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Monday, January 21, 2013

Build a Terrarium- Ecosystem inside a jar

In National Geographic
A terrarium is a completely self-sustaining ecosystem in a container that is designed to house small animals and plants under controlled conditions.

The closed nature of a terrarium creates an environment easy to control, allowing the simulation of environments from desert to rain forest.
In general it is made in a clear naked container, but can also be constructed in wood, for example.

The top can be open or closed depending on the environment we want o recreate. When open it's protected with a net to prevent the "escape" and the entrance of living beings.

How does it works?

The plant resets the oxygen, the light is a source of energy, the water comes from moisture in the soil. As the dead leaves fall and decompose providing food for the soil.

We can build a Terrarium, that's today proposal.

What we need:
  • transparent glass container, with a wide opening,
  • small stones,
  • activated charcoal, you can buy it in a pet shop,
  • potting soil,
  • small sponge,
  • a net with a fine mesh 
  • canvas
  • moss and/or plants.
How to:
  1. Chose what plant you want to use, they must be small and slow growth;
  2. Place the small stones in the container -terrarium;
  3. Spread a small amount of activated charcoal on the top of stones;
  4. Take a piece of canvas and make a small cut in the middle
  5. Cover the charcoal with the canvas;
  6. Place a sponge (with 3cm wide) in the canvas cut, this will take the moisture to the plants;
  7. Cover the all hing with soil; 
  8. Place the plants. Just like you will do it in the garden;
  9. Spray your plants with water;
  10. You can add o your garden some action figures;
  11. Close the Terrarium with the net;
  12. Wait to see if it works.
At first the Terrarium will look fragile, but after a few days the ecosystem will start operating normally. It's normal if the first try fail, but don't give up, use different plants and different soil and try again.

Et Voilá!
Can you make it work?


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