Mopani Wood

Mopani Wood

Last summer, I bought two pieces of Mopani Wood for the 40 gallon acrylic aquarium. I had been looking at this driftwood online for a month or so and couldn't decide if I wanted a large piece or extra-large piece. I ended up buying the two large pieces you see in the video, from their discount shelf for a little over $5.

The colors of African Mopani root have made it a popular choice among aquarium and terrarium owners. It's black and tan colors spiral into unique and modeled formations. Some parts of this dense wood offer smooth surfaces, while others have very textured detail.

The great thing about Mopani wood is that it is a very dense wood. In fact it's one of the hardest and densest woods available for aquarium keepers. So why is this great? Because it sinks very easily without being weighed down or having to attach anything to it. This driftwood is also excellent at resisting rot.

To prepare this driftwood for my fish tank, I did soak it in a bucket of water for around three months. Basically, you want the tannins to clear out of the wood. I would change the water every week, until the water became almost clear. If you do use this driftwood, there usually is a little bit of color left in the water from the tannins; especially if you use a larger piece. I actually like the look. I think it makes the freshwater aquarium appear more natural.

I'm very happy with my new addition of Mopani wood to the aquarium, and I can tell the fish find it very interesting too.

If you are a lover of pleco fish, I definitely recommend this type of driftwood for them.

You can buy this wood below or check out my aquarium driftwood site.

Aquarium Driftwood

aquarium-driftwood-062007.jpgAdding aquarium driftwood to your fish tank can enhance the natural beauty of the aquatic environment. I've always been partial to having real plants, and structures in my fish tank when possible. Using driftwood as decoration, gives your fish a more comfortable environment, and looks great too! Plecostomus love to hide in the nooks and crannies of aquarium driftwood, while loaches often find the shelter of driftwood a welcome hiding spot.

I've seen pieces of aquarium driftwood in the local fish store, but I'd recommend checking out eBay for some really great finds and deals. I bought two pieces of driftwood that somebody had taken from the Ohio River. So what do you look for when you're purchasing driftwood for your fish tank? Number one, make sure that it's safe to use in an aquatic environment. Some driftwood sold for reptiles may be dangerous, and contain harmful chemicals that would kill your fish.

The next step, is to plan how many pieces of driftwood you'll need for your aquarium. I like to take out a pen and paper when I'm planning my fish tank layout, and draw some ideas. I'll also emphasize that sometimes less is better. I usually will use only two to three pieces of wood. It depends on the size of the tank. If your fish tank is large enough, think about getting a piece of driftwood that's large enough to act as a centerpiece for your aquarium. Then add a few smaller pieces around it. I bought a piece of driftwood that actually doesn't sink, and I wedged it into my tank higher up. The fish really enjoy swimming around it. Check it out in this video.

Usually the driftwood you buy commercially is clean. If it isn't, you want to use a brush to scrub any dirt or loose material off of it. Of course, never use any soap, detergents, or cleaning materials on a piece of fish decoration that will be placed in your aquarium. You want happy fish; not dead fish.It's best to waterlog your driftwood before placing it in your tank. Soaking the driftwood, for a period of one to two weeks, will allow any tannins that may be in the wood to release. Change your water if it becomes murky and be sure to use dechlorinated water for the procedure.

For small pieces of aquarium driftwood I recommend boiling them. Boiling in hot water for around 2 hours will not only sterilize your driftwood, but releases those tannins, that may be present.

Be sure your water level is low enough to fit the new decorations in your tank. Refer to your plan for placement, and arrange accordingly. Your fish should start exploring their new environment soon after!