check my setup

mightyzug

New Member
ok folks i am experienced mostly w/ iguanas so here is a pic and short description of what i got today with my new baby vieled... i don't think i am overlooking anything but then again that's what this place is here for eh? :)

it is a 10gal aquarium with a raised mesh topper that basically makes it double in size (see pic) temp. and humidity have been pretty much in the ideal range... 80-85 degrees and 80-90% placed outside the basking zone perhaps it could go a bit higher since he is a baby but my windows are open too and he seems to like it in there. simple cup with a hole in it dripper that drips down into a big water dish that i can change out as needed. pet shop had no drippers / waterfalls / moving water at all so my cham ran straight for it when he got into his new home and had a nice long drink. i only got him today but he has been bright green and happy looking all day, showing only a very minor color change when i got a real close look. plenty of green stuff to climb on in there and some vine, i still need to get another thing to fill space like a branch for more climbing fun. only a single 26w compact floro 10.0 uv-b for now... i know these put out some uv-a, but is it enough or do i need a normal bulb too, since it is already warm enough under the floro light?

for food i got a few small crickets for him for now and some dust but no gut loading. i have another thread for feeding him started so i wont go too far into it here. hope i got everything covered, please let me know if i forgot something. :)
 

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John33871

New Member
you need more hiding places like an extra plant inside, i would recommend getting a ficus tree so that your little guy has extra places to hide and feels more safe. i hope that dish up top is you drip system, because if it is not i would strongly get one, im sure you are aware that chameleons do not drink still water, they must be stimulated with moving water. well good luck
 
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Tygerr

Avid Member
temp. and humidity have been pretty much in the ideal range... 80-85 degrees and 80-90% placed outside the basking zone
I'm not sure I understand you: if by 'outside the basking zone' you mean that the ambient temps and humidity are 80-85 and 80%-90%, then those numbers are too high. A baby only needs basking temps of 80F-90F, with ambient temps about 10 degrees lower. The humidity for a Veiled should be about 50%-60%.
What are you using to measure temps/humidity? Are your devices digital or analogue?

simple cup with a hole in it dripper that drips down into a big water dish that i can change out as needed.
You'll need to change the water in that dish very regularly. Chams tend to drop their fecal matter into standing bodies of water, and combined with drowned insects and fallen leaves, they generate a lot of bacteria quite quickly.
This is why aquarium tanks are generally not recommended for chams, since it is difficult to set up a proper drainage system in them.

plenty of green stuff to climb on in there and some vine, i still need to get another thing to fill space like a branch for more climbing fun.
I agree with the previous poster: you need a lot more foliage in there. Don't neglect the bottom of the enclosure. Chams like to roam around their entire enclosure, and they need to feel secure wherever they are inside it. So add a lot more leaf-cover for him to hide in. And live plants are preferable. Especially as Veileds start nibbling on the leaves when they get older: you don't want him chewing on plastic.

only a single 26w compact floro 10.0 uv-b for now... i know these put out some uv-a, but is it enough or do i need a normal bulb too, since it is already warm enough under the floro light?
Kinyonga says that he doesn't use basking lights for babies. Provided the cage temps are good, I think that's fine. However, when your cham is a little older, it will need a separate basking light to achieve a nice warm basking spot. Remember, the aim is to create a warm area for basking, and then a gradient of temperatures throughout the rest of the cage, so that the cham can be able to find a spot where the temperature is comfortable to him.

