Is our Approach to Naturalistic Humidity Correct?

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I just seen this is a thread, it was linked I thought by a user turns out this is Bills Guide.



Setting up the lighting and hydration schedule[/quote]
daily environmental cycle for a chameleon


When we set up our daily schedule we are attempting to replicate the wild conditions that the chameleon has grown to expect. (1) Let’s start at midnight.
At midnight the chameleon has been asleep for many hours. It is dark and, although the moon waxes and wanes, chameleons will seek out dark places to sleep. They see light of all colors just fine and any light can disturb their rest. (2)

As the early morning progresses the humidity rises. (3)
Fog banks can start to form and the chameleon is breathing in moist air. This high humidity forms an important part in their natural hydration. To simulate this, we turn ultrasonic humidifiers on around 1:30AM. The fog from the humidifiers tends to bounce off of surfaces and roll out the cage so we run the misting system for a couple of minute to coat the cage in a layer of water. This helps the fogger be more effective and the fog tends to stick around. The fogger go from 1:30 to 6:00 in a 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off pattern. This is to protect against too much fog. This is wise when you have closed in three or more sides of your cage to retain humidity. If you have a completely screen cage then you may leave it on the entire time. This all is done so the chameleon can breathe in the humidity. Just before the lights come on the misters are run for another couple of minute to make sure that when the chameleon wakes up it wakes up to surfaces covered in “dew”. This is a natural source of water for them even in their dry season. (4) Once the dew is laid down the lights can come on.

Around 7AM the daylights come on. This can include the UVB light if they are the same fixture. If they are separate fixtures then save turning the UVB light on to correspond to when the basking bulb is switched on. I like to leave the daylight bulbs on for 15 or 30 minutes to give the chameleon a chance to leisurely lick whatever dew they want. I then turn the basking bulb on so they can warm themselves up.

As the ambient temperatures start to warm there is no longer the need for a basking lamp and it is shut off. The chart shows it going off at 10:00AM. (5) The actual time that the basking lamp is on will depend on your chameleon’s needs. Watch the behavior. If they routinely get the warmth they need in 30 minutes and then climb away with content colors to hunt then reduce your basking time to that time plus 15 minutes that they make use of the warmth.

Sometime during the day (I start at 3PM) start your dripper. This is a backup hydration strategy just to make sure they have enough water. While it is true they do not have drippers every day in the wild during the dry season, (6) they also are not needing to reconstitute dry calcium powder on all their feeders. The advantage of running a dripper is that it is completely optional for them and, as a bonus, it also allows you the opportunity to ensure your plants get watered. Place it above a different plant each day and through out the week, all plants will get watered. It is not critical when you start the dripper. In this schedule I have it in the late afternoon so that the chameleon can rehydrate before the evening rest. I suggest starting the dripper an hour or so after feeding them so they can replenish what they need. In the wild, their food is a major source of hydration. We mess that up a bit with our powders and a dripper is a way we make up for that. Ideally, the chameleon will have gotten enough hydration from the moist night air, morning dew, and food items. I consider it a success when the chameleon ignores the dripper and an early warning sign when he drinks from the dripper.

Once the chameleon settles in and goes to sleep I like to have a couple minutes misting just to set up the night humidity.
You’ll notice there are no daytime mistings. Although this is common in chameleon husbandry, and I did it myself, I have transitioned my mistings to the sleep hours. Chameleons have been consistent in their communicating that they do not like being sprayed. I have given up deciding I know what is best for them and started to listen to them. The night fog, morning dew and the afternoon dripper provide the necessary hydration in a natural way. With those provided there just isn’t a need to force them into a shower in the middle of the day.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
1. While I do agree, that natural keeping is better, this is not natural conditions they have come to expect. Our Chameleons (unless yours in WC) have never lived in the wild, they expect the conditions they were raised under, the conditions that their breeder provided dont you think?

