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What To Do with an Old Aquarium? Make a Terrarium!

By SCurtis
October 17, 2014

You can turn an aquarium into a beautiful living terrarium full of plants, and it can include fish, frogs, and other small amphibians.

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Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
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KyWoods
Oct 17, 2014 2:04 PM CST
I wish I had thought of it before giving away my 40 gallon long turtle tank.... Blinking
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Oct 17, 2014 3:20 PM CST
Nice job, very creative, I love the looks of your beautiful terrarium creation! Thumbs up I've enjoyed terrariums for many years and I still have two old aquarium/terrariums but mine are not so creative, all I do is put pebbles in the bottom of the glass containers for drainage, add the soil and then plant directly into the soil. It would be fun to have one with a water-fall feature!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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Horntoad
Oct 17, 2014 11:01 PM CST
I have a 55 gallon that I wanted to make into a terrarium. I was just going to put a layer of potting soil and plants. Now I guess I will put that idea on hold, while I plan something a little better.
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Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 18, 2014 6:32 PM CST
Thanks guys! Smiling If you have any questions whenever you go on your terrarium venture feel free to ask. I have now made 2 so I'm still learning but really enjoying this new hobby. We will be putting in our frogs before winter (can't ship when hot or cold so will be buying soon) I'll try to post pictures of them in there when we get them. Also, working on trying to get some plants that will stop dieing, got 2 in there that are close to dead and the rest thriving, pretty weird but work in progress
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 18, 2014 6:57 PM CST
Which plants in your terrarium are dying? Maybe someone here would have ideas or suggestions as to why those particular ones aren't thriving.

LOL, I'd purchase a terrarium like your beautiful creation ... but I have to admit that I'd probably never make one. I'm old and lazy and have a very short attention span so Whistling knowing me like I know me, I'd start the project (with the Great Stuff Foam) and then I'd get sidetracked and it would still be sitting unfinished six months later. *Blush*

What kind of frogs are you adding to your terrarium? I put a little anole lizard egg in one of my terrariums a few years ago and it hatched. My husband caught live moths from around the porch lights which we fed to little "Lucy Lizard" (as we named it) through the winter months and then we released her outside when the weather got warm in the spring. I found a little lizard egg in one of my container plants on the deck yesterday and thought about placing it in one of my terrariums but nowadays we just don't have time to catch moths to feed it (if it did hatch) so I just left the egg in the planter.

I hope you will share more photos of your terrarium when you get the frogs; It's really a beautiful terrarium!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Oct 18, 2014 8:21 PM CST
When my son was young, we had frogs, and we had to move their terrariums as far away from the bedrooms as possible, because they would "croak" all night and keep us awake. Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Oct 19, 2014 6:51 AM CST
KyWoods said:When my son was young, we had frogs, and we had to move their terrariums as far away from the bedrooms as possible, because they would "croak" all night and keep us awake. Rolling on the floor laughing
Now I didn't even think about that! As much as I like the croaking of some frogs I don't think I'd want to be kept awake all night by the noise.

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 20, 2014 4:53 PM CST
Sorry I've been out of the country this weekend but now I'm back and can reply more. One of the plants I believe died because the mister wasn't quite misting it. Then we thought the terrarium was flooded because the water level was quite high so we turned off our mister and hand misted to try to get the water level back down. I'm guessing the plants liked it semi flooded we lost one and another looks sad. I can take some pictures of the one that is sad but I was just thinking of buying 3 more plants when I get the frogs. I'm planning on putting poison dart frogs in there. If born and bred in captivity they aren't poisonous and the ones we are looking at getting aren't that loud supposedly. Our terrarium is in the living room anyway so if they chirp a bit it'll be ok. There's three different sizes supposedly you can't mix the sizes and some you can't mix at all because they'll fight when full grown. So we are going with the medium sized ones that do the best together. They're primarily the yellow jacket colored frogs. We are hoping we can also get s blue one but we'll see Smiling
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 20, 2014 5:00 PM CST
And plantlady, that's so cool you used to get lizard eggs! I wouldn't even know where to look growing up I have had many types of lizards and bearded dragons id love a terrarium for some of them, maybe I'll make a live terrarium for some anoles next or a snake?

I also bet you can buy terrariums premade I have no idea how much they'd go for. It really isn't hard if you buy a fully glass enclosed terrarium with light first. It'd be more pricey than just converting one. But then all you'd have to do is great stuff cut holes for pots then cocofibre then plant! :)
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss
Name: Renée
Northern KY
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Kentucky Sempervivums Cat Lover Dog Lover
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
KyWoods
Oct 23, 2014 2:27 PM CST
I had a poison dart frog, but he didn't make it because the pinhead crickets were too big! I was later told that they eat fruit flies. Wow. I hope you have better luck than I did. I had a couple of red-eyed tree frogs ($35 ea.) that the seller said my turtle would not bother. He ate both of them! Grumbling
Maryville, Tn (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Canning and food preservation Dog Lover Composter Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SCurtis
Oct 23, 2014 4:17 PM CST
OH NOOO Angry Sad Sad . So sad about the tree frogs! Well I knew about the fruit flies, I already have a bucket o worms for vermicompost so why not bring on the flies?
Have a black thumb except for vegetables and that's even a hit or miss

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