Manzanita Driftwood Origins
The Manzanita Driftwood comes from the Manzanita scrub, which is a small tree that originates in areas of the Western North America. Typically, they grow in California, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Manzanita also grows in parts of southern British Columbia and Washington. Their are numerous different species of Manzanita, of which 95 of them are found in places with a Mediterranean-like climate. The Manzanita can be found on mountainous areas as well as coastal places with somewhat fertile land.
The Manzanita driftwood is a scrub-like tree with many twisting branches growing from its trunk. With a smoothness to the branches usually in a hue of red to orange, it is one of the more sought after hardscapes in the aquascaping world. This is because it is resistant to decomposition over time and also resistant to the leaching of tannins into the water column.
How to use Manzanita in an Aquarium
Manzanita driftwood can be used in a lot of different styles of aquascapes, but it is typically used in Dutch-style aquascapes. Due to how hard it is to buy the “perfect centerpiece” for the aquarium, aquascapers will usually buy a large piece of Manzanita and then cut it to conform to their aquascape. This usually consists of zip-ties, screws, glue, and other hardscapes (like rocks) to make it looklike an ideal aquascape while still being sturdy to do maintenance around.
Manzanita roots and stumps are typically used in nature aquascapes. With thicker limbs, the roots and stumps are great centerpieces while incorporating other types of hardscapes and aquatic plants. Manzanita stumps can be used to create an instant natural shelter if set into an aquarium with a void under it. Aquascapers will also use slow growing plants, moss, and runner plants to make the stump look natural, as if it has been there for years.
Manzanita for Sale & Where to Buy
Manzanita branches can usually be found at craft & hobby shops and pet stores (bird’s section). The thicker branches are typically used for bird perches, but are more expensive. The thinner branches of Manzanita are commonly used for decoration pieces in vases. If you’re looking for Manzanita stumps or specialty pieces used in aquariums, there are online vendors and hobbyists selling them. I have a list of vendors below who offer Manzanita.