Discussion in 'Enclosures And Supplies' started by Motherlode Chameleon, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I figured I would post this. This is a link to the greenhouse company that sold me my greenhouse ( mine was a Conleys Hobby House, residential structure, that is a 12 by 12. For about the price of a pair of Parsons I think this greenhouse was good deal. The greenhouse has got to be heated in northern areas for a couple months out of the year, however can produce year round desired conditions (high humidity, light intensity, temperature (on a thermostat and is capable of low and high temperatures) and extra greenery) that not many reptile rooms can match. Plus all the reptiles and insects are out of the main house. Conely charges a small fortune for installation (about the same price as the greenhouse itself), however, if your handy enough you could assemble the greenhouse yourself. Plus swamp cooler and pro pain heaters are separate.

    The only major problem is producing UV rays for reptile requirements that I'm attempting to solve. If worse came to worse I could just hand water the chameleons and greenhouse (for humidity) then put Zoo Med 10.0 tubes over all the cages. If you live in areas with extreme heat and cold temperatures can be a problem occasionally.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  2. Vegas Chad

    Vegas Chad Avid Member

    Do you have a UVB probe? What is the measure inside? Any pics? :)
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  3. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    With out any extra light the natural light in the greenhouse has a UVB reading of zero and I have not purchased a UVA meter yet. I'm researching buying a custom greenhouse skin that lets UVA and UVB rays through as well as researching custom metal halide bulbs and their applications for reptiles.

    You can see pictures in the photography section that is titled Greenhouse, Metal Halide and Plants, and a old thread by Pure about greenhouses that has got pictures of my greenhouse from before my family and I moved.

    When the greenhouse is completely moved I'm going to post more updated pictures.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  4. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Just a note it is 60 degrees out here in central California and inside the greenhouse without a swamp cooler on or heater attached has a temperature that is about 100 degrees on my thermostat. During the winter when the heater thermostat is on it normally is only in significant use at night or on over cast days.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  5. SSimsswiSS

    SSimsswiSS Avid Member

    Hopfully no chams cooking inside. I'm sure the downward swing is just as great at night, without a swamp cooler on or heater attached.
  6. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    No the chameleons are not inside I have not installed the electric, gas, or water yet.

    Although the downward swing is not that terrible at night the greenhouse has a skin made with two layers and retains heat remarkably well.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  7. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    The greenhouse gas, electric and water is installed. I have got to buy some new plants and build some custom cages then I'm going to post more pictures.

    The metal halide is awesome at night it allows me to use it as a kind of a shop light that totally lights up the entire greenhouse. Walking down to the greenhouse at night when the metal halide is on reminds me of the movie ET with a bright light in the forest. I think it may scare the neighbors out hear on the country side with a bright light that is emitted from the woods at odd hours in the night.

    A lot of people have expressed concern in regards to the heat emitted by my metal halide and with my light (Sun Systems halide) I have got to say my light when I stand under it (with glass screen still on) emits virtually no heat and I have got a Thermometer to confirm the Halide lamp is not producing much heat if any noticeable extra heat. Anyways things are coming together really well and the upgrade greenhouse is going to be really neat when I'm done.

    Plus Rhino my two and a half to three year old male Parsons chameleon colors are noticeably starting to turn turquoise/blue.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  8. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Now that I'm off the ranch and I am using tap water instead of well water (although it had a lot of calcium which was probably good for the chameleons to some extent) I'm expecting a lot less algae build up on the skin or covering of the greenhouse. I'm going to see what happens.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  9. chameleonneeds

    chameleonneeds Avid Member

    So your plan with this is to put custom cages inside the greenhouse right? Or are you just housing chameleons inside it with plants and etc?
  10. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Both actually, I'm going to have custom cages and when I'm working in the greenhouse I'm going to let the some chameleons free range under supervision.

    Check out my greenhouse album there are pictures of the greenhouse in it old location. I had only one chameleon a male Ambanja Panther for about three years and would house him in a screen cage for feeding and sleeping. However, when the temperatures were warmer and there was not any concern of him some how climbing into a heater that was on I would let him free range the entire greenhouse which with the high humidity and abundance of plants my Ambanja loved.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  11. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    If you have ever free ranged your chameleons before my chameleons seem to be aware that they are not being kept in a cage and are keen to living it up when they are out and about. When I have got the time I attempt to let them free range often, yet only under supervision though.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  12. espritjustin

    espritjustin New Member

    I suggest you change the panel of your roof,you can try clear acrylic panel
  13. chamelisa

    chamelisa New Member

    Solacryl allows 90% UVB penetration. There are lesser quality acrylic panels but I never felt comfortable with letting the cost sway me. I get various UVB readings throughout the year at different positions inside my greenhouse.

