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Setra Blog

Aug 15, 2016 5:55:00 AM

What is a Vivarium?

A vivarium refers to an enclosed area designed to provide a stable environment for animals and plants for observation or scientific research. Often, vivariums contain a portion of an ecosystem for a particular species with controlled environmental conditions on a smaller scale. A vivarium contains racks of various sizes dependent on the species it contains.

Important Factors for a Vivariumbigstock-Cages-For-Laboratory-Animals-26339357.jpg

The essential purpose of a vivarium is to maintain a stable environment for the safety and comfort of the species and personnel. Therefore, the environment must be monitored and controlled at all times; even the smallest change can have an impact, directly affecting the quality of research and the well-being of the species. Here are a few of the elements that cannot be overemphasized when it comes to maintaining proper conditions:

  • Lighting
    • A lighting system is necessary to meet the requirements of many species and to better simulate the natural habitat
    • Solar energy is needed by many organisms to survive as it provides plants with nutrients and reptiles the additional heat they need
    • A day/night regulator may be needed to simulate light and dark periods to accurately create a natural environment
  • Temperature/Climate
    • Many species cannot adapt to other temperature conditions outside of those found in its natural environment
    • Heating can be provided through different means, many of which can be controlled by a thermostat; for example a heating lamp
    • In conjunction with lighting, temperature must be varied throughout the day to keep living organisms safe and healthy
  • Humidity
    • Many plants and animals have either a limited tolerance or a necessity for humidity
    • Humidity can be measured by capacitive and resistance based sensors
  • Air Flow Systems
    • Ventilation systems are meant to:
      • Stabilize the air flow between the holding room and vivarium
      • Circulate fresh air
      • Prevent the growth of mold and bacteria and spread of harmful bacteria
    • Air flow should be monitored with room pressure monitors with high accuracy to avoid airborne contaminants


CLICK HERE to learn about Setra's room condition monitor (SRCM).  


Topics: Critical Environments, Building Automation, HVAC/R

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