Vivarium decorations

Providing your reptile with a stimulating environment is a must for any owner. Not only does it encourage some of your pet's natural instincts; such as climbing, hiding or burrowing, it also helps make your vivarium an eye catching feature.

There are hundreds of pet safe products to choose from when considering decorations for your vivarium. This Loving Your Pet Guide will give you an insight into some of the most popular reptile vivarium decorations.

Hides and caves

A reptile needs sanctuary, and without places to hide it will often show signs of anxiety or stress. They are also important for shedding and sleeping. Hides and caves can be made from a variety of materials, both natural and artificial;

  • Bark - can be bought naturally (cork) or in artificial resin moulds.
  • Stone Caves and Stumps - generally sold as resin moulds.
  • Coconuts - available both naturally and artificially, for a tropical touch.
  • Branches - can be bought artificially or naturally, often as drift wood.
  • Climbing

The majority of reptiles and amphibians are natural climbers. Not only does this provide exercise, but rough edges on outcrops and ridges can help your reptile to shed its skin. They also provide vantage points when hunting live bait such as locusts or crickets.

  • Stone Outcrops - natural and artificial structure for your reptile to climb.
  • Bark - natural cork or artificial resin, can be positioned to offer a higher altitude.
  • Ladders and Hammocks - helping to mimic an arboreous environment.


Many reptile owners decorate their vivariums with artificial plants, of which the following are available; leafy, grass, cactus, fern, bush, orchid, jungle and cannabis.

Sand and Substrate

Reptile substrate is an important feature in any vivarium, not only does it help with hygiene and cleanliness, it can also be an imaginative way of decorating your reptile's habitat. The following substrates are available in a variety of colours; sand, calcium, clay, moss, soft-wood, bark, corn, walnut, beech, aspen, desert and even carpet.


Vivarium, or terrarium backgrounds, help to create a three dimensional display within your tank. Polystyrene rock effects or peel-back poster images can be cut to size to produce a natural looking finish to your reptile's habitat.

Natural Decor

Some reptile owners prefer the look of natural decoration within their vivariums and choose from a range of native trappings including; drift wood, Sumatra wood, coconut dens, desert bush, natural wood hides, log hides and palm torch, to name but a few.

Natural decorations from reputable suppliers; those that are rubber stamped by watchdog's such as Petsafe, are considered to be free of contaminants. For this reason, you should avoid introducing to your vivarium things that you have stumbled upon outdoors and like the look of.

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