Insects, spiders, scorpions, amphibians, lizards, snakes and turtles are the animal groups most commonly kept in terrariums. We'll give you tips on how to keep these animals, and to make the information easier to find, subdivide them not in rainforest and desert animals, but in the groups mentioned above. Although this is not systematically correct biologically, it will make your job easier.
Insects and myriapods
Although the insect group is huge, only a few species are regularly found in the terrarium. Even amongst the myriapods (millipedes, centipedes, and others) there are few species that are regularly kept. Both groups of animals are suitable for beginners. Only scolopendra are better left to the expert because of their toxicity!
Myriapods / millipedes (in the order of Julidae)
Millipedes live on damp soil in rainforests. There is also a European species (black millipede/Tachypodoiulus niger), which only grows 4 cm long. Many tropical species reach body lengths of about 15 cm. Terrariums should have a floor area of at least 40x40 cm. As substrate a lowermost drainage layer of JBL Manado is suitable, covered with JBL TerraBasis or (moistened) JBL TerraBark . It is essential to create hiding places with wood, leaves and cork. Julidae are peaceful creatures who only release their poisonous secretion in stress situations. Humans can react very differently to this poisonous secretion, as is the case with allergies. You can keep a small group of 3-4 animals in a 40 x 40 cm terrarium. Don’t light too brightly, use JBL ReptilJungle Daylight . Nutrition with fruits, vegetables, leaves, lichens and mushrooms. Avoid cabbage, lettuce and citrus fruits. A small bowl of water ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ) is useful. Temperature 20-30 ° C at a humidity of 70-90%. A heating mat like the JBL TerraTemp heatmat may be placed under the entire surface of the terrarium. The animals also need water but need to be protected from drowning. Here a water gel ( JBL TerraGel ) in a small water bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ) is most suitable.
Scolopendra, centipedes of the family Scolopendridae, are aggressive predators with a length up to 25 cm. They are extremely toxic and you need to be very careful when handling the animals.
They live in tropical rainforests, need temperatures between 25-30 ° C and a humidity of 75-95% during the day. At night, the temperature may be reduced to 22-25 ° C. Keep individually! The terrarium should have a floor area of at least 40 x 40 cm. As substrate a lowermost drainage layer of JBL Manado , covered with JBL TerraBasis or (moistened) JBL TerraBark is suitable. It is essential to create hiding places with wood, leaves and cork. A small bowl of water ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ) is useful. Diet: Insects of an appropriate size. Lighting not too bright with JBL ReptilJungle Daylight . The animals also need water but need to be protected from drowning. Here a water gel ( JBL TerraGel ) in a small bowl of water ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ) is best suited.
They live predatorily in rainforests and prey on insects by ambushing them with a lightning-fast movement of their raptorial legs. One species lives in the Mediterranean region. Males and juveniles can be maintained in groups, adult females only individually in terrariums from 30x30 cm floor area. During the day the air temperature should be between 25 and 30, at night around 22 ° C. Keep the humidity at 70-90% by spraying (also as drinking water). Feed exclusively with live insects. As substrate a lowermost drainage layer of JBL Manado , covered with JBL TerraBasis or (moistened) JBL TerraBark (moistened). You need to create climbing possibilities with branches. Depending on the species, good planting is advisable. Illumination with UV light is not necessary. Therefore many types of lamps are suitable: JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W
Leaf insects and stick insects
They often propagate through asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis). Depending on the species, stick insects (also called walking sticks) can grow up to 20 cm long. Depending on the species, good planting in a terrarium of at least 40 x 30 x 40 cm is advisable. Lighting with UV light is not necessary. The lighting is more for the plants to grow. Thus many lamp types are suitable: JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W . Substrate with JBL TerraCoco or JBL TerraBasis . If the lighting does not produce heat, use a heating mat during the day ( JBL TerraTemp heatmat ). Stick insects and leaf insects eat a solely vegetarian diet consisting of the leaves of strawberries, blackberries, oak, roses and others.
