THE PRODUCT: We currently have 6 Crested Gecko’s and we keep these in Terrariums which are by a company named Exo-Terra. The terrarium is made from glass and have front window ventilation, dual doors for escape-free access and a waterproof bottom. They also have a stainless steel mesh cover which has an easy twist locking system and it has close able inlets for wires and/or tubing. All the terrariums come with an easy to cut background for a natural look and also creates a multi-dimensional habitat which makes it perfect for climbing reptiles or it can be used to simply beautify the terrarium.
PRICE/AVAILABILITY: The terrariums come in a huge range of sizes including Large, Medium, Small, Mini and also Nano. I’m not going to list all of the prices for each terrarium as it would take up a lot of this review but to give you a few ideas I have listed just a couple of sizes and their average price.
• 30x30x32cm Terrarium - £28.79
• 60x45x45cm Terrarium - £74.69
• 60x45x60cm Terrarium - £80.99
THE TERRARIUM: We always clean out terraiums with water and a reptile safe disinfectant before using it. The background that comes with the terrarium is made from polystyrene so is suitable for wet or dry conditions. The terrarium is nice and easy to decorate using things such as plastic and fake plants. Due to the cut out’s at the back of the terrariums this makes it easy to ensure that wires or tubes can run safely down the back of the background and into the terrarium.
THE TERRARIUM IN USE: The front opening doors allow us to get into the terrarium easily to replace food and water. The doors are double and are easy to lock and unlock using the catch on the front.The mesh top to the vivarium allows fresh air into it which stops the terrarium become too moist or humid and it also keeps it nice and fresh for the reptiles as well. This can be unclipped really easily when you need to clean the terrarium. Our crested geckos seem to be very happy in the terrarium and love climbing about on the glass, background and other foliage we have decorated the terrarium with. The glass is easy to wipe and always comes up looking lovely and clean again.
OVERALL OPINION: The terrariums seems to be made very well and are strong and of good quality and are great for our Gecko’s. We haven’t had any problems with any of our reptiles escaping. As the terrariums seem to be water tight it means you can add water or a water feature to the terrarium without having to worry about it leaking. In terms of value I do think the terrariums are reasonably priced as they are made well and are very good quality. If we need any more terrariums for any other reptiles we may purchase in the future then these Exo-Terra one’s will definitely be our first choice.
Two years ago, while doing voluntary work in the local veterinary clinic I was given the opportunity to provide a home to a one-eyed white-spotted gecko (T.Annularis) which had escaped being put to sleep by biting the vet and managing to hide behind a cabinet for a week before he was finally caught. I decided to name him Gizmo as I loved the gremlins movies and it just seemed to fit (Sadly he isn't a mogwai, but you cant stop me dreaming!).
Upon bringing Gizmo home I moved him into a fairly small plastic vivarium as a form of emergency accommodation where he stayed for a few weeks until I could sort out a more suitable home. Eventually this came in the form of a 45x45x60 Exo Terra, a home which he would feel comfortable in and one which would allow me to feel comfortable knowing I am providing my pet with the best home I can.
When compared to the emergency vivarium Gizmo's new Exo Terra is like a reptilian mansion of epic proportions. The 60cm of height allows him to climb unrestricted and provides him with vantage points where he can observe his surroundings. The Exo Terra vivariums come with a realistic rocky foam insert which slot into the back of the vivarium, I feel this greatly improves the look of the set up and appears to give Gizmo a more natural climbing experience, as he must move over lumps and bumps instead of a flat plane of glass.
The top of the Exo Terra is made of a metal mesh which allows basking lamps to be placed above the roof without risk of melting, it also provides excellent ventilation which helps protect against mould and bad smells building up inside the vivarium. Some DIY modifications may need to be carried out if you wish to keep reptiles which require very humid conditions as the ventilation may be counter-productive in keeping moisture levels high. Along the back of the vivarium are slots which allow cables to be neatly run down the back of the foam insert totally out of view. This is perfect if you wish to place reptile related appliances on the vivarium floor or you are creating a paludarium and require a filter.
