How to make a humidifier for a terrarium

Updated February 21, 2017

Reptiles and amphibians are among the most unique organisms on the planet, and when kept as pets they sometimes live in enclosures called terrariums. A terrarium often contains plants and some sort of substrate like rocks or gravel. Many terrarium-dwelling plants and animals need a moist environment that must be kept very humid. Chameleons and many types of frogs, for example, require humidity levels of around 90 per cent. To keep moisture levels up, use a humidifier that you can buy from a pet shop or make yourself with a few tools and supplies from your local DIY or hardware shop.

Cut the plastic tube to two lengths of 90 cm (3 feet) using the scissors.

Drill two holes in the lid of the plastic container about the same diameter of the plastic tubing. The plastic tubing should fit through them snugly.

String one of the sections of plastic tubing through one of the holes in the lid and guide it all the way to the bottom of the container.

Remove the lid and attach the air stone to the opening of the plastic tubing that you strung to the bottom of the container earlier. The air stone, which ordinarily will be green, blue, or black, is a small porous stone that releases air and creates bubbles when submerged in water.

Fill the container about two-thirds of the way with water and place the lid back on the container and seal it tightly.

Attach the other end of the plastic tubing section with the air stone to the output of the air pump. The output is where the air is expelled.

String the other section of tubing through the other hole in the lid, but only guide it down about 2.5 cm (1 inch) or so into the container. The opening should not come into contact with the water in the container.

String the other end of the section of tubing into the terrarium. If you have a screen lid, you may be able to squeeze it through one of the openings in the screen. If you have a plastic, aquarium bonnet-style lid, there should be small openings in the back allowing you to squeeze it in.

Plug the air pump into a power socket. Air should begin pumping through the air stone, creating bubbles in the container. Moisture should then travel up through the other section of tubing into your terrarium.


Use the sealant to seal around the holes where you strung the tubing through if you can feel any air escaping.

Things You'll Need

  • Air pump
  • 6.25 mm (1/4 inch) diameter plastic air tube
  • Plastic jar with lid
  • Air stone
  • Power drill
  • Scissors
  • Silicone sealant
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About the Author

Brenton Shields began writing professionally in 2009. His work includes film reviews that appear for the online magazine Los Angeles Chronicle. He received a Bachelor of Science in social science and history from Radford University.