Since individual species may differ greatly in their care requirements, please check their exact demands with your specialist dealer.
Spiders & scorpions
Unlike the insects, all arachnids have not 6, but 8 legs. They have most of their nerve cells in their legs, so you could say they think with their legs! Spiders and scorpions are ideal for smaller terrariums. Extreme caution is required with some of them because of their toxicity. Please also remember that terrariums with poisonous animals should be secured with a lock ( JBL TerraSafe ). Spiders and scorpions do not require UV-A and B proportions in their lighting. They need light to generate heat but no UV radiation ( JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W ).
Around 900 species not only populate tropical rainforests, but also dry desert areas or even cooler mountain forests. All tarantulas are predators that feed on insects, birds and small mammals. Their poison is not fatal to humans, but can have differing effects, comparable to a wasp sting. Tarantulas are solitary and often nocturnal animals. The animals moult and can live to become 30 years old. Depending on the size of the tarantula species, the terrarium needs to have a floor area of at least 30 x 30 cm. The height depends on whether the animals like to climb. The bottom substrate requires a layer thickness of 8-10 cm. The type of substrate you choose depends on the species. The popular American pink toe (Avicularia metallica), for example, needs moisture-retaining material such as JBL TerraBasis or JBL TerraCoco Humus . However chose a mixture of soil and sand for Chilobrachys huahini or Grammostola actaceon. All spiders need a small, flat drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ). The JBL drinking bowls have the beneficial feature of a small rescue ladder to help the feeder animals to get out of the water. Small spiders and juveniles of larger species can drown in deep water! If you keep these use water gel ( JBL TerraGel ) instead of water. Lighting with UV light is not necessary. The lighting is more for plant growth. In this case a lot of lamp types are suitable: JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W . If the lighting does not produce heat, use a heating mat during the day ( JBL TerraTemp heatmat ). Please note: use heating mats only for species which do not bury themselves in the ground. The animals also need water but need to be protected from drowning. Therefore, a water gel ( JBL TerraGel ) in a small bowl of water ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ) is most suitable.
They manage well with smaller terrariums of 30 x 30 x 20 cm. Only Arizona Desert hairy scorpions (H. arizonensis), Tanzanian red clawed scorpion (P. cavimanus) and emperor scorpions (P. imperator) need slightly longer terrariums of about 60 x 30 x 30 cm. For scorpions, we roughly distinguish between two habitat types: the steppes and deserts (dry terrarium) and the rainforest, forest or bush landscape types (semi-moist terrarium). Accordingly, the terrarium soils need to be covered with sand / sand / clay mixture in the dry terrariums or with a soil / sand mixture in semi-moist terrariums. For the sand part JBL TerraSand natural yellow is very well suited. The soil proportion can be generated with JBL TerraBasis . Hiding places made of stones or wood are important. Please always glue decoration materials well ( JBL ProHaru Universal ), so they do not collapse and hurt the animals. Plants are not required in either type of terrarium, but may be used for aesthetic reasons. In dry or semi-moist terrariums, temperatures between 30-35 ° C should be reached during the day and decreased to around 20 ° C at night. Euscorpius carpathicus likes it a bit cooler (25 ° C and 18-20 ° C at night). The humidity should be 30-50% in dry terrariums and 60-80% in semi-moist terrariums. Ask your dealer if your chosen scorpion species prefers individual, pair or group keeping. All scorpions only eat live food, mostly house crickets, grasshoppers and crickets. Their brood care is especially interesting! They do not require UV illumination and can be ideally kept with the following lamps: JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W , The animals also need water but need to be protected from drowning. Therefore, a water gel ( JBL TerraGel ) in a small bowl of water ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ) is most suitable.
Amphibians, also known as caudata and anura, can be fascinating terrarium inhabitants, and they are enormously attractive both in terms of colour and behaviour. Caudata (salamanders, newts, axolotls) can easily get used to substitute food, while frogs (anura) eat only live food such as flies and so on. This needs to be considered from the start when choosing your animals.
