Caterpillar Pet in Aquarium Garden Day 1

Two caterpillars were resting on herbs sold by farmers where I was shopping in Union Square of NYC on July 5th, 2019.

This pretty caterpillar can make a fancy pet in my aquarium garden, where it could eventually develop into a beautiful Swallowtail butterfly.

Back in March 2019, I made a cover for my oldest aquarium that allows me to grow plants on top of the aquarium, prepare land plants for growing underwater and to keep pets.
Hey! You probably have already seen it in some of my previous videos :)
Anyway, let’s use it to make a home for my caterpillar.

My guppies should like it too ;)

I got leafy tops of carrots at the same Farmers Market.
The farmer was happy to give it to me :)

Trim the tops to a desirable length.

Get the widest plastic straw you can find.

Cut about 2–3 cm long piece.
That’s all we need.

I use modeling clay plasticine to make a ring around the straw.

This plasticine never dries and it repels water.

The modeling clay will hold the straw placed in the cut I made in the base of the aquarium garden.

The straw goes in the narrow corner, right here.

The bottom part of the straw should be above the water.
Put the base on the aquarium.

Put the leaves in the straw.

Make sure the stems of the leaves are in the water to keep leaves fresh.

And here comes my new pet.
It’s about 4 cm long.

Let’s put the caterpillar in the garden.

I just hang it on the leaves here.

The caterpillar wastes no time and starts exploring the new home.

Every pet should have a name.

This one looks like a green tiger…so I will call it GreTi.

Different types of caterpillars eat different plants.

The plant I found the caterpillar on is the one it may prefer the most.

The carrot leaves would do for a day until I get something better for GreTi.

Cover the garden with a plastic box.
The box keeps my pet in and reduces evaporation while allowing for some air circulation.

That’s it.
Setting up an aquarium garden is very simple as you can see.

Previously I made an aquarium garden for common garden snails.
But look at this caterpillar!
GreTi looks gorgeous as it moves magnificently through the garden.

And my dwarf guppies seem to be fine with some new plants in the water too.
This aquarium garden is an exploration and discovery tool that allows me to learn about nature right on my desk.

Time-lapse recordings are very helpful for making observations, learning about behaviour patterns, feeding, and much more.

Here is a short time-lapse taken on the first day of my Swallowtail caterpillar, GreTi, in this aquarium garden.

It was a busy day for both of us.

I will share more about GreTi in the following weeks ;)
Have fun and happy aquarium gardens :)



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