Air Conditioning for Chameleons?

johncjb

New Member
Hey everyone,

I am going to get a mountain chameleon, probably a four horned.

The only problem is that I live in a rather warm climate.

According to the Chameleon Handbook, a miniature air conditioning system should be used in the terrarium.

Does anyone know if this is true?

Also, i searched the web and could not find any mini AC for terrariums. :confused:

Does anyone know where I can get one?

Thanks,
 
The quad people will have to chime in on this one as I dont know too much about them specifically, but its an advanced species, so if its your first go at chams Id think of something else first

all that aside, I think as long as the room you keep the terrarium in is the proper temp (55-70) and the terrarium has the proper temperature gradient, you wont need a unit specific to your terrarium. Quads are really prone to go hyperthermic, so unless you have a really consistent and reliable central-air unit they're probably not the best choice for a warm temp area
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
Hey everyone,

I am going to get a mountain chameleon, probably a four horned.

The only problem is that I live in a rather warm climate.

According to the Chameleon Handbook, a miniature air conditioning system should be used in the terrarium.

Does anyone know if this is true?

Also, i searched the web and could not find any mini AC for terrariums. :confused:

Does anyone know where I can get one?

Thanks,

Welcome.

I would suggest really doing your homework about a particular species first. Instead of investing in AC, which it doesn't sound like you have, you may want to make sure the other factors are fully covered such as "Great Lighting" The right size and style of habitat, quality plants and care techniques.

I can tell if you are asking about AC that you want to set things up right. AC and chameleons aren't a great combination. Picking the right Chameleon for your environment will be better for you and your new chameleon. Especially if you are new to the world of chams.
 

johncjb

New Member
Thanks for the feedback,

The problem is that I would like to have complete control of the temperature in my terrarium.

If the temp is to high, turn on the AC.

If the temp is to low, turn up the heat bulb and/or heater.

The temperature in the terrarium would probably never get much higher than 72 F, Its just that I would like to be able to do something for my Cham if it did.
 
Thanks for the feedback,

The problem is that I would like to have complete control of the temperature in my terrarium.

If the temp is to high, turn on the AC.

If the temp is to low, turn up the heat bulb and/or heater.

The temperature in the terrarium would probably never get much higher than 72 F, Its just that I would like to be able to do something for my Cham if it did.

The problem is that AC tends to NOT promote any sort of equilibrium, which is what you want for a sensitive species. The temperature swings occur too quickly and quads are likely to get very dehydrated in humidity levels lower than 50% The AC dries air out and keeping humidity up past 50% through misting without running into upper respiratory issues or mold will be hard. To make things worse a simple slip up (broken AC, missed misting session, etc) can end up really complicating things or hurting the cham irreparably
 

johncjb

New Member
I wouldn't turn the AC up very high, just enough to keep the terrarium from getting to warm.

The Chameleon Handbook also mentioned the fact that AC dries out the terrarium and I was thinking of humidifying the air as it leaves the AC or putting a damp cloth over the outake.

The fact that a slip up could hurt the cham is a very good point. I never thought of that.

However, the AC wouldn't be set to run regularily, just very little and only when the terrarium becomes to hot.

Also, I would use an automatic hygrometer and thermometer to run the AC, heating, humidifiers, and mister. Such as the Zoo Med hygrotherm.
 

Saldarya

Established Member
I will speak to this as I use an AC to keep a room of 'Montane', high altitude species.

A couple of things.

I am not aware of any AC specific for the terrarium/cage. That would be to dangerous as there is no way you could control consistent temps in that small of an area. That being said, cooling a room is a different story.

You say you live in a warm climate, is it also humid or dry?

The reason I ask is if it is a humid climate, you will not have issues with the AC drying out a room. Current AC's have an air exchange ability that will allow you to retain humidity.

In my case I live in a very warm and humid area.

If you live in a dry climate, you will have same humidity issues you might otherwise.

In my specific case, I have a large (well insulated) room set up just for these cool temp Chams. I use a large window Unit that is rated for a much larger space. I run it on low, and ensure that there is adequate airflow throughout the room. This will help ensure that the temp is consistent.

