Driftwood as part of aquascape?

Mitch DownUnder

New member
Okydoke, hi everyone... long time reader of RC but first time posting. Here goes;

What sort of things would you need to consider before using wood in a marine aquarium? I have always loved seeing the life that grows and surrounds the pylons of an old jetty and was thinking how interesting it would be to have a 'jetty pylon environment' (for want of better words) as part of a home setup.

Already I can see some obvious questions that would need to be resolved..

- the timber would need to be very aged, preferably already exposed to seawater for a long time

- How would it affect the tank's chemistry? (eg, softening, tanins?)

- Would it act like live rock once fully colonised (colonized)?

- Is it just plain bad news, and this is why we only see this done in public aquariums?

I'm only thinking out loud at this stage and thought I would throw the concept out there to see if anyone has had similar thoughts or has actually used wood in their tanks.

Cheers from Australia everyone!!


Reef Custodian
I am not sure about what it would do to the water chemistry but i think it might turn the water yellow/ brown.

check this out . It's not real.




New member
Some of the stuff on line warns about yellowing even in FE, I'd be careful. If you really want to, you could seal it in clear epoxy paint or something...


The Saltiest!
Driftwood is used in FW tanks to soften the water and make it more acidic, the opposite of what you want in a SW tank. Plus it does have tannins in it, so that will yellow the water.


New member
yep, as already said, it will turn the water and lower the pH, this is fine if you want a south american tank, but not saltwater.


In Memoriam
I had some wood in my tank, it would always get a nasty coating on it and looked awful. I constantly had to scrub it with a tooth brush to keep it looking like wood. It is back in my fresh water tank now.