So, you now have a tank for your reptile and you’ve chosen the right size for its age, size, and breed. What should you put in the tank other than the reptile,
Bedding should be your first consideration. For most herps, the bedding you’d put down for a hamsters or a bird won’t work because there’s a risk the reptile might get inadvertently swallow some filler and get hurt. Likewise, small pebbles or bits of wood are a chocking hazard and must be avoided. If in doubt, ask your vet or a herp expert as to what’s the right bedding to use.
If your pet is amphibious or aquatic, it is important to have the right water level.
Heating elements, either through a sun lamp or special heating elements put under the bedding might be right for your reptile. Not all reptiles have the same heat requirements. Some will need a warm spot to sun in for a few hours everyday, while some will need a constant full heat source. When considering what kinds of heating element to set up, also pay attention to how you will light your vivarian.
Most, if not all reptiles will need a place to hide and a place for exercise. A good hollow piece of drift wood will provide a great place to hide when your reptile feels like being alone, and has the added benefit of helping out when your reptile is ready to shed. Arboreal and climbing species of reptiles will need vines to climb on, and it’s important they can climb up and down as well as side to side.