Manzanita Aquarium Wood

A much sought after wood in the aquarium trade, Manzanita is chemically neutral. Each piece is sandblasted to remove parasites and excess tannins; while enhancing its natural beauty. Safe for all aquarium fish and invertebrates - it replicates a natural habitat in which livestock will thrive.

Manzanita wood is resistant to leaching of tannins into the water column, a problem found with other aquarium driftwoods. Unlike Grapevine, which is very soft and rots in tanks - Manzanita is extremely dense and remains beautiful under water for many years. 

Fine Aquatics provides Manzanita aquarium wood to stores in bulk, at wholesale prices. We offer four different types of aquarium wood boxes. Below are pictures of the contents of typical boxes of each type of box (with a yellow yard stick shown for scale). The wood in these pictures of typical boxes is dry, and thus not as colourful as the wood will appear in an aquarium. In the other photos of single pieces on this page we have wet the wood to bring out the contrasting red and blond colours, and give a better idea of how the wood actually appears when placed in an aquarium.

Manzanita Branches - "AP2" boxes

Each box of AP2 Aquarium Wood provides a good variety of different sized Manzanita branches as well as some twigs. 

Typical box of "AP2" Aquarium Wood  Typical box of AP2 Aquarium Wood

Roots and  Stumps - "SP2" boxes

The stumps of the Manzanita tree, with their twisted roots, provide the perfect centerpiece to a larger tank. As with any natural material, each piece has its own unique character. A stump with arching roots can offer cover - the perfect cave for the more retiring species of fish. 

Top View of Large Manzanita Stump  Manzanita Stump

With each of our SP2 Roots & Stumps boxes, we include a few large stumps. Then we top the box up with smaller stumps as well as regular twigs and branches to best fill in the gaps between those larger pieces.

  Typical box of SP2 Roots & Stumps

We can also arrange special orders of very large landscape centrepieces that are too large to fit into a regular SP2 box.

Chamise Root Crowns - "BP2" boxes

Chamise Cave  Wet Chamise highlighting red colouration  Chamise stump

Chamise root crowns have a similar hardness to Manzanita but with a surprising, knotty, unique appearance. Chamise root crowns are extremely dense and usually sink immediately, but release more tannins than Manzanita.

  Typical box of BP2 Chamise Root Crowns

Extra Long Manzanita Branches - "AP2 XL" boxes

The AP2 XL Extra-Long Aquarium Wood box is a longer narrower version of the AP2 box. This allows us to fit several very long branches in each box.

  Typical box of AP2 XL Extra Long


Manzanita pieces will sink in a few days to a few weeks - depending on their size. Manzanita releases less tannins than most woods; but some leaching is expected initially. Chamise root crowns usually sink immediately, but release more tannins than the branchy Manzanita product. If you are concerned with tannins or discoloration of the aquarium water, pre-soak the wood for 1-2 weeks in a separate container. 

Please note:Manzanita is a natural wood product and some pieces may release a thin, milky-coloured coating that can be confused with snail eggs. This is completely normal and affects many hardwoods. It is chemically neutral and completely non-toxic to all livestock. There is nothing to worry about and the coating will dissipate in a few weeks. Shrimp, ottos, and plecos love to eat this natural coating while it lasts. Affected pieces can also be removed and pre-soaked in a separate container until the coating dissipates. 


All of our Manzanita wood is harvested from private land in Southern California, in full compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations. It is dried and sandblasted to prepare it for aquarium use.