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What's up with Frasier the Veiled: Continued...

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Posted by iwana on April 24, 2003 at 16:27:54:

Hi everyone,

Thank you to all who responded. I have taken all your input into consideration and have been working hard trying to make Frasier's terrarium more liveable.

Right now, giving him a new home is really not an option. We have already put a major dent in our budget getting the Rainmaker misting system along with a bunch of other stuff (changing UV lights and such). Also, the fact that Frasier was seemingly happy in his home before we made the renovations tells me that the available vertical space is not necessarily the problem.

So far, I've removed all the substrate (the misting soaked it much more than I anticipated, so it would have indeed led to bacterial and fungidical problems). This seems to have already made a difference in that he moves around a lot more and has resumed feeding and defecating, but his colors are still dark most of the time.

We also added a vine that goes across the terrarium. This gives him more climbing material and at the same time shelters him somewhat when he is on his basking area (the leaves help hide him a little, but he can still see everything around him). He seems to like the vine an awful lot, but it hasn't changed the fact that he still displays dark colors most of the time.

We had some black nylon screen available so we attached that to the front with velcro, to see if that would make a difference. After an entire day, it seemingly has not because he remains dark colored. So I don't think it was his reflection that was bothering him. I am also sure the dark colors are not from being cold, as his basking area is in the high 80s, so it is definitely a stress reaction.

My hunch at this point is that it may be the placement of the plants in the terrarium that is stressing him. Before, his vines were closer to the ground and he had one mass of plants on the ground in one corner, which he liked to hide in to sleep and would go there whenever he wanted his privacy.

One time, we brought him to a show and ended up bringing some of his plants with him. When we put him back, we didn't bother putting all his plants back where they were. This caused him to change his sleep pattern; instead of going to his usual corner, he slept on his basking branch for several days. So I think re-arranging all his vines may have had an effect on him. Maybe because the plants are now mostly above him, he feels like he is closer to the ground.

We are also pretty sure the dark colors are a direct result of stress while he is in his terrarium, because whenever I take him out, he displays his vivid colors again. As soon as I put him back, he goes back to dark. He also displays bright colors when he hides in his corner behind his plants, but then goes back to dark when he goes on his basking branch.

At any rate, we will pick up some more plastic plants this week-end and put them near the floor. We will also add more climbing vines because he seems to really like them. We will then see if that makes a difference.

Stay tuned! LOL

Julie and Justin

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