Safe Materials?

slym

New Member
Messages
11
Location
Canada
I am pretty new to this forum, and doing some reading I have seen may users making their own vivarium's. I have 1 crestie and thinking of getting a garg in a few days.

What I currently keep my crested in is a 20 gallon, exo terra with background terrarium, with dirt and artificial plants. Learning about the natural enclosures however, has triggered my interest I have a few questions about making a vivarium...

First, what kind of materials will I need to make the vivarium, such as the silicone and such? I don't want to use anything toxic as so I don't hurt my lizard, would anybody have any suggestions?

Second, What kind of plants would be ideal for the crested gecko/ garg? and is relatively easy to take care of?

Finally, I live near a beach and some drift wood is always around, however, it is not the cleanest beach in Canada :(
Is there a way I could make outside materials safe, or should I disregard the idea of outside wood all together?
 

Dinosaur!

New Member
Messages
908
Location
Las vegas, Nevada
I'm not sure about the vivarium materials, but I use wood I find outside for my snakes. But first I soak it in a 1:4 ratio of bleach to water for two or more days, then I scrub it with nontoxic soap under hot water with a toothbrush that I use for terrarium cleaning (never for teeth :D ). Then I boil it (if possible depending on the size) , and throw it on a cookie sheet in the oven at three hundred degrees until it is bone dry. I am a little paranoid about bugs and bacteria being stuck to the wood, and I would be super paranoid about driftwood next to the ocean, but as long as you thourougly sanatize it you should be fine :)
 

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,336
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Fired Up Geckos has done some great DIY tutorials which may be helpful to you:
Do It Yourself | Fired Up Geckos

And I think New England Herpetoculture is the most viv-centric shop I've encountered, with tons of design info:
New England Herpetoculture LLC - Vivarium Care Menu

For wood, I skip the bleach soak because I don't want it to absorb any chemicals. I usually scrub extremely well with soap and hot water and then bake for 2-3 hours at 250 F to kill any parasites. There are all sorts of different opinions on this, and boiling also works well. I usually don't have a pot large enough for what I'm trying to sanitize though. :)

The problem with using live plants with cresties/gargs is that they are so large that they tend to wreck all but the most sturdy of plants. There are tons of resources on what plants to try though. I'll link a few, but just do a search for "crested gecko plants", "gargoyle gecko vivarium", or similar on Google and YouTube, and you'll find lots of great stuff.
https://joshsfrogs.zendesk.com/hc/e...a-Crested-Gecko-Vivarium-or-Living-Terrarium-
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlMy8Rwh9XE
 

slym

New Member
Messages
11
Location
Canada
Thanks guys! I finally got my hands on a bottle of "Good Stuff" so I am going to try applying it to the Styrofoam like the link suggested, looks a lot like the same method exo terra uses as I have one of their backgrounds that came with the tank.

I will upload pictures when it is done, probably should forget about the drift wood idea, as the lake water I am near isn't really safe for people to swim in, shouldn't really enter into my lizards habitat...

As for the plants, time for a trip to the garden center! Thanks for your help guys if anybody else has more helpful advice I would love to learn more!!
 

Dinosaur!

New Member
Messages
908
Location
Las vegas, Nevada
If you still want to include some cool wood you can order some really cool peices online, or you can keep your eyes peeled for cool peices in trees or firewood piles :) I get all of my decorative wood off of the pistachio tree and the grape vines in my back yard.
 

slym

New Member
Messages
11
Location
Canada
Your DIY on the custom background is awesome! I went out today and got some black "Great Stuff", black GE Silicone, and compressed dirt from the pet store.

Next what I need is a backboard, probably going to use cardboard as I am having a hell of a time finding polyurethane sheets in my towns hardware stores, that and I don't want to compromise further space using thick sheets.

Final step will be to connect a tube from the top of the tank to the bottom (because I don't want to drill into the tank) so I can remove extra water collected at the drainage level once I put live plants in.
 
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