How to Make Driftwood Sink

How to Make Driftwood Sink: A Step-by-Step Guide

Driftwood is a beautiful addition to any aquarium or terrarium. Its weathered appearance adds a natural and rustic touch to the environment. However, one common challenge with driftwood is that it tends to float on the water’s surface. This can be frustrating for hobbyists who want to create an underwater landscape. Fortunately, there are simple and effective methods to make driftwood sink. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making driftwood sink, and answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.

Step 1: Preparing the Driftwood
Before attempting to make driftwood sink, it is important to prepare it properly. Start by soaking the driftwood in a large container filled with water. This will help remove any dirt, debris, or salt that may be present. Soak the driftwood for several days, changing the water every 24 hours.

Step 2: Boiling the Driftwood
Boiling the driftwood is an essential step to remove any remaining impurities and to speed up the sinking process. Place the driftwood in a large pot and fill it with enough water to fully submerge the wood. Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for about an hour. This process will also help to soften the wood and make it more pliable.

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Step 3: Weighing Down the Driftwood
Once the driftwood has been boiled, it is time to weigh it down to make it sink. There are various methods to achieve this. One popular option is to attach stainless steel screws or small lead weights to the underside of the wood. Be sure to distribute the weights evenly to maintain a balanced appearance.

Step 4: Curing the Driftwood
After weighing down the driftwood, it needs to be cured to prevent it from releasing tannins into the water, which can cause discoloration. Soak the driftwood in a container filled with water for another few days, changing the water daily. This will help leach out any remaining tannins and prepare the driftwood for its final placement in the aquarium or terrarium.


1. How long does it take for driftwood to sink?
The time it takes for driftwood to sink can vary depending on its size and density. However, by following the steps outlined above, it usually takes about a week for the driftwood to sink completely.

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2. Can I use any type of wood for aquariums or terrariums?
Not all types of wood are safe for aquariums or terrariums. Avoid using wood from conifers or woods that release harmful substances when submerged. Stick to hardwoods like oak, maple, or birch, as they are generally safe options.

3. Can I skip the boiling step?
Boiling the driftwood is highly recommended as it helps remove impurities and softens the wood, making it easier to manipulate. Skipping this step may result in the wood taking longer to sink or even floating indefinitely.

4. How can I prevent the driftwood from floating again after sinking?
To prevent the driftwood from floating again, ensure it is fully soaked and cured before placing it in the aquarium or terrarium. Additionally, secure the wood to the substrate using aquarium-safe adhesive or silicone.

5. Is it necessary to change the water during the soaking process?
Yes, changing the water during the soaking process helps remove impurities and tannins from the driftwood. Fresh water will aid in the curing process and prevent discoloration of the aquarium or terrarium water.

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6. Can I use driftwood from the beach for aquariums or terrariums?
Driftwood found on beaches may contain salt, which can be harmful to aquatic life. It is essential to thoroughly soak and rinse the driftwood to remove any salt or other contaminants before using it in an aquarium or terrarium.

7. How do I clean driftwood?
To clean driftwood, scrub it gently with a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris. Soaking the wood in a mixture of water and vinegar can help remove stubborn stains or algae. Rinse the driftwood thoroughly before proceeding with the sinking process.

By following these steps and taking proper precautions, you can successfully make driftwood sink and create a stunning underwater landscape in your aquarium or terrarium. Remember to choose the appropriate type of wood and prioritize the safety and well-being of your aquatic or reptile inhabitants.

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