My first terrarium

Xysis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
9
Greetings,

Since my landlord isn't cool with cats or dogs, I decided the next best thing would be a praying mantis. I haven't found one yet, but I have put together a terrarium to house it. This is an 8"x8"x12" Exoterra with lugarti terrarium substrate, cork wood, and a few live plants. The terrarium came with a styrofoam back that looked pretty bad so I'm really pleased with the look of the cork wood. Since I'm new to this I'm going to wait a while before adding a mantis to the terrarium and focus on keeping it clean.

20160920_182324_HDR.jpg
 

ButhidaeBomb

Cant Re-Member
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 1, 2006
Messages
168
very nice and well done!! I know nothing at all about praying mantis but that's a nice setup that I'm sure it will enjoy!!
 

petkokc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 13, 2015
Messages
79
Very nice looking, especially for first time builder. I have no idea if it is good for mantis but it sure looks nice ^^
 

Toxoderidae

Arachnoprince
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
Messages
1,010
Really nice terrarium! I'd recommend some branches/those vines you always see in chameleon enclosures for the mantis to perch on, since that cork slab would cause molting problems and such.
 

Xysis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
9
very nice and well done!! I know nothing at all about praying mantis but that's a nice setup that I'm sure it will enjoy!!
Very nice looking, especially for first time builder. I have no idea if it is good for mantis but it sure looks nice ^^
Thanks! I looked at the terrariums at my local exotic pet store for inspiration.

Really nice terrarium! I'd recommend some branches/those vines you always see in chameleon enclosures for the mantis to perch on, since that cork slab would cause molting problems and such.
Thanks for the tip! I just started researching mantids so I appreciate the info. What problems would the cork wood cause in regards to molting?
 

Toxoderidae

Arachnoprince
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Nov 16, 2015
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1,010
Thanks! I looked at the terrariums at my local exotic pet store for inspiration.



Thanks for the tip! I just started researching mantids so I appreciate the info. What problems would the cork wood cause in regards to molting?
Mantids have to molt upside-down, so molting at an angle or molting on a surface that bends too much or gives way (like thin leaves) will end with a mantis that falls mid-molt or simply doesn't molt properly and dies.
 

Xysis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
9
Mantids have to molt upside-down, so molting at an angle or molting on a surface that bends too much or gives way (like thin leaves) will end with a mantis that falls mid-molt or simply doesn't molt properly and dies.
Good to know, thanks again! Glad I have plenty of time to work the bugs out in my terrarium set up before I get my mantis:)
 

_scorpio_

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
44
Looks good, just needs a few thinner branches to climb on, but dont overcrowd it or that will cause problems moulting to as they need twice the mantids height to moult without obstructions. As its an exo with a mesh lid i can almost guarantee the mantid will moult off of the lid rather than any branches.
You might want to put something in there to stop the mantis getting behind the cork bark. I normally use a little moss around the edges when there are gaps in the backing to fill.
What mantis are you looking for? That exo is a little small for an African or Chinese mantis, but something like a Creobroter sp. or H. coronatus would go in there nicely.
 

Xysis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
9
Looks good, just needs a few thinner branches to climb on, but dont overcrowd it or that will cause problems moulting to as they need twice the mantids height to moult without obstructions. As its an exo with a mesh lid i can almost guarantee the mantid will moult off of the lid rather than any branches.
You might want to put something in there to stop the mantis getting behind the cork bark. I normally use a little moss around the edges when there are gaps in the backing to fill.
What mantis are you looking for? That exo is a little small for an African or Chinese mantis, but something like a Creobroter sp. or H. coronatus would go in there nicely.
I had the same thoughts in regard to the mesh top. I have seen mantids in similar terrariums hanging from the mesh. I'm going to grab a length of that twisting jungle wood to add for extra climbing surface.
And I'm glad you mentioned the cork bark, I also was wondering what to use for filler to prevent him/her from sneaking back there. I'll add some moss to my supply list.
I'm new to inverts so I did some reaserch on good starter mantids and the one that stands out to me is Phyllocrania paradoxa. I figured the 8"x8"x12" is more than enough space and I really love the look of that species.
Thank you for the input!
 

_scorpio_

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
44
Yeah Phyllocrania paradoxa are great too, plus they can be communal in a larger setup which is useful if you attempt breeding later, as you can just leave all the babies in with each other.
 

_scorpio_

Arachnopeon
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Apr 11, 2008
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True, it would make a lovely home for a D. diadema or a small arboreal Tarantula.
 

Xysis

Arachnopeon
Joined
Sep 20, 2016
Messages
9
Thats a pretty nice setup for many inverts
True, it would make a lovely home for a D. diadema or a small arboreal Tarantula.
I have thought about other invert options a lot since setting up the terrarium. As of right now I haven't been able to find any mantids locally and it is unlikely I will for a few months. I've found them online but I am not keen on the prices I have seen. D. diadema is a neat suggestion, I don't know much about whips. The shop in town has a pair of vinegaroons and a wide assortment of tarantula. Definitely something to consider.
 

_scorpio_

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 11, 2008
Messages
44
D. diadema are awesome freaky looking things, but for a first invert they might be a bit fragile and quick if your looking for something to handle regularly.
 
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