Low Humidity Environment Screen Vs Glass Enlcosures Panther Chameleon

RC_Cham

New Member
I am looking into getting a Panther Chameleon here soon and looking for the perfect enclosure. I have a Jackson Chameleon and I have been using a Zoomed Skyscraper Glass Terrarium (18 x 18 x 36) since I live in Colorado where there is always low humidity. I have an Exo Terra Monsoon Mister set to mist for 30 seconds every 4 hours and that keeps the humidity at approximately 75-90%. I have not found anything larger than that using glass to properly house a Panther. Im looking for any guidance as far as will the screen enclosure be a big impact on a Panther Chameleon due to low humidity in my area even with an automatic Mister or if compensated with a Glass Enclosure where to find something larger than 18 x 18 x 36.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Theres quite a few keepers on here in CO that are successful with screen enclosures. I have a screen enclosure and 2 and a half sides of it are covered with an insulating window film, my mistking goes off 4 times throughout the day and I have a fogger at night. I consistently have a humidity of 35-45 during the day and 80+ at night. I actually have a hard time keeping the humidity down tbh
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am looking into getting a Panther Chameleon here soon and looking for the perfect enclosure. I have a Jackson Chameleon and I have been using a Zoomed Skyscraper Glass Terrarium (18 x 18 x 36) since I live in Colorado where there is always low humidity. I have an Exo Terra Monsoon Mister set to mist for 30 seconds every 4 hours and that keeps the humidity at approximately 75-90%. I have not found anything larger than that using glass to properly house a Panther. Im looking for any guidance as far as will the screen enclosure be a big impact on a Panther Chameleon due to low humidity in my area even with an automatic Mister or if compensated with a Glass Enclosure where to find something larger than 18 x 18 x 36.

36 tall is fine, however if you can increase width then it's even better!

There is a 36x18x36 Exoterra that would work perfect for a Panther. That's about the size of a Dragonstrand atrium (I think the exo is bigger) just be sure to elevate to the floor.

If you want something taller and 24x24ish instead check out Protean Terrarium's they have all kinds of sizes (Sliding glass doors, Vs Exoterra opening).

Dragonstrand breeders, are also enclosed like glass, but are screen cages with PVC sides instead of screen. They come in taller sizes and would likely be cheaper than glass. However harder to bio in, will require there substrate bin. Easier to put a drain hole in though lol.

There is also always DIY route. Build a wooden Viv with glass doors. Then you can make it just the size you want and no stand needed.


I would say stick with glass. Screen is a compromise, and it's only suggest as it's easy for new folks, and even then only US keepers. EU keepers use Glass and Knockdowns, and the Quick frame Vivs. Hardly any of them use screen cages.

Glass+backgrounds/walls+bio best IMO, if you have experience with it already especially.

I'm not sure why the screen obession with US keepers. It's easier for noobs, and that's where its benefits end.

It doesn't hold humidity, it doesn't hold temps, it hurts Chams feet if they climb on it, it requires more misting. To me, It has zero benefit except being cheap, and easier for new keepers.
 
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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I could do it over again I wouldn't of bought screened enclosures living here in Pueblo, CO. I would've bought the 36x18x36 ExoTerra. They look nicer and worth better. I was always under the impression that you have to keep them in screened enclosures. I have since learned that to be false. You also don't want to keep your humidity high all the time. During the day you should be sitting around 50-60% and at night 85-100%. With a glass enclosure I would recommend probably only misting once in the morning and once at night. While using and utilizing a fogger in the middle of the night to achieve that super high humidity.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Camo makes a good point about humidity, Panthers don't need jacksonii humidity. 50-60 with spikes is better.

In my huge Viv (4x2x4) I mist 2 mins right before lights on, and 2mins after out and once for 5 in midday. That keeps humidity 40-60% during the summer when we are running a swamp cooler. I haven't had this up for a winter yet, but heating make change that. That's with 6 MK nozzles thought I have 2 4"x18" vents above the soil, so alot more venting than a Exoterra. I would dial that in before adding a Cham :).

I live in White Mountains AZ, so 7k ft and very similar to CO climate.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
K, but no judging it isn't done yet. It's a longggg work in progress hahahaha.

I got a few more plants to add and need to let these grow in alot more before a Cham steps foot :p.

