Selecting the Best Wood for Your Aquarium: Considerations and Recommendations

Mopani Wood and Malaysian Driftwood are the best aquarium woods for your fish tank. Both are very fish friendly and can add actually benefit your tank by lowering the pH level making your water suitable for fish who require a more acidic environment.

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What Wood is Best for Aquariums?

When it comes to embellishing our aquariums, the allure of using natural elements such as wood cannot be ignored. Wood provides an authentic touch that transforms your tank into a vivid, enchanting aquatic world. However, i often get asked, "What wood is best for aquariums?" In this article, I will delve into the different types of woods that are safe and beneficial for your aquatic pets.

The Benefits of Using Wood in Aquariums

Not only does wood provide a visual appeal, but it also serves practical functions. It offers hiding spots for your fish, a surface for plants and algae to grow on, and in some cases, can even affect the water's chemistry to replicate your fish's natural habitat better. For instance, certain types of wood can slightly lower the pH of the water, making it more suitable for fish species that prefer slightly acidic environments.

Types of Aquarium Safe Wood

When choosing wood for your aquarium, the two most commonly recommended types are Mopani and Malaysian Driftwood.

  1. Mopani Wood: Known for its striking two-tone color, Mopani wood is a hardy wood that sinks naturally. It's perfect for creating a dramatic, eye-catching centerpiece in your aquarium. Plus, it's safe for all types of tanks, including tropical and marine aquariums.
  2. Malaysian Driftwood: Malaysian driftwood is another popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. It's dense, sturdy, and offers an intricate network of crevices and holes, ideal for your fish to explore and hide. It also releases tannins into the water, giving your aquarium a unique blackwater look, while lowering the pH level slightly.

However, the decision is not limited to these two. Manzanita, Spiderwood, and Bogwood are other types of aquarium-safe wood that you might consider for their aesthetic appeal and durability. For a comprehensive list and description of these and more, you can read our guide on

Preparing Wood for Your Aquarium

Before placing wood in your aquarium, you must properly prepare it to ensure it's safe for your fish. The process involves cleaning the wood thoroughly to remove any harmful bacteria or parasites and soaking it to remove excess tannins. You can find a detailed guide on how to clean your aquarium wood on our website.

Before adding any wood to your aquarium, I always like to soak the logs in deep buckets of water and change every few days. I do this for at least a week to ensure any dye / colouring is minimised once I introduce it to my tank.

In conclusion, while wood makes a charming addition to aquariums, it's crucial to select the right type and prepare it adequately to ensure your fish's health and well-being. Mopani and Malaysian driftwood are top choices, but other options like Manzanita, Spiderwood, and Bogwood can also create a vibrant, natural underwater landscape. To learn more about maintaining an optimal environment for your fish, explore our guides on