Reptile & Amphibian Essentials

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Keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets can be a lot of fun, and can also be very entertaining for both you and any guests you welcome over to your home. However, never underestimate the amount of equipment and time needed to maintain their habitats and ensure they are living happy and healthy.

That is why we put together this page to make sure you understand what all the essential reptile and amphibian supplies are and why you need them.

All of these vendors recommended above were hand-selected by our team of experts after thorough review and investigation. You can trust that your new reptile or amphibian pet will arrive happy and healthy when choosing to do business with them. Animal safety and health is one of our biggest priorities, and therefore it weighs heavily into our review and ranking process. We would never take a bribe for someone to rank on our list, and we automatically blacklist any vendors known for having mistreated the animals they sell.

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The Most Essential Reptile Supplies You Need 

When it comes to all of the supplies you will need in order to care for a reptile or amphibian pet, the list can be fairly long. However, there is an easy way to gain a general understanding of what all will be needed to start caring for your new pet.

Below is a breakdown of all the essential supplies you will need in order to create a suitable environment for a reptile or amphibian:

Reptile and Amphibian Food

One of the most basic necessities for any animal is food. A proper diet can make a huge difference in your pet’s overall health and happiness, and will have a direct effect on their suspected lifespan.  Just like any other pet, reptiles and amphibians require specific diets that contain the right nutrients and vitamins their bodies need in order to function properly.

Reptiles are typically carnivorous, meaning that their diet should consist mostly of meat. Protein is essential for reptiles as it helps them to grow, repair tissue, and produce enzymes and hormones. The protein in their diet will come from a variety of sources depending on the type, such as insects, rodents, and fish. Many reptiles prefer live meals.

Amphibians, on the other hand, are typically herbivorous or omnivorous, meaning that their diet should consist mostly of plants or both plants and animals. They require a diet that is high in fiber in order to maintain a healthy digestive system. Some common sources of food for amphibians include earthworms, insects, and leafy greens.

When it comes to food, there are a few things you will need to take into account such as the size of your pet, their age, and their activity level. It is important to do your research in order to determine how much and how often you should be feeding your pet. In certain cases, you may even be able to reach out to your vet with any questions you may have.

Reptile and Amphibian Substrates/Bedding

The substrate is the material that lines the bottom of the terrarium and is used to recreate your pet’s natural habitat. There are many different types of substrates available on the market, so it is important to do some research in order to find out which one would be best suited for your type of reptile or amphibian.

Some of the most common substrates used for reptiles and amphibians include:

  • Cypress mulch
  • Coconut fiber
  • Reptile carpet
  • Moss
  • Paper towels & newspaper

Each type of substrate has its own set of pros and cons that you will need to take into account. For example, cypress mulch is a popular choice among reptile owners because it holds moisture well and doesn’t harbor harmful bacteria like other substrates can. However, it is also known to cause respiratory problems in some reptiles if they ingest it.

The type of reptile and amphibian substrate that you choose will also have a direct effect on your ability to maintain a high humidity in your pet’s tank. For certain species, this is extremely important.

Terrarium Heat Lamps & Mats

One of the most important pieces of equipment you will need for your reptile or amphibian terrarium is a heat lamp. Many reptiles and amphibians come from warm climates and require a basking area that has a temperature between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat lamps are used to create this basking area by emitting heat and light. There are two different types of heat lamps available on the market: incandescent and ceramic. Incandescent bulbs are less expensive but don’t last as long as ceramic bulbs.

Ceramic bulbs, on the other hand, cost more upfront but can last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. When choosing a heat lamp for your terrarium, it is important to select one that has the correct wattage for the size of your pet’s enclosure.

Terrarium Decor

One of the best parts about setting up a reptile or amphibian terrarium is getting to decorate it! Not only does this make your pet’s enclosure more visually appealing, but it also provides them with places to hide and climb.

