A few questions for a new setup

pmdaggett79

Member
Hello all,
For the past few weeks we have had our new guy, Ajax with us. He is a piebald Veiled male, a few months old and about 10-11" head to tail. He seems happy but much happier out of his enclosure. My biggest question is regarding his humidity. I know its cheesy but I'm using a Zilla hygrometer/thermometer but thats what I have for now and after misting for a few minutes the humidity is at 60% and after an hour drops to 30%. There is air movement in the room and evaporation is constant in the upper levels but the lower half stays completely soaked. This is a drainage issue for his temporary home that I don't have a solution for.

I have a monsoon mister from my last chameleon but am sketchy about setting it up. I know it sounds silly but my last veiled passed after a few years and she was constantly getting sprayed which I think had caused problems for her. Since then I have installed an RO/DI unit and use it with a drop of supplement to mist. I don't mind buying a fogger but am not sure if it would work either.

Your help with my humidity problems would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Here is Ajax's info.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon –Male piebald veiled. 3 months old
  • Handling – Everyday, he especially enjoys hanging out on my head lol. While in his enclosure his color is always a little dark but instantly changes brighter when out being handled.
  • Feeding - crickets, hornworms, super worms
  • Supplements - calcium dusting crickets once per week
  • Watering - misting 3-4 times a day 2 mins each
  • Fecal Description - brown with white
  • History - Owned for 2 weeks. Store rep received as a baby for 3 months or so
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 16x16x30 Repti-breeze
  • Lighting – 100W Powersun, 5.0 CFL UVB
  • Temperature – 80-85 degree basking with an ambient of 73 degrees
  • Humidity - 50-60 percent humidity but falls after an hour or so, trouble keeping it steady.
  • Plants - fake plants wrapped in bamboo, branches, moss at base
  • Placement – In our living room. We have a large ceiling fan that circulates air. May need to move him but would like him to stay put there.
  • Location - Texas
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello all,
For the past few weeks we have had our new guy, Ajax with us. He is a piebald Veiled male, a few months old and about 10-11" head to tail. He seems happy but much happier out of his enclosure. My biggest question is regarding his humidity. I know its cheesy but I'm using a Zilla hygrometer/thermometer but thats what I have for now and after misting for a few minutes the humidity is at 60% and after an hour drops to 30%. There is air movement in the room and evaporation is constant in the upper levels but the lower half stays completely soaked. This is a drainage issue for his temporary home that I don't have a solution for.

I have a monsoon mister from my last chameleon but am sketchy about setting it up. I know it sounds silly but my last veiled passed after a few years and she was constantly getting sprayed which I think had caused problems for her. Since then I have installed an RO/DI unit and use it with a drop of supplement to mist. I don't mind buying a fogger but am not sure if it would work either.

