How to prepare a snag for an aquarium with your own hands


How to prepare a snag for an aquarium?

Snags in the aquarium look beautiful and natural, if properly prepared. All that is required is to find a natural branch or root of a tree in a natural pond, process them and put them in water. This decoration has useful properties that will lead to the balance of the aquatic environment inhabited by fish. Snags for an aquarium maintain a healthy equilibrium of the ecosystem, they develop beneficial microorganisms.

Beneficial features

Snags will help strengthen the immune system of fish. Flooded fragment of wood gradually produces tannins, which form a weakly acidic microflora, creating an obstacle to the development of pathogenic bacteria. Also useful are fallen leaves of trees that can be laid out on the bottom of the tank. They paint the water, giving it a slightly brown tint.

See how to make an aquarium with the help of kryag.

Snags for aquariums can lower the pH of the water. As you know, many freshwater fish live just in the water slightly acidic. Recreation of the conditions of the natural biotope is useful for the life and health of pets. A sunken snag of wood can be found on any body of water - in a river, lake or in a pond. Wooden decorations are used as places for sheltering fish and their fry, in some cases they form a feeding environment for pets. Ancistrus cannot live without wood, they collect a layer from its surface that helps digestion.

What are suitable snags

How to prepare a snag for an aquarium? Very simple, if you find exactly the one that would be most suited to the size of the tank. In the forest areas, near the shores of water bodies, large specimens are often found. Snag for aquariums can be bought at the pet store or on the market. Wood from pine needles (spruce, pine, cedar) is not suitable for an aquarium. It can be processed, but the process will be long. Resins that produce coniferous trees can be detrimental to the health of fish. How long do I need to process the needles? More than 10-12 hours.

It is recommended to install a snag in an aquarium of deciduous trees: beech, oak, willow, apple, pear, maple, alder, plum, vine. A snag for hardwood aquariums (willow and oak) would be the most suitable option. Soft wood will quickly fester and decay, and only spoil the water.

You can buy a snag for aquariums from foreign tree species - mangroves, mopani, ironwood. Mopani has a significant drawback - it paints water strongly, but it is hard and long stored. It is undesirable to use live branches of trees, only dry wood is useful. It is possible to dry a felled twig in the sun, if the air temperature and lighting allow.

How to process wood

How to make a snag for aquarium? If you accidentally notice a rotten area or rotting bark on a tree, it is recommended to remove it immediately. The bark of the tree is still peeled off and disappears, and rot will spoil the composition of the aquatic environment. If spoiled bark is difficult to remove, but for the beginning it is better to boil it. How long to boil? It may take several hours, then it will soften and easier to remove.

Since dry snags weigh easily and float to the surface of the water, they need to be soaked in a solution with salt and boil so that they can sink. For this you need 300 grams of salt. It should be added to water in proportions of 1 liter. How much time to digest? Perhaps more than 8-10 hours. When the water evaporates, you need to add new water. Then check if the tree is sinking - if not, continue to boil it. Purchased snag should also be processed in a similar way. Buy special roots and wood for fish, not treated with chemicals.

See how to prepare a snag for an aquarium.

Causes of water staining

If the water paints a new snag in the aquarium, then it produces dye tannins. They are harmless, but they will change the parameters of water. A tree does not paint a pond if it is dipped in boiled water for a few more days. Observe at this time whether the water continues to change its color. If the color colors a little water, it is a natural process. When he paints her in a rich brown color, then wood should be soaked for several more days. How many days it will take depends on the type of wood and its size, but making quality material requires patience.

How to install

A snag for an aquarium is easily fixed with its own hands if it is well cooked. When it is impossible to do this, you have to resort to other actions - to flood it or to push it to the bottom. It is not recommended to put a snag in an aquarium in a corner - there the tree will swell and increase, squeezing out the glass.

To aquarium aquarium can be attached with a string, attached to a stone. It is also possible to bury it in the ground, or use suckers, but this method is not very reliable. Sometimes a moss is attached to the aquarium cage, which over time will grow itself with the help of rhizoids.

Changes in water and wood in an aquarium

When using poor-quality material, water will start to emit an unpleasant smell. Then the snag is removed from the tank, dried in the air or in the oven. Sometimes snags paint a pond in a dark color - this is a consequence of the natural process, when tannic dyes stand out. If the snag itself darkens, it can be cleaned, but it is advisable to leave it and see if it has begun to rot.

In the event that the water began to turn green - this is a signal for the development of green algae. They are not dangerous, but sometimes accumulate heavily, spoiling the appearance of the tank. In order to avoid landscaping, it is better to reduce the number of daylight hours, because cyanobacteria develop with abundant lighting. The wood can be removed for a while from the aquarium, and cleaned with a scraper.

