Do It Yourself Custom Background Supplies

Everything needed to build incredible looking custom backgrounds

 
NEHERP DIY Terrarium Supplies
 
We've been building custom backgrounds since 2008, and carry everything needed to install awesome looking backgrounds in any terrarium or vivarium. If you aren't sure how to proceed, please check out our comprehensive Custom Vivarium Background DIY Guide for info. Our custom background supplies are used by a wide variety of clients ranging from breeders & hobbyists to Museums & Nature Centers, all across the USA. If you have any questions about using anything on this page, or designing or a specific type of background, don't hesitate to ask us. We're happy to help!
 

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Terrarium Custom Background Supplies
DIY Background

 

Scroll down for background supplies, or revise your search:

 
Terrarium Custom Background Supplies
 
Backgrounds
 
 

Foam - Great Stuff Brand

A common choice for custom background builds

Great Stuff Foam
This is probably the most common brand of foam used to build a custom vivarium background. We've been using it for years, and we strongly suggest using gloves & adding a thin layer of silicone to the glass before laying foam. Otherwise foam can pull away from glass very easily, which can be a real headache! To learn more about custom vivarium backgrounds, check out our custom vivarium background how-to article.
 
 

Gloves - Akers Brand

Non-powdered latex gloves

Akers Gloves
Inexpensive, high quality, powder free latex exam gloves. These gloves resist tearing, unlike lower end 'off brand' gloves. We use these while working with silicone, great stuff, sensitive herps, and more. Available in four sizes. Sold in quantities of 10, boxes of 100, or wholesale cases of 10X100 on request.
 
Available Quantities
Available Sizes
Looking for a case of large gloves? Check out our clearance page!
 

NEHERP Custom Background Kits

Everything needed to build a great looking custom background

Custom Background Kit For 24x18x36 Enclosures

Example Shown: 24x18x36 Custom Background Decor Kit without optional wood decor
 
Custom Background Kit Examples Custom Background Kit Examples Custom Background Kit Examples
The above examples were built using our Custom Background kits with either Cork, Ghostwood, or Malaysian Driftwood. In our experience, Cork is often easiest to work with because it's easy to cut & shape even using hand tools and/or knives. Ghostwood can have beautiful results with a little more effort, and it's fairly light weight make affixing it to glass (w/silicone) fairly straightforward. Malaysian driftwood is often the most difficult to work with due to heavy weight, increased density (difficult to cut), and lack of detail on smaller pieces.
 

Double Click/Tap To Hide Custom Background Examples

 
 
Our custom background decor kits include everything necessary to build a spectacular live vivarium background. Each kit includes the (optional) builder's choice of either a specially selected cork bark assortment, or a suitable number of appropriately selected pieces of Ghostwood. By specifying the inhabitant species you'll be working with, our staff can further narrow the search for the perfect wood decor (if selected) to match. For larger Reptile inhabitants (~6in+), we'd recommend using the Gecko Background Kit instead.
 
 

Heavy Duty Vivarium Background Kits

Everything needed to build a great looking, durable, semi-custom background

 
Gecko Terrarium Background Kit For 18x18x24 Enclosures

Example Shown: 18x18x24 Kit
 
Custom Background Kit Examples Custom Background Kit Examples Custom Background Kit Examples
The above enclosures are relatively inexpensive examples of what can be built using our Gecko Background Kits. Each uses a typical NEHERP Vivarium Plant Kit, Substrate Base Kit, Lighting Kit, and an additional piece of cork wood or two to help push that extra bit of realism. Note that the Gecko vivarium uses very hardy plants, and now even 16 months later, the vivarium, all of it's plants, and it's background are still going strong! It's admittedly not as intricately detailed as a vivarium planted for a smaller species with more delicate plants used, but we think it looks great considering!
 

