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Zoo Med 12x12x18 Review

Looking for a high-quality, affordable reptile enclosure? The Zoo Med 12x12x18 might be just what you’re looking for! This enclosure is ideal for housing small to medium-sized reptiles and amphibians. In this article, we will answer some of the frequent questions about the Zoo Med 12x12x18. We’ll also provide various tips on how to get the most out of this enclosure. Keep reading to learn more!
Zoo Med 12x12x18The Zoo Med 12x12x18 is a high-quality reptile enclosure that is perfect for small to medium-sized reptiles and amphibians. This enclosure is made from sturdy, durable materials and features a mesh top for ventilation. The Zoo Med 12x12x18 also has a removable bottom panel for easy cleaning.


  • Dimensions 12 x 12 x 18 inches
  • Weight 26.4 Pounds
  • Target Species Reptiles
  • Material Glass Stainless Steel
  • Special Feature Lockable
  • Shape Rectangular


This is the perfect home for your reptiles and amphibians that are small to medium in size! Reptiles and amphibians require different temperatures and humidity levels, so it is important to choose an enclosure that is appropriate for your pet’s specific needs. It is perfect for many common reptile and amphibian species, such as leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and corn snakes.

Pros and Cons of Zoo Med 12x12x18

  • The unique screen top on this feeder allows UVA and UVB light to enter
  • Lockable door for safety
  • Front and top ventilation
  • Full Front glass opening door with snap closure
  • 6 power cord and airline tubing exit slots

  • Sharp glass
  • Too pricey

Buyer’s Guide

Vivaria Enclosure Options

Many people choose to purchase a vivarium that is already set up and ready to go. These can be found at your local pet store or online retailer. However, before you make your purchase, please keep the following in mind.

First, decide what type of reptile or amphibian you would like to keep in your new enclosure. Each species has different housing requirements. For example, desert dwelling reptiles will need a drier environment than those that come from the rainforest.

Next, take into account the size of your pet when choosing an enclosure. A baby turtle will not need as large of an enclosure as an adult one. The same goes for other reptiles and amphibians. Make sure the enclosure you choose will give your pet enough room to move around and be comfortable.

Vivaria Enclosure Options

Finally, decide what type of material you would like your enclosure to be made out of.

Glass is the most popular choice as it allows you to see your pet and provides good ventilation.
However, acrylic enclosures are becoming more popular as they are lighter and easier to clean.

Once you have decided on the perfect vivarium for your needs, it is time to set it up. The first thing you will need to do is choose a location for your new enclosure. It is important to find a spot that gets plenty of natural light but is not in direct sunlight.

Next, you will need to gather all of the necessary supplies. This includes substrates, decorations, hides, and food and water dishes. Zoo Med offers a variety of substrates that are specifically designed for reptile and amphibian enclosures.

After you have all of your supplies, it is time to start setting up your vivarium. Begin by adding the substrate to the bottom of the enclosure. Next, add any decorations you have chosen. Finally, add your reptile or amphibian to the enclosure.

Lighting for Your Plants & Animals

No matter what type of plants or animals you keep, good lighting is essential for their health and well-being. That’s why Zoo Med created a variety of lighting products to suit every need.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that there are different types of lights available on the market. For example, you have incandescent bulbs, which produce light by heating up a metal filament inside of the bulb. This produces a lot of heat and can be very dangerous if not used properly.

Then you have fluorescent lights, which use less energy than incandescent bulbs and don’t produce as much heat. These are the types of lights that you’ll find in most Zoo Med products.

Finally, you have LED lights, which are becoming more and more popular these days. They use even less energy than fluorescent lights and don’t produce any heat at all.

Zoo Med’s 12x12x18″ is the perfect size for most small reptiles, amphibians, and arachnids. The included Compact Fluorescent Bulb provides optimal full-spectrum UVB and UVA exposure, while the basking spot allows your pet to thermoregulate effectively.

Drinking Water, Pools and Relative Humidity

As we all know, water is essential for life. This is especially true for reptiles, which often come from hot, arid climates. In the wild, these animals thermoregulate by moving between different microclimates – basking in the sun to warm up or retreating to a shady spot to cool down.

