The Rainforest Terrarium – Part 1

The rainforest terrarium is characterised by a high humidity of between 70 and 90 % and its relatively constant temperatures of between 25-30 °C, which only ever drop slightly, even at night. Depending on the animals being kept and their habitat and “residential zone” (bottom area, tree top, ...) in the rainforest, those data can differ slightly.

Species-appropriate animal care is founded on collecting information about the natural habitat of the future dweller. JBL carries out annual expeditions to the different natural habitats of our terrarium dwellers and collects important measurement data and facts. This should also form an important basis for your next terrarium. Just have a look at our measurement results: Expediciones

You can find the most important elements for setting up a rainforest aquarium here:

Substrate

The rainforest not only stands out with its lush plants but also with its humid, earthy substrate. In a terrarium you can simulate this either with JBL TerraBasis or with JBL TerraBark .

Decoration

To decorate and structure the landscaped interior you can use branches and cork bark. These are moisture-resistant and have a long service life, despite the humid environment. But normal aquarium roots are also suitable.

Plants

In addition to larger plants, like ferns, orchids, ficus or dragon trees (just to name a few examples), bromeliads and moss can embellish and decorate the wood as epiphytes. You can tie on the plants or glue them on with an adhesive (e.g. JBL Haru 80ml ).

In case your future dwellers have anchoring feet, as day geckos, you should choose plants with large leaves, which they can hold on to. If this is not taken into account, the animals will spend almost all their time anchored to the terrarium pane.

Humidity and Bathing

The integration of shallow water places, where the animals can take a bath, has proven to be advantageous. Small bowls (such as JBL ReptilBar ) are especially well suited for that. Please take care that they are not too deep and offer exit opportunities. Otherwise small and weak animals can drown in there. Important: That’s why you should do without a water place for some dwellers.

Water dishes for drinking are not required, since the rainforest dwellers cover their water demand through the water drops on the leaves, which are caused with the high humidity. Alternatively the water demand can be covered through repeated spraying or a sprinkler system. Many animals as the chameleon, for example, pick up only “moving” water from leaves and don’t drink from puddles or still water, such as in a bowl.

Building Backgrounds

The building of a structural backgrounds, made of polystyrene, with numerous plateaus and plant pouches, has become all the rage in the last few years. That way there are no limits anymore for the decoration and the animals have more opportunities and climbing facilities. These backgrounds are then coated with a stable layer of mortar and paint and resemble a natural overgrown rock face.

Finished!

Always ensure that the needs and demands of the future terrarium dwellers will be met and your measures will not disturb them. Be creative! That’s the way to make your “Rainforest” terrarium a real eye-catcher in a short time.

In the second part of the series we will be focusing on the aspects lighting, heating and UV supply to ensure the well-being of the future dwellers.

© 08.03.2016
Matthias Wiesensee
Matthias Wiesensee
M.Sc. Wirtschaftsinformatik
JBL GmbH & Co. KG

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