Double Click/Tap To Hide Gecko Background Examples

 
 
This kit is the easier-to-accomplish of the two different custom background types we offer. Designed specifically for larger Geckos & similar species, this is a perfect background solution for even heavier inhabitants with claws. These heavy duty semi-custom background kits utilize cork backgrounds, modular cork planters, our NEHERP Background Texture Mix, and the tools necessary to get the job done. Each planter is completely unique, and can be affixed to the background using the included food-grade stainless steel hardware, and sealed further with the included silicone adhesive. Once attached to the cork background, any exposed silicone can have our Background Texture Mix pressed into it, for a great way to seamlessly blend the parts together. After waiting 24 hours for the silicone to cure, any excess Background Mix can be simply shaken off, revealing a planter location which doubles as a perch for arboreal species. There's often enough silicone left over to attach another decor item (or two) to the cork tile background, so your creative imagination is the limit! By specifying the inhabitant species you'll be working with, our staff can further narrow the search for the perfect cork planter to match. Purchasing a kit will save about 5% over purchasing things separately.
 
 

NEHERP Custom Vivarium Background Texture Mix

Specifically formulated to add a dark, detailed texture to custom terrarium backgrounds

NEHERP Custom Background Texture Mix
Want more detailed texture & plant growth performance on your custom background? Our background texture substrate is a carefully blended mixture of Canadian organic peat moss, shredded coconut husks, and coconut fiber, and is designed to add a more detailed texture than coconut fiber or peat could provide alone. The mix looks great on it's own even before plants grow on it, but it's also a great way to encourage Moss, Moss Slurry, epiphytic vines, and trailing plants to spread onto a custom background directly. (Shown in the drop-down examples above) Our Background Texture Mix is also included in our Custom Background Kits, as well as our Heavy Duty Background Kits.
 
Check out our DIY Custom Background Article for instructions on how to use this product!
 
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Net Pots

High quality, flexible plasic net pots

Net Pots
Net pots are commonly used in custom background building, by sinking the pots directly into the foam background. This creates planting sites for plants that grow best when planted in soil. For best results, add a hole, tube, or other method of drainage in the background so that water won't collect in the foamed-in pots.
 
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Putty Knives

Reusable tools for custom background builds

Silicone Spreader Tool Silicone Spreader Tool
These are used to spread silicone on the glass background of a terrarium as the 1'st step towards building a custom vivarium background. Our putty knives work far better than expensive, stainless spreaders because clean-up takes just a second after the silicone cures. When your project is complete, just leave the putty knife out for 12-24 hours to allow the silicone to cure. Once cured, it peels right off the tool with no mess! These are the same putty knives we offer in our Custom Background Kits, and color may vary.
 
Available Sizes

Razor Extension Tool

Great for cleaning hard to reach vivarium glass, shaping & trimming custom background work, and more

Razor Extension Tool
NEHERP Staff Description:
This is a very useful tool to have while working with larger vivariums. It can be used in a number of ways, but we use it most often to scrape hard-to-reach silicone off of the glass while building a custom background. These can also be used to scrape algae, water spots, and other things from hard-to-reach glass sections of established vivariums. * Be sure the razor blade used on this tool is cleaned of all manufacturing oil before use. You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase this item.
$7.99/ea Extension Scraper
Usually $7.99/ea
25% Off - $5.99/ea
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Razor Scraper Tool

Great for cleaning vivarium glass, shaping & trimming custom background work, and more

Razor Scraper Tool
NEHERP Staff Description:
A basic tool used most often for shaping foam & silicone during construction of custom backgrounds. On established enclosures, these can also be used to scrape algae, calcium deposits, and more off of flat glass surfaces. * Be sure the razor blade used on this tool is cleaned of all manufacturing oil before use. You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase this item.
$1.29/ea Scraper
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Razor Knife/Scraper Set

A light-use, hobbyist razor knife & scraper kit appropriate for custom background trimming

Custom Background Trimmer Shaper Set
NEHERP Staff Description:
This little tool kit is perfect for adding finer details to custom background work (foam), trimming excess silicone in hard-to-reach places, and lightly scraping wood decor. Each kit includes two aluminum handles, and one larger plastic handle for ease of using multiple knife/scraper types on a single job without needing to change blades. Also includes 6 angled blades, 2 curved blades, 2 straight blades, and carrying case. * Be sure the razor blade used on this tool is cleaned of all manufacturing oil before use. You must be at least 18 years of age to purchase this item.
$7.99/ea Kit
Usually $7.99/ea
25% Off - $5.99/ea
Sold Out!
 

