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HeatingSpecies originating in extremely hot regions are particularly suitable to be kept in greenhouses, which are heated with the Sun and cooled at night. It must be provided to the chameleons special microclimates (fresh and moist corners) to allow the animals to quit them when they feel very heated. The greenhouse must be heated so that at night the temperature drops to less than 10° C. A disadvantage of this mode to chameleons consists that it is very difficult to find the eggs, because the female tends to camouflage the launch site; It will be best to get females to put and place them in separate terraria. An advantage of this system is that it is possible to have several animals together without chameleons are are seeing each other all the time. This is particularly beneficial during mating season, because animals can mate when they want, which has a positive effect on the number of fertilized eggs.
We have mentioned so many times the danger of overheating that we now have to say something about the opposite. In general, chameleons better tolerate low temperatures that high, but you have to be careful. For example, the Chamaeleo pardalis does not tolerate temperatures below 12° C. It is not necessarily advisable to play night temperatures. An average value seems to be the key to success. Daytime temperatures should always be within the temperature range of activity. In addition, always there should be a light source such as a reflector "spot" or any other type of lamp thermal, so chameleons can be heated to the temperature they prefer. For the well-being of the lizards is absolutely necessary to reduce the temperature during the night. In the terrarium this can be done simply by turning off lights and heating. As the daytime temperatures are usually around 16 to 18° C. The night reduction is about 7 to 9° c, what is generally adequate. The night temperature reduction seems to be essential for a good night's sleep; This is probably due to the decrease in metabolic activity. If a species of Chameleon that is accustomed to a great night drop in temperature this descent is not provided, the animal will show a large decrease in its vitality and will live less time.
There are many ways to heat a terrarium. Small terrariums are heated with a cable heater and terrariums with bulbs for reptiles, halogen lamps or reflectors "spot". If used reflectors "spot" agrees to install a power between 15 and 40 watt units, and if using halogen lamps should be using 20 Watts. You must install the lamps so that when the chameleons "asoleen" they can not touch bulbs, because otherwise they could burn the scales. For this reason to decorate the terrarium is important to always keep a distance of at least 4 cm between the animal and the lamp. This is achieved by the branches so that are not too close to the lamps. Lighted with mercury vapor lamps or similar terrariums don't need additional heating, because these lamps produce enough heat. It is sometimes said chameleons could shoot the language against the lamp, burning it. We have used various types in our terrarium lamps and reflectors "spot" and we have never seen a Chameleon to shoot the tongue against a lamp.
Artificial sunlight?If we consider that sunlight has an intensity of 100,000 lux in the tropics, and that even the shade of the trees is still 10,000 lux, you will see how difficult that is approaching even to the natural conditions of their animals. Most chameleons are "sun-worshippers". Therefore, the intensity of light plays an important role in their hunting behavior and also contributes to the increase of the vitality of the animals. Schuster (1979) showed for the Jackson Chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii) you need a luminous intensity of at least 100 lux to capture animals for food. A 40-watt incandescent bulb produces only 35 lux at a distance of one meter. It can be seen that the chameleons do not exhibit their natural complete behavioral guidelines unless there is a minimum luminous intensity. Fans who can keep their chameleons in a greenhouse have them easier because even in a window planter light intensity is usually 2,000 lux.
Some power fluorescent lamps, as well as those of vapor of mercury and the halogen are suitable for illuminating the terrarium. To small rearing tanks a single fluorescent tube is sufficient; terrarium from a height of 50 cm are needed at least two fluorescent tubes, and proportionally more powerful lamps are required for terrariums of greater height. Stettler (1973) says that a terrarium of 70 cm long by 40 cm wide by 70 cm of height they need four to six fluorescent. If terrariums are even higher, high intensity mercury vapour lamps are suitable.
When you install under cover of the terrarium, light is not lost and simultaneously is a good source of heat for the terrarium. New iodine steam lamps produce far more light than mercury vapor lamps. These lamps seem to have been created just for the sun-worshippers. It is produced from power of 35 watts, but unfortunately they are expensive. This is offset to some extent by its long and low electricity consumption.
Just use "solar light" lamps, because they produce a light spectrum similar to the Sun and is light is the more pleasant for our eyes. Fluorescent tubes with a combination of tubes "sunlight" and "warm" has proven to be the most attractive. It is also important to use reflectors of good quality (for sale in pet shops). With them, used light can increase by 40%. The Reflector Halogen "spot" are ideal as point sources of light to supplement the light of fluorescent tubes. Unfortunately, they need the use of a transformer, so it is advisable to compare them only when they are to be used for multiple terrariums.
The period of light should reproduce natural conditions either should be kept about 12 or 14 hours a day (except for Chamaeleo chamaeleon). We have achieved good results with chameleons in the garden during the summer. It is clear that animals revive the Sun, their colors become brighter and its activity increases. They can become terrariums suitable for outdoor activities with materials such as wire-mesh grille, located in a place protected from the wind and with partial Sun (must provide protection from overheating during the day and against the cats and rats at night). You should not be allowed that the chameleons are released in a garden, because in a few minutes they will have disappeared forever.
Sometimes it is recommended the use of UV lamps. Some people consider them essential and others at least attribute them revitalizing effects. In our opinion, the provision of adequate doses of vitamin D3 eliminates the need to use UV lamps. Anyway, the same flaky skin of the chameleons only passes less than one percent of ultraviolet rays.
Finally, it should insist that many species of chameleons have different lighting needs.
Technical AIDSCurrently, timers are a necessity for any type of terrarium, because no one has time to turn off or turn on lights or heaters every day at the same times. Some regularity which is helpful for the well-being of the chameleonscan be with timers. For example, tests can determine exactly when and for how long must remain on the heating so that the temperature does not drop or increase too. There are thermostats that can be used to turn on the lights and fans when preset temperatures are reached. If I had to do all this manually, the terrarium maintenance would be an activity which would require a lot of time.
Recently, it has spread the use of automatic sprinklers in terrariums, and with them it is possible to minimize the daily tasks. The only daily manual activity that needs to be done consists of feed and give drink to the animals. Thus is much more time to observe and study the chameleons. At the same time, an automatic sprayer also allows greater freedom of action to the owner, who does not have to be present every day and that can leave occasionally for a weekend without having to worry too much about their chameleons.