piece of driftwood sunk in an aquarium

How to Get Driftwood to Sink

Are you looking to add a touch of natural beauty to your aquarium or terrarium? Driftwood can be the perfect addition, providing a rustic and unique aesthetic. However, one common challenge that i see many hobbyists face is getting the driftwood to sink. If you’ve ever struggled with this issue, worry no more!

In this article, ill walk you through the different methods and techniques to help you successfully sink your driftwood and create a stunning underwater landscape.

So, whether you prefer a more natural approach or are open to using chemical treatments, ill show you various methods to choose from. Get ready as i show you how to transform your aquatic or terrarium setup with beautiful, sunken driftwood!

To get driftwood to sink, clean it, soak it in water for a few days with added weight if needed, then scrub and rinse. You can also boil the driftwood for at least an hour to soften it, not only to help it sink but to release tannins. After either method, let the driftwood dry before adding it to your setup!

Table of Contents:

  • Preparation
  • Using Weights and Anchors
  • Boiling
  • Soaking in Water
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Preparing Driftwood for Sinking

Step Description
1. Remove Debris Rinse driftwood under running water to remove dirt, debris, and crustaceans.
2. Soak in Water Submerge driftwood in water for days to leach out tannins and oils that cause buoyancy.
3. Weigh Down Enhance sinking by placing a heavy object on the driftwood during soaking, like a rock or brick.
4. Thorough Cleaning After soaking, gently scrub driftwood with a soft brush to remove remaining dirt and algae.
5. Rinse and Dry Rinse driftwood thoroughly to remove soap residue and allow it to fully dry before placing it in the aquarium.

Before you can make your driftwood sink, you need to remove any dirt, debris that may be clinging to it. Start by giving it a good rinse under running water to get rid of any loose particles.

I like to then soak the driftwood in a bucket or tub of water for a few days. This helps me leach out any tannins or oils that may cause it to float. You can also weigh down the driftwood with a heavy object, such as a rock or brick, to help it sink while it soaks. More on anchors shortly.

Once the soaking process is complete, it’s time to give your driftwood a thorough cleaning. Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub away any remaining dirt or algae. Be careful not to scrub too hard, as this can damage the wood.

Rinse the driftwood thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. Finally, allow the driftwood to dry completely before adding it to your aquarium. By following these steps, you’ll have beautifully sunk driftwood that can add a natural mix of nature to your underwater environment.

Using Weights and Anchors in the Tank

To successfully anchor your driftwood, you’ll need to attach weights that will ensure it stays firmly in place, creating a captivating underwater scene that will mesmerize onlookers. One way to do this is by using fishing weights or lead sinkers. These can be easily attached to the driftwood by tying them securely with fishing line or using small metal hooks.

Make sure to distribute the weights evenly along the length of the driftwood to maintain balance and stability. 

an-image-showing-how-to-get-driftwood-to-sink-in-a-fish-tankAnother option is to use aquarium-safe epoxy or silicone such as Aquarium Co-Op Super Gel to attach small rocks or stones to the driftwood. This not only adds weight but also enhances the natural look of the driftwood. Before attaching the rocks, make sure to clean them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that could make them not stick or moreover potentially harm your aquarium’s ecosystem.

Once the rocks are clean, apply a small amount of epoxy or silicone to the desired spots on the driftwood and press the rocks firmly into place. Allow the adhesive to cure according to the instructions before introducing the driftwood. If you have some larger rocks, you could also simply prop them against the driftwood helping to keep it down.

By following these methods, you can make sure your driftwood sinks and stays in place. Experiment with different weights and rock arrangements to achieve a pleasurable aesthetic effect. Remember to regularly check and adjust the placement of the driftwood if necessary to maintain its stability in the aquarium.

Boiling Driftwood

Step Description
1. Prepare Boiling Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
2. Submerge Driftwood Carefully place driftwood in the boiling water, ensuring it’s fully submerged.
3. Boil and Monitor Boil for at least an hour; adjust time for larger or denser wood. Keep water level sufficient.
4. Release Tannins Boiling water releases tannins and other substances causing discoloration in aquarium water.
5. Cool and Scrub After boiling, remove driftwood, let it cool, and gently scrub with a brush to remove debris.
6. Ready for Aquarium With driftwood cooled and cleaned, it’s now ready for a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

Boiling driftwood helps enhance its natural beauty and prepares it for a safe and seamless addition to your aquarium. When you boil driftwood, you’re not only removing any dirt, debris, or bacteria that may be present on the surface, but you’re also softening the wood and making it less likely to float by opening the pores that allow water to saturate it.

To start, try filling a large pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Place your driftwood carefully into the pot, making sure it’s fully submerged. Let it boil for at least an hour, but you may need to boil it for longer depending on the size and density of the wood.

During the boiling process, keep an eye on the water level and add more if need be to make sure that the driftwood remains fully under the water. The heat from the boiling water will help release any tannins or other substances that may cause discoloration in your aquarium water.

After boiling, remove the driftwood from the pot and let it cool completely before adding it to your aquarium. I like to also scrub the surface with a soft brush to remove any remaining dirt or debris. Boiling driftwood is a simple and effective method to ensure that it sinks and is ready to be a beautiful addition to your aquarium.

Soaking Driftwood in Water

Soaking your driftwood in water is similar to boiling it, it works in the same way by opening its pores that allow water to penetrate into the wood. But Immersing the driftwood in water allows for a gradual infusion of its natural essence. Soaking the driftwood in water not only helps it sink, but it also prepares it for placement in your aquarium.

Before submerging the driftwood, it’s important to clean it thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. You can do this by rinsing it under running water or scrubbing it gently with a brush. Once cleaned, place the driftwood in a bucket or container filled with water. Personally, i like to use to use dechlorinated water, or you can let tap water sit for 24-48 hours to allow any chlorine to dissipate.

large piece of driftwood in an aqauriumAllow the driftwood to soak in the water for several days or even weeks, depending on its size and density. As mentioned, soaking helps to saturate the wood, making it heavier and more likely to sink when placed in the aquarium. It also allows the wood to release tannins. You may notice the water turning brown or yellowish, which is completely normal. This is the tannins being released from the driftwood.

After soaking, remove the driftwood from the water and give it a final rinse to remove any remaining debris. You can now confidently place the driftwood in your aquarium, creating a stunning underwater landscape that your fish and other aquatic creatures will love.


Getting driftwood to sink is not as difficult as you might of though. By following the simple steps ive explained in this article, you can make sure your driftwood stays submerged. 

Use weights or anchors to hold the driftwood down in the desired position, you can also try boiling it. Alternatively, soaking the driftwood in water for a few weeks can also help it become waterlogged and sink naturally.

With a little patience and trail and error, you can successfully sink your driftwood and create a beautiful underwater landscape that your fish will love!


Why does driftwood float?
Driftwood floats due to air pockets and its natural buoyancy.

Can I use any type of wood for aquariums?
Hardwoods are generally preferred due to their density and sinking properties.

How long should I soak driftwood?
Soak for a few days to several weeks, depending on size and type.

Are chemical treatments safe for fish?
Choose aquarium-safe treatments and follow instructions carefully.

Will boiling driftwood harm its appearance?
Boiling can enhance color and remove impurities if done correctly.


🌿Do you have any go-to methods for getting your driftwood to sink? Share your tips in the comments below!✨


Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook

How to Get Driftwood to Sink
Scroll to top