The doors are two panes of glass which open outwards and allow easy access to the vivarium, they are held shut with a plastic locking mechanism which does feel slightly flimsy but has done the job over the last few years just fine. Exo Terra do sell a padlock for the doors if you are concerned or if the situation calls for better security.
The bottom of the vivarium is slightly raised to accommodate a heat mat, and is also made of glass to ensure the most efficient rate of heat transfer. This helps protect the surface the vivarium rests on from heat damage and ensures the heat energy is directed where it is needed in order to create the tropical conditions your scaly friend needs to be happy.
My experiences cleaning the vivarium have all been good, especially as Gizmo helps me out by excreting his waste near the doors. All the objects in the vivarium easily fit through the doors, and the substrate can be changed easily this way.
The Exo Terra has been a perfect home for Gizmo, it is obvious how comfortable he is as he has transformed from a shy, skittish gecko into a confident pet who will happily let me watch him hunt his prey. He even moves closer to the doors when they open, clearly unafraid, as he has learned that when they open food often follows. On top of this, having one eye makes Gizmo a bit clumsy, especially when he is hunting. Despite this he has remained safe during his time in the Exo Terra and I am confident it will continue to provide him with an excellent home over the coming years.
This vivarium is very well made, with an all glass surround and a mesh lid. The doors have a clip to lock them shut and they are raised so you can put a substrate in the base that does not come out every time you open the doors. The design of the doors also means you can make the base a mixture of substrate and water for frogs, newts or toads.
The metal mesh lid is completely removable which allows for easy cleaning of both the vivarium and the mesh lid.
The background is great for climbing lizards but it does have one drawback, my geckos eat small crickets, these crickets can get behind the background and my lizards cannot get to their food. I had to start feeding my lizards in a separate container to get around this problem.
The vivarium also has 3 gaps at the back for wires, this allows me to add a fogger without having to make holes in the mesh roof. It is an excellent idea and has made reptile keeping a lot easier for me. Drilling holes in the back of vivarium is no longer required.
Overall I think this vivarium is an excellent piece of furniture, it is pleasing to the eye as well as functional.
I bought the 30 x 30 x 45 cm tank a couple of weeks ago, it's the smallest in the range.
I bought it to house one Gargoyle Gecko, and he seems to be enjoying it!
The size is fine for one gecko, as it has the height required by climbing geckos!
The tank itself is very well designed and thought out. The whole front of the tank opens in the middle, in the form of a catch that releases two large glass doors, and once open, you have access to the entire tank, except for a few inches of depth at the bottom to allow for substrate/chippings etc.
You also get a connection for the top of the tank to house a bulb, and can buy an extra housing unit to put a second bulb if necessary.
I also got a thermometer with mine (it came with a package from pets at home) which is really good. It clips on the bulb housing unit at the top and a wire feeds down in to the back of the tank behind the tank's "background".
The fully opening glass doors makes feeding, handling and cleaning extremely easy! Whoever designed the tank, obviously kept reptiles themselves, as it's very well thought out!
I'd thoroughly recommend the Exo-Terra tanks, I believe they are the best on the market.
I am reviewing the Exo Terra Rain forest kit but was asked to review it here, as this item is similar. The rain forest kit is basically a tank, like this one, as well as a rock background, jungle vines, a thermometer and soil as well as light hood. It also has a small water bowl which would suit a reptile, but not an amphibian. These tanks come in different sizes, ours is 45 x 45 x 60 cm and houses two tiger salamanders. Ours was second hand and missing the thermometer, which while critical with some species is not required for the type of salamanders we keep. It was also missing the soil and lamp fixture, but as I have purchased the same soil I will include that in the review.
First the tank: This is really considered one of the best tanks for reptiles as it looks nice, provides easy access and is is easy to clean. It is meant to keep insects from escaping as well and after over a year of use I can find absolutely no way crickets can get out --- but that does not mean THEY can not find a way out. They can and do, on a regular basis, usually ending up under my bed and proving the fact that chirp-less crickets sold in pet shops are not really chirp-less. Aside from that, the tank is well made, no leaks with spilled water, easy access, and locks securely preventing my youngest from letting the salamanders out. It is also well ventilated and does not steam up.
