All Things Gardening forum→Terrarium build for baby praying mantis..

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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 5:16 PM CST
This is all tiffany's fault..

Gonna build a terrarium for a single mantis from whatever I have laying around and will document it here. I couldnt find a better sub-forum, so it's going in all things gardening.

***update**** this same build can be modified for any creature that can live WELL in the space you give it... and that depends on the space you give it.
Salamanders, small lizards, bugs that are solitary/ dont depend on a hive, or an ant farm, toads frogs etc.

Best case scenerio matis live 4-6 mos, and winter is coming. This is a temporary build.
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Aug 2, 2021 6:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 5:25 PM CST
Heres when it was a fancy schmacy planted fish tank...
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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 5:27 PM CST
Here it is coming out of the attic today...
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If you dont hear from me for the rest of my life, you know why..
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 5:33 PM CST
Step 1. Get it outside to clean it up
Step 2. PuT IT DOWN! Avoid hernia by removing the rock hardscape for later use.
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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 5:42 PM CST
Once you've carried it down 3 flights of stairs.. continue walking straight to the curb for garbage pick up, lol.
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Seriously thou.. it's not as bad as it looks. It has a sand substrate, and all of the dead moss and fish poop stays.. best pre fertilized fast draining compost rich substrate you cant buy.. I'm going to pull it all out, save it and. Clean the glass with vinegar... be back in an hour...
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Jul 31, 2021 7:37 PM (+)]
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 6:15 PM CST
Before I can clean it, I had to turn it on its side and hit it with a hose hard to get all the residual sand out.. otherwise when I wash the water marks off the sand will scratch the glass.

Clean it with straight white vinegar, then rinse. Let it dry so you can be sure the glass is clean of hard water stains. Ca and Mg buildup is only visible when dry. Wet it looks clean..
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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 6:21 PM CST
While that is drying I'm gonna cover myself in bug spray, make a mojito and go look for the materials.

I want a small waterfall feature, so I need a basin and a pump...
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 6:45 PM CST
A submersible pump is the same as a "power head". head is vertical water lift. I'm going up less than 2 ft and only want a small trickle, so I have a $5 pump and a Tupperware.
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I'll have to find pipe to fit for a riser..

I'm kind of tempted to make it half aquatic, where I create a pond at the whole bottom with supported cantilevered surface that only leaves a maybe 6x6 opening, but from the front will have an entire different underwater view, but maybe next time.. I'm just gonna toss this together in a handful of hours because Tiffany thought it would be fun to see
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 6:48 PM CST
And when you think your 4 hr plans is gonna be easy.. God laughs...

I unplugged a lamp to plug in/test the pump.. look what happened..
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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 7:16 PM CST
Then you hit the firewood pile to peel off bark and find some small branches, pick through your plants to find some that love high humidity.. in the pic I have creeping genny two varieties of wandering jew and hopefully my yellow bromilead will fit. I have some keki on my phalaenopsis that might be ready to live alone and find a place here, but its dark.

If can find an hour or two tomorrow afternoon I'll assemble w substrate, rock and tubing riser for my waterfall, but it's mostly done.. even given the mess I started with and the electrical debacle. Now if the fun part.. just need to finesse
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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 7:29 PM CST
That was all real time. Less than 2 hours, no help, including an electrical disaster and a garbage tank to start. Easy! Nothing is scary, it's totally easy.

The pump probably cost me $5-7 on ebay. Rocks, sticks and bark are all free from any wood pile and a filthy tank you can pick up on the side of the road.

I'll cover it with either or a mix of screen (feel free to use broken pieces)




and pvc shower curtains fastened with clothes pins until I come up with something better.
I am going to reuse the sand for a base and build a hardscape with matching rocks..
The most important thing is rock layout... it's like a house, rocks are the architecture that makes a space, no matter what else you do, you must have good bones..

