Before constructing and installing a new terrarium or aquaterrarium, adjusting any existing capacity for them (a glass jar, an aquarium, etc.) or acquiring new ones, it is necessary to determine how they will serve purposes. amateur, educational, research, production, etc., and what animals they will be populated both in species and in quantitative composition. In this case, a very important circumstance should be taken into account: the practical limitation of the species composition of amphibians and reptiles. The fact is that we do not have organized deliveries of small terrarium animals of foreign fauna to the distribution network, the receipt and acquisition of these animals is random. Catching in nature of representatives of domestic herpetofauna in accordance with the All-Union Law on the Protection and Use of the Animal World is allowed only with special permits issued by procurement organizations. The list of species for the sale of animals to the population as living exhibits for domestic corners of nature is limited.
Domestic species of amphibians and reptiles in ordinary indoor terrariums rarely breed, it is even more difficult to get offspring from tropical species. Difficulties are determined by many reasons: selection of pairs, high-quality feeding, availability of the proper environment for the development of eggs, etc. Inhabitants of terrariums begin to breed not soon after birth. For example, toads reach puberty in the 2nd year of life, green and brown frogs, toads in 3-4 years, in most caudate amphibian species of our fauna, puberty occurs in the 2nd year of life, and in spotted salamander and Semirechinsky frog on the 4th-5th. Reptiles are capable of breeding at an even older age: water turtles at 6-8 years old, land turtles at 12-4, quick and green lizards at 2-3 years old, yellow-bellied and spindles at 3; in most species of snakes, common within the USSR, maturity occurs on the 3-4th year of life.
Before making a terrarium, it is necessary to study the biological characteristics of the species of animals that you have chosen for keeping. The external forms, area, cubic capacity of the terrarium, its internal structure and equipment will depend on this. For example, for salamanders and toads, as well as turtles, there is no need to make the terrarium high, they can’t crawl along the smooth walls, they don’t climb the knots and branches of plants and do not jump. They live on the bottom of the terrarium and it’s not necessary to set up a roof, unless there is a danger that tenants such as domestic cats and dogs will not visit them. And, on the contrary, tree frogs, well-jumping frogs, many lizards and snakes that are excellent climbers, cannot be kept without a lid tightly attached to the skeleton of the terrarium. Frogs, having suction cups on all fingers, can climb to any height and freely climb steep and smooth walls and glasses, they can also be attached to the ceiling. Garlic, on the contrary, does not occupy the upper floors of the terrarium, it needs cellars, a layer of loose earth at the bottom of the room in which it lives. At night, the garlic woman wanders around the terrarium, and with the onset of dawn, digs into it and sits motionless in the mink until evening.
For the manufacture of terrariums, solid and durable building materials are used, which are not amenable to the destructive effect of hot water and various disinfecting solutions, which have to be periodically treated with terrariums for preventive purposes and if your pets have any diseases or ectoparasites. Thin tin is not suitable for covering the bottom of the terrarium, it quickly rusts, holes are imperceptibly formed in it, through which the soil and the inhabitants of the terrarium also “imperceptibly” leak. Do not use plasticine for closing holes, fastening glasses in racks, doors and covers, household non-drying window putty, wax, etc. Under the influence of hot water when washing a terrarium, under the influence of heaters installed to maintain the required temperature, these substances melt easily. and strength will be broken.
The area of the base and cubic capacity of the terrarium must strictly correspond to the number of animals c. taking into account the necessary norms for them. For one lizard 10–12 cm long, an area of 25X25 cm is required, for an adult Central Asian land tortoise 0.25 m2, for tree frog 25X25 cm, for toad 50X50 cm, for an adult ordinary snake, a snake of medium size (length 100–120 cm) 0, 5 m2. Cubature depends on the height of the terrarium, on average it should be 60-70 cm. Before populating the terrarium, it is necessary to check all its components for their thorough decoration. Sharp edges of glass should not protrude from the casing of the terrarium and its parts, stick out the ends of screws, bolts, screws, spikes, nets, etc., which animals may injure themselves. All parts of the terrarium. walls, bottom, covers, doors, legs, and others. must be tightly and firmly connected to each other with screws, screws, bolts, spikes, glue, etc. They should not have holes or crevices, through which the inhabitants of the terrarium and the living creature that is given to them as food can get free. The bottom, racks, walls, covers and other details of the terrarium, if it is made of wood, must be well proliferated and painted with oil paint, and if the terrarium is metal, it is coated with varnishes that protect the metal from corrosion; frames made of aluminum, duralumin, stainless steel, plastic, it is not necessary to paint or varnish.
Natural light and direct rays of the sun are necessary for all the inhabitants of the terrarium, as well as the ornamental plants that adorn it. Therefore, to ensure maximum illumination, the three side walls, if the terrarium is rectangular, should be made of transparent materials (glass, plexiglass, fine mesh), and the fourth wall should be adapted as a door, it can also partially be transparent; the cover should be transparent, it can be removable or hinged.
The terrarium should have good ventilation. This is ensured by mesh covers or mesh side walls, as well as the device in the frame of the ventilation holes of a diameter that would not allow the animals to go free.
An amateur terrarium, in addition to its cognitive value, will always be, of course, if you keep it in proper order, decorating your home, biological office or the premises of scientists. It should be a light, neat and beautiful structure. It needs to be painted in gentle colors, if possible, painted under a tree, elegantly decorated with modeling or inlaid. In its shape, it can be rectangular, multifaceted or rounded. Geometrically, it can be a box, a prism or a cube. The most convenient and most effective form of the box.
Any terrarium is a corner of wildlife, its copy, model. The more the internal equipment and decoration will be closer to the natural conditions typical of your pets, the better your small living panorama with plants and animals will look, the longer the inhabitants of the terrarium will last, giving you the opportunity to observe their lifestyle, habits and biological characteristics In recent years, many terrarimers have a tendency to combine terrarium with home furnishings. Such combined structures are very original and serve as a good decoration for a residential apartment.
Terrariums can also be arranged as stationary premises in a room, school, laboratory of a research and lobby of a cultural and educational institution, or in a loggia of a residential apartment in the summer. The design, installation and equipment of such a terrarium is more complicated than the manufacture of a mobile terrarium.