My main recommendation on the tank is to ask the shops for the minimum size for the species you wish to own, and then buy one bigger. We have been told we could keep a bearded dragon in this which I find completely unacceptable. The animal should have room to move about freely, and the larger the cage, the easier to keep up. Also do not consider multiple species in these tanks with a real experts advise. usually more than one species will cause unnecessary stress at best for the animals.
The background: I really like the fake rock background. It provides a realistic appearance, and really sets the tank off. It also holds some heat from the heat lamp if that is used ( salamanders a re not meant to require this, but we do use it during extremely cold nights). It also has holes for a drip line to be attached which would make this an ideal set up for small frogs.
The vines: Easy to clean and maintain, they do give it a nice jungle appearance. I would however have preferred any leaf shape other than an exact copy of cannabis leaves. still the vines are dear to buy, so the mock cannabis will be staying in.
The soil: Exo Terra Plantation Soil is made up of compressed coconut fibers. You must soak it before use and it will expand quite a bit. It is meant to be kept moist for species such as salamanders, and will increase humidity in the tank. It does have a nice smell and I believe helps to absorb odors. Should a water bowl spill, this will just soak it up and expand a bit more. I continue to buy this substrate and recommend it for amphibians, geckos, and other animals which live in a humid rain forest type environment.
Light bulbs and heat sources may also be required depending on what type of species you will be housing.
I am quite happy with the set up. It looks nice and has worked very well.
My husband would have preferred a larger animal, but I will not allow anything bigger in this tank size. I think the main issue to consider is to be certain this will be big enough for an adult of whatever species you choose, and that you are able to provide the specialist care required. I do think it best to buy captive bred animals if possible as well, as I do not think any creature would care to give up life in a real rain forest for this. Tiger salamanders are widely bred in captivity, primarily as fishing bait in North America, but some are now bred as pets as well. In fact ours are a retired breeding pair. With that in mind, this is a good tank to start out with. It would suit a pair of anoles, salamanders, toads or frogs, or perhaps a small grass snake or small gecko like a golden gecko.
I have to admit i am a big fan of the terras i think as long as you research your chosen herp first, you shouldnt have much problem, they are designed for smaller arboreal herps, make a crested gecko a great habitat, exo have other sizes to suit your needs.
The background can be abit of a pain as live food would beable to get behind there but if your doing your daily checks removing live food there isnt going to be a problem, the mesh top is good for ventilation but after a while if youve got high humidity set up it can start to rust slightly. If you have a problem with keeping humidity up in the tank there are lots of ways to help, misters , waterfalls , large water dishes . Ive found with glass terrariums or wooden vivariums there is always going to be something you wish was different. The front opening doors i feel are a plus, easy access and cleaning.
I like the fact you can have deeper substrate and it also gives you the chance to make the tank as exciting or as simple as possible, i have a pool in the bottom of one of my planted terras
The tank itself is an attractive way to show off your beloved creature and my honest opinion is if you have done your research and now the expectations of your future pet, and buy the size of exo accordlingly you aint going to find many faults.
These glass terrariums are excellent for smaller speacies of lizards, inverts, arachnids and small/young snakes. I keep arboreal geckos in mine (Crested Geckos) and they are ideal for the job. The top is mesh which provides excellent ventilation, the glass sides are great as a heat mat can be attatched to either the sides or bottom if needed and depending on the species you are keeping. The doors on the front open outwards which makes for easy access inside for cleaning and looking after your animal. The lock/clip on the front of the doors does feel a bit week but i have 3 of these and they havn't broken yet.
They are available in a range of sizes and if you keep one of the type of animals I listed above then you should be able to find a suitable size for your needs. As they are all glass they are not great at retaining heat and therefore may not be the best choice for those reptiles needing very hot environments.
I think this terrarium is great, I have had it for ages and I've never had any problems with it, except for when my gecko got behind the foam background where we couldn't get him! but eventually we took the lid off and got him out, I'd never seen him so relieved in my life.