There are many different types of reptile and amphibian terrarium décor available on the market, so there is sure to be something that fits your pet’s needs. Some popular items include:

  • Caves & Hideouts
  • Plants
  • Basking platforms
  • Waterscapes
  • Rocks & driftwood

When it comes to Reptile and Amphibian substrates, decoration, and hiding spots, there are many factors you need to consider such as your pet’s species, size, and activity level. It is important to do your research in order to create the perfect environment for your pet.

Reptile Vitamins

In addition to a proper diet, many reptiles and amphibians also require vitamins and supplements in order to stay healthy. The most common type of vitamin used for reptiles and amphibians is calcium. This is because many reptiles and amphibians have a hard time absorbing calcium from their food.

Reptile calcium powder is important for the development of strong bones and teeth as well as proper muscle function. It is typically added to reptile and amphibian food in the form of a powder or liquid supplement.

Vitamin D3 is another common supplement given to reptiles and amphibians. This vitamin is important for the absorption of calcium and the development of strong bones. Vitamin D3 can be found in both powder and liquid form.

Choosing A Reptile and Amphibian Enclosure

Pet TypeMinimum SizeIdeal Size
Frogs10 Gallons15 Gallons
Anoles10 Gallons20 Gallons
Leopard Gecko20 Gallons30 Gallons
Turtle30 Gallons50 Gallons
Ball Python30 Gallons70 Gallons
Skins40 Gallons50 Gallons
Chameleons40 Gallons70 Gallons
Bearded Dragon70 Gallons120 Gallons
Frilled-Neck Lizard70 Gallons120 Gallons
Iguana90 Gallons180 Gallons
Monitor Lizard100 Gallons150 Gallons
GallonsLxDxH Dimensions (Inches)
10 (Long)24 x 9 x 13
10 (Leader)20 x 11 x 13
1524 x 13 x 13
20 (Long)24 x 13 x 21
20 (High)24 x 13 x 17
3348 x 13 x 14
40 (Long)48 x 13 x 17
40 (Breeder)36 x 18 x 17
5037 x 19 x 20
7548 x 19 x 22
8073 x 14 x 21
9049 x 19 x 26
10073 x 19 x 20
12573 x 19 x 24
15073 x 19 x 29
18073 x 25 x 26

Reptile Supplies FAQs

What Equipment Do I Need to Keep Reptiles and Amphibians As Pets?

The equipment needed to maintain your pet will depend on the type of pet you get. They all require different tank sizes, heat requirements, and diets in order to remain happy and healthy. 

Please feel free to refer to our pet guide to learn more about what you will need to add your new pet to your home.

Is Keeping Reptiles and Amphibians As Pets Hard?

Different types of pets have different difficulty levels in regard to care and maintenance. While some may be easy even for beginners, others require extensive knowledge of both the animal and the equipment being used for it. Make sure you always understand that keeping a reptile or amphibian as a pet is a big commitment and will require a fair amount of your time, especially in the early stages of setting up.

What Reptiles and Amphibians Make Good Pets?

There are many different types of reptiles and amphibians that make great pets, including frogs, turtles, snakes, lizards, and more!

How Do I Keep My Reptiles Warm During A Power Outage?

If you experience a sudden loss of power, there are a few ways you can help keep your pet warm. If you expect the power outage is going to last less than a few hours, then you can use simple hand warmers or hot water bottles to keep them warm. Just make sure your reptile can not come into direct contact with these items.

If you suspect the power outage is going to last for a while, then it would be best to invest in a heating mat that you can warm up and place in the tank. If you have a pet that is comfortable being handled, you can also use blankets and even your own body heat to help keep them warm.

How Do I Keep the Humidity Up In My Terrarium Tank?

There are many tricks to keeping the humidity high in your terrarium, but the best way to keep it up consistently is to add more plants, increase the amount of heat going into the tank, and semi-frequently add mist to the tank.

Can I Buy Reptiles Online?

Yes, you can buy both reptiles and amphibians online from a number of different vendors. However, be sure to always choose a reputable company that puts the health and safety of your new pet first during shipping.

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