Low cost Terrarium without livestock...advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-18-2013, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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Low cost Terrarium without livestock...advice?

My fiance and I got a premade terrarium as a gift for Christmas. Just one of those blown glass containers with some moss and plants, nothing fancy. Her brother was pretty envious of it. I told him I would make him a cooler one and since he may be coming up soon, I figured I should try to do it.

First and foremost, I am planning to use an old 10 gallon I have laying around. I also have an incandescent hood with some CFL's.

I am not sure if I want to do a terrarium or vivarium. I also have an extra fountain pump laying around so I could create some sort of waterfall or stream in the middle. I could even do a miniature pond and have a good idea of how I would do it easily.

In terms of equipment, I think I have everything I need. I have a good idea of design as well.

Where I am struggling is plants. Part of that is not being familiar with terrarium's/vivarium's. The other part is the person I would be giving it to doesn't have a lot of experience growing plants so I want something you just need to mist from time to time.

I want something that looks like a lush hillside, I could use either moss or something that looks like grass. I know dwarf hair grass has been very easy for me to grow emmersed year round, even without anything keeping the humidity in. I don't know if their is a non aquatic grass that is as thin as DHG that would be easier.

I would also like something that flowers that will stay compact as well as having compact foliage and flowers. Not a must but would be cool. I want to keep the scale as small as possible.

I plan on having a pretty extreme slope if I do a water feature. I am wondering what to do with soil. I have a ton of super hard clay soil I can dig up, I am concerned that potting soil won't hold a slope, especially since this has to be transported 400 miles. I do have Flourite if that helps, or I can mix a bunch of things together.

I guess my idea is a terrestrial take on a mountain scape. Not so much iwagumi with a lot of big rocks, just a few smaller ones. Or big ones that hold the slope. It really will look more like the local hill sides here but I am just saying, big slope and carpet plants.

I know that I have a good idea of what I want ascetically and hopefully I am not over reaching what is reasonable for a first try. I really would like any advice you could give me, especially at a low cost with little knowledge on plant care.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-19-2013, 03:27 AM
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Try ferns maybe. Look at Hydrophyte's thread for some plant ideas. Having NO livestock isn't very good, even a couple of snails would do. Actually, snails isn't quite a bad idea, come to think of it, but a lid would be handy (also to keep in moisture).
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