Your help with my humidity problems would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. Here is Ajax's info.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon –Male piebald veiled. 3 months old
  • Handling – Everyday, he especially enjoys hanging out on my head lol. While in his enclosure his color is always a little dark but instantly changes brighter when out being handled.
  • Feeding - crickets, hornworms, super worms
  • Supplements - calcium dusting crickets once per week
  • Watering - misting 3-4 times a day 2 mins each
  • Fecal Description - brown with white
  • History - Owned for 2 weeks. Store rep received as a baby for 3 months or so
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 16x16x30 Repti-breeze
  • Lighting – 100W Powersun, 5.0 CFL UVB
  • Temperature – 80-85 degree basking with an ambient of 73 degrees
  • Humidity - 50-60 percent humidity but falls after an hour or so, trouble keeping it steady.
  • Plants - fake plants wrapped in bamboo, branches, moss at base
  • Placement – In our living room. We have a large ceiling fan that circulates air. May need to move him but would like him to stay put there.
  • Location - Texas
When you handle him, does he “fire up” or climb onto you himself? What do you gutload with, and how often are you feeding? At his age, feed as much as he’ll eat multiple times a day. Add in more variety to his diet, like silkworms, butterworms, roaches (red runner, orange headed, ivory headed, green banana, dubia, etc.), black soldier flies and larvae, blue bottle flies and spikes, and giant isopods if he’s still small enough, to name a few. Each feeder should be dusted completely, but lightly, in supplement right before every feeding. There are many ways to supplement:
1) phosphorous free calcium without D3 (Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3) every feeding, phosphorous free calcium with D3 (Zoo Med ReptiCalcium with D3) every two weeks, and a multivitamin without D3 (Zoo Med Reptivite without D3) every two weeks
2) phosphorous free calcium without D3 (Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3) every feeding and a multivitamin with D3 (Zoo Med Reptivite with D3) every two weeks
3) an all in one supplement every feeding (like Repashy Calcium Plus LoD or Sticky Tongue Farms Minerall-gutload the feeders you'll feed off the night before with Sticky Tongue Farms Vitall; Minerall comes in an indoor and outdoor formula)
4) Arcadia supplements using the Arcadia insectivore supplement schedule off of their website
Eventually he’ll need a minimum sized cage of 2’ by 2’ by 4’, though preferably bigger and preferably screen. He only needs one uvb source, but neither of those are the best. I recommend either a t5HO or T8 linear uvb fixture and bulb (Arcadia 6% or Zoo Med 5.0 for his current cage and a Zoo Med 10.0 for a 4’ tall or larger cage). Get a white light basking bulb (a regular white light heat incandescent bulb from the hardware store is cheaper and lasts longer than a reptile basking bulb). Try to keep his basking at 85*F. Humidity can be between 40-70%. Add in live plants or up the number of mistings or misting lengths to help raise the average humidity above 30%. Is there a draft from the ceiling fan or lots of traffic or noise in the living room? How can I help you improve your drainage (what’s the situation)? Add in more horizontal branches and vines throughout your cage, as well.
 

pmdaggett79

Member
When you handle him, does he “fire up” or climb onto you himself? What do you gutload with, and how often are you feeding? At his age, feed as much as he’ll eat multiple times a day. Add in more variety to his diet, like silkworms, butterworms, roaches (red runner, orange headed, ivory headed, green banana, dubia, etc.), black soldier flies and larvae, blue bottle flies and spikes, and giant isopods if he’s still small enough, to name a few. Each feeder should be dusted completely, but lightly, in supplement right before every feeding. There are many ways to supplement:
1) phosphorous free calcium without D3 (Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3) every feeding, phosphorous free calcium with D3 (Zoo Med ReptiCalcium with D3) every two weeks, and a multivitamin without D3 (Zoo Med Reptivite without D3) every two weeks
2) phosphorous free calcium without D3 (Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3) every feeding and a multivitamin with D3 (Zoo Med Reptivite with D3) every two weeks
3) an all in one supplement every feeding (like Repashy Calcium Plus LoD or Sticky Tongue Farms Minerall-gutload the feeders you'll feed off the night before with Sticky Tongue Farms Vitall; Minerall comes in an indoor and outdoor formula)
4) Arcadia supplements using the Arcadia insectivore supplement schedule off of their website
Eventually he’ll need a minimum sized cage of 2’ by 2’ by 4’, though preferably bigger and preferably screen. He only needs one uvb source, but neither of those are the best. I recommend either a t5HO or T8 linear uvb fixture and bulb (Arcadia 6% or Zoo Med 5.0 for his current cage and a Zoo Med 10.0 for a 4’ tall or larger cage). Get a white light basking bulb (a regular white light heat incandescent bulb from the hardware store is cheaper and lasts longer than a reptile basking bulb). Try to keep his basking at 85*F. Humidity can be between 40-70%. Add in live plants or up the number of mistings or misting lengths to help raise the average humidity above 30%. Is there a draft from the ceiling fan or lots of traffic or noise in the living room? How can I help you improve your drainage (what’s the situation)? Add in more horizontal branches and vines throughout your cage, as well.