DIY aquarium snag

Nature does not repeat anything. And even a small piece of dry wood is unique. The intricate creation of the flora and the imagination of man can create a miracle. Your aquarium will not be like any other. And a small snag will take in it a worthy place. Making aquarium snags is a job that is best done before its launch. We have two ways: either we choose from something that catches our eye, something suitable, or we are carefully looking for the option that we already see in our imagination.

Master class - how to make a snag for an aquarium with your own hands?

The first step is very important. It is to find the right wood. Where to get a snag for an aquarium? The best material is the one that has been in the water for quite a long time, willow and carp branches are perfect. Therefore it is necessary to make an excursion to the river or swamp. In a pinch, you can use solid wood walnut or pear, but in any case not oak, as it contains a lot of tannins. Freshly broken or only cut branches of trees are not suitable for an aquarium, as the organic and mineral substances in them will negatively affect all living things in a pond.

Found a piece of the trunk or branch must be delivered home with the least loss of moisture, and then do nothing else, how to prepare a snag for the aquarium.

Customize found by the size of the aquarium. And then, taking into account your plan, we delete the extra branches. To make everything natural, it is advisable to do the work without improvised means. If you can't do without a hacksaw, you will have to disguise a beautiful saw cut. Sometimes resort to obzhogu. After that, it is soaked for several days with a constant replacement of water and removal of the charred layer. A snag after such processing will look not only beautiful, but also last longer.

Then, our material needs quite a long time (10-12 hours) to be decontaminated in a saturated solution of table salt. In medical institutions prepare such a solution at the rate of 400 g of salt per 1 liter of water.

To prevent the snag from being filled with harmful substances, it is recommended to use only stainless steel or enameled ware. The darker color of the wood will be obtained if we add potassium permanganate to the water.

To snag rid of salt, boil it already in fresh water, changing it several times.

Then we soak for at least a day, or even three under the yoke of environmentally friendly material.

In this case, again, several times a day we do a water change. The wood will accumulate moisture, and we will not be bothered by the question of how to drown the snag in the aquarium.

After all the procedures done, the snag for the aquarium is ready with your own hands. We need to fix it and do the decor.

A snag for an aquarium do it yourself photo video description.

Snags for aquarium

Snag on the bottom of the aquarium, of course, make the interior decoration of the aquarium more attractive. As a rule, it is a dead, water-saturated part of the tree. Therefore, unlike living shoots, the snag immediately sinks into the water and does not need to be anchored.

It will remain lying in one place until its owner or its underwater inhabitants are moved. Each snag has a unique shape, so it can be used to create the most bizarre structures. What tree to make a snag for an aquarium? If the reader is going to use snags from trees that grow near his house, then we can recommend species with dense wood (oak, maple, ash, elm, hazel). Pine, spruce or larch have loose wood, so they will quickly rot and form a lot of bacterial plaque in the aquarium.

In addition, they contain resins, the effect of which on hydrobionts is unknown. It is worth considering that walnut, red oak, cherry and other trees with dark wood emit a lot of tannins. They can be useful to aquarists who contain South American cichlids. Depending on the origin, there are several types of koryag. All of them are formed from the branches and trunks of various tree species as a result of rotting under water or wind erosion and abrasive sanding on land. Snags, which belong to the species of trees of European forests, are usually characterized by simplicity of shape and small size.

In some cases, they have good buoyancy, and therefore need to be drowned. The first method of sinking is tying weights. Over time, up to a week for small branches and a few months for large drifts, they lose their buoyancy. A faster method involves drilling multiple holes, which are then filled with silicone or metal objects (bolts). The roots of the African savannah. Also a very common type of snag.

These roots drown themselves. They do not look like ordinary snags, because gnarled on one side and smooth on the other. Malaysian wood is harvested in the mangrove forests of southeast Asia. It looks like ordinary snags, but it sinks on its own and has elongated, dark branches. Mangrove snags strongly dye the water dark and reduce the pH of the medium. This does not necessarily harm the inhabitants of the aquarium, because some tetras and dwarf cichlids, by contrast, prefer sour-colored water.

Reddish and brownish wood driftwood from Desmodium unifoliatum. Straight from Vietnam for 10 bucks per kilogram (ill. Mangrove snags from Malaysia (ill. Dried Malaysian lianas (ill. Snags made from Mopane wood are often sold under the name African Wood. Do not confuse Mopane wood with savanna roots. It looks like an ordinary snag, but it sinks on its own.

The dried trunk and branches of Mopane have ribbed appearance, cavities and dark color. The age of African wood is usually over 100 years old, so it is expensive. Although less so than Malaysian, African wood lowers the pH of the water.