2. This is 2 different statements, one of which is correct, the other has not actually been proven as reality, but its easier to go with that, and out of scope of the thread. (*)

3. Where did this come from? The Humidity doesn't rise at midnight, the humidity is high all day, and gets higher at nightfall. Ideally you should begin raising humidity at nightfall, which I think you covered with your misters, but gradually raise till 100% at midnight is fine, maybe start at 50% (daytime humidity) and raise it, so spray at lights out, then fog 45 mins later for 15, then gradually increase the fogging till midnight with your 30/30 cycle would be fine. (**)

4. I am not sure about Yemens. Panther Chameleons in Madagascar, many do not survive the Dry Season, they are Annuals in the wild. We should as you said provide a Dew, and they do utilize that in the Wet Season 100%, just pointing out the Dry season statement. Should the dry season really be imitated? As that is what this seems.

5. Wait your Ambient Temperature rises? Do you think that the temp in Madagascar reaches its peak heat at 10am, then it magically drops to 70 for the rest of the day? On the contrary, the Heat hasn't even begun till after 10am, the hottest part of the day is in the afternoon. So you suggest we expose our chams to what they would be in nature, and give them a hot morning and cool day? When that is the complete opposite of anything resembling nature at all? (**)

6. Again we want to stay far and away from thinking about or recreating the "Dry Season" as again, dont most not survive that season.

7. This is the wrong logic to follow. Few issues here,

1. Chameleons need to "Bathe" as it were, they need to wash their eyes, they need to be able to soak their skin. Removing all ability's to "Shower" is not correct.

2. What is the point of removing the Afternoon or any time of Mists? Are we trying to recreate the Dry Season Again? The Wet Season consists of 20-27 days of 2+ inches of rainfall
throughout the day (**,***), it rains, basically every day. In small amounts, very often. I am well aware of the "High Heat + Misting = RI" Well again, we have the hottest days being in the wet season,
its not only raining, and extremely humid, but those are the days that are hottest. This could happen to some folks, and is likely more so a ventilation issue then a high heat + humidity. Which then again as you have stated, its been common place for us as keepers to keep basking lights on during misting and everyone didn't have constant RIs.

3. Do Chameleons really not like rain? Or misters for that matter? Or is what they dont like is out of the Blue being sprayed by water. In my experience, a chameleon will be shocked, and run from the misters turning on. Then to slowly return to the water stream, to "Bathe" on their own leisure. Thats because the Misting, or the Rain is not the problem, the startling is.

Chameleons cannot look at your clock, and say "Hey its going to rain soon", in nature they DO KNOW its going to rain, just as we do. What happens to us when it rains, is it a bright sunny day then all of a sudden we get sprayed by water? How would that make you feel? The misting during the day does not need to be removed, the Ques of its coming is what needs to change. This doesn't stop there either.

In the morning, when you are just waking, or woken and someone flips on a super bright light in your face, how does that make you feel? My wife does it all the time to me, and it drives me up the wall. Does the sun just naturally pop up full 100000 lux in your face, no. So why do we do that to chams?

The correct approach to the afternoon mist, is to turn off the basking light, ahead of time. Have your grow lights on automated dimmers, that have ramp timers, and to ramp the light down. If you cant do that, and must flip the light on, thats fine, everything goes off, except the UVB light, 30 mins before the mist. 30 mins after the mist, the lights come back on. Now the chameleon has that natural Que, he knows, "Ugh oh, the sky just darkened, I am about to get sprayed with water, let me hide, or let me sit over here next to the mister".

My lights currently switch off, in that fashion (will be ramping in the next week or 2, once I get the controller finished) Guess what, he doesn't freak out when the misters go off, when the lights shut off, he begins to move under a leaf, or he moves towards a mister. He has learned what it means when his lights dim in the middle of the day, just as a Wild Chameleon already knows.

* "The third eye is only sensitive to violet and blue light: it ignores light of longer wavelengths." - https://osa.magnet.fsu.edu/tutorials/chameleonschange.html, I got tons of those links, that was just the first one :).

** Weather Data for Today, January 15, 2020 in Ambilobe Madagascar. - https://weather.com/weather/hourbyhour/l/d4dd210bcfc394328d1667ffff04bacba68a95226e0c04e575daee78b008bd12
2020-01-14 12_55_09-Hourly Weather Forecast for Ambilobe, Madagascar - The Weather Channel _ W...png

*** Yearly Average Weather Data. https://www.madcham.de/en/category/chamaeleons-habitatsdaten/lokalformen-von-furcifer-pardalis/
2020-01-14 13_11_15-Local form Ambilobe – Madcham.de.png



I want to here your thoughts, see you guys opinions on this, and of course weather data, effects it has had on your chams, what schedule you use ect.
 

