What is the difference between terrarium and vivarium?

If all your life you have been confused about the difference between terrarium and vivarium (or any other atrium), then here is your chance to clear up your confusion and it can help you build your terrarium in Singapore.

At a certain point we all have mixed terrarium and vivarium, which is not a bad thing to do, of course we all are here to learn and discover. 

These both things are way different, but a thin line which differentiates between them has become blurry.

Both of them consist of different materials, containers, plant types and most of all caring techniques. Differentiating between these two can save your time and project.

Meaning of their names

Let’s look at the meaning of these two, even though the word “arium” literally means “container” but the prefixes are unique, which tells a different story about both “ariums”. The word “terra” means “earth” and “vivera” means “live”.

Now that you are aware of the difference between names, let’s have a look into it. Terrarium is used to grow plants while vivariums are used to mimic the natural habitat of animals.

I hope by now you are aware about the meaning and you can differentiate between two when someone asks about terrarium in Singapore.

Key differences

Terrariums are made up of natural life meanwhile vivariums are made up of materials that are mostly artificial. 

Terrariums are containers (glass) that consist of materials which are more of the natural phenomena while vivariums are things that are artificial which consist of external lights, filters and pumps to keep the environment as per the animal’s need.

If you are reading a guide about how to build a vivarium and keeping in mind that you are going to make a terrarium, then you will be stuck with the wrong things. 

As mentioned before, vivariums are used to facilitate animals in it, you will probably end up with a fitting ventilation fan in your terrarium.

Both of them require different conditions for their inhabitants. The conditions of a vivarium will be way different for a plant and a lizard. 

Your average size terrarium can not fit the plants that are used in vivariums. Yes, the plants which are kept in vivarium can outgrow your average size terrarium.

You might have seen plants that are labelled as “Carpet plants” and thought that it is a good idea to plant it in your terrarium. Then it is suggested you not to do so. You can take it for a bigger approach in terrarium, but in general these plants are used only in vivariums.

A coin has two sides

There are many different “ariums” in the world but it does not mean that few of them might be the same. 

For example, the word “terrarium” means “earth” while the word “aqua” means “water”, meanwhile the word vivariums translates to “life”.

Life can never be the same as earth. Life is a feature and not an environment.

If by now you are confused that if plants are living things, does it mean that terrarium is anyhow a branch of vivarium? 

In fact, vivariums do contain few of the earth materials and you might be thinking that vivarium is basically a terrarium with an animal in it.

I would suggest you keep things simple and not get stuck in loopholes. Always have a practical approach to these two. Always keep in mind to differentiate between them by their inhabitants.

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