Choosing A vivarium
Choosing a vivarium can cause confusion, this guide is to give you a better understanding of what is the difference, which is best suited for certain reptiles and ones to avoid.
Vivarium’s come in different sizes and shapes, the most popular is a 3 – 4ft in length and 2ft deep enclosure that accommodates bearded dragons & many others.
Wooden vivarium’s offer a more secure and sturdy quality, they house most snakes that’s do not require high humidity’s and lizards. Another pro for wooden is the view-through glass window allows you to see your pet as they navigate through their cage.
Wooden vivariums are heavy and an average 3ft cage will weigh up to 30kg in total weight, but as mentioned before this makes the vivarium solid and near escape proof.
Costing between £60 – £100 for a quality Viv will save you money in the long term, but there is a budget option if you have handy joinery skills. Building your own caging can be a challenge without the correct cutting equipment but allows the freedom to make some really unique designs.
Melamine board, glass (cut to size), Air vents and plastic glass runners are all that is needed to make your own, in my first attempt we used a hand-saw which turned out to be a disaster, so we encourage to get the board pre-cut to size which most stores will do.
If you are unsure if making your own is going to be difficult, just pay that little bit extra and get a pre-built enclosure as this will save you time, stress and repeatedly buying mis cut wood.
Glass terrariums are much better for high humidity required reptiles, such as a crested gecko or a green tree python. Because glass does not absorb the water, it will not mould or soften.
With a 360-degree viewing of the enclosure, you really can’t get better. Glass is often more expensive for a similar size to a wooden cage. Most glass terrariums come with a built in lock on the front of the cage and a mesh roof which can be covered to keep in humidity or reduce it accordingly.
vivarium For a bearded dragon
Bearded dragons are a great example lizard that is suited for a wooden enclosure, they require a high temperature without much humidity, because the enclosure stays dry for the most part, the wood will last for years even decades. A 4ft by 2ft will suitably house an adult bearded dragon for their entire life.
vivarium crested gecko
For a crested gecko, a wooden vivarium would not be a great idea, because the caging will get sprayed daily, the wood will begin to wrap and go moulding in a matter of years. Replacing more frequently and increasing the chances of infection or infestation within the enclosure.
Glass is the perfect option for these lizards, we have had 1 glass terrarium for over 8 years which gets deep cleaned every 2 months like all our vivarium’s and is still brand new.
vivarium for snakes
Snakes vary largely so we have created a small list of snakes which suit a certain type of caging better. You will notice that the more tropical environment the snake comes from, its cage will be more likely glass than wooden. Some snakes as adults are just too big to fit into a glass terrarium, so have to be transferred to a wooden option with age, which we will include for you.
- Corn snake
- King Snake
- Milk Snake
- Reticulated Python
- Royal Python
- Burmese Python
- Boa Constrictor
- Adult Brazilian rainbow boa
- Bearded Dragon
- Leopard Gecko
- Brazilian rainbow boa (baby – subadult)
- Green Tree Python
- Garter snake
- Emerald Tree Boa
- Crested Gecko
Plastic is another option, but due to how insecure they are for adult snakes and lizards, we do not recommend these for housing reptiles over 1 years old.
They do make great cheap vivarium’s to setup a baby or hatchling whilst you save for their permanent housing space. These will also give you 6 months to see how fast your snake or lizard grows in that time and buy the perfect size enclosure for the growth rate of the reptile, this can save you buying multiple enclosures when only 2 or 3 are needed.
Plastic full-size vivarium’s
We do not recommend these to any owner, as we tested one with one of our pets for 2 months. We found the heat hat at the bottom cause the plastic to bend which pushed the glass sliders out of place.
On top of this, the heat bulb on the top of the enclosure began to sink down and looks dangerous. We would never recommend a plastic vivarium with sliding glass at front for any keeper.