Aquarium Terrarium


I’m actually not certain what species of air plant these are. Genus Tillandsia, but no idea about the species. I bought them because I thought they looked like tentacles. And I just love things with tentacles.

I wanted to get an aquarium for our apartment, but I really just don’t trust our one cat. The other cat would never bother an aquarium, but our big one would definitely destroy it the moment we turned our backs on him. Making one out of plants, though, might last a little longer with him.

I bought the air plants at the Philadelphia Flower Show a few weeks ago, but you can find them at just about any store that sells plants. They’re a bit trendy right now. I bought the shells in a big bag for a few bucks at my local Michael’s.

The air plants I chose were just the right size to rest comfortably inside the shells. Next we needed only a few supplies to make this, all of which I could buy from my local Big Box Store.

Small washers, fishing wire and scissors. A drill will also be necessary, but I assume everyone has one of those just lying around. If you don’t, you should really get one, they are awesome!

I drilled tiny holes into the tops of each of the shells. Remember, the hole only has to be big enough to get fishing wire through and you don’t want it to be noticeable, otherwise. This is all about creating the illusion of swimming.


After running through the fishing wire, I tied a small washer to the end in order to anchor it inside the shell. I did this for all three shells and then placed my air plants inside them. The nestled nicely inside each.

Side note: all three of these plants were long and twisty, until my big cat found them and ate part of one of them. Do not leave these around your cats like I did. That being said, it actually worked out for me to have one of the plants be a tad shorter than the rest. It would fit in nicely as the plant that lives to the left of the terrarium.

The trouble one is the big guy one the right. He’s why I can’t have nice things.

I made a run to Home Goods to buy a glass case. I originally thought I would buy a lantern for this project, but the glass case I found was just perfect. Anything that has large, open glass panels will work for this. It’s all about how clearly you can see your air plant-fish.

I strung the fishing wire up through the crease at the top of the case and tied some more little washers to them to keep them hanging. I arranged them in a way to make them look as though they were swimming. Finally, I bought some small black rocks at Michael’s to fill in the bottom of the case. This was my end result:

My Terrarium Aquarium!



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