They have gills all their lives and are therefore found exclusively in the water. They originally come from a lake near Mexico City (cold altitude), which unfortunately no longer exists. They don’t need a land section in the terrarium and can easily be kept in a pure aquarium. It’s best to set the water to a cool temperature between 12 and 23 ° C, and because their maximum size can be up to 30 cm, make sure to select a large enough terrarium or aquarium. To cool the water for Axolotl, the JBL cooler range is ideal. It needs to be at least 80 cm in length, but a length of 100 cm is better, especially if several animals are being kept. They do not like a current in the water and love overgrown aquariums with caves and plants. Never pick a sharp-edged substrate, as it is sometimes swallowed during eating. Ideal is JBL Manado and JBL Manado DARK . The nutritional needs of animals which search for their food in an olfactory manner (through their sense of smell), can be perfectly covered by JBL NovoLotl M . For a change, mosquito larvae, earthworms and Tubifex are well suited. If the Axolotls are given the opportunity, they also eat fish. Axolotls do not require UV light and their terrarium can be illuminated with normal aquarium lighting ( JBL SOLAR NATUR T8 ) and JBL SOLAR TROPIC T8 , but also with LED lights ( JBL LED SOLAR NATUR ).
They should be kept in a small group and need a terrarium with about 80 x 35 x 40 cm. The water part may well be set up with overgrown plants and wood. Depending on the newt species, water temperatures need to be adjusted between 15 and 26 ° C with the help of a heater thermostat ( JBL PROTEMP S 50 ). When stressed, some species release a toxic secretion through their skin which should not reach open wounds. As basic food JBL NovoLotl M is suitable, and as a supplement mosquito larvae, water fleas and smaller earthworms. Many native European species are protected! Newts do not require UV light and their terrarium can be illuminated with normal aquarium lighting ( JBL SOLAR NATUR T8 ) and JBL SOLAR TROPIC T8 , but also with LED light ( JBL LED SOLAR NATUR ).
Poison dart frogs (dendrobates)
They often jump around cheerfully and seek their food. In addition, their terrarium can be built like a piece of rainforest with beautiful plants and a water part. The only "disadvantage": They only eat live insects (fruit flies, springtails, micro crickets). A terrarium for the small hoppers needs a minimum size of 60 x 50 x 50 cm. They do not require UV illumination and can be kept ideally with the following lamps: JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W . All poison dart frogs like to live sociably. A male with several females is ideal. They like to climb and therefore need good opportunities for climbing in the terrarium. The frogs lose their toxicity in the terrarium because they do not receive their natural food (e.g. ants). The air temperature needs to be between 23 and 28 ° C with a humidity between 70 and 90%, as in their habitats in South and Central America.
Red-eyed treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas)
A small group of 6 frogs needs a terrarium of 100 x 80 x 120 cm. Select lighting designed for plants. A UV radiation is not necessary. Ideal are JBL ReptilJungle Daylight , JBL SOLAR REPTIL JUNGLE T8 , JBL ReptilDay , JBL LED SOLAR NATUR , JBL Reptil LED Daylight 12W . The air temperature needs to be between 25 and 30 ° C with humidity between 60 and 80 %. The animals are nocturnal and not easy to find during the day. They only eat live flies, crickets and wax moths. As a substrate JBL TerraCoco Humus is ideal. The terrarium needs a large water section (water level 10-15 cm). All robust and large-leaved plant species are suitable. These frogs are not suitable for beginners.
Clawed frogs (Xenopus)
The aquarium needs a volume of at least 60 litres and a minimum water temperature of 22 ° C. Since the animals look for food on the ground, avoid a sharp-edged bottom material and instead use a substrate like JBL Manado or JBL Sansibar RIVER . They need hiding places made of stones or wood roots. Their food consists of small fish, JBL NovoLotl M , Tubifex as dried food ( JBL NovoFex ) or mosquito larvae (also JBL NovoFil ) and earthworms as live and frozen food. Do not feed too much! The animals are very voracious! Clawed frogs might be kept successfully as small groups in the aquarium. They release secretion through the skin to protect themselves against predators.
