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Monday, July 21, 2014

aquarium to terrarium

Well I think most of us have purchased an aquarium at some point in our lives. I bet they are hiding in many basements and attics right now. (I sure see loads of them at yard sales!) Well here is an easy way to turn an ordinary aquarium into an extraordinary terrarium...

Old watertight terrarium
River stones or pea gravel
Plant material
Decorative tape

Before you get started: Check to see if the aquarium is watertight by filling the bottom 2 inches with water. If it leaks, seal the seams with silicone and allow time to dry.

1. Fill the bottom of the aquarium with one inch of clean pea gravel.
2. Add a layer of potting soil.

3. Arrange plant materials and cover all exposed roots with soil.

4. Press gently to fill all air gaps around the roots.

5. Cover the soil with stones and seashells.

6. For a nice finishing touch, cover the top edge of the aquarium with a decorative tape.

7. If you wish to have a terrarium and not just a planter,
cover with a piece of glass.

NOTE: Be sure to choose the plant material wisely. Enclosing a terrarium creates a very damp environment. Plants such as ferns and ivy will thrive while plants like succulents will rot. Research your plant materials to provide the best possible growing habitat.

TIP: When it comes to creating terrariums, be sure to sterilize everything. Work with a pristine tank, clean river stones and fresh soil. If you like the idea of adding seashells, clean off all sea salt residue. Salt can be fatal to some plants.

This terrarium and other great ideas are featured in my article
“Off the Beaten Path”
in the June/July issue of Flea Market D├ęcor magazine.


  1. Hi Melinda!
    What a great project! You are so clever to add the decorative tape across the top edges. Love all your ideas! Such a wonderful article, as are all your magazine spots. Happy Summer! Pam in Virginia

    1. Thanks so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed the project and the articles. It means a lot to me and I really appreciate it!