- The #1 Best Overall vivarium is the REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium Tank.
- You should always consider the needs of your pet when purchasing a vivarium to ensure that there is sufficient space for them.
- If you are new to keeping reptiles then you may want to purchase a vivarium that comes with all the necessary heating and lighting features so that you are ready to go straight away.
Vivariums provide you with a microenvironment that allows your pets to thrive while you get the unique honor to watch them. Often, you’ll see that the words vivarium and terrarium are used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. At first glance, it’s hard to pick up on the nuanced differences but basically, terrariums are specifically for raising plants while vivariums are more geared toward creating a habitat for a small pet. There is a wide range of different animals that can live in a vivarium, including a hermit crab, dwarf tarantula, leopard frog, or even a hissing cockroach. Some larger animals can also make a vivarium home like a bearded dragon, green iguana, or Chinese water dragon.
Before you can commit to purchasing a vivarium, you first need to understand your animal’s specific needs for a habitat. The environment should be suitable to sustain life and mimic that animal’s natural environment. When you mimic the environment appropriately, you set your pet up to live a long and healthy life. For example, a bearded dragon is a popular pet. It’s a very docile animal that loves attention. It can be a great beginner pet and fits well in families with children. Bearded dragons prefer living alone and require a warm and dry desert-like environment. So long as you replicate this type of environment in a vivarium and you give your bearded dragon tons of love, it will thrive.
Since there are many options to choose from, we wanted to narrow your focus and highlight some of the best vivariums for your pet that you can find online today. n the second half of this article, we give you some tips on how to choose the right vivarium for your pet and help you understand how to manage light and humidity in a vivarium.
- REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium Tank
- Allows UVB and infrared penetration and is waterproof
- Removable mesh top provides your pet with ample airflow
- Customers rate this vivarium 4.6 out of five stars on average
- REPTI ZOO 67 Gallon Reptile Glass Terrarium
- Most expensive choice on the list
- Stackable design allows room to expand for additional pets
- Customers who have purchased this splurge vivarium rate it 4.5 out of five stars
- crapelles Pet Terrarium
- Super easy to clean
- Elegant design
- Customers rate this 3.6 out of five stars
A-Z Animals Top Picks for Vivariums for Your Pet
#1 Best Overall: REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium Tank
The best overall vivarium for your pet is the REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium Tank.
This is a 34-gallon glass vivarium that has a front opening door and a double hinge door with screen ventilation. It measures 24” x 18” x 18” and the tough screen top makes it easy for air to flow through. It allows UVB and infrared penetration. The bottom frame is raised so that you can fit a substrate heater and the bottom is also waterproof, which makes this tank ideal for either a desert environment or a rainforest environment. You can open the front doors separately, which makes it ultra-easy to feed your pet and also helps to prevent escape.
There is extra window ventilation on both the left and right sides of the vivarium and the top and right have closable inlets for wiring and tubing. It’s easy to install or knock down in just a couple of minutes. Included, you get step-by-step instructions, so you’re never lost on how to set it up or break it down. For shipping, this glass vivarium is carefully packaged with tough cardboard and a thickened reinforced foam that makes it easy to transport.
If you need to add a water pool inside of your vivarium for an amphibian, you’ll be happy to know that the vivarium is watertight up to the hinged doors. The mesh top is removable and provides your pet with all of the airflow needed. You can switch the side meshes and side glasses and there’s also a flexible side vent that you can position as needed. There is a specially designed lock on this vivarium, which prevents unwanted opening from other household pets or from children. This added security measure gives you peace of mind, knowing your pet is safe inside its habitat.
Unfortunately some customers reported that this tank did not maintain consistent humidity levels.
Pros and Cons of the REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium Tank
|This vivarium has a front opening door and a double hinge door with screen ventilation.||It does not always maintain a consistent level of humidity.|
|The bottom frame is raised so that you can fit a substrate heater in.|
|It has a waterproof bottom.|
|It has a removable mesh top.|
|It has flexible side vents for added ventilation.|
2. Best Splurge: REPTI ZOO 67 Gallon Reptile Glass Terrarium
As the best splurge option we recommend the REPTI ZOO 67 Gallon Reptile Glass Terrarium.