Silicone Adhesive

All sorts of different silicone, depending on your needs!

Vivarium Safe Silicone
Aqueon Silicone
100% silicone aquarium sealant is easy to apply and waterproof. The high strength silicone creates a permanent seal that will not crack or shrink and is non-toxic making it perfect for use on all aquariums. Available in Black or Clear, sold in 3oz tubes.
Marineland Silicone
A 100% silicone sealant advertised for repairing leaky aquariums, or broken ornaments. Available in clear color, sold in 10.3oz tubes. A non-toxic, and aquarium/vivarium safe sealant.
 
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ASI Silicone
The same black, neutral cure silicone we offer in our Custom Background Kits. This is a top-of-the-line silicone that's completely safe for Aquariums, Terrariums, and Paludariums in locations above and below water. An excellent choice for custom background work, with extremely high tensile strength. Comes with removable nozzle.
Aqueon Silicone
100% silicone aquarium sealant is easy to apply and waterproof. The high strength silicone creates a permanent seal that will not crack or shrink and is non-toxic making it perfect for use on all aquariums. Available in Black or Clear, sold in 3oz tubes.
Marineland Silicone
A 100% silicone sealant advertised for repairing leaky aquariums, or broken ornaments. Available in clear color, sold in 10.3oz tubes. A non-toxic, and aquarium/vivarium safe sealant.
ASI Silicone
The same black, neutral cure silicone we offer in our Custom Background Kits. This is a top-of-the-line silicone that's completely safe for Aquariums, Terrariums, and Paludariums in locations above and below water. An excellent choice for custom background work, with extremely high tensile strength. Comes with removable nozzle.
 
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Silicone Dispenser Gun

A heavier duty, no-drip, silicone dispenser

Silicone Dispenser Gun
This silicone gun is compatible with all ~10oz tubes of silicone and caulk. An updated version of our original silicone gun; this model features a spout cutter, seal punch, and a spring-loaded dripless trigger.
 
NEHERP Note!
Traditional caulk (not silicone) is what 95% of cheap caulk guns are designed for. That stuff is much more viscous, squeezes out much easier, and puts less strain on a gun than the thick silicone product used in vivarium building. We've seen that additional pressure pop spot welds on cheaper guns, and even bend the gun's frame enough to cause the silicone tube's plunger to twist & leak from the inside. This model has held up in our shop for upwards of 2 years now (under constant use), and that says a lot for a $7 tool. We have a handful of these being used at NEHERP right now, and they are now included in our Background Kits.
 
$6.99/ea Silicone Gun
 

Stainless Steel Hardware For Backgrounds, Wood Decor, & More

Great for affixing wood & other decor together, or to Zoo Med Cork Tiles!

Stainless Steel Terrarium Hardware Stainless Steel Terrarium Hardware Stainless Steel Terrarium Hardware Stainless Steel Terrarium Hardware
High grade stainless steel hardware for affixing wood decor together, decor to backgrounds, and more. Our hardware packs are 304/Food Grade stainless, not common hardware store 10/0 or lower grade stainless steel. Kits include optional matching curved washers for securely mounting assorted decor items to cork backgrounds, although they are equally useful for attaching different wood decor together. The use of the curved washers allows for counter-sinking the hardware into the cork backgrounds to allow for flush fitment against the glass, while ensuring the hardware won't "pull through" as the enclosure ages. Note: Be careful that no sharp edges come through wood decor when mounting. Any exposed hardware can be coated in silicone, and covered in coconut fiber for easy, discreet, & safe cover-up.
 
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