Reptiles like bearded dragons and chameleons are excellent pet choices since they are intelligent and exotic. To keep your pet safe and protect its health, you should house it in a great enclosure. Reptile terrariums protect bearded dragons against harsh weather conditions and allow them some space to hunt. Here are some qualities of the best reptile enclosures.
Enclosure Size Should Fit the Lizard’s Age
A reptile enclosure is not a one-size-fits-all; different reptiles require unique cages that match their needs. The distinction about the size of enclosure you need often depends on the reptile’s age, size, and activity.
Young chameleons can co-exist with others within the same tank. Juvenile chameleons are more active, so they need more room to explore. As they grow older, they start getting territorial, meaning you will need a tank for each pet.
Larger enclosures often contain more décor and feeding room, which contributes to your chameleon’s happiness. The extra room for climbing means your chameleon will likely lead an active lifestyle.
Contains Lighting and Fixtures
Terrariums cannot take in direct sunlight since the heat build-up will force the plants to wilt and crisp up. You can place the terrarium where they get indirect sunlight, but sometimes it may not be enough. Installing lighting and fixtures help illuminate the enclosure.
UVB lighting can help reptiles synthesize vitamin D, reducing the risk of suffering from metabolic bone disease. You should only use this light during the daytime since it helps your pet regulate the circadian rhythm.
Lamps in the enclosure make reptiles happy and active. You will also easily watch them climb and hunt within the terrarium.
While light bulbs and fixtures in the enclosure can emit heat, it may not be enough for your reptile. Chameleons are cold-blooded, so they need heat to survive. Installing heaters in your terrarium can help keep the enclosure warm and habitable.
The different types of heaters you can install include:
- Basking bulbs
- Ceramic bulbs
- Under-tank heaters
While basking bubs can be a heat and light source, ceramic bulbs and under-tank heaters do not emit light. This means you have to install them alongside a light fixture.
Note: All heat cables should be covered using a wood accessory to prevent some reptiles from nibbling on the wires. You should turn off the heat during the nighttime to simulate forest temperatures.
Can Contain a Thermostat and Humidity Control
Reptiles, as cold-blooded animals, need an external temperature source to remain active. While they need heating, high temperatures can affect the reptile’s function; too much extreme heat may make them sick or lead to death. Always install a thermostat to control the temperature range within terrariums.
Humid conditions within the reptile enclosure can affect its health negatively. You should also not let the reptile tank dry up since your pet can have dry skin and itchy eyes. Installing humidity controls will maintain the correct humidity levels for your reptile’s survival and proper health. Proper tank temperature and humidity levels improve your reptile’s metabolism and promote their development.
The Terrarium Has Décor for Your Reptile’s Needs
Décor options you can install in the terrarium include:
- Water and feeding bowls
- Hiding or hibernation sections
Place the reptile’s water bowl away from the basking area to reduce evaporation. This also helps maintain the water cool for drinking.
Select safe plant options for your terrarium, meaning they should not be thorny or have poisonous leaves. Remember to sterilize them before installation in the enclosure to prevent pathogens from transferring to your pet.
Include A Safe Substrate
The substrate in a terrarium forms the flooring. You should use a substrate type that is safe for your reptiles and allows them to burrow when necessary.
Common types of substrates include:
- Newspaper and paper towels: Inexpensive but cannot hold moisture for long, so you must change them often.
- Terrarium sand: Improves the look of your enclosure and holds moisture well. The downside is its risk of impaction if swallowed.
- Gravel: Offers the lizard’s enclosure a natural look but can be hard to dig for females when they intend to lay eggs.
- Coconut husk brick: Loose enough for digging to allow females to lay eggs.
Coconut husk brick is readily available in pet stores and can hold moisture well. The material is also biodegradable and digestible in case of swallowing.
Find the Best Reptile Enclosures
A chameleon’s housing directly impacts their health and determines their safety. Investing in suitable reptile enclosures will allow your pet to enjoy the right temperatures and hunting space. Strive to install the right equipment and keep the enclosure clean for the pet to live happily.