Vivarium Troubleshooting: The Answer To Every Problem

Vivarium Troubleshooting

Do you need help troubleshooting your vivarium? This page outlines the basics of preventing and solving common issues. Learn how to diagnose problems, identify the type of vivarium, find solutions for common issues, clean and maintain your vivarium, and detect and fix problems. Read through our FAQ section to find answers to your most pressing questions. With this guide, you can easily find solutions to keep your vivarium in optimal condition.

Common Problems

This section on common problems offers an extensive look at topics, ranging from aquariums to terrariums. We give you professional advice on diagnosing, fixing, and maintaining your vivarium to get it back in perfect shape. Find out more about troubleshooting common vivarium problems here.


Are you looking for quick answers to your vivarium questions? This section offers an extensive archive of FAQs that can help you find the best solutions for your vivarium troubles. Find answers to common questions others have asked over time. Learn the essentials of vivarium care with our easy-to-read FAQs.

How thick should gravel be for drainage?

The thickness of gravel used for drainage should depend on the volume of water that needs to be drained. Typically, a layer of gravel should be at least one to two inches deep. For larger drainage areas, up to four inches may be necessary.

Can you use sand as a drainage layer?

Yes, sand can be used as a useful drainage layer in certain applications. It has excellent filtration qualities, allowing water to easily pass through while trapping pollutants and preventing them from getting into the water supply. Sand can also be a great option for planter boxes and other areas with poor drainage.

How thick should drainage layer be terrarium?

The thickness of the drainage layer for a terrarium should be 12 inches.

What can be used as a drainage layer in a terrarium?

The best drainage layer for a terrarium is a layer of welldraining, organic material such as gravel, charcoal, or coarse sand. As an alternative, a false bottom could be used as well, which usually consists of plastic or PVC frames.

Do I need activated charcoal for a terrarium?

No, you do not need activated charcoal for a terrarium. Activated charcoal has some benefits for filtering air and water, but terrariums are already selfcontained ecosystems and require little intervention. Instead, focus on creating a comfortable environment and adding the right type of plants.

How deep should terrarium soil be?

The ideal terrarium soil depth should be between 2 and 4 inches. This will give your plants the correct amount of moisture and air without compromising their roots.

What are the layers in a terrarium?

There are typically 3 layers in a terrarium which usually include a layer of stones or gravel at the bottom (the drainage layer), a layer of soil mix (the substrate layer), and a layer of moss or other decorative elements at the top (the plant layer).

How do you make terrarium soil?

To make your own terrarium soil, you‘ll need equal parts of coco coir soil, sphagnum moss, coarse sand, and vermiculite or perlite. Mix the ingredients together and use them to fill your terrarium. Be sure to firm the soil into place and let it sit overnight so the soil can settle.

What soil is best for terrarium?

For best results, use a soil mixture that is two parts coco coir soil, one part sphagnum moss, and one part perlite or gravel.

Do terrariums need special soil?

Yes, terrariums need soil that drains well and is nutrientrich. coco coir soil mixed with sand, vermiculite, or perlite is best.

Should you put rocks at the bottom of a terrarium?

Large rocks should not be put at the bottom of a terrarium. The bottom of a terrarium should be set up on a layer of gravel or any pebble-sized substrate. The larger rocks can be used as a decorative top layer.

Do you need a drainage layer for vivarium?

No, a drainage layer is not typically needed for a vivarium. However, it may be beneficial to add a layer of waterabsorbing material beneath the substrate to prevent excessive moisture buildup.

How do you prevent root rot in a vivarium?

To prevent root rot in a vivarium, be sure to use a soil mix that drains well and does not retain excess water. Keep the soil lightly moist and water with a spray bottle or dripping system on a regular basis. Monitor the temperature and humidity of the soil and be sure it is not too damp. Prune away any dead or decaying roots or plants to reduce the risk of root rot.

Can you use potting soil in a vivarium?

Yes, potting soil can be used in a vivarium, provided it has been sterilized. Before adding the soil to the vivarium, make sure it is thoroughly mixed with organic matter such as leaf litter and  peat moss. In addition, the soil should be treated with an insecticide or fungicide to ensure it is free from diseases and pests.



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