There is no need to get fancy with the base but it looks nice doesn't it. When I was researching for ways to make a water garden that was small enough for a table and easy enough I didn't need to buy any extra stuff. This one @radmegan fit the bill
I have a collection of Mason jars for various things like the salads we talked about yesterday and a tiny plant pot that fit inside it. I also have planting soil and rocks. I use special mineral-free water in my sleep apnea machine so I had that as well. All I had to figure out was how to get the water plants & the charcoal.
Online has become the easiest way. I start with amazon because I know they had the aquarium charcoal when I did my terrariums. Turns out that they have lots of different items. I did a lot of searching until I decided to go with the cheapest version which I ordered right away as it said there were only three left. I am sure there are others that would work as well but for now, this fit my priority of cheap.
Finding water plants was a bit more difficult. Most places will ship seeds not plants so I would have to grow my own and that did not meet the fast criteria. I thought about it for awhile.
I called my daughter & she suggested I call the garden centre then she wouldn't be going there for no reason. Turns out it was a good call on her part. The Garden Centre didn't get any water plants this year so now I gotta figure something else out.
May end up going with artificial plants since it would take 60-90 days for the plants I'm interested in to grow to transplant size. Still thinking!