Got two chameleons and split the cage, please review my husbandry

newchamfan

New Member
Background - Went down the chameleon rabbit hole. Got a veiled (3-4 months) and got addicted. Now a month later I bought a 36(L) x 18(W) x 36(L) Exo terra hybrid cage and split it down the middle to house two chameleons. Im getting a panther baby 3-4 months). Good or bad idea. Not really interested in hearing that glass tanks are not good. These are exo terra ones with vents and mesh for airflow/chimney effect. Anyway, pictures below. Can you review my husbandry please? It's obviously work in progress. Willing to hear any suggestions to give these chameleons the best life I can. I do care about aesthetics btw. I won't have a mesh cage in my living room.

Species & Sex: Male Veiled Chameleon and male Ambilobe Panther Chameleon, both about 4-5 months old.

In My Care: They've been with me for around a month.

Handling: How Often: Just when doing cage maintenance. They're getting used to my presence, showing no signs of distress when I'm around. They don't walk away from me when I reach in their cage anymore. i give them their space to build trust.

Feeding: What & How Much: They get 1-2 hornworms weekly and about 10 medium crickets or dubias daily, with a preference for crickets. I put them in a hanging feeder no freerange.
Schedule: They have their breakfast in the morning and continue to snack throughout the day, possibly even during the night.

Supplements:

What I Use:
I'm using HERPTIVITE Multivitamin and Miner-All Calcium/Mineral Supplement.
How Often: The Miner-All is used daily, while HERPTIVITE is applied twice a month.

Watering:

Method:
Misting is the method I use for hydration, and it's effective as they drink off the leaves.
Drinking Habits: Yes, I've observed them drinking after misting sessions.

Fecal Description:

What It's Like:
Normal is black poop with white urate. Notably, one had a challenging time with a 6-inch long poop after consuming a large hornworm, which was an unusual event but didn’t lead to any problems.

Cage:

Type & Size:
It's a combo cage, Exo Terra extra tall (36x18x36 inches), split in the middle using fake grass. I hope their vision isn't too good and they not seeing each other through the gaps. There might be some small gaps through the foliage.

Lighting: I've got a 24-inch REPTI ZOO T5 UVB light stretching across the top, which efficiently covers both sides of the cage, providing sufficient UVB for both chameleons. Basking bulbs are placed on each side for warmth.

Temp & Humidity: Temperatures range from 80-95°F during the day to the 60s at night. Humidity levels are 20-40% by day and about 85% at night. I’m planning to introduce fogging at night to maintain high humidity levels.

Plants: The cage features live plants like Photos and ferns. I’m considering adding more but want to avoid overcrowding.

Location of Cage: It's located in the living room, near a window, in a spot that’s busy but doesn’t seem to bother them. The cage is about 15 inches off the floor.

Where I Live: I’m based in New Jersey.

Yes, I plan on adding more branches towards the middle.

Thanks!!
 

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Background - Went down the chameleon rabbit hole. Got a veiled (3-4 months) and got addicted. Now a month later I bought a 36(L) x 18(W) x 36(L) Exo terra hybrid cage and split it down the middle to house two chameleons. Im getting a panther baby 3-4 months). Good or bad idea. Not really interested in hearing that glass tanks are not good. These are exo terra ones with vents and mesh for airflow/chimney effect. Anyway, pictures below. Can you review my husbandry please? It's obviously work in progress. Willing to hear any suggestions to give these chameleons the best life I can. I do care about aesthetics btw. I won't have a mesh cage in my living room.

Species & Sex: Male Veiled Chameleon and male Ambilobe Panther Chameleon, both about 4-5 months old.

In My Care: They've been with me for around a month.

Handling: How Often: Just when doing cage maintenance. They're getting used to my presence, showing no signs of distress when I'm around. They don't walk away from me when I reach in their cage anymore. i give them their space to build trust.

Feeding: What & How Much: They get 1-2 hornworms weekly and about 10 medium crickets or dubias daily, with a preference for crickets. I put them in a hanging feeder no freerange.
Schedule: They have their breakfast in the morning and continue to snack throughout the day, possibly even during the night.

Supplements:

What I Use:
I'm using HERPTIVITE Multivitamin and Miner-All Calcium/Mineral Supplement.
How Often: The Miner-All is used daily, while HERPTIVITE is applied twice a month.

Watering:

Method:
Misting is the method I use for hydration, and it's effective as they drink off the leaves.
Drinking Habits: Yes, I've observed them drinking after misting sessions.

Fecal Description:

What It's Like:
Normal is black poop with white urate. Notably, one had a challenging time with a 6-inch long poop after consuming a large hornworm, which was an unusual event but didn’t lead to any problems.

Cage:

Type & Size:
It's a combo cage, Exo Terra extra tall (36x18x36 inches), split in the middle using fake grass. I hope their vision isn't too good and they not seeing each other through the gaps. There might be some small gaps through the foliage.

Lighting: I've got a 24-inch REPTI ZOO T5 UVB light stretching across the top, which efficiently covers both sides of the cage, providing sufficient UVB for both chameleons. Basking bulbs are placed on each side for warmth.

Temp & Humidity: Temperatures range from 80-95°F during the day to the 60s at night. Humidity levels are 20-40% by day and about 85% at night. I’m planning to introduce fogging at night to maintain high humidity levels.

Plants: The cage features live plants like Photos and ferns. I’m considering adding more but want to avoid overcrowding.

Location of Cage: It's located in the living room, near a window, in a spot that’s busy but doesn’t seem to bother them. The cage is about 15 inches off the floor.

Where I Live: I’m based in New Jersey.

Yes, I plan on adding more branches towards the middle.

Thanks!!
you’ll have to eventually move one of the chameleons as they grow so in my opinion i wouldn’t house them together as you’ll have to go through the trouble of buying another 2x2x4 ASAP as veileds grow really fast. I also don’t think it’s a great idea to have them so close together as it stresses chameleons out if they see another cham or animal, which is why i have a soild barrier on one panel of my enclosure that he can’t see through. I would also recommend to get rid of the fake plants and go all real plants, especially for the veiled as they’re known to eat their plants and one nibble from a fake plant could cause impaction
 
you’ll have to eventually move one of the chameleons as they grow so in my opinion i wouldn’t house them together as you’ll have to go through the trouble of buying another 2x2x4 ASAP as veileds grow really fast. I also don’t think it’s a great idea to have them so close together as it stresses chameleons out if they see another cham or animal, which is why i have a soild barrier on one panel of my enclosure that he can’t see through. I would also recommend to get rid of the fake plants and go all real plants, especially for the veiled as they’re known to eat their plants and one nibble from a fake plant could cause impaction
The fake plant you see is an old picture. I have only real plants in the enclosure. each cage is essentially 18x18x36. I can't get another one. I've read conflicting reports that they can indeed be kept in this sized cage as adults. thanks for your reply appreciate it. How is my supplement scheduled is it ok to give that calcium everyday?
 
The fake plant you see is an old picture. I have only real plants in the enclosure. each cage is essentially 18x18x36. I can't get another one. I've read conflicting reports that they can indeed be kept in this sized cage as adults. thanks for your reply appreciate it. How is my supplement scheduled is it ok to give that calcium everyday?
okay great to hear about the real plants! Could you provide a picture of the supplements? I’ve never heard of either of them, but as long as the calcium you’re dusting with every day doesn’t contain d3 then you should be fine…. the schedule of your dusting is correct but i’ve never heard of those supplements
 
I can go through everything give me a few. But right off the bat and I know you will not want to hear this... The cage set up is not going to work. Not only would it barely be ok for 1 male of either of these species you have split it so it is even smaller. However the barrier you used is not solid. This is going to create extreme stress between two species. Veileds are extremely territorial and aggressive as they mature. They are going to think they are sharing a space because they can see one another.
 
I can go through everything give me a few. But right off the bat and I know you will not want to hear this... The cage set up is not going to work. Not only would it barely be ok for 1 male of either of these species you have split it so it is even smaller. However the barrier you used is not solid. This is going to create extreme stress between two species. Veileds are extremely territorial and aggressive as they mature. They are going to think they are sharing a space because they can see one another.
Thanks. The gaps through the divider are extremely small. It's foliage, a fake grass wall. How good is their vision? I have to squint to see through to the other side.
 
Thanks. The gaps through the divider are extremely small. It's foliage, a fake grass wall. How good is their vision? I have to squint to see through to the other side.
Their vision is extremely good... It is how they are able to find small insects from a distance in the wild. They can see through it, it simply will not be efficient.
 
Hello and warmest welcomes to you! I'll leave @Beman to your husbandry review as she said she would to that soon.

A couple ideas for you, knowing you care about aesthetics (I do too). There are some really beautiful enclosures you can get for your chameleons and are significantly larger than the one you have them in. I'll post some options for you below. The idea too is that you have a whole beautiful environment vs you are wrapping an enclosure around your chameleon. I personally love it when people come to my house and are in awe of my enclosures with the backgrounds and live plants and THEN they realize there is something living in there. (Will post them to share with you.). Maybe you could do something like that for your little guys.

Beautiful enclosures you may be interested in getting:
DragonStrand (what I have)
Taumra Designs (many members on here have these and my goodness are they beautiful)
Chameleon Academy Enclosures
 

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See my feedback in red bold.


Background - Went down the chameleon rabbit hole. Got a veiled (3-4 months) and got addicted. Now a month later I bought a 36(L) x 18(W) x 36(L) Exo terra hybrid cage and split it down the middle to house two chameleons. Im getting a panther baby 3-4 months). Good or bad idea. Not really interested in hearing that glass tanks are not good. These are exo terra ones with vents and mesh for airflow/chimney effect. Anyway, pictures below. Can you review my husbandry please? It's obviously work in progress. Willing to hear any suggestions to give these chameleons the best life I can. I do care about aesthetics btw. I won't have a mesh cage in my living room. So this would be a bad idea. This cage can work for one male due to the width of it even though the height and depth are not the recommended length. However splitting this makes it far too small for a male of either of these species. The very minimum for male panthers and Veileds is 24x24x48 inches tall. Both of these species can get to lengths of 15-19 inches. Which is why the depth and width is needed. Height is needed so they have room to move around. This does not even cover the risk of cross contamination if one or the other is carrying parasites. The separator between sides simply will not work. They can see through it. This is why when we have cages sitting side by side we always use solid divider panels to totally remove the ability for them to see one another. If you leave them like this then as they mature you are risking one trying to kill off the other. They will figure out how to get through that divider. I do not want to sound harsh but I want you to know that this just will not be ok for these two chameleons. And they really do need to be the priority.

Species & Sex:
Male Veiled Chameleon and male Ambilobe Panther Chameleon, both about 4-5 months old.

In My Care: They've been with me for around a month.

Handling: How Often: Just when doing cage maintenance. They're getting used to my presence, showing no signs of distress when I'm around. They don't walk away from me when I reach in their cage anymore. i give them their space to build trust.

Feeding: What & How Much: They get 1-2 hornworms weekly and about 10 medium crickets or dubias daily, with a preference for crickets. I put them in a hanging feeder no freerange.
Schedule: They have their breakfast in the morning and continue to snack throughout the day, possibly even during the night. For their ages they should be eating more every day. Looking at about 2 dozen feeders a day. If they are not actively eating in the morning then there is either a health issue or husbandry issue. BUT with them seeing each other and essentially being in each others space... This will create high stress. One may decide to stay lower in the cage away from food and UVB because the other is larger or more dominate intimidating the other one. Again the set up creates multiple issues.

Supplements:

What I Use:
I'm using HERPTIVITE Multivitamin and Miner-All Calcium/Mineral Supplement.
How Often: The Miner-All is used daily, while HERPTIVITE is applied twice a month. So Which miner all are you using? One does have d3 and one does not. if your using the one with D3 it is incorrect. Herptivite is an incorrect multivitamin for chameleons. It does not have vitamin D3 or A which both are needed for their health.
You want a plain phosphorus free calcium for every day feeding. Then you want a multivitamin that has D3 and A in it that can be used once every other week like repashy calcium plus LoD version or Reptivite with D3.


Watering:

Method:
Misting is the method I use for hydration, and it's effective as they drink off the leaves.
Drinking Habits: Yes, I've observed them drinking after misting sessions.

Fecal Description:

What It's Like:
Normal is black poop with white urate. Notably, one had a challenging time with a 6-inch long poop after consuming a large hornworm, which was an unusual event but didn’t lead to any problems. FYI large hornworms pose an extreme risk for the cham being bitten.

Cage:

Type & Size:
It's a combo cage, Exo Terra extra tall (36x18x36 inches), split in the middle using fake grass. I hope their vision isn't too good and they not seeing each other through the gaps. There might be some small gaps through the foliage. Already covered this... You could use this for one but not two.

