Step 3: Activated Charcoal Layer

The next layer to put in is activated charcoal or activated carbon - same thing.  This is the stuff from your Brita water filter or fish tank filter - if you've got that, toss it in there.  Otherwise, you can buy small amounts online, or skip this step entirely.  I just happened to have a whole lot of activated charcoal lying around for a future project so we took a 1/4 cup or so and added it in.  

My sister and I devised a simple cardboard chute to deliver materials precisely where we wanted them in the terrarium.  The chute, plus a push stick or brush works much better than the dump method.

The activated charcoal layer just keeps things "fresh", or so I've read.  
<p>My first time making a terrarium and everything went to HELL! I got the same tear-shaped terrarium as above which is actually quite small and delicate. Unfortunately, it slipped out of my hands and shattered on the floor. Next I bought a larger more sturdier fishbowl and added the gravel, charcoal, and moss. Since I didn't have enough soil to fill it, I took some soil outside from a flower bed to fill it. But being a non-gardener, I didn't know that you're NOT supposed to take soil from a flower bed after seeing HUNDREDS of little scissor bugs, centipedes, and what-have-you crawling inside my terrarium! I was housing INSECTS and not plants. I quickly took the whole thing outside and threw everything out. I swear I have the worst possible luck with this. Maybe tomorrow I'm going to try again with some clean soil. </p>
<p>Everyone, this is not as simple as it looks. There are a lot of things that must be taken into consideration. MOLD is the biggest issue with terrariums. The bad mixing of plants, sunlight etc. This is a trail and error type of hobby. Take it from someone who has been doing it for many years. Layering this is also a chore. Everything must be tightly fitted, or your plants will rot. Proper air flow. It's not just EASY peasy. Trust me on that</p>
<p>Your tutorial is really nice and easy to follow. Here's another article on the topic:</p><p>https://medium.com/@desireethomson/gardens-in-glass-25e5424062f8</p>
<p>The inspiratrion was in the form of 2 felines....</p><p>How is yours holding up? Mine are flourishing</p><p><img src="http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?&id=HN.608037442365753647&w=300&h=300&c=0&pid=1.9&rs=0&p=0" style="width: 300.0px;height: 226.0px;"></p>
<p>Are those wild begonias?</p>
I made two as Christmas gifts last year, one for my brother and one for my best friend.&nbsp; I used activated charcoal and gravel (both bought for aquariums) to provide drainage and used potting soil on top of that.&nbsp; Even though it kept me up till 2 in the morning (I always start things late) this was one of the most enjoyable projects I ever did, and I'm super proud of the results!<br> <br> Funny story, I first found the glass globe for the fairy terrarium as well as the little fairy to go inside.&nbsp; But then I spotted the other globe - actually supposed to be a modern vase for stem flowers - and just had to buy it even though I had no idea how to get the plants inside!&nbsp; I searched everywhere for small enough dinosaurs/insects to use in it and couldn't find any.&nbsp; Then at a crafts shop I spotted the felt dinosaur and actually completely forgot about the small hole I'm supposed to get it through, so I bought it anyway :)&nbsp; Luckily as it was felt I could scrunch it up and force it through a hole.<br> <br> <br> <br> My brother was sooooo happy with his, couldn't believe it wasn't store-bought and he was completely flabbergasted as to how I managed to do it (the secret is chopsticks and a *lot* of patience!).&nbsp; I don't think it's doing too well at the moment though, he took it to work so I haven't seen it again but it seems the plants aren't too happy.&nbsp; Not sure if it's because of the type of plants I used or because of an over-/underwatering or too much/little sun situation.&nbsp; Unfortunately the fairy terrarium got destroyed before I could give it to my best friend so I just had the photos to show her - she was quite upset with her cousin for managing to break it.&nbsp; I made the braided rope support as the globes' own hook seemed not at all strong enough to carry the weight of everything.<br> <br>
I was thinking lately about making myself a terrarium. Thanks for sharing this!!
Nicely done! Please post a followup report on how it goes [grows] in a few months, especially, as you indicated, you were ignoring or modifying some standard rules for making one. I've had my students make these in the past and they usually do a good job and get good results. As a teacher, I especially appreciate your written commentary [and your attitude!]. What grade are you in and how did your mom like this?
Thanks for your comment. My mom likes it a lot. I am in the the 24th grade.
24th grade??? Got me stumped.
12th year of collage?? must be pretty awesome &gt;:-) <br>
Absolutely wonderful! Can you tell me where you found this exact glass container? <br>Thanks!!
It's from a store called Paxton Gate in San Francisco, CA
<br>Thanks for sharing! Hope Working on!
I have a few used PUR water filters, is that the same? I also just replaced the filter in my fish tank, but it is a small one may need a few more before I could use this idea. I've always wanted to do one of these. Thanks.
PUR filters should work - even used ones.
I would love to know where you came across this globe.
It's from Paxton Gate in San Francisco, CA.
Very attractive terrarium! <br> <br>I'm not sure tillandsia is such a good candidate. Conventional wisdom is that they thrive with high airflow. <br> <br>I've never tried to grow them indoors much less in a terrarium. I would also be worried about it sitting too wet. <br> <br>Can anyone report positive/negative experiences when using Tillandsia in terrariums?
If I hang it the right way and in the right place, this MIGHT be cat proof. I love my kitty, but I really miss not ever being able to have plants.
Does it eat the plants or does it &quot;play&quot; with the dirt? If they &quot;play&quot; (ok, poo), you can cover the pot with thin steel mesh, like the ones used for chicken coops, the plants can grow but the cats can't get into the pot. : ) PM me if you want more info, ok? <br> <br>Hum, perhaps I should write an 'ible about this...
She likes eating them.
Well, you could be mean (as I am) and spread something that tastes bad on the leaves (but not something that might hurt the cat or the plant)... I used pepper on the electric wires my cat used to chew (&quot;better a burnt tongue for a while than a burnt cat&quot;, I figured). : )<br>I believe cats hate citric smells, so you could try spraying the leaves with citronella, for example.
Amazing! Great job. Congrats...............
This is very cool....Will do this...
Thanks for uploading this, I am going to make some for christmas with simple macrame hangers! (Yes, I believe macrame is coming back in to fashion, don't jude me haha)
If you have one in your area, A store called <a href="http://www.homegoods.com/locator/" rel="nofollow">Home Goods</a> has a great selection of glass at reasonable prices.
It turned out beautifully! I was lucky enough to be given an apothecary-looking jar with a lovely terrarium inside for my birthday, but unfortunately, I let it get too cold and the plants died. I'm looking forward to replacing the plants and having the little shale steps reworked :)
Thank you for this.Very inspiring. I am going to make one.
This is a really cool idea. <br> <br>Make sure to pick out plants that are native to your area though!
Fantastic job! And my ex-girlfriend loves it.

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