www.chamaeleon-terraristik.de

In the beginning, the lighting of the parsoniis was composed of metal halide spots and fluorescent lights (on the picture below, the fluorescent tubes are turned off). We think that parsoniis feel better with a lower lighting and small selective spots. Therefore, we changed the husbandry regarding lighting. With the lighting of the lower terrarium, the bottom of the upper terrarium is getting worm during a day. Therefore, the humidity will be high in the upper terrarium because there is a constant evaporating of substrates moisture.

The parsonii like densely wooded places for resting and sleeping. Therefore, don’t save plants. A sprinkling system is advantageous for the humidity and for drinking water. We also offer drinking water manually for 2-3 times a week to guarantee optimal water support.

The terrariums are built with plastic coated particleboard composed of wood. It is very important to seal the cutting edges with glued film, silicon or something like that. If you don’t do that, the material will swell and gets instable. The advantages of these types of terrariums are, that it looks very bright (because of the white color) and it is very hygienic. This material is easy to clean and easy to disinfect. Instead of glass, you don’t see the small lime spots that are made by the sprinkling water. Furthermore, you reduce the reflective surfaces to the front windows.

The terrariums of the panther chameleons are also furnished with many plants.

Before we started to build the terrariums with coated particleboards, we build them with OSB-boards (also a kind of wood particle boards, but they are much coarser-grained), which is shown on the picture below.

The small fountain in the terrarium is not established.  The chameleons didn’t use this drinking opportunity. Furthermore this fountain was a trap for the feeding animals. To safe the water of the fountain from bacteria and something like that, we changed the water every day. But this cleaning was very stressful for the chameleons. We canceled this way of water offering because we provide a good hibernation and drinking water offering in a way, which we described above.

As substrate we use commercially available flower soil. But we top this flower soil with wood ground substrate. Till now, we haven’t identified disadvantages regarding this kind of substrate. Oppositely, we saw that the chameleons hunt and eat the woodlouses and similar things that live in nature in the wood ground substrate. Therefore, the chameleons sit near the bottom, wait and watch for “new delicacies”. We are not afraid of a huge surge of bacterial organisms

with this substrate because the substrate is in a good balance with all kind of microbes. That’s the reason why there isn’t mildew or an overbalance of detrimental microorganisms. But it is very important that the substrate doesn’t dry out completely, because the soil microorganisms would die. They “dispose” organic materials like leaves, dead feeding animals and something like that. We also added Collembola spp. and Trichorhina tomentosa (white woodlouse) into the substrate. They also dispose the excrements of the chameleons very fast, but we put them out ourselves. The high activity of “living substrate” is proved by how fast foliage is deleted. When the whole foliage is deleted, we refill it.

To avoid flooding, we integrated drainages at the bottom. The wastewater will flow into a plastic bucket, which needs to be emptied on a regular basis.

In the first few weeks the juveniles are cared together. But later on they are cared separate. Lighting is composed of fluorescent lights and one or a few 20 Watt halogen spots. The older the juveniles are the higher the wattage needs to be (up to 80 Watts). We are not using any substrate on the bottom during grow-up phase in the therefore used terrariums.