- Terrarium. special habitat
- Terrarium equipment
- Where better to put a terrarium for a lizard
- Terrarium Cleaning
According to experts, interest in exotic animals is growing every year, therefore, it is not surprising that most of our compatriots are no longer so skeptical of the idea of having a lizard in their house.
In our past publications, we told you about the advantages of keeping this pet in the house (read about it here), about the types of lizards and how to choose the right reptile. We hope that our recommendations have helped you make the right choice.
Today we suggest you talk about how to equip a terrarium for your home reptile and how to provide it with the most comfortable living conditions in your house.
Terrarium. special habitat
A large detachment of lizards includes up to 3,500 species, and most of these lizards move on their legs, although there are legless species of reptiles that look very similar to snakes.
And, for each species of such a lizard, it is necessary to create its own special habitat in the terrarium. That is why, Before you make your choice in favor of a particular reptile, it is recommended to study the features of its habitat and objectively give an answer to the question “can I provide her with so comfortable and convenient conditions in my house?”. If you do not hesitate to answer this question, then go from theory to practice. to creating the most comfortable conditions in the terrarium for your new exotic pet. Such comfortable conditions imply a special temperature regime (you can maintain the desired temperature using heat lamps or tapes), a special humidity level (you can achieve it by regular spraying of the bottom of the terrarium and special equipment), special soil, and an alternative to the real sun. an ultraviolet lamp You must create in the terrarium such a habitat for your lizard, which would be as close as possible to its natural environment in Nature.
Types of Terrariums
There are several types of terrariums that differ in their type of placement, internal structure and purpose. Also, depending on their shape, terrariums can be cubic, vertical and horizontal. Horizontal terrariums are suitable for reptiles that live in open spaces and lead an amphibian lifestyle. Vertical terrariums are more suitable for wood lizards or those who live in mountainous areas. Whereas, cubic terrariums are suitable for keeping reptiles of different species and those of them that live in the thickness of the earth.
The size of the terrarium, of course, depends on the size of the lizard that will live in it. However, when choosing a terrarium, you should be guided by the maximum size of a lizard. in other words, you should plan ahead the size of such a "house" for its adult inhabitant. Otherwise, you will either have to re-engage in the issues of arranging the terrarium when the lizard grows up, or your poor adult reptile will have to cuddle in a "kindergarten".
It is generally accepted that the terrarium for lizards that live on land should be longer than its width. The optimum ratio is considered to be a ratio of length, width and height, as 2 to 1 to 1. But, if you choose a lizard that is used to climbing trees in Nature, then, given its peculiarity, you will need to change this proportion and provide its height is high (the length of the terrarium can also decrease), and in this case the ratio of the parameters will already be 1 to 1 to 2.
As you can see, the size of the terrarium also depends on what kind of lizard will live in it.
For tree species of lizards, vertical terrariums are suitable, the height of which is at least 2 body lengths of an adult lizard, but a meter iguana will be comfortable in a terrarium 2 meters high, 2 meters wide and 1 meter deep.
Chameleons, unlike iguanas, need more space and the minimum size of the terrarium for them will be 1-0.5-0.6 meters for small individuals, and for large chameleons. 1.3. 0.6. 1.3 meters
It is very important that the dimensions of the terrarium allow the animal to move freely in it. By the way, if you plan to contain several lizards. the size of the terrarium should be calculated based on their number.
As a rule, a terrarium is made of glass, plexiglass or plastic. But, it is better to give preference to plexiglass. a high indicator of strength does not make you doubt that such a "home" for the lizard will last you a long time. But, an ordinary glass terrarium has a significant drawback. it is too fragile. Polyvinyl chloride variants quickly lose their transparency, since the walls of such a terrarium lend themselves to scratches, and on the fingers of the lizards, as you remember, there are sharp claws
Terrariums themselves can be either with a frame or without it. If you choose a large terrarium, then it is better to give preference to the option with a frame. this will make it more durable and extend its service life. Without such a framework, the walls of the terrarium can be deformed.
This is what your terrarium might look like
In any terrarium there should be internal equipment that will provide a certain air temperature, regulate the duration of daylight hours, be responsible for humidity indicators. All this will be created with the help of lighting devices, heaters and other devices.
The daylight hours for a reptile should be 9-14 hours. Based on this, depending on the time of year outside the walls of the terrarium, you will need to highlight the terrarium itself. When choosing lighting fixtures, consider their power and the total area that you will need to illuminate.
For lighting, fluorescent lamps with a power of 15-40W are best suited. The length of the lamps should correspond to the length of the walls of the terrarium.
In parallel with ordinary lighting, it will be necessary to install lamps
with the UV part of the spectrum, since lizards need ultraviolet radiation.
By the way, if you suddenly noticed that the color of your lizard has become dull. check the lighting, perhaps the reptile is not enough light.
Is it possible to do without lamps, but at the same time place a terrarium on the windowsill of your window? Experts do not recommend this. Since at a distance of several meters from the window, behind the glass of the terrarium, the illumination for the lizard is already 300 times lower than natural.
