Terraqua Column: How does water affect land and animals?

How does salt affect plant growth, like when we use salt to de-ice snowy winter roads? How does adding fertilizer to the soil help or hurt the plants? What type of soil best purifies the water? All these questions and more can be answered by building a terrarium-aquarium system to discover how these systems are connected together.

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26 Responses to “Terraqua Column: How does water affect land and animals?”
  1. robertdangelo says:

    Hi Aurora, it’s Andie. I have built three terraqua columns — salt water, control and a calcium chloride one. I learned that calcium chloride is extremely dangerous for plants. When I told my father how much calcium chloride I put in the water, he told me it was too much (he double checked this with math). However, even though the plant inside the terraqua column should be dying, it is actually growing!! Also, a different weed and grass are both growing in the calcium chloride column. Please explain this.


  2. Hi Andie! Anything that’s dissolved in the water should be wicked up along with it. Give it a test run and see what happens 🙂

  3. robertdangelo says:

    Hi Aurora, it’s Andie! I crafted two terraqua columns; the water in one of them being salt water. I have a question though — will salt water travel up a wick AS salt water, or will the salt be left behind and only water goes through?



  4. You want to be sure plenty of light gets through, so clear would be best! It would be a great bonus experiment to try a clear one and a green one to see what differences you note.

  5. 5hikingup says:

    Will using a sprite bottle (meaning that the plastic is green and not clear) make a big difference other than not being able to see as well?

  6. Aurora says:

    So the water can travel (“wick”) between the two places. If you really want to be a scientist about it, you can try all sorts of materials (nylon, yarn, twine, etc) and see which works best.

  7. julienl_g says:

    why cotton string?

  8. Aurora says:

    Nearly all do! There’s a couple that I still haven’t made videos for yet.

  9. Yunhee Christian says:

    Do all of your videos have an experiment with them?

  10. Melody Konkel says:

    thanks aurora

  11. Aurora says:

    For piping water up through the column. (I assume the “4” was meant to replace the word “for” and did not indicate the length of the string?)

  12. Melody Konkel says:


  13. Melody Konkel says:


  14. Michelle Stevens says:


  15. Aurora says:

    Yes, but you’ll have to monitor it closely to make sure the plants are thriving. It’s such a small ecosystem that it’s going to be hard to keep the humidity and soil conditions just right. Refer to the info on carnivorous plants to see what you need to make them thrive.

  16. Michelle Stevens says:

    Could I put a carnivorous plant in the TAC?

  17. Aurora says:

    Use less water? Punch a few holes to drain it out? Leave it in the sun for a few hours with the top off?

  18. says:

    mine is way to watery. how do i fix that

  19. Aurora says:

    Yes – it grows whatever you put in.

  20. says:

    can it still grow weeds

  21. Patricia Ujdur says:

    there are lots of varieties of snakes!

  22. Aurora says:

    Do fish make…? Air bubbles? Spit? 🙂

  23. Chani Krongold says:

    This is Batsheva,
    Do fish make?

  24. Aurora says:

    Sure – goldfish are hardy, but chose a small one or it will pollute the water more quickly than it can sustain itself.

  25. Rosaura Angus says:


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