Terrariums are very similar to vivariums and many people use the terms interchangeably. These enclosures are available in a number of sizes, designs, and construction materials. Whether you want to keep gerbils, snakes, insects, or lizards, a terrarium provides the ideal enclosure if you get your set-up right. You must consider a number of important factors to get optimise your terrarium set-up for your pets.
Consider the Size of the Animals
If you purchase your pets as babies, they are undoubtedly small and sweet. However, like other pets, terrarium animals grow as they mature. They need plenty of space to move around and explore. Therefore, you must consider how big they grow when they reach adulthood. Make sure your terrarium is big enough for the creatures to move around and stretch out freely so that they get the exercise and stimulation they require. If you choose a social pet for your terrarium and plan on keeping more than one in the same tank, take into account the extra space requirements, because not only will you have unhappy pets, if their habitat is too small, they exhibit destructive behaviours such as fighting, and this is potentially fatal to one or more of your pets.
Consider the Environmental Needs of the Animals
Your terrarium-dwelling pets have specific environmental requirements. The terrarium needs to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible. For example, salamanders and ground skinks require a woodland terrarium, complete with foliage, logs, and shade. Salamanders also require access to a watery area to swim in, such as a small, partially submerged area at one end of the terrarium, as do frogs, toads, turtles, and terrapins. Some types of lizards, such as geckos, thrive in a savannah terrarium, while others, such as iguanas and great plains skinks do well in a desert terrarium. Many terrarium dwellers like to climb, so you must provide rock formations, ledges, and logs, offering different levels across the terrarium. Additionally, you need to provide shelter and shade in the form of caves, log piles, and foliage. You must also provide the right food for your pets. Many reptiles suitable for terrariums require live food, such as crickets, worms, and other insects. Even primarily insectivorous animals also enjoy fruits such as mango, fresh or dried, as part of a balanced diet.
Consider the Type of Terrarium
Glass and mesh terrariums are popular, because they provide ample ventilation through the top mesh. They also have security features for those daring creatures who like to explore your house if they find the opportunity, and these enclosures are easy for controlling the temperature. The other popular option is glass-fronted wooden terrariums. These models are more attractive than other types and have a pleasing wooden surround.