Skip to content

Aquarium, Terrarium, Viquarium oh my!

Well, it all started at Christmas time. I got this really nice Gossamer Falls desktop waterfall from Santa. It’s a really nice cascading desktop waterfall. Here is the photo on the box (plants not included).

It’s supposed to be therapeutic, it is advertised as “perfect for relaxation and meditation”, but for me it was extremely frustrating, because the waterfall has to be position exactly right for it to flow correctly. I can be quite stubborn and I tried all the tips in the instructions and everything else I could think of to get this thing to work properly. I’d get it going just right and a while later the water would lose it’s grip on the copper pipe and splash water all over the place. Finally, after a couple of weeks, I gave up.

Then Rich said, why don’t you put the whole thing in an aquarium, that way if it splashes it won’t make a mess! Super idea, since I already had an aquarium packed away up in the loft. I dug out my 40 gallon tank and all the fish stuff (aquariums are not a cheap hobby). But unfortunately, the base of the waterfall was just a bit to wide to fit inside the tank. Rather than just putting everything back into storage, I got out my hack saw and cut off the edges of the resin base of the waterfall. BTW, resin is safe for fish. Here’s a photo of the waterfall inside the aquarium. I was pleasantly surprised that the aquarium survived over 10 years in storage (without temperature control; so the blazing heat of summer and the freezing cold of winter) with no leaks. Even the light bulb on the tank hood still worked!

OK now what do I do with this mess? Looks like crap! I decided to try a “viquarium”, which is half aquarium and half terrarium. I used gravel and small rocks to build a land area around the waterfall and left the other half as a typical aquarium.

I picked up a little divider at the pet store to help separate the two sides, then covered the base of the fountain with gravel. Getting there! An added benefit to this set up is that I found if I tilted the fountain backward in the gravel it worked perfectly!

A few more touches, background and plants.

Now, what/who will get to live in this lovely abode? Meet Blinky and Slinky! Aaron named Blinky after “Blinky Productions” and Eric just loves Slinkies!

Slinky and Blinky (slinky is on the left with two little green spots on his back)


Slinky and Blinky are Fire Belly Toads or Latin name: Bombina orientalis. They are native to China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. They grow to about 2 to 2½ inches in length and have bright orange bellies, hence the name “fire belly”.

Here is a nice shot of the waterfall. You can see Blinky and Slinky to the left.


Fire Belly Toads eat crickets, which I pick up at the pet store every couple of weeks. I have a couple of hardy tetras in the fish tank side of the viquarium. Not sure what I’ll put in there. I can’t put too many fish, as there is only about 10 gallon’s of water on the pond side. Once the tank is fully established, I’ll probably get some Neon Tetras. I like those.


7 thoughts on “Aquarium, Terrarium, Viquarium oh my!

  1. Jorge says:

    You should try and start up business. Will set up your stuff dot calm.

  2. Ann says:

    Cindy – you did a great job with that project! All because of a splashing waterfall 🙂

  3. Cindy says:

    Thanks George, but no thanks, one was enough.

    Thanks Ann. The waterfall in no longer splashing, so I’m happy. Blinky and Slinky seem happy too!

  4. Mark says:

    I want to do the same thing to my old tank, but my main concern is not being able to find a fillter that can fillter at low levels. Can you give me some insight?

    • Cindy says:

      Mark, check out the Whisper In Tank Filters. They come in several sizes and they suck water from the bottom of the tank, filter it and then sends the clean water out the top in a nice waterfall-like cascade.

  5. Jessica says:

    Hi, What water filter did you use. All the ones I have seen seem to hang rather than stand. Any suggestions?


  6. Cindy says:

    I used a Tetra Whisper Internal Power Filter


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *