First-Time Veiled Chameleon Owner, So Many Questions!

aleagueofherown

Established Member
And we need progress pics of your girl and her custom enclosure! 😁
So... what started as what would be a weekend project has now turned into more than I anticipated. 😅 My pops wants to be involved in the build out, so we are currently working on materials. The idea at this time is to create a wooden frame with "windows" on the sides and front (wood frame, this screen material. I'm working on drawing it out, but here's a rough of the general dimensions. It will be 18" off the ground, but with the additional 12" of leaves, soil, lecca, charcoal, drainage, etc. the 'ground' level will still be over 2 feet from the ground, with the top of her cage being 6.5 feet from the ground. The back of the cage will be solid, possibly going to do some foam if I really decide to go all in on this and create a neat background. Lights, misting system, fogger, dripper will all be on top and be on timers (great recommendation by the way, thank you). Still working out the full logistics of it but it's going to provider her with a LOT more area than she had before, and I'm looking forward to sharing more as we make progress!
20210130_003427.jpg
 

Rhea’s mum

Established Member
Awesome! She is going to love the new space.
Just one thing to incorporate into the design (not sure if you have thought of or read about) is drainage. Either put a slight slope on the base and drainage in a corner or I have seen people use the shower cubicle drain bases and then it’s ready made. Bioactive is great but you will likely still get a water build up in the base if you don’t incorporate drainage.
There are so many great threads on here where people have shared their experiences building so if you need any inspiration just look at those or post your problem and I’m sure someone will have come across it 😊

Looking forward to seeing the progress
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
So... what started as what would be a weekend project has now turned into more than I anticipated. 😅 My pops wants to be involved in the build out, so we are currently working on materials. The idea at this time is to create a wooden frame with "windows" on the sides and front (wood frame, this screen material. I'm working on drawing it out, but here's a rough of the general dimensions. It will be 18" off the ground, but with the additional 12" of leaves, soil, lecca, charcoal, drainage, etc. the 'ground' level will still be over 2 feet from the ground, with the top of her cage being 6.5 feet from the ground. The back of the cage will be solid, possibly going to do some foam if I really decide to go all in on this and create a neat background. Lights, misting system, fogger, dripper will all be on top and be on timers (great recommendation by the way, thank you). Still working out the full logistics of it but it's going to provider her with a LOT more area than she had before, and I'm looking forward to sharing more as we make progress!
View attachment 290900
I would recommend an aluminum screen with slightly larger holes (still small enough to keep feeders in) or hardware cloth if you’re not worried about feeders escaping (but who isn’t 🤣) instead of the pet cloth. Also, I’m not sure if you left this out on accident or not, but make sure the top is full screen, as well.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Thanks! I'm going to stick with the pet cloth on the sides, but decided to do screen on the top and front. I am going to do screen on top, but I was going to ask what am I supposed to do if she's a screen climber? Because I feel like the light will be too hot sitting directly on the screen. I also have no idea which lights to buy now because the enclosure is going to be a lot bigger than I originally thought.

Good news is, I got a ton of branches from my grandparents' property. I'm planning to blast them and I saw another forum recommending bleaching so I'll go that route unless there's a better way. But this will save me a lot of money!
 

Attachments

  • 20210130_162352.jpg
    20210130_162352.jpg
    382.2 KB · Views: 14

skywes13

Member
I'm planning to blast them and I saw another forum recommending bleaching so I'll go that route unless there's a better way.
I'm not sure what you mean by blast them, but baking them is quite simple and efficient. Neptune The Chameleon on youtube has a good video on sanitizing branches.

Link:
Thank you for the link! I will certainly consider it as an option! I hate crickets but for now she's a little gal.
You're welcome! Yes, crickets can be convenient especially for the little babies, but there could still be some nicer options for babies like small black soldier fly larvae & flightless fruit flies. :)
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
I'm not sure what you mean by blast them, but baking them is quite simple and efficient. Neptune The Chameleon on youtube has a good video on sanitizing branches.

Link:

You're welcome! Yes, crickets can be convenient especially for the little babies, but there could still be some nicer options for babies like small black soldier fly larvae & flightless fruit flies. :)
We have a sandblaster in our backyard! I use it for all sorts of things. Around 2:10 in the video she mentions that some people bake their branches but... my oven isn't commercial size :LOL: some of the branches are like 9 feet long. Though I'll be cutting them down, many of them will be 4ft long to give her some longer options in the enclosure, so sun-drying it is!

I will have to keep my eye out for some more variety for her diet next week. She ate 6 crickets today, which is an improvement from the last several days so I think she is finally settling into her smaller enclosure for now. So appreciative of all the assistance!
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Thanks! I'm going to stick with the pet cloth on the sides, but decided to do screen on the top and front. I am going to do screen on top, but I was going to ask what am I supposed to do if she's a screen climber? Because I feel like the light will be too hot sitting directly on the screen. I also have no idea which lights to buy now because the enclosure is going to be a lot bigger than I originally thought.

Good news is, I got a ton of branches from my grandparents' property. I'm planning to blast them and I saw another forum recommending bleaching so I'll go that route unless there's a better way. But this will save me a lot of money!
I wouldnt use bleach on such a porous surface.
^ Thanks! I'm planning to use regular dish soap instead. Hadn't done enough research on it when I initially posted the branches :)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
We have a sandblaster in our backyard! I use it for all sorts of things. Around 2:10 in the video she mentions that some people bake their branches but... my oven isn't commercial size :LOL: some of the branches are like 9 feet long. Though I'll be cutting them down, many of them will be 4ft long to give her some longer options in the enclosure, so sun-drying it is!

I will have to keep my eye out for some more variety for her diet next week. She ate 6 crickets today, which is an improvement from the last several days so I think she is finally settling into her smaller enclosure for now. So appreciative of all the assistance!
I want a sandblaster! I’m so jealous!
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Awesome! She is going to love the new space.
Just one thing to incorporate into the design (not sure if you have thought of or read about) is drainage. Either put a slight slope on the base and drainage in a corner or I have seen people use the shower cubicle drain bases and then it’s ready made. Bioactive is great but you will likely still get a water build up in the base if you don’t incorporate drainage.
There are so many great threads on here where people have shared their experiences building so if you need any inspiration just look at those or post your problem and I’m sure someone will have come across it 😊

Looking forward to seeing the progress
I incorporated drainage into the bottom of the 12"! Can't wait to share the progress, starting the build on the frame today and working on gathering materials for the back wall. I'm also excited because this build will provide her with more privacy. At this time, she can see the entry door to the studio and I know that must be stressful when we/the dogs are in and out. Thank you again for all of the advice!
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Finally took the time to set her up better until the new cage is done. Just wanted to note that top left branch is not her basking branch. She just has a tendency to climb the ceiling and having that branch up higher makes it easier for her to get down. She was so patient (can chameleons be described as patient?) being held by family while I was making all of these changes. We're getting rain right now so I've had to put a halt on the new build until that clears up. I was able to wash the branches I took from my grandparents' property and took out every single artificial vine/plant and replaced them with real plants. I can already tell how much more content she is in the new digs. This photo was taken before I put rocks in the plants to block her from the soil btw.

Thank you again to everyone who has been incredibly helpful so far! I thought I knew a thing or two about chameleons before joining the forums, and I've been astounded at how much more there is to their husbandry.

Ivy 1 February 2021.jpg


T
 
Top Bottom