Prepare a piece of driftwood for your fish tank

Select driftwood from non-polluted areas. Avoid harvesting driftwood after floods because the pieces might be contaminated. A thorough cleaning might not remove all pollutants.

Hardwood is the preferred choice as it will not decay as fast as softwood. Take the edge of your fingernail and depress it into the piece of dry wood. If it goes in easy, this is softwood. Choose another piece.

Wash the selected piece of wood with fresh water and brush. A pressure washer can be used too but be aware that a high pressure might damage your piece.

Make sure that the piece of wood has been weathered enough. Tannins would darken the water.

Remove all soft or decaying parts with gouge, chisel, or brush.

Soak the wood in boiling-hot water for a few hours to remove dirt, kill germs, and prepare it for water-logging. This helps make it absorb water faster. It will also help remove any tannin which may remain in the wood. Change the water until it remains clear.

I would Not recommend using bleach or any detergent to clean driftwood as I would not take the chance if it weren't rinsed out to harm or kill the fish.

Soak driftwood for a few days until it is saturated. If necessary, maintain it underwater with a rock.

Do not use any chemical on a piece of driftwood you intend to place in a fish tank.

As with everything the information may or may not work in your situation. If you have any concern about a piece of driftwood, don't use it.

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