No space wasted!

So I have decided to try building a terrarium. I have a very small fish tank that is about ½ to 1 gallon. It is also an unusual shape.


Top view of the ‘fish tank’ with just the base rocks in it.

The first steps I have taken was empty the tank, as it has sat around running, full of water, with no fish, for about 2 years.

Now with a clean tank, I took some lava rocks, about 1 inch, and put a layer of them on the very bottom. Next I took the small amount of aquarium rock that was part of this ‘kit’ and layered it over the lava rock. This should supply a nice base for excess water to drain through. The lava rock I included because I have noticed it is a lot like a sponge, and I think it will help maintain the water needs.

I have a red ant toy sitting in the tank, part for scale when I go to look at rocks or other things for the tank, and part because it was on the counter where I was working.


Side view of the base rocks, and a small toy red ant.

Then next thing I will need to do is add a layer of charcoal. This will help keep the soil, and the tank from getting foul.

Then a layer of spanguim moss. This moss is a lot like coconut fiber used in hanging baskets. It will prevent the soil from packing into the rocks below, yet still allow for drainage.

The soil I am planning on using will be a combination of bonsai soil, and sterile potting soil, with no fertilizer.

I am hoping to put in 2 small ferns, on in  the back corners, then I would like to have some soft green moss on a rock in the center rear. The rest of the soil I will cover with a small ground cover similar to the creeping jenny I already have. I may even use that, as some of the ‘fairy’ garden plants are pricy.

The other option is if I find some succulents that have a bit of a tropical look, I may use them. The succulents may be easier to obtain.

… Later


You can see the layers in this picture.

So I have layered charcoal, then some of the spanguim moss and then some regular potting soil. This has brought the level up quite a bit in the terrarium. I didn’t expect it to be so high. Of course I also didn’t think of all the layers really needed.


I ordered some “Lucky Bamboo” and pillow moss to plant. The bit of research I did on the Lucky Bamboo (dracaena braunii) is not really bamboo. This plant is normally seen in a dish with some small rocks for stability, and just water. In my research I found that well-drained soil will actually be better for the plant. And as a gardener, that just makes sense to me. I never thought this was a true water plant.


Lucky Bamboo (dracaena braunii)

I have put 10 stalks of the lucky bamboo in the terrarium. They are planted deep, and are still poking out the top of the container. I had originally thought I would have a lid on this, but It seems that the plants are just a little too tall for that.

I think it looks kind of cute. I will be interested to see how it does.

Hope you enjoyed this project, I know I did.


End result! 4 layers of base material than moss and lucky bamboo.


A small LED light is hanging out being a cute light at night.



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