Driftwood is used for many different purposes; it is an attractive addition to fish tanks and can also be used in unique crafts and home decor projects. Whether driftwood is found in the wild or bought from a store, it is important that it be cleaned and sanitized before being introduced to an aquarium, terrarium, or do-it-yourself craft project. While it may seem difficult to get rid of sand, dirt, and organisms on driftwood without damaging it, it is actually quite simple. The first step in cleaning driftwood is to shake it gently to remove any visible debris. After that, the wood can be brushed with a soft brush or even swatted. It is then possible to rinse the driftwood in a stream of water to remove any additional grime. Finally, the driftwood should be soaked in a solution of bleach and water to kill any bacteria that could harm the inhabitants of the terrarium or aquarium.
It is important to use a weak bleach solution, not straight bleach because it can damage the wood of your aquarium or terrarium. You can make a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water and soak the driftwood for about a half hour. The longer soaking period allows the bleach to penetrate deeper into the wood to ensure that it is completely sanitized. You can also boil the driftwood to sterilize it. Boiling the wood can kill off any bacteria, fungi, or parasites and will help to eliminate the Chytrid fungus as well.
Once the driftwood has been thoroughly sanitized and rinsed, it is ready for aquarium or terrarium use. Be sure to only use hardwood driftwood in your tank or terrarium because it is less likely to break down and leach toxic chemicals into the aquatic environment. Also, if you are using the driftwood in an aquarium, be sure to choose a piece that does not have any rotton or insect-infested sections as these will introduce unwanted pests into the tank.
Before introducing the driftwood to your aquarium or terrarium, be sure to rinse it again with pure distilled water to make sure that there is no trace of bleach left behind on the surface of the wood. Then, leave it outside to dry for a week or more in order to further lighten and brighten the pieces. This will provide a beautiful, natural look to your aquarium or terrarium and keep the creatures that live in it healthy as well. With a little patience and some household items, you can quickly clean and sanitize driftwood that will be the perfect complement to your aquarium or terrarium!