Adventures in Biopod


Here at The Reptile Zoo we love our animals and are always looking for better ways to care for these amazing creatures. So when Biopod, which was born on Kickstarter then designed and developed over the past 3 years, invited us out to their headquarters we were immediately onboard. On arrival, we met not only the awesome Biopod team, but also fellow keepers and enthusiasts from both the US and Canada including (L-R) Dayyan Saylany of Reptaliatus, Keith Benjamin of ReptilesRuS, and Paulie Dema of Vivariums in the Mist.


Entering the Calgary headquarters, I was immediately inspired by the variety of beautifully scaped Biopods. These incredible works of art looked so perfect I didn’t think there was any way I could build something close, but the team assured me this was one of th e great benefits of the Biopod design. I quickly learned the Biopod team has carefully considered every aspect of the design and maintenance of their micro-habitats to make it as user friendly as possible. One area of the facility is dedicated to the original Kickstarter Biopods which have been functioning with little to no maintenance for over 2 years and are still thriving and as beautiful as ever.


Still I wasn’t fully convinced with my minimal background in full vivarium design would be enough. Co-Founder Tom Lam and engineer Dr. Apple walked us through the mechanical design of the current iteration of the Biopod literally piece by piece showing where improvements have been during the last few years of development. The beauty of the Biopod is it’s all in one capability. The system brings together state of the art misting, filtration, heating, lighting, aeration, irrigation, and ventilation everything needed to mimic the most naturalistic habitat possible. Not only do these aspects work in unison, but Biopod has taken precise control to the cloud allowing you to monitor and alter your environment from anywhere.



Armed with this knowledge, and a more than capable partner Keith, I was ready to take the plunge and start designing my first Biopod. Keith and I decided we would take an animal centric design approach starting first by selecting species, then designing the ideal Biopod to meet their needs. Immediately our thoughts went to our shared love of geckos, then inspired by the desert scape created by Biopod co-founder Jared Wolfe we settled in on the idea of designing our Terra, which is about equal in size to a 20gl tank, for a gecko in the Nephrurus species.

Now that we had a species and it’s unique care requirements in mind we headed out to gather the substrate, accessories, and décor that would make up our final design. This had to be the most difficult aspect, because there were just so many directions we could go. We ended up completely filling a cart with Zoo Med Excavator Sand, loose sand, several sizes and colors of pebbles, a few beautiful pieces of wood, cork bark, leaf litter, and hides we would later use to build up and add dimension.

Once back at headquarters we had the opportunity to shop in the Biopod nursery full of unique plants from around the globe and various climates. Again, faced with what seemed like limitless possibilities we grabbed a few of our favorites and started getting our hands dirty. Part of Biopod’s incredible design is the ability to completely control every aspect of the cage environment which Keith and I took advantage of by coiling the modular heating element and assorted cables in our desired areas which would later be built up with basking and hiding spots. Next, we started on the irrigated living wall by tightly stuffing with sphagnum moss and laying our first level of gravel to allow for a water table at the base. It was at this moment I knew we were on track for something cool, because these simple elements when combined with the sleek design of the Biopod was already developing into a beautiful display.

Encouraged and excited we started to bring the Biopod to life carefully placing and pinning a variety of climbing plants that will continue to fill and grow as time passes. Once complete we moved onto our most exciting layer of substrate the Zoo Med excavator sand, first placing a layer of mesh to protect the water table level, then developing high and low spots as well as areas for our soon to be added plants. We had to work quickly and precisely building from the outsides to center which we would later layer with a smooth sand where the geckos could enjoy their natural burrowing. We built on and around wooden elements creating a layered look which doubled as hiding areas throughout the temperature gradients within the habitat. From the base, we then added mainly succulent varieties in our carefully tucked away pockets placed in areas that could easily enjoy the regularly scheduling misting. Just a few finishing pebbles for texture and visual variety and like that Team Terra had done it! It was such a rewarding experience to see our final piece complete and ready for a little critter to call it home.