In captivity, it’s our job to provide the right conditions for our reptilian friends. This means ensuring that they have access to clean drinking water and a source of humidity.

Depending on the species, your reptile will drink anywhere from a few drops to several ounces of water per day. It’s important to offer fresh water daily and to clean and disinfect the water bowl regularly.

You should also provide a shallow water dish for your reptile to soak in.
This is important for animals that need to hydrate their skin, such as frogs and newts. Soaking also allows your reptile to defecate in the water, which can help prevent impaction – a serious health problem that occurs when feces accumulates in the intestine.

The relative humidity (RH) in your reptile’s enclosure should be between 30-50%, depending on the species. You can measure RH with a hygrometer, and increase it by misting the enclosure with water or using a humidity hide.

Zoo Med’s 12x12x18 reptile terrarium is a great choice for beginner reptile owners or those looking for an easy-to-use enclosure. The 12x12x18 size is also a good choice for reptiles that need a little more room to move around, such as leopard geckos and bearded dragons. In this article, we’ll go over some of the key features of the 12x12x18 and provide some helpful tips on how to get the most out of your new reptile home.

Heating the Habitat

Reptiles are ectothermic, meaning that they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. In the wild, they bask in the sun or retreat to a shady spot to cool down.

In captivity, it’s our job to provide the right conditions for our reptilian friends. This means ensuring that they have access to a heat source.

The ideal basking temperature for most reptiles is between 85-95°F. The ambient air temperature in the enclosure should be 10-15°F cooler than the basking spot. Nighttime temperatures can drop 10-15°F from daytime levels.

You can create a basking spot with a heat lamp, ceramic heater or undertank heater. It’s important to use a thermometer to monitor the temperature in the basking spot, and to adjust the heat source as needed.

Heating the Habitat

Reptiles also need a source of UVB light to synthesize vitamin D3, which is essential for calcium absorption. You can provide UVB light with a fluorescent tube, compact bulb or mercury vapor bulb.

One of the most important aspects of keeping your reptile healthy and comfortable is making sure their habitat is the correct temperature. Depending on the type of reptile you have, they will need either a basking spot or an area to hide and cool down.

Zoo Med 12x12x18″ Terrarium has a screened top that allows for proper ventilation and also has a waterproof bottom in case of any accidental spills. The 12x12x18″ size is perfect for small to medium sized reptiles and can easily be placed in any room of your home.

Substrate Selection

There are a variety of substrates that can be used with the Zoo Med 12x12x18. Some of the most popular options include:

  • Sphagnum Moss: Sphagnum moss is a great option for those looking for a naturalistic look. It holds moisture well and can help to keep humidity levels up.
  • Coconut Husk: Coconut husk is another popular substrate choice. It too has a naturalistic look and feel and holds moisture well.
  • Peat Moss: Peat moss is a common substrate choice for many amphibians and reptiles. It’s absorbent nature helps to keep humidity levels up and it also has a naturalistic look.

Ventilation and Air Exchange

Reptiles need fresh air to breathe, and the enclosure should be well-ventilated. Screen lids are a good option, but you can also drill holes in the lid or use vents.

It’s important to ensure that the holes are small enough to prevent escape, and that the screen is made of a material that your reptile can’t chew through. [1]

You should also consider the air flow in the room where the enclosure is located. If the room is poorly ventilated, it will be harder to maintain stable temperatures and humidity levels.

How to Build a Naturalistic Terrarium

As anyone who’s been to a pet store knows, there are a ton of options when it comes to choosing the right terrarium for your reptile or amphibian friend. But what if you want to create a more naturalistic environment for your pet? That’s where Zoo Med’s Naturalistic Terrariums come in!

Zoo Med’s Naturalistic Terrariums are designed to recreate the look and feel of your pet’s natural habitat. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, so you can find the perfect one for your pet. And they’re easy to set up and maintain, so you can focus on enjoying your new pet rather than worrying about their care.

Here are some tips on how to build a naturalistic terrarium.

What will live in the mini environment?

The Zoo Med 12x12x18 enclosure is perfect for small reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Some of the most popular animals that call this home are poison dart frogs, day geckos, leopard geckos, and hermit crabs. Others include: anoles, skinks, snakes (such as garter snakes), newts, salamanders, and even some species of scorpions and spiders.

