Enclosure: Decor Options

Good decorations make a reptile’s terrarium look cool, but they’re also important for exercise, mental stimulation, and keeping your skink healthy. In zoos, enclosure decor and “toys” are called enrichment items. I encourage you to review the importance of enrichment for reptiles in this article: Environmental Enrichment For Reptiles ; What? Why? and How…?

blue tongue skinks terrarium decorations

Hides: Skinks like to hide. It’s part of their burrower nature. So you’ll need one cool dry and one warm humid hide to help them feel secure, which sounds more complicated than it is. Just put a hidey-hole on the cool side, then another one on the warm side, with some sphagnum moss inside to make it humid. Half logs or large cork rounds make excellent hides.

Climbing Toys: Large branches, logs, cork bark, and rocks are excellent for this purpose. Some say that that blueys aren’t good climbers, but I have a Merauke who begs to differ. If you collect rocks from outside, sterilize them by baking at 200-250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 hours. Collected wood should be soaked in a boiling vinegar or Nolvasan solution.

Plants: If you’re using topsoil or bioactive substrate, live plants make an excellent addition to your terrarium. Wheat grass, carrot tops, pothos, and asparagus fern are good for starters. Refer to Reptile and Amphibian Bioactive Setups for further information on suitable plants for your enclosure. Keep in mind that the plants you use need to be able to take a beating; skinks love to trample plants!

Background: PetBackdrops.com offers a lovely selection of backgrounds for all kinds of reptile enclosures. Aside from helping your setup look nice, a good background can help your skink feel more secure, especially if the terrarium’s made of glass. If that proves to be out of your price range, contact paper (shelf liner) can make an attractive, inexpensive alternative.


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