Terrarium Vs Aquarium Vs Vivarium – The Ultimate Guide

Terrariums, aquariums, and vivariums are all different types of enclosed environments used to house plants, animals, or both. Terrariums are for plants and typically do not require water filtration or a heat source.

Aquariums are for aquatic animals and require a water filtration system, a heat source, and appropriate lighting. Vivariums are habitats meant for animals and plants, often with a focus on replicating a certain type of ecosystem or climate. Whether you are interested in creating a small indoor garden, a fish tank, or an elaborate exotic animal enclosure, understanding the differences between these three types of environments is crucial to creating a healthy and thriving ecosystem. In this article, we will delve deeper into each of these three environments, their differences, and how to properly care for the inhabitants within them.


Definition Of Terrariums

Terrariums are miniature ecosystems made in glass containers or other small containers that are designed to house plants, reptiles, amphibians, or invertebrates. Are typically enclosed, making them a perfect home to create a self-sustaining ecosystem for your indoor plants or pets.

Terrariums are designed to mimic natural habitats, providing an ideal growing and living environment for the inhabitants of the terrarium.

Types Of Terrariums

There are mainly two types of terrariums- enclosed and open, but they can be further classified into different types based on their purpose and the type of inhabitants they are intended to house.

  • Open air terrarium with natural light and airflow, suitable for plants that require less humidity
  • Closed terrarium with controlled humidity and temperature, perfect for tropical plants and reptiles
  • Paludarium with both terrestrial and aquatic environments, perfect for those who prefer amphibians, fishes, and reptiles
  • Insectarium with a focus on insects, allowing them to thrive in a natural environment while also being contained
  • Arboreal terrarium with vertical space for plant growth that mimics trees’ natural habitats and perfect for tree-dwelling reptiles.

Purpose Of Terrariums

Terrariums serve many purposes, such as:

  • Creating a beautiful indoor garden
  • Providing an enclosed, controlled environment for plants to thrive and grow healthily
  • Providing a natural habitat for reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates
  • Acting as a source to bring nature indoors

Suitable Plants For Terrariums

Not all plants are suitable for a terrarium environment. Plants suitable for terrariums need to be able to thrive in a humid environment with limited light and space.

  • Ferns
  • Moss
  • Air plants
  • Succulents
  • Venus flytraps
  • Pitcher plant
  • Carnivorous plants

Ideal Environment For Terrariums

Terrariums require a balance of humidity, light, ventilation, and temperature to create a successful and healthy environment for the inhabitants.

  • Choose the right soil and drainage system.
  • Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.
  • Place the terrarium in an area with indirect sunlight.
  • Use a heater or fan to regulate temperature and ventilation.

Creating a terrarium is a fun and rewarding experience that allows you to explore the natural world in a confined space. With so many types and variations to choose from, finding the perfect terrarium for your plants or pets can be an exciting journey.


Are fascinating pieces of equipment that provide a window to an aquatic world. They come in different sizes and designs, making them a popular choice for both homes and businesses. With aquariums, you can keep different kinds of fish that thrive in fresh, brackish, or saltwater.

Definition Of Aquariums

An aquarium is a container made of glass or acrylic designed to keep and display aquatic organisms such as fish, plants, and invertebrates. The tank contains water, lighting, and a filtration system to maintain water quality for the aquatic inhabitants.

Aquariums can be as small as a few liters, while others can be several thousand liters. They are primarily used for ornamental purposes and as a hobby for aquarists around the world.

Types Of Aquariums

There are different types of aquariums to suit different preferences and needs.

  • Freshwater aquariums
  • Saltwater aquariums
  • Brackish aquariums
  • Reef aquariums
  • Nano aquariums
  • Biotope aquariums
  • Planted aquariums

Purpose Of Aquariums

Aquariums serve several purposes, including:

  • Aesthetic value: aquariums add beauty and sophistication to a room or space.
  • Reducing stress: studies show that viewing aquariums reduces stress levels.
  • Education: aquariums provide education on aquatic organisms, ecosystems, and the environment.
  • Hobby: aquariums are a popular hobby among aquarists who enjoy keeping fish and other aquatic organisms.

Suitable Fish Species For Aquariums

Different fish species have different requirements for their well-being.

