Just like our own homes, your pet reptiles and amphibians make a mess of their homes throughout the days and weeks of their normal routine. And while taking everything apart and conducting a deep cleaning isn’t always one’s definition of “fun,” it’s a very important responsibility when caring for pet reptiles.
In this article, we discuss the importance of cleaning your reptile tank and provide a simplified breakdown of how to do so.
Why Cleaning Your Reptile’s Tank Is Important
Not only is keeping your reptile’s enclosure clean helpful in preventing a foul odor in your room, but it’s also an essential task for making sure that your pet remains in good health.
Cleaning your reptile’s terrarium is important for their health and wellbeing. A clean environment will help to prevent the spread of disease, parasites, and bacteria. It is also important to remove any uneaten food or waste from the terrarium to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
It’s important to always be thorough when cleaning a reptile tank. All surfaces, including the glass, should be cleaned with a reptile-safe cleaner. Any plants or decorations in the terrarium should also be removed and cleaned. It’s always better to put those few extra minutes into the fine details of cleaning than to let mold and bacteria continue to grow.
6 Simplified Steps for Cleaning A Reptile Tank
- Remove Pet From Their Enclosure
Remove your pet from their enclosure and put them somewhere safe and comfortable. Ideally, this would be another terrarium.
- Remove All Décor
Remove all the decorations from your pet’s enclosure, brushing off any substrate that’s on them.
- Wash the Décor
Wash the items from the enclosure using warm water and soap. Leave to air dry after.
- Remove All Bedding & Substrate
Remove and discard of all the bedding and substrate inside the terrarium. Once this is complete, the terrarium should be completely empty.
- Scrub Terrarium
Scrub the interior of your pet’s enclosure using soap and hot water. Make sure to use a smaller brush to get all of the corners clean.
- Let Dry & Reassemble
Once you’re done scrubbing the enclosure, let everything dry, and then reassemble it all for your pet (you can also use paper towels to speed this step up). Don’t forget to plug in any accessories you may have unplugged.
How Often Should You Clean Your Reptile’s Tank?
The frequency of cleaning will depend on the size of the terrarium, the number of reptiles, and the type of substrate you are using. A good rule of thumb is to perform a deep clean once a month, and a spot clean once a week.
When you spot clean, you should remove any uneaten food, waste, or soiled bedding. You will also want to wipe down the glass and any other surfaces in the terrarium. If you are using a reptile-safe cleaner, you can mist the enclosure with the cleaner and then wipe it down.
A deep clean is a more thorough cleaning that should be performed once a month. In addition to spot cleaning, you will need to empty out the entire terrarium and clean all of the surfaces, plants, and decorations. The substrate will also need to be replaced.
Reptile Cleaning FAQs
Reptile-safe glass cleaner, brushes, sponges, and rubber gloves are the most common and basic reptile cleaning supplies that you’ll need. Certain terrariums may require additional supplies depending on the size and layout.
We highly recommend using Fluker’s Super Scrub for the safest and best-all around cleaning of a reptile tank.
You can buy reptile tank cleaner online or in stores, such as retail and pet stores. Buying reptile supplies online is generally preferred, as you have a bigger variety of buying options.
Yes, there are ways to make your own reptile-safe disinfectant using ingredients you can buy from the store. Just make sure to do thorough research to ensure you’re not accidentally poisoning your pets or yourself.
You should be spot cleaning your reptile’s tank throughout the week. You should also be giving the tank a deep clean no less than once per month.