Terrarium For Turtles And Everything You Need To Know About It


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.

What are terrariums for?

As mentioned above, terrariums are intended for plants and animals that need a special habitat different from the place in which the terrarium is located. Inside, a special favorable environment is formed for the life of plants and animals. In order to answer the question “What is a terrarium?” We need to understand that often terrariums have their own lighting and heating, therefore they can be anywhere and animals and plants can live inside them.

Terrarium Sizes

The shape of the terrariums is also different and depends on what animals they contain. In form, they can be divided into:

Horizontal. a terrarium, the length of which is 2 or more times its height, and its width is approximately 1.5 times its height. Designed for keeping terrestrial animals that do not climb trees or vertical surfaces: many snakes and lizards, toads, land turtles and many other animals.

Vertical. a terrarium whose height is 2 or more times its length, and the width can be approximately equal to the length. In such a terrarium, strong branches of trees or driftwood, lianas are established, and the back wall is sometimes decorated with bark, cork, stone or ceramic tiles, which allows animals to climb. It is used for keeping animals such as chameleons, many geckos, green iguanas, tree snakes, tree frogs and other tree frogs.

Cubic. intermediate type. The length, width and height of such a terrarium are approximately equal. It is used to keep animals equally using both vertical and horizontal surfaces. When creating a thick layer of soil in a cubic terrarium, it can be used to contain burrowing species (for example, garrets and some skinks).

Spherical, round, conical. It is mainly used as a decorative part of premises with various moisture-loving plants (moss, fern, etc.) planted in such terrariums.

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Equipment and climate control


Decorating terrariums is of no small importance, bringing them closer to the natural species of a particular climate. corresponding to the natural ecosystem of animals kept at home. Using decorated polystyrene, natural stones, bentonite, tree bark and other material, micro-landscapes of the desert or forest, mountain range or plain are recreated.

Terrarium For Turtles And Everything You Need To Know About It


Various artificial and natural natural materials are used for the terrarium soil: stone, sand, expanded clay, earth mixtures, etc.. depending on the ecosystem of the terrarium and animals that are kept in artificial conditions.


Depending on the type of terrariums, live or planted decorative plants are planted in them, made mainly of plastic that is neutral to various environments.

Landscaping with living plants during the recreation of the natural landscape


A prerequisite for the normal functioning of poikilothermic animals is a certain ambient temperature. Preferred temperatures vary between species of animals.

In the terrarium, two conventional sections are organized:

  • Warm corner (English hot spot) in which heating elements will be placed and where animals will increase body temperature. The temperature in this area is higher than in the rest of the terrarium.
  • Cold corner, in which the temperature is lower and the humidity is usually higher than in a warm corner.

The presence of two sites with different temperature and humidity (as well as an intermediate zone) allows animals to choose the necessary environmental parameters themselves.

Terrarium heating can be carried out using:

  • Thermal cords that can be located both inside the terrarium and outside
  • Thermal stone
  • Thermal mats. flat heating elements
  • Ceramic heat emitters
  • Infrared lamps
  • Incandescent and mirror lamps, which combine the functions of heating and lighting

A thermometer is a necessary element of a terrarium, with the help of which temperature is monitored. It is necessary to install thermometers in the warm and cold corners of the terrarium. In a cold corner, you can also use a thermometer combined with a hygrometer. A water thermometer is required in the aquaterrarium. [3]


Another important factor, especially for amphibians, is humidity.

To maintain a certain humidity are used:

  • Spray guns, or sprayers, from which periodically spray soil, plants and terrarium walls
  • Rain installations
  • Fog generators
  • Fountain pumps

Hygrometers or thermometers combined with a hygrometer are used to measure air humidity. [3]


Terrarium lighting is provided by incandescent and / or LED and fluorescent lamps. Mirror reflex lamps with a power of 40 to 75 W provide local heating of a certain area of ​​the terrarium, thereby creating hot and cold zones in the terrarium so that reptiles can independently adjust their temperature when moving between these zones. For simultaneous lighting and heating of terrariums with nocturnal animals, you can use infrared lamps or simple incandescent lamps with a red or blue bulb, as red or blue light does not bother animals. [3]

Ultraviolet irradiation

For the production of vitamin D, the regulation of mineral metabolism, the stimulation of normal behavior and reproduction, many terrarium animals need ultraviolet radiation.

Most reptiles and many amphibians require UV fluorescent lamps. Most lamps designed specifically for terrarium animals have a certain proportion of ultraviolet light in the spectrum. They are intended for continuous lighting and irradiation of the terrarium. According to the spectrum, such lamps can be divided into three groups:

  • Lamps in the spectrum of which contain little hard UVB (2%). Designed for soft irradiation of amphibians, snakes and night lizards, as well as lighting terrariums in combination with other lamps.
  • Lamps in the spectrum of which the proportion of UVB is 4-5%. Designed for reptiles with a moderate need for ultraviolet radiation: from tropical rain forests and temperate latitudes.
  • Lamps in the spectrum of which the proportion of UVB is 7-10%. They are intended for reptiles of arid zones (steppes and deserts), which have a high need for ultraviolet radiation.
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Erythemic and quartz medical lamps can be used for session irradiation of animals. [3]


Terrariums provide for ventilation openings and crevices draped with a fine mesh of metal and plastic for the intake and circulation of fresh air.

Species Terrarium

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.

Making Tarrrium

For the manufacture of a terrarium you will need: building material, which will become the basis of the structure; sealant for aquariums, which allows to glue the components, as well as fill the seams so that water does not leak; special devices and tools: electric heaters, sensors, lamps, glass cutter, screwdriver, saw, drill, vice. For example, consider the manufacture of a glass terrarium at home.

First you need to determine the volume of the frame and the size of the roof. Now, with the help of a glass cutter, you need to cut the necessary sheets. The product cover should be equipped with lamp holes, as seen in the photo. Container for terrarium To make the seams even, you can stick tape on the edges of the glass. Glass should be degreased with acetone.

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The so-called seam is filled with silicone sealant, the excess of which is removed along with adhesive tape. Vise fixes the desired position of the structure until the sealant completely dries. We remove the matches. Then you need to attach the hinges on which to install the door. It is also advisable to put a locking mechanism. It can be a small lock or a heck.

Choosing a Terrarium Location

Wall-mounted terrarium Once a suitable terrarium has been purchased or manufactured, a place should be chosen 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.

Terrarium For Turtles And Everything You Need To Know About It

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.