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Paludariums: Discover Water Garden Terrariums!

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Sometimes referred to as a garden aquarium, a paludarium is a natural biosphere that combines water and land inside the same aquarium environment. The word paludarium stems from the Latin words "paludal" (relating to marshes) and "arium" (a place of or connected to). These environments can represent a plethora of habitats including tropical rainforests, jungles, riverbanks, bogs, or even the beach.

use a kit
A paludarium is an excellent way to replicate a natural environment, but how can you be sure you have everything you'll need for the habitat? A hobbyist's best bet is to get a foolproof aquarium/terrarium kit with integrated filtration and built-in lighting. That way, every component is a perfect fit, and you'll just need to decide on an appropriate heater.


Have you ever had the inclination to create a distinctive and unusual environment to display your interest in herps?

If so, a paludarium might be an excellent outlet for you to express your creativity and show off your prized reptile or amphibian friend.

choose a theme
To achieve a successful paludarium, focus your aquascaping and stocking plans around a specific region, species, or community grouping. Make a sketch of the paludarium layout that you want to achieve. This will help you pinpoint the materials necessary to create your environment. In order to create a realistic paludarium, wood, rock, plants, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and more can be used in combination to create a unique and natural-looking waterscape. Be creative! You can arrange your aquarium entirely according to your own tastes and preferences.

In a paludarium, plants play a major role in achieving your overall theme. There is a large and diverse range of plants you can use in your paludarium. Be sure you purchase both land and aquatic plants to create a natural-looking habitat. Plants that are tolerant of high humidity and moisture, like various ivy, java fern and anubias plants, are ideal for paludarium environments.

Restraint and patience are very important. Avoid overpopulating your paludarium or you'll find water quality very difficult to maintain. Oriental Firebellied Toad Also, when establishing a new system, introduce only a few species at a time over several weeks - if not months. When selecting species for your paludarium, it is very important to research each species in order to be sure that they are compatible with each other.

FISH: Friendly community species, such as guppies, platys, tetra, hatchetfish, and many more, will do well in a paludarium environment.

AMPHIBIANS: Amphibians such as newts, salamanders, and some species of toads would make an excellent addition to a paludarium. They thrive in a high-humidity, damp environment and spend time on land and in the water. Certain reptiles may also benefit from the environment a paludarium provides.

Once created, your paludarium will require little maintenance. Perform a daily check of the water level, fish and species health, and plant growth. Weekly 30% water changes are important in order to remove toxins from the aquarium water and to achieve optimum species and plant health. Yellow leaves and overgrown plants should be pruned and thinned out as needed. A paludarium is a unique and creative alternative to the traditional reptile display. Take an adventure and design a one-of-a-kind paludarium your reptile and aquatic friends will go wild for.

anubias nanaAfter you choose your paludarium supplies from Drs. Foster and Smith, visit to shop the web's most trusted fish and aquatic plant store... from home! Drs. Foster and Smith's is your direct source for live fish and plants and expert aquatic advice.

We offer healthy, hardy, beautiful aquatic species and plants of the highest quality so you get the best available online or at retail stores.

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Orange Sunshine Guppy Cardinal Tetra Marble Hatchet

  • Exo Terra Small Natural Terrarium
    Advanced, all-glass reptile terrarium sized right to fit most spaces. Loaded with easy care features designed to ease reptile care.
  • Foggers
    create an exotic atmosphere and offer much needed moisture and humidity to your reptile's air.
  • TidyTurtle
    is a natural cleaner that helps break down organic debris, sludge, and odor often found in paludarium water.
TidyTurtle Tank Cleaner Exo Terra Small Natural Terrarium
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