If you need to avoid this, snag boil. Snags Mopane "Do not boil, make people laugh!" (WhiteDevil; Ill. That's better. Mopane Coarse Aquarium (Ill. David Raynham, Flickr) Wood with overgrown is not a special type of wood. It is formed naturally, in the course of fouling of snags with aquatic plants, or aquarists specifically create it by implanting Anubiasa bushes or Javanese moss.

The coconut shell also belongs to wood, although hardly anyone has enough imagination to call it a snag. However, in this article it is worth mentioning the shell. It is usually used in the creation of single submarine cave or substrate for spawning. The parameters of water shell practically does not affect.

Pluses snags in the aquarium

  • Complete look and unique design of the aquarium.
  • Additional places for recreation, games, hide your pets, and in some cases and for spawning.
  • Soften water by increasing its acidity naturally. Most fish, especially freshwater, live in nature in open reservoirs with trees growing along the shores. The branches and leaves fall into the water and lie there for years and decades, creating the optimal composition of water and the conditions for the life of its inhabitants.
  • Prevention of diseases of the digestive tract in some species of fish (for example, catfish) due to their eating of wood fibers.
  • The possibility of increasing the ornamental aquatic plants and moss.
  • Creating an environment unfavorable to harmful bacteria and microorganisms (treated wood emits small amounts of tannins and tannins, which disinfect water, but are safe for fish) and lightly dye the water in pleasant brownish-golden hues (if you don’t want it, you can choose a tree species, which will leave the water clear).


    Technically, after boiling, a snag can be added to an aquarium, but as you already know, snags release tannins into the water. It is very desirable, after you boil it, put it in water for a couple of days. During this time, you will see if it paints water. If it is slightly colored water, then this is normal and acceptable, but there are varieties that bring the water color to literally brown. In this case, the recipe is one - soak the snag, preferably in running water or in water that is often replaced. How long it takes depends on the type of wood and its size, but this should be done until the water becomes light enough. It is possible to speed up the process and boil it again.


    It rots a snag in an aquarium. Most likely you used an undersized snag. It must be removed and dried well, if a little can be done in the oven.


    Then it is either cut into several parts, and then fastened back, or boiled by dipping different parts into boiling water alternately. If your snag is very large, then you can pour boiling water over it and place it in the aquarium, flooding it with the help of cargo. But, remember that in this case, you risk quite strongly, as bacterial outbreaks can be, so any filth that affects your fish.


    Very often moss is attached to a log in an aquarium, for example, Javanese or other plants on snags in an aquarium. It looks amazingly beautiful. But many do not know how to properly attach the moss. There are several options: a cotton thread, after a while it will rot, but the moss has time to attach to the bark with the help of rhizoids. If you need a more reliable option, you can use a fishing line, it is generally forever. Some moss just ... stick with superglue. However, this method is much more convenient, but there is a risk of poisoning the water with the toxins contained in the glue.


    This is a natural process, even the snags of light tones darken with time. You can peel off the top layer, but this will only help for a while. Simply leave it as it is.


    Most likely the case in algae, which covered its surface. They cover the glass in the aquarium and the stones look like green dots on the glass. You can get rid of them simply by reducing the length of daylight and the power of lighting. Excessive light in the aquarium is the cause. Well, just clean the snag by removing the top layer from it.

    What kinds of fish need snag?

    Of course, any fish will be more fun, and the owner is more interesting to watch pets if the snag becomes part of the interior of the aquarium. But there are certain types of fish that snag just needed.

    Thus, various types of catfish use scurf formed on the surface of the snag as an additional feed, and the thinnest upper layers of wood as a source of dietary fiber. These are such fish as Panak, Orinok catfish, catfish Ancistrus, cuckoo catfish.

    Many fish that in natural conditions prefer to spawn in the roots of fallen trees in the water, old snags, gladly do the same in artificial environment. This is a large group of fish of the perch family (gourami, glass perch).

    Long and narrow fish of the order of moray eels and eels will also be grateful to you for a labyrinth of roots or small spreading snags and for safe shelter.

    Стоит соблюдать особую осторожность, выбирая размер коряг, если вы содержите очень активных или агрессивных рыб (некоторые виды цихлид, например), поскольку такие питомцы предпочитают скалистые, каменные водоёмы и могут причинить себе вред, поранившись при энергичном движении и драках о выступающие края.

    But here it is enough to follow a simple rule: there should be a little kryag, they should not occupy a large space and have sharp projections. It is better if it is one large uncomplicated and smooth piece of a large branch, without processes.

