top of page

Vivarium Design and build ..


Back to the Main Vivarium Page ..

DIY 5 : Let's Learn How to make an Artificial Vines for Vivariums !

Natural habitats for your tropical herps have vines.  Lots of them.  Adding a few to your vivarium may just be the finishing touch you are looking for that will really make your vivarium stand out.  Do you want to add realistic fake vines to your vivarium, but can’t justify spending a lot of money for the ones at the pet store?  Look no further.  This article covers, step-by-step, how to create real-looking vines for your terrarium or vivarium.  The best part is…  you can make dozens of them for under $20USD; the price of a single fake vine at the pet store.

Article One : How to Make Fake Vines


courtesy to : www.critter hub .com 

Step 1:  The first step in creating realistic vines for your vivarium is obtaining the materials needed.  Most of the following materials can be found at any hardware store and pet store.  

- Polypropylene Rope:  Use many different gauges of rope for the best overall effect.  This rope will dictate how thick your vines are going to be.


- Silicone:  Black or brown works best, since it looks more natural if any silicone ends up showing through your finished product.


-  Coco Husk:  Your local pet store will probably carry coco husk bedding in large bags or compressed bricks.


-  Peat:  Bags of peat can be found at most landscaping businesses, plant nurseries, and hardware stores.


-  Foam Brushes:  A couple of foam brushes will go a long way in helping to coat your rope with silicone.





Step 2:  Cut the rope to the proper lengths for your project.  If you have a vivarium that is 18 inches tall, and you want to hang your vines from the top of the vivarium, cut the rope around 20 inches long.  This allows the vines to wrap around the vivarium a little bit, rather than hang straight down.


Tip:  Burning the ends of the polypropylene rope will help stop fraying.  Fraying can be a good thing though, depending on the type of vine you are after.


Tip:  Be sure to use many different thicknesses of rope.  Creating many vines with really thin rope will create a unique effect, compared to just a couple vines from thick rope.



Step 3:  After you have your pieces of rope cut to the lengths desired, it is time to figure out how you plan on mounting your vines in your vivarium.  Just plan out how you will mount them for now, the actual mounting of the vines will come after they are fully completed.


- One way to do this is to secure a screw to the top of the rope, which would go through the top of the vivarium and then fasten tight from a nut on the outside of the vivarium lid.


-  Another way to do this is to incorporate your vines into the background by using a waterproof foam sealant.


- Waterproof foam sealant can be used in conjunction with a PVC pipe frame to build artificial stump and root structures, such as the one pictured to the right.

Step 4:  Start putting your vines together!  Completely cover the pieces of rope with silicone.  After coating them in silicone, the smaller thicknesses of rope can be joined to the thicker pieces and twisted around them to create really neat vines. 


Tip:  Foam brushes are cheap and make it very easy to coat your rope pieces with silicone.


Tip:  Immediately after applying the silicone to each rope piece, experiment with wrapping thinner pieces around thicker pieces.  This will create a unique effect that will look very natural in your terrarium or vivarium!

Step 5:  After covering the pieces of rope with silicone, roll them around in the coco husk and peat.  Be sure that they are completely coated in the coco husk and peat.  It may be necessary to push the peat in with your hands.  Let the vines dry for 48 hours.



Some Videos : 

Vivarium Vines (poison dart frogs)

Vivarium Project - Jungle Vines

Article 2 :  New Vines new constructed vivarium:


Other ideas about to use the materials and to be converted to the natural looking vines  use the same materials in the first Posts and videos up : 

pvc pipes /Plastic rope. can be attached using the Foam .. But it must be deformed and directed in similar maner as the roots in the bottom of the trunk of tree 

Then a peat mixture with adhesive material Like Grout , Silicon , wood Adhesive and cement color to be mixed all or part of ( You can try at first in a saple before you make it ) ..

The Above work is just part of the completed work ..

After drying a few weeks You could begin planting the vivarium. 


Also you can use paint to paint some algae looking on the roots 

Article 3 : Another post to use the plastic felexiable pipes  

I start inserting a screw thread into the rope so I can attach it to the ventilationgrid.

I start detailing the rope with smaller ropes till I get the desired liana. The smaller rope is glued to the big one: 

More detailing:

The rope is covered with the sealant:

Once the rope is (partially) covered the peat is pressed onto it:

Great use of lighting here! This creates a convincing impression of depth.

DIY vines for vivariums. Easy Tutorial.

How To Build a 2nd Level Vine System

1  >  2  >  3  >  4  >  5  >  6  >  7  >  8  ....

Back to DIY Guide





1  >  2  >  3  >  4  >  5  >  6  >  7  >  8  ....

bottom of page