As for that coil UV light: I have no experience with them, so I can't say if they're any worse at producing UVB than a tube UV light. But it does look to me as if it would only provide a very limited area in which the cham can obtain UV exposure. I think a tube light would spread out the UVB penetration more, and provide more areas for the cham to get UVB. Setting up an enclosure is all about providing the cham with choices: a hot area with UVB, a hot area without UVB, a cool area with UVB, a cool area without UVB; a wetter area, a dryer area; an open area to hunt and bask, or a sheltered area to hide in. That's why gradients are so important... read this: Gradients in cage design

for food i got a few small crickets for him for now and some dust but no gut loading.
Get busy with the gutloading. Remember that dusting the crickets is no substitute for proper gutloading. I use this one: James / Wells / Lopéz Gutload, as well as lots of fresh fruits and veggies.
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
I am going to repeat what was said about temps:
Babies need to be cooler.
They are terrible at thermoregulating and must never have opportunity to get too hot.
Basking temp should (in my opinion) be no higher than 85 until 5 or 6 months old, with the rest of the enclosure ranging from 65 (lowest point) to 75 or 80 (as you get closer to the basking zone)
This is one of the reasons why tall verticle screen enclosures are preferrable.
It is much easier to get a range of temps in this kind of enclosure.
The aquarium with screen topper is fine for a baby but I would not use much of a basking light and definetely get a recomended UVB like the Zoomed 5.0.
In a glass enclosure it can get hot fast, so if you do use a basking light I would not go higher than a 15 or (maybe) 25 watt.
Remember they like it even cooler at night ...down to 60 degrees.


-Brad
 

mightyzug

New Member
thanks for the replies yall... i will get on checking the cage a little better... right now the temp is 80 and humidity is 50, 'outside the basking zone' in the pic you can see my analog meter on the opposite side of the tank from the light that would be his basking spot... i will get a temp probe in there and get the exact temp under the bulb but i will be very suprised if it is over 85-90 since the uv light does not produce alot of heat. also i should note that i live in a very low humidity area (20% or less in the house) so while humidity readings may be very high in the bottom they will go down very quickly in the upper part of the cage.

i figured i would have to change the dish out at least daily like i did when i had iguanas, and yes that is a dripper in the pic.

as far as live plants i havent looked too much into it but i know i cant buy some and just put them there, i have some that have been in my care for over 6months i just have to check if they are gonna be ok.
 

mightyzug

New Member
ok better now i think... humidity is about 55-60% and temp is 87 at the very closest perch near the lamp, 78 at the opposite side of the mesh or pretty much room temp.

analog meter reads 80... this has all been with open windows in my apt. not running a/c so i will have to see how it ranges when i need to turn that on
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Those ranges sound better.

Just a note of caution: analogue meters are best avoided. They have been known to be wildly inaccurate. The biggest problem is that they tend to be inconsistent - two analogue meters next to each other could show vast variations in both temperature and humidity.

It is best to get a digital thermometer and hygrometer (preferably one with an external probe to measure specific spots, like the basking area), and even better to get an infrared temp. gun to check the actual basking temps on the skin of your cham.
 

mightyzug

New Member
i have a digi temp probe but no digi hygrometer... sofar sogood i guess. my cham seems fine, nicely colored, doesn't freak out when i reach in his cage, has fed and pooped on his first day here. i added a bark hut thing for hiding, a branch in the big space over the dripper dish for climbing, a pot of that all organic petgrass stuff you can get at the pet shop, and a feeder dish that i can use for the phoenix worms

in my iguana habitat i had 4 analog temp meters and 4 analog hygrometers and of course they were all wildly different but they were supposed to be too :)
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I don't know if anyone mentioned this yet, but if your going to keep that bowl that catches the dripper in there, you should cover it with a net. That will prevent your cham from drinking from it and keep out any feeders.
 

Shelby

New Member
You can get some ficus plants at places like Home Depot pretty cheaply. Just make sure to get rid of the soil it comes in, I just hose it all off outside on the lawn, then repot with fresh soil.

Also, home depot has some great bamboo "stakes" in the garden center. You can buy a long stick for under a dollar. I buy a few and cut them to various lengths and have them all over criss-crossing my enclosure for my chameleon to climb around on. You can even stick them right into the container your ficus (or whichever plant you're using) is in.

I also found a large six foot vine with big leafs at a home decorating store that I wrap around and through the ficus tree and bamboo poles. These chameleons do love to hide and roam around and I try to give my guy his own jungle. :^)
 
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