What do you know about chameleons and their habits? No animal can change colors in this way and look in two directions at once (viewing angle of 360 degrees). The eyelids of animals are fused, constantly covering the eye, but having a hole for the pupil. The movements of the left and right eyes may be inconsistent, which is important when catching insects, but before the attack, the chameleon turns both eyes to the prey.Another feature is the long tongue for hunting, it can reach the length of the body of the chameleon and has the shape of a stalk with expansion. With extraordinary speed, he shoots them and pulls him back together with the victim adhered to him.
Chameleons are poisonous lizards. They live in trees and prefer not to descend to the ground. Based on such brief information, it can be understood that they need a vertical or cubic terrarium. First, you should carefully study the issue of chameleons and their habits, and only then start a lizard. Chameleons live in humid and tropical forests. Therefore, the creation of climate in the terrarium should be taken very seriously.
Most species have a body length of 30 cm, the largest reach 50-60 cm, the smallest. 3-5 cm. The head is helmet-shaped, with a markedly raised occipital region. Often decorated with more or less convex ridges, mounds or elongated, pointed horns. In most cases, all these formations are developed in males, and in females they are in their infancy.
The most common chameleons in home content:
- Yemeni Chameleon
- Leopard chameleon
- Common chameleon
The volume of the terrarium for one small inhabitant should be at least 150 liters. If you have large species of reptiles. then from 250 liters. For two chameleons, the terrarium should be 1.5-2 times larger. According to these data, size calculations are carried out.
However, finding a good house for a chameleon is still half the task. One of the most important conditions for a good lizard life is ventilation. If the air freezes and moisture builds up in the aquarium, then the chameleon house will be a great place for the development of parasitic bacteria that have a negative effect on lizards. Airing can be done by convection. Typically, the temperature in the room is slightly lower than the temperature in the terrarium. An impressive temperature difference helps to ensure good air circulation.
Remember: good lizard hyperventilation. This is the key to success and a normal life for a lizard. Therefore, two special holes should be made:
1) A large exhaust hole on the lid so that there is an outlet of warm air. The length of 1/3-½ of the entire roof;
2) Another hole in the front wall, closer to the floor. Width is 3-5 centimeters. The length is almost equal to the length of the aquarium.
Many people wonder where is the best place to place a terrarium?
A terrarium for a chameleon is best placed in the place of the apartment where there will be the least number of people. The animal is very susceptible to stress and very shy, so find a place where you rarely go. Otherwise, due to the constant stress state caused by people passing by, the chameleon’s appetite may deteriorate, which can lead to serious diseases. Place the terrarium as high as possible from the floor, then your chameleon will feel more secure. Also, chameleons do not like drafts, so choose the warmest and most windproof corner in the room.
Some owners of exotic animals, in addition to chameleons, give birth to other lizards or reptiles. So the question is, can a chameleon be kept with other animals?
When you choose a roommate for your chameleon, then you definitely need to take into account the level of hostility of the animals, as well as all the necessary conditions for their keeping: temperature day and night, soil type, degree of humidity, diet, reptile activity time, as well as the parameters of the terrarium.
It happens that the owners of the chameleons do not want to purchase a finished terrarium, but to make it manually. Then it is better to turn to professional craftsmen who will do the job quickly and efficiently. However, the information below will help ordinary chameleon owners better understand which materials are best used for building.
Some workshops offer the buyer to make terrariums of cast acrylic and PVC plastic. These materials are particularly impact resistant, non-toxic, lightweight and easy to use.
Let us consider in more detail the main material from which aquariums are created — glass. It has sufficient hardness, resistance to physical influences, as well as transparent. Sealants are used to connect all components.
Some people like plexiglass. It is also transparent, but not permanent. It can be easily scratched with both branches and claws of pets. Very often, deformations occur when heated from lamps.
Another option for creating a terrarium is a system of glass and aluminum profiles. This design is perfect for large animals. The design can be simply assembled and disassembled, which is very convenient when moving. If one of the glasses accidentally breaks, then it can be easily replaced.
Chameleons need a constant light source, so lamps are installed in all aquariums. Wires for powering electrical appliances can be neatly hidden in the grooves of the profiles.
After the terrarium has been selected, it is necessary to tackle its arrangement.
Heat. They are necessary so that the reptile can bask. You can use a conventional incandescent lamp, the power of which will be from 40 to 60 watts. Ceramic or infrared lamps are recommended for terrariums. In this case, you can leave them turned on even at night, and they will not disturb anyone from sleeping. Make sure the chameleon gets enough heat. Also use special heating mats, a comfortable condition for keeping a chameleon of 28-33 degrees during the day and 23-26 degrees at night.
UV lamps for terrariums. Such lamps are extremely beneficial for the health of pets. Ultraviolet lamps imitate the sun’s rays, and also help accelerate the absorption of calcium, which ultimately will positively affect the proper growth and development of reptiles. Choose ultraviolet lamps for the terrarium very carefully. It should have a medium-intensity spectrum, approximately 5% UVB, i.e. 5.0. One of the most common models is the Repti Zoo, Ferplast
What soil best to use?
If you contain chameleons of wood species, then using soils of various genera is not only not necessary, but not at all desirable. The best choice in this case is a plastic green rug, which you lay on the bottom of the terrarium. He will skillfully imitate grass cover. The advantages of such a rug are that it can be washed very easily and quickly, completely cleansing the surface of residues of excrement and various odors.
Plants for terrariums. Each terrarium for a chameleon should have a large amount of greenery. You can choose the best combination of artificial and living plants. Since chameleons will spend almost all the time on the branches above, you can not cover the floor with greenery. The main thing is that your pet should have enough branches.
How can I decorate the background of the terrarium?
The back and side walls are decorated with a special film, where some original image is applied. Determine the motive yourself, in accordance with preferences. You can choose a combination of stones that will be placed throughout the aquarium. It will be aesthetically pleasing and practical, because a chameleon does not like to crawl on the ground.
Do not forget that chameleons and other reptiles should be kept only in properly equipped terrariums. If they live in tanks where the necessary equipment is not available, then your pet may become ill or even die.
Drinking bowls and feeders for chameleon terrariums
As a feeder for your chameleon, it’s very convenient to use a tall glass or an ordinary plastic bottle, with the top cut off. Chameleons do not need any special drinkers, since they practically do not drink water from them. Spray dystics or install a waterfall or drip irrigation device. Chameleons collect droplets from plant leaves.
Cleanliness in the terrarium. Be sure to carry out a general cleaning of the terrarium every week. The chameleon must live clean. Regular cleaning will not allow pathogenic bacteria to multiply and will relieve excess odor. Cleanliness is the key to your pet’s health.
- UV lamp for reptiles, 5% UVB;
- Temperature regulator, ionizer, hygrometer, drip irrigation devices,
- Heated terrarium;
- Incandescent lamp. Power is up to 60 W;
- Driftwood, branches, plants, etc.