Lighting:
I've got a 24-inch REPTI ZOO T5 UVB light stretching across the top, which efficiently covers both sides of the cage, providing sufficient UVB for both chameleons. Basking bulbs are placed on each side for warmth. So UVB should run the entire width of an enclosure. A 24 inch fixture means 22 inches of bulb. This split only allows for a small 11 inch space where they have usable UVB. Additionally for them to get the UVB they are now sitting right next to each other and know one another are there... If you do this enclosure even for one chameleon you need the 36 inch fixture with the 34inch UVB bulb.

Temp & Humidity:
Temperatures range from 80-95°F during the day to the 60s at night. Humidity levels are 20-40% by day and about 85% at night. I’m planning to introduce fogging at night to maintain high humidity levels. This is far too hot.... Babies this young should not have temps hotter than 80-85max. Anything higher than that is not recommended for adults much less babies. They can dehydrate really quickly under high heat.

Plants:
The cage features live plants like Photos and ferns. I’m considering adding more but want to avoid overcrowding. Ferns would not be a good option for a veiled. You want Veiled tested plants only since they actively eat their plants. See image.

Location of Cage:
It's located in the living room, near a window, in a spot that’s busy but doesn’t seem to bother them. The cage is about 15 inches off the floor. Cage needs to be higher off the floor especially with it only be a 36 inch tall cage. They need to be high so that they feel like they are in a position of safety compared to what is in the room with them. If the window gets direct sun you want to move the cage this will heat up a glass enclosure rapidly... Too high of heat can kill them.

Where I Live:
I’m based in New Jersey.

Yes, I plan on adding more branches towards the middle.



Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 11.41.38 AM copy.png
 
You can get two XL Reptibreeze enclosures for $200.00 delivered to your door. Place them side by side like I did and put a coroplast (plastic cardboard) sheet in between them. Then use your glass enclosure for a single smaller species of cham when you’re ready. Emphasis added on when you are ready.

This is a very simple fix.

You can get cheap but sturdy and aesthetic looking racks at Home Depot or Lowes.

https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-reptibreeze-reptile-cage/dp/344873?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=Zoo Med&utm_campaign=12195565633&utm_term=&gad_source=1&gbraid=0AAAAADmQ2V2WhuaONEgFrIX7BVf-EQ531&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImbrL3uHdhAMV411HAR2hpgmrEAQYASABEgIGpvD_BwE
 

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See my feedback in red bold.


Background - Went down the chameleon rabbit hole. Got a veiled (3-4 months) and got addicted. Now a month later I bought a 36(L) x 18(W) x 36(L) Exo terra hybrid cage and split it down the middle to house two chameleons. Im getting a panther baby 3-4 months). Good or bad idea. Not really interested in hearing that glass tanks are not good. These are exo terra ones with vents and mesh for airflow/chimney effect. Anyway, pictures below. Can you review my husbandry please? It's obviously work in progress. Willing to hear any suggestions to give these chameleons the best life I can. I do care about aesthetics btw. I won't have a mesh cage in my living room. So this would be a bad idea. This cage can work for one male due to the width of it even though the height and depth are not the recommended length. However splitting this makes it far too small for a male of either of these species. The very minimum for male panthers and Veileds is 24x24x48 inches tall. Both of these species can get to lengths of 15-19 inches. Which is why the depth and width is needed. Height is needed so they have room to move around. This does not even cover the risk of cross contamination if one or the other is carrying parasites. The separator between sides simply will not work. They can see through it. This is why when we have cages sitting side by side we always use solid divider panels to totally remove the ability for them to see one another. If you leave them like this then as they mature you are risking one trying to kill off the other. They will figure out how to get through that divider. I do not want to sound harsh but I want you to know that this just will not be ok for these two chameleons. And they really do need to be the priority. Thanks I'll definately sleep on this and do the right thing

For their ages they should be eating more every day. Looking at about 2 dozen feeders a day. If they are not actively eating in the morning then there is either a health issue or husbandry issue. BUT with them seeing each other and essentially being in each others space... This will create high stress. One may decide to stay lower in the cage away from food and UVB because the other is larger or more dominate intimidating the other one. Again the set up creates multiple issues. Interesting. I'm not feeding them enough. I'll increase the number of critters.

Supplements:

What I Use:
I'm using HERPTIVITE Multivitamin and Miner-All Calcium/Mineral Supplement.
How Often: The Miner-All is used daily, while HERPTIVITE is applied twice a month. So Which miner all are you using? One does have d3 and one does not. if your using the one with D3 it is incorrect. Herptivite is an incorrect multivitamin for chameleons. It does not have vitamin D3 or A which both are needed for their health.
You want a plain phosphorus free calcium for every day feeding. Then you want a multivitamin that has D3 and A in it that can be used once every other week like repashy calcium plus LoD version or Reptivite with D3.
well im wrong on this again. saw herptivite recommended on this forum thats why i bought it. also the miner all is the one with D3.



