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Choosing Reptile Housing Accessories

Choosing reptile housing accessories is not as simple as picking bits and pieces for other small animals. A great deal of thought must be put in mimicking their natural environment. Considerations in choosing reptile housing accessories must include materials that will make your pet feel at home.

To give your pet a suitable terrarium to live in, you should pick an appropriate substrate in choosing reptile housing accessories. Most owners choose aspen wood particles for most reptile species. However, some reptiles require greater humidity or moisture, so instead of aspen, some owners give moss or cypress as substrate. Rocks, branches, driftwood, hide boxes, plants (artificial or live) also offer versatile uses when choosing reptile housing accessories. Aside from their decorative purposes, they also create hiding spots, basking sites, and visual barriers for your beloved reptile. They also aid in shedding. A reminder though, if you should choose to put live plants in your pet's terrarium, do your homework and make sure they are not toxic. Generally, owners prefer putting in artificial plants because they are more convenient and cheaper to maintain.

Heating and lighting equipment are also crucial points in choosing reptile housing accessories. Reptiles are usually found living in naturally dry, warm climates, but can also thrive well in captivity given the right conditions. Mimicking your reptile's natural environmental temperature is key to keeping long-lasting pets.

Before you set up heater and lighting accessories in your pet's housing, do your research first on your pet's ideal habitat temperature conditions. Choosing reptile housing accessories such as thermometers is a great way to consistently monitor your pet's cage temperature, especially the nooks where he usually spends time in. But along with consistent temperature, reptiles also require a thermal gradient, meaning a range of temperatures from high to low, to maintain their regular bodily functions. A gradient like a basking light is a must. A gradient must be placed at one end of the cage to ensure a high temperature, while the other end must be maintained at a lower temperature.

Along with basking lights, incandescent lamps and spotlights also make effective heating and lighting accessories. Dim colored bulbs, or better yet, night-time bulbs are great options when choosing reptile housing accessories for your pet's low heating requirements at night. Ultraviolet light must also be provided, especially if you have lizards, turtles, and tortoises in your care because of its importance in the production of vitamin D3 in these reptiles' metabolism. Now, ultraviolet light is made up of three wavelengths: UVA, UVB, and UVC. The latter is harmful to reptiles, while the first two are what reptiles really need, more so UVB. So when choosing reptile heater accessories in the form of UV light, pick one that produces a full spectrum light, or one that produces greater than 1.1% UVB.

Whatever accessories you put in your pet's cage, remember to clean them routinely so they won't harbor harmful bacteria that may cause diseases to your pet reptile. It's not easy to maintain exothermic pets, but in rightly choosing reptile housing accessories, half the task of maintaining a conducive environment can be accomplished.