- Dimensions and shapes of terrariums
- Source materials
- DIY terrarium
- Manufacturing process
- Terrarium Equipment
- Interior design
Dimensions and shapes of terrariums
Science knows over 3,500 species of lizards. Of course, not all species are kept at home. It must be understood that for representatives of each species of lizards, it is necessary to choose a "dwelling" in accordance with the size of the animal.
There are certain rules for selecting a terrarium for each specific species and size of scaly reptiles.
- For example, for wood lizards you need to build such a "house", where the height of the walls will be equal to the double length of the animal. Least.
- Approximately the same formula is suitable for land running lizards, but only a 1: 2 ratio applies to width and length. In the sense that the length of the terrarium should be equal to twice the length of the pet, and the width. one length.
In principle, a moving lizard should move freely in its house, without experiencing any discomfort. It is from such considerations that a terrarium should be made.
Making a terrarium with your own hands is a rather painstaking and laborious task, but as a result you can get a product of a suitable size and adapted to a certain type of exotic pets.
Silicate and organic glass are best suited for the manufacture of terrarium.
The benefit of using such a material is as follows:
- hard to break;
- plexiglass box holds heat well;
- Plexiglass shards rarely have sharp edges;
- organic glass is easy to process.
Do not forget to prepare the source material
But this material has certain disadvantages:
- Scratches appear on the surface of the walls during improper use of the finished product. For this reason, you have to wash the glass only with a soft flannel rag or gauze. Hard sponges, scraping devices and chemicals with fine-grained fillers should not be used.
- The plane of plexiglas under the influence of sunlight loses transparency, begins to cloud and fade.
For animals with claws (lizards and turtles), the main box should be made of other materials.
In addition to glass, you will need to purchase:
- plastic corners;
- durable aluminum mesh for the ventilation system;
- plastic profiles for the manufacture of a doorway in two sizes (their depth should correspond to the thickness of the material intended for the manufacture of doors).
Of course, you can make a terrarium for your pets from ordinary glass, but this process is much more complicated and requires experience and skills from the master. Glass is quite fragile, it easily breaks and breaks.
Plexiglas there are 2 types
The modern chemical industry offers consumers a large assortment of a wide variety of adhesives. In order to choose the right glue, you need to consider several principles.
Glue should be:
- harmless to human health and its pets (do not form toxic chemical compounds and do not emit unpleasant odors when in contact with food, water and animal excrement);
- water resistant.
Before starting work, the following tools should be prepared:
- glass cutter;
- glass marker;
- well sharpened knife;
- cargo of rectangular shape with a flat flat surface;
- double-sided tape;
- well sharpened scissors.
In the process, you will need rags that will remove the remainder of the adhesive from the surface of the glasses and hands.
There are a number of requirements for glue
As a material, you can use
- ordinary glass
- organic acrylic glass.
When choosing one or another option, it is necessary to take into account a number of features:
- ordinary glass is quite fragile and difficult to work with;
- clear plastic is a soft material that remains visible scratches from the claws of nimble reptiles.
That is why it is advisable to choose a solid plexiglass, the design of which will last a long time.
Depending on the size of the home lizard, terrariums are made either in a frameless version (for a small reptile), or they are a frame structure if a large lizard requires significant space.
Wireframe. The walls and bottom of the terrarium are connected to each other using aquarium silicone glue, which is safe for animals.
Ventilation. There is an important feature: one wall (or part of the wall) must have openings for ventilation.
They can be easily made in Plexiglas, but there is a variant of the wire side wall, which serves not only as a ventilation channel, but also allows active lizards to fit on it.
There is another way: the side walls are made of wooden battens, in the spaces between which a plastic mosquito net is stretched.
Bottom. As a floor for such a terrarium, thick multilayer plywood is used. If the housing for the lizard is constructed from wooden parts, then the size of the reptile should be taken into account.
For example, such a terrarium is hardly suitable for a large and strong iguana, since a strong animal is quite capable of tearing a thin plastic net.
Cap. As for the cover, the best option is a frequent metal mesh, which provides not only a good overview of the internal space, but also air circulation. There are examples of a compound cover when its glass half is hermetically attached to the walls and the opening part is made of wire mesh.
As a result, the choice of type of construction directly depends on the type of reptile.
Having dealt with the necessary tools, you need to draw a drawing of the future product on paper. Dimensions can be taken from any manual or individual, taken on the basis of measurements taken in your own home.
In order for the terrarium to be conveniently placed in a residential building, the place where it will be installed should be determined in advance. This may be a specific site in the conservatory, a niche in the wall, or some other corner of the house.
After it will be clear where exactly the dwelling for exotic pets will stand, you should take measurements and begin to create a drawing. Patterns are cut out of paper and applied to the surface of plexiglass, then they are circled with a marker and cut out.
After the drawing is ready, you can begin to manufacture the main frame of the product (glass box). Cut parts stick together. To do this, the edges are pre-degreased, and then liberally lubricated with an adhesive. The sections of the parts are joined together and pressed down with a flat rectangular weight.
The exposed adhesive is cut off after it hardens. It is not necessary to press the parts too tightly against each other, a small gap should remain between them, filled with a layer of adhesive.
Do not forget about the inlet
The result should be a rectangular box with a built-in mesh for ventilation. The next stage of work is the sliding door device.
The inlet is designed as follows:
- a deep profile is glued to the ceiling;
- on the upper part of the front corner of the ventilation fence, a profile of a shallower depth is established.
Both halves of the doors are inserted into the grooves of the profiles, they work on the principle of doors in sliding wardrobes.
