Aquarium driftwood is a popular choice for most aquarium. mainly because it's an esthetically pleasing addition to the aquarium environment. Wood offers a unique structure for decorative uses in aquascaping your aquarium. It offers a dimensional design element that is hard to duplicate. But it also offers an emotional response that is impossible to achieve with other materials. Next only to the use of plants or the fish themselves, the use of wood in your design will illicit the most positive comments. Many fish like or need to chew on woods. Some fish like to breed in the crevices of wood.
Care is needed when introducing driftwood to the aquarium. Driftwood contains a natural compound called "Tannins"which are released into your tank water as the driftwood soaks. Tannins will stain your tank water a light yellow color or when concentrated - the color of tea. The tannic acid released won't necessarily harm your fish but it can lower the ph and soften your water. These effects may be a plus in some instances depending on the inhabitants. In the case of a cichlid habitant the prescence of buffering substrate should resist the effect of Tannins. Boiling or Soaking are the methods used to remove much of the Tannins present.