Do It Your-self Sustaining Ecosystem-




About: I am a graduated furniture maker from the Netherlands.

Do it yourself sustaining ecosystem

In this DIY, I will show you how to create your own self sustaining ecosystem.

First of all you need to find a good bowl, jar. most sizes will work for your terrarium. A container with a large hole will make it easier to work inside of. Make sure that the container can be properly sealed. I read that big containers will be easier to maintain but of course this is not always possible.

Now it’s time to find the
rights plants, you can choose almost everything but make sure that the plants need the same amount of water. Otherwise you can’t keep them in the same jar. So you can choose one with flowers as well! The seller told me that the plat I bought will produce flowers rarely but it is wise to cut them because it will drain a lot of energy from the plant.

Here a list of stuff you need:

  • container
  • pebbles
  • charcoal
  • soil
  • plants
  • water

Step 1: ​Fill the Bottom With Pebbles

The layer of pebbles at the bottom of the jar will allow water to collect at the bottom, making sure your plants won't drown.

Step 2: Cover the Pebbles With a Layer of Charcoal.

The charcoal layer is important to filter out impurities in the ecosystem. It helps keep the ecosystem clean and healthy. you don't need much, a tablespoon is enough

Step 3: Layer Soil on Top

The last layer is a layer of soil.Make sure your soil has some nutrisions (compost) in it. if you don't have this you can easily make that yourself by grounding eggshells and use old coffee The plants will be able to root in this soil so make sure you add enough soil so the roots have room to grown.

Step 4: Add the Plants

Add small plants. Any plant you like to add will work in your terrarium, but small plants are recommended. Prepare your plants by removing them from the pots and breaking up the hard soil around the roots. pull off long roots before planting. Dig a small hole in the soil with a spoon and place the roots of the plant into the hole.

Step 5: Add Some More Stones

Now this is optional, but I think this will make your terrarium looks great!

Step 6: Place Your Terrarium in Direct Sunlight!

First add some water and then place it somewhere where there is allot of sun. First couple of days keep a good look at your ecosystem! does the plants look weak and pale then open the lid for some time to let some damp out. Do the plants look dry? Then add some water.

I hope you peeps like this self sustaining ecosystem as much as I do. If you have any tips or questions please let me know :D



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    21 Discussions


    Question 5 months ago

    What about watering ?


    Question 7 months ago

    It looks nice, but won't the plants need co2 for photosynthesis? Why keep the lid shut?

    5 more answers

    Answer 7 months ago

    Interesting, I knew about the respiration of plants but not that co2 is released into the environment as a result, thanks for clearing this up!


    Answer 7 months ago

    Plants photosynthesise, consuming CO2, but they also respire, producing CO2.

    (British hospitals used to take plants out of wards at night, thinking that the plants would consume oxygen the patients needed.)


    Answer 7 months ago

    That's right and oxygen contains O2 :D well this I what I read. I am not an expert but what I know is that the plants create everything they need.


    Answer 7 months ago

    Do you know what plants produce with photosynthesis? :D


    Answer 7 months ago

    it's the condensation from barometric pressure changes that makes it all work....


    Answer 7 months ago

    apparently not i have them 4 days now, in the full, hot sun. and they are doing amazing :D


    7 months ago

    Add banana peel to your egg shell/coffee grounds makes a great plant food.

    1 reply

    Question 7 months ago on Step 6

    What are the plants pictured please?