Do-it-yourself paludarium

Paludarium is a mini-corner of nature that combines a greenhouse, an aquarium and a terrarium. This room contains various representatives of flora and fauna. For their full-fledged existence, special conditions of detention are necessary, under which there will be high humidity and high air temperature. In an artificially created tropical climate, you can observe aquatic and semi-aquatic fauna, as well as admire unusual aquatic and coastal plants. A paludarium at home is an excellent way to enrich indoor air with oxygen and maintain the required humidity level.

How to make a paludarium with your own hands

Seat selection

The location of the container with plants should not be illuminated by direct sunlight, since under such lighting, blue-green algae multiply. Also, sunlight adversely affects the development of plants and their full growth.


The size of the paludarium depends on the purpose of its formation and on the possibilities of the room in which it will be located. A small vessel with plants can also become a wonderful decoration, but nevertheless, on a large area, they will feel much more favorable. The larger the object under construction, the better conditions can be created for representatives of flora and fauna.

Arrangement of capacity

The arrangement begins with laying the soil layer on the bottom of the container. For vegetation grown in the paludarium, peat-based potting mixes are most suitable. It is recommended to place the substrate in the form of natural soil layers (in several tiers), if it is supposed to plant the plants as if on shelves. Another option is also possible. The ground layer can be inclined from the back to the front. The thickness of the layer at the nearby wall should be approximately 7-8 cm.

Plants and animals for paludarium

For planting vegetation in the underwater part of the container or vessel, it is recommended to use those that take root well and grow in height, rising above the water surface (for example, anubias or echinodorus). When growing plants in pots, they can be decorated with various elements. It can be an acacia branch or a pretty driftwood, as well as ordinary stones of various sizes and shapes. A jungle resemblance can be achieved by planting epiphytic evergreen bushes (for example, tillandsia). This will require sphagnum and a small dry branch to which the bush is attached.

The use of frogs, lizards, various fish species and other fauna in the paludarium requires special conditions and an individual approach.

Planting plants and decor elements

Plants can be planted in the soil layer, but to facilitate their care, it is better to use small plastic or ceramic containers for planting. Flower pots made from these materials are great for all types of plants and look great. As decorative elements for the paludarium, you can use ceramic or wood products, which are placed in any part of the structure. The underwater part can be decorated with a mangrove tree purchased from a flower shop, and the surface part with epiphytes or tree branches (for example, acacia).

Heating and humidification

When using additional heating of the root part of plants with the help of an aquarium thermostat, favorable conditions can be achieved for the full development of flora representatives. The ideal temperature range is from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius. Regular spraying of emerging plants (at least twice a week) will help maintain a constant temperature.

Top dressing

If there are representatives of the fauna in the paludarium, fertilizer for the leaf part must be applied very carefully and using only its weak concentration.


Paludarium - indoor water garden

Creation of a structure

The basis of the entire structure is a glass aquarium - it will be in it that the aquatic environment will be located. Two methods are used to make the background:

Styrofoam. The foam is cut to the desired size. With the help of a heated soldering iron, it is given a relief look. Then it is painted in the desired color. In this case, you should use a non-toxic paint that will be harmless to fish and plants.

With the help of a sealant, moss, driftwood, volcanic chips and many other decorative elements can be attached to the foam to recreate a natural tropical biotope.

Polyurethane foam. Sand and foam are mixed in the right proportions. The mortar is placed in the made formwork and the required pattern is formed. After drying, you can easily saw off excess parts. Painting follows the same principle as described above.

If it is planned to place the garden above the aquarium, then a plywood box is screwed to the wall where it will stand. Then you can attach additional containers for planting plants to it. The base of this whole structure will be the aquarium.

Do-it-yourself paludarium!

Do-it-yourself paludarium!

The work was published within the framework of the competition:

In this work, I will tell you not exactly about the aquarium, but about one of its directions in the paludarium. In aquariums, as you understand, I like to place trees, and it was not without them in my paludarium. Since there is no place for the house, it was decided to put the jar on the windowsill. I glued the aquarium, as always myself, in size 55 40 40.

This aquarium, as well as all the previous ones, were experimental. Therefore, even knowing that Benjamin's ficus does not particularly like moisture, I still decided to try, "tame" it. I planted a ficus plant in a pot. I covered the holes in the bottom of the pot so that water would not get into the pot itself. I planted the ficus in a pot and placed it in the aquarium. He fixed the pot with stones so that it did not move.

