Human size terrarium

shopguy

New Member
I’ve searched to the ends of the Internet and this site had the closest discussion to what I am wanting to do.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/heat-lamp-for-wife.123898/

I seriously want to build a small building (100-200 square feet) and keep it really warm (90-110 F) with dry Tucson Arizona climate, dessert sand, and a giant hot rock, and maybe a bathtub sized water feature. I know it will be very impractical, but I’m okay with that to some degree. Wood and electric heat are my two options.

Most important is warm, dry air, and lots of sun-like light.. unfortunately will be fake sun here.

I know how to build normal homes, so intermediate to advanced construction isn’t a problem. I have some ideas but would love opinions and especially to hear about any success or failure stories of something similar — for a zoo full of chams or humans or otherwise.

Short backstory... my wife was willing to move from Tucson AZ to the Pacific Northwest / Washington State area with me. We have 14 acres in the rainforest and a beautiful home, but she will always miss the dessert. I’d just like to bring a small piece to her, to keep her slightly happier between visits back down south.

If you read this far, thanks a lot, even if you can’t help :)
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Green house? run a dehumidifier to dry out the air.

There are some chameleon keepers that have greenhouses just for their chameleons
 

shopguy

New Member
Green house? run a dehumidifier to dry out the air.

There are some chameleon keepers that have greenhouses just for their chameleons
Thanks. I saw a lot of greenhouse ideas but don’t think it will work here in the rainforest with almost no sun. They don’t seem like they have much insulation so keeping 50 degrees warmer than the outside air seems like a huge challenge.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
@cyberlocc do you have any lighting suggestions?
Ya, Screen top. :p.

The better question and why has no one asked this. What are you planning to keep in here?

110f is way to hot for any Cham. They are not dessert Animals, they are more akin to Rainforests. Even the species like Panthers that don't live in an actual rainforest it's pretty dang close. Ambilobe falls like 40mms of rain short per year from being a rainforest. It's on the line, of being or not being to the point where a really rainy year can push them over.

I don't know nothing about veilieds. But I am pretty sure they still don't live in no desert.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ya, Screen top. :p.

The better question and why has no one asked this. What are you planning to keep in here?

110f is way to hot for any Cham. They are not dessert Animals, they are more akin to Rainforests. Even the species like Panthers that don't live in an actual rainforest it's pretty dang close. Ambilobe falls like 40mms of rain short per year from being a rainforest. It's on the line, of being or not being to the point where a really rainy year can push them over.

I don't know nothing about veilieds. But I am pretty sure they still don't live in no desert.
Veilds live in the Wadis (oasis) in the middle of a dessert pretty much. They can tolerate lower humidity during the day and probably higher temps as well. However even 110* is too hot for them. And still require that dense fog at night of up to 100% humidity.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
OP first thing to do, is come back to AZ get you some desert tortoise to bring home. Those will go in your room, you can grab some scorpions and a gila monster too. Because that's all that's going to live in this room.


And you don't heat with electric or wood. You heat with lights. Get a ton of MVB bulbs or Halogens or a mix of both. Use those for light and heat. Heat from top down, never use a heat rock. I mean you can, put a big rock and it will get hot lol. But that's about the most heat rock your going to want.
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
You want to reproduce desert climate in a room in washington state with the idea of keeping chameleons in it?? That doesn't make sense....google search chameleon natural habitat
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I dont think he mentioned animals - the idea is to keep his wife in there :p

The Conservatory in Baltimore has a desert room, but they also have access to natural sunlight. I think you would be surprised how warm a greenhouse can get with direct sun. Any chance you can clear some trees to get at least direct sun on the south side?
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
If its indoor, why not a grow tent? They get huge, even small ones are 4x4 and medium is 4x8, thats 32sqft.
 

shopguy

New Member
Thanks for all the replies, some useful ideas in there. To say again or clarify, this is for my wife to enjoy (spend a few hours a day in probably), not for any other animals other than the human kind.

I hadn't thought about using heat lamps -- I will put that on my list of research to follow up on.

I can clear trees to get sunny areas, but they mostly only get sun in the summer, and in the summer months, on sunny days at least, my wife is already pretty content. So this is more about the winter and really the majority of the year we just don't have any sun, trees or not.

@snitz427 thanks - the Baltimore Conservatory idea at least gives me some photos and ideas to reference. This is the closest I have seen to what I want to build. Mine would be much smaller, and not have all the tile/stone walking paths, but other than that this is pretty close.

@nightanole Had never seen these "grow tents" before, so thank you for that. I just started looking at them, but could be a great idea, and affordable. Maybe even just for the irony of putting my wife in a tent most people use for growing pot -- let's just say, she isn't really pro-pot :)
 

KRGEE21

Avid Member
@nightanole Had never seen these "grow tents" before, so thank you for that. I just started looking at them, but could be a great idea, and affordable. Maybe even just for the irony of putting my wife in a tent most people use for growing pot -- let's just say, she isn't really pro-pot :)
[/QUOTE]

10'x10' grow tent, and a couple of metal halide light ballasts you've got an instant warm sun room.
My wife is from southern cal, and she tends to get depressed with our 9 month winters in WA. I just have one metal halide set up in the corner of a room so she can sit under it. It does help.
 
Top Bottom