Driftwood - Problematic, causative factor of BBA?


Guru Class Expert
Aug 2, 2007
Does anyone think that driftwood is problematic (besides leaching tannins and floating etc) and could be a causative factor in promoting/sustaining outbreaks of Black Brush Algae in enclosed aquaria such as we keep?

The volume of our systems is fairly minute in regards to the volume of dead wood that some systems contain. The wood (however slowly) is decaying and releasing/leaching substances into the systems water column. The wood really is in fact just one big dead hunk of plant material that under any other circumstance we would quickly remove.

There are lots of aquaria without wood that are veritable algae farms and on the other hand tanks that carry large driftwood loads that are free of problematic algae. Could that be luck of the draw from the species of driftwood obtained by the aquarist? Good husbandry practices ie Water changes, filtration, CO2 levels etc?

Every tank that I have ever owned that I have used driftwood in, the first thing to get BBA is the driftwood followed by the return bars/overflows of filters and then the older or dying leaves of slow growing plants.

I have read literally hundreds of anecdotal evidence of people having the same experience with DW.

I'd be very interested in your views.