The most amazing part of this experience was that while Keith and I were enjoying scaping what we coined “The Red Planet” for a desert species Paulie and Dayyan were building one of the most beautiful paludariums I’ve ever seen in the Aqua Biopod. Our designs couldn’t have been more different, but that’s the beauty of the Biopod it’s completely customizable for desert, tropical, aquatic, even for growing your own groceries with sizes available from the Eden to Grand.

After such a fun experience, it was hard to leave our Terra behind, but even when I’m back in the sates it’s never that far away. At any moment, I can check in on how our little scape is doing by logging into the Biopod app to check temperature, humidity, and even watch a live webcam!



With the US launch of Biopod slated for later this fall here at The Reptile Zoo our minds are spinning at the variety of habitats we can add on display for our guests. What species would you like to see in our Biopod? New amphibians, geckos, aquatics, an amazing arachnid exhibit? What would be your dream Biopod? In the not so distant future we’ll have a chance to make these dreams a reality and we’re positively excited for the possibilities!


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Join Us for #LivingTheDream Night at The Reptile Zoo!

RSVP Today

RSVP Today! 

It's that time of year again! We would love to invite you and your animal loving family out to The Reptile Zoo for a fun night filled with reptiles big and small from around the globe. The party starts at 6PM and will likely end around 9PM but feel free to come anytime you'd like. There will be all kinds of exciting opportunities to see one of a kind animals, learn about the behind the scenes workings, and even see the gators chomp down on some dinner! But don't worry you won't be watching them eat on an empty stomach! We'll be including pizza with admission, because what kind of party doesn't include pizza?

This year we will have 2 admission options for guests:

$20 includes Living the Dream Tour, Pizza, and Limited Edition Tee


$10 includes Living the Dream Tour & Pizza

To secure your custom tee will be available in your size pre-orders are available by completing payment to Make sure to include your shirt size and we will have it set aside for you on arrival. These are truly a limited edition run with only a few in each size so we would highly recommend snagging yours up before it gets crazy!

For questions email us at or check out the official event invite on Facebook.

The Reptile Zoo

18818 Brookhurst Street,

Fountain Valley, CA 92708


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Traveling Zoo and Charity Too!

Hello dearest readers!

We had a heck of a weekend and I can’t wait to tell you about it! We decided the usual hordes of visitors coming to check out our awesome exhibits weren’t enough, and that we would bring the zoo to them! On Saturday, April 2nd, we brought our traveling zoo to the Summer Camp and Activities Fair presented by The OC Register and OC Family magazine.

Jurassic Parties’ awesome presentations are a yearly feature at many of Orange County’s summer camps, and we wanted to spread the love and let even more people know how awesome reptiles are. Laura helped kids get up close and personal with some ball pythons, and I helped Squash show the public just how gentle our giants can be!

We didn’t stop there though! On Sunday Laura and Savannah got up bright and early and headed north to take part in the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids! Buttercup, our albino Burmese python got a lot of love from the kids that were there, and Spike the bearded dragon wore his participation sticker with pride! Our booth drew tons of visitors and we couldn’t have been happier to see them. The biggest and most important part of the Reptile Zoo is to educate the public on our favorite animals, and we couldn’t be happier that we can reach so many people.

We hope that the next time we travel with the zoo you all can come see us!

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Reptile Super Show 2k16!!!!!!

If you didn’t go to this year’s Reptile Super Show at the Pomona Fairplex, you missed out!!!! This was one of the best ones yet, with so much crazy fun stuff going on! Thousands of people from all over southern California came to see the vast amazing assortment of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, salamanders, spiders, and all sorts of other fascinating exotics that our community so loves! It was also a great success in that the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) raised just over 40,000 dollars!!! That set a new record for the west coast shows. All that money will go towards protecting the animals and to hobbyists who love them.