I did just add some driftwood too, which isn't in the pic. And every plant in there is from Madgascar :).
That looks awesome so far!
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks, that's an older pic than I thought, there is leaf litter and Isos now, and a couple more plants and 2 huge pieces of driftwood.
Yeah I can see putting some more plant cover in there and having a really awesome setup.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I can see putting some more plant cover in there and having a really awesome setup.
Ya alot of it needs to grow in, those draecenas need to get some more height, and I am replacing the small bird's nest on the left with a large one like the right.

I want some Madgascar Jasmine to cover the walls but it's hard finding a long one that isn't priced insanely. I want to add a few more orchids as well. And this little gem needs to grow up.

First pic is a seedling of a Nepthenes Madgascarensis, and the second is after I added the drift wood recently, that's the big stump there is a large piece that climbs the wall as well.

Hardest part has been finding plants. I want all malagasy natives, and all to be found in panther habitats. That's tough, not alot of malagasy plants in the hobby, and alot of them are rare finds.
 

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Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nothing wrong with that at all :). Not knocking people for saving money. I tend to go overboard lol. My 4x2x4s walls are covered in cork panels by Exoterra. That's 300 dollars worth of cork paneling :p.
Yeah, my back screen is covered with exoterra panels and my side screens are covered with Plexiglas. And I still have humidity issues here in Colorado. I run mist king during day and fogger at night, and find this to be an absolute must.
 
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cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah, my back screen is covered with exoterra Pamela and my side screens are covered with Plexiglas. And I still have humidity issues here in Colorado. I run mist king during day and fogger at night, and find this to be an absolute must.
Ya alot of the screen users don't understand how much different it is in super dry climate. And for us it's dry and cold in the winter on top of the heater when it was already dry lol.

Using a swamp to cool your house in summer will help with the cages, or a swamp to cool the Cham room. We do that anyway, it's much cheaper than AC that isn't as efficient in our dry heat. Of course some days the swamp can't keep up, especially during monsoon season so having a AC too is still good :).

Using Screen in Florida is one thing, in Arizona it's much different haha. Same goes for NV, CO, SoCal, ect.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ya alot of the screen users don't understand how much different it is in super dry climate. And for us it's dry and cold in the winter on top of the heater when it was already dry lol.

Using a swamp to cool your house in summer will help with the cages, or a swamp to cool the Cham room. We do that anyway, it's much cheaper than AC that isn't as efficient in our dry heat. Of course some days the swamp can't keep up, especially during monsoon season so having a AC too is still good :).

Using Screen in Florida is one thing, in Arizona it's much different haha. Same goes for NV, CO, SoCal, ect.
It's doable in screen but I go through about a gallon and a half of distilled water a day to keep up humidity as well.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yep, exactly, I'm going through 1.5-2 gallons RO water per day. I might have gone with a different type of enclosure had I known in advance how difficult maintaining humidity was gonna be.

The other advantage is heat. You can use a much lower wattage bulb with Glass. Glass (or enclosed) retains heat. I know thats also a problem for you CO folks.

It was a major element to my cage design. Our heating is sparatic, some nights are so cold that we can't warm the house past 55-60, it's just too cold. And some times we run out of gas (not often and It sucks! When it does happen). And while I know that 55 is fine for alot of Chams, with a fogger or even a wet enclosure, the enclosure temps are going to be much lower.

So my big Viv is built like a house. There is 2x2 Skelton like wall studs, then there is 1/4 inch plywood on the outside and on the inside, then there is 3/4" thick Cork panels lining the walls, and the doors are 1/4" tempered glass.

So it's temps barely change with the house temps, it's kind of self reguating as it's own room. Add in the fact, I will be using a Arcadia Deep Heat projector (no light) and a Herpstat for basking temps and night emergency heat + cooling fans. With that, by not using screen, I have full control over the enclosure tempature and humidity. As well as the ability to finely tune "Seasons" regardless of what's going on in my house.

And if you truly think about, Glass pays for itself right there. The initial cost is more, however using less wattage on basking say 50 vs 75, and take into account water usage, which RO adds up, whether on your bill or at the store. You are spending quite a bit more. In the end, the overall cost across the life of the Cham may balance out the pricing of glass.

If we lived in Florida than ya, Screen all the way. Shoot I wouldn't even bother with screen, I would build a huge greenhouse in the back and free range a bunch of Chams :p.
 
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