Need some suggestions
I have a 36Lx24Dx24H Showcase cage (I don't have a picture of it but if you type in Showcase Cages into Google their website will pop up. I wasn't sure if I was allowed to put their direct link up) that I am interested into turning into some type of planted terrarium. At the moment there is a Kingsnake in there but he is gonna be going to a new home soon and I want to do something different with the cage.
What I'd like to do is set up some kind of little pond in one corner (was thinking of just burying a storage tote so I could have a two or three gallon 'pond' and not have to worry about seepage to the dirt areas). On the dirt areas I'd like to have a bunch of easy to grow plants. I'm good with houseplants so I know I can pull that part off.
What I need to know is what kind of lighting would I need in the cage to keep the plants happy. There are two places molded into the top of the cage where I can put strip lights and dome lights. And the cage would be easy to drill to put in other lights as well. Also, is there any easy to take care of critters that I can keep in this type of setup and not have them tear the whole thing up? I have an idea of the plants that I want to grow in there but I want to research any possible critter first so that I make sure I am giving them the right things for them to thrive.
None of this is gonna happen anytime soon. I'll be moving in October or November so I won't be setting anything like this up until after that. But this gives me plenty of time to plan and replan and research!!!
Thanks in advance for any suggestions! Links (if possible) to things are much appreciated also!!!
cfl's or shop lights would be your best bet for lighting. use bulbs in the 6500k range. home depot sells a 36" t5no strip light that i use over my viv. downside is it comes with 3000k bulbs, so you would need to get 2 replacement bulbs for it. or you could grab a cheapie t5ho unit from one of the online vendors.
as far as critters, it is best to choose the critter first, then build the tank to suit them since different animals have different needs. for example, some dart frogs lay their eggs in bromeliad leaves and require high humidity, however, white's tree frogs lay their eggs in still water and can adapt to different humidity levels. both amphibians, but different requirements. so choose wisely :)
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