The lizards form an extremely diverse group of animals that has populated almost all habitats with the exception of the world’s ice regions. Only very few species are herbivores which can be fed without animal live food. Please give careful thought to the size of the terrarium you select. Many lizards are very large and need a lot of space. Climbing species require high terrariums, while ground dwellers need a lot of floor space. Aggression within the species can be extremely pronounced (eg in chameleons).
Central (or inland) bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
They quickly become very trusting and eat out of your hand. Agamids, which can grow up to 60 cm long, are among the few species of lizards, which (apart from live food such as house crickets, crickets, grasshoppers) mainly eat vegetable food, such as JBL Iguvert , salad, vegetables (no cabbage!), dandelion and flowers. Daytime temperatures in their dry terrarium should be between 30 and 35 ° C with a humidity of 30-40 %. At night, the temperatures need to be lowered significantly and the humidity should rise to about 60 %. The ideal stock is one male and two females. A suitable substrate is JBL TerraSand natural yellow , often mixed with clay. The height of the substrate ought to be 15-20 cm, because the animals like to dig. Wood and stones are often welcome as a basking spot. Bearded dragons need a lot of light, heat and UV and therefore require light sources to supply these. The best lighting are LUW spotlights, which offer all three features ( JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu ). But also well positioned UV spotlights can also be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Important are spots to retreat, so that the animals can also visit cooler areas. Please note that, when using heating mats like JBL TerraTemp heatmat , to create cooler areas, these must never be placed under the entire surface of the terrarium. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ), is important to guarantee they are getting enough liquid.
Spiny-tailed lizard (Uromastyx species)
Your dry terrarium should have at least 120 x 80 cm of floor area. A substrate such as JBL TerraSand natural red is suitable for burrowing animals. Don’t use fine, slippery sand with a 20-30 cm layer thickness! Stones, wood and cork are good climbing opportunities, but need to be secured with JBL ProHaru Universal adhesive to prevent them from collapsing. LUW spotlights are the best lighting source to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu ). But also well positioned UV spotlights can also be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Important are spots to retreat, so that the animals can also visit cooler areas. Please note that, when using heating mats like JBL TerraTemp heatmat , to create cooler areas, these must never be placed under the entire surface of the terrarium. Spiny-tailed lizards are predominantly vegetarian and feed on dandelion, millet, rice, sunflower seeds and supplementary animal food comprising crickets, cockroaches and grasshoppers. The terrarium needs temperatures between 28-35 ° C during the day, under the spotlight up to 45 ° C, and at night 18-20 ° C. The humidity is ideally between 50 and 60%. The lizards can be kept individually and in pairs, whereby it can come to brawls. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar SAND is important to ensure the liquid supply.
Beaver-tailed agamas (Xenagama species)
They like to dig and need a bottom layer of about 20 cm, made of e.g. JBL TerraSand natural red (which is ideal for forming caves when moistened). Rock formations with loopholes form the decoration of your desert terrarium. Stones, wood and cork are good climbing opportunities, but need to be secured with JBL ProHaru Universal adhesive to prevent them from collapsing. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ), is important to ensure the liquid supply. LUW spotlights are the best lighting source to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu ). But also well positioned UV spotlights can also be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Temperatures between 26-32 ° C are recommended during the day, but only 20-26 ° C at night. The humidity may fluctuate between 40 and 70%, at night higher than during the day. Beaver-tailed agamas are vegetarian and feed on dandelion, leaves, JBL Iguvert , flowers with supplementary animal food from crickets, house crickets and grasshoppers. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ), is important to ensure the liquid supply.
