What is a vivarium? How do you set up the perfect snake vivarium? What products will you need? In this article, I will go through all the steps needed to build the perfect snake vivarium.
WHAT IS A VIVARIUM?
A vivarium is the natural habitat of the snake. You will usually build the vivarium into the enclosure. This will make the vivarium as close to the natural environment of the snake. The vivarium will differ as it will all depend on the snake you will be getting. It is very important to make the snake as comfortable as possible. You cannot put a snake into an empty enclosure and expect that it will be happy. You, therefore, need to build a habitat that will keep your pet snake happy.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO MAKE A VIVARIUM?
You will need the following items, I have added a link to each of the products. The link will open on Amazon.
- Snake Enclosure.
- Cork Bark.
- Spider Wood.
- Gorilla Glue.
- Eco Earth.
- Fine Grain sand.
- Lighting hood.
- Snake Hide.
- Water Dish.
- Heat Pad and thermostat.
The enclosure listed above is great for snakes that love spending time in branches. And should work well for more snakes. This is my favorite enclosure as it is easy to open. This is because there is a nice big door on the front. The big door makes setting up the enclosure super easy.
This type of bark is great as it does not mold. This type of decoration is also very nice as it makes the enclosure look almost like home to the snake.
This type of wood is also great as it makes the vivarium look and feel like home. I also chose this one again the same as the cork bark because it does not mold. The last thing you want is gross mold all over your vivarium.
We will need a lot of this type of glue. The best is to purchase 2 just in case you run out.
The Eco Earth will be the substrate that you will use. The one I linked to has 3 bricks. They do expand a lot when water has been added. You will probably only need to use 2 of these. You can buy 1 one of these with one brick but it is cheaper to just buy 3.
Pothos is a very hardy plant. Even if the enclosure gets too wet or too dry it will not harm this plant. You can, however, choose whatever plant you would like to add. It is up to you but do not get something that is poisonous or something that dies easily.
You will need a lighting hood. This will be used to produce light in. The best will be to use a fluorescent light bulb. This will ensure that the light does not burn the snake. It will also add enough light to the enclosure so that the plants do well.
You will also need 2 snake hides. These will be required so the snake can go and hide away from everything. This makes them feel secure. You will need to have one hide in the cool spot and the other in the warmer spot of the enclosure.
It is best to keep a water bowl in the enclosure. This is best so the snake can drink from at any time.
SNAKE HEATER AND THERMOSTAT
Please do thorough research on the heat requirements of your snake. This is very important as the wrong temperature will cause damage to your snake. The wrong temperature can even cause the snake to die. So this is one of the most important aspects to get right.
SETTING UP THE SNAKE VIVARIUM:
Snake vivariums are so cool if you can get them right. You will also have a much happier snake if you get this right.
The Eco Earth will expand very quickly once you add it to water. You will need to take out the first block. Add some water to a bucket. Add one block to the water and watch it expand.
Take your enclosure and lay it on its back. Open the front door and remove the back picture they have got in the tank. Do not ever use the backdrop picture. This is because the backdrop will mold and wrinkle up. This will definitely not look nice. If you do want to use the back picture you can but you must put it on the back of the enclosure. Not inside.
Make sure the Eco Earth has been loosened enough in the bucket.
After the Eco Earth has been mixed you can add some of the sand to the mixture. You can add as much as you want. There is no best amount to add. The sand will add a bit of density to the Eco Earth. Now mix the mixture all together.
After you have mixed up the sand and Eco Earth you must then grab your Gorilla Glue. Gorilla glue is activated by water. Start by spraying the surface you want to stick. Get the whole back of the enclosure wet.
Once you have wet the back of the enclosure you will need to add the Gorilla Glue. Gorilla Glue will expand once it touches the water. It is almost like expanding foam. Add the gorilla glue to the back in a tick tack toe pattern. You only want to add enough to cover the back. Do not leave any holes as this will leave a hole in the backdrop.
Now go over the holes again making sure that you do not leave any holes. Do not stress too much about the smaller holes.
Take the cork bark and put in the middle of the back of the enclosure.
Make sure you add them to the correct place. Once the glue dries you will not be able to move them.
Grab your spider stick and push it into the glue. Take a rock from outside to hold it up. Make sure the stick is up with the brick holding it up.
Make sure you are happy with where all the decorations are put. Once the glue dries there is no going back.
Spray some water onto the Gorilla Glue, this will activate the glue. Once the glue is activated it will start expanding.
You will then have to add the Eco Earth as in the picture above. Make sure to add it quickly as the glue is expanding. Get the mixture on top of all the glue. Do not leave any glue spots open.
Push the mixture down with your hands as it expands up.
You will notice that the gorilla glue will start expanding every few minutes. If you do not push it back it will keep expanding and will take up a lot of space in the enclosure. After about one hour the glue should stop expanding. I would advise to leave it overnight and do not stand it up yet.
You can then take out the rock.
You must now stand the enclosure up and scrape the substrate onto the ground of the enclosure. Do not dig into the side of the glued substrate. Only take off the bit that is loose.
You might notice that some of the glue will stick out. Just pull some of it off so that it blends in. You will notice that a lot of the substrate from the side has dropped to the bottom. The amount at the bottom will not be enough. You will need to add more from the original mixture that you made.
Take some more substrate and add it to the bottom of the tank. Put enough substrate that it fills right up to the lip of the enclosure.
Take a spray bottle and spray the side substrate so that it drops to the bottom of the tank.
Take your Pothos out of the holder. You will notice that there are a lot of different plants shooting from lots of different roots. This is good because you can plant them around your tank. Make sure you leave a spot for the snake hide. Try to break the plant off as much as possible Take some of the plants and plant it into the cork bark. This will allow some of the plant to grow from the side. This will also give the tank a really nice outside feel. Now you just need to add your light fixture to the top of the enclosure.
Don’t forget to add the hides and water bowl
PRO AND CONS OF A VIVARIUM
- A vivarium looks super nice.
- A snake vivarium is very easy to set up. As you can see above, setting up a vivarium is easy and will not take you too much time.
- The snake will be much happier in a snake vivarium than in a normal enclosure. This is because the vivarium is very close to what the snake will live in nature. Leaving a snake in a normal enclosure with a little bit of it natural features might make the snake feel uncomfortable.
- The items you add to the enclosure might mould up. That is if you have a snake that needs high humidity.
DO BIOACTIVE VIVARIUMS SMELL
As long as you clean up after your snake there will not be any smell. The only thing that will smell is the snake poop. Just simply making sure you clean up every day or so will do this issue out. Also, make sure to clean out any water left in the tank.
This article was made to show you how to set up your snake vivarium. A snake vivarium is super easy to make and very nice once done properly. Please let me know in the comments below how your build was. Also let me know how it came out. Thank you for reading and please take some time to read this article: ROUGH GREEN SNAKE – WHY THESE ARE SUCH GREAT PETS – A CARE GUIDE