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 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 jar that can adapt to those needs. It should be flexible, customizable, and tailored to that particular bantam-scaled environment.
The Bantamarium Jars are designed specifically for these types of vivariums and come in a range of sizes. They are triply polished, highly transparent, boron glass made to give you the clearest possible view. The sleek cylinder style allows for a full 365-degree perspective.
The scenery is made up of a combination of selective substrates, hardscapes, and plants. Like any terrarium or aquarium, These components should work together to provide a sufficient living space for inhabitants being kept within a Bantamarium.
It is critical that you pick soils, rocks, and plants with similar properties. A rock with high PH could be detrimental to a plant that requires low PH to thrive. Follow our guides closely and use the tutorials as inspiration for your individual builds.
The decor is the icing on the cake for a bantamarium. These miniatures come in the form of models, figurines, as well as fish portals. It’s not a living diorama until the essential process of adding a bantam decor is completed.
Different Types of Bantamariums
Bantamarium Jars 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 features. 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.
Contrary to terrariums, aqua-bantamaria are predominantly aquatic-based setups with little to no real land features. The hardscape layer is fully submerged along with the plants and decor. Any hardware used to maintain water parameters will more than likely be stored beneath or within the bantamarium jar 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 drained of at least 50% of the water at a time and refilled with fresh water.
- Watering: Daily watering 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.
- Lighting: Make sure to provide adequate indirect lighting as you would any vivarium. artificial lighting works best for these.
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.
For a complete list of available mosses great for bantamariums and other types of vivariums check out this guide or click on the image below:
The Latest Bantamaria
If you are optimistic about the idea of a bantamarium, check out some of the latest terrariums 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 Bantamarium Supplies make it possible for any hobbyist, no matter the skill level, to have the ability to make photo-realistic “living dioramas.”
Shop Our Complete Kits
Many of our projects are transitioning into complete kits! Browse the shelf and see what we have so far: