How Big Is A Vivarium? (Terrarium, Paludarium, Aquarium, Etc.)

When it comes to the question, “how big is a vivarium,” there can be a thousand different answers. Vivarium can be the size of a cup of coffee to the size of a piano. They can be described as a place for dolphins to even a place for ants. According to Wikipedia, the meaning of vivarium is ‘a place for life,’ which makes this question extremely vague. But no worries, I will do my best to cover the size of the most popular vivariums. 😎

There are many types of vivariums. Some vivariums, you can keep at home. And others, you’ll have to visit a location. Let’s scale down this question even further so we can get an idea of how big each type of vivarium is. You’d be amazed. Generally, most potential pet owners believe that vivarium is a mini tank with life. Wrong.

Not all vivariums are miniature and you’ll see why.

Types of Vivarium

There are a number of vivariums and the list can stretch out pretty far. I will list the most popular types of vivarium so potential vivarium owners can get an idea of what it is and how big they are.

  • Aquarium
  • Paludarium
  • Terrarium
  • Formicarium
  • Orchidarium

While there are many more types of vivarium, these are a few of the most popular ones. There are a ton of other -ium such as mossarium, penguinarium, and even dolphinarium. As long as you’re aware of the differences, then it doesn’t matter. It’s better to keep up with the popular ones, but it’s also interesting to learn many terms related to the vivarium. You’d be surprised.

Let’s start with the first one of the bunch:

How big is an aquarium?

One type of popular vivarium is an aquarium. The size of aquariums can range from the size of an Xbox to the size of a bar table. There are many avid aquarium owners with humongous aquariums. Some of these aquariums can hold up to 150 gallons of water. Now, that’s a lot of water!

aquarium size

You got to admit, you probably know someone out there that owns an aquarium. Aquariums usually have gravel on the bottom and possibly contains underwater plants. People with aquariums usually have it for fishkeeping. Aquariums can even contain salamanders, turtles, or even frogs.  The aquarium is probably one of the most popular vivaria out of all the types. You ever wondered what one of the biggest aquariums in the world looks like? Be amazed.


In the video above, you can see the comparison between a human and the world’s second-biggest aquarium known as the Kuroshio Sea. I’ve never been to this location before but if an opportunity ever arises, I’d leave to see this aquarium in a heartbeat. There is a YouTube video somewhere that plays this video with music and even watching the video seems unreal. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be at the Kuroshio Sea.

How big is a paludarium?

Paludarium is usually the size of a fish tank except that it isn’t filled with water like an aquarium. They can also be kept in a jar depending on what type of living things you put in there. Paludariums are usually filled 1/4th of the way, which makes it able to keep land and water living things.


With paludarium, you have more animals/plants to add in a swamp and jungle-like environment. They are usually high in humidity. Paludariums are actually rising in popularity throughout the year thanks to social media. You’d be surprised by what people can pull off with a single jar.


How big is a terrarium?

A terrarium can be as small as a jar to the size of a fish tank. This type of vivarium is for savannah and desert habitats. In a terrarium, there are usually fewer plants and the humidity is low. A terrarium can be quite easy for beginners because there are many species that can be easily kept in this type of vivarium.


If you’re a fan of vivariums, then owning a terrarium can be a great starter kit for you to test out the waters.

the cost of terrarium
Terrariums can be kept in a jar size to even a tank.

How big is a formicarium?

Formicarium is usually the size of a cereal bowl or school textbook. Another name for this type of vivarium is ‘ant farm.’ Formicarium was designed mainly for owners to be able to study ant colonies and how the colonies behave.

Surprisingly, there are many insect lovers out there that would have these ant farms just for the enjoyment of it. Owning a formicarium can give you the experience of watching from as many as a few ants growing into the thousands.


If you’re an insect lover and have a fascination when it comes to watching your ecosystem grow, then owning a formicarium is the perfect vivarium for you.

As for me, I don’t do well with ants, which is why I would NEVER put one of these in my room no matter what. Maybe I’m traumatized from ants constantly invading my house, but who knows. Maybe I’ll change my mind one day. 🙂

From VivariumTips,


If you’re a nature lover, then owning a vivarium is a must. There are many vivarium communities that are growing on a daily basis and more people are starting to become interested in owning their own mini-ecosystem. Because some vivariums can be costly, then you might want to check out the types of the vivarium and its cost if you’re on a budget.

There are Reddit communities, Facebook groups, and even Discord chat for vivarium lovers. You might want to check those out. There are hundreds of images posted every day of people’s vivarium and it amazes me how some people can pull off an amazing ecosystem. From jars to adding an ecosystem right inside their tables, you will find much amazing and valuable information in these groups.

Stay posted for future knowledge on vivarium tips and tricks!

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