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How to Set Up the Enclosure, and Reviews
Housing and Enclosures Emergency Light and Heat Health, Sanitizing, and SalmonellaKills Salmonella and H1N1Swine Flu
Invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians have one common feature; they are ectotherms (cold-blooded), they cannot raise their own body temperatures from within. In their natural environments they can control what they do. If they need heat they seek heat, if they need light and heat they will bask, another words, we need to make sure we provide them with what they need to survive.
The Reptisun 10.0 High Output UVB Lamp lasted over 13 Ĺ months before the bulb went out. With other UVB lamps they had to be replaced about every six months. It has higher UVB output than other lamps. The Reptisun 10.0 High Output UVB Lamp has a longer range than other lamps about 20 inches. Reptiles and amphibians need UVB for vitamin D3 that they normally would get from the sun. If they donít get D3 it will lead to metabolic bone disease (MBD).
Herpetologist Frank Indiviglio once worked for the Bronx Zoo recommended Reptisun 10.0 over other UVB sources.
Reptisun 10.0 High Output UVB Lamp - 18 in.
They also need the heat to develop appetites; if they are too cold they will not eat at all. They should have a basking temperature of 100 F to 110 F. The opposite side of the enclosure should have a temperature of around 85 F (side to side or top to bottom, depending on the enclosure) should be around 85 F. Always protect your pet from the light source. They will also need humidity.
So you will four things in addition to the UVB Lamp, a basking light, an under tank heater, and a thermometer. Heat rocks are really not a safe item especially for bearded dragons; as they donít have many nerves on their underside and will get burned. Place the under tank heater under one third of the tank so that the pet can get away from the heat, especially if his or her underside is getting a bit too toasty. The basking light will provide heat for 12 Ė 14 hours you will need an under tank heater for at night. They too need their beauty sleep.
Climate ControlHumidity, Under Tank Heaters, and Thermostats
Keeping track of the temperature in your petís enclosure is essential. This thermostat is pretty accurate considering its inexpensive price. To keep an accurate account of the entire enclosure and since you will need a humidity gage anyway, I recommend using the thermostat at the complete opposite area away from the basking light. Use the combination humidity/temperature near the petís basking rock or branch.
Zoo Med ReptTemp 500R Thermostat Remote Sensor for Reptiles
Your reptile or amphibian will need 12 - 14 hours of light a day. If they donít they will become sluggish and ill. They also need heat as well as the need for basking. While the UVB will provide the means for the pet to convert D3 your pet will also need a basking light. Protect your pet from any heat or light source. While the basking light will provide heat during the 12 - 14 hours you will need a nighttime heat source, this would be the under tank heater.
Your exotic petís enclosure will also need a substrate. Never use shavings from oily woods like pine or cedar. Compressed coconut is great for holding moisture, Eco Earth is really good, environmentally friendly, and holds moisture for the humidity that you will need. If you have a desert species use Eco Earth dry. I find that it absorbs odors, just keep behind your pet with a tissue and pick up after him it makes cleaning the cage much easier. Waste not want not, composed Eco Earth right into your garden. Since the Eco Earth is damp you will find you can grow a couple plants in the terrarium. Make sure they are toxic, no stickers, or thorns. Plastic plants well do the trick as well; just find some with a natural feel instead of hard like rocks. Aspen shavings work well for most snakes as well as arid climate reptiles. Eco Earth also works well for most insects.
When reptiles, insects, and amphibians are kept in unclean conditions they will become ill, can get parasites; they are particularly prone to respiratory infections. Runny droppings and bad odors are signs that your pet may have parasites.
Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding, 24 qts. 24 qts.
There are lots of little accessories you can get for your terrarium while you are looking at the primary stuff just look further down on the page if anything should catch for fancy. I donít worry about the small things; Iíd rather keep a decent amount in an account for veterinarian bills.
Emergency Light and Heat
One thing that really makes me angry is people who keep invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians and not consider what would happen if the electricity were to go off for an extended period length of time. It has happened to me several times, sometimes it was ice storms, sometimes it was strong wind, once it was a lightning strike, the point being, you have taken on the responsibility for these exotic pets and it is your responsibility to provide for them in an emergency situation. Heck, some people donít even consider this when they have young children, or if they take care of the elderly. Many exotic pets canít take the extreme heat or cold.
Generators even help keep your exotic pets alive if the weather should get too hot and your air conditioning goes on the fritz especially due to adverse weather conditions. Generators can be a life saver. They are also pretty nice if it is just you and your spouse, it is better than being too hot or too cold. Keep the generator outside and keep it covered when not in use. Do NOT run it in the house, any gas, diesel, or propane run generator will produce deadly fumes. You can have an electrician install it or purchase a kit to do it yourself. You will find what you need under each of these generators. Generator examples can be seen here.
Reptiles and amphibians will not eat if it is too cold. They also can digest their food if they arenít warm enough. Respiratory problems arise when they get too cold.
Review on Generators
Housing, Terrarium and Vivarium Needs
Terrariums and Screened Cage Vivarium
Housing for Ectotherms - Reptile, Amphibians and Insects
How to care for the pet Gecko
How to Care for the Bearded Dragon
How to Care for the Corn Snake
How to Care for the Pet Iguana
Snakes as a Pet
Exotic Pet Invertebrates, Amphibians, and Reptiles
Caring for the Praying Mantis
Caring for Stick Insects Indian and Stick Insects
Caring for the Pet Tarantula
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