Thank you for your response. I'll try my best to answer your questions in order.
-I'm not sure what fire up is but it sounds like when inflates his body as though he's threatened. He will get spooked from time to time when first approached but he will climb on to my hand most of the time voluntarily. I believe he actually enjoys hanging with me. He's actually sleeping on my shoulder right now lol.
-His food intake is about 6-8 crickets per day, hornworm every other day, and superworms every other day. I do have dubia roaches but am a little concerned letting them loose in the enclosure. I will have to order the other snacks you mentioned. My city doesn't even have crickets most of the time. I have never gut loaded any of my animals and never looked into it, not sure if I should.
-I assume that the supplements you mentioned are in cycles based on a daily basis and switching every two weeks. Is that correct? Right now I'm dusting with Repti-Calcium w/o D3. I will switch tomorrow to Rep-Cal phos free with Vita D based on your recommendation. Thank you for that. I'll look into gut loading as I am uneducated on it.
-His enclosure is a work in progress and mostly temporary. I have the size cage you mentioned in the garage. It presented problems for my first chameleon when it came to feeding when she was small. I'm not sure if you meant that my light setup is not the best. I've never looked into another setup honestly. I will for sure get another lamp fixture like you said.
-I need to find a good source online to purchase a ficus tree that would fit his house right now. My searches have come up empty in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I won't settle for a fake one. I think my drainage issues will be taken care of when I find one. My plan is to plant it in a hydroponic tomato planter similar to my previous setup 3 years ago. It cost only $10 and the irrigation worked great in it. Other than the ficus I'm not sure what other live plants would work well.
-After researching a little bit ago I am certain that I will need to just fork over the money and get a starter MistKing kit with 2 screen wedges. With my current arrangement the misting I am doing causes a buildup of water in the bottom and it drains out the front corners. I only have moss and that cheap carpet stuff that came with the enclosure. It will all come together eventually but for now it seems that the only way I'll be able to keep his humidity within range is to flood the floor as well. I was thinking of getting some of that green planter foam from a florist in hopes that may be a temporary fix. Any suggestions would be great.

I hope that I answered all of your questions. Thanks for the advice given. I will take note of all of it and see where the budget takes me for now.
Anywhere that you know of online to get a ficus? And maybe a gutload lesson?
 

Rontti

Established Member
Try wrapping three sides of the cage with a shower curtain or something like that! It'll help keep the humidity up for longer. Just make sure you still have good ventilation and that the air doesn't get stale since it's very harmful for veileds.
 

pmdaggett79

Member
Try wrapping three sides of the cage with a shower curtain or something like that! It'll help keep the humidity up for longer. Just make sure you still have good ventilation and that the air doesn't get stale since it's very harmful for veileds.
I’ve really thought about that but I have to get more creative. We don’t want it to look like crap. I’m open to any suggestions also
 

Rontti

Established Member
I’ve really thought about that but I have to get more creative. We don’t want it to look like crap. I’m open to any suggestions also
I think a few sheets of hard plastic you could attach to sides could be fine. Then it wouldn't look as bad. Im just not sure what kind of plastic.
 

pmdaggett79

Member
I think a few sheets of hard plastic you could attach to sides could be fine. Then it wouldn't look as bad. Im just not sure what kind of plastic.
Maybe acrylic would be best. Does anyone have a mistking starter system? They look super impressive but not very familiar. I saw an additional zipdrip as well as other upgrades you can purchase. Overall it looks quite impressive
 

Rontti

Established Member
Maybe acrylic would be best. Does anyone have a mistking starter system? They look super impressive but not very familiar. I saw an additional zipdrip as well as other upgrades you can purchase. Overall it looks quite impressive
The mistking system is very very good! I just ordered it myself. The starter system has everything you need but I suggest adding a screen top wedge for easier mounting. I didn't buy the ZipDrip upgrade since I don't think a little dripping is a problem. Also I think it only comes with one nozzle so if you need two you have to buy one extra.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for your response. I'll try my best to answer your questions in order.
-I'm not sure what fire up is but it sounds like when inflates his body as though he's threatened. He will get spooked from time to time when first approached but he will climb on to my hand most of the time voluntarily. I believe he actually enjoys hanging with me. He's actually sleeping on my shoulder right now lol.
-His food intake is about 6-8 crickets per day, hornworm every other day, and superworms every other day. I do have dubia roaches but am a little concerned letting them loose in the enclosure. I will have to order the other snacks you mentioned. My city doesn't even have crickets most of the time. I have never gut loaded any of my animals and never looked into it, not sure if I should.
-I assume that the supplements you mentioned are in cycles based on a daily basis and switching every two weeks. Is that correct? Right now I'm dusting with Repti-Calcium w/o D3. I will switch tomorrow to Rep-Cal phos free with Vita D based on your recommendation. Thank you for that. I'll look into gut loading as I am uneducated on it.
-His enclosure is a work in progress and mostly temporary. I have the size cage you mentioned in the garage. It presented problems for my first chameleon when it came to feeding when she was small. I'm not sure if you meant that my light setup is not the best. I've never looked into another setup honestly. I will for sure get another lamp fixture like you said.
-I need to find a good source online to purchase a ficus tree that would fit his house right now. My searches have come up empty in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and I won't settle for a fake one. I think my drainage issues will be taken care of when I find one. My plan is to plant it in a hydroponic tomato planter similar to my previous setup 3 years ago. It cost only $10 and the irrigation worked great in it. Other than the ficus I'm not sure what other live plants would work well.
-After researching a little bit ago I am certain that I will need to just fork over the money and get a starter MistKing kit with 2 screen wedges. With my current arrangement the misting I am doing causes a buildup of water in the bottom and it drains out the front corners. I only have moss and that cheap carpet stuff that came with the enclosure. It will all come together eventually but for now it seems that the only way I'll be able to keep his humidity within range is to flood the floor as well. I was thinking of getting some of that green planter foam from a florist in hopes that may be a temporary fix. Any suggestions would be great.

