- Terrarium General Information
- The device of terrariums
- Types of Terrariums
- Lighting is one of the most important elements of terrarium equipment
- You can place driftwood in the terrarium
- Species Terrarium
- Aquatic Terraces
- Choosing a Terrarium Location
- Terrarium stand can be used as a coffee table
- Furniture with integrated terrarium
Terrarium General Information
In recent years, interest in exotic animals has sharply increased in our country and a large number of people wishing to keep at home representatives of various species of amphibians and reptiles have appeared.
Terrarium Photo Gallery
This publication, intended for lovers of exotic animals, will help to cope with the difficulties that arise when keeping reptiles in terrariums, will provide a lot of interesting information about terrariums and their inhabitants.
The article contains information about various types of terrariums suitable for different species; recommendations on their design are given. You will learn how to make a terrarium on your own.
The device of terrariums
The terrarium is a transparent structure for keeping thermophilic amphibians and reptiles that cannot live in ordinary apartments.
In terrariums, they create the most suitable conditions for these animals: they maintain a sufficiently high temperature, the required level of humidity, observe the lighting regime, so these animals feel good away from their natural habitat.
In addition, the terrarium serves not only as housing for cold-blooded animals, but also represents a decorative element that can decorate any interior.
Types of Terrariums
There are several varieties of terrariums that distinguish by purpose, internal arrangement and placement.
The terrarium should be selected and equipped depending on the characteristics of the type of animal that is supposed to be kept in it.
Terrariums are divided into horizontal, vertical and cubic in shape.
Horizontal terrariums are mainly intended for animals that naturally live in open spaces. in the steppes, deserts, as well as for reptiles leading an amphibian lifestyle. Vertical terrariums are more suitable for animals living on trees or mountain slopes, and cubic ones can contain reptiles of both types, as well as those that naturally inhabit the thickness of the earth.
The size of the terrarium depends on the number of animals contained in it and on their size. For small animals. such as turtles, lizards and frogs. a relatively small terrarium is enough, and for large ones, for example crocodiles or snakes, a rather spacious room will be required. The terrarium should be selected so that the animals in it can move freely enough, ideally its size should be 3-5 times the size of the animal. If reptiles or amphibians contain several individuals, then the size of the terrarium, respectively, should be larger.
Terrariums can be with or without a frame. Large terrariums are most often produced on the basis of the frame, as this makes them more durable and extends the service life. Frameless terrariums are often deformed due to the difference in external and internal temperatures, so they are usually made small.
The best material for the manufacture of terrariums is plexiglass due to its strength. Ordinary glass is quite fragile, and polyvinyl chloride quickly loses transparency due to small scratches.
The simplest terrarium consists of the following parts: four walls, a bottom, upper and lower inner panels and a cover. As a frame, four corner posts are used, which can be made of wood or metal.
The bottom is a rectangular or square box with a wall height of 10–20 cm, into which water is poured. The bottom area should be slightly larger than the size of the terrarium. Mounting supports for vertical racks in the bottom, in one of the walls of the bottom drawer make a small hole. air intake. Then, supports for the inner bottom panel are fixed in the upper part of the walls. Also, in the bottom, you can make additional supports for mounting various internal structures. ponds, shelters, etc. On the inner wall of the bottom, you can install fasteners for the heater.
The inner bottom panel is the floor of the terrarium. It should be strong enough, since it will have to withstand quite large loads. Along the perimeter of the bottom panel, grooves should be cut into which the side walls will be inserted, and along the front edge, a slot should be made 1-2 cm wide for moist air to come in from below. This gap must be covered with a fine mesh, resistant to moisture.
In the bottom panel, it is also necessary to make slots for vertical racks and additional elements of the internal structure of the terrarium.
Lighting is one of the most important elements of terrarium equipment
Terrarium for land tortoise
The ceiling in the terrarium is the upper inner panel, in which you also need to cut the grooves for the walls and uprights. In this panel, you should make an opening for glass, as well as a ventilation hole, which must be covered with a fine mesh, as well as the bottom. The top panel is mounted on supports made on uprights.
The lid of the terrarium is a box with low walls and should correspond to the size of the bottom box. In one of its walls a hole should be made through which air will pass. Lighting and ventilation devices are usually fixed in the lid.
After all the details have been prepared, you can proceed with the assembly of the terrarium. First, vertical racks should be installed in the grooves on the bottom, then the bottom panel. The walls are installed so that they go slightly one after the other, after which the top panel and cover are laid.
It should be remembered that there should be no gaps between the walls and other parts of the terrariums so that animals can not escape or catch a cold.
Terrariums of this design are very convenient, they are easy to disassemble and wash. In addition, a huge advantage is that they can contain animals of different species, making changes to the internal structure, installing ponds and other elements.
According to the internal structure, terrariums are divided into biotope and species. Biotope terrariums are a miniature model of a natural landscape plot characteristic of a particular region. In terrariums of this type recreate part of a locality, using plants, stones, soil for this; Particular attention is paid to maintaining the required level of humidity, light and temperature.