If you have your heart set on a particular animal, be sure to do your research to make sure the Zoo Med 12x12x18 will be large enough for them to thrive.

What environment needs to be created?

To create the proper environment, you need to know what kind of animal you’re dealing with. Different animals have different needs, so it’s important to do your research before setting up your terrarium. Once you know what sort of animal you’ll be keeping, you can start to put together the appropriate habitat.

One things that all animals need is a place to hide. This could be a simple cave or rock formation, or something more elaborate like an artificial tree stump. Hiding places help your animal feel safe and secure, and reduce stress levels.

Another important consideration is temperature. Reptiles, in particular, need their environments to be within a certain temperature range in order to stay healthy and active. You’ll need to invest in a good thermometer to make sure that your terrarium stays within the correct temperature range.

Finally, you’ll need to think about lighting. Many reptiles need UVB light in order to process calcium and stay healthy. There are a variety of different lighting options available, so again, it’s important to do your research to figure out what will work best for your animal.

Getting what you need

Now that you know what sort of environment you need to create, it’s time to start gathering the necessary supplies. The first step is to find a suitable enclosure. This could be a glass aquarium, plastic storage container, or something else entirely. Just make sure that it’s big enough for your animal and that it has a sturdy lid.

Getting what you need

Next, you’ll need to add substrate. This is the material that lines the bottom of the enclosure and helps create the desired environment. There are many different substrates available, so again, it’s important to do your research to figure out which one will work best for your particular animal.

Finally, you’ll need to add a water dish. This is essential for most animals, as they need a source of freshwater. Make sure that the dish is big enough for your animal to drink from, but not so large that it takes up too much space in the enclosure.

Starting the build: background

The first step in setting up your terrarium is to gather all of the necessary supplies. Once you have everything you need, you can start putting it all together.

The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a suitable location for your terrarium. It’s important to find a spot that’s out of direct sunlight and that has a steady temperature. A closet or cabinet often works well.

Once you’ve found a spot, it’s time to start assembling your terrarium. If you’re using an aquarium, the process is pretty straightforward. Just add the substrate, plants, and decorations of your choice. If you’re using a plastic storage container, things are a bit more complicated.

You’ll need to drill holes in the container for ventilation and drainage. It’s also a good idea to line the bottom of the container with felt or another material to prevent water from seeping out. Once you’ve done that, you can add the substrate, plants, and decorations.

Covering the back

Once you’ve added all of the necessary components to your terrarium, it’s time to cover the back. This is important for two reasons. First, it helps prevent moisture from escaping. Second, it provides a dark place for your animal to hide.

There are many different materials you can use to cover the back of your terrarium. Black construction paper works well, as does black fabric. Just make sure that whatever you use is thick enough to block out light and that it’s securely attached to the enclosure.

Install the Conversion

Now that you’ve assembled your terrarium, it’s time to install the Conversion Kit. This kit includes everything you need to convert a standard aquarium into a reptile habitat.

First, remove the lid from your aquarium. Next, add the foam liner that comes with the kit. This will help prevent water from leaking out. Once the liner is in place, add the background panel. This will provide a dark place for your animal to hide.

Finally, add the basking platform and UVB light fixture. These items are essential for most reptiles, as they need a warm place to bask and UVB light to stay healthy.

Adding in the Dirt

The final step in setting up your terrarium is to add the dirt. This is important for two reasons. First, it provides a place for your animal to burrow and hide. Second, it helps keep the humidity levels stable.

There are many different types of dirt you can use in your terrarium. Coconut fiber works well, as does topsoil. Just make sure that you avoid using sand, as it can be harmful to some reptiles.

Once you’ve added the dirt, you can add plants and other decorations.

Plants and Decoration

The final step in setting up your terrarium is to add plants and other decorations. Again, there are many different options available, so it’s important to choose ones that are safe for your animal and that will help create the desired environment.

Live plants are a great way to add some color and life to your terrarium. Just make sure that you choose plants that are safe for your animal and that won’t grow too large. Plastic plants are also an option, but they don’t provide the same benefits as live plants. [2]

In addition to plants, you can also add other decorations, such as rocks, branches, and hides. These items can provide places for your animal to hide and can help make the enclosure more interesting. Just make sure that they’re safe for your animal and that they won’t topple over and hurt your pet.