Fecal Description:

What It's Like:
Normal is black poop with white urate. Notably, one had a challenging time with a 6-inch long poop after consuming a large hornworm, which was an unusual event but didn’t lead to any problems. FYI large hornworms pose an extreme risk for the cham being bitten. Yep. It latched onto his face and he was trashing. but gulped him down anyway. took him a min though.




Location of Cage:
It's located in the living room, near a window, in a spot that’s busy but doesn’t seem to bother them. The cage is about 15 inches off the floor. Cage needs to be higher off the floor especially with it only be a 36 inch tall cage. They need to be high so that they feel like they are in a position of safety compared to what is in the room with them. If the window gets direct sun you want to move the cage this will heat up a glass enclosure rapidly... Too high of heat can kill them. There is no way i can put it higher than it is now. Just isn't possible? Will my chameleons get sick and die?

Where I Live: I’m based in New Jersey.

Yes, I plan on adding more branches towards the middle.



View attachment 352496
 
You can get two XL Reptibreeze enclosures for $200.00 delivered to your door. Place them side by side like I did and put a coroplast (plastic cardboard) sheet in between them. Then use your glass enclosure for a single smaller species of cham when you’re ready. Emphasis added on when you are ready.

This is a very simple fix.

You can get cheap but sturdy and aesthetic looking racks at Home Depot or Lowes.

https://www.chewy.com/zoo-med-reptibreeze-reptile-cage/dp/344873?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=Zoo Med&utm_campaign=12195565633&utm_term=&gad_source=1&gbraid=0AAAAADmQ2V2WhuaONEgFrIX7BVf-EQ531&gclid=EAIaIQobChMImbrL3uHdhAMV411HAR2hpgmrEAQYASABEgIGpvD_BwE
Thank you but I cant put these in the living room. Plus I want to mist, mesh cages would be a problem. appreciate the response though
 
thanks my response above in blue^
Ok so switch out supplements for the ones I recommended... Increase feeder daily amount. Don't feed large hornworms to chams lol.

Really consider how you want to move forward. Unfortunately these guys have extremely specific husbandry needs that extend to their enclosures. So while they are fascinating they really require a lot of attention to detail and consideration of what is best for them. The draw back of 2 chams is it means you have to by a totally second set up. This gets expensive yes but if you want chams that thrive you have to provide the correct needs for them. Depending on where you got the glass cage you may be able to return it... But ideally it just would not be ideal for a male of either species. Bigger is always better for them.

Stress impacts them greatly... Can stress of something not being correct such as how low they are to the ground or being able to see another cham in their direct area 24/7 cause health issues? Yes, it can. I have seen a healthy cham go down hill rapidly to the point of death just because husbandry needs were ignored. I have seen how stress can greatly compromise their system. I don't want to sound harsh but I will never lie to someone. When you have chams it has to be done 100% on point or your risk of them having health issues or dying greatly increases.
 
Thank you but I cant put these in the living room. Plus I want to mist, mesh cages would be a problem. appreciate the response though
No mesh cages are not... You have to retrofit them and turn them into a hybrid style with a drip pan. They are actually far safer than the glass enclosures. Glass enclosures when used by new keepers is high risk for respiratory issues developing in the chameleon. Because the intake for air at the bottom is much smaller. It can create stagnant hot moist air which can lead to respiratory infections.
 
Thank you but I cant put these in the living room. Plus I want to mist, mesh cages would be a problem. appreciate the response though
I see what you mean but listen, just cut 24” x 48” coroplast sheets and hot glue them on the sides against the wall. It holds in humidity and keeps any speck of water from getting on drywall. And it looks great
 
also, does my cage need more branches?
Absolutely. You can make scaffolding out of branches. Stand a 40” branch up straight in each of the 4 corners and then zip tie branches between those to make scaffolding. Works great and looks great. I use birch branches because they’re hard wood with good bark. Don’t use any green branches or ones with algae or mold on them. Only healthy looking hardwood branches
 
Thank you but I cant put these in the living room. Plus I want to mist, mesh cages would be a problem. appreciate the response though
Do you mean you can’t fit them in the living room? Or you don’t think they would look as good?
 
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