Spiderwood – Unique wood with many possibilities

Spiderwood has become a well-known phenomenon in the hardscape world. More and more big names in the Aquascape world are using this beautiful wood to enrich their aquarium. The whimsical and wild shapes ensure that each piece of wood is unique and has its own impact on the aquarium. This wood is particularly suitable for imitating root systems. Something that is almost impossible to do with other types of wood.

The wood is fairly easy to work with, because the wood usually does not have terribly thick pieces such as ‘driftwood‘, which is often solid. The many protrusions create plenty of space for fish and shrimp to hide in between. This wood is also easier to use for Nano aquariums. Due to the size of the wood, you can create quite a bit of depth with little wood.

Read Also: Mangrove Driftwood For Aquarium


Of course, Spiderwood also has drawbacks. Probably the biggest drawback is the buoyancy of the wood. It can take up to a month for the wood to finally sink completely and not float at all. Of course, this process will go faster if you let the wood soak in advance. This reduces the buoyancy and makes it easier to keep it in place. For aquascapers, I would always recommend securing it between the rocks of your aquascape. You can do this by covering pieces of the wood with stone or gluing it with aquarium safe glue. Then you know for sure that it won’t float. Make sure that you let the glue dry well first so that you use the full adhesive power.

When you buy the wood in the store it is often a beautiful golden brown / beige color. Unfortunately, this color will not last. When the wood has filled with water, the color will change to a brown to dark brown color. (depending on the lighting)

Like many other types of wood, you will find a white slime layer on the wood over time with Spiderwood. This is a fungus that grows on the wood and will be gone after about 1-2 weeks. Most snails, shrimp and Otocinclus also eat this fungus, if you need a little extra help. Of course, when you pre-treat the wood, it can also be removed by hand.

A word of wisdom. Keep in mind that if you keep Plecos in the tank, they will pulverize the wood quite quickly. (Depending on the size about a year) It is therefore useful to plan ahead with what you will keep with the aquascape.

Spiderwood in use

Spiderwood is a very versatile type of wood to use. It comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. You often get a very nice picture with one piece, but it only gets really exciting when you start combining pieces. In Europe, Spiderwood is very popular for making trees. This is because the alternative (American Manzanita wood) is often difficult to obtain. By merging Spiderwood pieces into one piece, you can often simulate stumps to entire trees. When you plant this with low-growing mosses and several rhizome plants such as Anubias and Java ferns, you really get the effect of a tree.

Another common use is the counterfeiting of Mangrove. Spiderwood is arguably the most versatile type of wood when it comes down to it. The only thing that could slow you down in use is your own imagination.

Benefits and tips

Unlike the other types of wood, Spiderwood releases virtually no Tannin. As a result, you almost never get that yellow/brown color in the water. Something that naturally only makes aquascapers happy. It is advisable to pre-sink the Spiderwood. Cooking is not necessary. This can even be funnest for the wood. You can throw some boiled water over it to sterilize the wood. Warm water also speeds up the zinc process.

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