So since long I had been eyeing terrarium’s on reddit and I was really excited to build one my self. I even got a plant from Ikea and was planning to plant it inside a Jar. As I was waiting to buy the substrate locally, I watered and planted the plant regularly and it really grew well outside. So I thought of keeping the plant potted and try something new for my terrarium.
I decided to do a little aquarium in a jar (hence ‘Jar’rarium) but only with plants. I didn’t want any fishes inside since the carafe has almost no swim space. I also wanted this to be self sufficient system which sould be completely closed so I decided to get some critters to recycle the plant waste. I wanted to get little shrimps but they weren;t available so I got an Apple snail, I still dont know whether it will survive but I feel it should work. Worst case scenario I’ll have to abandon the idea of a closed system and feed the snail some fish food. I started by myself and found out r/jarrarium which has excellent resources and ideas.
Since this was a completely water based system most of the supplies were sourced from an aquarium. I planned to collect these naturally from multiple lakes around Hyderabad but I’ll do it once this project shows some success.
- You’ll need a good jar, plastic can work but the best option I feel is a glass jar. I bought a 1 Litre Carafe (just a fancy bottle with cork stopper) from Ikea with a cork stopper. This looks great and should work for my purpose.
- You’ll need a good substrate to plant the aquatic plants in. Ask the aquarium guy and he should be able to provide some soil which is generally sold by weight. I got half a kg soil for roughly 150 Rs. The soil is in form of granules and has infused nutrients for proper plant growth.
- I bought some pebbles to cover the top soil. This too is easily obtained from any aqaurium.
- You’ll now need some live aquatic plants which I brought from the aquarium. You can choose according to your asthetic choice for your jarrarium. I bought the cheapest plants as starter. There are two plants which need to planted in substrate and the other float freely near the water level.
- I brought an apple snail which I planned to keep as a scavenger. This was an impulse purchase and the aquarium owner assured me that any container would work. I read extensively about how to care for them and I came to the conclusion that the bottle is far to small to contain it. I returned it to the plant store and plan to get some smaller snail which are generally considered pests.
- I also brought some COs tablets from amazon to ensure the plants grow well. Here is a link
- I also brought a marimo moss boll off of amazon which looks incredibly cool and are very easy to maintain. You can order them from (this)[https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07DVYYMN7/ref=pe_3025041_185740121_TE_item] link. I’ll add this later though and post an update.
The procedure in this case is quite simple and I mostly hacked together this solution after looking over some youtube videos, blog posts and the incredibly useful ebook which I have added in resources.
- Get the substrate ready. The substrate varies and the best option is getting some live soil from a nearby pond. I plan to this soon but for now I got the aquarium substrate mentioned above. You basically rinse the substrate and put it in the bottle using a funnel (or do some jugaad and make it out of paper like I did)
- Prepare the pebbles by washing them in a bucket. Before you add pebbles using funnel plant the plants which need to be rooted in a substrate. Once the plants are embedded add the pebbles.
- Finally add water slowly using a funnel, taking care so that you don’t disturb the substrate. Once you add water add the floating plants and you should be done. You can also add any invertebrates like shrimp, snail etc. after you add water.
- Place somewhere with enough light or add artificial light to make sure plants grow well.
This looks pretty neat and I have some ideas which would make it lok even cooler. You can make a completely natural Jarrarium where you source your supplies from local ponds, this is a very interesting project and I might give it a go sometime later.
- Very good ebook with basically everything you’ll need to get started