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Inexpensive decor for fish and reptiles
by cynefin September 4th 2019, 01:34 PM

Inexpensive décor for fish and reptiles
By Cassie (cynefin)


Accessories and decorating a habitat is part of the fun when you have fishor other reptiles. Items specifically marketed for pets are expensive, however, and are often limited with selection and style. Before taking a trip to the pet store, check out a few ways to spruce up an animal's habitat.

Fish and reptile friendly

A good and inexpensive way to decorate is by using mugs. Not only do mugs provide a hide for fish and reptiles, but they are especially helpful for work environments and other companies (e.g. company using logo mug in a tank). Try standing the mug upright or laying it down on its side.

On a similar note, terra cotta pots are also a nice choice. They are inexpensive and come in many sizes for different sized animals and habitats. They can be used as a hide or a moss pit for a variety of animals. Do be cautious with these pots as they are heavy and can potentially harm an animal. If you are using pots in a fish tank, try to secure it in some gravel or wedge it between a few other decorations.

Consider trying gardening statues or children's figurines. Some stores sell these at low prices and statues generally do not need a lot of modifications prior to using them. If the statue will not float, drill a hole or two into the bottom to help. Research what types of paints are unsafe for your pets before buying, and be on the look out for chipping paint once placed in the tank.

Use fake plants. Pet stores have a tendency to charge a lot for plants made for pets. Consider visiting a dollar store or a home décor section of a store to look for plants to use. Some already have a stand, but others are just garland. Use these plants however you choose, but stick to soft leaves. The plastic ones can cut fins and scales.

Small and large rocks from your yard make attractive accents and centerpieces. If you don't want plain rocks, however, try garden accents or purchase some worry stones to scatter around the tank.

Reptile friendly

Bring the outdoors to the inside of your reptile habitat by using items such as rocks, bark, or twigs and logs. Be sure to sanitize these items before adding them to your tank, as there could be bacteria or other creatures living inside. To do this, scrub and soak the item in hot water, and then bake it. You can typically bake twigs and logs, but rocks will clean up easily with a soak in hot water. Try to avoid using soap to clean these items because soap residue is unhealthy for a lot of reptiles. Prior to using any of these items, check to see if they are safe for your pet as some things are unsafe or hazardous (e.g. pine is deadly to hermit crabs).

Use netting to serve as a climbing wall or as a decoration for your habitat. Decorative fish netting can be found at craft stores. Alternatively, you can cut and use the netting that is typically packaged with produce at the grocery store. You can tie the netting to other pieces, or secure it firmly to the tank wall with suction cups. In addition to netting, corkboard makes a convenient background or climbing wall. Repurpose an old corkboard you're no longer using, or purchase another for this use.

Purchase shower and other items that already have suction cups attached. Shower caddies that attach to the shower wall and other shower items are a great example of this. These can adhere to the tank wall and be used as a second level, or to hold other items (like moss, shells, or other accessories). You could also consider using wire cabinet shelves as an additional climbing piece.

Reptiles: practical and efficient suggestions

Bowls that are sold for reptiles are typically expensive, especially if they are rather large. If you are looking to cut costs, you can make your own out of different materials. Food storage containers are useful to use as water bowls. These containers come in a variety of shapes, depths, and sizes. If you are looking to use these as water bowls, try to put some pebbles at the bottom of them to prevent your pet from slipping. You can also make a ladder for them to crawl out of. In addition to purchasing food storage containers from your dollar store, you can reuse disposable ones you've received from eating out (such as soup containers).

If humidity is important for your pet to thrive, you likely know that glass tank covers are pricey and very delicate. A simple solution for this is to use a piece of vinyl and secure it to the top of a mesh tank lid. Poke some holes in the vinyl to give some extra air flow. Know that if there is not enough air flow, the lid may begin to rust over time.

A seemingly unlikely but useful object to use is a paver or border that people use for landscaping the outside of your home. These are relatively inexpensive when bought individually, and they can help to separate different parts of the habitat. This can be helpful for creatures that enjoy being on water and on land, such as fiddler crabs.

Paying full price for objects marketed towards pets can be frustrating, but using various materials to make your own set-ups can be creative and cost efficient. Next time you need to add or replace something to a creature's habitat, get your creativity on by trying some of the above suggestions.
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decor, fish, inexpensive, reptiles

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