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RcManChild
01/23/2017, 08:08 PM
I am coming to the experts here, I do have a salt water tank but that is not why I am posting this. I apologize if this post is in the wrong place...

So I have a panther Chameleon and would love to put a waterfall in the vivarium. Everyone in the reptile world says not too because of bacteria hence I am here.

So there must be a way to remove any and all bacteria from the water without using an RODI unit 24/7...

So the soil with have isopods and womrtails to eat any decay or feces on the ground.

The soil will be mixed with activated carbon to help filter the water.
Then some hydro balls to help keep the soil at a height and keep a reservoir for the water. There will be a screen between the soil and hydro balls so that the soil does not enter the water resevoir.

Here is where I am hoping you guys can come in...

I have to get the water back up to the top of the cage which isnt the issue..

The issue I am having is the water needs to have all bacteria removed and be as clean as drinking water... I am thinking of building a mini reservoir on the back of the enclosure to act as a sump.

Basically use filter floss or a sock to remove any mechanical debris. I do not believe a phosphorous filter would be needed. Use a carbon pad as more filtration.

Perhaps use a UV sterilizer on the way back up.

Do you believe this filtration would be enough to kill and remove just about any bacteria from the water? or does UV sterilizer only kill bacteria that is harmful to fish?

DeepSeaReefer94
01/23/2017, 08:39 PM
I am coming to the experts here, I do have a salt water tank but that is not why I am posting this. I apologize if this post is in the wrong place...

So I have a panther Chameleon and would love to put a waterfall in the vivarium. Everyone in the reptile world says not too because of bacteria hence I am here.

So there must be a way to remove any and all bacteria from the water without using an RODI unit 24/7...

So the soil with have isopods and womrtails to eat any decay or feces on the ground.

The soil will be mixed with activated carbon to help filter the water.
Then some hydro balls to help keep the soil at a height and keep a reservoir for the water. There will be a screen between the soil and hydro balls so that the soil does not enter the water resevoir.

Here is where I am hoping you guys can come in...

I have to get the water back up to the top of the cage which isnt the issue..

The issue I am having is the water needs to have all bacteria removed and be as clean as drinking water... I am thinking of building a mini reservoir on the back of the enclosure to act as a sump.

Basically use filter floss or a sock to remove any mechanical debris. I do not believe a phosphorous filter would be needed. Use a carbon pad as more filtration.

Perhaps use a UV sterilizer on the way back up.

Do you believe this filtration would be enough to kill and remove just about any bacteria from the water? or does UV sterilizer only kill bacteria that is harmful to fish?
I would go with the uv sterilizer on the way back up. You might have a problem with the water splashing everywhere tho.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

RcManChild
01/23/2017, 08:49 PM
Why would water be splashing around?

tkeracer619
01/23/2017, 09:05 PM
I'm not sure you can keep bacteria from growing. Even if you kill it all as you pump it back in you will not be able to keep it from growing on a recirculated and open system. I'd probably listen to the experts in the reptile world. Aquariums are full of bacteria.

RcManChild
01/23/2017, 09:52 PM
as long as the water is bacteria free when in enters the vivarium... thats what i'm looking for

caribfan
01/24/2017, 04:30 AM
Perhaps an ozone reactor might solve your problem? It could be external to the tank and then come back in to the waterfall. I'm not sure about pressurization and flow though.

I kind of agree with the other posters though, if the experts in the herp world say it shouldn't be done, they've probably got a reason why.

Scorpius
01/24/2017, 05:09 AM
I used to keep chameleons. I've never heard or worried about bacteria. Can you elaborate more on this?

sde1500
01/24/2017, 06:46 AM
The experts in the reptile world suggested not to do something, so you come to the experts in the marine world hoping someone says you can do it :hmm3:

RcManChild
01/24/2017, 09:08 AM
I am not hoping someone here will say I can or can not do this. I am hoping someone here can suggest a filtering method that would go beyond my needs to kill any and all bacteria.

Most waterfalls in a reptile enclosure are enclosed.

Meaning that there is no filtration. This also means that the crickets can get into the reservoir and cause bacteria. A dead decaying cricket in the water fall is not healthy for a chameleon. Neither is poop if poop gets into the pool of water.


To eliminate this issue the reservoir will be outside of the reach of both the chameleon feces and the crickets.

What I need to know is without using an RODI system, what would the best filtration be to remove any and all potential bacteria..

