Aztec Temple Bog Planter




Introduction: Aztec Temple Bog Planter

About: Hi! I'm Cassey. I'm a biologist, specializing in Regenerative Medicine. Trey is an Electrical Engineer, so we do a lot of "left brained activity"! To balance that out, and use our "right brains …

We recently decided to start growing Venus Fly Traps and several other types of Carnivorous Plants--they're such incredible creatures!

In doing so, we've been trying out a variety of different "bog planters" for them. Some of them are really cool! But I love the sound of flowing water, from a nice fountain. So, my husband designed this as both a bog planter and fountain for me. It makes an excellent conversation piece, and does an admirable job keeping the fly population in our house at a minimum ("hello coastal SC"--where it often feels impossible to get away from the tiny flying creatures from... the bog, of course).

Enjoy the Instructable, please let us know if you try making this, and drop a like even if you don't make it yourself. :)


3D Printed Parts:

  1. Level 1 (Base/water reservoir)
  2. Level 2
  3. Level 3
  4. Level 4
  5. Level 5 (Large bog planter topper)
  6. Skull and bones topper (optional)
  7. Hose spout and attachment (two pieces)

Other components:

  1. Submersible water pump(we used this one:

    PULACO 50GPH 3W Mini Submersible Water Pump

  2. Silicone (optional, any waterproof sealant, we got ours from Walmart; optional if any parts are leaking)
  3. Venus fly trap (I'd highly recommend JoelsCarniverousPlants on Amazon: Venus Fly Trap from JoelsCarniverousPlants)
  4. Distilled water (normal tap water will kill bog/carniverous plants--ONLY use distilled water)


  1. 3D Printer access
  2. X-acto knife or scissors
  3. Popsicle stick or paintbrush (optional if using silicone)

Step 1: Step 1: Print Bog Planter Components

My husband designed this for me, since I wanted a unique planter for one of our Venus Fly Traps, and a water fountain. He combined the two with this design: Aztec Temple Bog Planter

Download the files from Thingiverse and slice them for your printer using the settings:

  • Infill: 20%
  • Resolution: 0.2
    • For Skulls and Bones topper, use a higher resolution (0.1 or 0.15--your optimal print settings) for best detail
  • Supports: Layer 5 only--Touching Buildplate only

Note: In order to fit a fly trap in the top planter section, this was printed on a Creality CR10. The bottom section is nearly 300mm-300mm, which fills the bed of the CR10. It is possible to print this on a smaller printer such as an Ender, but make sure to scale and plan appropriately, as your root space will be significantly smaller.

Note 2: On the CR10, orient the bottom layer with the stairs pointing to each corner.

Post-process print as you usually would to remove any printing artifacts and allow the temple to fit together snugly, preventing spills.

Step 2: Step 1.5: Test Layer 1 for Leaks

Unfortunately, 3D printing isn't always perfect, so make sure to check your "tank" for any water leaks before assembling the whole thing.
Note: Failure to adhere closely to this step may lead to a large puddle on your table/floor. Ask me how I know. ;)

Testing is simple: Set the layer over a sink and fill it with water. Walk away for half an hour and come back to see if any water has leaked out.

Leaks can be fixed in two ways:

  1. Silicone
    • Use the popsicle stick to spread silicone as evenly as possible over the inside walls of the tank to prevent water from leaking between layers into the infill. You may have to repeat this process several times, as it is difficult to spread silicone in the passages under the steps.
  2. Reprint with higher infill
    • Increase your infill to 100% for "extremely thick" walls that will prevent leaks. This takes a significant amount of time and filament to print, so the silicone is what we recommend as a starter.

Step 3: Step 2: Assemble the Planter

  1. Line up the layers so they are all facing the same direction. The back step is marked on each layer with a small arrow on the top step.
  2. Place layer 2 onto layer 1, snapping it into place with the guides. (Use the Xacto knife or your preferred method of post-processing if needed to assist fit.)
  3. Place the pump into the tank, with the cord coming out the slot in the back.
    • Note: Make sure the pump is already turned to the lowest setting (marked on the pump). Disassembling the entire planter to turn down the pump speed is messy.
  4. Snap layer 5 onto layer 4, and layer 4 onto layer 3 with the rear-indicating dots lined up.
  5. Cut the water hose to 17.5cm
    • Note: If you are printing on something other than a CR10, your hose may need to be longer/shorter. Measure the height of your layers stacked, and cut a piece of hose to that length. Excess hose can be trimmed off after assembly of other components.
  6. Attach the cut hose to the pump in the tank.
  7. Align the hose with the hole in the stacked layers 3-5, and run it through, using it to pull the top 3 layers onto the bottom 2 layers.
    • Make sure the power cord runs out the opening between layer 2 and 3.
  8. Add the hose adapter and spout to the top of the water hose in layer 5.

Step 4: Step 3: Test the Fountain Function

That was the hard part! (Hopefully...)

Next, just add distilled water to fill the tank (slowly, so it doesn't overflow), and plug in the pump.

Note: Water can be added directly to the tank, or to the top layer so you can see how it will flow down the temple with the pump on.


  • If you don't like how the water is running at this point, simply remove the top 3 layers and adjust the pump flow. (This is why I'm working on a towel-I adjusted several times.)
  • If the layers aren't staying together, check to see why and cut off excess filament that may be preventing a flush joining. Alternatively, dry the layers thoroughly and join layers 1-2 together with a thin layer of silicone, and join layers 3, 4 and 5 together with another layer. This still allows disassembly of the planter to reach the pump, but also offers a more solid planter/fountain.

Step 5: Step 3.5 (optional): Add Skull Topper

If you're a geek like us, and having an Aztec Temple Fountain Bog Planter alone isn't cool enough, add the Skulls and Bones topper using silicone, superglue, or your preferred media for gluing 3D printed parts.

We use Zap-A-Gap Thick CA glue.

Step 6: Step 4: Add Bog Plant (Venus Fly Trap)

If you're satisfied with the fountain function (see the previous step for troubleshooting if you aren't happy with it), add your Bog Plant to the top. I'd recommend using only long fiber sphagnum moss, as the ground moss will be more likely to filter down the layers and clog the pump.

Additional water plants can be added in the other layers as desired.

Enjoy the soothing sound of the planter, and the activity of the venus fly trap (if you live in a boggy, insecty area like we do...) as it eats those pests.

Be sure the plant gets plenty of sunlight, or keep it under a grow light if you don't have an appropriate sunny window.

Hope you enjoy this project--let us know if you make it, and drop a like if you like it but don't plan on making it for yourself.

-Cassey and Trey

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    2 months ago

    Nice to see remake of my Aztec pot on Instructables :)


    Reply 2 months ago

    Glad you like it! Thanks for the posting the original design—looks like several people have been able to use it/modify it for specific needs. :)