How to Make a Jarrarium



Introduction: How to Make a Jarrarium

Jarrariums are small aquariums, which as the name suggests, are usually made using a glass jar. Jarrariums are easy to setup, and usually include plants, rocks and/or driftwood. To provide a light source you can use a small lamp, or even just place the jarrarium near a window

Note: Most jarrariums are too small for fish! Consider adding snails, or even dwarf shrimp (if you have adequate filtration, and keep up with maintenance) instead.


  • Glass jar (or vase)
  • Substrate
  • Dechlorinated water or pond water/aquarium water
  • Plants
  • Extras (driftwood, rocks, leaves, etc)

Step 1: Jar and Substrate

Any jar should work, but make sure that whatever jar you choose is large enough for any livestock you might have. I chose a 2 gallon jar that I found at the store.

As for the substrate, I decided to use aquasoil, because I had some on-hand. A substrate such as aquarium sand or gravel would work as well, but aquasoil is a good choice if you want to grow plants. I have aquascaping tools, but a knife or spoon could be used to shape the substrate how you want.

Make sure to read the directions for your specific substrate, as you may need to prepare it beforehand.

Step 2: Plants and Hardscape

Driftwood, slate, and other types of rocks for aquariums work well. I recommend using slow-growing plants, so your jar isn't quickly overrun.

I used slate, driftwood, and clippings of plants from my aquariums.

Step 3: Adding Water

Slowly add water, trying not to disturb the substrate. A piece of plastic wrap over the substrate can help with this. It might be murky at first, but after a day or two the sediment will settle, and the water will clear up.

Step 4: Maintenance

Now that you're done setting things up, the only requirement to keep things running smoothly is maintenance. The same maintenance done for aquariums, also applies to your jarrarium. You can read more on aquarium maintenance here. Before adding any animals, make sure that your jarrarium has cycled and water parameters are stable.

Ideally, if your jarrarium has inhabitants, a water change should be done every other week. A small, air powered sponge filter would also help keep the water parameters stable.

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