A sump with a uv sertilizer?
A canister filter on its own or with a uv sterilizer?
Would a true sump with a mechanical filter, media reactor and a uv sterilizer work better?

Unfortunately I do not know the true inner workings of all the devices above and figured people on this forum would have much more experience than I do.

cougareyes
01/24/2017, 09:31 AM
Not going to happen, you can employ all those methods and it will help you keep it clean. I kept chameleons(panthers and veils) for many years. You will get crickets dying in there and the chameleons will be drinking from it. Because of keeping the panther chameleon enclosures higher is humidity, there was a constant growth of bacteria, mold, etc. and the maintenance on their enclosures was very high maintenance. So no matter what you do constant clearing of dead crickets and debris will be necessary. Using a small canister type filter or something like a pond fountain filter with carbon and a uv will be about all you could do. Anything that happens beyond that will just be nature and will be fine.

mcgyvr
01/24/2017, 02:30 PM
How on Earth do these survive in the wild?
Bacteria is everywhere... and beneficial..

sde1500
01/24/2017, 03:23 PM
How on Earth do these survive in the wild?
Bacteria is everywhere... and beneficial..



I guess we could say the same thing about the care of sea horses. The entire care about keeping the tank pristine so they don't die of bacterial infections.

RcManChild
01/24/2017, 04:09 PM
Not going to happen, you can employ all those methods and it will help you keep it clean. I kept chameleons(panthers and veils) for many years. You will get crickets dying in there and the chameleons will be drinking from it. Because of keeping the panther chameleon enclosures higher is humidity, there was a constant growth of bacteria, mold, etc. and the maintenance on their enclosures was very high maintenance. So no matter what you do constant clearing of dead crickets and debris will be necessary. Using a small canister type filter or something like a pond fountain filter with carbon and a uv will be about all you could do. Anything that happens beyond that will just be nature and will be fine.

I have a resolution in place to take care of the dead crickets and feces. aka wormtails and isopods will feed off of this. I will still clean this obviously if necessary.

Here is my plan...
water enters the vivarium clean. Goes down the water fall... Might hit a dead cricket or two, maybe some poop.
water then goes through the soil with activated carbon in it.
Then the water passes through a screen.
Where some hydro balls are to absorb any excess moisture.
Next I will either have to drill or make a way for the water to enter some sort of filtration system.

From everyone's suggestions I am thinking a sump with some socks/or filter floss that goes to a canister filter, then hits a UV sterilizer and the water can then re enter the vivarium...

I suspect I will still have to change the water once a week.

Deathdog
01/24/2017, 04:14 PM
I'm not really a reptile guy but...
Wouldn't the carbon in the soil become saturated then just leach back into the soil?

karimwassef
01/24/2017, 05:45 PM
why not duplicate nature in its entirety and include a tank with fish that eat crickets... and plants that clean the water naturally... just going in a different direction here.

RcManChild
01/24/2017, 07:37 PM
I am going to be adding plants....
The requirement for size of fish to eat crickets would require a much larger tank than what I have in mind.. although I like your strategy..

ericarenee
01/24/2017, 07:56 PM
I have a suggesting that come to me from what mcgyvr said above.

How do they survive in the wild..

Large water volume and natural filtration..

If you use a VERY VERY LARGE sump along with Carbon UV maybe even down to 50 micron or lower filter media this will reduce the numbers of bacteria caused by any contamination... Its one of the reasons we use LARGE Sumps and extra water volume on a REEF Tank.. a small issue or contamination has less of a effect. Diluted of you will.

You would still need to maintain the Sump system with frequent water and media changed. prob changing out micron filter media at-least weekly

This would be my Best guess how it works in the wild..

GOOD LUCK .

mickey204
01/25/2017, 07:24 AM
why not duplicate nature in its entirety and include a tank with fish that eat crickets... and plants that clean the water naturally... just going in a different direction here.

^^ THIS

Sounds like multi level awesomeness.

Would be rad to see the chameleon uptop with this waterfall, then a pool below with a planted tank and african cichlids in it.

RcManChild
01/26/2017, 12:25 PM
I have a suggesting that come to me from what mcgyvr said above.

How do they survive in the wild..

Large water volume and natural filtration..

If you use a VERY VERY LARGE sump along with Carbon UV maybe even down to 50 micron or lower filter media this will reduce the numbers of bacteria caused by any contamination... Its one of the reasons we use LARGE Sumps and extra water volume on a REEF Tank.. a small issue or contamination has less of a effect. Diluted of you will.

