Panther chameleon new set up do i plant it or not

Golly

New Member
Havent got the cham yet hes in the shop as hes to small. I got a exo terra 24x18x36 inch terranium with a mesh top, I got a exo terra monsoon solo running 30 seconds every 3 hours, the last sprays at 7 o'clock, I got live plants but the shop says not to plant it up i was thinking 1-2 inch of hydro balls a screen then soil for my plants topped with moss so I dont have to worry about it picking up substrate the picture is my set up as is. I will be upgrading to the 90x20 exo terra dual top canopy
 

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Golly

New Member
Or do I leave it like this while hes small then plant it when hes older it put a heat mat under the glass to evaporate some of the water from the back of the viv
 

Golly

New Member
Thank you,I was thinking it would be ok as the guy I bought it off give me the media with spring tails in,but the reptile shop said not to do it as the cham is to young
 

WashingtonCham

Established Member
And for the media could I just use coco or does it need to be a certain brand I'm in uk
Bioactive enclosures are very tricky to keep from mold growing etc unless you really know what your doing and with a cham that can be even more of an issue. I’m not trying to discourage you as to just make sure you do your research and really understand what can go wrong and how to prevent it. I won’t even attempt a bioactive enclosure for my cham at this point I’m just not comfortable enough to know I’m keeping a healthy environment. But chameleon breeder podcast has some great episodes on this as well as I’m sure you can get some great info from some keepers on here.
 

Golly

New Member
Right so no heat mat thank you, I was thinking of going bio as I wouldn't need to drain the water out as much as I'll have 5 live plants in there and it looks better than artificial grass
 

Golly

New Member
I would go ahead and plant it! Your plan for drainage is perfect for exoterras. Then add springtails and isopods to the substrate and boom - you're good to go
So is there any special type of conditions the springtails and isopods need to survive
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Bioactive enclosures are very tricky to keep from mold growing etc unless you really know what your doing and with a cham that can be even more of an issue. I’m not trying to discourage you as to just make sure you do your research and really understand what can go wrong and how to prevent it. I won’t even attempt a bioactive enclosure for my cham at this point I’m just not comfortable enough to know I’m keeping a healthy environment. But chameleon breeder podcast has some great episodes on this as well as I’m sure you can get some great info from some keepers on here.
As long as you have an adequate number of isopods and springtails, mold is not an issue at all. They eat it and keep it clean. Honestly, bioactive is not difficult at all imo! I don't know why it's gotten that rap. Drainage layer, barrier, substrate, microfauna, and boom you're done
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
So is there any special type of conditions the springtails and isopods need to survive
They do fine in most chameleon enclosures. They'll just eat leaf litter, fungi, and detritus. You can also buy food for them, but it's not essential as long as they have something to eat
 

Golly

New Member
Ok I wasnt planning on much leaf litter just moss, but if that's what they need they need, what leaf litter can you use any or has it got to come from a non herbicide insecticide area, and how many of them would you put in in a 90x60x45 terranium
 

Golly

New Member
I would rather something on the bottom so if he does fall hell have something other than glass to bounce off that's another reason I wanted to go bio active
 

WashingtonCham

Established Member
As long as you have an adequate number of isopods and springtails, mold is not an issue at all. They eat it and keep it clean. Honestly, bioactive is not difficult at all imo! I don't know why it's gotten that rap. Drainage layer, barrier, substrate, microfauna, and boom you're done
I’ve heard and seen some horror stories. Some people think bioactive means no work. And that’s not how it is. But like I say I’m not trying to steer anyone away. but maintaining the proper misting schedule and amount of time the mist has to be on and being able to absorb that amount of water in a sealed enclosure is not always easy. A water well of some sort in the corner with a cap is a method I’ve see where you can suck any excess water out with a turkey Baster. Or drill a hole of some kind in the glass and have a drainage hole you can cap and uncap as needed.
 

Golly

New Member
Good idea with the cap method, I mist for 30 seconds every three hours with the last misting at 7PM, it spikes to about 85-90% then drops to 40-45% in basking spot, and any where between 55-65% mid tank so that's about 4 mistings a day with it having a good dry out inbetween.
 

WashingtonCham

Established Member
I would rather something on the bottom so if he does fall hell have something other than glass to bounce off that's another reason I wanted to go bio active
Depending on the cham a lot of them hold onto trees in monsoons if you can imagine that. So they are not weak fellers By any stretch.
 
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