Why is aquarium driftwood expensive? (5 unknown Facts)

After reading this article “Why is aquarium driftwood expensive?” the reader will be able to prepare his or her aquarium driftwood. He or she will also be able to know the reasons why aquarium driftwood is expensive. Lastly, he or she will know about the importance of curing and know about the other modifications in the aquarium.

Why is aquarium driftwood expensive?

The aquarium driftwood is expensive because it is not just dried out but is passed through a cycle of drying and wetting and then the driftwood is created. The aquarium driftwood is also expensive because the people are willing to pay for it. You can find some of the driftwood along the river.

Reasons why aquarium driftwood is expensive?

The driftwood is good for tanks as it gives a natural look to the fish tank and also gives the fish plenty of hiding places in the freshwater aquarium. There are several reasons why aquarium driftwood is expensive.

Import costs

The driftwood is heavy so it is a high shipping cost for such heavy items. Moreover, the driftwood is large so the seller needs to place it in large boxes so that the driftwood doesn’t damage. The driftwood doesn’t have a nice, boxy shape to fit in a small place.

Besides that, the shipping costs don’t only include postage costs. Sellers recover their money spent on the shipping of the driftwood by increasing the price of the driftwood in the market.

The sellers in the local market also increase their prices of driftwood because they have to pay the shipping cost of the driftwood.

In case you want to order online then the retailers will charge you the shipping cost from the original location to your home.

Sometimes the driftwood is imported from outside the country like Malaysia so the price of the shipping increases and it eventually affects the price of the driftwood in the local market. Import cost is a reason why aquarium driftwood is expensive.

But it is not the only factor which affects the price of the driftwood in your town.

Supply Vs demand of the driftwood

You may be aware of the business model “law of supply and demand”. This means that when the demand is high you can increase your prices, but when the demand is low you need to lower your prices. This model is practiced all over the world.

The demand for driftwood is high in the market because people are willing to pay for it, that is why aquarium driftwood is expensive. If people are not willing to buy driftwood the sellers need to lower their prices to find customers who want the driftwood.

But due to increased demand for driftwood in the market, the sellers can increase its price in the local market to get the most out of it.

The price of driftwood also depends upon the type of driftwood you want. You can find driftwood at the bank of a river but that is not the type most people want. Driftwood like Manzanita is very expensive due to its high demand in the local market.

Preparation of driftwood

The most important factor in why aquarium driftwood is expensive is the preparation of driftwood. Before selling you the sellers need to prepare driftwood so that it is not harmful to your aquarium. This process takes several weeks and it is called “curing”.

Before curing the seller needs to find suitable driftwood. He either pays someone to find driftwood for them or find the driftwood himself. It takes a lot of time and money.

After finding a suitable match, the seller needs to cut it down to the suitable size of the aquarium. Again he will hire someone or do it by himself. It takes a lot of time or money to do this job.

After cutting it and remodeling it is not a suitable size, The seller needs to clean it by removing algae, dirt, and mold. This could be as easy as scrubbing off the dirt with the help of a brush. It could be as difficult as operating a system of pressurized washers and conveyor belts to remove the dirt and algae from a group of driftwood.

After cleaning the driftwood, it needs to be boiled to remove the tannins that can cause discoloration of your aquarium. It can be done in several weeks by soaking the driftwood or in several hours by boiling the driftwood. The process of curing is finished. Now it is ready for selling.

You can see that it takes a lot of time and money to prepare the driftwood, which is why the aquarium driftwood is expensive.

Importance of curing

The important question that is running in your brain right now is why there is a need to cure driftwood? We will answer this question briefly.

If you add uncured wood to your aquarium then it may rot and the purpose of driftwood in your aquarium is lost. The rotting can also increase the level of ammonia in your fish tank that can cause distress to your fish.

You can also introduce foreign bacteria in the fish tank that can cause several diseases in your fish tank. The foreign bacteria can disturb the natural ecosystem of the fish tank.

The tannins in the uncured wood can cause the color of the water to turn brown yellow. The tannins give the tea its brown color.

This color change of the water wouldn’t affect the fish but affect the live plants you have in the fish tank. The live plants would not have the access to the light which is essential for their survival. 