He poured soil into the paludarium a little from the front, because mosses were planned there, at the back wall of the soil he poured more so that there was enough for plants with a root system. Behind a stone I hid a filter. With the help of a hose, he brought the water outlet upstairs - to the stone, so that the water would seem to flow down it in a stream. I also installed a fog generator behind a stone at the back wall, for a visual effect and creating moisture. After planting the plants, he poured water, so as not to fill the pot. The water level turned out to be just below the pot - about 20 liters came out. After that, I started checking the stream and the fog. Everything worked as expected. I installed a snag, tried to imitate a fallen tree. Later I found mosses, a good person sent them to me by mail, those that grow on the street, since our climate is not the same and we have a problem with them, it's hard to find. I planted the mosses on the stones, so to speak. At first, they grew well, but soon all the mosses passed away, apparently the temperature was too high for them. Therefore, I decided to replace them with Riccia. I converted it into an airy form pretty quickly, and the surface form of Riccia is more beautiful. Bacopu didn’t cut his hair on purpose, waited for it to come out of the water and bloom, which I soon waited for.

Later, when everything was overgrown, I removed most of the plants, changed them to others, and finally, I found a nymphea and waited for it to start throwing emergent leaves. I didn't have to wait long for this, and soon I got a real swamp! By the way, the ficus tolerates high humidity satisfactorily, throws aerial roots, that is, roots hang on almost every branch. It is gradually growing, but I did not wait for a lush crown from her. But I still do not lose hope that the crown will become more magnificent. At this time, I can’t wait for the nymphea to bloom, then what I wanted will really be.

Livestock: shrimp, swordtails, mollies, guppies.

Equipment: 40-watt LED floodlight 3400lumin, internal filter 300l / h, fog generator with ceramic membrane.

Photo of a paludarium made by your own hands

Paludarium video

Author of the competition work

Goryaev Mikhail Vladimirovich

33 years old, city of Elista, Republic of Kalmykia

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Choosing plants for paludarium

There are 3 main groups of green spaces suitable for cultivation in a paludarium:

  1. Aquatic crops... They grow exclusively in the aquatic environment directly in an artificial reservoir. In addition to the decorative function, they serve as a shelter and additional food for fish.
  2. Houseplants... They grow in soil and prefer a humid tropical climate.
  3. Green spaces... Their rhizomes are immersed in water, and the tops remain on the surface.

Types of green spaces.

Most aquarists grow exotic plants in paludariums.

However, not all of them are suitable for keeping in an artificially created ecosystem. The ideal option for growing in a paludarium would be:

  1. Anubias - has excellent adaptive abilities and is unpretentious in terms of care. Prefers sandy soil and grows well in the paludarium, often becoming the main decoration of the water garden.
  2. Hygrophila is a unique plant that can be planted both in the aquatic environment and above the aquarium. The only thing that this culture requires is bright illumination and daylight hours, lasting at least 12 hours throughout the day. Otherwise, the plant quickly loses its decorative qualities. An important advantage of the hygrophil is its ability to cleanse the soil and aquatic environment from nitrates, which is especially valuable when small artificial reservoirs are used as a basis for paludarium.
  3. Lagenandra - Ideal for growing in humid climates. However, the plant should be planted carefully, so that it is only partially submerged in water, otherwise the lagenandra begins to wither and may even die.
  4. Green and brown Cryptocoryne are unpretentious in care, are famous for their excellent adaptive abilities and take root well in paludariums.
  5. Bucephalandra is an exotic, showy plant that enjoys immense popularity among aquarists primarily due to its ability to bloom even when grown underwater. There are a large number of subspecies of this culture, which have different sizes, shapes and colors of leaf plates. With proper care, bucephalandra grows rapidly and blooms for almost a whole year, giving the water garden a special charm.

By using these types of plants and correctly placing green spaces in the paludarium, you can create a luxurious, smoothly sinking home garden.

Creation of a paludarium

Paludarium is a design with a removable glass front wall that combines 3 elements - water, air and earth, which makes it original and exotic.

Choosing the right container

In order to make a paludarium, you first need to purchase an aquarium in which the upper part of the front wall is removable. Its size is selected individually, depending on the size of the future inhabitants and their number.

There is such a variety of devices as nano paludarium. It is a small container (up to 20 liters), inside which a small island of plants is created. It is used as a decorative element in home interiors.

If it is not possible to create a paludarium with your own hands, you can purchase it in a specialized store or order it online. When choosing a model, you should give preference to:

  • JEBO R660
  • Jamaica scenic.

Decoration and equipment

When designing a structure, you must first pay attention to the back wall. To decorate it, you can use ready-made elements or make them yourself.

The most popular background tools are polystyrene and polyurethane foam. To shape the foam into the desired shape, it should be processed with a blowtorch. Polyurethane foam will also serve for relief decoration. For painting polystyrene and polyurethane foam, it is necessary to choose only harmless dyes that are safe for future inhabitants of the tank.

If it is not possible to use these materials, it is allowed to make a cardboard box that will be placed on the back wall of the outside of the aquarium. Such a box must correspond to the dimensions of the container itself. It is painted in the required shades or pasted over with colored paper. Inside it, you can place plant branches, stones, tree bark. In order for such a landscape to always look spectacular, it is necessary to frequently wash the back wall of the aquarium.