Ruthless

Established Member
I would agree with the basking lamp being shut off by 10am. But with most keepers having their chams indoors I don’t see that being possible unless you don’t care for your own comfort in your home.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Basking lights out time depends when your chameleons eat. They require the extra warmth to aid digestion.
Ya I cant say I agree.

I agree that the basking lights help with digestions sure, 100%. However reptiles will still bask after they are seemingly done, they still need heat I would argue long after you think they are done basking.

As Ruthless said, the principle is fine, as long as your temps are higher later in the day. For most home environments that is not the case, if your house is a constant 70, you need a basking light throughout the length of the day. Reptiles are cold blooded, they do not unlike us generate their own body temp. By doing as suggested, we are both subverting a naturalistic habitat, but also removing choice from the animal.

Your enclosure should be providing a temperature gradient, and with the solution of shut off the basking light, your cage is now what 70 all day long?

You also have to put into your thought the average keeper. The Average keepers around here (the new guys, the ones that are not involved in the hobby aspects) will have a T5h0 UVB and a Basking light, say a Halogen. You just told them to turn off that halogen, at 10am. Now the Chameleon will not only have a super dim cage, but the temps will be 70 cage wide. This suggestion is terrible for that keeper.

For the guy with Quad T5s, whose cage temp, will still be up in the high 80s, at the top, the solution is not such a big deal. That was probably who bill had in mind when stating that. Its still not a natural state, as the heat is not highest at 7-10am. Thats moving away from the Natural Process we should be moving towards.

Lighting is a diffrent subject, but sense we touched on it, I feel this should be brought up.

"No artificial lighting system in the world can provide the full spectrum and intensity of natural sunlight, its subtle changes in color as a day progresses, or the sun’s movement across the sky. For these reasons alone, the more natural daylight a reptile experiences, the better. “Natural daylight” may not always mean full sunlight; a herpkeeper must aim to provide species-appropriate lighting."
http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Reptile-Health/Habitats-Care/Reptile-Lighting-Information/

I have always agreed with that sentiment 200%. Contrary to that article, as it is old, things have changed. We CAN Recreate the subtle changes in color throughout the day, we can change the heat throughout the day, we can recreate a pretty close to the Sun setup.

I also agree with the "Naturalistic Hydration" at its face value. However in the case of this thread, we are ignoring reality of nature, for some perceived better way. So the old way wasn't Natural, this way is not like nature, so what differs them? We should be pushing for naturalistic keeping, but thats not what this schedule does.

If anything, this "Naturalistic" humidity plan, steers further from nature.
We have seen the weather, the temps are hot all day, getting hotter in mid day. the humidity is high All day, getting higher at night. There are frequent short showers of Rain, throughout the day.

Sounds alot like the old way, basking all day 3-5 mistings per day, or whatever. So instead we exchange that for a higher nighttime humidity? For that we give up the average day temps, and the rain that are proven to exist as well?
 
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StephDay

Member
Bill presents an idea based on scientific research, knowledge from experts in the fields of herpetology, veterenarians, professionals who have published research in peer-reviewed journals, field observations, and controlled experiments by experienced keepers with many chameleons. And he presents it as a new idea worth testing out.

What you have presented are arguments about how you feel things should be, and you have analyzed chameleon-specific ideas based on how humans would "feel" about something.

