Planted Terrarium for Panther/ veiled?

Okay, before anyone says "No substrate!", hear me out =P
I have fallen in love with the look of my pygmies enclosures because they are so natural. And I am inspired to create more terrarium like them. This would mean I would do (in order of first layer to top layer):
-Hydroton
-Weed blocker
-Plantation soil mix
-rocks and sphagnum moss
-chameleon safe plants

My boy cup feeds and has been cup feeding since he was 6 weeks old so there wouldn't be much concern of him 'hunting' on the substrate. And even so, I got to thinking; If pigs can do it, why can't panthers or veileds? But that's a silly question I know, they aren't used to ground hunting. But cup feeding solves that question.
Now I also want to specify that I keep my veiled and panther in the Exo Terra's, so their enclosures have the ability to be a fully planted terrarium. This way I would also not need to worry about drainage since the hydroton is great for keeping water from going stagnant. My pygmie's enclosures, which are 18x18x24 and 24x18x18 intake more water from their misting system, to keep a very high humidity level, then my panther's and veileds do, so I would not be concerned about drainage at all.
BUT! This all matters on the opinions of CF members, and those who may have experience with the matter at hand.

I attached these photos of my two pygmy enclosures to give an idea to those who may not understand what I was talking about. I would like to quickly point out that if I were to do this for my veiled and panther there would be no soil exposed. It would be covered with sphagnum and larger rocks, and plants.



 

pigglett79

Avid Member
While, I am not ambitious enough to create the proper set up myself (I have been working on a planted tree frog set up since Feb and still cant get it right), I don't see why it couldn't be done. Chameleons live in the wild where substrate exists. I think the issue is proper substrate and proper living conditions. If you had it planted proper and cup fed you can make it work. Also if the floor is growing there is less of a chance to ingest matter.
 

Sticktongue

Avid Member
I say go for it! I have always wanted to but haven't yet. If you were new to chameleons or fully planted terrariums id say no. But with yourr having experience, go for it
 

Ulrich

New Member
Enclosure looks great.

As far as I have seen, a lot of us use actual soil at the bottom of the enclosure. The main difference between a Pygmy and an arboreal Cham is that you need more foilage up in the air in order to simulate the canopy.

In my enclosures I make sure the bottom is covered by enough creepers and vines (like Pothos and Passion flower). My chameleons never go/went down so far.

Only difficulty is finding the poop sometimes. But if the bottom is ventilated enough and the plants are stabilized, once in a while a lost poop is no problem.

I don't cup feed. Left Crickets and Dubias find enough food down there. I have observed that they tend to climb towards the heat, which is during the day. At night they go back to the ground and will not bother the Chameleons.
 
And seriously, you can make moss grow so I am uber jealous.
Hahaha! My local garden shop brings in freshly harvested sphagnum every thursday (roots and everything) and even rinses it out to remove any bugs, and they harvest it from a non-pesticide area. So really, I thank them! All I have to do is put the roots face down and it continues to stay green. Obviously the moss I attach to the wood withers away, but it stays moist from the misters so it's not all lost. Seriously, check out any small garden shops you might have locally, you might be surprised what you may find :D Thanks for the input!

I say go for it! I have always wanted to but haven't yet. If you were new to chameleons or fully planted terrariums id say no. But with yourr having experience, go for it
Thanks for your opinion. Honestly I have so much fun designing vivs and terrariums. I love the natural look to them, it reminds of the Vancouver aquarium's Tropical Rainforest (my favourite part of the aquarium).

Enclosure looks great.

As far as I have seen, a lot of us use actual soil at the bottom of the enclosure. The main difference between a Pygmy and an arboreal Cham is that you need more foilage up in the air in order to simulate the canopy.

In my enclosures I make sure the bottom is covered by enough creepers and vines (like Pothos and Passion flower). My chameleons never go/went down so far.

Only difficulty is finding the poop sometimes. But if the bottom is ventilated enough and the plants are stabilized, once in a while a lost poop is no problem.

I don't cup feed. Left Crickets and Dubias find enough food down there. I have observed that they tend to climb towards the heat, which is during the day. At night they go back to the ground and will not bother the Chameleons.
So you have direct experience with a live planted bottom for an arboreal chameleon species? Could you post a picture of one? I'd love to use your work to build up ideas. Also do you think if I added springtails or isopods they might help with the poop?
 
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