So you've finally talked your Mom and Dad or your Teacher into getting you a pet for your home or classroom, and you're thinking of something a little different. How about a reptile? They don't take up much space, are fun to watch and you will have fun building them a fascinating terrarium environment as well.
If you want to put together your own Reptile Terrarium there are some things to think about..
- Most reptiles need a place to bask. Many reptiles are active during the daytime and love to sit under a light, so you'll need to provide one of these for your Reptile Terrarium. Being cold-blooded, reptiles need some heat to get their blood moving and to help them digest. A reptile basking lamp of the appropriate wattage should be placed in the center or off to one side of the terrarium so you can see your pet reptile easier (not hidden in the background). An interesting place for your reptile to sit and bask under the lamp would perhaps be an unusual piece of driftwood, a bamboo root, a jungle vine or even a twisted tambora wood root.
- Reptiles need a place to hide. Like you, your pet will probably want some time to be alone and a couple of hiding places should be provided in their home. Think about having some pieces of wood or vines in their home with holes or spaces behind them for your pet to snooze in. Pet reptiles love to explore all the nooks and crannies you have put in their cages, so have fun designing a really nice terrarium.
- Reptiles need a place to watch the world from. Your reptile will love having a place to run up and look down on the rest of his home from. Think about placing something inside the area which is fairly high but can easily be scampered up. A real jungle vine put into the terrarium at an angle will also give your pet reptile the opportunity to get a little closer to the light and warm up on chilly days.
- Create a terrarium that looks natural. Reptiles are not your traditional domesticated pets, and many of them come from the wild. So it makes sense to provide a home for them that looks like one they would have lived in, if they were living in the wild. Decorating your reptile terrarium with natural products is not only fun, but helps to make your reptile pet feel more secure and enjoy his new home. Try mixing together a variety of stone, jungle vines and root hiding places and more to create an unusual and lifelike environment for your reptile pet.
Do It Yourself Guide on How to Create a Great Reptile Terrarium
- Place a good base of bedding on the bottom of your new reptile tank. Calcium sand, aspen bedding and reptile bark all make good bedding choices for reptile terrariums. But speak with your local pet store or read more about the species of reptile pet you plan to house, so you know for sure what he/she will like the best. It is sensible to use bedding that is easy to replace when cleaning time comes around. Tropical moss, bark chunks or leaves provide an interesting addition to the base bedding as long as they are thoroughly cleaned before being placed into your reptile terrarium.
- Place your basking lamp on the top above the screen to provide loads of light and warmth for your reptile to warm up to. Again,' its best to talk with your local pet store, or read up on the species you plan to keep to ensure you choose the right kind of lighting/heating so your pet reptile stays happy and healthy for many years to come.
- Choose a selection of natural terrarium decorations for your pet to play on, hide in, scamper over and bask on. Stones, slate pieces, bamboo roots, jungle vines and hollow logs are ideal additions to any reptile terrarium. Make sure these are placed in the reptile tank carefully so they are stable and will not wobble or fall and hurt your pet.
- Keep it clean. Don't forget to remove uneaten food and waste from the cage quickly. Rotting slices of fruit or vegetables, or dead bugs are just not nice to look at (and your Mom or Teacher will complain too). Just like caring for other pets, a clean environment is very important for pet reptiles too. Think about where you will place your feeding bowls or where the water is going to be placed in the cage.
- Ventilation is important so choose a reptile cage or aquarium that has plenty of ventilation.
- Choose your reptiles well and make sure they are species that are easy to care for and will live for many years in the type of reptile terrarium you plan to build. Also keep in mind that many reptiles are sold as babies that will grow quickly and need a bigger enclosure soon. When that time comes, you may wish to expand or purchase a new cage for your reptiles, and add some new terrarium decorations to their environment.
- Keep it looking fresh. Replace any decorations that have become worn or tired looking. Your reptiles will love a new and exciting change from time to time.
Most importantly! Enjoy your new pet reptile and ensure their home is as fun for your pet reptile to live in as it is for you to watch!