1. Chameleons don't expect anything, they perceieve and react. This is anthropomorphizing chameleons.
3. Firstly, this statement is not saying that humidity doesnt rise from nightfall to midnight. It is saying that it continues to rise from midnight to morning.
So you have an idea about what you think is right. Implement it, test it out several times, with several chameleons, with different species, and report your results like Bill did. Don't just offer an idea and then say you think its better with no data. Maybe its better, but maybe its worse. Maybe higher humidity in a cage environment all night is bad for chameleons. We don't know until its tested. Bill's way has been tested and proven to be safe and effective. Which is the whole point of the natural hydration cycle. Why hydrate for 9 hours when 5 is effective at maintaining hydration?
4. No one ever suggested replicating a dry season. The point of the statement is that eary morning dew from humidity is available even in the dry season when there is no rain. Where is your data coming from that they definitely drink dew in the wet season but not in the dry season?
5. Yes, the ambient temperature of your cage rises from early morning to the afternoon, either from the outside air temperature rising or because you turned your heat up. Of course the temperature does not drop during the afternoon. However, chameleons move into the dense foliage to avoid the afternoon sun. The cage potentially limits their ability to escape our light-bulb sun.
6. Not once has anyone suggested recreating the dry season.
7. Once again, you are anthropomorphizing chameleons. A lot. This is the absolute wrong way to go about science.
7.1 You have proof of chameleon "bathing" being necessary? To me the point of the night time humidity is that it gives the skin and respiratory organs the humidity they need without having to "bathe".
7.2 High heat + humidity in a cage is very different from high heat + high humidity in the wild. The chameleon is hydrated, whats the point of adding more water to the system at this point? You have the dripper as a back up.
7.3 Yes, chameleons don't like being sprayed, like Bill said. In conjunction with 7.2, that's why he is suggesting no daytime spraying. I'm guessing the observations you are adding of chameleons going back to "bathe" under the mister is not a chameleon currently on the natural hydration cycle where they don't need hydration during the day. So much anthropomorphizing here.


I'm sure I am coming across as sharp. It is just frustrating to see people post ideas as facts based on no data, just feelings about things. You are suggesting changes to the natural hydration cycle based on how you, personally, feel it should work. Then go do it and prove Bill wrong. I think he would love being challenged and proven wrong for the betterment of chameleon keeping. But just stating here that you think this way is better isn't doing anything.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Don't get me wrong I like what Bill and Petr have brought to the table. I have incorporated many of their techniques into my chameleon keeping. Their way is a revolution compared to the traditional way. Not every long term keeper is completely sold on the changes. People who have had chameleons live 5-7 years doing it the old way aren't going to jump on this immediately. Expect the debate to rage on for a while.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Maybe if he has some time, Bill would be interested in humoring us? @DeremensisBlue
Explanation of the reasoning to a few of these points, would be great to see.

Bill presents an idea based on scientific research, knowledge from experts in the fields of herpetology, veterenarians, professionals who have published research in peer-reviewed journals, field observations, and controlled experiments by experienced keepers with many chameleons. And he presents it as a new idea worth testing out.

What you have presented are arguments about how you feel things should be, and you have analyzed chameleon-specific ideas based on how humans would "feel" about something.

1. Chameleons don't expect anything, they perceieve and react. This is anthropomorphizing chameleons.
3. Firstly, this statement is not saying that humidity doesnt rise from nightfall to midnight. It is saying that it continues to rise from midnight to morning.
So you have an idea about what you think is right. Implement it, test it out several times, with several chameleons, with different species, and report your results like Bill did. Don't just offer an idea and then say you think its better with no data. Maybe its better, but maybe its worse. Maybe higher humidity in a cage environment all night is bad for chameleons. We don't know until its tested. Bill's way has been tested and proven to be safe and effective. Which is the whole point of the natural hydration cycle. Why hydrate for 9 hours when 5 is effective at maintaining hydration?
4. No one ever suggested replicating a dry season. The point of the statement is that eary morning dew from humidity is available even in the dry season when there is no rain. Where is your data coming from that they definitely drink dew in the wet season but not in the dry season?
5. Yes, the ambient temperature of your cage rises from early morning to the afternoon, either from the outside air temperature rising or because you turned your heat up. Of course the temperature does not drop during the afternoon. However, chameleons move into the dense foliage to avoid the afternoon sun. The cage potentially limits their ability to escape our light-bulb sun.
6. Not once has anyone suggested recreating the dry season.
7. Once again, you are anthropomorphizing chameleons. A lot. This is the absolute wrong way to go about science.
7.1 You have proof of chameleon "bathing" being necessary? To me the point of the night time humidity is that it gives the skin and respiratory organs the humidity they need without having to "bathe".
7.2 High heat + humidity in a cage is very different from high heat + high humidity in the wild. The chameleon is hydrated, whats the point of adding more water to the system at this point? You have the dripper as a back up.
7.3 Yes, chameleons don't like being sprayed, like Bill said. In conjunction with 7.2, that's why he is suggesting no daytime spraying. I'm guessing the observations you are adding of chameleons going back to "bathe" under the mister is not a chameleon currently on the natural hydration cycle where they don't need hydration during the day. So much anthropomorphizing here.


