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Living Snow Globes Answered

INSTRUCTABLES: www.projectfidgetyfingers.blogspot.com We have been collecting glass jars and bottles for the arrival of our glass cutter. And while we are at the subject of plants, we have decided to make some mini terrariums. We talked about friends without green thumbs and the sweet token of giving something green. It is going to be a disaster if the gift dies before the next time you visit them. So, we thought of fool-proofing it by making terrariums. Terra is a word meaning Earth in Latin. It is an area, usually enclosed, for keeping and raising animals or plants for observation or research. Often, a portion of the ecosystem for a particular species is simulated on a smaller scale, with controls for environment conditions. The main requirement is that it be watertight to keep the moisture in. So, non-green thumbs ahoy! This means light watering every month or longer. The plants are usually hardy and do not grow quickly if you keep the water circulating. This is a fabulous mini sustainable environment to create, a sort of 'living snow globe'. A magical gift for kids and the office desk.


Please make an Instructable here rather than using the Instructable forums to advertise your blog.


10 years ago

This would be a super-cool Instructable, how to make a terrarium. I hope you write it up when you're making yours. I assume with plants you wouldn't have a problem with suffocation in an air-tight container - or no, you said water-tight, so presumably some air transfer occurs... Clearly I know little about it. (That's a fake frog, right?)

Hi Rachel, Thanks for your reply. We left out the site addy. You can check out a simple step by step for the terrarium. www.projectfidgetyfingers.blogspot.com And yes, that is a plastic frog. It would be cruel to keep a real frog in such a small environment.

I assume it is not air-tight as the plants wouldn't get much CO2 in there.

Plants don't use up so much CO2 as you might think, since they also produce it.

My science clubbers made a simple terrarium a couple of years ago on the spur of the moment - we found a big sweet-jar in a cupboard. We put in a clod of soil with a random selection of pond-side plants in it, moss, a lump of old bark and shaped a small pond which we filled with pond-water.

We added a couple of snails, put the lid on, taped it up and left it on a windowsill.

We spotted various animals in there that had been hidden in the lumps we added - woodlice, worms, leeches - and the different pants grew at different rates (first grass took over, then moss, then something I didn't recognise, but always growing.

Six months later, when the school year finished, it was still alive and I gave it to a pupil who was leaving.

I did something like that when I was kid.
But as I left it under the sun, the snails and the ants got "vapor cooked" ...

And yes, please Suzene, make an instructable here too =o)
(the link you provided seems not to work here (get a blank page))

I am so sorry. I have edited the link and you can check out a simple instructable at www.projectfidgetyfingers.blogspot.com A terrarium is such a cool project and gift. It is a self-contained environment where the water and the air recycles itself. Of course you are not meant to put under direct sunlight. A terrarium is for indoors purpose, like in an office or bedroom, hence direct sunlight will heat up the "atmosphere" in it and ruin it.

Yeah, the only time plants (and any soil organisms) have a net uptake of CO2 over the course of the day is when they are "fixing" carbon, i.e. when they are turning CO2 into more plant material. If you have a terrarium where the total amount of biomass stays constant, there shouldn't be any net CO2 consumption.

We'd still like to see an 'ible here, though.