The Ideal Vivarium: The Basics
by, May 1st, 2012 at 10:32 AM (355 Views)
Animals and plants thrive in their natural, complex ecosystems. To get the most enjoyment from our plants and animals, and ensure that they are thriving (not just surviving), it is critical to emulate their natural environment in a sustainable way.
But, how do we create a nature emulating vivarium? The answer centers on the balance of three elements: Function, Control, and Design.
“Function” recreates the natural environment as close as possible. For example, function includes an understanding and implementation of habitat needs like active air and water movement, substrate and soil composition, native plants (or plants with similar needs), lighting needs and other environmental factors.
“Control” manages the functions of the ecosystem: light duration and intensity, air flow, water flow, temperature, and humidity. Many controls can be automated with technology available today.
“Design” combines functionality and control into an aesthetically pleasing enclosure. It accentuates what is pleasing to the eye and hides what is not. Good vivarium design minimizes visual barriers so that the enclosure becomes a work of living art instead of just a place to keep plants and/or animals.
Continue reading our series on The Ideal Vivarium to explore these elements in more detail and learn how to create your own living art.
Next Article: The Ideal Vivarium: Active vs Passive Systems
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