I'm sure I am coming across as sharp. It is just frustrating to see people post ideas as facts based on no data, just feelings about things. You are suggesting changes to the natural hydration cycle based on how you, personally, feel it should work. Then go do it and prove Bill wrong. I think he would love being challenged and proven wrong for the betterment of chameleon keeping. But just stating here that you think this way is better isn't doing anything.

1. Okay so you are playing on words, to the words I used, that were directly copied from those of the article you are trying to defend? Okay....

3. You skipped 2, and you are making some mighty big assumptions on the testing made of this method before this posts creation. You were obviously not around for the timeline, how this all transpired ect. This is not Bills theory at work here, it is Petr Nectas, I was there upon its inception, and spoke with Petr extensively about it, back then. I did not agree with it then, and still dont, not fully, some aspects I do, some I do not.

4. You are completely missing the entirety of the post. This entire schedule as it is laid out, IS IMITATING the dry season. The dry season still as bill said, has the morning dew, it also possess the high Humidity at night. What it does not possess, is the same amount of Rain. Please look again at the data that has been provided, it paints the picture for you.

5. You are confusing things here. If you were to turn a basking light on at 7am, and then off at 10am. The temp in the top of the cage will rise, yes, as it should. However once that light is turned off, at 10am as this plan follows, the temp of the top will be reduced right back down to 70f or whatever your house temp is. How will the temp continue to rise without the presence of the heat source? Unless your dwellings are not cooled or heated at all? In that case, sure this works fine. In an ACed house at a constant 70f, No?

6. See 4. but to reiterate, lower temps, less rain, still humidity, thats the dry season....

7. Not sure where you seen me do that, or what this is even in reference too?

7.1 Do you own a chameleon? Chameleons love getting "Baths" they quite frequently will sit under a mister, and use this time to drink, absorb water, and wash their eyes. The latter, being not achievable in this plan and very much a needed thing. The water from "Bathing" is also useful during shedding to help free the loose skin, this is when they will attempt to "Bath" the most. Chameleons also again use rain to wash their eyes. This is a natural thing they do, being as they live in a almost rain forest (Ambilobe doesn't classify as a full rain forest, but its pretty close)

7.2 Whats the point of removing the rain that would be experienced in nature, and calling a natural approach? IDK you tell me.

7.3 You keep using that word, "anthropomorphizing" it doesn't mean what you think it means... Chameleons Bath in the rain in Nature. Chameleons do not mind being sprayed, you can find millions of videos of chams here, not shying the misters, and even videos of the same in nature.

Once again, we have currently as a proven working method, multiple mistings per day. Have had that for years. It simulates the Rain, they experience in the wild, but not the high humidity at night, or day time. We also implore the same high heat as would be found in nature, but the premise is to move away from that, to do only nighttime humidity, and a dripper? That is less close to nature than we already were.

I also keep Malagasy Plants, from around the Ambilobe and Andasibe areas. If I was to implore soley this method, of Naturalistic hydration they would be dead in a week. So the plants that hail for the same locations, cannot survive this concoction of hydration techniques, but the chameleons can? But this is the more natural way, the way that would kill the plants the Chameleons walk with in the wild.

As to your "anthropomorphizing". You think that Animals do not use the Ques of Nature, of the suns location in the sky, or the heat, the wind, ect. You are ill informed Sir. They 100% do, use those Qs in nature, and in captivity if they are provided them, and they 100% are startled when a Light Flips on, or a Mister blasts them from seemingly nowhere. You are confusing Conscience with Instinct. Everything I have described are Instinctual Quality's.
 
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cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Don't get me wrong I like what Bill and Petr have brought to the table. I have incorporated many of their techniques into my chameleon keeping. Their way is a revolution compared to the traditional way. Not every long term keeper is completely sold on the changes. People who have had chameleons live 5-7 years doing it the old way aren't going to jump on this immediately. Expect the debate to rage on for a while.
Have you cut misting completely?

No one is debating AT ALL, that raising the humidity at night, is a positive. Some of my Malagasy plants, Flat out REQUIRE IT. Plants are a beautiful thing, they are much much much more frail than a chameleon. They will tell you, real fast, if the chameleons locale habitat has been represented well.

