Terrariums are wonderful small places for you to grow small plants and even small animals. A terrarium is usually a collection of small plants in a glass container. It is a closed natural environment that can showcase how ecosystems work. Whatever your age, you will be amazed when you witness the smallest things that only come from mother nature, such as photosynthesis, respiration, and even water cycle.
Are you excited about building your own? Before you start, remember that having a terrarium is a responsibility.
Learn how to install terrarium at home with this helpful guide.
The Three Types Of Terrariums
Before knowing how to install terrariums, you have to figure out what type of basic terrarium you are looking for:
- Plant Terrarium – Usually installed with a sealable glass container, plant terrariums contain soil and plants and are often used as decorative items. They are either closed or open, depending on the plants that prefer a certain level of humidity.
- Dry Animal Terrarium – This kind of terrarium is usually recommended for beginners. But always remember that terrariums are a bigger responsibility with animals and pets in it. Dry animal terrariums can include small animals such as geckos, insects, etc. Dry terrariums are easier to maintain compared to wet terrariums. These are not totally dry but are drier compared to wet terrariums. This terrarium has a small dish of water for your pet.
- Wet Vivarium – This terrarium has a portion of the bottom filled with water. It can be made with a glass container or an aquarium tank. The bottom can be filled up to several inches with water. You can include water-loving pets such as frogs or tadpoles.
What Pets Can Live In A Terrarium?
What kind of pets can you add? Not all pets can survive in a terrarium. There are a select few that can thrive in a small environment. When you know how to install terrarium, you will also know what pets you’d like to include. Here are some pets that are suitable for a terrarium:
- Dry Terrarium Pets:
- Small toads
- Hermit crabs
- Land snails
- Leopard Geckos
- Wet Terrarium Pets:
- Small frogs such as Fire Bellied Frogs, Dwarf African Frogs, Green
- Tree Frogs
- Red-Bellied toads
- Insects In A Terrarium:
What Plants Can Live In A Terrarium?
When choosing plants for your own DIY terrarium, you need to find plants that are small enough to fit your tank or glass container. It is advisable that plants should not be touching the sides of your glass container. Your terrarium should not feel cramped.
Another thing to remember is that plants thrive in a humid environment, but plants like cacti and succulents may not do well in such habitats. This is where you need to decide if you want an open or closed terrarium. Here are the best plants for terrariums for beginners when learning how to install terrariums:
- Air plant
- Assorted cacti
- Assorted succulents
- Nerve plant
- Starfish plant
- Moon Valley plant
- Friendship plant
If you are planning to add pets, you may need to purchase the right tank that can house it, and that can provide enough oxygen and warmth.
Build Your Own Terrarium:
Let’s start with building a standard plant terrarium. You will need to find a glass container that you can use. There are a lot of vessels out there. Choose one that is made of transparent material, so you can see the little ecosystem you created. Once you find that perfect vessel, you are ready to start!
Things you need for your terrarium:
- Your chosen glass container
- Pebbles or small stones
- Activated Charcoal
- Potting Soil
- Your chosen small plants
- Small gardening tools.
- Using small stones or pebbles, cover the bottom of your tank with a 1.5-inch layer. It will act as a base and drainage for your plants’ roots. It makes sure that excess water doesn’t stay in the soil and cause plant rot.
- Next, add a thin layer of activated charcoal. Less than half an inch is fine. It will keep the water fresh and will fight off bacteria.
- Next, add a 2.5-inch layer of potting soil. You can purchase from your local gardening shop. Depending on the size of your terrarium, it can be less than 2.5 inches. If you’re using cacti or succulents, there are special potting mixes for these plants.
- Add your plants! Start with the largest plant first. Make a hole in the soil that can fit the roots and cover the base.
- Once you have arranged all your plants, you can add a layer of pebbles on top.
Remember to give it enough water and sunlight. Place it in a bright enough area where it can receive indirect sunlight. Water the base lightly every two weeks, or if you notice that the soil looks a little dry.
Once you have built your own terrarium, you will begin to see how the plants will flourish in a small environment. You may not directly notice it at first, but the humidity level will start to change in your terrarium. The plants take up water through their roots and release it through their leaves. The plants will create its own little ecosystem. Don’t worry if you find condensation on the glass. If you have an open terrarium, it will be evaporated by the sun. Make sure to watch out for molds and rot. If this happens, you need to remove it and rework the ventilation system or change the placement of your terrarium. Remember that molds happen due to excess moisture. Once you get the hang of it, you will know how to install terrarium and tanks easily. We hope you enjoy making your terrariums with this guide! Get more tips on terrariums.