Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY - Soda Bottle Terrarium


This is a fun nerdy little project that decided to do.  I haven't made one of these since I was a kid!  Here is a great tutorial that I found online in case you want some step-by-step instructions -

I bought these little seed starter kits from Michael's clearance aisle a few months ago.  They're shaped like those plastic Easter eggs with a prize inside that you get out of quarter machines in gas stations or the grocery store lobby.  They came with a tiny little packet of dirt and a packet of seeds.  Mine were mini cactus.  Anyway, I planted them, added the water, and left them sitting out in the sun toward the end of the summer.  Months went by and nothing happened.  I brought them in when the weather turned cold, sat them in a window sill, and finally these cute little green guys started sprouting up!

I wanted to plant them in something bigger to give them a better chance to survive, but with it being November I didn't want to spend alot of money on a fancy terrarium, so I decided to use supplies that I already had around the apartment.  First I started with an empty Dr. Pepper 2 liter.  I removed the label and then drew a line approximately 4-1/2 inches up the bottle.  I started a hole with an Xacto knife and then used scissors to finish cutting the bottle in two.

The bottom layer of the terrarium is lined with rocks.  Given that I have a 75 gallon aquarium I have plenty of rocks/gravel lying around.  My turtles Herman and Cecil tend to eat anything (and everything!) so I can't put small rocks in their tank anymore.

The tutorial I used suggested a layer of gardener's carbon.  From everything I read aquarium activated carbon is the same thing so I just used some that I already had on hand.

*Unrelated side note:  I prefer the Rena Filstar to the Fluval aquarium filter, but Fluval carbon is cheaper at the pet store*

The third layer is potting soil.  Probably most of you still have some of this lying around in your garage or basement left over from earlier this year.

I transplanted all of the tiny cactus sprouts and then put the top of the bottle back on.  I cut 4 small slits around the edge in order to get the top to slide down over the bottom.  This was by far the most difficult part and it didn't fit perfectly, but again this is just a cheap project that I hope will last through until warm weather comes again.  I spritzed the soil and sides with water and put the cap back on.  I'm going to sit the terrarium in the window sill and let the sun help some of the water absorb back up out of the soil and create a nice warm self-contained environment.  If the insides get too foggy all you have to do is remove the cap for a day or so and let the inside air out for a bit.

Here's hoping that my cheap little project actually works!  Happy Monday everyone!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Jessie- you are so smart! I hope they grow well- I want to see them if they bet bigger!!! They are stinkin cute right now!