A good one, for any keepers of Panthers would be the Hypoestes phyllostachya they share the same habitat as our panthers, and they will let you know VERY Fast, if your conditions are not conducive. They are easily found at garden centers, named "Polka Dot Plant" they will literally wilt before your eyes, if not receiving adequate hydration. The moment you re-hydrate them, they will un wilt with in 30 mins.

I am surprised they got you so convinced Jacks, I always took you for more of a Scientific mind, that needed to see data, and science behind it.
 
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JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Have you cut misting completely?
No, this is where I diverge from their path. I mist briefly during the midday when my light are off at intervals. I believe access to water without adding too much humidity is a place where I can improve on nature. My horses and dogs have free access to water when they would not in nature and their longevity is significantly higher than it would be in nature. I see Bill has added a dripper in his plan that I did not notice they used before. They are giving access to water in a different way than I do. If I had a reliable automated dripper I might switch some of my misting to dripping. I use short intervals of basking over the course of the day rather than the half and half method they are trying. Keep in mind I'm working with a montane species not panthers.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
No, this is where I diverge from their path. I mist briefly during the midday when my light are off at intervals. I believe access to water without adding too much humidity is a place where I can improve on nature. My horses and dogs have free access to water when they would not in nature and their longevity is significantly higher than it would be in nature. I see Bill has added a dripper in his plan that I did not notice they used before. They are giving access to water in a different way than I do. If I had a reliable automated dripper I might switch some of my misting to dripping. I use short intervals of basking over the course of the day rather than the half and half method they are trying. Keep in mind I'm working with a montane species not panthers.
Well see its looking more and more like we are in agree.

I am not attacking the entire premise at all, not one bit. I 100% think that we should be aiming to raise humidity during the night. As I said, I have seen this same need in Malagasy Plant life. even lost a couple due to NOT having 100% solid humidity over night. This is surely of benefit to the Cham.

I can see the science behind that, I can see Petrs reasoning, I have seen Peer Reviewed data that supports it. My issue doesn't lie with this AT ALL.

My issue is telling people to cut off most of their main light sources, and having them drop the humidity in their cage to nothing during the day so its 70f 0% humidity and dim from 10am to 12am. Thats nonsensical. Because who just left Petco with a Reptisun 16 inch and Halogen bulb, and a fogger thinking he is going to DO THE NATURAL Humidity, is going to have exactly that.

The old way, may not be perfect, but its a heck of alot safer then this.
 
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JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cham keeping is not one size fits all. What I do at sea level 10 miles from the ocean is not going to work for our friends in the mile high city in midwinter. The targets are the same (temp/humidity/etc) but how they achieve them will be very different. That's why I have never poo pood glass cages or different misting schedules. It is an art as much as a science.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
@JacksJill said..."Cham keeping is not one size fits all. What I do at sea level 10 miles from the ocean is not going to work for our friends in the mile high city in midwinter. The targets are the same (temp/humidity/etc) but how they achieve them will be very different. That's why I have never poo pood glass cages or different misting schedules. It is an art as much as a science." ...well said...something I've been preaching for years.

I started out keeping chameleons in glass aquariums many years ago...it was all they had at that time ...and the knowledge of chameleons was horrible. When I bought my first one, when I went o any pet store and asked about chameleons they would al ask me why I would buy one because they all die in a couple of weeks. I had the first one for over a year...didn't keep track back then. It was lucky that I got a few things right in its keeping. The people in the stores who were saying they die in two weeks kept telling me how they needed to be kept so after the first one I had lived so much longer, I said to them....if I can keep them alive longer than you why aren't you asking me how I keep them instead of telling me what you do? To get a chameleon, I had to guarantee I would take the chameleon no matter what it's condition was when it arrived at the store or they wouldn't order one. My next one lived 4 years with me. I don't know what species she was for sure.

Over the years I tried different cages and even had a guy build me some with screen lids and fronts/doors. All screen cages were ridiculous here in Canada in winter...couldn't keep the heat in or the humidity up. I misted during the day and ran drippers and let the cages almost dry out by night time. I even kept Merus and fishers and quads like that. They seemed to do well...lived fairly long healthy lives considering almost all (except for some of my veileds and panthers) were WC. My veiled females lived usually to be 6 or 7, males longer, for example. As a result...I haven't changed the husbandry a lot...why change what seems to be working.

