The rainforest terrarium
A breath of jungle in the living room
We automatically associate the term “rainforest terrarium” with a jungle behind glass and high humidity or high temperatures that remain more or less constant. This is closer to the truth than when we think about desert terrariums. In reality the characteristics of a rainforest terrarium climate are relatively high temperatures of 25-30 °C with some mild cooling-off at night and relatively high humidity between 70 and 90 %. The level of humidity and temperature required may vary from one species to the other. Here, as elsewhere, it’s vital to get hold of any relevant information to make sure you are meeting your reptiles’ needs and caring properly for them.
Suitable bottom coverings are JBL TerraBasis or JBL TerraBark are ideally suited as substrates. Rainforest terrariums need to be densely planted. Please find out which plants are suited for the terrarium climate you have selected.
For example, if you plan to keep animals with adhesive toe pads (e.g. day geckos), the leaves of the plants need to have smooth surfaces. Otherwise, the animals will adhere to the glass panes most of the time instead.
The weight of the animals also needs to be taken into consideration when selecting your plants. Plastic plants are an option if you have relatively heavy animals such as tree pythons, which would crush live plants.
Water elements can also be integrated into the terrarium. In this case, it is important to make sure that the animals can‘t accidentally drown. The water needs to be kept shallow and it needs multiple places where the animals can easily get out.
With some terrarium inhabitants, it's better not to have any water features at all. Please consult your specialist dealer for further information. There is no need for a drinking bowl in a rainforest terrarium, as the animals cover their water needs with water droplets formed by the humidity. Water falls can also be integrated into the terrarium. Not only are they decorative, they also effectively increase the moisture in the air. Chameleons are animals which prefer moving water as their source of water.
All kinds of moisture-resistant branches or cork bark are suited as structuring elements in a rainforest terrarium. Wooden roots sold for use in aquariums (e.g. JBL Mangrove Roots ) are ideally suited, as they won’t get damaged by the moisture. Branches decorated with air plants (bromeliads) are an eye-catcher in any rainforest terrarium. The side panels and rear panel can also be decorated when setting up the terrarium.
This may be done by gluing flat stones, plant elements made of coconut fibre or your own creations made of processed styrofoam covered with a top layer and paint later on. You can let your imagination run wild when setting up a rainforest terrarium. At the same time, though, you must always need to consider the animals’ needs and how easy it will be to clean.
Bondings in terrariums
There usually are two different kinds of bondings: dry bondings or wet bondings in areas which never really dry out. For dry bonding please decide whether the bonding needs to stay slightly flexible, e.g. when using stones or wood decoration, or whether it’s a rigid object. For flexible bonding we recommend JBL AquaSil transparent , which is a non-toxic black or transparent aquarium silicone. For rigid bonds a non-toxic superglue, such as JBL ProHaru Rapid is the first choice. If the gluing spot is under water or at a moist patch there is JBL ProHaru Universal at your disposal (also with compressed air cartridge). It even hardens under water, but needs 24 h to set.