If I decide im okay with it flooding I may drill some small holes in the bottom of my reservoir to make it a sump.. the sand will filter the rain water, but I dont think I want to do that. I think I'll make the cover 4/5 pvc and 1/5 screen so I can control moisture..
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Jul 31, 2021 9:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Jul 31, 2021 8:02 PM CST
Any questions?
Tomorrow (hopefully, if I have time)
I'm gonna kill it with decor, putting down a substrate which will mostly be play sand ($5 for too many lbs for me to carry comfortably at home depot) rocks, and gathering enough of the bark I decide I like best to make a waterfall. I'll definately burry some cups to use for water rooting cuttings.. I might make the whole thing a sump by drilling holes in the bottom of the waterfall basin, that will give me a nice high humidity rooting space for various cuttings, but then I cant really have any permanent plants. Lots of design to think about, but right now the only thing that's do or die is the cover.. i.e. how much rain control do we want?
The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Jul 31, 2021 10:04 PM (+)]
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Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Tropicals
Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1
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purpleinopp
Aug 1, 2021 8:23 AM CST
I'm blown away! And this is too much responsibility for me, I'll take some of it, but I know there were others involved. Better round up the whole gang. You inspire me, Paula!

👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Fox Valley, North America (Zone 5a)
A garden is more than just plants.
Plant and/or Seed Trader Critters Allowed
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CraftyFox
Aug 1, 2021 9:38 AM CST
Nice project! Can't wait to see the finished result. I've never cultured Mantids before, but I've definitely daydreamed about it. Up here we rarely see them.. I mostly run across Ochthera species here, and only if I'm lucky.

Are you hoping to breed them eventually, or just keeping a specimen for observation?

Who else are you planning to populate the tank with?


You either serve the whole, or you serve the hole.. The difference can be subtle if you don't pay attention.
Name: brenda reith
pennsauken, nj (Zone 7a)
nature keeps amazing me
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breith95
Aug 2, 2021 11:28 AM CST
and I thought I was obsessed..way to go. I tip my hat to you.
listen to your garden
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Aug 2, 2021 4:05 PM CST
This is actually going to be much more self sustaining than any potted plant. Set it up and all you have to do is occasionally refill the reservoir to keep your waterfall going.

I set it up today here's a picture when it was done.
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Forgive me for short messages.. I dont know if the problem is my outdoor internet or the forum, but I keep loosing posts Nd I dont want to type it three times
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Aug 2, 2021 4:15 PM CST
Step one.. tank and location.
You're gonna need a tank and a stable base with access to power for the waterfall pump, out of direct sunlight, preferably dense shade. Mine is on a concrete wall. Otherwise, a cast iron stand, 6-8 cinderblocks (supporting all four corners and NOT touching the bottom glass) you have to support the tanks borders/brackets. Preferably, level it, which is mandatory if you fill it with water, not so much if its 3/4 air
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Aug 2, 2021 4:30 PM CST
Then you build your waterfall basin.

You need a submersible pump (smaller is best), a riser(a tube to bring the water up)
A reservoir; ie a container that is significantly larger than your pump, but small enough to fit inside and shallow enough that you can cover the edges with whatever substrate rocks and other hard scape you pick.
You need a relatively substantial cover support for your waterfall basin, that will take the weight of your rocks, but is open enough to let the water through. I ended up putting a wire plant stand over a frozen eclair bin, but you can see some of the other options I tried, such as PVC unions, an upside down coair basket hanger, upside down terra cottage pots or, if you have enough, pieces of them will all work. Only your imagination (and water flowing downhill) limits you.

You'll notice I have one big rock that is the primary waterfall feature. If you want a waterfall this is mandatory and dangerous... when you test your layout, be Absolutely sure you have some sort of padding to protect the glass on three sides, including the bottom. , I used tree bark, because if it tips and hits glass, it can easily shatter the tank

The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Aug 5, 2021 4:19 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #2566877 (18)
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Aug 2, 2021 4:46 PM CST
Still having site issues.. photo load
Pends forever...trying separate upload
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Name: Paula Benyei
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
Image
Turbosaurus
Aug 2, 2021 4:48 PM CST
Heres a bunch of options I considered just Tupperware and anything that can support/spread some signoficant weight.

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The plural of anecdote is not data.
[Last edited by Turbosaurus - Aug 2, 2021 4:59 PM (+)]
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