The ventilation system works on the principle of flowing air. It happens like this: air flow enters one hole, and leaves another.
It is quite simple to equip such a ventilation system, for this it is enough to make an inlet at the bottom of the product, and an outlet at its top. In this case, the upper hole should be twice as large as the lower one.
Instead of a single outlet, you can make several small ones. To isolate the holes, it is best to take a mesh of aluminum, it is quite durable and does not rust.
Ventilation. an essential element of the terrarium
There are terrariums without doors, but with a removable lid.
The advantage of such a system is that it is convenient to install in the lid:
- cartridges for heating lamps;
- mounts for devices;
- fans for forced ventilation (if a conventional ventilation system was not provided).
For very large terrariums, forced ventilation is recommended.
For this purpose, two fans are installed:
- the first is designed to ensure the flow of fresh air from the outside;
- the second is necessary for mixing the air inside the glass box.
Fans for the terrarium are selected based on the following characteristics:
For the manufacture of the cover, you can take PVC or non-toxic brands of dense plastic.
The height of the lid is calculated depending on the dimensions of the equipment, which will be attached from below to its bottom, and the length and width should correspond to the dimensions of the terrarium box with an allowance for the thickness of the material.
All parts of the lid are cut out and glued in the same manner as the main parts of the terrarium. In the finished cover, holes for the wires are drilled and a hatch is cut out. At the end, lamps are built into the lid.
Fans choose according to 3 criteria
Those or other features of the interior decoration and equipment of the house for the animal also depend on the type of lizards.
If the house contains a reptile of the temperate climate zone, then you should monitor the daily temperature changes inside the terrarium:
- during the day it is necessary to maintain the temperature in the range from 20 to 25 degrees,
- and at night you can lower it to 18 ° C.
Such a change in temperature is the usual climate for the "northern" lizards.
Tropical reptiles do not need such temperature fluctuations, so you need to establish a constant warm climate: up to 25 degrees, for example. Normal room temperature is fine.
Microclimate. To create the desired microclimate, you can use heating elements in the form of lamps. Of course, such lamps should have safety nets to prevent burns to the paws and muzzle of the animal. In addition, a thermometer is installed inside the terrarium to monitor the temperature.
Humidity should be high enough, so you should carry out daily spraying of internal elements and plants.
Yes, living plants are an excellent part of the interior decoration of a terrarium. Care should be taken, however, so that they are prickly and non-toxic. over, vegetation can be planted directly into the ground.
Bottom organization. As for the soil itself, it can be fine gravel or gravel, as well as coarse sand. If the lizard likes to dig into the soil, then the thickness of the sandy soil should be at least 10 cm.
Decor The choice of decorative elements also depends on the type of animals.
- For example, a suitable terrarium landscape for the inhabitants of deserts and semi-deserts is sand, stones, caves and grottoes.
- For the maintenance of wood lizards, it is necessary to establish several fragments of trees.
- And if a tropical reptile lives in the house, then a “wet” zone should be created. a small pool where the lizard will bathe.
Lighting. An important issue is the lighting of the terrarium. The fact is that for normal reptile life, ultraviolet radiation is necessary. Lack of ultraviolet radiation can lead to degradation of the skeleton, increasing the fragility of the shell of eggs that females lay.
In principle, making a comfortable and spacious home for a home lizard is not difficult at all. However, before this, one should familiarize oneself with her habits and living conditions in a natural biotope.
Depending on what residents will be placed in such a system, the nuances of the interior arrangement of the box are considered.
And the type of glass house itself is selected taking into account the maximum convenience for exotic pets. For example, if tree lizards live in the terrarium, then it should be extended in height and located vertically. In such a house, you can place a dry branch on which amphibians can climb up.
For lizards, which in nature exist in a sandy environment, it is better to take a horizontal box and pour sand on its bottom.
Terrarium dwellers such as iguanas and chameleons need their own microclimate. Drawers with mesh walls are completely unsuitable for them. The usual air temperature inside the living room from 19 to 22 degrees is not suitable for them, these types are used to higher temperatures.
- humidity level in the tropics;
- air temperature is above 28 degrees.
Small lizards, for which the local climatic conditions are native, are very convenient to keep in a glass box with a mesh back wall. The holes of the mesh should not be too large, it is necessary that the reptiles do not manage to slip out through them, but at the same time they can stably hold their claws on the mesh surface of the wall and crawl along it.
The size of the terrarium depends on its inhabitants
Containers with any kind of holes and doors are completely unsuitable for keeping insects at home. For these pets they purchase glass boxes with a lid and forced ventilation.
The size of the terrarium is also selected depending on how large the individual will live in it. For pythons and crocodiles, a fairly large house is required. In addition, for those amphibian species that live in or near water bodies in the natural environment, it is necessary to install a rather deep water tray.
In some cases, it is possible to keep several species in one universal terrarium. This is only possible if the neighbors in one box are not dangerous to each other and one species is not food in relation to the other.
To avoid accidents, boxes with poisonous snakes, large pythons and spiders cannot be installed in bedrooms and children’s rooms. Children should not be left alone in rooms containing dangerous pets.
In any case, the person who keeps exotic animals and reptiles in the house must understand how carefully and responsibly he must behave towards his pets. It is necessary to ensure that the doors and covers of the terrariums are constantly closed.
Otherwise, the poisonous viper escaping from its house can cause a lot of trouble for its owners. In the house where snakes, spiders, scorpions are kept, there must be an ampoule with an antidote.