Custom Nano Paludarium Light

With winter coming on in Seattle, I’m a little obsessed with paludariums - think vivarium or terrarium but with an under water element, which means lots and lots of awesome mosses and maybe some cute little shrimp. There are a ton of these being made in oversized glass bowls, which is an awesome way to display one in your home without requiring it’s own furniture. The problem is lighting for the paludarium - so far all the ones I’ve seen are super gorgeous little landscapes with a silly looking LED lamp over it, somewhat like this:

I think that the black or white plastic takes away from the whole natural aesthetic - I’d love to make a custom wooden stand that wraps around the bottom of the bowl for stability (and maybe protection for your furniture) and has a graceful arch up and over the center of the bowl. I’m thinking 3 layers so I can hide the wiring for the LED in a groove down the middle layer, and a nice flower petal style shade for the LED. With the Glowforge, it would be easy to put one together and then customize the base for whatever size glass bowl I’m working on next.


Awesome idea! You should google ‘ashley lieber moss for meditation’. We have one in our house and we love it!

Ever thought of using acrylic instead of glass? You can cut it on the glowforge and there are some great videos on the YouTube about molding/bending acrylic. There’s a “king of diy” on there that has some great instruction on aquarium building. I’ve been toying around with some terrarium sketches the last few days. Never heard of Paludariums… something new to research… :grinning:

You can also laser-cut jigs or frames that let you bend the acrylic really precisely with a heat gun over the frame - works great.


Great idea. I just bought my first heat gun today to replace / paint some new treads on my front porch steps.

Oh man, making my own aquariums from acrylic would be crazy cool. And probably save a lot of money…

These are awesome… it’s like having a patch of forest floor framed and on your wall. From experience, it must take forever to get these to grow in. Thanks for sharing!

no growing required! It comes grown in and all you have to do is spray it so it stays soft!

Limited ability because of bed depth, but I saw a laser used to fold acrylic.
with the material overhanging an edge the head moved very fast, defocused back and forth on the same line, and the overhang dropped to a perfect 90° by virtue of gravity.

You can do a lot with temperature control as we will all discover as we start playing, er working with our toy um tool.