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