If you wish to live with the discolored water tank you need to introduce a brighter light in the aquarium so that the plants can perform their natural phenomenon of “Photosynthesis”

How to prepare driftwood?

If you wish to prepare your driftwood then you need to go through more time-consuming and tougher work but in the end, the result will be fruitful.

Here are the steps of the preparation of driftwood:

Cleaning driftwood

The first thing you need to do is the cleaning of the driftwood. You need to clean it because it was laying in mud, dirt and decaying leaves and other things too.

You can use a scrub brush to clean all the unwanted dirt and debris from the driftwood. If you don’t clean it you will bring a lot of bacteria home.

Please stay away from detergents and the soaps or any other chemicals because they are harmful to your fish in the aquarium.

After cleaning the driftwood it is time for soaking.


You need to find a large container big enough to accommodate the driftwood. Place the driftwood in the container and add water until it is completely submerged in the water.

Let it soak in the large container for several days. The soaking is done to remove the tannins which can change the color of the fish tank water. Bogwood also contains tannins.

Change the water of the large container when you see the color of the water. When you see that the color of the water is not changed, it is time to remove the driftwood.

You can also use boiling driftwood which will kill all the unwanted bacteria and fungus that escaped the soaking step. This is a good method to save the fish from unwanted exposure to bacteria.


You may be thinking what is the purpose of drying the driftwood when you are going to put it in the fish tank.

Some people use bleach to sterilize the wood. The bleach contains chlorine that is harmful to the fish in the fish tank. In the drying process, the chlorine evaporates and the driftwood is safe for use in the aquarium.

The whole process is very tedious which is why people are willing to pay some extra money to buy already created driftwood. This is the reason why aquarium driftwood is expensive.

Other modifications in the aquarium 

Driftwood can act as a trunk for the aquatic bonsai tree in a planted aquarium. Bonsai driftwood is beneficial to grow bonsai plants. You can grow bonsai trees underwater to increase the beauty of the water. 

Hydroponic growing is the growing of bonsai trees that have the root submerged in the water of the aquarium. Bonsai trees have small branches.

In the case of shrimp in the aquarium, the best choice is cholla wood. Cholla wood is the skeleton of a cholla plant that has holes in it.

You can also create an aquascape in your fish aquarium. Aquascape is the arrangement of the plants and trees in your aquarium that looks at a natural environment.


In this article “Why is aquarium driftwood expensive” we have discussed the reasons why aquarium driftwood is expensive and how to prepare our driftwood by simple means.

Feel free to ask anything about “Why is aquarium driftwood expensive?” in the comment section below.

FAQ; Why is aquarium driftwood expensive?

Frequently asked questions of “Why is aquarium driftwood expensive?” are:

Is Driftwood worth money?

Yes, driftwood is worth money. You will be paid a reward for your hard work. The driftwood price ranges from as low as $3 to as high as $125. Jimmy Gant, a person who collects driftwood in his 18-foot, flat bottom boat says, “We’re trying to make it”.

Is Driftwood good for fish tanks?

Yes, driftwood not only maintains the ecosystem of the aquarium but also gives the fish a hiding place. The driftwood also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria which is essential for the growth of the fish and the plants.

What is so special about Driftwood?

The driftwood is a shelter and a source of food for the birds and fishes. Not only that, the shipworms and the bacteria decompose the driftwood and convert it into nutrients that are reintroduced into the food web of the ecosystem. In this way, the driftwood maintains the ecosystem.

Will driftwood kill my fish?

Yes, in some cases it can kill your fish. You need to make sure that the driftwood you are buying is for the fish aquarium and not for others like reptiles. The reptile driftwood contains the chemical that can damage the health of your fish. You do not need to place a large log you have found in the backyard. The large driftwood even thoroughly soaked still contains buoyancy.

How do you sterilize driftwood?

You can sterilize the driftwood by placing it in the bucket containing disinfectant for a few days. After that, you can boil it or bake it. The driftwood is sterilized.

Will Driftwood rot in an aquarium?

Yes, but the process is quite slow. The driftwood is made for such purposes. Driftwood rots slowly because it is so designed for it. You can see the routine of the driftwood if you use it for years and years.







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