terrarium vs aquarium: can i use a terrarium as an aquarium

Flora and fauna play an important role in people’s lives, so it is important to remember how a terrarium differs from an aquarium. Their main difference lies in the environment that can be recreated in them: in the first, it is most often terrestrial, in the second water.

terrarium vs aquarium


A terrarium is a container filled with a layer of garden soil and a variety of plants. Due to its limited size, misting must be done more often than in an open garden. A closed system means water evaporation is drastically reduced, so excess water should be removed from the bottom of the container after each misting session.

The terrarium is made with a plastic pot, glass bowl, and pebbles. Its main ingredient however is soil. The most important aspect of creating a terrarium is choosing the right soil to plant your plants in.


An aquarium is a vessel that contains water for keeping aquatic animals or plants. In some cases, it can also contain terrestrial animals such as turtles and some frogs. Aquariums are very common among people who want to maintain a certain environment, either at home or work, with different types of fish and other aquatic lifeforms.

Terrarium Vs Aquarium: Historical Background

The word “terrarium” comes from “aquarium”, where terra (Latin for earth) replaced aqua (Latin for water). Despite the Latin origin of the word, it is only a derivative.

The term “terrarium” dates back to the 1820s, when the English gardener Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward, who lived in the boiling production area of ​​East London, tried to grow a fern. However, the air was so polluted that his efforts ended in failure. Once he found a fern sprout in a bottle from one of his experiments, but with insects.

As for the vessel, where the aquatic habitat is created, it belongs to the more ancient inventions. The word itself also has a Latin origin (from the adjective aquarius, ie “water”). The Romans used it to mean “watering-place.”

However, here, too, the Hellenic etymology of the word does not speak of the Latin origin of the object itself. Already in Ancient Egypt, African tilapias were bred, in Ancient China – goldfish. The appearance of the first containers for the creation and cultivation of aquatic animals and plants is correlated with these facts.


The main common features of these containers are:

  1. Manufactured from one material – glass or transparent plastic;
  2. Observation and research;
  3. Maintenance and breeding of animals and vegetation;
  4. Vivarium, i.e. closed ecosystems recreated on a smaller scale;
  5. One transparent side of the container;
  6. The presence of spaces that have common decor items (for example, snags).

difference between aquarium vs terrarium

difference between aquarium vs terrarium:

  1. Purpose. An aquarium is an aquatic environment, a terrarium is terrestrial (for example, with fillers such as soil and sand, not water).
  2. Inhabitants: in the first – aquatic animals, in the second – terrestrial and reptiles (for example, snakes).
  3. Different material densities: Aquariums have thicker walls to withstand the weight and pressure of the water.
  4. The presence of a special cover in the front of the container: terrariums have, aquariums do not.
  5. Possibility of placing in the sun: aquariums should not be placed in an open area, because this can provoke algae growth, but for terrariums it is most often beneficial.

aquarium vs terrarium: ECOSYSTEM CAPABILITIES

A wide variety of ecosystems can be replicated in both tanks, from an underwater jungle to a colony of aquarium sharks.

However, the complex ones require strength and patience not only to create the system itself, but also to maintain it.

In the latter, special devices can help. So, sensors (temperature, air) or various meters (salinity, etc.) are used.

beneficial effect on humans

If we follow this hypothesis, then the aquatic environment of the aquarium, albeit artificially created, is filled with living creatures from the wild.

The very same water and its dimensional swaying have a calming effect on a person (Michigan State University’s Amber L. Pearson & Daniel Nutsford, the academic journal Health & Place). Thus, aquariums have a beneficial effect on humans.

Can I Use A Terrarium As An Aquarium?

The walls of terrariums are less dense than aquariums and therefore may not withstand water pressure when full. In addition, most terrariums have ventilation holes. This in itself prevents them from being used as airtight containers to recreate an aquatic ecosystem.

can i use a terrarium as an aquarium

What can be kept in a terrarium?

Lizards, snakes, plants, insects, spiders, amphibians, scorpions, frogs, snails, flower turtles use mixed aqua terrariums.

What else is a reptile tank called?

For most reptiles, the ideal reptile habitat is a conventional aquarium called a vivarium or terrarium.


The Paludarium is an aquarium that contains both terrestrial and aquatic plants and aquatic animals. … you can include a much wider range of creatures in a paludarium than in an aquarium. Apart from a range of freshwater fish, you can also include shrimp, newts, crabs, and even turtles.

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