To make animals feel comfortable, it is necessary to reproduce with maximum accuracy the conditions in which they live in nature: desert, mountain or some other landscape.
The terrarium imitating a desert area contains animals accustomed to high temperatures and fairly low humidity. Flora can be formed from succulent plants of deserts or semi-deserts: cacti, agave, etc.
You can place driftwood in the terrarium
Terrarium with snags
At the bottom of such a terrarium sand should be laid with a layer of 10–12 cm. In one place, the sand must be hot, with a temperature of 45–50 ° C, and in the other wet. To warm the sand, an insulated heater can be laid under it, however, it should be remembered that this method is not suitable for burrowing species of animals, since they can damage the device. You can moisten the sand by placing a container of water under it or periodically watering it.
Stones, driftwood are laid on the sand; in one corner of the terrarium should make shelter for animals. Stones and plants are recommended to be sprayed daily with water, simulating the loss of morning dew.
For some species of animals that live in nature on vertical surfaces, such as geckos, in such a terrarium you can make one wall not of glass, but of some rough material so that pets can climb.
Terrariums recreating the mountain landscape contain mainly reptiles. This terrarium is best suited for turtles living in highlands, snakes and some lizards.
Mountain terrariums are recommended to be made narrow and rather high. Pebbles and coarse river sand are used as soil in such terrariums, which should be poured to the bottom with a layer of 5–7 cm.
In the corner of the terrarium or near one of the walls, flat stones are laid to a height of about 3/4 of the structure. To keep the stones stronger, they can be fastened with special glue. Shelter for animals is also usually made of several stones, between which leave space. Slots should not be too narrow, as animals can get stuck in them. A heater in such a terrarium is located in the upper part. Terrariums imitating a plot of forest are usually made taking into account the ecological requirements of animals. For the inhabitants of the tropics and subtropics they arrange a corner of the rainforest, for animals from areas with a temperate climate. a corner of the forest, characteristic of the region of their habitat. Humidity in the forest terrarium should be higher than in the desert or mountain, from 70 to 85%. The soil mixture consisting of 2 parts of sand, 1 part of peat and 1 part of sheet land is most often used as soil for such a terrarium. The temperature for animals in the tropical zone needs to be maintained at the same level day and night, and for the inhabitants of the temperate zone. with a slight difference of 1-2 ° C.
The most suitable habitat for most amphibians and aquatic turtles is the aquaterrarium. a structure that combines the features of an aquarium and a terrarium. They can plant aquatic and semi-aquatic plants. Usually a large part of such a terrarium is occupied by a reservoir, and an island is arranged in the remaining place. Small pebbles are laid at the bottom of the reservoir, and sand is most often used as soil to recreate land.
Species terrariums are premises for keeping representatives of any one species or closely related species. Species terrariums are good in that they can create the most suitable conditions for animals, since their content requirements are similar. In addition, some animals cannot be kept together with other species of the same genus, as they can behave aggressively towards each other.
Terrariums for each animal species have their own characteristics. For amphibians, the structure of terrariums is basically the same, with the exception of some details. So, for breeding amphibians, one should choose terrariums with a height of about 50 cm. Tritons and frogs are best kept in aquaterrariums or in terrariums with a reservoir; terrarium with a small pool about 3 cm deep is suitable for tree frogs, tree frogs and toads. A sufficient number of plants should be planted in reptile terrariums, preferably with large leaves. On average, the temperature for amphibians should be 22–24 ° C, and for tropical species. 23–26 ° C. Since overheating is very harmful for amphibians, it is best to place heating devices from below and carefully monitor the temperature level. Ventilation is recommended not to be too intense.
In terrariums intended for the maintenance of tropical tree frogs, it is necessary to plant plants of the bromeliad family. Salamanders, unlike most other amphibians, do not need large ponds; a small bath is enough for them. In a terrarium with salamanders, it is necessary to place several shelters made of stones or snags.
In terrariums for desert lizards, sand should be used as soil, and stones should be placed under the heater. The temperature of the sand should not be lower than 28 ° C, and the stones should not be lower than 35 ° C.
Lizards, which in nature live in temperate regions, should be kept in terrariums decorated with snags, moss, forest plants and stones. It is advisable to arrange a small pond. In such a terrarium, the temperature near the heater should be 23–28 ° C, and in the farthest place from it — 22–24 ° C.
Land turtles should be kept in a terrarium, on the bottom of which coarse sand is poured with a layer of 3-5 cm, air temperature should be 22-24 ° C, and for tropical species. 25-27 ° C. For aquatic species of turtles, aquaterrariums with a volume of about 200 liters are most often used, with an island on which turtles could go.
An island can be made of wood or other material and covered with moss so that the animal’s paws do not slip. Making the terrarium with plants for aquatic turtles causes certain difficulties, as adults eat them. A way out of this situation can be found by placing plants behind a transparent partition or by planting them in flasks that rise several centimeters above the surface of the water.
