In this instructable I would like to show you how to build a terrarium monitoring system by using twitter for event notifications.

If you are a reptile owner like myself you should already know that your little friends have very special needs. Be it a certain temperature which they would appreciate in their natural habitat or special humidity settings. You also need to make sure that they have the correct lighting and most importantly that you don't forget to feed your companions.

With most other pets you wouldn't have a hard time keeping track of everything as they would remind you in an audible way. Reptiles on the other hand tend to suffer quietly. This is a big problem as there are a lot of inexperienced reptile holders out there which are overchallenged with their reptiles special needs. Too often this results in reptiles being released into the wild, putting them into animal shelters or in the worst case them dying silently. To give my chameleons a voice to be heard I decided to hook up their terrarium with some sensors and tweet certain events via twitter to be always up to date when my reptile friends need some extra attention.

With this instructable you will be able to be notified via twitter when the humidity or temperature reaches a defined threshold, when the light is turned on/off and when someone opens/closes the terrarium doors. It is important that the humidity and temperature values are in a range which conforms to the natural habitat of your reptile. So when a threshold is reached you will get notified to take action like sprinkling some water on the terrarium plants to increase the humidity and lower the temperature. Reptiles have also special needs when it comes to light settings. They need spotlights to heat up an area for sunbathing and regulating their body temperature. They also need special UV lights to enable molting and to harden their bones since they lack calcium in captivity. With the twitter monitoring you can keep track of the on/off cycles of your lights, if they are broken or even if they decay slowly in their intensity. It might also be helpful to monitor when the terrarium doors have been opened or closed to make sure that they can't wander around in your home. You could also be reminded that you haven't fed them yet if the doors were closed the whole day.

After this long but neccessary introduction it is time to get to work.

Step 1: Prerequisites

For this instructable you will need an Arduino Uno or similar microcontroller board, a WiFly shield or Ethernet shield for socket communication with a desktop computer, a photoresistor for light sensing, a temperature and humidity sensor and a tilt switch. Here is the part list of the components I used:

- Arduino Uno
- WiFly shield
- Arduino stackable header kit (needed for the WiFly shield)
- SHT15 Humidity and Temperature Sensor
- Tilt Switch
- Photoresistor
- 10kΩ resistor
- wires

I have a veiled cham too!
Thanks for this...it was very helpful in setting up a monitoring system for my reptiles.
i love the sound of crickets, i like your Chamaeleon calyptratus<br>and i think this system is awsome
I adore reptiles and amphibians... 5 Stars!!!
This is sooo cool rated 4.5*, well done!!!<br>

About This Instructable


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Bio: Mobile Developer, Open Source hardware and DIY enthusiast...
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