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Closed 5 gallon pyrex jar Terrarium & Water

Posted by littlelion225 4 (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 15, 05 at 19:44


This has been a most useful forum. I've read so many posts, and have been learning so much, however I'm still left with a couple unanswered questions, and so I decided to just post the question. This is in regards to a watering issue. Before getting to the question, it might help for you to know the setup. A buddy gave me a 5 gallon pyrex jar as a present. After doing a little research (and obviosly not enough), decided on a layered substrate of gravel, horticultural charcoal mixed in with some more gravel, and then a final layer of african violet soil. Because this jar has a rather small opening, I devised some good ol tools using wooden rods. I should have just went over and comendeered one of my neighbor kids to help with the planting. Anyways, plants...I did a little reading, and chose three plants, then was "directed" to buy another from a nursury guy. I'm unsure about one, and am seriously considering removing it. I decided on 2 small ferns (and I so hope they stay small), a peperomia (which is the one I'm thinking about removing), and a neantha bella palm. I've also ordered some moss spores. The two ferns were not difficult to get into the jar. the peperomia was a bit of a challenge. The palm wasn't bad, as i divided two small shoots from the main plant. Though, I don't know if manhandling the plants as I did, if they go into root shock or anything like that. I guess time will tell. After all those things were in as I wanted, I decided on some room temp water from melted snow. I wasn't for sure how much, as I can't find any page that gives advice on watering with the initial planting. Unlike most soils from the bag, this soil was dry. I added about a cup of water, and simply drizzled it around the jar. And then, my worries of over-watering began. That was last night (12-14-05). I'm not sure if I overwatered. Any advice there? The soil appears to be fairly evenly damp. Now, I've left the top open, but now I'm unsure as to how long to keep the top open, or when it is safe to close at all. Even with the top open, i see some fogging and condensation. Do I wait till there is no fogging with the top open, then close it? Help! :) Any advice on the water issue would be greatly appreciated. Actually, any issue regarding the plants as well would be appreciated. I think I might have been a bit overexcited in shopping for plants. Think I should remove some and replace with some smaller ones? Oh oh...also, the jar has been placed in my "sunroom", and in a spot where it will recieve sun from the east. It won't recieve any from the south. And i've got the extra lights set up and ready should that be necessary. Any advice would be soooo greatly appreciated.

Oh, and I'll post a photo or two in a little bit. :)


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Closed 5 gallon pyrex jar Terrarium & Water

I would not put the top on it at all, as too high of humidity is not good for plants, and you probably don't want to put it where it gets sunlight at all as it will raise the temperature too much and cook them. Definitely don't put the top on AND place it where it gets sunlight. That would certainly make it too hot in there. I have a terrarium but I use cool flourescent lighting to give it the light that it needs. Mine is a tropical terrarium, and I have a hygrometer and thermometer to measure temp and humidity to keep that where it needs to be. I don't know anything about the plants that you mentioned. If they need very high humidity then you may need the top, but you will most likely have to worry about mold growing without good air circulation and a high humidity level. I'm sorry I couldn't be more help.

RE: Closed 5 gallon pyrex jar Terrarium & Water

  • Posted by Lucy 5b (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 16, 05 at 21:10

If you do it again from the start, I'd first water the soil very lightly in a bowl, then mix it very well to dampen all of it, but evenly throughout, then squeeze it in handfuls before putting into the jar, so any 'free' water is gone and you just have slightly damp (if that) soil. And b2e is right about not placing it in the sun.

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