I run day time temps of 73deg and night time temps of 58deg. My ambient humidity in teh room during the day is around 75% and at night about 85%. There is a spike near the cages of 95%+ at the time of misting. I use 9" fans below the cages pointing up towards the back of the cages, this provides airflow that ensures the cages dry out.

SO,

I understand that this may be overkill for your desire to keep one animal, but I simply wanted to share with you how you can use an AC to influence the climate in a warm area to keep these types of chameleons.

Let me know if you have any question.

Bobby
 

SMCNARY

Established Member
I to use ac for my Cham room,in fact Bobby and I do the exact same thing and even have the same window unit. We both did our homework and it has worked perfectly!
 

johncjb

New Member
Thanks for the excellent feedback Saldarya. :)

The only problem with air conditioning the whole room (even if it is a very small room) is that there are a lot of people in this house and doors are constantly opening and closing and letting air in and out.

However, I see your point in the fact that AC in a terrarium would be to extreme and over cool it in a very short time.

Do you think an extremely mini AC would work in the terrarium?

Thanks,
 

Saldarya

Established Member
Again, there is not really any AC you can use for a terrarium it self, it simply will not work.

What is the size of the room? Is it a bedroom? Share a bit more info of the room and such and maybe we can offer some specific help.
 

Mike Fisher

Established Member
What is the size of the room? Is it a bedroom? Share a bit more info of the room and such and maybe we can offer some specific help.

Good point. The smaller the room is, the harder it will be to keep the temp swings from being too great. The larger it is, the harder it will be to cool it without resorting to a very large air conditioner unit. Ideally you should size and set the air conditioner to run almost continually at a low level rather than cycle on and off frequently.

An air conditioner is not altogether a bad solution but there are certain aspects that you will want to keep a close eye on. The key one being humidity, a secondary one being temperature swings, with a third concern being the cold air draft. You don't want this blowing on your chams.

Where are you located? You have chosen to keep quadricornis pretty casually. I'm in USA and haven't been able to find any for sale in the last six months.
 

johncjb

New Member
Sorry for the delay in the reply.

The room is a rather small bedroom.

I'll probably end up air conditioning the whole room. ;)

Thanks for your time. :)
 

johncjb

New Member
Thanks for the reply mike. :)

That's basicly the problem. I can't find any quads for sale. :(

A friend said she had some eggs and I'm hoping they'll hatch soon.

As for the problems you mentioned.... I'll get a large humidifier to keep the terrarium humid and direct the flow of air away from the chameleon (like with a cloth).

As for temp swings, I have yet to figure out how to avoid that.....

Thanks for your input, I really appreciate it. :)
 

Mike Fisher

Established Member
You may not need the humidifier, but you won't know until you get everything set up and settled in. Be sure to invest in a good digital humidity gauge, and obviously a digital thermometer. I use a combo unit that has both plus a remote probe.

Probably a good thing you can't find any quads for sale. You have time to get it dialed in.
 

Saldarya

Established Member
If you choose to buy a window AC unit for a bedroom, get a 10K BTU unit if you can. It is overkill for a single room, but as Mike mentioned above, you want to be able to run it on LOW. This will help you reduce the cold drafts as well as the compressor running full time due to large temp swings.

In addition, the large unit will help you maintain the low night time temps.

Hope you like sleeping bundled up at night!! :D
 

Mike Fisher

Established Member
It is better to slightly undersize the AC unit than oversize it. If it is undersize, it will run rather consistently and reach set temperature slowly. If you oversize it, it will be too efficient at cooling the room quickly and it will cycle on and off frequently. This will give you those wild temperature swings that you want to avoid.

Many people make this same mistake when choosing the AC unit for their whole house. They feel like if a little is good, more is better. Then they freeze while it is running, and then get too warm before it kicks back on and it never achieves equilibrium, just back and forth.

There are online calculators and articles to help you choose the correct unit. If you get one with a re-circulation mode it won't dry the air out as bad.

Good luck.
 
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