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Deconstructing & Reconstructing the Vivarium: The Deconstruction

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It was important to deconstruct the vivarium so that we could evaluate all the parts of the system individually and gain a better understanding of what was necessary and how all the parts work together – or should work together. There are many elements that make up an entire vivarium habitat. But, when we strip away all the peripherals, we are left with a box. This box, be it glass or acrylic or any other material, must be able to sustain life. After all, by definition vivariums are enclosures for keeping life, animals in particular. (Source)

We sought to answer the question, “How do we recreate a natural, sustainable ecosystem in a vivarium that hobbyists will enjoy?” The answer centered on the balance of three elements: Function, Control, and Design. (More on the "why" of this in our series on The Ideal Vivarium.)

“Function” recreates the natural environment as close as possible with such things as 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.

Next: The Reconstruction: Intro
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