Transport and Acclimatize Terrarium Animals

Find out here how you should transport your terrarium animals and ensure that your terrarium animals get used to it quickly. We will give you a good overview of all the necessary measures.

Transporting terrarium animals – on a long journey

If you want to transport your new terrarium animals, you first need a suitable means of transport. Which means of transport should be used to transport your new animal roommate depending on the breed you would like to host. Therefore, you should research your new pet carefully before you buy it. Even if there are differences in transport, the following applies to all breeds: Temperature fluctuations should be avoided at all costs, as they would only stress your animal unnecessarily. The perfect temperature depends on the type, although constant temperatures of 25 ° to 30 ° have proven useful for short transports. Reptiles are best transported in cotton or linen bags. Amphibians, on the other hand, should be transported in plastic containers with air holes and a damp cloth or in moss. With the cloth, you can be absolutely sure that the skin of the animals can absorb enough moisture even during transport. To ensure particularly safe transport, you should also stow both reptiles and amphibians in a sturdy styrofoam box.

Basics about the acclimatization phase

So that nothing goes wrong with keeping your new pets, you should find out exactly about your new animal friend before buying. Specialist advice in the zoo or specialist animal trade can also be helpful.

Constantly touching your pets is counterproductive, especially during the acclimatization phase. You should also wait a few hours before feeding. The animals need some time to relieve the stress of the transport and to get used to the new environment. You can give insectivores a small portion of food after a few hours and dose a little more generously the next day. However, you should not feed snakes until one day after they have been transported. In addition, ask the dealer when the animals last ate and at what intervals they are regularly fed, so that you can take this into account when dosing at home.

Some animals walk around directly in the terrarium and feel right at home, while others first hide for a while. In the latter case, you should be patient. Give your animal the opportunity to get used to it slowly and proceed carefully. You should definitely avoid unnecessary stress so as not to harm your new foster child.

Species-appropriate terrarium equipment

So that your new protégés feel right at home, you should try to adapt their new living space to their natural surroundings as much as possible. For animals from the rainforest, for example, roots, lianas, and real tropical plants are suitable. You can create lifelike desert landscapes with caves, dry bushes, and stones of different sizes.

In the case of very shy animals, it can help to cover the windshield with a towel and pull it up a little every day. In this way, you can gradually accustom your terrarium dweller to the movements of the outside world. In the case of escape animals such as basilisks and water dragons, only the front pane should be transparent if possible. In the event of danger, they try to run against the transparent panes and can injure themselves when trying.

In order to do justice to the day and night rhythm of your animals, you should install the lighting in one place in the terrarium. Due to the temperature gradient between the illuminated and the unlit areas of the terrarium, your protégés can choose between different climate zones. The temperature gradient should be around 20 °.

Health check: observation is required!

During the acclimatization phase, you should watch your protégés closely, because some diseases have a longer incubation period and therefore only appear later. Sunken, sticky, or closed eyes indicate serious infectious diseases. A soft lower jaw could be due to a disease of the bone structure. If there are already animals in the terrarium when there are newcomers, a quarantine of the new animals is inevitable. In addition, you should of course pay attention to behavior that is typical of the species. To do this, you watch the animal and make sure that your foster animal behaves in an unusual way. In order to judge immobile species, great knowledge of these species is necessary. If your pet behaves in an abnormal manner or refuses to eat, it could be because other animals are suppressing it. This happens when the stocking density is too high, the terrarium is too small for the species or there are several males. In these cases, the animals must be separated.


The variety of animals and their characteristics make terraristics an exciting hobby. However, impulse purchases are strongly discouraged. If you want to keep an animal, you should find out about the preferred species in advance. During acclimatization, it is essential to be patient. You should also note that every species and animal has its own characteristics and that it takes different amounts of time to get used to the new circumstances. If you follow the tips and advice mentioned above, nothing stands in the way of having fun in the terrarium.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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