03-23-2011, 04:12 PM
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2 questions to ask before you decide what materials to use and how to construct it.
1. What plants are you planning to keep in there? Amphibious, terrestrial, aquatic? Mixture?
2. What animals, if any, are planned to go into this set up?
Instead of constructing something and then trying to find plants and/or animals to put into it, it should be well planned to cater to the plants and animals you desire. This will avoid issues and needed modifications later, and will help to eliminate you wanting something that just can't go in there at all.
Have you given thought to what you can afford for materials and lighting? What kind of "look" do you wish it to have? Even if drawing isn't your best talent, get out a pencil and some paper and sketch something for yourself. Once you have a picture in your head, research the plants and animals you wish to add, find out what they need for an environment. Animals such as frogs, toads, newts, salamanders, etc. are incredible escape artists. Will you need to accommodate any of those while creating ease of maintenance at same time? Will you need to add things such as crickets for live food? (crickets chew through many materials, such as fabric screening... so this is another consideration)
You have lots of options, but overall, the plants and animals should dictate how you approach it.