Fish Tank Wood: Bogwood, Driftwood, and Mopani Wood for the Angelfish Aquarium

Adding fish tank wood gives aquariums natural decor and helps create a more natural habitat for your angelfish. Bogwood is a nice, if not an essential addition to a blackwater tank because it naturally turns water tan and acidic, conditions found in the natural habitat of many angelfish. Driftwood and Mopani wood can also be used to add nice natural elements to the fish tank. Once you’ve found a source for you wood, they do need preparation before putting them into your angelfish tank.

fish tank wood

Fish tank wood creates a natural habitat for angelfish. Photo by nycbone


Bogwood is wood that has been enclosed in a peat bog for years. Common wood preserved in Irish bogs are pine, oak, and yew. Peat tannins leach into the wood and help preserve it. Bogwood should be soaked in hot water to remove most of the tannins. Change the soaking water when it has turned dark brown. It is ready for use in the aquarium when the water doesn’t discolor as quickly. Of course, to make a blackwater tank, some tan coloring will still occur when using bogwood.


soaking driftwood for fish tank

Soak fish tank wood before using. Photo by Chris Satchwell

Driftwood can be used in aquariums for the same purpose. This wood is found along the ocean and riversides. Driftwood should be prepared for aquarium use the same as bogwood to leach out any harmful minerals. This is particularly true for ocean driftwood as it has a great deal of salt and other minerals in the wood. Ocean driftwood is somewhat risky to put in a freshwater aquarium if it has not been soaked several times. Both should be soaked at least long enough for the wood to soak in enough water causing it to sink.

Mopani Wood

The hardwood Mopane tree in Africa produces the Mopani wood used in aquariums. It is gnarled and has interesting shapes for aquarium use. It also should be soaked in hot water for the same reasons as bogwood and driftwood.

Where to Buy Mopani, Driftwood, and Bogwood for Fish Tanks

Fish stores are the best place to buy bogwood, Mopani wood, and driftwood for your fish tank. They guarantee this wood as being safe to put into a freshwater tank.

Internet sites such as eBay and Amazon does sell aquarium décor wood. As with buying anything on the internet, be certain it is as advertised.

Garden shops and home decorator stores are also a source for fish tank wood. Home decoration stores may carry twisted wood in stock to be sold as decorative pieces.

Of course you can also take a walk along the beach to find free driftwood. Just make sure to soak it well to remove all the salts.


Soaking Driftwood Photo Credit Chris Satchwell

This entry was posted in Library. Bookmark the permalink.