This vivarium is a splurge option because it’s the most expensive on this list. However, it is a 67-gallon vivarium that measures 36” x 18” x 24” so you’re definitely getting something substantial. It weighs a total of 62 pounds. It has a tough screen top which provides the ventilation your pet needs and it also allows UVB and infrared penetration. The bottom frame is raised so that you can add a substrate heater to keep the environment warm. The bottom is waterproof, meaning you can use it for creating a rainforest environment. It’s also great if you want to use it as more of a dry, desert environment. The front doors open separately, making it easy to feed your pet and keep it from escaping.
When it arrives, you’ll see that it’s been packed flat for safety. It also makes it easy to transport. However, it is very simple to assemble. You will get instructions and videos so that you can set it up in just a couple of minutes. This vivarium also comes with an anti-escaping safety lock to ensure that your pet is always held securely within the enclosure. The vivarium is watertight up to the hinged doors, allowing you to create a water pool inside the habitat. There’s also a special raised base that makes it easier to place any heat mats your pet needs. This is a stackable design so if you have more than one pet at home, you just need to pick up some separate stackers and vivariums.
Unfortunately, some customers have reported that the front doors are not very durable and “have a flimsy design”.
Pros and Cons of the REPTI ZOO 67 Gallon Reptile Glass Terrarium
|This vivarium has a screen top to provide ventilation.||The front doors are not durable.|
|The bottom frame is raised so that you can add a substrate heater.|
|It has a waterproof bottom.|
|It has hinged front doors which open individually.|
|It has an anti-escaping safety lock to prevent pets from escaping.|
3. Most Stylish: crapelles Pet Terrarium
Although most vivariums have a relatively simple design, the crapelles Pet Terrarium has a little more flair.
It’s a white chalet design that makes your pet’s home a lot more vivid and warm. It’s made with a strong plastic outer box, it has a glass window, and metal mesh on top for ventilation. The bottom of this vivarium is an iron breathable mesh with a plastic waste plate. This makes it super easy to clean. All you have to do is draw it out. This design ensures that light and air get through freely to keep your pets comfortable. You can remove the top iron mesh to make it easier for feeding and you can also set up any heat lamps on top to keep your pet comfortable. To prevent escape, this design is equipped with rotary knobs on the mesh window.
The only drawback to this product is that if you are feeding your reptile live prey (such as crickets) they can drop into and escape throgh the removable tray.
Pros and Cons of the crapelles Pet Terrarium
|This vivarium has a metal mesh top for ventilation.||Live prey can drop inot the bottom and escape through the removable tray.|
|There is a plastic waste plate on the bottom which is easy to remove and clean.|
|The top can be removed so you can easily feed your pets.|
4. Best on a Budget: REPTIZOO Mini Reptile Glass Terrarium Tank
A quality vivarium doesn’t need to cost the earth which is why we suggest the REPTIZOO Mini Reptile Glass Terrarium Tank as the best budget option.
This mini reptile glass vivarium is perfect for smaller animals and smaller budgets. It measures 8” x 8” x 12” and offers a full view with top feeding access. The top is made of a metal screen that gives your small animal adequate ventilation and is safe for overhead heat sources. The vivarium is watertight so it can hold water for tropical pets. Even if you don’t need to hold water and you have a desert pet, you can still set up this vivarium to mimic the natural habitat of your unique animal. The cover of this vivarium includes specially designed feeding ports that are both functional and visually appealing.
The sliding door has a lift and pull functionality that makes it simple and convenient. It’s designed to be easy to use and offer the best viewing for your animal. They’re also designed to be easy to clean. The glass maintains the correct heat gradient more safely, which ensures either your reptile’s or your amphibian’s well-being. The mesh screen on top is removable and allows for spectrum, UVB, and IR light penetration. The overall design of this vivarium helps you create a thermal gradient for your animal, allowing it to choose when to warm up and when to cool down.
The only drawback to this product is that it has a sliding lid which is not suitable for pets that like to climb as it can be difficult to open if they are hanging on it.
