Also, what are good small terrarium/vivarium plants?
What is good for drainage?
And what is good to use as dirt?
On hand I have Schultz aquatic soil, sand, aquarium gravel and large polished rocks, will any of that word as drainage?
As always, thanks in advance!!!
For substrate, I recommend an ABG (Atlanta Botanical Gardens) type of mix - there are places to purchase this already made; I can tell you of one via PM, should you choose this route.
The mix is comprised of:
~2parts orchid bark - drainage
~2parts tree fern fiber - drainage
~1part activated charcoal - drainage and will help absorb excess nutrients until the tank grows in
~1part peat - water/nutrient retention
~1part milled long fiber spagnum - water/nutrient retention
This kind of substrate is often referred to as a soiless mix, as it contains no minerals. So, this mix will remain moist, but has sharp drainage, and provides air spaces that the roots of most terrarium plants appreciate.
Beyond such a well-draining substrate, the only additional drainage layering needed is LECA clay balls or a false bottom to raise the substrate level above standing water, either method should be covered with fiberglass mesh to prevent substrate particles from falling into the water below. This mesh can also be found at HD, in the window dept.
As for plants, there are so many that it could take a new thread or two to discuss... Some generally good types are begonias, bromeliads, aroids (like philodendron, anthurium, singonium, rhaphidophora, etc), orchids, ferns, etc. Of each type I listed there are a number that do well in vivariums and a great number that won't. The best way to start selecting terrarium suitable plants is to browse vendors that sell plants specifically for vivariums, so that you don't pick too many that wouldn't fair well while you are in the early stages of learning.
A good place to find vivarium plant vendors is the links page of www.dendroboard.com
. There you can also find other useful information regarding terrarium culture.
Hope that helps!