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Choosing the Right Driftwood

6319 Views 35 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Phil Edwards
How do you go about selecting a piece of driftwood for an aquarium? There is not much choice at my LFS. Do you just get a piece that looks good at the store and then find a way to work it into the aquascape? or do you go into the store with a plan and hope they have what you are looking for? Are there any good online sources for driftwood that you would recommend?
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I usually have an aquascape in mind and then try and find a piece of driftwood that meets the mental image of the driftood. Sometimes while looking for that driftwood, I come across another piece that ends up working better for another layout. Of course, I have reasonable mental pictures of the aquascape before spending the money on it. Collecting driftwood where I am is rather sparce, so I usually have to buy if I am looking for something special. Most good driftwood isn't cheap, so make sure you get the one you want!

Here are my two recent driftwood purchases:

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Very nice, Gomer. Rare to see anything of that caliber for sale in my area.
Those are nice Tony.

Are those available in LFS and how much ?
I love the bottom one...

We're actually going looking for driftwood Friday for a friend. Hopefully we'll find something half that nice.
I WISH my LFS had those. they mainly have smaller 8-10" pieces....although they do from time to time have MASSIVE pieces for $150.

These two I got from ebay. They weren't cheap. I picked those two, and 9 smaller pieces up for $90 shipped.
Gomer has talent. Me? I can't build mental pictures well. Shoot, when I get bored in class, I only draw stickfigures. Gomer's right though, building mental images is the best way to set up a good looking tank. But a good way to start off to help you get in the motion of building mental images is to simply trial and error things out. Look for a piece of wood. If you like it just for the way it looks then take it home. Place it in as many different positions as possible. When you feel you have finally chosen the perfect position for that piece of wood, plant plant plant. A few weeks later, once the plants grown in, maybe it won't be allll that spectacular, but you at least gain some experience in setting up driftwood. This experience will carryon while you shop online/lfs/lakes and shores for driftwood.

In my honest opinion, any piece of wood has a GREAT potential in looking real nice in the tank. It's seriously all about who designs the plants around/ontop of it.
I knew a guy in college who started to scribble on a piece of paper. I watched, and it just looked like something a 3-year-old would do. All of a sudden, this incredible detailed face pops out of all the scribbles. Every line was exact. He claimed he could "see" the face on the paper, sort of like he was just filling it in. That sort of talent to me is just inconceivable. I start with an idea and see how it develops, and hope I luck into something. That's as good as it gets for me.

Oh well, enough OT.
To choose the right driftwood, everyone is right, you have to visualize what the aquascape is going to look like.

Sometimes, however, you may see a piece of driftwood and be inspired to create an aquascape centered around it. It all depends on the moment. :)

I always get my driftwood from:

You can email or call her and ask her for a specific shape --she may actually have it in stock or be able to collect it for you.

Carlos, don't you feel that their driftwood looks fake with that glazy look they have on it?
They take their pictures while the wood is wet, it's not glazed. All the wood in my discus tank (above) came from and it's not glossy at all.
I always have something in mind when I look for driftwood. Since it is absolutely impossible to find exactly what I am looking for, I shoot for as close as possible. After getting as close to what I want, I then start to fine tune the aquascape around the wood I have.

Ok guys. WHOEVER Lives in southern california...GO WOOD HUNTING end of this week. Since it started to rain today, some people may be able to find some good pieces. Magnus and I will go around to look for wood and if we find good ones we may even sell it at a cheap price locally. Shipping would be a bastard. Magnus showed me a piece last time that was just incredibly awesome. Perfect for 60 gallon cube tank and he got it for free at the jetty. Take advantage of nature. People hate rain, but for me, it's a sign of a better tomorrow. Take cares and good luck!
can't got his weekend, but perhaps another. Wish you guys luck. That was a monster piece that Magnus got last time.
It's going to be a good rain litesky,

Its even raining here in the desert as I type this.

And the news says flashflood warnings in Riverside and San Bernardino County Mountains.

I know a few places to look but I can't get to the ocean as easily as you.

When I use driftwood I start with an idea, and look for a piece that fits my theme.

But as others, sometimes I just find a piece and I gotta have it, and eventually I will come up with a design for it.

I've got a nice piece that I found last year.

It's a hollow oak branch about 30 inches long and 7 inces in diameter.

I'll neeed another 55 Gal tank for this one.

I'd like to do something like a river bank with this one, you know Vals and micro sword with rounded river rocks.

I'll take a pic and post it in a few minutes ( I have to go to the other computer to download the pic)


Heres the pic, it is hollow all the way through, and the branch in the center is hollow through to the middle.
And it has nice "Feet"....


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Wow now at least I have an idea of where to start. What do you think about wood that drifts up on the beach? If I boil it do you think that all the salt would leave the wood and it would be safe? There is miles and miles of beach here and Im sure I could find something.....although I might just purchase one from I just ordered my 75 gallon today and I would like at least one large piece to go in it :)
The main thing is that you want hardwood like oak, you don't want softwood like pine.

And it should be real dead, dry, and weather beaten.

And then, soak, soak and soak some more.

Your in Texas, you should be able to find Oak or Mesquite or some thing like that.

I noticed has plant assortment packages for setting up a new tank. Has anyone ordered plants from them before?
That was a monster piece that Magnus got last time.
Magnus showed me a piece last time that was just incredibly awesome.
What? Huh?
Ohhh, you mean....this?


If you do decide to check the beach, look at places with lots of rocks. When there's a storm or big swell, that's where the "drifting" woods are more likely to end up. I think wood at the beach are relatively safe. Just rinse off the dirt/barnacles. :eek:
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Good Lord. That has got to be a showtank wood. Look AT THAT! That probably saved Magnus at least 60 bucks. Jeez.
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