Prehistoric Pets and The Reptile Zoo set up a booth to showcase some of our awesome animals. Aside from stunning multi-thousand dollar reticulated pythons, we also brought boas, tegus, our Rhinocerous Iguana, Beckham, and a lovely breeding pair of sulcata tortoises. Laura, Frank, Enrico, and Jay all worked their butts off selling retics, while I promoted The Reptile Zoo and even managed to sell an animal or two myself! Whoops!

While there was plenty of fun to be had at the show, the real fun kicked in for us afterwards! Prehistoric Pets has a history of throwing fantastic post-show parties, and this year was no exception. Tons of people showed up to see the zoo after hours and check out the expanded breeding facility!

Highlights of the evening included handling of many large reticulated pythons, an alligator feeding demonstration from Jay, and of course, what is a party without PIZZA?! All in all the weekend was a blast and we were so happy to share it with you all!!

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What Rough Beast This Hour Slouches Toward Fountain Valley To Be Born?

We’re back again with our countdown of creepy crawlers! This week, we’re taking a census of the scariest lizards that roam The Reptile Zoo! Our smallest contender so far makes up for his lack of size with another trick. The Reticulated Gila Monster is a fairly unassuming lizard, but possesses very potent venom. With its midnight black body and yellow warning stripes, the Gila Monster uses its patterned body to ward off potential predators.
While they are shy and retiring, these lizards are the reason you don’t want to overturn any rocks or stick your hand down any holes in the desert! Next up in our line-up is actually a cute lizard, our big Rhino Iguana, Mr. Spot. While he charms visitors with his cartoon- dragon eyes, he has a dark side that can’t be ignored.

He possesses one of the most powerful bites of any of the lizards here at The Reptile Zoo, and backs up that power with all 25lbs of his strong, thickly muscled body. While he’s sweet to those he likes, Mr. Spot earned a place in our countdown due to one of his scariest habits. If he doesn’t like the look of a certain person, he will attack and bite the glass of his enclosure, chasing the visitor from end to end until they are out of eyeshot. He has body slammed his glass so many times he actually started to knock the aluminum track holding his glass out of alignment. Thankfully that has been repaired, but for a while it was a big concern, as the last thing we need is a big, angry lizard chasing people around the zoo. Last of our scariest lizards is our Crocodile Monitor, Salk. He is the epitome of supreme killing machine. If his relative, the Komodo Dragon, was a T. Rex, Salk would be a raptor. Incredibly smart, insanely fast, and highly malicious, Salk has earned the distinction of being the only non-venomous animal at the zoo with not one, but TWO locks on his cage.

Crocodile monitors are not to be taken lightly. They have teeth that stay razor sharp that are the length of a penny, a 7 foot whip tail, and recirculating lungs like a bird so that they don’t have to stop and catch their breath when chasing you. Roll all that nightmare fuel into a lean green biting machine, and you’ve got our top scariest lizard. Join us next week for shells from hell, creepy crawlies, and the top voted scariest zoo animal of them all!!!
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We just got back from a highly exciting weekend at the Pomona Fairplex where the REPTILE SUPER SHOW was held! This event is always a blast for us; between selling our fabulous reticulated pythons, anacondas, and boas at the Prehistoric Pets booth, showing off our pick of the litter animals on the Reptile Zoo side, and taking paparazzi shots with Frank aka Kipling, we always stay busy and have fun! We saw all kinds of amazingly cool reptiles that we unfortunately had to resist buying and bringing back to the zoo, including some awesome scale-less ratsnakes, a carpet/diamond python cross, and more morphs of more species than we could believe (our retics were the best though!)

Frank was easily the star of the show. Most of the reptiles other vendors were displaying were small and in little display cases, so our big boy stuck out like a yellow and black sore thumb. People would stop dead and exclaim “IS THAT REAL?!” before hurrying over to pet him and coo over how handsome he is. Since Frank has become a huge diva since being on Jessie on the Disney Channel, he lapped up all the attention with his big blue tongue, posing handsomely on his heated rock.

