To make driftwood sink in a water tank, you can try adding weights to the pieces of wood, submerging it in water, or boiling the piece of driftwood for about two hours to make it sinkable. In order to help you understand the process better, we have narrowed down all the methods and steps on how to make driftwood sink for you below. So without any further ado, let’s dive right into the topic.

How to Make Driftwood Sink: Eight Ways to Achieve It

Making a driftwood sink is not a challenging task, but it does require some patience and expertise. How much effort you need to put in making it sink depends upon the kind of driftwood you’re using. For example, driftwoods that are highly porous would sink faster than the less porous ones.

Similarly, some driftwoods are stubborn when it comes to sinking, and you might need to weigh down driftwood in an aquarium. We have narrowed down some ways to make your driftwood sink. They are as follows:

1. By Soaking

The easiest method to let your driftwood sink into water is to soak it. Since driftwood is lighter than water and floats, you need to keep it under the water for a certain period till it submerges completely.

The main reason for the light weightiness of driftwood is that it traps air bubbles inside, making it harder to sink. Once it is dipped in, the water takes the place of the air stored inside and becomes waterlogged, causing the piece of wood to sit at the bottom.

If the driftwood resists pressure above it constantly, you will need to add weight to it. Also, in case the piece of wood gives out a muddy-like color or tannins, avoid putting it straight into the aquarium.

Place it in a large container so the wood submerges, and the entire color is leached out. Once you see no more tannins dissolving, you can put the driftwood back into the aquarium.

You might need to hold it under the water until it becomes utterly waterlogged and sinks. But how long does it need before submerging?

Time Required for Driftwood to Soak

The time it needs to soak mostly depends on the kind of driftwood you’re dealing with. Some woods would need only 20 minutes, and others might never even submerge until you apply external force.

The average period a wood requires to sink can range anywhere from two days to two weeks for highly porous woods. It may even need up to a month or two until even the most porous driftwood submerges completely.

2. By Boiling

Another method most commonly used to make driftwood sink faster is to boil the wood. To boil driftwood, you need a large pot, and you need to boil the piece of wood for about 30 to 120 minutes, depending upon the hardness of the driftwood.

If the driftwood is larger than your pot and you cannot get your hands on a bigger pot, you can try boiling each side of the driftwood individually. This means you need to do a double set of hard work, that’s going to be costing you more time and energy.

Once the driftwood has boiled:

  • Drain the water and move the piece of wood into a cold water container.
  • Before you put it in the aquarium, make sure it can sink. If it doesn’t sink, add weights inside the driftwood so it sits down and saves you the trouble of making it sink by other means.

Advantages of Boiling the Driftwood

  • Boiling helps in fading out the tannins of wood that could endanger the lives of your fishes and could cause your water to look muddy at all times. Most people do not consider boiling their driftwoods and then complain about their fishes being unhealthy due to the driftwood’s mud.
  • Boiling driftwood also rids the fungi and algae hidden in corners of the wood, sterilizes it, and makes it less harmful.

However, some fishes prefer to live in water with a slight tannin-like shade. These include fishes from the wild like angelfish, tetra, and others.

3. By Using Tiles

If boiling driftwood isn’t your thing, you can try nailing the piece of wood to the bottom to get driftwood to sink.  Take a floor tile and drill it to make a hole for a nail. Similarly, make a hole at the bottom of the driftwood and tightly screw it with the tile. This will keep both driftwood and tile in place.

Next, place the driftwood and the tile at the bottom of the aquarium. To stop the tile from moving or floating in the water, add some substrate. This would keep it down. And just like that, it’s done. You can either keep the tile there or remove it after a month or two once you think the wood has completely soaked.

4. By Putting Stones Over It

If you’re a nerd, you would be familiar with the Archimedes principle. To make something weigh more than the water around it, add more weight to what you’re trying to submerge. This implies that you would have to place a heavy rock or two to three small stones on it to keep driftwood from floating.

This would increase the overall weight of the driftwood and force it downwards. As a result, the piece of wood would give in to the weight and begin sinking.

5. By Making Holes In It

To bring the floating driftwood to the bottom of the aquarium, use a drill machine to make some holes in it. This will allow the water to pass in and out of the piece of wood and make it easier to sink by increasing its weight.

Make sure you don’t poke too many holes as that would ruin the quality of your driftwood. A few small holes would do the work. This is the go-to technique of experts who deal with this process every day.

6. By Gluing It Down

This method is better for smaller pieces of wood since things might get complicated if you try using it on bigger pieces of wood. You can use aquarium glue to anchor driftwood in the aquarium at its bottom.

However, keep in mind it can make your driftwood dirty and difficult to clean since aquarium glue isn’t easy to take off. Or, if that doesn’t suit you, you can stick some weights to the driftwood that keep on pushing it downwards.

The glue will keep everything in place for as long as the surface of the water tank is free from debris and gunk, and the driftwood is of unwavering quality. Also, since aquarium glue is being used, you don’t need to worry about the adhesiveness of the glue dying off or the driftwood floating.

To avoid any toxic chemical production in water, use super glue or cyanoacrylate gel for the best experience. When in contact with water, super glue becomes inert and forms solid bonds with the substance attached. You can even use epoxy as a substitute.

7. By Entangling in Plants

Most plants used in aquariums are strong enough to easily hold the driftwood within them. If the driftwood you’re using is small, you can fix it up in the plants such that it would not move from the place. If that doesn’t work, you can use a fishing line to keep things in control.

The best part about this method is that it is all-natural, as it mainly occurs in lakes and oceans. In fact, it is the only way that wood remains underwater in ponds, etc. The plants entangle the piece of wood and keep it there.

8. By Tying It

You can anchor your driftwood by tying it to an anchor point in the water tank. But if you get the driftwood from the aquarium store, you would not need to anchor it. The ones sold in the aquarium stores are specifically made for fish tanks and submerge quickly.


In our guide, we have covered eight of the most prominent and successful ways to submerge driftwood. Let’s review these so you don’t miss any of the information we provided:

  • You can make a driftwood sink by soaking it in water and adding some weight
  • Boiling the driftwood allows it to become waterlogged and resultantly, it sinks
  • You can use slate tiles to fix the driftwood at the bottom of the aquarium
  • Taking into account the shape of the driftwood, you can place a rock or a couple of stones on wood to make it sink
  • Use a drill machine to make a hole in the driftwood. This would allow water to pass & increase weight
  • Glue the driftwood down using epoxy or super glue
  • You can entangle the piece of wood in plants to keep it in place, or you could tie it to an anchor point

Buying fish and caring for them is fun, and that includes spoiling them with everything that makes them happy. We hope this article helped you the way it should have, and you know everything about how to make driftwood sink.

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