    Greenhouses can turn into ovens and I have heard stories of power outages and timer issues that resulted in many dead chameleons. I haven't had any problems with that but I don't rely on automation either. I spend a lot of time in my greenhouse.

    It is a year long project to get things just right. Aside from making sure UVB was getting in, my second biggest concern has always been cleanliness so I designed mine to make cleaning easy. Lots of room, excellent drainage, cages on racks off the floor... There is even a gap around the perimeter so water can run off the slab and when I use an electric blower, it pushes all debris outside without accumulating in the edges and corners.

    My big project this year is going to be adding an exhaust fan and two vents. Also, I have to rebuild my swamp cooler. The pump died on me so water doesn't pump to the top of the filter right now. Makes me really mad when things like that happen. I don't know how to rebuilt pumps but I guess I'm about to learn.

    Anyway, here is my greenhouse. I don't have many pictures (because I don't like posting them on the internet) but here you can get an idea of what it looks like inside.

    Kevin (summoner12) helped me with the RO set up and the misting system. Marty (Mist King) gave me an awesome deal on everything.
    Matt Vanilla Gorilla likes this.
  14. Texas Panther Man

    Texas Panther Man New Member

    Thanks for allowing us to see your setup. It was very well thought out and professional looking installation. You must be very proud of it. One question arent you concerned about potential theives though. I was always paranoid about leaving my chams outside overnight for that reason. Do you have an alarm system on the greenhouse?
  15. summoner12

    summoner12 Avid Member

    I think the pump inside your swamp cooler can easily be replaced with one of those pond pumps you see at Home Depot. You don't need a lot of flow.... but I would go bigger and then if needed put a valve so you can restrict the flow...

    I don't think people think there is much valuable stuff in a green house and I can't imagine anyone would ever think 'oh a green house, i bet it's full of chameleons.' So I think most people are safe. Sure if someone did jump into the yard and entered the greenhouse and they did figure out what was inside... you'd have an issue... but at night I bet most thieves wouldn't see any animals in cages without turning on a light and bringing attention to themselves...

    I have talked to Elisa about an alarm though lol
  16. Texas Panther Man

    Texas Panther Man New Member

    At the time i had outside cages they were a bit conspicuous ya know. I can see how the green house wouldnt draw attenton like a bunch of cages do. Good point.
  17. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Eventually I want to put a Solacryl covering /skin on my greenhouse. However, with my studies during the week days and only working part time its going to be a while.

    I have got a neat solution to the temperature problem I'm installing, through a local techie, a digital monitor that reads temperatures and humidity and sends constant reading to a digital display to the main house and over the to my family companies shop. If the swamp coolers fan belt breaks I have got an early warning system. I have replaced most everything on the greenhouse new fan belts etc... and should not be an issue for a while.

    As far as thieves I have got some measures to prevent theft.
  18. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I'm in the process of switching to Mist King sprayers as well.

    Chamelisa your digital temperature and humidity monitor is similar to what I'm going to install.
  19. chamelisa

    chamelisa New Member

    I'll get a new pump next weekend. My mom and Ashley are coming out today for the week. :)

    Regarding an alarm... no interest there. I have a pit, I'm home 24/7, no one really cares about my chameleons (mostly rescues anyway). I have people over to my house all the time and will be holding workshops here. At one point I was nervous about it, but we can't live in fear all the time.

    Regarding the Solacryl, if you keep chameleons in a greenhouse that filters out the UVB and you don't provide any with UVB lamps, you are going to end up with a lot of MBD. Get the UVB set up ASAP, no excuses!
  20. Motherlode Chameleon

    Motherlode Chameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    I'm supplementing for UVB and UVA right now with sun cages inside the house, lights in the greenhouse and outdoor cages when the weather is good. I'm currently researching a metal halide system that emits UVB and UVA from Reptile UV for the greenhouse.

    Conleys makes a 6 foot long extension for the greenhouse model I have got that I'm considering once my greenhouse is complete. If that happens I'm going to super size all the cages.

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