Custom cage ideas

Titan01

New Member
I just got my chameleon a few days ago and he came with this cage.
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(I'm getting more vines and things for him to climb on too)
I would like to build him a new one that is taller so he has more space to climb. What are some things that would be ideal to build into the cage, such as type of drainage or drip system. Any suggestions would be great!

Also, here he is laying underneath his hammock.
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nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Step 1, chameleons should no have dirt floors. It should be barren like a water proof kitchen floor. Else you will have a cham eating dirt, mold, and cricket infestations.

As for an ideal cage. My favorite size is 4ft long (so you can use 42" T5HO bulbs) 2ft deep (so your arm can still get into the cage), and 3ft-5ft high depending on the plant pots, if you have no pots you can go 3ft so that the cham has good access to the uv bulbs, but some plant pots are huge.


I would say your first step on your cage is to make a clean floor.
The second step would be to buy the UVB bulb meant for the future forever cage. If you are going for a 4ft cage, you can just place the 4ft bulb across that 18-24" cage you have now temporarily.

Till you tell use your new cage size, i can not recommend an ideal UVB bulb setup.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Step 1, chameleons should no have dirt floors. It should be barren like a water proof kitchen floor. Else you will have a cham eating dirt, mold, and cricket infestations.
Sorry, I'd have to disagree there. Every one of my chameleons is in a bioactive enclosure with soil, however, whats pictured above is not a bioactive setup and that looks like clay or sand. it DOES need to replaced, either by going bioactive (lots of info on these forums about it, and highly recommended), or by removing it all together and just doing the bare bottom / paper towel method.
 

Titan01

New Member
Sorry, I'd have to disagree there. Every one of my chameleons is in a bioactive enclosure with soil, however, whats pictured above is not a bioactive setup and that looks like clay or sand. it DOES need to replaced, either by going bioactive (lots of info on these forums about it, and highly recommended), or by removing it all together and just doing the bare bottom / paper towel method.
It's the eco earth loose fiber substrate,the new cage will just have a screen bottom to avoid the messiness of it anyway, thanks for the advice!
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry, I'd have to disagree there. Every one of my chameleons is in a bioactive enclosure with soil, however, whats pictured above is not a bioactive setup and that looks like clay or sand. it DOES need to replaced, either by going bioactive (lots of info on these forums about it, and highly recommended), or by removing it all together and just doing the bare bottom / paper towel method.
Yea didnt want to push a new owner to bioactive just yet. Baby steps, step one bare floor where no feeder can hide. Then you can branch off to more advanced stuff :)

I was semi bioactive, i just never drained the concrete mixing tubs that the mister drained into, and had potted plants with 3" of gravel in the bottom of the pots just sitting in the water, along with a few pothos that lived in the water. Never got algae etc.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s a sampling of some of the forum members enclosures. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/pictures-of-enclosures.170281/
There’s several various ways to get creative and design a great space for your guy. You can read thru some older posts and find inspiration.
Some things that are essentials are the correct linear uvb lighting, basking light, LOTS of vines, sticks and other roads for him to travel, lots of foliage to hide in and drink from, a hydration system (misting and/or drip system, and a few gauges to measure humidity and temperature. Live plants are better than fake as they help maintain humidity and provides snacking for veileds. Just make sure they are safe...I love Pothos and so do my chams. Before you buy anything, you may want to fill out the help form so your husbandry can be reviewed and set you out with the correct shopping list.
Here is some recommended information to include when asking for help in the health clinic forum. By providing this information you will receive more accurate and beneficial responses. It might not be necessary to answer all these questions, but the more you provide the better. Please remember that even the most knowledgeable person can only guess at what your problem may be. Only an experienced reptile veterinarian who can directly examine your animal can give a true diagnosis of your chameleon's health.


Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
was it right after the lights came on? Your going to want to jump on getting a T5HO fixture and 5.0 bulb if it is a single or dual fixture asap. Then set that directly on the top of the cage with basking approximately 7-8 inches below. lights should be on for 12 hours then off for 12 hours with total darkness. Sleeping during is a sign of a health issue. :(
 

Titan01

New Member
was it right after the lights came on? Your going to want to jump on getting a T5HO fixture and 5.0 bulb if it is a single or dual fixture asap. Then set that directly on the top of the cage with basking approximately 7-8 inches below. lights should be on for 12 hours then off for 12 hours with total darkness. Sleeping during is a sign of a health issue. :(
I have 15watt T8 bulb and then a basking light for him and its about 83°F. Am I using the wrong lights?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have 15watt T8 bulb and then a basking light for him and its about 83°F. Am I using the wrong lights?
Yes you are. I am going to urge you to fill out the form that was posted above for you. The t8 does virtually nothing for uvb output. We recommend a T5ho fixture that runs the length of the cage. Bulb strength depends on the exact type of fixture and reflector. As I said sleeping during the day is really not a good thing at all.
 
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