VIVARIUMS

An area, usually enclosed, for keeping and raising animals or plants for observation or research.

 

Variance Design excels at all types of Vivariums. Vivarium is a general term encompassing various types of enclosures such as Aquariums and Terrariums, or combinations such as Paludariums, which incorporate both aquatic and terrestrial environments. From botanical enclosures, complete habitats for a variety of animal species, or complex Paludariums complete with living walls and aquatic life, our goal is to create the most unique, realistic ,and vibrant Vivariums in the industry. Combining faux hardscapes shaped from molds and zoo epoxies, a variety of substrates, and lush plant life, with the latest technologies in thoughtfully designed life support, filtration, and lighting systems, results in stunning showcases of the beauty of our natural world brought to challenging and unconventional settings. Not limited to zoos and museums, our creations have proven dramatic additions to corporate, commercial, and residential settings alike

 

TERRARIUMS

A transparent enclosure for keeping or raising plants or usually small animals.


 

WALK-AROUND TERRARIUM

This habitat was designed for poison dart frogs at AMNH in New York. It features a walk-around design with a tropical tree buttress as its featured centerpiece.

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IN-WALL TERRARIUMS

Front opening in-wall terrariums that highlight Central American biotopes including Costa Rica, Suriname, and Panama. They are on permanent display in the reptile building at the Henry Villas Zoo, WI.

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BOW-FRONT TERRARIUMS

These in-wall bow front terrariums showcase exotic insects at the San Diego Zoo. The terrariums feature thermoformed acrylic viewing areas with matching laminate cladding.


HEXAGONAL TERRARIUM

Currently on display at the Smithsonian, this walk-around terrarium offers 360-degree viewing of a custom fabricated tree trunk housing poison frogs. The exhibit also features three smaller hexagonal terrariums with hoods and bases.

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PAC-MAN TERRARIUM

Made from two thermoformed acrylic domes, this unique habitat was home to a pair of amphibians. It was also equipped with high output lighting and a misting system.

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HIGH-ELEVATION TERRARIUM

This terrarium was made by hacking wine cooler mechanics to create a high elevation rain forest climate. It sits on a deconstructed scissor lift pulled from a dentist chair.

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JEWEL-BOX TERRARIUMS

Top opening terrariums with hand-sculpted lianas and mushrooms simulating were designed for insects. These in-wall habitats protrude out into the visitor space 2 inches.

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RATTLESNAKE TERRARIUM

This Biotope was created for the Timber Rattlesnake. It contains a combination of artificial rock panels with natural hardscaping. This exhibit also integrates an animal containment door to move the reptile off exhibit for safe exhibit servicing.

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LEAF-CUTTER TERRARIUM

Variance Design has created several Leaf-Cutter ant farms for public display. This one is the more challenging terrarium builds due to the small, but destructive nature of these invertebrates. This habitat features tangled lianas that connect the foraging area into the subterranean fungus chambers. It can be found on permanent display at the Houston Zoo, TX.


 

DESERT BIOTOPE

This large terrarium was commissioned by the Houston Zoo. We began the build with a stainless steel shell and then hand-carved 5,000 lbs. of concrete to create realistic rocky outcroppings. We also integrated water pipes within the rock-work for heating, and added Plasma lighting to make an ideal basking environment for a variety of desert lizard species.

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PALUDARIUM

A type of vivarium that incorporates both terrestrial and aquatic elements.


 

CORNER PALUDARIUM

This open-air habitat includes an integrated tropical storm simulation with orchestrated lighting, fog, thunder and rain. It integrates a paludarium with a living wall that was flanked by two terrariums. This exhibit is on permanent display at the Henry Vilas Zoo, WI.

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FOG PALUDARIUM

Located in Amazon’s Spheres in downtown Seattle, Washington, the Fog Paludarium is a double sided Borneo-themed biotope. We combined a 300 gallon aquarium with rocky planter pockets and waterfalls. Life support includes filtration, high output led lighting and ultrasonic humidification. It is home to variety of fish as well as vampire crabs.

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OPEN AIR PALUDARIUM

Open air exhibits like this paludarium provide a great way to incorporate biophilia into a living space. The lack of glass in the terrestrial portion of this exhibit invites guest to connect with nature.

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MORE VIVARIUMS