going commercial or going sterile

oldworldlife

New Member
I first off was wondering if anyone here has tried or knows of anyone that has tried to breed Pygmy's in a sterile cage setup for commercial breeding?
I will be receiving a group of 6.18 Rieppeleon brevicaudatus (Bearded Pygmy Chameleons) . I planned on dividing this group up and trying a few different scenarios
first off being the norm a Eco Terra setup as http://www.chameleonnews.com/05JunRouthouska.html
with a 1.2

then natural
I have a 75 gal that I would like to setup in the same "normal" fashion isopods and all with a 1.4 group

then sterile
I have a ball python rack system that I'm not using I wanted to setup two 1.3groups in these tubs there 32qt tubs that have a lot of floor space but not much hight. paper towel/wax paper bottom I was thinking of adding a laying container inside that would maybe take up 1/3 of the floor space then the hard part what to get them to crawl to take the placement of branches I would need something dense with alot of surface area and dish washer safe would be nice . This I believe will be the most important part and the make or brake idea for the chams sake.

then sterile
another sterile setup housing the last two 1.3 groups but this time the tubs will be more vertical space as in the types and sizes used for crested geckos

I am aiming for 100% sterile setups the first two natural setups are going to be my controls and I will be judging my success based mostly off the controls compared to sterile and base off of any info I can receive from anyone who has had success breeding this species.

What would you do????????
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
I guess my first question is what makes the latter setups "sterile" compared to the first? Just sounds like it's a little cleaner and more unnatural... And what do you hope the benefit will be of a more "sterile" situation? You have to have dirt for the females to dig in if you want to get eggs. I am just curious more than anything.
 

Julirs

New Member
I have to say I don't really get it either. I have kept Pygmies in Sterlite plastic tubs for years with coconut fiber and Pothos and/or fake plants. They didn't care a bit. You will need something with a bit higher sides to help control humidity.
 

oldworldlife

New Member
?

nothing organic except for lying media in temporary laying containers that would be changed out often . The purpose would be to keep everything as clean as possible and as easy as possible to clean like weekly I would change the group to a band new setup then take all the contents of the old setup and run it through an commercial dish washer.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Okay...for what end purpose though? Have you had a lot of problems with bacteria/mold or parasites in the past? While it wouldn't strictly be a bad thing to do, although stressful on your fragile little wc chams and time consuming to you, I guess I just don't see why go through the extra effort if there isn't a clear benefit to it. Your lil pygs will need time to acclimate to captivity and I don't know that changing their environment every week is going to help with that. Is there some big benefit you think it will add to be more clean? Personally I love the look of the natural terrarium and know lots of people have had success with them that way. I'm not trying to rain on your parade here, I guess my look is don't fix what ain't broke. :)
 

primestick

New Member
I agree with ferret, moving these guys like that alot is alot of unneeded stress, also how are you going to light the sterlite racks? If you wanted to use a rack system that is sterlite i would use on of the arboreal rack systems and plant the same way you would for a natural setup. It would be hard to get the lighting but im sure you could fgure something out.
 

oldworldlife

New Member
The idea is that every cage is setup the same for the stress factor. So when there changed (I just said a week off the top of my head I will clean it as it dictates that it needs it ) quickly the only way the animals can know something changed is the scent maybe and the fact I grab them and move them 2 feet to there next cage. Home will always look like home same stuff in the same spots.

One of the main goals is to make it quick and easy to spot freshly laid eggs and remove them I don't have the best eye sight and these things are tiny.

On the other side of the room well 4-5 feet away are two 160 mercury vapor lights lighting my caiman I was actually thinking of covering part of the front with a light reducing curtain to shield part of the light and UV from the chams

The second set of sterile setups will use a container with alot greater hight I said like crested gecko's but they are close to what people use for GTP's and emerald tree boa's
 

Ekaj13

New Member
The practice of keeping animals in plastic containers that don't resemble their habitats at all really disgusts me.

The racks bp breeders use are so sad looking. When people use set ups like this it really shows their greed. The animals become nothing more than a commodity.
 

primestick

New Member
The practice of keeping animals in plastic containers that don't resemble their habitats at all really disgusts me.

The racks bp breeders use are so sad looking. When people use set ups like this it really shows their greed. The animals become nothing more than a commodity.
That is untrue, i use rack systems for my leopard geckos, and i dont even sell them. They are easy to maintain and the geckos are verry happy in them. It all depends on the animal and the care giver. As for the post the rack system would work if you set it up right, I have been thinking about it and I might do the same. You WILL need lights in every tub expecally if you are using live plants, and they are going to need more of a photo period than a light across the room will provide.I would also use a misting system in the racks. As for the whole paper towel thing and all fake plants im not so sure on that one.
 

