I’ll be off to Lancaster soon, but I’ve got two weeks left and in that time my girlfriend and I are going to create a vivarium for her Gecko. The main reason we are doing this is because the cost of a shop-bought one is very high. We’re starting with an old Hi-Fi cabinet and converting it to a home suitable for a gecko. I don’t know very much about the little animals myself (which is probably why I’m on the electronics side of things) but even so, the basic plan is as follows:
Interior will be surrounded with painted, grouted polystyrene for the gecko to move around on. There will also be an amount of plant mass inside, obviously there will also be a place for food and water. Despite it only being a home for a gecko, it will hold a surprisingly large amount of electronics – Mainly because geckos aren’t natively from this country so their environment has to be specifically controlled.
There are 3 factors that need to be controlled, these are light, heat and humidity. All these are monitored by electric instruments. A hydrometer is placed within the vivarium to show the percentage humidity, this can then be increased as required by… a squirty bottle of water!
As for heat and light, there are items specifically designed for this – A thermostat and timer with two dedicated sockets that you plug a light and heat mats into. The thermostat will turn the heat mats on and off and the timer will control the light. Throughout winter this works well on it’s own, but in summer, the confined space can actually cause the vivarium to get too hot (even in the UK climate) and this is where the fans come in – There’s a fan at the bottom on one site, and one on the other. With a flick of a button, the two fans turn on and move air through the enclosure.
You might be able to tell, but this is the bit I’m interested in! The fans are rated at 12v, but I’m using a 9v transformer. This is because we want air to move lightly through the vivarium; we don’t want a gale.
In the picture above you can see the cabinet we’re converting with the polystyrene interior already in, fans mounted either side and a tub of grout inside! The picture below shows the innards of the lift-up top compartment where the electronics will be housed:
That, is what we have done at the end of day 1, which was also included time we took to buy everything we’ve made – apart from the cabinet, we got that the previous week.