Terrarium in a nano aquariumMaking an open terrarium with a nano aquarium is very easy.

Not only does it look beautiful, it also allows to water less frequently thanks to the drainage layer.

It’s easy to find a nano aquarium at a small price on second hand websites.

Pay attention to:

  • Choose plants that require approximately the same culture conditions in terms of light, temperature and water
  • Choose small plants for the foreground, larger plants for the background
  • Do not place your terrarium in full sun: the glass will cause the temperature to rise excessively


  • nano aquarium
  • pebbles, gravel or clay granules
  • soil
  • plants


Wash the nano aquarium thoroughly. I use dishwash soap as it is not toxic.

Stubborn lime deposit can be removed with vinegar.

Then rinse and wipe dry with a clean cloth.

Nano aquarium

Place a drainage layer.

This may consist of gravel for aquariums, pebbles, clay granules… which can be found in DIY shops and pet stores.

2-3 cm height is sufficient but it may be higher.

Drainage layer

Place a layer of soil on top of the drainage layer.

This must be high enough for the roots of the plants.

Top soil

Prepare your plants.


Wrap higher plants in a paper sleeve so they are easier to handle.

Paper sleeve

Now they are easier to place.

Place the plant

Do the same with the other plants.

Other plants

Now all your plants are in the terrarium. The smallest in front, the largest at the rear.

This is the ideal time to clean the glass, before you remove the paper sleeve from the plants.

Everything is planted

The terrarium is finished now and ready to find a nice spot.

Do not place in full sun: the glass will cause the temperature in the terrarium to rise significantly.

Terrarium in a nano aquarium


  • The first time, water to fill the drainage layer. The drainage layer ensures that the soil remains moist but not wet.
  • After that, water when you see that the layer of topsoil has become almost dry or there is no water anymore at the bottom of the drainage layer. I watere this terrarium on average every two weeks.
  • Do not give too much fertilizer to avoid plants to grow to fast. Some plants can be pruned but others, such as the Asplenium and Adiantum, above can not be pruned. They can be replaced when they become too large for the terrarium.