Turn Terrarium Decorating into a Hobby of Its Own
Do you ever wish there was more you could do to interact with your exotic pet? Reptiles and amphibians are cool, but they’re not the kind of pets you can really play around on the floor with. (Believe me, we try to interact with our household Russian tortoise, and mostly she just wants to burrow in her substrate and sleep.)
One thing you can do, however, to make pet ownership more interesting for both you and your animal companion is to work on habitat projects.
You can make tons of different kinds of tanks or enclosures for a variety of amphibians and reptiles. This article shows examples of some cool designs I’ve seen, courtesy of DIY Herps. Get some ideas you like, and you can make a hobby of decorating your own pet’s habitat.
Realistic rock structures
This video shows you how to take foam and cement mix or grout, and create lightweight, realistic rocks for formations inside a terrarium or other enclosure. After adding a bit of acrylic paint, you’ve got your own faux rocks for less than you would have to pay to buy habitat décor. (Plus, it’s way more fun to make your own.)
The process is a bit messy, but the results make for a natural-looking habitat.
Check out the full video here:
Vivarium moss floor
You can buy moss mix to add to your bioactive terrarium (aka vivarium). But this set of DIY instructions shows you how to harvest a bit of moss from outside and grow it into a lush, full covering of natural moss flooring.
You start by growing the moss outside the terrarium, and once it’s ready, you can cut pieces of the growth to cover the floor of the tank.
Check out the full video here:
A waterfall is a really cool feature to add to a terrarium. It not only adds a nice visual effect, but it also adds a calming sound to the room. And it makes for a naturalistic environment for amphibian pets such as dart frogs.
Adding a waterfall looks really impressive, yet it’s not actually that difficult to do. We sell a lit LED Skull Waterfall at The Tye-Dyed Iguana that gives the tank a kind of creepy, Indiana Jones vibe.
Check out the full waterfall terrarium video here:
Forest and stream terrarium
In a similar way to building a waterfall terrarium, you can also create a forest habitat with a small stream. The biggest difference between going with a waterfall or stream style is which plants you add and what direction the water flows. The nice thing about the forest and stream terrarium is that you don’t need to attach rock walls, making it a bit easier to build, as well as easier to see inside from all sides of the tank.
Check out the full build video here:
From Exo Terra foam background to natural rainforest rock
When you go DIY, it’s completely okay to incorporate premade items into your projects. In this video, for instance, DIY Herps takes a store-bought piece of Exo Terra foam background and makes it look less like foam and more like natural rocks for a rainforest terrarium setup.
Although the Exo Terra background has a vague mossy rock coloring to begin with, adding the right finishing touches makes a big difference in how realistic your terrarium looks.
Check out the full DIY video here:
Foggy natural vivarium
I’ve also posted a tutorial here on the blog with full details on how to start building your first natural vivarium, with a link to how to add a fog machine for a misty rainforest effect.
Find more supplies to get started decorating your snake, lizard, or frog tank, or tortoise table, at The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights.