There are more than 7780 species that fall within the class of Reptilia. There are certain kinds of reptiles, such as the common adder, that is found in the Arctic regions. Many other kinds of reptiles thrive in warmer environments as well. So how do you set up a vivarium that can be perfect for your reptilian companion?
Reptiles that are captive are completely dependent on the environment that their owners place them in. A common problem that many reptiles face, is developing health issues due to bad housing conditions. If you want to keep a reptile in your home, then you will need to know how to properly care for them. The first thing you should do is ascertain where your reptile is from. Then, you’ll need to provide them with an environment that is similar to the one they originated from.
What Are The Lighting Requirements Of A Reptile?
For reptile lighting, ultraviolet light becomes very important. This is as many reptiles tend to be diurnal. They come from parts of the world where the intensity of UV light. The A band of UV light, known as UVA, can be considered even more important for reptiles. This is as this band stimulates various functions within the reptile.
The B waveband, also known as UVB is also important, as it stimulated the production of vitamin D3 in the skin of the reptile. There are some reptiles that tend to be more nocturnal. They are not as susceptible to their diurnal variations, when it comes to deprivation of UV light.
How To Set Up Your Vivarium
Here is everything you should know, about setting up your vivarium:
- Fist fine the ideal location for your vivarium. Keep in mind that reptiles can become stressed by loud noises, even should they come from the TV.
- The vivarium you build should be suitable for the species you have chosen. A species that is arboreal will need a cage that is vertically oriented. If the species is terrestrial, their cage should be horizontally oriented.
- A heat source should be provided. This can be done by adding a heat pad underneath the vivarium. You can also add a heat lamp, which should have a guard fitted. Position this on the same end as the heat pad. This will become a nice reptile heating solution for your pet.
- A thermometer will need to be secured on either end of the enclosure. This will help to monitor the the gradient. A basking area should be provided as well, which should feel warmer than other places in the vivarium.
- UV light will need to be provided within the enclosure. This should be within 30cms of the basking area of the reptile.
- A hygrometer will need to be secured on to the wall. This will help monitor the levels of humidity.
- The floor of the vivarium will need to be covered with a substrate that is suitable for the species. If the reptile you own is a burrowing one, then you should provide ample space for them to burrow.
- You will also need to add the right furniture for the species. Consider getting bamboo tubes as well as plastic pipes, to create hiding spots within the vivarium. Species of reptiles that are terrestrial enjoy rocks, logs and even low lying branches.
- You will regularly need to monitor both the temperature and the humidity levels of the vivarium, to ensure that they are properly maintained.
The Vivarium and Heating
Heating is very important for reptiles. This is as reptiles tend to be poikilothermic. This means that they can’t generate metabolic heat. The right body temperature for a reptile depends on several factors, like their age as well as what species they belong to. A large number of commonly kept species of reptiles tend to come from the tropical regions.
Diurnal temperatures of such regions range between 26 degrees to 37 degrees centigrade. If you want to provide your reptile with the temperature that is optimum for them, then you’ll need to supply them with additional heating. One way you can do this is with the help of heating pads. These heating pads can be more suitable for reptiles that come from temperature regions, such as the corn snake.
You should also consider adding a heat lamp for your reptile heating as well. With two sources of heat being provided, the pet is more likely to feel that they are at home. You should also arrange to get a temperature gradient for your vivarium. This can be done by adding a heat input.
Remember that if your reptile is arboreal, then the heat pad needs to be attached to the side of the vivarium. You can also consider adding an infra-red light bulb to the area where your pet basks.
Temperature and Humidity
You will also need to measure the temperature of your vivarium. This is so that you can ensure that you’re providing ample reptile heating and reptile lighting to your pet. Note what the temperature is inside the vivarium, and try to isolate at what temperature your pet feels most comfortable.
Remember that tropical regions can be humidity as well. For this reason, a layer of humidity will need to be provided to your vivarium as well. The heat requirements for a reptile are more important than the humidity requirements however. For this reason, you’ll need to ensure that your vivarium has access to ample heat.
In order to set up the perfect vivarium for your reptile, you’ll need to follow several steps. You’ll need to take into account their reptile heating and reptile lighting requirements. You’ll You’ll need to construct for them a space that is similar to their natural environment.
This can be done by providing not just ample lighting, but UVA and UVB lighting as well. Depending on whether your reptile is terrestrial or arboreal, how you construct your vivarium will change. Despite this, this guide will be able to provide you with all the information you need, on how to set up a great vivarium.