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Oak Lane Cemetery
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I recently found a female Carolina anole clinging to the side of a bale of paper at work. They are not native to this area and since the weather has been quickly getting colder I brought her home for my son to keep as a pet. She would not survive our winters here in Virginia as it stays cold for a little too long. I had a pair when I was a kid and didn't take very good care of them and they died, so I figured I owed it to this one to do better. We got her a decent 12x12x18 terrarium, uv light, heat light, plants, branches and set up a keeper tank for small crickets. Just in case she might get lonely we also went out and bought a second, male anole. So far so good. Last week I spotted a black friday sale at Petsmart for a 60 gallon tank, stand/cabinet, glass covers, and an LED light bar. Couldn't pass it up on sale at $150 - regular price $370. So now I'm creating a palatial Anole mansion for our two small anoles. I priced faux stone backgrounds for 60 gallon tanks and found them to be extremely pricey so I'm doing what any sensible home haunter would do - make my own! went to Lowes today and got a sheet of 1/2" foam board (Looked at some plants for when we set up the vivarium too.) Spent about 5 hours today cutting, carving and gluing to create the backdrop for Anoleville. Made lots of ledges to climb and some crevices to hide in and a place for a small dish up high for mealworms to supplement the crickets. Tomorrow I hope to get it hard coated with a mix of cement and latex paint and a couple of small branches added on where you see the two red Xs. Once that's all done I can get my substrate, plants, more wood and a few other odds and ends to set this thing up and get them moved in. I'll try and remember to update more pics as I progress along further.


Had to cut it into 3 pieces to get around the center brace on our aquarium. I'm using carved cracks and overlapping stones to camouflage the seams...
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Test fit...lookin' good!
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My supervisor...
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Oak Lane Cemetery
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More progress...

Food dish holder carved out...
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Applying a mix of "sand mix" concrete and latex paint. 2 parts thinly mixed concrete with 1 parts latex paint mixed in...
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Second coat on and some brown tinted concrete/paint in between the rocks...
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Another test fit with the branches attached to get an idea of the layout...
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This is so awesome! My daughter has leopard geckos but our tanks never looked this good. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. I love that you rescued the poor little anole 🦎
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Mission accomplished for today. Finished up the painting of the background by doing some wet weathering in greens to simulate a mossy or algae covered look. It really came to life after the washes were done. Got it reassembled in the tank and siliconed it to the back wall. Used scrap foam as braces to keep it pressed tight until the silicone sets. Picked up another heat lamp bulb, some top clips and some coconut bedding from Petsmart today too. Tomorrow we go to Lowes for more plants and then we will be ready to stat setting this thing up. I plan on leaving all the plants in their original pots and covering them with the coconut bedding. This should simplify things and make cleaning much easier.


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Oak Lane Cemetery
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Love it! They will be very happy :)
Hope so. The wild caught female I first found at work spends most of her time hiding, but does come out to eat and bask a little under the heat and uv lights. 90% of the time she hides though. The captive raised male however is a different story. He spends 90% of his time under a heat or uv light admiring himself in his own reflection in the glass and doing head bobs and dewlaps at himself. When he spots the female he tries to show off for her, but winds up just chasing her back to her hiding spot. Dude has no chill whatsoever. I may have to get a second captive raised female just to distract him from her and give her a break so she has time to acclimate and settle in.
 

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While I don't think this will be a problem for your anoles because you have so many live plants, it's important to realize that they rarely drink from a bowl, but rather lick up droplets found on plants. Just remember to mist your plants daily and all should be good. :) I did experiments with anoles for my high school science project. I had thirty of the critters and learned quite a bit about how to take care of them. They're really pretty easy, and a great deal of fun. Now you just have to think about creating their Halloween tank full of creepy skulls and what not for them to crawl in and out of. You know... because you can.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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While I don't think this will be a problem for your anoles because you have so many live plants, it's important to realize that they rarely drink from a bowl, but rather lick up droplets found on plants. Just remember to mist your plants daily and all should be good. :) I did experiments with anoles for my high school science project. I had thirty of the critters and learned quite a bit about how to take care of them. They're really pretty easy, and a great deal of fun. Now you just have to think about creating their Halloween tank full of creepy skulls and what not for them to crawl in and out of. You know... because you can.
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Yep. No water dish at all in there. The tank gets misted 2-4 times a day depending on what the humidity gauges say. I can't see having 30 of them at a time. If they were all in the same tank there must have been constant battles between all of the males. They are extremely territorial, even at their own reflections. a few females together with one male is fine, but males together almost always fight (as with most lizards) unless they tank is so small they have no choice but to get along, like in the tiny tanks the pet stores keep them in. I'm not going to spookify their terrarium any. I like it natural looking.
 

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Yep. No water dish at all in there. The tank gets misted 2-4 times a day depending on what the humidity gauges say.
I mistook your food dish for a water dish in your build photos. Me thinks you're more than savvy on their needs. I hope you enjoy them.

I can't see having 30 of them at a time. If they were all in the same tank there must have been constant battles between all of the males.
The experiments were in relation to whether the anoles, ie: American chameleons, could actually change colors to match their environment. There was a control group that stayed inside an enclosure that was 2'wide x 4'tall x 6 long. The others lived in a similarly sized tank, but one where the colors of the tank could be swapped to one single color. It was then just a matter of watching them to see what color shifts they made.

Turns out their shifting was rarely to match the color of what they were resting on. In the natural terrarium the anoles were just as likely to be green on logs and rocks as they were likely to be brown on the foliage. The greatest color changes came not with a change in environmental color, but during the actual changing of the colors when their environment was disturbed. They almost always shifted to green when things were disturbed or the lights were too bright. Later, when they had time to settle in, brown anoles were walking around the solid green or blue environments just as the green ones would hang out in the red and yellow ones.

After the experiments were over, the majority of the anoles were given to schools around the area in smaller cages with a male and female couple living in them along with care and feeding instructions. Sure, they weren't exactly hamsters, but the school kids seemed to love taking care of them.

I'm not going to spookify their terrarium any. I like it natural looking.
We prefer natural overall, but we do a bit of decorating if we know the kids will see it. We have a Egyptian rat snake that lives in a tank near our front door. His cage gets decked out with a few bones and a skull on Halloween night just to freak out the kids. He is actually more active exploring the new add ins than he is regularly, but come November 1st, they disappear along with all the other Halloween decorations.
 
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