The then-new fern can be seen here, in the tall vase on the right. (The "lid" is actually a glass saucer.) I don't have a positive ID, but I believe that the fern is a Nephrolepsis.
During the holidays, when my terrarium grouping was moved to accommodate our Christmas tree, the fern started to decline, and by late January, it had turned completely black. When I removed the dead plant, I found the soil to be excessively wet, and I realized that I had watered this terrarium a little too well when I replanted. So after emptying out the soggy soil, and cleaning the vase thoroughly, I set out to find a replacement plant. I went to my usual nurseries and local box stores, and none of them had any suitably-sized ferns for sale. So I went with something a little different.
When I decided to post a picture of my new plant, I realized I had missed an opportunity. I could have made things more interesting by showing some of the process of planting the terrarium. So this week, when I decided to give a crowded Asplenium nidus some more growing room, I also decided to take some pictures of what went into assembling its new home.
Previously posted pictures of Asplenium nidus outgrowing its glass cookie jar. Normally I keep the lid on, which has caused some damage to the fronds.
I started with a brand new 10 gallon aquarium:
The first thing I did was add a layer of gravel. This is also a good time to add some charcoal to keep the soil fresh. I didn't, since I forgot to buy some. Oops. I don't think it will make much difference in the long run.
For step 2, I added a layer of potting mix, which I forgot to photograph. This is just as well, as it was definitely a "do as I say, not as I do" moment. The mix I used was quite dry. Using a moistened medium is generally better, as it is easier to work with.
As for the plants:
Dried moss purchased from the same pet store as the aquarium. This is actual living moss, meant for terrarium use, which will be rejuvenated when introduced to a moist environment.
Preserved moss from the craft store. This is not a live product, but it adds visual interest, holds up for some time, and can be easily replaced when it starts to deteriorate.
Side view. I use mineral specimens and river rocks to add interest to all my terrariums and dish gardens. I used amethyst (purple) and sodalite (blue) in this one.
The completed terrarium, watered and in place. The plastic cling rap is only temporary, just to raise the humidity a bit. I have asked my husband to make a permanent lid of leaded glass for me.
But wait! There's more! I couldn't very well leave the cookie jar empty. As it happened, one of the nurseries did have some smaller ferns available today, so I purchased this one. I haven't a clue as to its identity.
I now have a total of six terrariums around the house. I also have an empty one gallon aquarium available, so I expect the number will increase to seven some time in the future.