  • Goldfish: ideal for freshwater aquariums with a minimum of 40 liters of water per fish.
  • Betta: suitable for small tanks, with a minimum capacity of 10 liters.
  • Guppies: ideal for beginners, they require freshwater and a minimum tank size of 19 liters.
  • Tetras: great for community tanks, they require freshwater and a minimum of 50 liters of water.
  • Clownfish: popular marine fish that require saltwater and a minimum tank size of 190 liters.
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Ideal Environment For Aquariums

To maintain optimal health for aquatic inhabitants in aquariums, some factors must be considered, such as:

  • Water quality: the water must be free of pollutants, balanced in ph, and have the appropriate hardness and temperature.
  • Lighting: adequate lighting is necessary for the growth of aquatic plants and the health of fish.
  • Filtration: the filtration system ensures that the water is clean and well-circulated, removing impurities and waste.
  • Decoration: the aquarium’s decoration and substrate should mimic the natural environment of the aquatic organisms living in the tank.

Aquariums are an excellent way to bring a piece of the aquatic world into your home or business. With the right equipment, suitable fish species, and ideal environment, aquariums can be a source of beauty and relaxation.


Terrarium Vs Aquarium Vs Vivarium – Difference Explained

Are you wondering what a vivarium is and how it differs from an aquarium and a terrarium? A vivarium is often used for housing and displaying reptiles, amphibians, and even some invertebrates. It’s an enclosed space that replicates the natural habitat of the animal, providing not only a shelter but also an environment that’s conducive to its wellbeing.

Definition Of Vivariums

A vivarium is a specially crafted container created to recreate the natural habitat of an animal, particularly reptiles and amphibians. The purpose of a vivarium is to provide an environment that is not only safe and secure but also suited to the specific animal’s needs.

Types Of Vivariums

There are several different types of vivariums, mainly classified according to the animal being kept.

  • Desert vivarium: designed to mimic the hot and dry conditions found in a desert, these vivariums are ideal for certain species of snakes, lizards, and tortoises.
  • Rainforest vivarium: with its high humidity and plenty of plants, this vivarium is perfect for tree frogs, chameleons, and many other species.
  • Arboreal vivarium: these vivariums are designed to provide vertical space so the animal can climb and move freely. They can be customized to suit different species.
  • Aquatic vivarium: these vivariums are designed to accommodate aquatic species such as fish, turtles, and amphibians.

Purpose Of Vivariums

The main purpose of a vivarium is to provide a safe and comfortable environment for the animal, with all the resources it needs to thrive. When kept in a vivarium, the animal’s diet, lighting, and temperature can be carefully controlled, which can be a challenge in a natural environment.

They also help the animal feel secure, which in turn reduces stress levels and keeps them healthy.

Suitable Animals For Vivariums

Some of the most suitable animals for vivariums include:

  • Geckos
  • Snakes
  • Chameleons
  • Frogs
  • Tortoises
  • Bearded dragons

However, it is vital to research the needs of individual species as to what is required for them to thrive in a vivarium.

Ideal Environment For Vivariums

Creating an ideal environment is crucial when it comes to a vivarium. The environment should mimic the animal’s natural habitat, be spacious, and provide resources such as lighting, heating, and water.

  • Temperature: different species require different temperature ranges, so it’s essential to choose a vivarium that accommodates the right temperature range.
  • Lighting: most reptiles require uvb lighting to synthesize vitamin d3, which is essential for their health.
  • Substrate and accessories: the substrate and accessories offered should be appropriate for the animal and their natural habitat they come from. Creating a landscape that mirrors a natural environment can enhance an animal’s quality of life within the vivarium. Additionally, hiding places or refuges for the animal to retreat when stressed are necessary.

Vivariums are a unique way of replicating natural habitats and maintaining the ideal conditions for animals that require a specific environment to thrive. By providing the right temperature, light, and resources, vivariums can help animals feel secure, reducing stress levels and promoting healthy living conditions.

Can Blue Aquarium Fish Species Be Kept in a Terrarium or Vivarium?

Can stunning blue aquarium fish species be kept in a terrarium or vivarium? No, these fish are specifically designed for life in a water-based environment. They require constant access to oxygen, proper filtration, and a specific water temperature. Keeping them in a terrarium or vivarium would be detrimental to their health and well-being.

