Creating Your Own Rainforest Terrarium
A terrarium is a miniature, self-contained and glass enclosed ecosystem. It includes everything that is needed for the plants and life to survive without any additional interference. Terrariums are often used to observe the way plants, soil and air interact with each other and in this way, we can understand more about how our planet works.
Scientists began using terrariums to study the life cycles of insects. They used glass containers so that they could see the activity and included the exact type of dirt, plants and air that the insects would normally survive in.
Making a terrarium can be a delicate process because you don’t want to create a situation where the growth of bacteria and microbes would overtake and destroy all of the plants and life within the terrarium. This typically means that the terrarium will need to be opened at least once per week to allow excess moisture to escape. This keeps the balance steady and avoids the growth of mold.
Terrariums are also used for the transportation of delicate plants that may be used for scientific experiments. When scientists need to send plants from one location to a distant location, they create a terrarium and this allows for the healthy survival of the plants.
A rainforest terrarium is an excellent way to set up a sample of the ecology of the rainforest and watch how the ecology works as well as how water and heat can affect the successful growth of the plants. Observing the various changes brings a better understanding as to what is happening in our own rain forests around the world.
Creating your own rainforest requires a glass container with a top that sits or seals, soil or dirt that is good for plants (organic soil is best), sand, plants such as ferns or a favorite plant of choice and water. The soil is layered carefully over a bottom layer of sand and then planting the ferns or plants so that the roots have plenty of room to grow. Add the water so that the soil is completely saturated. You can decorate the glass with small pictures of insects, but they shouldn’t be so large that you can’t observe the plant growth. Place the container in an area that receives sunshine and remember to open the container at least once per week to allow fresh air to help keep microbe growth down.
Each day, observe and write down the growth of the plants and any changes that you see within your terrarium.