Chameleons (Chamaelo and Furcifer species)
They can be a few centimetres small or up to 60 cm tall. Chameleons live in both rainforests and savannahs. All chameleons eat live food, some even mice, but only the Yemen chameleon (C. calyptratus) also needs vegetable food. Be careful with too fatty foods like mealworms! Most chameleons need a semi-humid terrarium with a lot of climbing opportunities and a floor area of at least 120 x 70 cm. Only smaller species require less floor space. The height can be between 100 and 200 cm because of the climbing opportunities. As a substrate a mixture of peat-soil ( JBL TerraCoco Compact , JBL TerraCoco Humus and JBL TerraBasis ) is suitable. Sufficient ventilation with a gauze cover against heat accumulation and moisture is very important, as this is and should be between 50 and 70%. Water is usually absorbed by drops on the leaves. Spraying is therefore very important. The daytime temperatures need to be 25-30 ° C and the nighttime temperatures 20 ° C. Most chameleon species are aggressive and need to be kept individually. Only a few species such as the Meller's chameleon and the Malagasy giant chameleon (F. oustaleti) can also be kept in pairs. LUW spotlights are the best lighting source to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilJungle L-U-W Light alu ). But well positioned UV spotlights can also be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ).
Almost every island has its own anolis species, which always lives in accordance with the geographic features. The rainforest or humid terrarium needs at least 50 x 50 x 60 cm for the smaller species and 150 x 100 x 150 cm for the larger species, such as the knight anolis. For a substrate use a sand-soil mixture JBL TerraSand natural yellow with JBL TerraBasis ). A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ), is important to ensure the liquid supply, even if the animals absorb drops of water after spraying. All anole species eat only live food such as flies, house crickets, wax moths and crickets. The big species also like baby mice. Some island anolis species also eat fruit. Make sure the daytime temperatures are around 28-32 ° C and the nighttime temperatures 20-25 ° C (the red-throated anolis even needs 16-20 ° C). The humidity is ideally between 60 and 70% (80% at night). We recommend you keep them in a harem with one male and several females. LUW spotlights are the best lighting source to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilJungle L-U-W Light alu ). But well positioned UV spotlights can also be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ).
Collared lizards (Crotaphytus collaris, C. bicinctores)
They come from the desert regions of southern North America and therefore require a dry terrarium with a floor area of 150 x 60 cm. With stones (well glued with JBL ProHaru Universal ), cork, roots and plants you can build beautiful decorations. Vertical rock walls with horizontal protrusions have proven to be advantageous. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ), is important to ensure their liquid supply. LUW spotlights are the best lighting to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu ). But also well positioned UV spotlights can be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Temperatures between 28-35 ° C are recommended during the day, but only about 20 ° C at night. The humidity needs to be about 30%, at night - much higher than during the day. Important are places to retreat to, so that the animals can also visit cooler areas. Please note that, when using heating mats like JBL TerraTemp heatmat , to create cooler areas, these must never be placed under the entire surface of the terrarium. Experience shows that sand is an unsuitable substrate and that stones are a better ground for the animals. All collared lizards only eat live food such as house crickets, spiders, grasshoppers and crickets.
Green iguana (Iguana iguana)
A sand-humus mixture ( JBL TerraSand natural yellow & JBL TerraBasis ) forms the bottom ground for the many stable climbing opportunities and vigorous plants above. The branches should be mostly thicker than the body of the iguanas. With the help of a drip water system or frequent spraying, the humidity should be kept at about 60-80 %. You can keep iguanas in pairs, but also individually or as a group in a correspondingly large terrarium. The animals are very curious and can become tame. Daytime temperatures are 25-30 ° C and night temperatures 20-25 ° C. Green iguanas are almost the only lizards which feed exclusively on vegetarian diet, even if they are not averse to eating baby mice. Their main food should be leaves, supplemented with seedlings, vegetables and fruit. JBL Iguvert is an ideal basic food for the animals, supplemented by vegetables and fruit. LUW spotlights are the best lighting source to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilJungle L-U-W Light alu ). But also well positioned UV spotlights can be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Remember to maintain the correct distance between the animals’ basking area and the lamp to prevent burn injuries. Green iguanas can climb extremely well with their sharp claws. A large drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ), is important to guarantee they are getting enough liquid.
