confused (or behind the times...)


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Ok, last I remember, all-glass cages are not recommended for chams... did I miss something? I've seen quite a few gallery pics with rather large chams (older than I think would be ok to keep in a tank) living in an exo-terra... Does this help with the winter humidity? or has new info come out in the past 2 years that I missed? Just wondering.
no i've only heard glass for up to 3mo. for winter humidity you could cover a few of the sides with plastic sheeting to hold humidity, or a humidifier.
No, it’s basically rubbish and sets a bad example. You can totally keep a chameleon in all glass enclosures or a partial one – you just need to know how to ventilate it properly and I seriously doubt any of those keepers are doing just that. A keeper from Europe made an excellent point too. A lot of Europeans use glass or partial glass for their enclosures but these aren’t the fish tanks you see us North Americans using. They are specially designed with vents and with reptiles in mind AND IMO the Euro gang has more experience with herps then we do.

I always here the reason for using a glass tank is that “it’s cold where I live” or “it’s really dry” but right now where I live it is seriously cold and dry but yet as I look over at the humidity gauge on the outside of my veileds cage it reads 53 which is acceptable. During the day it’s higher due to the mist system and all the humidifiers scattered throughout my place. Bottom line is that you can get it done without a glass enclosure. Sure its more “apparatus” and something to clean and something that will use more electricity and those are probably some of the reasons why people are using the all glass tanks. That and the fact that a fish tank is way cheaper then a traditional cham cage – usually.

cover a few of the sides with plastic sheeting

This is a good suggestion too.

Roo makes a good point.

I was at a reptile show on Sunday where a snake keeper was displaying absolutely beautiful wood and glass cages. They were crafted so well, that they were more like exquisite pieces of furniture than reptile cages. He was selling them at the equivalent of about $800 and upwards.

I asked him about modifications to put screen sides in, instead of glass, "You know, for ventilation", I told him.

He said that would be absolutely unnecessary. He showed me the fans and vents that were installed and corresponding gauges and knobs that controlled them. He had an emerald green boa in one cage (I'm not a snake expert, so I can't tell you the species) that he claimed has one of the most demanding environments to simulate. But he said that inside the glass, he could more accuaretly control the temperature, humidity and airflow than in any other enclosure.

Glass CAN be used to keep chameleons, but it requires much more care in setting up than with a screen cage.
And that's why screen cages are recommended. Most new chameleon owners are getting chams at pet stores who do not instruct them in properly setting the cham up.
So it's just easier to recommend to inexperienced keepers to use a screen cage.

As someone who started keeping chameleons with very little experience of other reptiles, I'm glad I went the screen cage route. There are so many other things to worry about when developing chameleon-keeping skills, that I'm glad I didn't have to worry about the glass.

Personally, I also feel that it's easier to keep screen clean and looking good than glass (which shows up every spot of water). And that's important, since chameleons are pets that are observed (not played with), and it's far betting watching them in an attractive cage than an eye-sore.

And then there is the argument about the stress caused by a chameleon's reflection. I'm not sure this one has been proven entirely yet, but since a lot of things about chameleon husbandry are still not completely scientifically studied, it does provide motivation to follow the anecdotal advice.

So as for all those older chams you've seen living in glass houses, either they have very knowledgable and meticulate keepers who have them set up perfectly inside there, or, as Kinyonga always says, those chams are surviving, but not thriving.
Yes, im a cham keeper from Europe (Sweden) and it´s good to get this issue staighten out. Because I think the most pro-glassenclosure-keepers are from Europe.

The glassenslosures we use here is, like Roo said, not the ones made for fishes. They usually have to whole top for ventilation and often one in the from and/or sides. But one problem is still there, the reflections.

Personally I solved that problem with a thin plastic which gives the glass a frosted surface. So now there are no reflections and my cham is glad and healthy :D . Heres is a pic of how it looks like
The whole top is screen and a bit in the front (not showing in the pic).
It may just be me but I still don't think that this type of enclosure would offer enough ventilation.. the screen top just doesn't seem as if it would allow for enough air flow.

The benefits of an all screen enclosure greatly overshadow the humidity struggles that we all fight, in my opinion.
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