Why Reptile Keeping is the Best Hobby for Crafters
Image courtesy of Timofei Ryazanov
You ever have one of those moments where you wish you could combine two of your favorite things to make something even better? Well, good news — if your favorite things happen to be reptile keeping and crafting, then you can!
Bioactive terrariums (or vivariums) are gaining popularity, and with them, the level of care that goes into habitat aesthetics.
Here are some crafty ideas for upping your habitat décor game and impressing friends…
Play with spray foam
In a previous blog post, “How to Start Your First Living Vivarium,” I show you the step-by-step process of creating natural-looking rock and dirt surfaces with spray foam. If you’re a crafter, you may already be familiar with using spray foam for other projects.
Once it has been sprayed into a general shape, you can carve the foam to get the details you want. Mastering this stuff basically means you can create any terrarium features you want, like ledges and built-in water basins for your exotic pets.
Here’s an example of a really cool tank conversion from standard 10-gallon aquarium to a vertical vivarium for an arboreal species:
Improve bought pieces with paint
If you’re more into the nearly DIY process of taking ready-made items and improving on them, you can still get unique looks for your habitats. Many ready-made items lack the realistic quality we’re going for in bioactive terrariums.
If you already do crafts, you likely have some acrylic paint lying around. Paint and painting supplies are all you’ll need to improve store-bought habitat structures. You can do this with items like:
For best results, add multiple layers of a few different colors of paint, watered down.
Here’s an example of using simple styrofoam pieces and turning them into a rock wall with ledges and a hide using tile grout, acrylic paint, and sealant:
Learn to hide foggers and waterfalls
Remember that spray foam mentioned above? Once you master the basics, you can get even more advanced with it.
If, for instance, you use PVC pipes or tubes to create a tunnel when spraying the foam, you can run lines for fog machines or water sources, or you can even create underground streams that empty out precisely where you want.
You simply place the water or fog tunnels first. The foam will cover the pipes or tubes, making the fog or water flow appear natural.
Here’s a good example of a homemade waterfall vivarium for plants where the water tubes have been buried under spray foam (note that the pump setup would need to be different for keeping a reptile in this tank):
Got ideas for combining your love of crafts with reptile keeping? Share them with us on our Facebook page!