The locking system is great, never had any jams with it, but you have to watch that sand doesn't get between the door and the panel because sometimes that is the only thing that could stop the doors closing.
I'm not sure if this is a positive or negative thing, because I have a lizard hammock, my gecko can reach the little door panel at the front. So sometimes when I get home he is on that ledge, wanting to go walkabout in the house!
I have found it fairly easy to access because of the fully opening double glass doors at the front, and the glass is easy to clean with lizard friendly disinfectant.
The holes that lead behind the foam background are a great idea if you have a heat mat in there, so you don't have to make a bad job of it trying to make your own holes!
great tank, I would recommend it.
PS: if you can't find your lizard one day, it could be behind the foam background!
i purchased one of these for my first reptile. i found that for the high price tag, you get quality and a stylish twist on the normal 'wooden box' type of vivarium. i purchased the larger one, it comes in various different sizes. I found it very secure, especially when a combination lock is used. the terrarium is very well ventilated with large a large mesh roof. the only problem i found was that the bulb i used to hang over the terrarium started to melt the plastic supports that the mesh is stretched over. one thing i did find that was quite clever was the slits in the top enabled you to put heating/lighting equipment inside the tank and run the cables through these slits out of the terrarium. if the slits are not wanted you can simply slide the plastic door across which blocks them off. i also liked the foam background that helped hide the cables and make the terrarium look abit more realistic. The foam background i found has a disadvantage, and this was that crickets would chew the background and also hide behind it! other than that the terrarium was a great buy.
I bought this for my second tarantula, and i was satisfied with what i got, im not sure the price tag justifies what you get though. nice clear glass all round with a decent but not magnificent back, it did the job for what i needed it for.
If your purchasing this for reptiles of any sort i would not reccomend this, i was going to use for when i frst bought my baby bearded dragon, but found out it wasd definately to small. The glass doors and easy remove lid are greeat for easy cleaning and for putting in live prey without it having jump around and out of your hands around your room to be lost under neath your bed forever.
You probably wont find anything like this for this price anywhere so if its an essential need and want a small set up for your tarantula or amphibian then this is it.
i paid around £40 for mine but have seen them for less in other places, but if your tight for cash and need it badly, i would look for an alternative to this.
The Exo Terra is a great looking vivarium that sadly suffers from a great deal of design flaws. The minute I seen these vivariums I knew I wanted one...they really look spectacular when you see them, very professional looking and they are the sort of thing that makes a fantastic display out of any reptile tank. However, they do suffer from several problems.
The Exo Terra seems like a great design at first, and it has a few great features. The doors start part way up the front of the vivarium, which means if you have animals that burrow you can give them a deep substrate without it getting all over the floor when you open the doors, or if you have a semi-aquatic reptile of amphibian you can fill the bottom part with water. It also has closeable holes in the back you can use to insert wires for your heaters and lighting elements. If you've ever kept herps, you'll know how annoying it is to have to drill holes in a premade vivarium you spent three figures on. It has a screen lid which provides better ventilation that most of the wooden vivariums you see, but the screen also has its downsides. There is a preformed polystyrene back which is designed to look like a rock face, which means it looks ideal with both desert and tropical set ups, and also keeps the animals away from any electrical equipment. You can also buy specialist light set ups to go with the exo terra, which sit conveniently above the mesh roof, preventing any of your little creatures burning themselves.
Despite all these good points, these glass vivariums do have several short comings. First of all, the locking mechanism on the doors will not last long if you have any powerful bodied snakes in it...smaller pythons like the royal pythons will quite easily destroy the mechanism. You can't use a regular vivarium lock with this. Basically this rules out most snakes living in this vivarium...certainly the heavier bodied ones, and possibly also corn snakes and king snakes. The other problem is that the enhanced ventilation the roof provides mean the terrarium will lose humidity and heat easier, which means some desert and tropical species are also out...so no bearded or rankin's dragons. Add to this the fact that glass does not hold heat as well as wood, which means if you want to keep a species that needs a very high heat, your electricity bill will be larger.
