Reptile Academy

Reptiles, amphibians, insects, and arachnids can make fantastic pets and are continuing to rise in popularity around Australia. Learning and creating a safe and comfortable enclosure for your pets can be rewarding for all ages! 

Whether you are new keeper or you are looking to upgrade your current set-up, Reptile One are here to help and have put together the guide below to assist in keeping your chosen pet as easily as possible. 

Please note – these hints and tips are general in nature and should be used as a guide only. We strongly recommend speaking with your local retailer and reptile specialist prior to any purchase to ensure the equipment meets your specific circumstances and requirements. 

Getting Started 

  • Budget - Consider what your budget is for the initial set-up as well as any on-going care and maintenance of the animal – and for the animal itself 
  • Space – Consider how much room your animal (and enclosures) will require now as well as in the future as they grow 
  • Time – Consider the amount of time and energy you have available and can commit to spending on care and maintenance of a pet. 
  • Laws and Licencing - To own a reptile in Australia you will require a Reptile Keepers Licence. 
Each state has their own authority for managing Reptile Licences and will have different requirements for recording and reporting of animals kept in your care. 

It is illegal to take animals from the wild – doing so can put animals at risk of serious health issues and can potentially seriously impact ecosystems. 

These laws and regulations are extremely important for ensuring the safety of all native species – both in the wild and in captivity. Compliance with these is imperative and is part of responsible and sustainable pet ownership. 

Choosing an animal

Find out your options – Each State has up to date lists that will let you know what animals are legal to keep, breed and sell within Australia and any additional or upgraded licences that may be required to allow you to care for them. 

Here are just some of the different species you may be interested in 

  • Turtles 
  • Dragons 
  • Skinks 
  • Geckos 
  • Frogs 
  • Snakes 
  • Stick Insects 
  • Spiders 
  • Bugs and Snails 

Each animal has specific care and maintenance requirements from the least demanding to the highest-level care requirements, there are options for everyone. 


Once you have an idea on a species or type, it is time to find out everything you can about them. There is a wealth of information available, from knowledgeable and reputable sources such as  

  • Reputable specialist reptile pet shops 
  • Websites on the internet such as our Reptile One website 
  • Reptile magazines and books 
  • Herpetological Societies and Associations 
  • Reputable Reptile Breeders 
  • Published articles from scientists and wildlife experts 

We recommend reaching out to your nearest retailer and reptile specialist to find out where you can get the most accurate and up to date information for your chosen animal.  

It is important to gain an understanding of the animals needs when it comes to housing, heating, lighting, feeding and social interaction (with other animals as well as with humans). 

This information will allow you to determine whether your desired animals' requirements match your budget, space, and time considerations. It will also give you an idea of what ongoing maintenance, feeding schedules and other considerations need to be made. 


Setting Up  

It is important to get your enclosure set-up and running prior to bringing your animal home. We recommend having it set-up at least 48hrs prior to the animal moving in to ensure everything is right for them.  


Aside from being a new feature in your home, your pet’s enclosure must be able to contain your animal safely and comfortably. Some reptiles may have specific requirements set out by their governing body – especially if venomous. Our range of enclosures make this balance easy 


RTF Range – Glass enclosure with swing opening doors and locks – Great for all animals. Especially great for pets that require a high humidity environment or access to a body of water. 

S2M Range – Melamine Construction with glass sliding doors – Great for pets that like dry environments as well as pets that are more comfortable having more privacy 

Turtle Tanks – Available in varied sizes to suit and support the turtles as they grow into teenagers 

Mini T2 – Compact and comfortable for your smaller pets such as insects, spiders, and snails  


– You will need to place some substrate into your enclosure. The substrate assists in creating a more natural environment so should match what your pet's normal habitat would be. Substrate provides comfortable bedding, solid footing, and insulation as well as enrichment for animals that enjoy digging. 

Substrate will also help manage your pets waste including spilt food, water as well as poo – given this, the substrate will need to be cleaned out and changed on a regular basis. 

Heating – If your pet does require heating, there are several ways to meet those specific needs, including: 

  • Heat Globes (Come in variety of types to simulate environmental conditions) – These will provide a basking spot with the heat radiating down from above. 
  • Heat Mats and Cords – These will provide a consistent heat from below, radiating through the substrate 

Water Heaters – can be placed in water to safely maintain water temperature 

When considering placement and type of heating it is important to ensure you are providing a temperature gradient within the enclosure, providing a “hot zone” and a “cold zone” – this allows your pet to regulate its needs as it would in the wild, by moving from warm to cold and back again as needed. 

It is also helpful to use thermostats for your heating equipment – these will help maintain the appropriate temperature range by automatically activating or switching off the heat as needed. Using 2 thermometers (one in each zone) can also help monitor your pet’s home and ensure any changes can be noticed quickly. 


  1. UV Lighting – Depending on your pet, UV Lighting can be an extremely important requirement for your animal.  

  2. Feeding and water - Your pet will require constant access to fresh water as well as regular feeding. When decorating your enclosure remember to include a water bowl and a feeding dish in an appropriate spot.

  3. Decoration and décor - Adding ornaments, plants, climbing equipment and caves to your enclosure not only makes for an eye-catching display, but they can also provide stimulation, interaction and comfort.


Purchasing Your Pet

With your environment all setup and ready to go, the next thing you will need of course is an animal. Even though this might sound obvious, it is vital to make sure you purchase an animal that is healthy and disease free. 

That is why it’s so important to buy your animals from well-known reputable breeders or specialist pet stores. There, you can check out the conditions under which they are kept & raised, as well as getting the chance to inspect them before you buy them and make sure they are feeding properly – something that is especially important to consider in snakes. It also gives you the opportunity to talk about any specific requirements for your individual pet and can give you a solid point of contact should you have any follow up questions as the new family member settles in. 





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