You would still need to maintain the Sump system with frequent water and media changed. prob changing out micron filter media at-least weekly

This would be my Best guess how it works in the wild..

GOOD LUCK .

I will be using some plants to help keep the soil in place and keep humidity up.


I am thinking of running a 10 - 15 gallon sump. Basically the water will drain into the sump as if it was an aquarium... It will go through a filter sock and a few other yet to be decided filtration. I will then leave room for a protein skimmer if I deem one necessary or media reactor. The reservoir will then feed a UV sterilizer and empty into another reservoir... when this last reservoir overfills it will feed back into the main reservoir. This way the water will water will be essentially filtering itself many times over and prevent anything from running dry. It will also allow me to choose a return pump size that I would like for the waterfall.

I also only really want to run this for maybe 8 -10 hours a day...

CrayolaViolence
01/26/2017, 12:34 PM
What about a small amount of peroxide added to the water on a weekly basis in order to kill bacteria?
Or if you don't have to worry about PH, vinegar.

RcManChild
01/26/2017, 05:11 PM
I suspect I will be doing weekly water changes anyways... wont be hard to do... turn on pump to hose to drain....

Pour in new water....

Its more the fact that in an enclosed vivarium with feces and dead crickets it is extremely easy for bacteria to grow and spread... Most (All the people I have seen) people who have setup a waterfall with a chameleon in a vivarium have an enclosed system and change the water daily or every second day... in order to do they take the water fall our of the cage, clean it put it back in and add water...

My plan is to setup a recirculating Sump such that maybe 1 gallon out of the 15 gallon sump is out of the circulation filtration system at any given time. This will dilute any bacteria that is in the water when it enter the sump automatically and it will also kill bacteria by going through the filtration system.

rhdoug
01/31/2017, 08:44 AM
...I will then leave room for a protein skimmer if I deem one necessary or media reactor. ...

It is my (possibly incorrect) understanding that protein skimmers do not work in fresh water, you may want to check that.

I also kept chameleons for many years until the reeftank bug bit me. I had a huge wall enclosure for them, in which I had kept a pair of mini macaws before that. Good luck with your cham. Another thing to consider, I have a crested gecko who has lived for the last 14 years in a vivarium where the entire bottom is a full 30 gallon FW tank with chiclids or other fish in it. The top is an enclosure that is full of branches and plants that sits directly on top of the aquarium. The water quality does not seem to bother him and I can assure you he does occasionally drink from it. The water is minimally filtered, no carbon, only the ceramic filter media and sponges in a canister filter. I am also not nearly as diligent with water changes in this "jungle tank" as I am with the reef tank.
Pic of vivarium:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh610/rhdoug/jungle%20tank/jungle%20tank%20after%20FTS%20composite_zpscnnpdkvs.jpg

karimwassef
01/31/2017, 03:11 PM
Skimmers do work in freshwater. Just not as effectively at removing protein, so they have to be very large/powerful to be productive.

AdamAquatic
01/31/2017, 07:03 PM
Avoiding bacteria entirely is impossible, but that's okay because you'll need bacteria in order to filter the water properly. I think what the reptile guys are worried about is fouling the water with feces, which is a valid concern. However, if you have a large enough water volume and proper filtration, you should be able to achieve you goal.

The previously mentioned method using a large sump with sock filters and a return from a uv sterilizer is you best bet, but you'll need to add a few elements to equation. I suppose you could try a pellet reactor and a GFO reactor. I know they're primarily used for saltwater, but they should be somewhat effective in fresh. Certainly more so than a skimmer... believe me, I tried the freshwater skimmer route before. That dream is dead. lol Anyway, if you really want to go crazy you can build a refugium in your sump to help export the nutrients. I would also recommend some biological filtration like marinepure ceramic media.

Marine forum or not, it would be great to hear how things work out. Best of luck!

karimwassef
02/01/2017, 04:30 AM
Feces are actually an excellent nutrient source for algae and plants ... nature known how to work her magic- don't fight her... go with the flow.

AdamAquatic
02/01/2017, 07:43 PM
Feces are actually an excellent nutrient source for algae and plants ... nature known how to work her magic- don't fight her... go with the flow.

The substrate should hold more than enough for the plants to thrive. It worked well in my vivarium with heavy fog, but the waste water was really foul. For nature to effectively remove all of the waste would require a huge enclosure with a small animal load. Think of it in terms of an aquarium without filtration. A great excuse for a huge tank, but not very practical.