The final big short coming with the Exo Terra glass terrariums is the price. It comes in 9 sizes, I could only find eight:
30cm squared: £43.59
45cm squared: £72.99
I believe there is a four foot long model also available. These tanks basically cost about twice the amount a wooden vivarium of similar size will cost you. Although they do make a fantastic display, you can also use a regular glass aquarium with a ventilated lid for less money, they also make great display reptile cages, and they are much, much cheaper. The Exo Terra cages do have some great features to them, notably the heating being seperate from the reptiles to prevent burns, and the holes available for electrical wiring, but I think they do need work before Exo Terra can reasonably charge what they are charging for these tanks. At the moment, regular wooden vivariums are still more practical, and cheaper, for housing reptiles. If you have a lot of money to spare, these tanks might be great for CERTAIN species such as leopard geckos which dont need particularly hot or humid tanks, but for most reptiles they are not suitable housing.
This vivarium is advertised as being the ideal way to keep any reptile and wholst it is available in quite a variety of sizes I wouldnt recomend usin this with any lizard that will grow to be more than 3 foot or with any snake at all.
Initially this viv looks like a good idea, it comes with a plastic moulded back ground so you wont need ornaments to decorate the tank, the lid comes off suposedly to allow easy cleaning but I think it would have been better if the bottom piece of glass at the front removed as this would have made cleaning simple.
The two glass doors on the front dont slide like most reptile cages but open as a proper door, they have a plastic lock attached to them which is ok for small animals but not stronger animals as they can easily break out of this and because of the way the doors open you cant put any other lock on them,
In my opinion this realy was the worst designed viv ever and a total waste of money as they are very expensive concidering the poor quality.
This tank looks pretty and comes in a range of sizes, it is best for crested geckos, frogs and other climbing reptiles that dont require a large tank. the tank is made of glass and comes with a built in background which is a fake rock effect although it looks pretty, simply allows a hiding space for crickets or other livefood to escape to where your pet cant get to them leaving them free to come out at night (or when your lizard is asleep) and possibly cause them harm by biting your lizard.
the tank has built in ventilation which is good but i personally dont think it is enough, i have a cage for my cresties which has much more ventilation thus eliminating any problems with mould or fungus which could cause respititory infections. they have many add ons including a canopy which can contain a uv bulb or a heat bulb and have holes for your wires to go in. the biggest problem i feel is its weight. being made of glass it is stupidly heavy, and if you drop it, thats it, its broken. that is why i prefer a different brand of cage (although unfortunately the one i use is only available from america and the company that sells it is very very unreliable)
This is supposed to be an ideal home for all reptiles but i dont agree, i think this viv is only suitable for frogs and small reptiles.
It has a ventilated top which is a good idea as it allows a good flow of air but is a bad idea as it makes this viv hard to maintain a high temperature so it would be useless to keep tortoises or beardies in.
There are 5 wire inlets on each side of the back of my viv which is a good idea as i didnt have to make my own holes to put my plugs out of the back of the tank for electrical equipment although i think 10 holes is a bit extreme.
The glass panel on the front at the bottom is fixed and sealed which is great if you have a pet which burrows as you can have the substrate quite high or if you keep a frog in the tank as it wont leak the water out but it is a pain when you come to clean the viv out.
I like the pre formed plastic back ground that this tank comes with as it stops the tank looking dull and boring.
The doors at the front i am not too impressed about either as they open like a door instead of sliding which means you cant use an ordinary viv lock with them and although they have a lock already on them when you buy the viv this is only plastic, my baby boa bella has managed to break this and she was only 8 inches long at the time.
I believe this cage is available in 8 sizes but i have only ever seen it in the 3 smallest sizes.
12x12x12 is £35
12x12x18 is £39
18x18x18 is £55
This tank is only suitable for a small amount of reptiles and is quite expensive for what it is.
We keep a horned toad in ours now and even he has worked out how to escape taking frequent hops around my kitchen
The Bower household has acquired yet another family member. A little Anther Chameleon!!! Our new addition meant that we needed to buy new equipment. The first being a new tank. All our spare tanks would have been too large for a 2cm Chameleon and besides that we don't have any spare heat mats or lights.