Common chuckwalla (Sauromalus obesus)
At night, temperatures drop to around 20 ° C. As the animals sunbathe intensively, a lighting with strong UV radiation is necessary. With the help of heat-generating spotlights ( JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu ), the temperature can be increased during the day and lowered automatically after switching off. When using heating mats ( JBL TerraTemp heatmat ), it’s absolutely necessary to switch them off by using a timer. The humidity should be as low as possible. With stones (well glued with JBL ProHaru Universal ), cork and plants you can build beautiful decorations. Each animal needs its own basking area! JBL TerraSand natural yellow is well suited as a substrate. Because the animals like to dig, the rock constructions should NEVER be built on the sand, but always directly on the bottom plate! Even though the animals cover their water needs through the food, a drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ) is helpful. As vegetarians they like JBL Iguvert supplemented with flowers, leafy vegetables and fruit every once in a while.
The leopard gecko, for example, lives in the Near East’s desert regions. In contrast, the tokay geckos and the day geckos of Madagascar live in rainforests. So accordingly the terrariums need to be designed differently. Leopard and other desert geckos need at least 120x80 cm of floor space with about 40-50 cm of height for the rock constructions. A sand-clay mixture ought to be used as substrate. The perfect substrate is JBL TerraSand natural red , which is also well suited for digging species. All rock constructions need to be secured with an adhesive ( JBL ProHaru Universal ) to prevent them from collapsing. Keep the daytime temperatures at 28-32 ° C and the night temperatures at 20-24 ° C. The ideal humidity is 40-60 % during the day and 60-80 % at night. When setting up hiding places, you need to consider that each animal needs its own den. Since leopard geckos are nocturnal, UV-producing lighting is not necessary. You can simulate night lighting with blue light. A UV and heat-generating lamp during the day, such as JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu is not a problem and automatically leads to a temperature reduction after it is switched off in the evening. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ), is important to ensure their liquid supply. Leopard geckos predatorily feed on baby mice, insects and beetles. Mealworms and waxworms should not be fed too often because of their high fat content.
For rainforest inhabiting species such as Madagascar's day geckos a smaller floor area of approximately 90 x 90 cm, but a greater height of 120 cm of the terrarium is recommended. This allows the animals enough climbing opportunities on (smooth) wood and plants. A sand-clay mixture as a substrate and a daytime temperature at 25-30 ° C are appropriate. At night, the temperature may be lowered to 18-24 ° C. The humidity should be 50-90 %. Day geckos feed mainly on insects, but also eat fruit pulp and fruit nectar. LUW spotlights are the best lighting source to provide light, heat and UV ( JBL ReptilJungle L-U-W Light alu ). But well positioned UV spotlights can also be used ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Since the animals can climb along almost every surface, heat protection screens for the lamps are a must ( JBL TempProtect II light ). Despite regular spraying a drinking bowl is necessary.
The lacertid, the tegu and the East African spiny-tailed lizard belong to this lizard group too, although they do not have smooth skin like the skinks themselves. The Berber skink, which can become up to 40 cm long, is very popular. It lives in northwest Africa and needs a dry terrarium with 150 x 100 cm floor area. The rock constructions, which may be interspersed with plants, gives it its height. A sandy soil made of JBL TerraSand natural yellow with a 10 cm thickness is recommended, because the animals also like to dig. Part of the floor always needs to be kept slightly damp (no floor heating!). Raise the temperature during the day with a JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu spotlight to 28-30 ° C and lower it to 18-20 ° C at night. This emitter also ensures the all-important UV supply. A drinking bowl ( JBL ReptilBar GREY ) is important to guarantee they are getting enough liquid. Humidity plays a subordinate role. Berber skins are predatory, like many skinks, and like to eat young mice and insects of all kinds. Even soft fruit, vegetables and salad are welcome.
