Reptiles need some sort of housing. Whether it is an aquarium type set up, a hand built vivarium, a tub/rack system, or a single room, reptiles need housing. From their housing they receive their heat source, UV source, water, and food. It’s where they can sleep, bask, and enjoy our company.
What about free roaming you ask? I am not big on that. I’d personally worry too much about my pet getting into something he shouldn’t. Like tearing at the carpet or getting on a high shelf and falling or getting stuck under a reclining chair. I’d also be worried the he wasn’t receiving enough UV light or heat. That’s just my opinion though.
Different types of reptiles can fit in different types of setups. Small to medium sized lizards (anoles and bearded dragons) can fit in aquariums set up with heat, UV, water, etc. Keep in mind bigger is always better. For bearded dragons, a minimum of 4 ft x 2ft x 2ft is recommended for ONE dragon. Most species of snakes can also fit nicely into aquariums, except for Giants, which reach 8+ feet in length. Then a special enclosure will be needed. You can either make this on your own or look online. Green Tree Pythons are comfortable with height in their enclosure rather than length.
Most snakes can also fit into a nice rack/tub unit. These units are made from plastic or wood and have plastic tubs, such as Rubbermaid or Sterlite, that slide into the shelf. There is usually a gap of 1/8 inch or so. There are specialties racks made for hatchling snakes too, but only last a few months or so. If you look online and type in Snake Rack, you should be able to find websites that build them. They also come with heating options for an additional charge. Certain colubrid species like Corn Snakes do well in either an aquarium set up or rack/tub unit.
Large lizards and some giant snakes will do well in a single room type enclosure. This requires you to be a bit of a handy man and have the accurate lighting, heat, water source, basking shelve, etc. in the room. It also requires you to secure all vents, holes, and windows to prevent escapes.
Want to be creative with your reptile’s habitat? Consider housing your iguana or tortoise outdoors if you live in a warm climate or build a small pond for your turtle.
Everyone has a view on pet ownership. Just make sure it is a well thought out view and is supported by facts.