It doesn’t have to be an aquarium, any clear glass container that has a lid or a small opening will suffice.
1 ) Remove all the extra aquarium parts if you are using an aquarium, keep the light and cover but ditch the pump and anything else you can get out of your way.
2 ) Put the soil you’ll be using in the sink and wet it good. I use sphagnum peat moss or sphagnum moss for carnivorous plants and regular potting soil for most everything else.
3 ) Wring the soil out like you are squeezing a sponge. You want the soil to be wet enough to stick together like a meatball but you don’t want any extra water in there. This also makes it easier to get the soil in the terrarium with out getting it all over the sides of the terrarium.
4) I wipe down the sides of the terrarium now, it is much easier than it will be once the plants are inside. I also clean up and trim the plants now. It is much easier to clean them in the sink.
5) Using a spoon I dig little holes and plant my plants. Be very sure to firmly push the soil down around the plants. You don’t want air pockets around the roots.
6 ) Put the light and cover back on or find a sunny window for your terrarium.
You should see condensation form on the sides or top when the sun hits this terrarium. If not add a little water each day until you do. It’s awful hard to get the water back out so take your time.
If you use loose gravel or glass beads as a planting medium you might get algae. I find a little ‘Algae Fix’ added to the water takes care of that.