How to Set Up a Terrarium for a Veiled Chameleon


The veiled chameleon is a larger variety within the chameleon family. This lizard hails from Yemen and similar areas. Knowing how to set up a terrarium habitat for your veiled chameleon isn't difficult, but it requires attention to little details that are needed to provide a comfortable environment for your pet.

Things You'll Need

  • Mesh terrarium enclosure with lighting
  • Peat moss
  • Water dish
  • Heating pad
  • Foliage
  • Thermometer
  • Select a mesh enclosure from a pet store that specializes in reptile supplies. Veiled chameleons need the airflow provided by mesh enclosures. The animal will experience stress when seeing its reflection in a glass or plastic container. Select a mesh enclosure of at least 40 gallons in size for one chameleon.

  • Install a 150-watt bulb in the light attachment of the mesh enclosure. These can be obtained from pet stores and aquarium supply centers. The light not only gives the chameleon its needed daylight simulation, but provides warmth as well. Reptiles require heat for optimum health.

  • Place a heating pad on one half of the surface beneath the terrarium enclosure. This will keep one side of the habitat warm. A chameleon's habitat must be between 75 degrees and 80 degrees on one side and around 85 degrees on the heated side.

  • Layer the bottom of the inside of the terrarium with 3 inches of peat moss. Not only does this soak up urates from the chameleon for easier cleanup, but it provides a natural-looking substrate for the terrarium.

  • Place a wide, deep stone water dish on the coolest side of the terrarium. This dish should be twice the size of your chameleon so that it can enjoy drinking, as well as wading.

  • Surround the corners of the terrarium with dense patches of silk foliage. Use fake, flexible branches to create places for the chameleon to climb. These items also can be obtained at reptile supply vendors.

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  • Photo Credit Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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