The choice of the type and size of the terrarium depends on the characteristics of the animal that you are going to place in this terrarium. It is also important to place it in your apartment, since a well-located and well-decorated terrarium can become not only the home of your favorite animal, but also the decoration of the apartment, a pleasant place to relax. Regardless of what kind of animal is contained in the terrarium, it should have: a light source, a system for maintaining and controlling temperature, ventilation, water and humidity; shelter and a source of ultraviolet rays.
All technical equipment in the terrarium should be located in such a way as to be safe for humans and animals, easily accessible for replacement and repair, and not interfere with the care of animals. Different types of terrariums are used depending on the animal being kept. In shape, they are divided into three main types: horizontal, cubic and vertical. The horizontal type of terrarium is recommended for keeping terrestrial amphibians and reptiles (turtles, lizards), living mainly in open spaces of steppes, deserts, etc ; cubic. for keeping animals equally using both horizontal and vertical surfaces, as well as for burrowing species living in the thickness of the soil. The vertical type of terrarium is necessary for keeping animals living on vertical planes. in the crown of trees or on their trunks, on the walls of buildings, rocky cliffs, etc.
A certain ratio of the land surface to the water is dictated by the design features of the terrarium. So for the maintenance of many amphibians and reptiles leading a semi-aquatic lifestyle, for example turtles, the most suitable is the aquaterrarium, which is made on the basis of an aquarium that holds water well, in which land is represented by numerous islands.
Also popular terrarium "paludarium", Which means a swamp-type aquaterrarium intended for the cultivation of hygrophilous plants and already reused for the maintenance of various animals. mollusks, crustaceans, insects, fish, amphibians and reptiles. Terrariums are frame and frameless. Various materials are used for their manufacture: wood, glass, hard PVC, etc.
Lighting is one of the most important factors ensuring the success of keeping terrarium animals. It must be remembered that re-lighting the terrarium is almost impossible and saving on lighting is unacceptable. The presence of a reflector contributes to the efficient use of a light source.
Heating in terrariums is necessary for many amphibians and most species of reptiles. The heat source in the terrarium should be located on one of its sides in order to create a temperature difference and allow the animal to choose the temperature necessary for him. Each terrarium should have good ventilation. Stagnant air is a dangerous enemy of your animals. Lack of ventilation makes it difficult to breed many terrarium animals.
Water should always be in the terrarium. However, there are strong differences in the provision of amphibians and reptiles with water. Therefore, in cases where moisture is lacking, amphibians should create a bath. The water in the bathhouse is changed daily, using settled water. The problem of water supply is inextricably linked to the problem of maintaining humidity. To do this, spraying is regularly carried out in the terrarium (morning and evening) using a spray gun. They also create special humidity chambers.
Shelters to one degree or another are needed by all animals. Conventionally, shelters are divided into natural or artificial. Hollow trunks of trees, burrows in the ground, sinuses of leaves, etc. can be used as natural ones. Artificial shelters are completely made by man. These are humidity chambers, hollow houses, artificial burrows, specially designed slides made of tiles, ceramic pots, etc. Mineral tiles: tuff and basalt. Shelter should not be too spacious, because the animal feels comfortable in the shelter only when it senses its walls with its body. The presence of shelters is especially important when keeping newly arrived animals (for the period of adaptation). The scenery makes it possible to turn the terrarium in your home into a pleasant addition to the interior. For decoration of terrariums, various decorative materials are used: plastics, bamboo, reed mats, rattan nets, mats, braids, thin tuff plates, trimmed boards treated with stain and varnished, etc. Polyfoam is also of interest to owners of terrariums, as possesses remarkable plastic qualities.
When landscaping the terrarium, you need to choose the right plants, as well as the method of planting in each case. Gardening performs several functions, the main of which is maintaining a certain microclimate. In addition, plants after spraying for a long time retain on themselves drops of water used for drinking, for example, chameleons and some geckos. For some animals, this shelter and, finally, plants in the terrarium are of decorative value.
The choice of plants depends on the biotope and microclimate in the habitats of the animal and your technical capabilities. So, the terrarium for the maintenance of highland reptiles must be planted with plants that are resistant to temperature extremes, high levels of illumination and ultraviolet radiation (haworthia, gasteria, aloe, sciulla, etc.). Xerophytic plants that are resistant to dehydration and high temperatures (milkweed, lithops, agave, sensorières, etc.) are planted in the terrarium for desert reptiles. And in the terrarium. a corner of the rainforest. plants that require both high temperature and high humidity (bromeliads, philodendrons, arrowroot, ficus, etc.).
The soil also performs several functions. it improves the hygiene of the terrarium by absorbing liquid feces, etc. Some types of soil (peat, moss, land, etc.) make it possible to maintain a fairly high level of air humidity in the terrarium. Many amphibians and reptiles (garrets, shovels, round heads, skink geckos, etc.) willingly burrow and dig in it. Soil is the main habitat for long-legged skinks, as they lead a digging lifestyle. Soil facilitates the movement of animals along the bottom of the terrarium and prevents the deformation of limbs and the formation of scuffs. And finally, the soil has decorative properties. For terrariums, soil types that hold water well are used. this is sand, earth, peat or a mixture of them. The soil in the terrarium for quarantining newly arrived or sick animals should be hygienic and easily accessible; in this case, paper towels, napkins, cut paper, wood shavings are convenient.
Great importance is attached to such elements of the terrarium as the drainage system, as well as water filtration and cooling systems.