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Bowls & Dishes

Our selection of water-holding herp stuff

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A Note Regarding Bowls, Dishes, and Water

The simple act of providing water has changed greatly over the years. In the late 90s & early 2000s, offering water often involved a simple bowl or mechanical dripper. Nowadays Misting Systems have become commonplace, recycling water features are relatively inexpensive, and other more creative methods are available. These simple additions can make a big difference in terms of both maintenance and quality of life for the animals we care for. Below, we'll briefly run-through our thoughts on the different methods available on the market.
Providing Water For Crested Geckos Providing Water For Chameleons Providing Water For Dart Frogs
Methods For Providing Water Vary By Species
Every animal is different, and many species have very specific requirements for their water needs. Different animal specialists offer different opinions on which methods are suitable for each species, and more than one opinion can be correct. Some Crested Gecko experts insist on offering a cup of water, while others rely solely on misting for that purpose. Some Chameleon enthusiasts keep recirculating waterfalls in their enclosures, others depend on misting systems or drippers. Leopard Geckos will actively lap-up water from water bowls and from decor after misting sessions. Even then, individual animals often seem to have their own opinion on the matter! In our experience, some Geckos despise being misted, while others will lift their heads, lean back, and appear to enjoy a refreshing shower. Every species has different needs, different individuals may have different preferences, and it's important to do an appropriate amount of research before proceeding. If you aren't sure which method would work best for your goals, we recommend contacting us or reaching out to an expert in a particular species for advice.
Monkey Pod holding water Custom Terrarium Water Feature Neoregelias Holding Water In Terrarium
From right to left: Monkey Pod holding water, A custom water feature, and 4 Neoregelias holding water
Monkey Pod holding water Custom Terrarium Water Feature
Left: Monkey Pod holding water | Right A custom water feature
Water In Bioactive Terrariums (Basic)
If the animal species you are working with will lap up water from decor after a misting session, that's often the best method for most bioactive terrariums. The act of a thorough misting session can hydrate plants, microfauna, beneficial microbes/fungi in the substrate layer, and the animals all at once. The amount of misting will depend on your specific environmental requirements & terrarium specs. Sometimes natural wood decor (accent pods, plants, cork rounds, etc) can form natural pools of water for animals to drink from, too!
Note: When adding water to a live vivarium, be sure to keep an eye on the water table in the drainage layer! As always, it should be at least 1/2in deep, but no closer than 3/4in from the substrate layer. For more info on that topic, check out Vivarium Construction 101.
Custom Water Features In Bioactive Terrariums
The amount of time & effort needed to build a water feature in a live vivarium correctly is comparatively immense compared to every other aspect of the build. For custom water features, we strongly recommend against using in-tank pumps/filters, large-drop water falls, and large open pools of (drainage layer) water. Each of these will cause drastically increased levels of maintenance, won't (usually) benefit the living environment, and is likely to contribute to a live vivarium environment's premature failure. A professionally built water feature would involve an external canister filter with an adjustable flow rate, no significant "drop" in water (to minimize even the slightest amount of splashing), and a flow of water which remains completely separate from the substrate layer. Unless your animal species requires a paludarium style environment, we almost always recommend against a custom water feature in live vivariums. A drop-in recirculating water fountain (Zilla, Zoo Med, Exo Terra) will often work better than most "custom" systems with in-tank pumps. Those are easy to remove for cleaning, won't splash too much, and the water remains separate from the rest of the enclosure.
Water In Standard (non-live) Terrariums
For animals outside of live vivarium environments, the act of providing water is pretty straightforward. We recommend following the advice of the breeder you supported when you purchased your animal(s). Standard terrariums often rely on basic water bowls, recirculating water fountains, drippers, or misting systems. Sometimes more than one is recommended. Simply consider the needs of your specific animal species, and go from there.
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Exo Terra Reptile Fountain

A recirculating water dish, perfect for picky drinkers!

Exo Terra Reptile Fountain
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NEHERP Staff Description:
This is a great product for specific situations. Folks with Chameleons or other animals which prefer to drink from moving water will find this fountain to be particularly useful. It doesn't have a large open area of water, so animals seem to be less likely to use it as a bathroom. (We're lookin' at you, Bearded Dragons!) It's a little tough to get the pump situated at first, but once it's running, it's a nifty little way to provide moving water. Like many moving water features, we don't recommend running it 24/7. Hooking it up to a timer to run during specific times would be an acceptable practice which would extend pump life & keep pump vibration (however slight) to a minimum. We don't recommend this one for snakes (no soaking area), terrestrial Geckos (they may not see the water), or for animals which don't require moving water.
Manufacturer Description:
The Exo Terra Reptile Fountain is a unique water dish that supplies your reptiles and amphibians with a continuous supply of fresh, clean, aerated drinking water. Many reptiles do not recognize stagnant water as a source of drinking water. The Reptile Fountain’s constant movement of water tumbling down from the rock, encourages reptiles to drink more, keeping them healthy and hydrated. The continuously flowing water also raises humidity levels in the terrarium. The unit breaks down into three parts (shown above right) for easy cleaning.
$45.99/ea
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20% Off!
$36.79/ea

