Where Does CO2 Come From in a Terrarium – Know Everything

A terrarium can be regarded as a self-nourishing vivarium arranged for keeping smaller land animals. The closed terrarium is obviously entirely locked up but where does CO2 come from in a terrarium when it is entirely locked?

And have you ever thought about how plants are able to survive although the terrariums are fully closed? They are not only surviving but also thriving. These things are not happening just like anything. There is a huge touch of science.

While reading about terrariums you will face some tricky questions. We will bring those questions together and answer them for you so that you can get all the information at once.

The terrarium can be classified into two types. One is open and another is closed. A terrarium is a mystery of science. It is a great example of how exceptional and magical science is! In this article, we will give you a piece of detailed information about the magical science of a terrarium.


How Do Plants Get CO2 in a Terrarium?

The most asked question about a terrarium is where does CO2 come from in a  terrarium?  The glass is closed. Then how do plants get CO2? Let us make it easy for you to understand.

Plants get CO2 through respiration. Respiration is the reverse of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis takes place during the daytime. And plants make their food through this process.

For photosynthesis, plants need water & nutrients, carbon dioxide, sunlight, and chlorophyll. With these elements, plants make food in the photosynthesis process. They consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

In respiration, they do the opposite. The consumes oxygen and releases carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is used in photosynthesis again. So, we can see plants are getting carbon dioxide from respiration.

But, if a terrarium is fully closed then plants will consume carbon dioxide. To survive these plants need additional carbon dioxide. The solution is bacteria and other microorganisms. These microbes will take oxygen and produce carbon dioxide.


Do Terrariums Need CO2?

The short answer is yes. Plants can not survive without carbon dioxide. Because plants need food to survive and fuel their growth. And carbon dioxide is a very essential ingredient in the food-making process of a plant which is called photosynthesis.

Plants do survive via photosynthesis. The one and the only way they can produce food is through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis allows them to make food which fuels their growth. To participate in photosynthesis plants need four important ingredients.

They are water & nutrients, carbon dioxide, sunlight, and chlorophyll. If only one element is absent here the photosynthesis process can not be done.

So, if carbon dioxide is absent plants can’t make food as the photosynthesis process will be stopped. As a  result, plants won’t be able to survive and thrive. They will expire of lack of food. Here we get an honest answer that terrariums surely need CO2.


How Does Photosynthesis Work in a Terrarium?

Photosynthesis is the most important term for a plant to survive. You may have heard about photosynthesis. But you may not know the depth of this process. If you want to understand photosynthesis perfectly then read through this part.

 Photosynthesis needs four principal factors.

  • Water & nutrients: They get water and nutrients with the help of their root from the soil.
  • Carbon dioxide: They take through their stomata which means the underside of the leave of a plant. Here they take CO2 from respiration.
  • Sunlight: Plants grab sunlight via chlorophyll.
  • Chlorophyll: It is generally found in the overlying part of the leaves.

Plants use these factors in the daylight to participate in photosynthesis and produce sugar and oxygen. In the real sense, closed plants get carbon dioxide only from respiration. The combination of photosynthesis and respiration helps plants to survive and thrive.

Plants do reuse the carbon dioxide that came from respiration to participate in photosynthesis and use the oxygen that came from photosynthesis to participate in respiration.


Do Terrariums Run Out of Carbon Dioxide?

To all intents and purposes, it depends on the availability of sunlight. As long as there is sunlight you don’t need to worry about carbon dioxide. Plants can participate in the photosynthesis process only if there is sunlight available.

Through photosynthesis, they take carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Then they use this oxygen at night for respiration. If there is enough sunlight in the day, then they will get enough oxygen for the night to participate in respiration.

Most often they produce more oxygen during the day which will be used by them at night. Plants have a balance between photosynthesis and respiration (carbon dioxide and oxygen).

So, what you need to do is to make sure that the sunlight is accessible in the daytime. But, don’t let the sunlight hit the plants directly. Maintain a balance distance from direct sunlight.

But what if the sunlight is not obtainable? Unless the plants are super clean there will be bacteria and other organisms. Probably in the air, or in the soil, or anywhere else.

These organisms extract oxygen and generate carbon dioxide. Then they can state a balance between the production of carbon dioxide and oxygen.

To sum up, we can say terrariums do not run out of carbon dioxide actually. The sunlight or microbe will help to flow the carbon dioxide.


To Sum Up

In closing, we have discussed here the science behind a terrarium. We have explained to you how plants get CO2 in a terrarium. Now you know it’s the result of the combination of photosynthesis and respiration. Terrariums also need oxygen FYI.

In addition, we have chewed over other important facts related to a terrarium and the survival of small plants inside a terrarium.  All in on, we hope you are clear now about every single doubt you had before reading this article. Keep reading and keep learning.