Environment is everything to your reptile. The type
and size will depend upon the species you plan on keeping. The location
of the vivarium in the room is also important. Even though your
species may come from the desert regions, you should never place
it in front of a window. A corner in the room, out of direct sunlight,
and in a position that you can enjoy watching its occupants. Check
in your breeder or the breed information section as to which vivarium
is right for your species type
Types of Vivariums
This type of environment aims to mimic that of a desert, hot and
Feature of the desert habitat:
• Deep layer of sand or gravel in the bottom of the enclosure
• Water bowl set in substrate to prevent spillage
• Securely placed rock beneath a heat source
• Succulents without spikes
• Digital Thermometer
• Heat Source
• Hollow Tubes buried in substrate for retreating
Many different types of species live in this environment. It is
generally characterized as having warm daytime temperatures with
dry spells followed by torrential rains.
Features of the Savannah Habitat:
• Daytime temperatures are high but less than desert. Ideal
temperature is 75-86 degrees Farenheight
• Long dry spells followed by moisture, spray interior of
enclosure with water a couple times a week for humidity
• More retreat areas than with desert
• Water bowl set into substrate (floor or enclosure)
• Succulents or plastic plants for décor
• Digital thermometer
• Heat Source
• Branches for retreat and climbing opportunities
• Substrate is light wood shavings or coarse gravel
This type of habitat aims for a slightly moist environment and
the temperature should not be higher than an average heated room.
A darker substrate in preferable.
Feature of the temperate woodland habitat:
• Subdued lighting
• Daytime temps of 68-75 degrees F. Nighttime should fall
to around 50 degrees F. Heat source should be under thermostatic
• Substrate of gravel with bark and wood chips layered on
• Sphagnum moss for burrowing should be located near the water
• Box like retreat
• Glass Enclosure
• Live plants or suitable plastic plants located for décor
A moist, tall habitat with adequate ventilation characterizes this
type of environment. It is very similar to the tropics where many
of the species originate.
Features of the tropical woodland habitat:
• Temperature should be maintained at 90 degrees F during
the day and allow to drop to 75 degrees at night.
• Bark chips with moss layered over as substrate
• Regular spraying inside with water along with a good ventilation
• Tall habitat
• Water set in substrate
• Heat source with grill around to protect species from getting
• Digital thermometer
• Tall Plants and Branches for climbing
• Hollowed logs lain on bottom of habitat for retreat
The semi-aquatic environment supplies your species with land areas
as well as water retreats. It is important to partition the tank
so that your pet can easily move from the water to land areas and
back. This back and forth movement by your pet will prevent fungal
infections from occurring. Avoid piling rocks in the aquatic area
since they may become dislodged and your pet can be injured or even
the glass can break.
Features of the semi aquatic habitat
• Water temperature should be maintained at 75-81 degrees
• Heat stat should be placed well below the water surface
• Digital thermometer to monitor temp
• Dry area on one side of tank for basking with light source
• Glass partition held in place with aquarium sealant to divide
wet and dry areas
• Gravel for building slope between two areas
• No aquatic vegetation
Cleaning Your Vivarium
Regular cleaning and disinfection will prevent diseases from forming
with your pet and also provide a happy environment.
General Cleaning Considerations
• For habitats with land, clean out droppings and provide
fresh water daily. Sterilization and change of substrate should
happen on a weekly basis.
• For habitats with semi-aquatic environments, remove any
waste daily change the substrate and make partial water changes
every week, and provide a more complete water change once a month.
• Even though aquatic habitats have a filtration system, regular
partial water changes weekly and complete water change every month.
• The more complex the habitat, the less often you want to
do a complete cleaning so as not to upset the ecosystem. Environments.
Factors affecting the cleaning schedule:
• Your reptile’s species. Some species are naturally
dirtier than others, readily defecating in their water bowls.
• The size of your pet relative to enclosure size. The larger
your pet is, the more obvious the need for cleaning. If you have
a large pet in a small space. The ammonia created from waste can
become harmful to your pet.
• The number of reptiles you have within the habitat. The
more you house within the enclosure, the more often you will have
to clean and clear waste.