Hello all! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted any new articles. I promise I have a really good reason and I hope that by the end of this article you shower me in agreeance and understand why I’ve been so MIA.
A lot has happened since we last shared notes. I sort of created a thing! Well, I guess a thing and some… So I built a store! And that store was inspired by a product, which I also made… which was conceived from a ton of research, which led to new words… and the new words all derived from a new ideology… All created by this no-good-hasn’t-put-up-new-post-in-foreveeeer!
Lol… Let’s start with “the thing” and I’ll fill you in on the rest as we go. I call it Bantamarium. You know it’s serious when I put it in italics. I’m really proud to share this invention with you guys and I hope you see what I see by the end of this read.
What Is a Bantamarium?
A bantamarium, or “bantamaria” if using the word as a plural, is an enclosure constructed to portray a real scenery while simultaneously housing real plants and animals. These types of ariums can also be referred to as living dioramas. Moss, ferns, and many other micro epiphytes are typically used as the main source of foilage due to their ease of use, proportionate size, and lack of root structure.
The prefix bantam is a synonym for words like miniature or tiny. Bantamarium, as a word, would translate to “a miniature enclosure.” Bantamaria would be used to describe multiple living dioramas or a room dedicated to the theme of the ideology.
Making A Bantamarium
The concept of making a bantamarium starts with the enclosure itself. These types of ecosystems are versatile and can range from simplistic to complex in design. No matter which route a bantamscaper decides to pursue, a few key elements should always remain consistent.
An essential part of the bantamarium experience is the enclosure itself. A living diorama is much like a newborn… It breathes, matures, and will require some level of caretaking. This will require a special type of tank that can adapt to those needs. It should be flexible, customizable, and tailored to that particular bantam-scaled environment.
The Bantamarium Cases are customizable enclosures designed specifically for living dioramas. These DIY kits give you the ability to create a suitable asylum that is elegant, versatile, and easy to maintain.
The Hardscape Layer
The hardscape layer is the focal point plants grow on within the bantamarium. These decors set the premise of the diorama. They can range from terrains to figurines.
An important aspect of the vivarium decor is the material they are made of. These decors act as the surface area epiphytic plants will grow on. Key factors are taken into consideration when we develop our Bantamarium decor… Like porosity for proper absorption and aeration as well as environmental influence on elements like PH.
The Foilage Layer
The foilage layer is what brings things to life. Without vegetation, a bantamarium is just a traditional diorama. Plants used here should be epiphytes meaning they lack root structure and can grow without conventional substrate.
Pleurocarpous mosses are the most common flora used in bantamaria due to their carpeting nature and rate of growth. Ferns, as well as air plants, are also great choices for accent plants in some cases.
Lighting is as essential to a bantamarium as it would be to any other vivarium. The difference is the amount of flexibility you have with these types of setups. Most low-light plants used in these dioramas can tolerate a vast amount of conditions other than direct sunlight.
Depending on the style in which the enclosure has been constructed, lighting can be provided from a direct attachment or indirectly from ambient room light. Remember, the bantamarium cases are upgradeable, so modifications can be implemented as needed at any point in time.
Different Types of Bantamariums
Bantamarium Cases can be constructed into any common type of vivarium. Since ecosystems come in a vast array of conditions, a living diorama should be able to perfectly mimic those environments on a smaller scale. Below is a list of the general types of bantamaria a hobbyist could construct:
Like any traditional terrarium, terra-bantamaria are predominantly land-based setups with little to no real water feature. The hardscape layer separates plants from any direct contact with stagnant water. Resin can be used to mimic water features like rivers, lakes, or waterfalls.
On the contrary to terrariums, aqua-bantamaria are predominantly aquatic-based setups with little to no real land feature. The hardscape layer is fully submerged along with the foliage layer. Any hardware used to maintain water parameters will more than likely be stored beneath the bantamarium base like any traditional aquarium.
Palud-bantamaria are a combination of terra and aqua setups. With both aquatic as well as non-aquatic features, paludariums offer a unique opportunity to replicate notable landmarks above and below water. Hardscape layers will more than likely be partially immersed in these types of dioramas.
Bantamarium Care Tips
Caring for a bantamarium is far easier than most vivariums due to the low-maintenance plants used and the way cases break down. Here are a few simple tips to assure optimal growth and development within a living diorama.
- Cleaning: Easily remove hardscapes from terra-bantamaria to rinse and refill bases. Aqua-bantamaria should be detached from the base to dump sump amd refill.
- Watering: Daily waterings will be necessary for new setups until plants are established. Once noticeable growth has taken place, watering can be cut back to monthly.
- Pruning: trimming moss helps promote fuller carpets. Loose clippings can easily be rescattered to thinner areas.
Where To Find Moss
Finding moss will depend greatly on your geographical location. If you live in an area where moss potentially grows, you can easily find it in shaded areas like woods or backyards. I’ve been very fortunate, living here in south Florida, to find moss growing in my backyard and along walls.
There are also places available online that sell various moss types and can easily be shipped to you since moss is a relatively hardy plant. If you are buying moss with the intent to grow it, be sure to avoid artificial moss or preserved moss as it will not be real and may have artificial coloring added to it which will wash out if put around water.
Bantamarium Starter Kits
So you may have noticed I’ve mentioned our Bantamarium Cases throughout this article. These are very simplistic yet versatile enclosures designed specifically for living dioramas. Depending on the time you are viewing this editorial, our cases may or may not be available yet.
In case you’re wondering, you absolutely can make something similar yourself. If you’re using any of our decors as a hardscape, just be sure you are building a glass case according to the recommendations listed for that decor.
The Latest Bantamaria
If you are optimistic about the idea of a bantamarium, check out some of the latest terrarium builds I’ve already started to incorporate this concept into. I’m still working out some of the free extras (like downloadable backgrounds) that will be available in the shop later. A limited run of the terrains is currently set up for any of you interested in pursuing the quest along with me.
Bantamariums are a really fun and interactive twist to the traditional vivarium hobby. They can range in every aspect from build complexity to upkeep. Our cases and decor make it possible for any hobbyist, no matter the skill level, to have the ability to make photo-realistic terrariums.