A quick word with the guy at the pet shop and we had a better idea of how to house "little-dude" and we made our purchases.
We decided on this particular tank baisically because it was the only one there that was the right size!!! The fact that it had so many bonus features was just that...a bonus! This tank is specifically designed for lizards. There are different sizes for different sized lizards and this tank can be used to house other types of reptiles comfortably.
The tank features a polystyrene climbing wall at the back which doubles up as casing to keep necessary wires innaccessable to your pet. Where the wires come out of the tank at the top there are special cut outs with a sliding cover which will stop your anyhting from escaping. It's no good feeding your pet with crickets if they just escape before it can munch them now is it?! The wall is made to resemble rock and so it's all craggly and it looks pretty real. This wall provides a great climbing frame for your lizard as well. The Polystyrene is safe and non toxic so there's no worries there either.
The walls are made of the non reflective sort of glass. This is essential for most reptiles as they are threatened by their own reflection. As far as they're concerned it's just another lizard who is mimicing their actions instead of responding to them in the usual way.
The top of the cage is made of a wire mesh which is usefull for tying on bits of greenery or for supporting a lamp. The mesh is sturdy and is re-enforced with a metal bar to prevent it from bowing or warping under pressure. This roof is also removable to give you more access to the inside of the tank and it also makes it easier to arrange the things that you want inside.
You have easy access to the inside of the tank through double doors at the front which can't be opened on the inside. The locking mechanism is pretty simple but secure enough to keep your pet where it should be. In my experience ghekos and snakes quickly learn how to escape from their habitats which is why you must make sure that the animal is securely housed. Also the doors have extra ventalation holes running along the bottom door casing. Coupled with the mesh roof this provides a through route for air to come in and out of the tank.
There is a water tight space, about a quater of the height of the tank, below the doors. This is ideal for creating shallow water habitats. So this tank would be great for water reptiles like turtles which dont require deep water.
Finally the bottom of the tank is raised a few millimetres off the floor so it is safe for you to just stick your heat mat there rather than having to fart about with polystyrene sheets to prevent burns to your pets.
Setting up the a new habitat is pretty simple with this tank. It comes already built up in the box so really it's just a case of putting in the things that you want in the tank.
Like I said before,the wires can be hidden behind the wall so you don't have to worry too much about positioning them. Your heat mat, if you need one will adequaetly and safely heat the tank if you place it underneath the floor. Putting it inside the tank would mean that it wont be covered effectively which which could cause burns, not nice.
Price and Availability
There is a website which shows you the full range and where you can buy them from. www.exo-terra.com. The site is pretty easy to navigate and exo-terra make a huge variety of products for your reptiles. Exo-terra is one of the largest manufacturers of reptile equipment and so their products are stocked in most pet shops throughout europe. Unfortunately you can't order from the website as yet. Exo-terra products do pop up on ebay every so often but not very regularly. So I'm afraid you will have to ring around the local pet shops to find out if they stock them or if they can order them. We got ours from Hemmingway's in Dewsbury for £54.99. The tank measures 45 X 45 X 60cm.
Well to sum it up we are very pleased with the new tank. It is ideal for our new Chameleon. He is making great use of the climbing wall and the mesh roof makes it really easy to tie up his UVB light and greenery. The double doors are large enough to provide easy access to the inside of the tank so you can handle your pet and clean the tank out. There is nothing about the tank that could harm him and it all looks pretty sturdy. I would recommend this for anyone who keeps reptiles. It's suitable for a wide range of reptiles and it's been designed with these wierd and wonderfull creatures in mind. It's a great price for such a well designed tank.
So if you're ever thinking of getting yourself a lizard you should seriously consider Exo-Terra for your habitat.
Thanks for the reads people, Nereesa85 xxx
Includes a specially designed lock that will prevent escape and doors can be opened separately / bottom plate of the terrarium is raised to mount a substrate heater to heat a part of the extended ground surface (45 x 45cm) / the extra high fixed front window is ideal for thick layers of substrates (burrowing reptiles) / aquatic parts (paludarium)