Introduction: Eternal Terrarium With Ant Colony Inside!

About: Hi my name is Zack i'm 15 years old and i like to make robots, experiment with electronics, play with science, photography and have fun doing it.

So to start this instructable off, please watch the video in case i forget any steps or important information.

Click HERE to watch the video.

So in this instructable i will show you how to make an eternal terrarium with an ant colony inside. A terrarium is the same as a bottle garden in which you don't have to water the plants because the water stays inside the jar and never evaporates. Watch the video to see how i got the ant colony inside. Its not as simple as putting some ants inside because you need the queen ant to lay eggs. If you don’t have the queen ant, then they will die within 2 months.

What you need:

- Large clear air tight container

- rocks + sand

- dirt and plants from outside.

- moss (if you want)

- ant colony (optional)

- shovel

Step 1: Water Drainage

Fill the container with 1 to 2 inches of sand and small rocks. This will act as drainage and keep the terrarium from going mouldy. You can get rocks from your front yard or buy some pebbles. I got my sand from a kids sand pit in our backyard. Just don't get sand from the beach as it can be illegal.

Step 2: Getting Plants and Dirt.

Go on a journey in your garden or maybe the woods. My grandparents have a farm so it was easy for me to find plenty of cool plants. Use your shovel to dig up plants and dirt. Pick for small plants like mosses and tiny flowering plants. Try not to get small tree or bush saplings as they could eventually die and look bad in the terrarium. look for dirt under large rocks or logs as they usually have bugs and worms under them which will look good in your ecosystem. I found a cool looking cactus plant in the photo above and wonder how it will go in a humid terrarium.

Step 3: Sorting Out Everything

Sort through all of the plants and dirt and try to remove old dead sticks and leaves to make your terrarium look more alive. Spray the plants with a spray bottle with a bit of water so they don't dry out too fast. I lost a few insects while sorting through the dirt as it was in the open. Fill the container with a few inches of the dirt you collected and be careful that the sand and stones mostly stay on the bottom and don't mix with the dirt.

Step 4: Put All the Plants Into Your Terrarium the Way You Want It!

Start carefully placing the plants into the terrarium and try to dig the plants roots into the soil. After placing in all of the plants, i added a bit of water because it was extremely dry. I added half a cup of water but i think that might have been too much so maybe try a quarter cup of water instead. After placing in all of the plants, close the lid and you are done! Make sure to keep the terrarium near a window or in a shady spot but remember, it still needs sunlight. If you wan't to see how i added the ant colony inside, click to see the video here. Your terrarium will have insects, and plants of different species that you probably didn't even know were there. My terrarium has worms, slaters/woodlouse, ants, plants, mosses, snails, and probably a bunch of microorganisms that you cant even see with your eyes! within a few months, perhaps there will be tons of spring-tails or other insects that i didn't know were inside. Thanks for reading this instructable and i hope this gives you insight to make a terrarium yourself!

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