Equipment

Chameleon keeping is continuously evolving, and with the right equipment, it can be continuously improving.  Below is a brief list of the equipment every keeper should have.  The goal of this section to list various equipment, rather than to detail its use.  More detailed information about eg. UVB and misting, can be found in the Lighting and Hydration sections, respectively. In addition to special lighting, and hydration equipment--which will be discussed in their own sections--there are a few pieces of equipment that are a boon to any keeper's arsenal.

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sunblaster.jpg

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arcadia 6%.jpg

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8 lamp viviosun.jpg

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sunblaster.jpg

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UVB Lighting

Ultra-violet B radiation is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3 facilitates the body's absorption of calcium.  As insectivores, chameleons do not regularly take in vitamin D3 via their diet: insects are poor sources of D3. Instead, they rely on exposure to UVB radiation to synthesize vitamin D3, thereby allowing them to absorb calcium--necessary for healthy bones and every single muscle movement, among other things.  Cursory though this explanation is, it at least serves to highlight the crucial part a proper UVB system is.  Currently, the most efficient and versatile UVB lights are T5, high output linear fluorescent bulbs.  While there are alternative options, this is the best option for most applications.  Below are some common makes of T5 uvb bulbs and fixtures available in Canada:

Bulbs:

  • Zoomed Reptisun 5.0 or 10.0

  • Aracdia 6% or 12%

Fixtures:​

  • Both zoomed and Arcadia make proprietary fixtures, simply match the fixture to the bulb

  • Sunblaster makes reflected T5 fixtures that have a proven track record with UVB bulbs

  • For multi-bulb fixtures, vivosun makes 2,4 and 8 bulb reflected fixtures.


Please note that metal halide, mercury vapour, compacts fluorescent and T8 bulbs are best used only in conjunction with a Solarmeter.

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Mistking.jpg

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exoterra monsoon.jpg

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Mistking.jpg

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Misting System

While you can certainly use hand misting methods, we recommend an automatic misting system.  Recommended brands include:

  • Mistking 

  • Exoterra Monsoon

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bootray1.jpg

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tray 2.jpg

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shop vac.jpg

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bootray1.jpg

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Drainage System

Unfortunately, this is something that will be specific to the enclosure you choose; moreover, there aren't commercially available dedicated drainage systems for any of the major brand enclosures. However, a little common sense will go a long ways.  You have an enclosure that contains a number of live plants and a chameleon--both of which will be misted/watered regularly.  Excess water needs to go somewhere.  Something as simple as a boot tray, cookie sheet or washing machine bottom will suffice, but get creative!

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solarmeter.jpg

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solar meter spect.jpg

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soalr.jpg

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solarmeter.jpg

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Solarmeter

This is an expensive item, but it is well worth it.  The ability to accurately gauge the UVB exposure your chameleon is receiving at different spots in your enclosure is like having a blueprint for how to set up your enclosure.

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tempo1.jpg

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hyg2.jpg

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hyg1.jpg

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tempo1.jpg

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Measuring Devices

We recommend using a number of devices for measuring temperature and humidity.  Because our enclosures must offer different temperatures in different areas, as well as humidity levels that fluctuate with the light cycle, a single measuring device will not be sufficient here.  We recommend two or more digital hygrometer/thermometers with remote probes, as well as an infrared heat gun. I prefer using one digital thermometer/hygrometer for the basking area, and one for the heavily planted area.