I hope that I answered all of your questions. Thanks for the advice given. I will take note of all of it and see where the budget takes me for now.
Anywhere that you know of online to get a ficus? And maybe a gutload lesson?
Sounds like a very tame cham! Every feeder must be gutloaded! Use either organic fresh fruits and veggies, along with bee pollen and spirulina (there’s a gutload list here in the food and nutrition tab in resources) and/or a quality commercial gutload, like Cricket Crack, Pangea Gutload, or Repashy Bug Burger. Either keep all feeders constantly fed wih a high quality gutload or keep them alive and separate the feeders you’ll feed off the night before or a few hours before and gorge them on a high quality gutload. Hornworms and silkworms have their own special food, but everyone else can have the same gutload. Feed him as much as he’ll eat in one sitting multiple times a day at his current age. Keep using the Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3 every feeding and buy Zoo Med Reptivite with D3 to use every two weeks along with the calcium you already use. RepCal isn’t a recommended supplement brand. stick with Zoo Med. What I wrote you was different ways to supplement with different types and brands of supplements. If you free range your feeders but want to move him straight into a bigger cage or to feed roaches, get a no-escape feeding cup or make your own or buy a feeder jug or PVC pipe feeder. Let me know if I need to go into more detail on that. While your light set up might work, it isn’t ideal and can cause eye problems, especially the compact coil uvb. Mercury vapor bulbs aren’t the best either because once you get the temperature correct, there is too much uvb in that spot. A linear uvb source and a white light heat bulb are the way to go for lighting. Pothos, schflerra (the abricola kind), and other plants off of FL Chams chameleon safe plant list work really well! The Bio Dude and LLL Reptile have decent sized ficus trees, but Home Depot, Lowe’s, a plant nursery, or even Walmart might have your ficus tree, along with other plants. Make sure to either rinse off the plant really well, Physan, or bleach dip (rinse off EXTREMELY well multiple times afterwards for either) any plants then repot bareroot into organic soil. Cover the soil with large rocks too big for your cham to eat so he can’t eat the rocks or substrate. Do you have a substrate tray for your cage? If so, get egg crate/lighting diffuser from the hardware store and layer it up in the substrate tray, cover with a moss sheet or reptile carpet, then drain the water with a siphon once it gets to the carpet level. You can use PVC panels or painter’s plastic to cover the sides of his cage, I’d start with one side and see how the humidity holds from there. Thank you for researching, I can tell your cham is loved!
 

Alexander1

Avid Member
Hi there, congrats on your Cham. Im going to give you advice on the humidity for your Cham. Veileds are known to be very hardy for a chameleons so I wouldn’t loose sleep over an exact % . I wrap my cages in clear window film on 3 sides using the double sided tape, the stuff to keep winter drafts from windows by 3m works great and is cheap. I also have a mistking set up misting about 3 times a day along with ultra sonic humidifier that is modified lightly to force the fog into my cages. In the winter here in Chicago I also cover the door section of the cage as well, the lower portion stays uncovered to allow a chimney effect for fresh air. I also have made a point in the winter to give my chams water myself with a spray bottle, hydration is key in this very dry time. Hope this helps! Good luck!
 
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