to your tank.

There are many different techniques that are used to clean found/bought driftwood and release tannins. I'll go over a few that I and others have used.

  • Boiling
  • Bleach
  • Baking
  • Soaking

1) Boiling. This is the technic that I mainly use. Find a pot big enough to accommodate at least a good portion of your wood, and let that baby boil!. flip it over after 30 minutes and get the other side adding water as needed. I like to repeat that cycle a few times just to make sure any insects or parasite have been killed. But if your a true stickler you can drill a hole and make sure the center of the wood has a temperature over 200 degrees.
2) Baking. I know a lot of people like to bake the wood after boiling just to make sure everything is dead. To me that seems a little dangerous and extreme. If you do choose to bake your wood make sure it is water logged first and your temperature does not exceed 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Also keep an eye on your driftwood as it is cooking, because this is an easy way to start a house fire.
3) Bleach/Soaking. This is another way to clean your wood that I would not recommend although some love the technique. Soak your wood in a 1 gallon of water to a one cup of bleach ratio. Some like to dip for fifteen minutes and some like to soak for a few days. After your bleach soak, wash the wood well and let it soak in water for a minimum of two weeks with frequent water changes. That will help release tannins as well as the bleach from the wood.

I personally would recommend the boiling method. I have used that method for quite some time now and have never had a problem with introducing parasites to my tank.

Marking Slate
Marking Slate
Drilling Marks
Drilling Marks
Making sure holding screw fits
Making sure holding screw fits
Finding a drilling point
Finding a drilling point
Screwing driftwood to slate
Screwing driftwood to slate
Final Product
Final Product

Mounting Light Driftwood to Slate

Some driftwood, whether it be store bought or found, cannot be waterlogged enough to sink. That is when you can either throw it out, or mount it to a heavy enough object so it stays on the bottom of your tank. With a few simple tools and some slate mounting driftwood is an easy task.

Tools Needed for the Job.

  • Drill, Drill bit
  • Stainless Steel Screw
  • Screwdriver

(Click on pictures for bigger images)

Find a drill bit that is about the same size as your screw. You don't need a mason bit, a regular bit will drill through slate quite easily. Just take your time and go slow. As for screws, any sharped tipped stainless screws will do. I used some random ones that I had left over from other projects. Make sure that the screws are stainless steel so they will not rust in your aquarium. Now here is the simple process.

  1. Take your slate and mark on the back where you want to drill with a sharpie.
  2. Drill softly through your two (or more) marks.
  3. With a screwdriver, run a screw through the holes slowly so you will not break the slate
  4. Position your wood to where you would like it to be screwed down.
  5. With an electric drill or screwdriver screw on your driftwood. I recommend using a manual screwdriver so you don't accidentally break the slate by screwing it to tight.
  6. Done!

Now be careful while putting large pieces into your tank. The slate will scratch the glass. I learned that the hard way. So make sure you take off the lid, lights, or whatever you have going on.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Writen4u profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Most hardware stores like Lowes, Home Depot sell slate tiles that can be broken up to fit your tank. If you just want chunks of slate you will have have to find a landscaping/rock quarry where you can buy it by the pound. most the time they will just give it to you if you only want a few pieces.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      where can you find the slate to mount to the wood?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)