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Discussion in 'HH General Discussion' started by jacky, Apr 6, 2005.

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  1. jacky

    jacky Moderated Status

    I noticed that not many of you use the word 'terrarium'.Some say 'tank',some say 'viv',and maybe some other words.
    Now for those of you who call your reptile's home 'tank',do you mean a fishtank?And what's a 'viv'?

    Here in Switzerland people don't keep their snakes or others in fishtanks,because the all glass terrariums are very popular and you get them everywhere at petstores!

    I read very early on when starting to learn about snake keeping,that you should'nt use a fish tank,but a terrarium with sliding doors,and there are more reasons for this.
    1.In a fishtank you don't get the air circulation right,and this can become a problem. shouldn't keep snakes in a fishtank,because then you have to get the snake out from above,and this causes more stress for the snake,because of the instinct of being afraid of the birds who get them in the wild!

    I'm very curious to find out why so many of you keep the reptiles in a tank.Or do you really mean 'terrarium' with the sliding doors???
    Or are terrariums like we know it here not popular in America?
    I think the only person I saw on this forum using the word 'terrarium' was BlackJack! And as you know from her great pics,it's a huge one with sliding doors!

    Maybe someone can explain this to me!Thanks! :)
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    LOL It can be confusing but I will try.

    A "tank" refers to a glass or acrylic aquarium, be it for fish or dry land animals.
    A viv is short for vivarium. A place for living things usually including live plants. A naturalistic enclosure.
    A terrarium basically refers to an enclosure that is not filled with water..
    An aquarium is a tank filled with water.

    Here glass aquariums are very commonly used. They are inexpensive and readily available. The sliding front terrariums are not as accessable and considerably more expensive.

    The statement that "a tank is not good for keeping snakes due to lack of proper airflow" is not correct. Granted if you use the solid glass top that comes with a lot of aquarium kits as intended for use with fish that could be a problem. If you have a standard screen top you have all the airflow you will need. There will be considerably more airflow than the small vents used in sliding front terrariums. However this can be a problem with high humidity requirements.
    This is partly true. With a snake that is not used to you. You have to learn how to pick up the snake coming from the side as opposed to swooping down on them and grasping them from overhead. If approached properly it can be done without frightening the animal. Its all a part of learning how to do things correctly.
  3. geckoguy14

    geckoguy14 Elite Member

    All of my herps except my newts and turtles are kept in glass made for reptiles, cages. Although they all have the opening on the top, all of my animals seem to be fine with this and i have had no problems with not enough ventilation. My white's tree frog viv has lots of vents in the sides and i have had to tape some of them up and put saran wrap over most of the screen top to keep it humid. I have a humidifer that pumps humid air into the viv and with all of the saran wrap and tape, the humidity has increased to 70-80% with no misting!

    Glass aquariums have also been fine for me, my beardy was in a 10 gallon glass aquarium for about 2 months.
  4. jacky

    jacky Moderated Status

    Thank you,Merlin, for your explanation!Now I know!
    But it's very strange to me that you can't have the sliding doors terrariums everywhere?!I guess because they are rare in America they are much more expensive than an aquarium.
    Here in Switzerland I find them about as expensive as an aquarium.But as I build my terrariums myself,I can save A LOT(!!) of money!! It's crazy how expensive Switzerland is;for my 2metres (about 7 ft.) aquarium for my fish I paid close to chfr.2000.-(about £800.- or $1300.-)! What would such a big tank cost at your place? Would be intressting to know!
  5. Joe

    Joe Elite Member


    I'm going to add more confision now :D....

    I was always under the impression that a vivarium was a home for fauna and a terrarium was an enclosure to display live flora...ok here are the definitions...I don't do much at work :D

    A place, especially an indoor enclosure, for keeping and raising living animals and plants under natural conditions for observation or research.

    A small enclosure or closed container in which selected living plants and sometimes small land animals, such as turtles and lizards, are kept and observed.

    Hope that clears up some confusion:)
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Joe I've never seen that word. Im guessing you mean Fauna? Is that the way it is spelled over there?
    And we spell it Flora.
    Does your Boss know what you are doing? LOL!
  7. Joe

    Joe Elite Member

    My boss does less work than me...if thats possible...sorry my spelling is not so good...I'll change them... :D
  8. rbl

    rbl MacGyver in real life

    Jacky, terrariums with sliding doors must be properly made or else some "tenants" like young snakes will escape through the space in-between the doors. I also heard a few stories of other evading species like Tokay geckos, that can open the doors if they are light enough.
    On the other hand, many of these terrariums don't fit the specifications for some species so in the end it's better and cheaper to get an aquarium and make some modifications.

    I'm no expert but from what I know, here in Portugal, a 2m aquarium with 45-50cm depth and >60cm high, will cost around the same price, maybe a bit less.
  9. jacky

    jacky Moderated Status

    Hi rbl

    Here in Switzerland you can buy special locks with a key for the sliding doors,so the snakes won't be able to push open the doors,and for the baby snakes there are some styrofoam stripes you can glue on one of the doors,between the space.
    Those are the tricks herpers over here use!
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