A home terrarium is more an alternative to an aquarium than a dog or cat. By choosing the animal that suits you, you can create good conditions not only for him, but also enliven the interior of the house, creating a cozy corner of nature right in the city apartment. However, before chasing bright exotic, evaluate your capabilities and skills, because reptiles and amphibians require a special approach, and despite their “coldness” they need care and attention of the owner. And if you are seriously interested in "reptiles", then you will definitely need special literature on terrarium, fortunately, that at present there is no shortage of it.
According to the conditions of keeping animals can be divided into less and more whimsical. If you are an inexperienced terrarium hunter, then starting with tropical snakes that need special temperature and humidity modes would be great stupidity. And among the inhabitants of temperate latitudes, there are many curious and uncomplicated animals that will give you a lot of pleasure. It is also worth abandoning the idea of keeping poisonous animals at home.
The most common inhabitant of aquatic terrariums is the crested newt (Triturus cristatus). Comb tritons live almost throughout the European part of Russia, so it can be caught in any pond. Along with the comb, you can also get his brother. the ordinary newt (Triturus vulgaris.) Contain animals at a water temperature of 18-22 ° C, and in the winter time it is cooled to 4-6 ° C. Although they can withstand temperatures down to zero degrees, there is no need to experiment. You can do without wintering, it is rather needed as a stimulation of reproduction.
At a temperature of 10-12 degrees, after some time, the males dress in a mating outfit. a beautiful comb that attracts attention and bright orange-brown sides. After the mating ritual, the male lays a spermatophore, which the female picks up cloaca with her lips and after a while lays eggs, attaching it to the leaves of aquatic plants. Larvae of newts, like many other tailed amphibians, before metamorphosis are completely different from adults and there are cases when they were described as independent species. Tritons feed on small invertebrates, and in captivity they can be fed with small bloodworms. With the right content, the comb newt can survive up to 10-12 years. And ordinary to 27.
Another common species of our fauna. common tree frog (Hyla arborea) is also often found in amateur terrariums. These are nocturnal tree animals and the terrarium should be equipped so that tree frog feels like in its native forest. For this, it is better to use a vertical type terrarium, i.e. one with a height greater than the width. It would be nice to place branches and plants that carry shade and high humidity (bromeliads, philodendrons, arrowroot, ficus, etc.).
The optimum temperature in the terrarium with tree frogs is 22 ° C. During the hibernation period in October, the temperature is gradually reduced to 10C. Wintering lasts until April, at this time of year tree frogs leave it in nature. If your goal is not to breed animals, then wintering can be neglected, however, in case of violation of the biological rhythm, the life expectancy of animals can be significantly reduced. Small invertebrates — insect larvae, worms — serve as food for tree frogs and other tree frogs.
If you prefer reptiles, then you should pay attention to land turtles. Central Asian tortoise (Testudo horsfieldi). probably the most common reptile kept at home
You will not have problems with feed. Turtles are herbivorous and feel great when feeding on cabbage, carrots and fruits. Do not forget that turtles are inhabitants of insulated spaces and need irradiation with quartz. This will save them from violations of the molting process, deformation of the limbs, and modification of the shell.
Exotic lovers can be advised to get green iguana (Iguana iguana). Extravagant American with good care grows quickly and reaches, taking into account the length of the tail, two meters. Therefore, the terrarium should be quite spacious. The iguana also needs to be provided with tree branches and a lamp for heating. It is desirable that the lamp be with a timer and a temperature sensor. so that the animal does not overheat and does not receive a burn. In the terrarium, humidity should be maintained at 50-70%, and, in addition, the iguana needs a bath with water. she drinks from it and bathes in it. The iguana diet should be based on the green parts of plants. leaves of dandelions, carrots, cabbage, spinach, parsley. Chopped vegetables can be added: carrots, green beans, green peppers, peas. The number of fruits on the menu should be limited: iguanas love them so much that they neglect the more wholesome and necessary food.
If you do not have the opportunity to contain a large lizard. it does not matter! You can find less! One of the most common species in our country. nimble lizard (Lacerta agilis). The males of this species are noticeably larger than the females and more diverse in color. from plain bright green to gray with a brown pattern on the back. Females are usually brown with a less pronounced pattern. For fast lizards, a small horizontal terrarium with soil from sand and gravel with the addition of moss and leaves is suitable.
In addition, lizards need shelter. Clay shards or pieces of tile are quite suitable for this. The temperature regime of the content is 25-30C during the day and about 20C at night. A fast lizard feeds on small invertebrates. In captivity, meal worms and feed cockroaches are the usual food.
Snakes. it’s not “wet, slippery and nasty worms” at all, but beautiful and graceful animals, which are also worth paying attention to if you are interested in terrarium. Usual common in our latitudes already (Natrix natrix), often found in amateur terrariums, but remember that it is listed in the Red Book of the Leningrad Region. When kept in captivity, the snakes require a spacious horizontal-type terrarium with soil that retains moisture well. Shelter and pool are required in the terrarium.
Lighting. powerful enough, the temperature during the day is not lower than 24 ° C, and at night about 18 ° C. The main food is frogs. It is believed that snakes should be fed rarely. Yes, for some species this is true, but snakes need feeding 2-3 times a week. Subject to the wintering regime, the snakes easily breed in captivity, and their eggs withstand quite strong temperature fluctuations (from 10 to 55 ° C).
Despite the increased popularity of all kinds of exotic animals (which should include domestic reptiles), it should be remembered that:
1. Reptiles, like all other living things, are susceptible to disease and not every veterinarian will undertake their treatment.
2. If for one reason or another you can no longer keep the animal at home, then far from all you can just let go into the forest.
3. Great attention should be paid to the arrangement of the terrarium: the composition of the soil, temperature conditions, lighting and shelters should be as close to natural ones as possible.