Closed Terrarium Care Tips – The Ultimate Guide

For the long-term success of your beautiful closed terrarium here are some tips.

Closed Terrarium Care Tips


  • Don’t expose your closed terrarium to direct sunlight. Indirect diffused light is good.
  • Direct sunlight will kill the plants and critters inside due to the severe greenhouse effect caused by the closed glass container.
  • Use white LED or CFL overhead lighting instead.
  • Full-spectrum aquascape LED lights are even better.
  • They will mimic the condition of natural daylight.
  • Invest in a timer for consistent photoperiod of 8-12 hours every day. Timers are very cheap to buy.


  • The closed terrarium is watered when it is built, just before closing up. No further watering is needed as long as it is closed.
  • Water replenishment needed only for moisture loss during the maintenance. A good water balance is key for a successful terrarium.
  • Use only reverse osmosis ( RO) for terrariums. Tap water will leave salt deposits which can kill plants if concentration increases.
  • Distilled water or collected rainwater is even better.
  • The terrarium will have some condensation on the glass walls. It is normal and is an indication of the cycle inside this ecosphere.
  • Typically noticed in the mornings and clears up during the day.
  • However, if the condensation is too much it needs to be wiped up.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to clean extra condensation or leave the terrarium open for some time to let excess water evaporate.

Choice of Plants

  • Use only compatible and tropical plants in closed terrariums. Cacti and Succulents are a strict “no-no” for closed terrariums.
  • Ferns are good. Fittonias are good too. You can also take different types of moss.
  • Aquatic plants like Anubias, Nana, lvys, and creeping figs also do very well in terrariums.


  • Maintenance is needed once 4-6 months.
  • Keep the glass clean so that light can get through.
  • Trim overgrown plants and leaves once in 4-6months depending on plant growth.
  • Clean the inside of the glass during maintenance.


  • Springtails are the cleaning crew for your terrariums. They feed on mold and decaying matter and keep the terrarium fresh.
  • If you don’t have springtails avoid wooden hardscape in your terrarium. Use only rocks and stones. They will not develop mold.
  • Limit usage of moss too if you do not have springtails.

Remember these tips and enjoy your hobby.

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