How to Install a Waterfall in a Terrarium

Installing a waterfall in a terrarium can create a beautiful and dynamic focal point, providing both aesthetic and functional benefits such as increased humidity and water circulation. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install a waterfall in a terrarium:

Materials Needed

A suitable size Terrarium Tank for your setup. A submersible pump appropriate for the size of your waterfall. Flexible tubing to connect the pump to the waterfall outlet. A container for the pump and water reservoir (e.g., a plastic container or small pond liner). Optional mesh or filter material to keep debris out of the pump.

Natural or artificial rocks to create the waterfall structure. Aquarium-safe silicone sealant to secure rocks and tubing or super glue and tissue can be used to connect rocks and stones.

Gravel, sand, or soil substrate for the base.

Aquatic and terrestrial plants to enhance the natural look.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Plan Your Design:

Decide where you want the waterfall to be in the terrarium. Consider the overall design and how the water flow will integrate with other elements. Ensure the water will flow back into the reservoir or a designated pool area to avoid flooding.

Prepare the Base:

Place the waterproof container in the desired location for the water reservoir. This container will house the pump and collect the water.

Add a layer of substrate around the container, creating a natural-looking base. Ensure the container is well-hidden but accessible for maintenance.

Install the Pump.

Place the submersible pump inside the waterproof container.

Attach the flexible tubing to the pump outlet. Ensure the tubing is long enough to reach the top of the waterfall structure.

Build the Waterfall Structure:

Start building the waterfall using rocks or stones. Begin at the base and work upwards, stacking and securing the rocks with aquarium-safe silicone sealant. Hide the tubing behind the rocks, ensuring it emerges at the top of the waterfall where the water will flow out.

Use the silicone sealant to secure the tubing in place and ensure it stays hidden. Allow the sealant to dry completely.

Position the end of the tubing at the top of the waterfall structure. You may need to adjust the tubing to control the flow and direction of the water.

Fill the reservoir with water and turn on the pump to test the water flow. Adjust the rocks and tubing as needed to create a smooth and natural-looking waterfall.

Add more substrate around the waterfall structure to blend it seamlessly into the terrarium landscape.

Plant aquatic and terrestrial plants around the waterfall to enhance the natural look. Choose plants that thrive in high humidity.

Add additional decorations like driftwood, moss, or small stones to complete the design.


Regularly check and maintain the water level in the reservoir to ensure the pump operates properly.

Periodically clean the pump and tubing to prevent clogs and ensure efficient water flow.

Trim and care for the plants as needed to keep the terrarium healthy and aesthetically pleasing.

Tips for a Successful Waterfall Installation

Choose a pump with adjustable flow to control the water speed and volume.

Ensure all joints and connections are sealed properly to prevent leaks.

Use a variety of rock sizes and shapes to create a more natural-looking waterfall.

Consider adding lighting to highlight the waterfall and create a stunning visual effect.

By following these steps, you can install a beautiful and functional waterfall in your terrarium, enhancing both its aesthetic appeal and environmental conditions for the plants and animals living inside.