Building a ten gallon terrarium
John Phillips
10/24/2007

Some people because of their region are not able to grow tropical carnivorous plants, such people have to grow their tropical plants indoors. Some people use greenhouses and others use terrariums. This is a guide to constructing a small ten-gallon setup, I have had great success with this setup but depending on what you are growing etc your results may vary.

The first step is to acquire a ten-gallon aquarium; you can experiment with larger Tanks suitable for larger plants. Ten-gallon tanks are easier to move around and are suitable for tropical drosera and pinguicula.You can check your local pet stores or major retailers(walmart,etc)to see if they have aquariums, once you have your tank you are ready for the next step.

You can use spare wood you have lying around or you can go to the hardware store to get a nicer piece, the wood will serve as the lid. Once you have the lid you cut it to fit inside the top of the aquarium.
cp zine
As you may have noticed there are two holes drilled in the lid, one hole on each side.

I added a fan to force air circulation this is helpful if you want to give your plants a little breeze once in a while, I turn the fan on when it is sunny outside so the tank doesn't overheat.

cp zine
I drilled those holes with a bit very similar to this bit.

I recommend that you use a small fan; the hole you drill will vary depending on the diameter of your fan.

You should also stain the wood. I forgot to sand the wood before I stained it, and it looks fine, I used nice wood though and it was already pretty smooth.

To do the next step you will need a square bridge rectifier, check electronic stores that sell surplus like radio shack etc. "A rectifier is is an electrical device that converts alternating current to direct current, a process known as rectification."

cp zine
The rectifier should look simialiar to this.


cp zine
You also will need a universal AC/DC adaptor; here is the one I used.


cp zine
Last but not least is your fan here is and idea of scale.


Once you have all these things you can use this diagram to wire them up, you need to be careful not to let any wires touch a wire cutter and electricians tape are also needed.


Here is the diagram - click the magnifying glass to zoom in and move around.

About lighting you need to use fluorescent bulbs; incandescent bulbs produce excess heat that will cook your terrarium.

Remember that temperate plants don't do well long-term in a terrarium they need a winter dormancy.

If you are using a ten-gallon tank like I suggested then an 18" fixture should fit the light hood. Make sure yo