Terrarium journal, Starting a new terrarium... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,

I picked up a 40 Gallon (36 x 16 x 16) reptile tank at a yard sale for 25 bucks.

Normally I would fill it with fish and aquatic plants,
but I know that reptile tanks aren't usually strong enough to hold water so I thought I would build a Terrarium.

This will be my first Terrarium in over 25 years.

Heres a pic of the empty tank...

First I put down a layer of gravel...

Then a layer of activated charcoal...

I chose cactus mix because it is free draining and has a lot of pearlite... plus I have a lot of it around

Heres the tank with the first bag of soil in...

I am going to use this piece of driftwood...

Heres the tank with the wood and the rest of the soil...

Another view...

These are the plants I have so far...

After planting, Heres an overall view...

Left close up from the front...

Right close up from the front...

From the right side...

Left from above...

Center from above... The plant in the middle is a Button Fern, Pellaea rotundifolia.

Right from above...

I did a dry stream bed using rocks and aquarium gravel.

I am planning on a cork back ground so I can mount some tillandsias.

I still have to install the cork background and get some Tillandsias to put on the cork.

This will be a plant only terrarium, no critters.

I'm really happy the way it has turned out so far.

Let me know what you think.

Cactusdoug is offline  
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 04:49 AM
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:shock: That is just downright awesome! Even that piece of driftwood works SO perfectly - the way you can "corral" the centerpieces in the hollow parts...

The lighter-green stuff in the foreground - is that Irish moss? And what's the darker-green one? I used to have the pink plants (although a slightly different color/pattern) but after just a few weeks, the leaves got really big and the stems got leggy (long internodes). Is there a way that this can be avoided? The same sort of thing is happening with my Fittonia (nerve plant) right now.

Oh, how gorgeous... Do you have special lighting for it, or can it survive okay on ambient light? I wanted to do something like this with an old 5.5-gallon tank a couple of years ago, but it seemed "too complicated" without visuals. You make it look so easy! How long did it take to put this all together?

Please post more pictures when you get the bark and epiphytes set up. I love it!

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Naomi,

The dark green one is Irish Moss Sagina subulata
The light green one is Scoth Moss Sagina subulata "Aurea"
Neither are true mosses.

The "leggeyness" is caused by lack of light.

Right now I don't have any supplemental lighting, it sits right next to a north facing sliding patio door and gets quite a bit of sun light especially in the late afternoon.
I am looking for a 3 foot shop light type fixture that will hold two bulbs.

The first stage, putting in the gravel, charcoal, soil, and driftwood took about 3 hours one afternoon.

The second stage, doing the planting and the dry stream bed took about 3 more hours on another afternoon, so I have about 6 hours of labor in it.

I'll post more pics as soon as I get the background and Tillandsias installed.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-12-2004, 11:55 PM
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 10:00 AM
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Looks very good.

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