How To Keep Driftwood From Floating – Detailed Guide For Newbie

If you own an aquarium, chances are you will need several pieces of driftwood. These decorative objects serve multiple purposes, ranging from beautifying your tank to providing a hiding ground for your fish.

However, not all driftwood can stay firmly where they are placed. Sometimes, driftwood ends up floating around inside the water. So, how to keep driftwood from floating? If you wish to know the answer, scroll down to find out!

5 Methods To Keep Driftwood From Floating

aquarium driftwood

Soak driftwood

Most of the already-made driftwood bought from stores is not treated with a coating. This leads to them being water absorbent, increasing the chance of sinking to the bottom rather than staying afloat.

If you happen to buy these pieces of untreated driftwood, consider soaking them in the water for a few days. Once all of the pores are filled with water, driftwood will surely become heavier and waterlogged.

All you have to do now is to wait for the driftwood to make its way to the tank’s bottom.

Tie driftwood down

Tying down driftwood is the most straightforward approach to prevent these pieces from floating around. To begin with, you will need to find certain decorations or large rocks to act as anchors.

Next up, use transparent nets or mesh to carefully wrap around the driftwood. Then, tie the knot at the connecting surface and ensure the driftwood remains in place. Usually, this technique works best when you have a firm anchor and the driftwood is not too large.

Glue driftwood to the surface

In case you have larger pieces of driftwood, tying them alone will not suffice. Hence, gluing driftwood offers a more effective way to prevent them from floating.

Similar to the first approach, you will need to find an anchor with a flat, adhesive surface. This means that sand or some of the most popular types of substrate cannot fit into this category.

In the worst-case scenario, you might need to consider gluing driftwood to the tank’s bottom itself. Glass is perfect for gluing things together, and it reduces the chances of your driftwood being ripped away from said surfaces.

It should also be noted that once glued, the surfaces are not likely to return to their original states. Thus, you will need to be very careful regarding your anchors and whether you are willing to sacrifice their state.

Get the right driftwood in the first place


At the store, you will come across many types of driftwood. Some of them are designed simply to be afloat, thus rendering all of your later efforts useless. Should you want to keep your driftwood at the tank’s bottom, make sure to ask the seller for the most suitable type of driftwood.

Not only do these pieces need to be heavy, but they also have to be capable of absorbing water.

Put in the right types of decorative objects

As you can see, some of the ways to keep driftwood from floating involve the help of a third surface. This means you will need to include rocks or fake plants that can secure the driftwood through the use of glue, mesh, or similarly effective means.

Examine closely which driftwood you would want to include in your tank, and remember to buy rocks and fake plants that provide timely support for this mission.


How long does it take wood to become driftwood?

If you let nature take its course, it can take up to years before a normal piece of wood becomes driftwood. However, most aquarists cannot afford to wait that long to own high-quality driftwood for their aquarium. Hence, artificial driftwood can be used roughly 2-4 weeks after being made, depending on the size and quality.

There are special treatments that help speed up the process of turning wood into driftwood. These include leaving the wood to dry completely under the sun, soaking them in a big tub of salt and water for impurity removal, and grilling the pieces of food for at least 3 hours so that the wood itself dries up completely.

This way, you can have your driftwood within a month and have all the flexibility to adjust its size, appearance, and weight.

Where can I find driftwood in nature?

If you wish to find driftwood in nature, look at the edges of the beach, the riverbanks, and other places where the water meets the land. Usually, driftwood is washed to the surface from the river or ocean, and they tend to stay there until it rotten or is collected by humans.

With luck, you will be able to come across beautifully crafted, high-quality pieces of driftwood that require little treatment before soaking them into your home tank. Other times, make sure you put in enough effort to turn this driftwood usable.

Will driftwood rot in an aquarium?

Yes. Eventually, all driftwood will start rotting inside an aquarium. But you should know that this process can take up to years. And sometimes, the time needed for driftwood to rot is simply too long to be noticed.

Over time, you might notice how the water turns a bit slightly brown if not cleaned regularly. This is because tannin is released from driftwood. But should you change the water regularly, there will be no sign of rotten driftwood at your home aquarium.


Learning how to keep driftwood from floating can be rather tricky, especially when it involves the use of many supporting tools. Hence, you must follow the tips and tricks above to the letter so that your driftwood can stay where they are supposed to be.