One of the best parts of having a turtle is being able to decorate their tank. Since tanks are usually pretty big, there is a lot of real estate to put things inside. In today’s article, we will discuss if you can use driftwood, as well as recommending the best driftwood for turtle tanks.
Can you use driftwood in a turtle tank?
Yes, you can absolutely put driftwood in a turtle tank. Driftwood is common in most aquatic turtles’ natural habitat.
Driftwood is great because it can add to your tanks aesthetic and can also be used for basking.
Best driftwood for turtle tank
The two best driftwood pieces for a turtle tank are the Majoywoo large driftwood and the Large Coral Driftwood pieces.
Both are large in size (around 16 inches long) and can be bought on amazon. If you live near a body of water, you can also try to find your own driftwood. If plan to put driftwood in your turtle tank, you should watch my video below.
Majoywoo large driftwood pieces
This is my favorite driftwood piece for turtles. It comes with two pieces, and they are usually around 14 to 16 inches long. I like that it is a two piece set because you can stack them next to each other to form large structures.
It is natural driftwood pieces that have been coated to make them sturdy and last for long periods of time.
You can buy it online here.
Before you add this driftwood or any piece of driftwood to your turtle tank, it is important that you properly prepare it to help protect your turtle from disease and to prevent your water from turning brown. To learn more, check out my article on how to prepare driftwood for an aquarium.
Large coral driftwood
This large coral driftwood piece is another great option for your turtle tank. It ranges from 14 to 18 inches, which is a great size for your turtle. It also weighs over 1 pound, so you don’t have to worry about it moving around.
The cheapest place to buy this driftwood is here on amazon.
If you want to add plants with your driftwood, you should check out my guide on how to make a bonsai tree for an aquarium.
Can you use driftwood for turtle basking spot?
Yes, you can definitely use driftwood for a basking spot in your turtle tanks. In fact, many turtles in the wild bask on top of driftwood.
That being said, there are a couple things you need to keep in mind if you plan to use driftwood for a basking area.
For starters, you need to make sure the driftwood extends far enough out of the water. You want to make sure your turtle can comfortably fit its entire body on the part of the driftwood that is out of the water.
While turtles are surprisingly nimble creatures, you should try to make sure that the path leading up to the driftwood is relatively smooth. You want to make sure there is a path to walk/swim up the driftwood that easily allows them to reach the top.
Since turtle tanks are usually pretty big, your basking spot might require multiple pieces of driftwood. Luckily, this is pretty easy as you can just stack them next to and on top of each other to reach the desired height. If you do stack driftwood together, make sure that they are firmly stuck together so that the structure doesn’t fall apart when your turtle walks on it.
Lastly, make sure your basking lights are pointed toward the top of the driftwood.
If you notice your turtle not using the driftwood in the first couple of days, it might be better to invest in a turtle basking dock.
Aside from basking, there are plenty of other great uses for driftwood in a turtle tank.
Benefits of using driftwood in turtle tanks
Driftwood usually has plenty of holes in it. These holes offer great spots to put plants inside. This can help transform your tank into a vegetation paradise. You can also grow moss on top of the driftwood.
To learn more about plants, check out my article on the best plants for a turtle tank.
Driftwood can also offer your turtle some underwater hiding spots. It can also offer hiding spots for fish if you decide to put fish in your turtle tank.
Lastly, driftwood can help improve the water quality in your tank. Driftwood has a chemical called tannins, which help reduce the pH in your water. However, they can also cause your aquarium water to turn yellow.
Also, if you put plants on your driftwood, it will help increase oxygen levels in your water.
What to look for when adding driftwood to your turtle tank
If you are looking to add driftwood to your tank, it is important that you choose a piece that doesn’t have a lot of sharp edges. Your turtle can easily cut itself if there are sharp branches.
You should also make sure that your driftwood piece doesn’t extend over the walls of your tank. I have heard stories of turtles escaping from their tank by using driftwood to climb over the tank walls.
While you certainly want a big piece in your tank, you want to make sure that your turtle still has a lot of swimming room. If the driftwood is too big, it will obstruct their swimming lanes. This can affect both their mental health and physical health, especially if your turtle is not able to get enough exercise.
Lastly, you should replace the driftwood when it starts to deteriorate. This is important because you don’t want your turtle to eat the small pieces of driftwood that break off. Also, small pieces of driftwood can obstruct your filter if it gets caught inside of it, which can have detrimental effects on your water quality.