Snakes, which, as a rule, are kept alone in terrariums, will feel best in a spacious rectangular terrarium with good ventilation. The soil for snakes can be composed of sand, peat and sawdust taken in equal parts. Planting in such a terrarium is not necessary.
In addition to the above, there are mixed-type terrariums in which the signs of biotope and species are combined. Such terrariums usually contain animals of the same species, reproducing their natural habitat.
Choosing a Terrarium Location
Once a suitable terrarium is purchased or manufactured, you should choose a place for it. In this case, the following requirements must be taken into account: the terrarium must be positioned so that it does not interfere with the passage; the place where he stands should be sufficiently lit. For the terrarium to serve as decoration of the interior, it must be clearly visible.
There are several ways to place terrariums in a room. You can place the terrarium on the wall, on the window, next to doors or in other places.
The water terrariums and ordinary large terrariums are very heavy, so they need to make a solid stand that will support their weight.
In the manufacture of wall-mounted hanging terrarium, brackets are used. devices with which this structure can be hung between cabinets, behind a door, in the corridor, in the walls between the windows, the gap between the corner of the room and the window, which is often not used in the apartment, but it is a very convenient place for placing reptiles in the dwelling room. For this purpose, the rear part of the terrarium is fixed on the wall, then with the help of metal corners its floor and ceiling are attached, the structure is connected by the side and front walls to the door or to the movable sight glass.
A similar version of the terrarium is suitable only for small animals. It is not recommended to place it over an armchair, sofa, bed, as garbage can get onto furniture when cleaning.
A reliable option is the terrarium screen, which is fixed on one of the door leaves in the apartment. The lower edge of the structure should be equipped with furniture rollers to reduce the load on the door, if necessary, open the sash. Such a terrarium should be strong enough to withstand frequent movements.
A significant drawback of the window terrarium is the impossibility of regulating air temperature: in the summer the dwelling for snakes will overheat, in the winter it will be supercooled. In such a terrarium, it is necessary to keep reptiles resistant to significant daily and seasonal changes in temperature and humidity, representatives of the temperate or mountain zone.
The main advantage of window terrariums is that when decorating them from the inside with living plants, additional illumination is not required. Tropical plants can be placed in the dwelling for reptiles: orchids, nepenthes, bromeliads, sanghesia, eschinanthus, which, growing, will reduce the possibility of overheating in the spring and summer. In addition, such a terrarium-greenhouse can be provided with reliable winter heating and ventilation and populate it with not too large animals that are not able to damage plants.
Window views of terrariums are completely unsuitable for apartments with narrow window sills.
A terrarium window sill is placed between the central heating battery and the bottom edge of the window. In order for the temperature difference to exist inside the reptile’s house and not to overheat during the heating period, the terrarium should go beyond the battery.
In such a terrarium it is convenient to keep animals in need of constant heating of the soil.
Terrarium stand can be used as a coffee table
Terrarium stand in the form of a coffee table
Terrarium-stand is often used as a bedside table for household appliances, a coffee table with a glass top. This design requires special strength. For its manufacture, steel corners, wooden bars with a size of 40 x 30 mm are needed. On such a terrarium-stand, it is possible to place an aquarium of 400 liters.
The disadvantage of the terrarium-stand is that reptiles are constantly stressed, as there are always people around them. To avoid this, glass with one mirror side can be used for such structures.
A good temporary element in the design of the terrarium in the spring and summer is the natural turf with grass and small bushes that increase humidity and are a good shelter for animals for several weeks.
A room decoration can be a terrarium addition to furniture placed between home furnishings or in a corner. The reptile housing is shaped like a prism or triangle at the base. In order to make the design look an integral part of the room environment, it is necessary to use a vinyl film to match the polished surface of the cabinets.
Distinctive features of the terrarium-picture and the terrarium-screen are the height from floor to ceiling and a length exceeding the height of 20-30 cm. You can install the structure perpendicular to the wall at the head of the sofa, making it completely transparent, equipping with branches, snags, tropical plants. Making such a terrarium, its back wall is decorated with artificial rocks, along which a small stream runs down with a quiet murmur, ending in a waterfall. The advantages of the terrarium-picture and the terrarium-screen are a large viewing screen, a small space occupied in the room, and the availability of manufacturing designs at home.
The terrarium in the corridor is usually installed at the hanger or at the door to the living room, since this space is rarely used. Here you can place a terrarium of any width and length.
Using furniture with a built-in terrarium allows you to have a complex of decorative, collection, quarantine, growing dwellings for reptiles that do not occupy the living space of an apartment. Such designs are easy to make yourself.
Furniture with integrated terrarium
An interesting way to place a terrarium in an apartment is a combination of several terrariums of different shapes and sizes. Such terrariums are united by a supporting structure, often making a common ventilation and heating system. Such terrariums are made out in different ways; they can contain animals of one species or several.
Terrarium Author: Julia Vyacheslavovna Sergeenko