Which type of habitat is easiest to reproduce in the terrarium?
Desert or rainforest? With a water element or without? Jungle floor area or treetop?
Of course, it's completely understandable to want to know how simple it is to reproduce a habitat, but you should actually proceed the other way around: Which animals would you like to take care of? The species would then specify the terrarium type. But the space you have available is also a decisive factor.
Let's start with the basic maintenance and design: A desert terrarium ( The desert terrarium ) is definitely easier to set up and requires less care than a jungle terrarium ( The rainforest terrarium ) full of tropical plants. But the difference in maintenance levels is not that large. That's why it comes down to your choice of animal or your own taste when deciding what kind of terrarium you prefer. By the way, you should also find out whether the animals you are interested in are active by day or night!
Whether you choose a desert or rainforest terrarium, every terrarium type needs a certain amount of maintenance. In one case, you have to be more active with a water sprayer, in the other you need to know how to use heating technology.
Once you've decided on a terrarium type, it's time for the details: Do your future desert dwellers live in rocky or in sandy biotopes? But there are also stone deserts and there are oases in the desert.
For rainforest dwellers, there are also fundamental differences: Do the animals live on the riverbank, on the jungle floor or in the canopy of rainforests? Is it really a rainforest or more a tropical or subtropical dry forest?
Using the Internet or specialist books is a very good way to source images from the natural habitat of your prospective pets. You can also browse the picture galleries of the JBL expeditions, because our focus is on habitats and accordingly we have a lot of pictures in stock.
Biotope data of the JBL research expeditions
Air temperature, humidity, UV and other values
Biotopes are analysed on the annual JBL research expeditions, and all the parameters such as humidity, air temperature, Lux, UV-A and UV-B radiation are measured and recorded.
You will find all the results and biotope photos of the JBL expeditions here:
All the biotopes encountered on the JBL expeditions are analysed. In aquatic biotopes we carry out water measurements, UV measurements, lux measurements at different depths under water and we also measure the current. You will find detailed reports with nature shots and measurement data about the respective research expedition here.
You have plenty of freedom when reproducing a habitat in your terrarium. There are only a few essentials to keep in mind: The substrate plays a vital role for many animals. Make sure no waterlogging occurs in damp ground conditions. Water and food bowls should always be clearly visible. The JBL feeding/drinking bowls, such as JBL ReptilBar GREY , are designed to replicate stone and match the design of the terrarium better than clay bowls.
The reproduction of a habitat also includes climatic factors. Light, humidity and day or night temperature can be crucial for the well-being of the animals. This is no problem at all when you use the right technology. Just find out which factors are important for your animals. We can then explain how you can achieve these conditions.
The right lighting for terrariums
The lighting in terrariums has several functions: It is often essential for plants, it illuminates the terrarium, possibly generates heat and can produce UV radiation. You “only” have to know the requirements of your animals: Do they need light, UV and heat or just some of these factors? You need to answer these questions before you can choose the lighting.
Lighting is one of the most important topics in terraristics. What do you need to consider?
How to heat your terrarium properly
The right temperature in the terrarium is vital for its inhabitants. You have the choice of producing the right temperature using a lamp or a heating mat. With the lamp remember to protect the animals from coming into contact with it with the aid of a heat protection basket, and don’t forget that the lamp will only produce heat during its lighting phase. Often this is the desired effect, leading as it does to a reduction of temperature at night. If you do require a higher temperature at night, you’ll need a heating mat, like the JBL TerraTemp heatmat .
You can find out more about heat in terrariums here:
How do you get your terrarium to the right temperature? Why does it need warm and cooler spots?
How to achieve the right humidity in the terrarium
There are several ways to adjust the humidity in the terrarium. For a start a larger water surface increases the relative humidity significantly! Manual spraying with water is the fastest and easiest way to achieve the humidity you want, but it doesn't last long because your (necessary) terrarium ventilation will soon reduce the humidity again. Automatic mist and spray systems are also available. It is only important that you remember to adjust the humidity differently to suit the day and night values! Permanently high levels of moisture are virtually non-existent on our planet!
You can find more information about moisture in terrariums here:
Humidity is crucial for terrarium animals. We will explain how to adjust the humidity correctly
Setting up a dry terrarium
In desert terrariums with sand, stones, plants and wood, it is vital for the animals that their artfully crafted stone structures are stable and do not collapse or become dislodged. A light gluing of the stones and / or the wood is important. JBL ProHaru Universal 80ml is ideal for this. If you do not use too much glue, you can also separate the stones again if necessary. Use photos or descriptions of the biotopes to check which plants are found there. If animals aren’t used to prickly cacti, they could cause injuries.
In most deserts on earth there are huge differences between daytime and nighttime temperatures. This can easily be simulated with the help of heat technology. It is important that in addition to "sunbeds" there are also colder terrarium regions the animals can retreat to.