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Exo Terra Rock Water Bowls

Our best selling water bowls, available in five sizes

Exo Terra X-Small Water Bowl For Bioactive Terrariums Exo Terra Small Water Bowl For Bioactive Terrariums Exo Terra Medium Water Bowl For Bioactive Terrariums Exo Terra Large Water Bowl For Bioactive Terrariums Exo Terra X-Large Water Bowl For Bioactive Terrariums
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NEHERP Staff Description:
We sell more Exo Terra Rock Water Bowls than any other brand. These are significantly easier to clean than the "sanded stone" models these compete with. (No longer carried @ NEHERP) These are heavy enough to not tip, realistic enough for us vivarium nerds to tolerate, and inexpensive enough to not break the bank. In a live vivarium, these look best when sunk an inch or so into the substrate layer to bring the waters edge nearly flush with the surface.
Manufacturer Description:
Rock Water Dishes have a very natural and realistic rock finish on the outside and a smooth non-pitted surface on the inside. The bowls are coated to prevent the development of harmful bacteria and make it easy to clean. The neutral natural color allows easy integration in desert, tropical or any type of terrarium. Smaller reptiles, amphibians and insects can easily escape out of the Water Dish by the 'safety steps' inside the bowl to prevent drowning.
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$5.99/ea X-Small
This option sold out, others may be available

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X-Small - 2.5in X 2in X 1in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$6.99/ea Small
This option has sold out!

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Small - 3.5in X 3in X 1.5in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$8.99/ea Medium
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Medium - 5in X 4in X 1.5in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$16.49/ea Large
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Large - 8.5in X 7in X 2in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$20.99/ea X-Large
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X-Large - 10in X 9.5in X 2.5in

Lee's Mealworm Dish

A multi-use dish that comes apart for easy cleaning

Lee's Mealworm Dish
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NEHERP Staff Description:
We know, we know. "Really, NEHERP? A $2 plastic bowl? Some vivarium specialists you are!" :-) Hate not, friends! Every insectivore-housing enclosure from newbie terrariums to museum exhibits will find these little things useful. These bowls feature curved edges, and are designed to prevent feeders from escaping and causing issues in a terrarium. By using an escape-resistant dish, the vivarium and its inhabitant(s) are less likely to run into trouble. We've used these with Mealworms, Waxworms, and Phoenix worms with success. The dish can usually keep 1-2 Superworms in-place too, but the record there isn't quite perfect. We also use them for feeding veggies, pelleted foods, Gecko diets, and more. The top splits from the bottom for easy cleaning along the curved edges, but clips together tightly enough to prevent stuff like Gecko diet from leaking out.
$1.69-$2.29/ea
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3in Diameter X 5/8in Height (About 4oz)

Zoo Med Repti Rock Water Bowls

Indestructible & easy to clean water bowls from Zoo Med

Zoo Med Repti Rock Water Bowls
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NEHERP Staff Description:
These are the first water bowls we sold at NEHERP, and only one of two we've decided to carry after 10+ years in business. While these aren't the most natural looking option we carry, they are definitely the easiest to clean. Colors are assorted, but we only stock the neutral types shown in the photo above. (We don't carry the electric green, white, or bright color versions of these) Each water bowl has molded stairs to help smaller species enter & exit the water as desired. In a live vivarium, these look best when sunk an inch or so into the substrate layer to bring the waters edge nearly flush with the surface.
Manufacturer Description:
Virtually indestructible, smooth non-porous surface that won’t harbor bacteria. Available in assorted colors and sizes.
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$4.49/ea X-Small
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20% Off!
$3.59/ea X-Small
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X-Small - 5.5in X 5.5in X .75in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$5.49/ea Small
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20% Off!
$4.39/ea Small
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Small - 5in X 5.5in X 1in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$8.49/ea Medium
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15% Off!
$7.21/ea Medium
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Medium - 5.5in X 6.5in X 1.5in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$13.99/ea Large
On Sale Now!
10% Off!
$12.59/ea Large
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Large - 7in X 9in X 2.5in
X-Small Small Medium
Large X-Large
$17.49/ea X-Large
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10% Off!
$15.74/ea X-Large
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X-Large - 8in X 11.5in X 2.5in
Non-Stock Product Recommendation:

Zoo Med Repti Rapids

High quality modular resin waterfalls with built-in LEDs

Zoo Med Rock Waterfalls
▾ Show Description ▾
NEHERP Staff Recommendation:
This note applies to live vivariums built to VC101 & VC102's specs
The most common method for building a custom in-tank water features (with a buried in-tank pump & recycling waterfall) is notorious for causing premature environmental failure. For enclosures which require a waterfall (or for enthusiasts determined to have one), a drop-in water feature is often a better-performing option than the in-tank recycling pump technique you may have seen elsewhere online. Modular water features are far less likely to cause excess splashing, substrate over-saturation, and other problems which can lead to premature environmental failure. If you missed it, check out the "About This Section" link at the top of this page for more info.
Zoo Med's Waterfalls are our favorite of any mainstream supplier, and they've got more sizes/options available than any other brand too. We used to carry these in-house, but have since dropped them to make more space for Wood Decor in our supply department. Luckily Amazon ships these big styrofoam-insulated boxes for free! (Link below)
Manufacturer Description:
Beautify and light up your terrarium with these natural looking waterfalls. Repti Rapids are naturalistic, tranquil sounding waterfalls for use inside terrariums. They help increase humidity inside the enclosure, while stimulating natural drinking behaviors. The LED & pump (both included) have separate power cords to allow for independent timer control of LEDs & the waterfall.
View On Amazon Amazon We don't carry these at NEHERP, so please check them out at the above link.
As an Amazon Associate, our small business earns from qualifying purchases ♥

More Categories Related To Water:

Both categories above are located in our awesome Vivarium Supply Menu!

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