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November 4, 2015

Reptile enclosures have come a long way from just being repurposed fish tanks. Nowadays, the trend is for herp enclosures to be made specifically for these animals. Additionally, the cages are becoming more specialized for certain species or groups of species. They also now incorporate more of the features that hobbyists want.

Not Typical Terrariums

A lot of design work is now involved in making reptile and amphibian enclosures. Hobbyists want them to look good and provide both easy access to their pets and security for their pets.

These attributes were kept in mind when designing the Tetrafauna Deluxe ReptoHabitats from Spectrum Brands.

“Our Deluxe ReptoHabitats are designed by the world-renowned herpetologist Ron Tremper, a breeder of reptiles and amphibians for 40 years, specializing in geckos,” said Samantha Spidel, product manager, environments, Spectrum Brands – Pet, Home and Garden Division. “The Deluxe sliding door ReptoHabitats are innovative, premium environments for both terrestrial and aquatic reptiles and amphibians. Sliding glass doors with lockable knobs make front access and closure easy. The glass door track features ventilation notches for improved airflow, and best of all, the built-in, low profile drain system greatly simplifies water changes and reduces disruption to the environment and, more importantly, its inhabitants.”

For hobbyists who want a cage with a fresh look, there are the Exo Terra Habisphere and the Zoo Med ReptiHabitat Designer Terrariums.

The Exo Terra Habisphere from Rolf C. Hagen, Inc. has a sleek curved front that is bound to attract attention. The compact enclosure fits on any table or desk and is perfect for small species, including dart frogs, geckos, tarantulas and scorpions. It comes with day and night LEDs and a decorative background. Other backgrounds are available for download.

Zoo Med’s ReptiHabitat Designer Terrariums add a splash of color to herp habitats. These 10 and 20 gallon terrariums trade out the normal black frame for vibrantly colored ones, including Glow-in-the-Dark.
If a hobbyist wants a showpiece terrarium for his or her home, he or she will need to put that terrarium on some type of stand or support for easy viewing. Hagen makes just the thing, the Exo Terra Terrarium Cabinet. Available in three sizes, the Terrarium Cabinet is finished in contemporary black with elegant smoked glass doors. Magnetic latches open easily, allowing storage of unsightly food, maintenance tools and other items out of sight.

Up in the Trees

A number of popular reptiles and amphibians are arboreal and fare best when kept in taller enclosures with plenty of climbing branches.

Tetrafauna’s Arboreal Reptile and Snake Cage provides the vertical space these pets need. It has similar features to the Tetrafauna Deluxe ReptoHabitat, including the ease of access. It includes a bulkhead in the back, which enables easy creation of a waterfall or use of a filter for a water feature. It’s appropriate for a number of tree dwelling species, including the popular crested gecko.

Some arboreal reptiles, notably the spectacular chameleons, seem to do best when kept in well-ventilated enclosures rather than when they are boxed in by glass walls. Screen cages are perfect for them.
Zoo Med’s ReptiBreeze LED Deluxe is a tall screen cage with a clear acrylic door for excellent visibility. It has an aluminum frame and is rust resistant. A pull-out bottom tray makes cleaning simple. It features built-in, touch activated LEDs for superior illumination. The LEDs can be set to three different modes.

Getting Wet

Aquatic turtles remain among the most popular reptile pets. They require a large swimming area, making their housing requirements different than most other reptiles. Manufacturers have responded to this need by creating housing specifically for turtles.

“For those just starting in the hobby, or needing a quick setup for a recently acquired species, Tetrafauna offers 10, 15 and 20 gallon kits that include, filtration, a basking platform, heat lamp, bulb, screen top, food and water care,” said Spidel. These kits are perfect for turtles but would also be suitable for other aquatic and semiaquatic species, such as many frogs and newts.

The Premium Aquatic Turtle Kit from Zilla comes in two sizes. It has several interesting and stylish features, including a chamfered front, open top, heat and UVB lighting and a basking surface that doubles as a filtration unit.

Zoo Med offers its ReptiHabitat Turtle Kits in two sizes. The kit comes with a 40 or 20 gallon tank with sliding screen top, UVB fluorescent lighting, basking lamp, Turtle Dock, water conditioner and more.

Additionally, Zoo Med offers the Turtle Tub Kit, which replicates a pond environment. It has a large land section with a ramp that leads to the swimming area. Kit includes a canister filter, lamp stand, UVB bulb, water conditioner and more. The Turtle Tub itself is also available separately.

Selling Reptile Real Estate

One of the best ways to sell these new innovative enclosures is to set some up as displays in your store.

“Setting up a live reptile habitat display in the retail environment is always inspiring for the consumer,” said Spidel. “Showing the habitat complete with the heater, lighting, water feature, filter and attractive décor will not only give the consumer great ideas on how the habitat can look in their home, but will help the retailer sell the habitat, the reptile and all of the accessories that go along with it. To keep things fresh, and hold the interest of frequent shop visitors, the complete display can be sold as one unit, and then a new habitat decorated and displayed in the store.”

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