When installing such lamps, choose the optimal distance to the animal. 60 centimeters, it is not worthwhile to install the lamp closer, as the reptile can get burned.
Tropical animals in a terrarium without heating will not be able to develop normally and as a result will quickly die. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of heating the terrarium. For this, you can use special lamps that have a mirror coating. And, so that you can monitor the temperature. do not forget to install a thermometer. You can also set an automatic temperature controller that will prevent possible overheating and thereby save the life of your reptile.
Lack of heat can cause the lizard to start to hurt and stop reproducing.
When equipping a terrarium with heating elements, it is very important to isolate them in order to prevent injuries and burns to a pet.
As for the direct temperature indicators, in autumn and winter, the temperature should be 18-24 degrees during the day, and 16 degrees at night, while for summer and spring it is suitable 22-27 degrees per day and 19 degrees at night. If you have a tropical creature, the daytime temperature should correspond to the night temperature.
Ventilation and humidity in the terrarium
The lack of fresh air also very often causes the lizard to start to hurt.
Terrarium layout model
Therefore, take care of special ventilation openings, they are best done in the walls of the terrarium and in its cover. And, so that such holes do not become "windows" for escape. we recommend that you tighten them with a grid. The size of the holes should depend on the size of the pet and the size of the terrarium itself. If the volume of the terrarium is more than 100 liters, then it will be necessary to install an additional exhaust fan so that the reptile does not suffocate.
The optimal moisture indicator should be 70-90%. Daily spraying and living plants, as well as a special pool increase humidity, but it must be installed so that the animal does not overturn it.
Also, it is worth taking care of the ventilation system, which will consist of an exhaust fan or will work on the principle of thermal convection. You can also make one of the walls of the terrarium from wire or mesh, or place a sufficient number of ventilation holes on it.
Plants for a terrarium
Of course, you can use artificial plants to decorate the terrarium. they look good, and you don’t need to take special care of them. But, to be sure that they do not contain toxic substances that are dangerous to the life of reptiles is impossible. Therefore, safer and more beautiful still look living plants. True, it is worth knowing a number of nuances regarding what plants can be planted inside the terrarium itself. it can be cacti, agaves. But, most importantly, that they were not poisonous, had no sharp spikes, and slippery surfaces, and their branches could withstand the weight of a lizard, if it suddenly wants to climb them. Also, for such plants, the terrarium environment should be as comfortable as possible.
In order to facilitate the cleaning of the terrarium, it is better to plant plants in pots.
The bottom of the terrarium must necessarily cover the soil. it contributes to the improvement of the hygienic condition of the lizard’s dwelling, the absorption of liquid feces, the maintenance of a high moisture index, and has decorative properties. Crushed stone, sand, large stones, sandstone, aragonite, marble, basalt, granite, peat, sagged moss and fallen leaves can be used as soil. But, it is best to use special sand as the main soil, it must be laid out with a layer of 10-12 centimeters, and do not forget to take care of heating such sand. True,
if your lizard likes to bury itself in sand, it is better to refuse from its heating.
Decorative elements for terrarium
Inside the terrarium you can place ceramic burrows, pots, boxes, driftwood, stones With all this, you can create your own unique exotic landscape that will be comfortable for the lizard to live in and pleasant so that you can admire it. However, it is important to ensure that all of these compositions do not interfere with the lizard’s movement, and that she cannot harm herself, get stuck somewhere or get hurt.
By the way, you can use such decorative elements to mask lighting and heating devices and appliances.
Where better to put a terrarium for a lizard
The terrarium must be installed in a place where it will not interfere with the passage, the place itself must be well-lit, and the support and stand on which it stands are sufficiently stable. If you personify the terrarium with the decoration of your interior, then take care that it stands in a prominent place.
Most often, the terrarium is hung on the wall, using special brackets, or mounted on special supports. it is necessary to fix the terrarium on them. Some people prefer to install it on a windowsill. but, for this, the windowsill itself should be wide enough, and should not blow from the window.
Terrarium cleaning should be carried out daily and includes the removal of food debris, the replacement of drinking water, the removal of feces and watering of living plants. General cleaning. with soil replacement. is less common. Not only how beautiful your terrarium will look, but also how healthy your lizard will look, will depend on how carefully you follow these recommendations. Since a warm and humid environment creates excellent conditions for the reproduction of parasites. If you find any, you will definitely need to carry out not only cleaning, but also the disinfection of the entire terrarium. Preventive disinfection is carried out several times a year.
Please note that for daily cleaning you need to use special equipment, and if you have several terrariums, then each should have its own equipment. After cleaning, the inventory is treated with a 1% solution of chloramine, washed under running water and dried.
Today we talked about how a terrarium should be for your domestic lizard and how to properly equip it to ensure a comfortable stay for your pet. As you see, comfort for a lizard is really necessary, since a reptile can get sick and die if you do not provide it with the necessary temperature conditions, and do not provide enough light and heat. We hope that this will not happen and your domestic lizard will be satisfied. If you still have questions, we will be happy to answer them.
And, in our next publication we will talk about how and how to feed a lizard