How to Grow Grass in a Fish Tank


Old aquariums can easily be turned into terrariums to grow grass indoors. This can be a green decoration, a way of prepping grass for a lawn or a method of incorporating living plants into your home with minimal cost. Grass needs slightly different care when grown in a glass aquarium, but with proper care you can have a terrarium in a matter of minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass aquarium
  • Gravel or pebbles (enough to cover the bottom of the aquarium)
  • Charcoal
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Soil
  • Grass seed
  • Spray bottle
  • Empty the aquarium and clean it with soapy water. A clean terrarium will grow grass better than one full of leftover fish scum. Scrub the sides with a clean sponge or rag to remove the remaining dirt and let it sit in the sun to dry for a few hours.

  • Pile enough gravel or pebbles in the bottom of the aquarium to cover it, but do not build up the layer too much. A 1/2-inch to 1-inch coat of pebbles will serve as the bottom level of filtration.

  • Place a layer of charcoal over the top of the pebbles. You can find this at a plant store, or use old aquarium filters broken up in pieces. Again, do not build up the layer too high as this is a lower level of filtration but not a primary growing layer.

  • Put sphagnum moss on top of the charcoal. This will serve as a bed for the soil and will enrich the roots of the grass plants.

  • Place soil on top of the moss. This layer should be built up a few inches so the roots of the grass plants can grow deep enough to support a taller plant.

  • Plant the grass seed in the top layer of soil by sprinkling the seeds on top and gently pressing them into the soil. Do not cover the soil with a thick layer of seeds; leave enough space for the seeds to germinate.

  • Set the aquarium in a place that receives partial sunlight and rotate it every few days so the grass does not grow slanted into the sun. Do not place it in direct, all-day sun as the glass sides of the aquarium will raise the heat and you could scorch the young grass plants.

  • Spray the seeds with a light mist of water from the spray bottle every twelve hours while the aquarium sits in the sun. The glass sides will incubate the interior of the aquarium and provide a lot of heat for the seeds, so they must be misted often to maintain hydration.

Tips & Warnings

  • Trim the grass with scissors when you feel it has grown too high.


  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
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