You can also decorate the structure with stones of different sizes. You will also need a small piece of plexiglass. The stones must be attached to the glass with a sealant. The voids formed between them can be filled with epoxy resin or polyurethane foam.

Important! It is not recommended to use heavy types of stones for the decoration of the aquarium.

Lighting must be placed above the surface of the container. At the same time, it should not be bright, since plants and animals living in such a device love subdued light. In order for the inhabitants to feel comfortable, they need to create suitable conditions and levels of humidity. For these purposes, a structure with a waterfall would be a good solution. It is also necessary to equip the paludarium with various devices and filters for water purification.

If only plants live in the paludarium, then there are no special requirements for water. If it is inhabited by various representatives of the fauna, then you need to take care of its purity. The water should not contain any chemical impurities. If a tap liquid is used, it must be allowed to stand for two days in order for the chlorine in it to disappear.

It is also necessary to provide for a water purification system, observe the optimal temperature regime and check the degree of hardness of the liquid. Moisture evaporates quickly, especially from an open surface, so the water will need to be topped up frequently.


Most often, plants are used for paludarium brought from such parts of the world as:

  • Africa
  • Australia
  • Asia.

For these purposes, moisture-loving plant species that live along water bodies and swampy areas are suitable. It is recommended to use the following species as decorative representatives of the flora:

  • lagenandra (ovoid and Twaitezi) - prefers only partial immersion in water
  • anubias - unpretentious to environmental conditions (can live both under water and on the surface of the ground)
  • bucephalandra - with proper care, it can bloom constantly, leaves of different varieties have different shapes and colors
  • cryptocoryne - unpretentious in care and easily adapts to various changes, changing its appearance
  • the hygrophil can grow both under water and on the surface of the soil, it is a light-loving plant, the roots of which well cleanse the soil and water from toxic substances.

Other plants that can be planted in the paludarium:

  • philodendrons
  • scindapsus
  • aquarium algae
  • tillandsia
  • cissus
  • alternanters
  • acorus
  • Bacopa Carolina
  • fern
  • moss
  • marsilia
  • sagittariya
  • pogostemon
  • hornwort.

In most cases, they grow in separate pots, but they can also be planted in the ground.


The most suitable inhabitants for the paludarium are moisture-loving fauna:

  • aquarium fish
  • frogs
  • turtles
  • newts
  • snails.

Plants and animals living in such an aquarium must be compatible with each other. It is necessary to adhere to the rules of their content.

Inhabitants of the paludariums

Despite the fact that paludariums are considered aquariums for plants, there is a place for animals in their design. Of course, you will not be able to combine a classic aquarium with a full-fledged water garden, but some fauna will help turn your "wet florarium" into a little miracle. Aquarium snails or frogs will happily settle in the paludarium.

Paludariums are ideal habitats for animals that need to combine water, land and plant-loving reptiles. But in this case, it is necessary to strictly control the conditions, equip paludariums, focusing on the living space necessary for the animal and use only materials and plants, the range of which would be approved by the veterinarian. The arrangement of the inhabited paludarium is approached more strictly.

Feedback from netizens

The high cost of branded and semi-branded backgrounds in stores gave me the idea that I should try to make it myself. After examining the structure of the backgrounds sold, from the materials I was familiar with, I saw fiberglass on epoxy as a base. I am familiar with the technology of creating body kits for cars in a similar way. And I almost started to buy materials for such a background, and then it dawned on me. Foam! Surely. It is simpler and allows for modeling. After thinking over the decor materials at night, having drawn an approximate diagram of the future background, I started to create it.

Since my terrarium was planned with a water part, two holes were made in the side walls for the pipes from the filter. Now I have put the hoses through these holes. There is a suction basket at the water inlet, a flute at the outlet. I decided to run the waterfall along the wall, so I fixed the flute with suction cups in the upper part of the wall.



On the contrary, I tried to "loosen" the foam for laying the silicone and not make it hard, but since the silicone holds well, then it is possible. Better do the light 2x32W at 2700K - we highlight the red color on animals and plants + 2x32W at 6500K for plants and blue highlighting. Make immediately a switch for each lamp separately. Practice has shown that, firstly, the animals themselves need little or little light, and they need diffused, soft light. Secondly, this amount of light will be re-illumination and zanapto. The animals themselves can be "protected" from light by landing on a horizontal plane (bottom) Pylaea, Peperomia, Philodendron (small, bushy), Precious orchids. Covering plants from above, but having a thin "trunk" to the leaf. I keep mine on 2x24W T5 lamps from 8:00 to 19:00, and in the evening I turn on 2 13W energy savers.

Watch the video: Making an Aquaterrarium with a big waterfall

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