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Terrarium Vs Aquarium Vs Vivarium – Key Differences

Have you ever been confused about the differences between terrariums, aquariums, and vivariums? Each of these enclosures has unique features that make them distinctive. In this article, we’ll break down the key differences between these three types of enclosures.

Overview Of Differences Between The Three Types Of Enclosures

  • Terrarium: an enclosed area where plants, reptiles, and arthropods can live and thrive.
  • Aquarium: a glass or acrylic enclosure specifically designed for fish and aquatic plants.
  • Vivarium: a container primarily used for reptiles and amphibians, which can recreate a natural environment for various species.

Differences In Purpose

  • A terrarium is suitable for keeping plants and small animals in a closed environment that mimics actual habitats. It allows for the cultivation of plants that require a specific moisture level, temperature, and lighting.
  • An aquarium is a closed ecosystem designed to support aquatic ecosystems such as fish, snails, and other creatures. Aquatic plants are also often added to aquariums to provide a more natural environment for the inhabitants.
  • A vivarium focuses on terrestrial animals such as reptiles and amphibians that require a specific environment, including uv light, heat, humidity, and substrate. Vivariums are typically designed to mimic the animals’ natural habitat.

Differences In Environment

  • Terrariums usually contain soil, sand, gravel, or peat-based substrates, topped with a layer of moss. Plants in terrariums thrive in moist environments, and the enclosure needs to have adequate ventilation to prevent mold growth.
  • Aquariums require a water source that needs filtration and oxygenation systems to maintain suitable conditions for aquatic life. Various types of freshwater and saltwater aquariums can exist, each with specific environmental requirements.
  • Vivariums need a source of uv light, heating, and specific substrate to mimic soil found in the animal’s natural habitat. The enclosure should have a temperature gradient ranging from warm to cool to provide the necessary conditions for the inhabitant’s thermoregulation.

Differences In Suitable Inhabitants

  • Terrariums can house animals such as small reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods, including spiders, beetles, and millipedes. Plants can be added to provide oxygen and a natural habitat for the inhabitants.
  • Aquariums can contain various freshwater or saltwater fish, aquatic invertebrates such as crabs and snails, and underwater plants. The inhabitants require specific water conditions to survive, including appropriate water ph, hardness, and oxygen saturation levels.
  • Vivariums primarily house reptiles such as snakes, lizards, geckos, and amphibians like frogs and newts. The enclosure needs to provide specific environmental conditions, including heating, humidity, and ventilation, to ensure their survival. Some specialty vivariums may even focus on certain reptiles like chameleons, iguanas, or tree frogs.

Terrariums, aquariums, and vivariums are distinct types of enclosures with unique features and specific purposes. Consider the depth of research and preparation required before creating an enclosure for any animal or plant species.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Terrarium Vs Aquarium Vs Vivarium -Difference Explained

What Is A Terrarium And How Is It Different From An Aquarium And A Vivarium?

A terrarium is a sealed container used for growing and displaying plants, while an aquarium is used for housing aquatic animals, and a vivarium is used for housing reptiles or amphibians.

What Are Some Popular Plants That Can Be Grown In A Terrarium?

Some popular terrarium plants include mosses, ferns, air plants, and succulents.

What Type Of Animals Can Live In An Aquarium?

Fish, invertebrates, and aquatic plants are commonly kept in aquariums.

How Does Maintaining An Aquarium Differ From Maintaining A Terrarium?

Aquariums require a filtration system and regular water changes, while terrariums require misting and monitoring humidity levels.

What Are Some Popular Reptiles That Can Be Kept In A Vivarium?

Some popular vivarium reptiles include geckos, chameleons, bearded dragons, and snakes.


Understanding the differences between a terrarium, aquarium, and vivarium can help you decide which is best for you and your pets or plants. Terrariums offer a beautiful display of enclosed plants, while aquariums provide a unique underwater habitat for aquatic life.

Vivariums, on the other hand, offer a more comprehensive living space for reptiles, amphibians, and insects. Each option requires different maintenance, so it’s important to consider your level of commitment before making a final decision. Ultimately, the choice between a terrarium, aquarium, or vivarium comes down to personal preference and the needs of your pets or plants.

With this guide, you should be able to weigh the pros and cons and decide which setup is the best fit for you. Happy pet or plant keeping!

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