Monitor lizards (Varanus)
But other species are only 20 cm long! There are monitor lizards which live in rainforests and need appropriately equipped jungle terrariums (e.g. emerald tree monitor Varanus prasinus). A lot of monitor species love water and need a terrarium with a large water = bathing area (e.g. Asian water monitor V. salvator). A large number of monitor species come from dryland areas and need a dry terrarium (e.g. savannah monitor V. exanthematicus). Almost all monitor lizards are predators and feed off anything they can hunt and eat. Find out exactly which food is right for the monitor species you have chosen! The spiny-tailed monitor (V. acanthurus), for example, should only be given insects! Humidity, temperatures and lighting need to be adapted to the respective terrarium type. Since all monitors are diurnal, lighting with a high UV content is urgently needed. Thanks to metal halide lamps JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu and the JBL UV-Spot plus the right UV-A and B supply is always ensured.
The fascinating group of snakes is incredibly diverse. It has everything - from almost 10 m long constrictors to 1 m long nonpoisonous colubrids to deadly venomous species. In the case of venomous species, securing the terrarium doors with a lock ( JBL TerraSafe ) is absolutely necessary! All snakes are predatory feeders. Many of them can be fed well with dead animals (e.g. mice or chicks). Some species like to hunt small fish & frogs, others insects and some species are very hard to get used to dead food. This needs to be clear to anyone interested in snakes. The contents of your freezer may need to change accordingly.
Depending on the habitat you'll need to build a dry, semi-dry or even a humid terrarium. A 3 m long boa constrictor imperator needs a terrarium with the dimensions 200 x 100 x 200 cm. Except for desert species, a bathing pool ( X JBL ReptilBar ) pool is almost always recommended.
The bath water must be clean - either by filter or by daily renewal. For larger baths the JBL internal filter series JBL CristalProfi i is very well suited (for bathing pools up to 110 litres e.g. the JBL CristalProfi i80 greenline ). It is best to use a water conditioner ( JBL Biotopol T ) to bind any existing pollutants such as heavy metals. Care should be taken when using climbing opportunities to ensure good anchorage and screw connection to the branches. Snakes have enormous physical strengths and can bring almost any decoration down. This also applies to rock constructions in desert terrariums, which need to be well inter-connected with a non-toxic adhesive ( JBL ProHaru Universal ). The type of substrate depends on the snake species being kept. For many of them, such as pythons and colubrids JBL TerraBasis is well suited. Very large constrictors prefer coarser substrates like JBL TerraCoco coconut chips. But also beech wood shavings, such as JBL TerraWood are very popular with boas and pythons. For desert snakes JBL TerraSand natural yellow is mostly used. Since most snakes are day-active, lighting with UV content is a must. With the help of metal halide lamps JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu and the JBL UV-Spot plus the right UV-A and B supply is always ensured. Even for nocturnal species such as the green tree python, UV radiation is important because the decrease in UV radiation in the evening is the start of its activity time and it receives a lot of UV radiation during the daytime during its resting phase in the treetops. It is vital to research the living conditions of your own snake species.
In deserts they would not be able to approach their victims unnoticed. Find out everything about the maximum size of the snake and select the terrarium size accordingly. For climbing species, the height of the terrarium is the focus, whereas for soil-dwelling species the soil surface is more important. For long term vacationers, constrictor snakes are ideal, as a larger amount of food (depending on the size of the snake) is sufficient for them for many weeks or months.
The garter snake and the corn snake are considered ideal beginner animals whose care and nutrition is very easy. If you don‘t want to feed mice or other larger animals, you will find colubrid species which hunt fish by themselves in the water.
Vipers, pit vipers, elapids and back-fanged snakes (Boiginae)
This can then prove deadly for humans. Dealing with poisonous snakes is only for the expert. The terrarium definitely needs to be well locked ( JBL TerraSafe ). In case of a bite, it is also crucial where the bite occurred. A bite in the foot is not as much a problem as a bite in the upper body, because the distance to the heart is far less. An appropriate anti-serum for your highly venomous species should always be at hand. In addition, people react to poisons very differently - this is comparable to insect bites.