Vegas Chad

Avid Member
If you plan on commercially breeding pygmy chameleons you need to understand that nothing about them is fast. If you separate them into groups it would be obvious that a female has laid simply because you should learn them from day to day maintenance, gravid too for that matter. Setting them up in any way shape or form similar to a gecko, snake or any type of rack reptile is a bad idea as they need daily misting, light and ventilation all of which is not conducive to racking.

If I were to set up a big pygmy colony I would buy a mess of 10g tanks, and terrarium them all out. I would maintain them as best as could be and let them do their own thing. I rarely incubate pygmy eggs. The vast (80%+) majority of CB pygmy chameleons that I sell I find in my tanks. Keeping a pygmy chameleon’s home in the parameters that they need to be at allows for a natural incubation. Playing where’s waldow with tiny white tick tacks under the dirt is usually a lost cause anyway.

I do support the attempt at breeding pygmy chameleons on a large scale though; it would be cool if you could be successful at it.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Chad brings up a good point. You should know when the females lay eggs because it's a pretty dramatic change in body size. One day they look like grapes with legs and then the next they're back down to a leaf with legs.

And the eggs are near impossible to find anyway! I had to break down my tank due to mold when I knew eggs were laid very recently so I was super careful and sifted away all the substrate with a small spoon so I hopefully wouldn't disturb them and I still managed to scoop up two before I even saw them. Most people I've seen that have had success have just left the eggs burried in the tank because the temps and conditions of the adult habitat should be conducive to incubation as well.

I too would love for you to have success breeding pygs so that fewer would be imported! I guess that's why I'm so skeptical of your proposed plan because I foresee so much stress on the pygs that success doesn't seem as likely. These are animals coming straight from the wild so recreating that habitat as much as possible will be in thier best interest imo. Acclimating to captivity is hard enough - I put mine in the guest room with absolutely minimal interaction for over a month to give them time to acclimate. They are surprisingly well adapted now and allow me to stare at them all the time and reach in and change stuff without launching into hiding or even leaning away. I don't ever handle them but I'm pleased with the degree to which they are tolerant of me. I fear that excessive change and handling during cage changes right after importation would be too much for their tiny little hearts. jmo. But who know, maybe your system will work too.
 

oldworldlife

New Member
Thanks for all the info fellow herpers Please keep the suggestions coming in the more the better.
As for the min daily misting I like to do that task hands on as I have had problems in the past with mister systems and this guarantees that I look at each an every animal everyday. As for the lighting and ventilation I planned on trying to stay away form live plants. That is only half of it though I have gotten a lot of conflicting info on the subject and is a large part of why I am on this site . I hope that as everyone answers in so I can get a great over view of everyone Else's experience with this species.
I have my tubs drilled will a lot of extra ventilation holes so they really should have comparable ventilation as a 10 gal with screen top .
The reason for the laying bins is so I can have accurate hatch rates. I want to keep close close watch to insure that I can better myself with the species. If I leave the eggs I would have no way of accurately monitoring my own efforts . I really expect this to be a SLOW learning process but I Know that the better my starting point with this species the greater chance of long term success .So please keep all suggestion coming in .
 

Julirs

New Member
TI really expect this to be a SLOW learning process but I Know that the better my starting point with this species the greater chance of long term success .So please keep all suggestion coming in .
Starting point? You are wanting to do something entirely different then anything anyone has done that has been successful with this species. Chameleons are easily stressed and don't like change. Pygs need the correct humidity and live plants are best. If you use a Sterlite plastic container with no lid you do not need to drill holes in it. If you want to see if a female laid eggs you can raise up the container and you will almost always see the eggs resting along the bottom if your substrate is about 2"-3" deep. You are trying to make far more work out of this than you need to to be sucessful.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
I can understand if this is a commercial attempt at breeding pygs. But if you truly want to enjoy this endeavor I would contact protean. They make some of the nicest glass terraria Ive seen in the US. They are very affordable also. You can set them up in the typicaal way with hydroton balls and organic soil. They'd be relatively maintenance free if you put in a cleanup crew in each one.(Springtails) They'd also be a nice addition to any collection as far as viewing and display purposes. You'd have a more enjoyable time keeping them in these as you'd be able to witness their behaviors easier. Just my opinion...;)
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
If you want to breed chameleons on a commercial basis, rent some place at southern states, buy some cages and breed pardalis or Bradypodions. But not brevicaudatus. You wont get more than 20-30$ per animal, even if its CB
 
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