Pet lizard Habitats
Your reptile has certain biological needs, and this guide will help you set up a habitat that meets those needs.
When creating a habitat for your new reptilian friend it is important that your terrarium doesn’t just look like your reptile’s natural environment, it also acts like it. Your reptile has certain biological needs, and this guide will help you set up a habitat that meets those needs. Let’s get creating the perfect space for your new friend.
Your Reptile’s Basic Environmental Needs
A larger habitat is always preferred. Larger habitats allow you to set up a more effective thermal gradient.
Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, so they are unable to regulate their body temperatures on their own. This is why a heating source is critical. Most reptiles need a constant temperature between 70 to 85 degrees F with basking areas that reach over 100 degrees F. This number is different for each species, time of day and season.
A wide range of reptile heating devices including light bulbs, pads, tubular heaters, under-tank heaters, ceramic heating elements and basking lights are available to regulate the temperature environment for your new reptile. You'll need to research your particular species or ask a Petco associate to determine your herp’s optimal requirements.
"Basking" reptiles move in and out of sunlight to gain the heat they need, which is their form of thermoregulation. A basking lamp set up on one end of their terrarium will give your pet a temperature gradient that will allow them access to heat for digestion purposes and a cooler area for sleeping or resting.
Be sure the low ambient temperature doesn't fall below the low-end of your pet's ideal temperature range even with all the lights off. Ceramic heating elements and under tank heaters are advantageous because they maintain heat without the need to keep the light on 24 hours a day.
Depending on the reptile you have, they may require different amounts of humidity or need different methods utilized to introduce moisture into their environment. Tropical Iguanas and other similar species require high humidity levels to maintain their health. Many different types of Chameleons rely on droplets of water on foliage or the sides of their habitats to drink rather than standing water. Every species has preferences when it comes to moisture, so become familiar with what types of moisture your pet will need and what equipment you will need to provide.