Our Gila Monster and Dwarf Caiman got a lot of attention too. The Prehistoric Pets booth boasted over ONE MILLION DOLLARS of reticulated python morphs on display, and brought easily the biggest snake at the show, our 200 lb Titanium Tiger Female, Rhonda. USARK raised 12,000 dollars in auctions, with two of the lots donated by Prehistoric Pets. One was for a pair of yellow anacondas, the other for a dwarf reticulated python. The money USARK raised will be extraordinarily helpful for protecting reptiles and the people that love keeping them. All in all the show went great. It’s a real treat to be able to meet up and hang out with all of the friends we’ve made through the years, and we look forward to seeing them all again next year!

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Prehistoric Times in 2013

How could it already be a month into 2014?!? The year of the snake just slithered by so fast we barely had a chance to share some of the great experiences that came with it, but we're going to try to make it up to you with an extra long recap blog chocked full of photos & videos. So many we'll be highlighting details from some of our favorite stories over the next couple weeks as well.

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Come & Get It at The OC Fair with The Reptile Zoo


Spending your summer nights at the OC Fair? Make sure to stop by The Reptile Zoo hands-on display to meet Bob the 12ft Burmese Python! Then head back to Facebook to claim your complimentary photo download!
To find your complimentary photo download please visit the link below, here you will find an album for each day of the fair. To allow photo tagging and download just "LIKE" The Reptile Zoo fan page then share away!
If for some reason you are unable to locate your photos please email and we would be happy to assist you. Please allow 48 hours for upload.

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The Youth Expo Experience 2013

On April 12th-14th the annual Youth Expo was held at the Orange County Fairgrounds. The Youth Expo is a gathering of educational displays and non-profit organizations centered on a younger crowd. We have gotten to be a part of this wonderful event for about 10 years now and always enjoy participating. 

Our set up has a tortoise pin, cages with various reptiles, and our infamous T-Rex on display. Throughout the day two of our employees have out two different animals for the crowd to interact with, typically being a bearded dragon and a ball python. 

We tried out a new in-car TV technique this year in which we had a TV in the trunk of one of our party cars. It continually played episodes from The Reptile Zoo series and people could come and watch whenever they pleased. Not to mention it looked pretty cool. 

Our unique animals offer a unique experience for all ages. Who wouldn’t love getting up close and personal with these awesome animals?


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Flashback/Flashforward The Reptile Zoo Masquerade


With all the plans for this year's event we couldn't help but get a bit nostaglic about our suprise hit in 2011. At the beginning of the day as we were finishing up the last minute details we had no idea what to expect or if anyone was even coming, but come they did and in droves!



With over 300 costume clad guests you couldn't help but get in a festive mood. The special guests like Frank aka Kipling from Disney Channel's JESSIE, the Forever Wild team with an adorable baby Tiger and brand new exhibits from The Reptile Zoo including the official unveilling of Gator Island and our California Native Rattlesnake collection!



If that wasn't enough to keep guests entertained we also had LIVE exotic animal demonstrations with veteran TV and Film trainer Jules Sylvester and The Reptile Zoo founder Jay Brewer where guests enjoyed learning about various venomous species and even got a chance to watch a clutch of pythons be born and filmed for the popular YouTube channel


To satisfy their taste buds GarlicScapes was on hand with plenty of good eats sure to keep the lurking vampires away. Let's just say fun was had by all.



But enough reminiscing, this year we are going to blow last year out of the water with all the great things we have planned for what we expect to be a MASSIVE crowd! First of all we've doubled our food truck capacity by bringing the ever popular Kogi BBQ and Chunk-n-Chip trucks to delight both your dinner and dessert needs.

Next we've added jungle themed BOUNCE HOUSES from Orange County Jumpers!


Oh did we forget to mention benefit recipient Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary will be bringing a BLACK LEOPARD and baby Bobcats!!!

Are you totally jealous now? Can't make it? Don't worry we haven't left you out of all the fun. This week on The Reptile Zoo facebook page we've got some great online auction items for you to take home. Just check out these beautiful animals below.


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