The main difference between aquarium and terrarium is that aquarium houses fish, other aquatic animals and plants while terrarium houses plants and small land animals. Moreover, aquaria are typically completely filled with water, whereas terraria are not.
A vivarium is an enclosed area where animals or plants are raised/grown for observation or study. Aquarium and terrarium are two types of vivaria. An aquarium is a vivarium for aquatic animals and plants while a terrarium is a vivarium for land plants and land animals.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is an Aquarium
– Definition, Inhabitants, Characteristics
2. What is a Terrarium
– Definition, Inhabitants, Characteristics
3. What are the Similarities Between Aquarium and Terrarium
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Aquarium and Terrarium
– Comparison of Key Differences
Aquarium, Terrarium, Vivarium
What is an Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium of any size having at least one transparent side in which aquatic plants or animals are grown/raised and displayed. You can observe fish, aquatic animals like turtles and crabs, and aquatic plants in aquaria. Aquaria are available in different shapes and sizes. We usually call cuboid aquaria as fish tanks and bowl-shaped aquaria as fish bowls. Fishbowls are entirely made of transparent materials like glass or plastic, while fish tanks have at least one transparent side. In addition, the size of an aquarium can range from small glass bowls with less than 1l of water to huge public aquaria that house entire ecosystems. These huge public aquaria house large aquatic species like dolphins, whales and sharks.
Furthermore, we can classify aquaria depending on the nature of their inhabitants. Freshwater aquaria and marine aquaria are two such classifications. Although marine aquaria typically have exotic fish species, they are more expensive and difficult to maintain than freshwater aquaria.
What is a Terrarium
A terrarium is an enclosed, miniature indoor garden, usually made of glass so that you can see your collection of plants. It is similar to a mini-greenhouse. There are two basic types of terrariums as closed and open; closed terrariums usually have a removable lid whereas open terrariums do not. Furthermore, closed terrariums are more suitable for tropical plants such as ferns, orchids, mosses and air plants. Open terrariums, on the other hand, are better for plants that require less humidity and soil temperature.
Sealed terrariums are fully functioning ecosystems. The transparent walls allow light and heat to enter the terrarium. The sunlight helps in the photosynthesis process of the plants while the heat causes moisture to evaporate from the soil and plants. This water vapour then condenses on the inside surfaces of the glass walls and eventually falls back into the soil. This process continues inside the terrarium, creating an ideal environment for growing plants, preventing the plants from becoming excessively dry. Moreover, the soil provides nutrients for the plants, and when the plants die, they decompose into the soil, replenishing the nutrient content in the soil.
It’s also important to note that the word terrarium also refers to a vivarium for smaller land animals, like reptiles, amphibians, or terrestrial invertebrates. Toads, frogs, chameleons, spiders, and salamanders are some animals you can usually keep in such structures.
Similarities Between Aquarium and Terrarium
- Aquarium and terrarium are two types of vivaria.
- At least one side of both these structures is transparent.
- Both these structures are capable of housing plants and animals.
- They are miniature ecosystems.
- Moreover, observing aquaria and terraria can create a soothing and relaxing feeling.
Difference Between Aquarium and Terrarium
An aquarium is a vivarium for aquatic animals and plants while a terrarium is a vivarium for land plants and land animals.
Plants and Organisms
Aquaria house fish, other aquatic animals like crabs, shrimps, etc. and aquatic plants while terraria house land plants and small land animals like reptiles and frogs.
Aquaria are designed to be completely filled with water; thus, they can support the weight and pressure of water and are waterproof. Terraria, on the other hand, are not designed to hold water; therefore, they cannot handle the weight and pressure of being filled with water.
Aquaria are often sealed in order to prevent any leakages while terraria may be sealed or open.
The main difference between aquarium and terrarium is the presence of water. Aquaria are full of with water, and they are capable of housing aquatic organisms and plants. Terraria, on the other hand, do not hold water; they house land plants and animals.
1. “What Is a Terrarium? (And How Do They Work?).” Terrarium Tribe, 8 June 2020, Available here.
2. “Aquarium.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 June 2020, Available here.
1. “Fish tank (2)” By Janine from Mililani, Hawaii, United States – fishUploaded by Fæ (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Terrarium small ” (CC0) via Pxhere
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