Installing the technical items
Firstly think about the technical products, you want to install in the terrarium BEFORE you start the setup! If you have glued in the background features and later find out that a cable should have been installed, you’ll have to tear them out again.
The design needs to suit the technology, so during the planning stage be thinking about where (for instance) a stone construction can reach high enough for the animals to sunbathe under the lamp you have mounted there.
Installing the lighting
Always place lamps INSIDE the terrarium, as glass panels absorb 50% of the UV radiation and also reduce the heat development. Many terrariums have perforated metal plates at the top for ventilation. In these perforated plates you can easily fit the recesses for lamps with a drill and jigsaw. In the following video we show you how to install them:
Please remember when installing lamp sockets that LUW lamps (metal halide lamps) can only be hung vertically! Sockets with joint ( JBL TempSet angle ) may be used for all lamp types except LUW. For animals not in need of UV light, you do not have to equip the entire terrarium with UV-emitting lamps! Depending on the size of the terrarium, one or two UV-generating lamps are sufficient if the animals can access them. The rest of the terrarium can be illuminated with non UV producing lamps such as JBL LED SOLAR Natur, JBL SOLAR Reptil fluorescent tubes, JBL energy-saving lamps, JBL LED Reptil Daylight etc.
Waterfall and watercourse
In rain forest terrariums, small water pumps are sometimes installed to operate a mini waterfall. The cable of the pump has to be laid so that it is neither visible nor running behind a glued decoration, because at some time the pump may need to be replaced. Both cable and pump therefore need to be completely accessible.
Water sections need to be integrated into the layout from the start, since they determine all other elements in the terrarium. A lamp, for example, is useless above the water. Turtles bask on land! If the mistake has already been made, try adding a tree trunk to the water.
Once the water section is a certain size, a drainage (and possibly also a water inlet) is useful. Your glazier can cut holes into the bottom pane of your terrarium and the water tank. There you can install fittings with stopcocks, which are then connected with a water hose or an aquarium filter. Also remember to add cutouts to the cabinet underneath.
Integration of heat technology
Heat technology: ceramic heat lamps also called dark spot heat emitters like JBL ReptilHeat need, because of the heat development, special sockets, such as JBL TempSet Heat , and should never be screwed into normal sockets.
For all other lamp types, a normal heat protection screen, such as JBL TempProtect II light , is more than recommended to protect the animals. Lizards and snakes perceive the lamp as a source of light and heat and would lie on it if they could. They would suffer burn injuries even before they felt the pain. JBL heat protection screens are available in two sizes. You’ll always find the right heat protection screen for your lamp, no matter whether it’s an LUW, halogen, UV spot or a neodymium lamp.
Remember to keep the correct distance to your animals when installing the lamp and the construction with wood or stones underneath! This should not be too large or too small.
Monitoring the temperature & humidity
Hygrometer and thermometer
Along with ceramic heat lamps, heating mats are the second way to generate heat without visible light. JBL heating mats are always attached to the terrarium from the outside. That way they cannot be bitten into or moisture damaged. To avoid trapped heat, you need to install spacers (supplied by JBL). Please never underlay the whole terrarium with a heating mat. The animals regulate their body temperature by seeking out warmer and cooler areas in the terrarium.
Finally, there is the monitoring of temperature and humidity. For that there are analogue thermometers and hygrometers like JBL TerraControl . In higher terrariums, there will always be different values depending on the height. Therefore, it is helpful to mount the display once near the ground and once in the upper part of the terrarium.