Reptiles need special care for their homes. Therefore, you will need regular care for the cleanliness of the terrarium, which will help maintain the health of your pet, and will make monitoring his life especially attractive.
Because reptiles are susceptible to bacterial infections, the terrarium should always be kept clean. Reptile waste containing bacteria such as Salmonella, dangerous to humans, should be regularly removed from it, and the care equipment itself and decor items should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
Sterilization of terrarium equipment. All stones, sand and branches that you place in the terrarium must be sterilized. The stones should be washed thoroughly and then boiled in water for 30 minutes. The sand must be washed with plenty of water, and then roasted in the oven at high temperature for half an hour. The same should be done with branches.
Cleaning tools. Terrarium cleaning tools should only be used for this purpose. They should be stored separately from other household tools and household chemicals. You can’t use the sink in which you wash your food and the bathtub where your family members bathe.
It is imperative to have a spare clean terrarium where the reptile is placed during the cleaning of its home.
Brushes of different sizes will be a useful tool. A toothbrush that can be used to clean corners and crevices is very useful.
To clean the terrarium, you will also need cotton buds, toothpicks, blades and knives, with which you can remove dirt from the most inaccessible places.
Using a sieve, you can remove reptile waste from a sandy substrate.
In addition, you will need soap or dishwashing detergent, but chemicals containing phenol or pine essential oil should not be used.
Sponges will be useful: one set for cleaning, one for rinsing and one for disinfection.
Schedule for cleaning the terrarium. The time required to care for the terrarium and the number of cleanings depend on the size and characteristics of your reptile. Therefore, to begin with, you should carefully study the literature relating specifically to your type of reptile. Large iguana terrariums require more time and work than snake terrariums.
You will need:
1. Daily cleaning to remove uneaten food, waste, skin after shedding, as well as cleaning and disinfection of food and water bowls.
2. Weekly cleaning and disinfection of the terrarium, substrate and decoration.
When caring for the terrarium, latex gloves and safety glasses are recommended. After each contact with the reptile and after each cleaning procedure, be sure to wash your hands with soap.
Disinfectants. You should carefully select the correct disinfectant for the terrarium, which should be strong enough to cope with pathogenic viruses, bacteria and fungi, but not harm the reptile. Reptiles are sensitive to toxic fumes, so you should move it to another room during cleaning.
Despite the abundance of disinfectants on the market, the most affordable and effective of them. plain whiteness. After washing the terrarium and accessories, use a bleaching agent, dissolving one part in sixteen parts of water. You should leave the terrarium and accessories in this solution for 5-10 minutes. Then rinse them thoroughly with clean water (especially wood products). When using bleaching agents, be in a well-ventilated area. Protective gloves and goggles are recommended.
Before using any disinfectant, it is very important to remove food debris, waste, soap, etc. from the terrarium. since organic material will not allow a good disinfection. Therefore, any contaminated objects should be thoroughly washed with hot water using dishwashing liquid, then rinsed well, and then use a disinfectant.
When caring for a reptile’s home, it’s important to pay attention to any signs that indicate your pet’s ill health, as well as adverse factors that should be addressed immediately, namely:
1. Is there too much leftover food left?
2. Is the temperature in the terrarium in the right range?
3. Are there any changes in the volume, color and texture of urine and feces?
4. Was there molting? Is she all right?
5. Are there any signs of parasites?
External parasites, such as ticks, can be seen by the characteristic small brown, red or black spots around the eyes of the reptile, between its scales or on the skin, or by larger spots of brown, black or gray.
The infection of reptiles with internal parasites can be judged by a change in its feces.
Bowls for food and water should be washed in hot soapy water and completely dried. If they are very dirty, use a disinfectant, then rinse well to make sure that there are no traces of chemicals left. It is best to have a spare set of bowls that can replace those that are being cleaned.
Weekly cleaning procedure. Once a week, or as often as necessary, move the reptile to another clean terrarium, and then:
– Remove all the decoration in the terrarium.
– Clean, rinse and sanitize food and water bowls as described above.
– Discard the disposable backing.
– Clean all surfaces of the terrarium with soap and hot water, and then rinse well.
– Clean hard-to-reach areas with a special terrarium cleaning tool or a toothbrush.
– Wash all the decoration and reusable backing with hot soapy water. Scrape off the waste products with a brush. Rinse well.
– After washing and rinsing the terrarium and accessories, use a disinfectant. Rinse the terrarium and accessories with hot water until all dirt and disinfectant residues have been removed.
– Dry the terrarium and accessories thoroughly before reassembling so that mold does not form.
– Reinstall the decoration in the terrarium. Replace parts that are poorly dried.
– Disinfect all tools: brushes, sponges, gloves, etc.
– Finally, wash your hands with soap and hot water.