How to build a reptile background

Written by brenton shields
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How to build a reptile background
Adding a background wall to a gecko terrarium will give them extra surfaces to climb on. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Adding a realistic background to a reptile terrarium will give the enclosure an aesthetic depth as well as provide climbing space for height-loving reptiles like frill neck lizards or anoles. Creating a reptile background out of foam requires the use of a saw for cutting a piece of plywood and some basic carpentry skills. The background can be customised to any size enclosure.

Things you need

  • Plywood board
  • Table saw or jigsaw
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Pen
  • Great Stuff canned insulation foam
  • Coconut husk (optional)
  • Nontoxic paint
  • Silicone sealant

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  1. 1

    Measure the exact dimensions of the back wall of the reptile enclosure. The dimensions of a standard 45 litre (10 gallon) tank's back wall, for example, would be 25 x 50 cm (10 x 20 inches).

  2. 2

    Mark the dimensions of the back wall on the piece of plywood board and cut the board to size. You will need a table saw for larger pieces, but a jigsaw will suffice for smaller pieces.

  3. 3

    Spray the Great Stuff foam insulation on one side of the plywood board until it is about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. The foam will provide climbing leverage for reptiles. Optionally, sprinkle coconut husk over the foam before it dries to give it a natural texture.

  4. 4

    If you decided to not use coconut husk, let the foam dry for 24 hours, then paint the foam with nontoxic paint. Brown and green paint will give it a natural look. Give the paint 24 hours to completely dry.

  5. 5

    Seal the background to the back of the reptile enclosure using silicone sealant. Sealant may not be needed in cases where the background fits tightly within the enclosure.

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