Choosing and correctly preparing snag: stages

Careful choice

No sane person will put in his first stick in the aquarium. This will instantly destroy the eco-balance and destroy all living things. The choice of snags is one of the key stages, if not the most important, and a number of conditions must be taken into account.

Snag can be bought at the pet store. It is the easiest, but sometimes demanding considerable financial expenses. The most commonly sold snags of overseas wood species: mangrove, mopani.

However, such snags strongly shade the water, sometimes giving it the color of rich tea leaves. When transporting, they catch a lot of harm to the fish, so even the purchased snag will need to be treated and soaked to eliminate these problems.

And if you are not a wood connoisseur, be careful: unscrupulous vendors may offer you the usual local sludge under the guise of an overseas tree, especially in bird markets.

Therefore, it is safer and cheaper to make such a useful decor by yourself.

For an aquarium, the branches and the roots of hardwood trees, willow, apple, and pear, which have lain for a long time in water, are ideal. It is categorically not recommended to use coniferous species - spruce, pine, juniper.

A copy you like you need to carefully examine: too rotten and rotten snags, which simply crumble from the slightest pressure, do not fit.

The wood must be hard, preferably already with beetle and worm grooves - they destroy biological components that can harm the fish. Live branches can not be used.

With a suitable snag, you need to immediately remove all rotted parts, moss, algae and bark.

Preparation and processing

At home, the snag must be thoroughly cleaned, remove the remnants of the bark, so that it remains completely naked. No matter how beautiful the bark looks by itself, in the aquarium it will surely start to rot, and the fish may get hurt on the pop-up pieces.

Then wash the snag under running water and place for some time (30-60 minutes) in a strong brine. Salt strewed until it ceases to dissolve. In this solution, you will then cook it.

Boil snags on low heat, in an enamel or stainless cookware (aluminum is not suitable) for two or three days. The minimum is considered a period of 12 hours, but in this case more is better than less.

Duration also depends on the thickness and size of the snags: some simply do not fit in the pan, so they have to be turned every few hours for steaming all areas, a priori, you need to cook longer. During cooking, add water as needed, as it will evaporate.

For additional disinfection you can add a little potassium permanganate, it will also give the wood a noble dark color.

After boiling the snag is left under running water (from under the tap) with water or placed in a basin or bath with frequent water changes for another week. This is done to remove any salt residues that the snag managed to absorb during cooking. In addition, as a snag is saturated with liquid and in most cases begins to sink.

Before diving into the aquarium, be sure to check if it comes to the surface. After that the snag is thoroughly dried and again checked for buoyancy. Some instances still retain the stubborn ability to float. In this case, the snag will have to be fixed at the bottom of the aquarium.

Also pay attention to the degree of staining of water: a light brownish tint is likely to go away in a few days or water changes in the aquarium. Strongly painting snag needs to be soaked again until it stops toning the water.

Preventing decay

Even after careful processing, there is a risk that rotten or living areas remain inside the snags, which can begin to rot in the aquarium. Therefore, experienced aquarists use 2 ways.

1. Roasting The snag is slightly burned with a blowtorch, either over the entire surface or only from suspicious ends, then placed in water for 2-3 days, periodically wiping the charred areas with a napkin and removing soot.

2. Paraffin. Some for absolute safety pour the entire area of ​​the snag with a thin layer of melted paraffin. This is undoubtedly the most reliable way to prevent any undesirable components from leaving the tree in the aquarium water.

Anchorage in the aquarium

The easiest thing is if the snag has ceased to float. Then you can just put it on the bottom and secure with soil. But often the snag does not want to lie down and rises to the surface of the water. This can be dangerous for residents of the aquarium.

There are several options to tame the recalcitrant:

  • Fishing line You can attach a fishing line to the coarse, and either pin the other end in the ground with a stone, or attach a load to it.
  • Sucker. The option is easy, but unreliable. Over time, any sucker will fall off the surface. Some go to the extreme and stick the sucker or the snag itself directly with glue to the glass: doing so is extremely dangerous for the health of the fish - the chemicals remain chemicals.
  • Stainless Steel Screws. The method is reliable, especially if you make for the snag the base of the treated piece of wood, plexiglass, stone and secure with soil. But here it is important how the quality of the nails or screws corresponds to its name and whether they will rust. If you are not sure, you can fill the attachment points with special silicone that is safe for fish.
Whichever way you choose, remember that you should never fix a snag on the walls of an aquarium - it will swell over time and can squeeze or break glass.

Ornamental plants and moss

If you wish, you can add different types of moss and plants to the root snag, which will give your homely reservoir the look of a real corner of wildlife.

Designer inspiration to you, and always remember the safety of your choice for pet aquarium!




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