Poisonous snakes live in a wide range of habitats: from deserts (e.g. eastern diamondback rattlesnake, horned desert viper) to forests (e.g. rhinoceros viper, Indian cobra, long-nosed whip snake). The terrarium needs to be set up accordingly.
Tortoises and turtles
Turtles and tortoises have reached most biotopes: the sea, the land, the swamps and the fresh water, and the terrarium design needs to be adapted accordingly. When buying juveniles people often forget the size the animals will reach when fully grown and which terrarium size will then be needed. They also tend to forget the high ages they can reach!
They are especially popular with children. Most species can be kept as a couple or as a group. A male with several females is ideal. The gender distinction can be very easily be determined by the tail‘s shape and its length. Unfortunately, tortoises are often kept in too small terrariums. Although a Hermann's tortoise (Testudo hermanni) only grows to a size of 20 cm (length of shell), it needs a terrarium with a surface area of 4-5 square metres for their well-being. The side walls need to be 60 cm high and a cover is recommended too. As a substrate sand-clay mixtures ( JBL TerraSand natural red & clay) or sand-soil mixtures ( JBL TerraSand natural red ) & ( JBL TerraBasis ) are suitable. Stones and cork are well suited as decorations and hideouts. Stones need to be firmly glued together to prevent slipping ( JBL ProHaru Universal ). It is a good idea to lay out part of the floor with red sandstone. There, the claws of the tortoises get naturally scuffed. A drinking and bathing bowl ( JBL ReptilBar SAND ) in a suitable size is very welcome. The shell care can be done with JBL Tortoise Shine . Since tortoises are true sun worshipers, heat and UV-emitting lighting is absolutely vital. Metal halide lamps are ideal ( JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu ) or UV spotlights ( JBL UV-Spot plus ). Be sure to observe the recommended distance between the lamp and the animal. For the diet of tortoises JBL Herbil NEW has been developed as a staple food. For a change you can feed them with JBL Agivert which can be supplemented with hay, fresh herbs, grasses and vegetables. Tomatoes, bananas, cabbage, citrus fruit and carnal food are not suitable!
Turtles and pond turtles
Most turtles are not very difficult to keep, but it’s quite possible they will reach a size of 30 cm! Then the aqua-terrarium needs a size of at least 120 x 50 x 50 cm. Keep the water level in the water section as high as the shell of the turtle is long. Good filtering with a large-volume external filter ( JBL CristalProfi e702 greenline ) is useful to keep the water clean and to prevent the need for constant cleaning, but avoid a strong current. The water temperature needs to be around 25 ° C. But the animals also tolerate lower and higher temperatures. Unfortunately, turtles are repeatedly set free in the local wild. They can certainly survive, but they are invasive species which displace the native ones!!! As a substrate for the water part any substrate that is not sharp-edged ( JBL Manado , JBL Sansibar RIVER ) is suitable. At night, the temperatures can drop, because most species we keep are not from the tropics! In addition to the water section, a land section is very important. There is often a large piece of cork ( JBL Cork Bark ), where the animals can go to bask. A land section with sand, where egg deposition is possible, is better. For lighting, a heat and UV-emitting lamp is recommended. Metal halide lamps are ideal, like the JBL ReptilDesert L-U-W Light alu . Even if the animals do not live in the desert, a "desert lighting" is useful, as the full sunlight and not a muted jungle light reaches the turtles on the river bank. Their diet is simple and there is a wide choice of foods available: JBL Turtle Food as staple food, supplemented by JBL Agil food sticks, JBL Gammarus with gammarus crustaceans, JBL Energil (dried fish), JBL Calcil with healthy calcium and JBL ProBaby , as well as JBL Rugil for young turtles.
Turtles like to eat plants! Therefore, adding aquatic plants to the terrarium is a losing battle. Please feed your turtles regularly with aquatic plants, dandelion and duckweed. Adult turtles need more plant food than younger animals. It’s no problem to keep turtles in small groups. A male with several females is ideal. The gender distinction can be very easily be determined by the tail‘s shape and its length.