Vivarium Plants: Care & Selection

When setting up a naturalistic terrarium or vivarium, one of the most important considerations is choosing the right plants. Not only do the plants play an important role in providing aesthetic value and making the enclosure appear more natural, but they also perform several key functions in terms of maintaining healthy air quality and humidity levels, providing shelter and hiding places for shy animals, and even serving as a food source for some species of reptiles and amphibians.

With so many different factors to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing vivarium plants. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of some of the most popular vivarium plant species and share some tips on how to select plants that will thrive in your enclosure.

The Bioactive Vivarium

The Zoo Med Bioactive Vivarium is an all-in-one, ready-to-use terrarium that comes with everything you need to get started with a bioactive setup.

The kit includes a glass terrarium, drainage layer, coco fiber mat, planting substrate, and live plants.
All you need to add is your choice of reptiles or amphibians!

The benefits of a bioactive terrarium are many. A naturalistic setup like this more closely resembles the animal’s wild habitat and can provide a more enriching environment. A well-maintained bioactive vivarium can also be virtually maintenance-free, as the naturally occurring bacteria and microfauna will break down waste products and help prevent mold and algae growth. [3]

If you’re interested in setting up a bioactive terrarium for your reptiles or amphibians, the Zoo Med Bioactive Vivarium is a great option. It comes with everything you need to get started, and the included plants will help create a healthy environment for your pets.

Suitable Animals

Zoo Med’s 12x12x18″ enclosure is a great choice for small reptiles and amphibians.

Suitable Animals

It is perfect for housing small species of snakes, geckos, frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, and more. The compact size of this enclosure makes it a great choice for those who do not have a lot of space to spare, and the screened top provides plenty of ventilation to keep your pet healthy and comfortable.


How do you set up a naturalistic terrarium?

There are a few things you need to do to set up a naturalistic terrarium. First, you need to choose the right size enclosure for your animal. The next step is to add substrate and decorations that will create the desired habitat. Finally, you need to select the appropriate plants and animals for your terrarium.

How do you keep a healthy terrarium?

A terrarium is a great way to bring the beauty of nature into your home, and it can be a fun and rewarding hobby. But like any pet, a terrarium requires some care and attention to keep it healthy.

Here are some tips on how to keep your terrarium healthy:

  • Make sure you choose the right plants for your terrarium. Some plants require more light or moisture than others, so it’s important to do your research before you buy.
  • Keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels in your terrarium. Too much or too little of either can stress your plants and make them more susceptible to disease.
  • Ventilate your terrarium regularly to prevent mold and mildew from growing.
  • Water your plants regularly, but don’t overdo it. Too much water can lead to problems like root rot.
  • Remove dead leaves and other debris from your terrarium on a regular basis. This will help prevent pests and diseases from taking hold. [4]
  • With a little care and attention, your terrarium can be a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to your home.

How long do Enclosed terrariums last?

Enclosed terrariums can last for years, provided they are properly maintained. However, the lifespan of an enclosed terrarium will vary depending on the materials used and the environment it is kept in. For example, glass terrariums will last longer than plastic ones, and those kept in drier climates will last longer than those in more humid environments. If you take good care of your enclosed terrarium, it can provide a home for your reptiles or amphibians for many years to come. [5]

How often should you air out a terrarium?

It’s a good idea to do a partial air exchange in your terrarium every day. You can do this by opening the lid for a few minutes to let fresh air in.

Related Video: Zoo Med 12x12x18 Setup Live Stream


The Zoo Med 12x12x18 is a great terrarium for many reasons. It is the perfect size for many reptiles and amphibians, it is easy to set up and maintain. If you are looking for a new home for your reptile or amphibian, the Zoo Med 12x12x18 should be at the top of your list.


  1. https://www.terrariumquest.com/vivarium/rainforest-vivarium/
  2. https://www.neherpetoculture.com/vivariumconstruction101
  3. https://terrariumtribe.com/terrarium-plants-guide/
  4. https://smartgardenguide.com/how-to-care-for-a-closed-terrarium/
  5. https://gardeniaorganic.com/long-closed-terrariums-last/