Pros and Cons of the REPTIZOO Mini Reptile Glass Terrarium Tank
|This vivarium has a metal mesh top so it has plenty of ventilation.||The sliding lid is difficult to open if pets are hanging on it.|
|The top is removable so that you can easily access your pet.|
|The vivarium is water tight so it is suitable for tropical pets.|
|The top has unique feeding ports so it is easy to feed your pet.|
Choosing the Best: What to Look For
The most important thing for you to remember is that no two vivariums will be the same. This is because your vivarium should be customized specifically to the needs of your pet. This includes not just the type of animal it is but also its age and size. Aside from ensuring that you pick up a vivarium you can customize for your small pet, you also want to make sure that you are taking into consideration any associated costs. There will be some starter costs and some ongoing costs to care for your pet in a new vivarium.
Some vivariums are larger than others so knowing where you are going to place your vivarium is of utmost importance as well. Make sure that you’ve cleared an area where your vivarium will fit comfortably. Consider the humidity levels and light levels that your pet needs as well so that you don’t end up messing with their natural circadian rhythm. After all, you are creating an artificial environment that closely mimics the natural environment of your pet. If there is too much light, your pet may not get enough sleep which could completely throw off all of their other bodily responses like hormone production and appetite.
Consider if you are going to be housing more than one pet. If so, make sure that it is recommended and safe to place those two pets together and that you pick up a vivarium that is large enough to enclose them both comfortably. Speaking of comfort, you’ll want to make sure that whichever vivarium you select allows for proper ventilation. Reptiles require proper ventilation and often they live in a very tightly enclosed environment which could throw off the humidity levels, making your pet reptile uncomfortable.
We talked about the size of the vivarium, but you also need to consider the shape of the vivarium. For example, lizards like living in high places. They need access to trees so that they can climb up, which means that you’ll need a tall vivarium. If that’s the case for you, you also need to consider the location where you intended to place it. Will it fit a tall vivarium or was it better suited for something shorter? Having all of this information upfront to consider helps you make the best choice when purchasing the right vivarium for your pet.
How to Manage Light and Humidity in a Vivarium
Depending on your reptile’s needs, you may need to purchase a daylight bulb and a nighttime bulb. Nighttime bulbs often double as heat lamps which allows reptiles to bask the way they would in their natural environment. A good night bulb is also helpful for letting you in on your pet’s nocturnal activities. You can watch them, study them, and do so without bothering them. This allows you to witness their natural behavior.
When it comes to humidity, the perfect level is depending on the type of pet you have. Some environments should be drier to mimic desert environments while others might need to be a bit more tropical. When there is high humidity, you also need good ventilation. Otherwise, you could end up with a moldy mess of a vivarium. Obviously, this would not be good for the health of your pet.
Instead of trying to create the right humidity level for your pet on your own, employ the help of a hygrometer. Hygrometers are fantastic little digital tools that measure the humidity level in your vivarium. Some have special features like alerting you when the humidity levels are off. Some may also include a thermometer, so you have two in one. There are fancy ones and budget-friendly ones—no matter your budget, you can have something that measures the environment regularly.
The Best Vivariums for Your Pet FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What wood is best to build a vivarium?
Wood is a wonderful, nourishing material for vivariums. For many, the best wood for a vivarium is driftwood. If the habitat you’re building will have high humidity, you’ll need to make sure your wood choice can withstand the environment. You may need to purchase a sealant to protect the wood from a high humidity environment.
Why are wooden vivariums good?
Wooden vivariums are a great option if you’re looking to keep your budget low. They are generally more affordable than glass vivariums. They’re also great for stacking, which is perfect if you’re caring for more than one pet at home. Wood is also better for trapping heat, which some animals need for survival. They are also more customizable than their glass counterparts, allowing you to drill holes as needed to create those modifications.
What type of glass is used for vivariums?
Most commonly, float glass is used for vivariums. Vivariums may also be made with rolled glass. These are usually the most cost-effective options. Toughened glass is an option, but it does tend to be more expensive.
What animals can live together in a vivarium?
Frilled lizards and green iguanas can share the same habitat, so long as there is only one male per species. Different types of tree frogs can also make do with the same vivarium as well as fire-bellied toads and newts.
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