I will be very interested in hearing how this fogging at night will do for people. I'm waiting to hear if it increases the health and the longevity of the chameleons we keep....especially for,people who live in e cooler climates like I do.

Hope this helps in some way...or at least explains why I do what I do.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hope this helps in some way...or at least explains why I do what I do.
It's helps a ton, it gives insight as to how and why, you have been keeping a very long time, and your experience is very very valuable :).

I am in the same camp, with this plan or any other of drastic change.

I think jacksjill touched upon it as well with 'this debate will live on 5-6 more years". We really need to see the long term results of such a setup. We know the long-term results of what we were doing.
 

DeremensisBlue

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The charts I create are the best attempt to take what we know about what is important about the natural cycles and replicate them in the cage environment using the technologies and equipment available to the common user. Having humidity slowly climb and then dissipate or UVB or Heat slowly climb from 0 to levels that are beyond what a chameleon can tolerate and then back again are certainly possible with large elaborate systems, but are simply out of reach of the common keeper. So these charts are meant to be a guide for when to turn on and off certain pieces of equipment to replicate the rise and fall of humidity. I am actually pushing my luck to create a chart that requires both a mister and a fogger. If anyone wants to really replicate natural conditions please check out Dale Tamura at Tamura Designs. He is pushing to create systems that have the daily rise and fall of UVB etc...That is great work, but my place is closer to the front lines.

I have tested this system and have shown that it works and therefore I can stand behind it. That is not to say that it is the only system that works and I have no desire to be the one system that conquers the world. My goal here is to provide a system which can be followed by the average keeper. If anyone here has a system that they think matches the natural world better, tests it out, and shows results then bring it to the table and more power to you. This is not a zero sum game. Though, if you want to challenge the system I have created please do not be trivial because that just wastes everyone's time. If there are concerns that are substantial they are definitely worth discussing. But walls of text nitpicking are not addressing the core of the matter - how do we create a system that brings in the benefits of what we observe in nature, but can be reproduced using the equipment commonly available to the average keeper.

The whole idea of chameleon's needing showers to wash their eyes out is an idea I am distancing myself from. I used to be a vocal proponent of this, but there are problems with it that always bothered me. Chameleons hate being misted on. Chameleons take a while to start drinking. Chameleons do not walk out into the rain - they hide away. If rain was so important to wash out their eyes - the most important sense they have - they would actively seek out rain and mist. This is not the case. By switching my hydration to this naturalistic rise at night, fall at day, and no showers I have gotten effective hydration with NO eye problems. The whole idea of washing the eyes out was a good idea based on captive observations. It just is not playing out to be as important as I thought it was. I will go as far as to say I believe it is not correct, but I won't say that definitely until I get more information. At this time, I can only say that I have been doing this hydration cycle for a couple of years and have had two generations that have never had a daytime shower and eyes are completely healthy. I suspect the eye problems we had before were due to other causes.

In summary, there is a huge problem with these graphics and quick reference sheets that are now all the rage in internet land. The problem is that they cannot explain the nuances and details of chameleon husbandry. This is why, before I released any of my care summary sheets, I spent so much time putting together a website back end which then explains the details behind all of this so the keeper understands why all of this is done. For example, the heat lamp on for only a couple of hours in the morning. This is to show that you can shut off the heat lamp when you no longer need it. Once the chameleon is done basking the heat lamp is only creating a hot spot which the chameleon will stay away from. Going into the detailed explanation on the website it will explain how the length of the basking bulb being on needs to be adjusted based on how much heat your chameleon needs. Some people will find they only need an hour and some people will find they need the heat lamp on the whole day. This is why I have a section on reading your chameleon's body language. It is imperative that we learn to read our chameleon's body language. Caresheets and colorful graphics are only good for setting up the initial cage conditions. Once these are done we have to throw them away and make adjustments based on our chameleon's behavior. If your chameleon wants it warmer than is on the care sheet that doesn't mean the care sheet is wrong in how it provides a baseline. It means that you are doing it right to adjust your husbandry to match your individual chameleon in your unique conditions.
 
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