Heating question from a new chameleon owner...

Camsmom

New Member
Hello Everyone! I am new here but have been reading the posts for the past few months. My son used this site as well as library books to learn all he could before we agreed to buy him a chameleon. We bought our guy back in July and have really enjoyed him. He is very social and seems to want to be a part of the family. I know I (well my son and I) will have lots of questions and we go through this journey and I am so thankful to have a safe place to post questions. :) With that being said fall is coming and the temps are starting to drop, we live in North Georgia. During the summer the temps in his cage would range from 72 (morning) to 78ish (during the day) and this are inside temps and he loved it. Very active was able to "sun" himself in the morning however since it has gotten cooler (we have not yet used our heating source) the lows in our house have been around 67-68 in the morning and go up to 73-74ish. We have a thermometer in his cage and the room temp is the same as in his cage. It is an all screen cage and at night we use the red 40w heat bulb to provide extra warmth. During the day its the dual bulb lamp (I am sorry I am at work and I cannot think of the exact name right now but it came with our reptibreeze cage but we did update the bulbs per this sites knowledge). He does not seem to like the cooler temps and comes straight for me when I go to put his breakfast in there. He feels cool to the touch and will either crawl up my arm and go to my neck (to hide under my hair and get warm) or he will try to reach my son and lay flat on his arm to get warm. I am assuming we need another heat source or a way to keep some of the heat in his cage but I don't to cook him or make it uncomfortable for him. Any suggestions on how we can do this? I have added some pics so you can see our sweet boy! Thank you all for your help and I look forward to hearing your responses.
 

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JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
It looks like it's time for a lighting overhaul. First as long as your house stays above 50˚F at night you do not need to add any heat at night. They need the cool nights to power down their bodies and sleep. Red lights also interfere with their sleep patterns so they should have no lights at night at all. If your house is terribly cold at night then a ceramic heat emitter that produces heat but no light can be used but only during the coldest times of the night. The dual round light bulb fixture you got with the kit is only suitable for very young juveniles in very small cages. Now that your guy is older he should have a linear fixture with a T5 bulb and an incandescent basking bulb that warms the top portion of his cage into the 90-95˚F range for most of the 12 hour day it is on.
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum. Filling out the form you mentioned in your other thread would be a good idea.

Looks like you need a different UVB bulb/fixture and it would help people see anything else that needs changed or tuned up.
 

Camsmom

New Member
It looks like it's time for a lighting overhaul. First as long as your house stays above 50˚F at night you do not need to add any heat at night. They need the cool nights to power down their bodies and sleep. Red lights also interfere with their sleep patterns so they should have no lights at night at all. If your house is terribly cold at night then a ceramic heat emitter that produces heat but no light can be used but only during the coldest times of the night. The dual round light bulb fixture you got with the kit is only suitable for very young juveniles in very small cages. Now that your guy is older he should have a linear fixture with a T5 bulb and an incandescent basking bulb that warms the top portion of his cage into the 90-95˚F range for most of the 12 hour day it is on.

Wow! Okay thank you for the information. I know he sleeps well with the red light on, although many times I have freaked out when I see the red glow. LOL We will go to the pet store this afternoon and get him what he needs.
 

Camsmom

New Member
Welcome to the forum. Filling out the form you mentioned in your other thread would be a good idea.

Looks like you need a different UVB bulb/fixture and it would help people see anything else that needs changed or tuned up.


Here is the form. I was not able to find an electronic version to fill out so I copied one from another thread and added our information. Please look over it and let me know what you think we need to do differently.

Chameleon Info: Name: Camo
  • Your Chameleon - He is a veiled chameleon named
  • Handling – Handled daily and seems to enjoy it. He loves hanging out on top of my kiddos head also loves climbing on my husband’s head as long as he is wearing a specific ball cap. Will often fall asleep on his arm (when my child is still). He has taken an interest to one of our labs and often tries to climb on her head when he is allowed to roam in his plants in the living room. Comes to the front of his cage when we walk by so he can come out.
  • Feeding – LOVES crickets. Does not care for super worms. We have an enclosed/screened in back porch where his plants were (its starting to get cold) and he would eat the black/blue flies. He also eats his on the pothos plants and asparagus fern in his cage. He will also eat small pieces of apple and strawberry, only given as a treat once maybe twice a week.
  • Supplements – A calcium powder bought at the pet store. He does not like it on his crickets but will eat them.
  • Watering – We have a fogger set on a timer. It goes off for 5 minutes every hour. We also mist 3 times a day during the week, unless he is outside (only when its warm and sunny) then he is misted more often based on outside temp.
  • Fecal Description – Appears normal, brown with white/pale yellowish fluid around it. Poops daily.
  • History – Unknown history. Was bought at a PetSmart in July. Was advised he was a juvenile but was a big juvenile.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze 16”x16”x30" screen cage for now.
  • Lighting – The dual light that came with the cage and we have added a 40w red heat light.
  • Temperature – Until the past week lows was 72 degrees (in house temp at night) and during the day it could get up to around 78 degrees (also in house temp however if he was put outside on the back porch it could be higher).
  • Humidity – Can be as low as 50% and as high as 70% depending on if the fogger is on.
  • Plants – Fake brown vine that has a fake pothos plant wrapped around it. Also have a live asparagus fern and 3 pothos plants that are wrapped around the fake brown vine. In his “free roaming area” he has 3 trees that were listed on the plant list as safe. They are in front of our living room window and he will often lay on the leaves and “sun” himself.
  • Placement – In our kitchen next to my sons desk. He gets about an hour or two of morning sun.
  • Location - Georgia
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
What's the temperature in the basking area?

There should be no light at night.

For UVB I recommend the long linear reptisun 5.0 tube light.

For basking all you need is a regular household incandescent bulb of a wattage that provides the proper basking temperature.


Please remember that when he is out of his cage, if the temperature where he is is colder than his cage he will not be warm enough and that's likely why he falls asleep on your child's arm.

If he's cooler than he should be for too long during the day he won't be digesting his food as well as if he was at the proper temperature.

Hope this helps!
 

trustingtristen

New Member
Wow! Okay thank you for the information. I know he sleeps well with the red light on, although many times I have freaked out when I see the red glow. LOL We will go to the pet store this afternoon and get him what he needs.

I have found that buying from amazon is way cheaper than some Petstores for lighting sources. I too am new at this 3 weeks in, I use 75 Watt basking light bulb and temperature gets to 84 from 5 inches away from her and as my Veil chams get older will lower them.
 
I am finally having good luck with a 150w Ceramic Heat Emitter with a Flukers 10" lamp that will specifically support CHEs up to 250w in case. I hooked this lamp up to an Inkbird on/off thermostat and set a day and night temperature. The result is it goes on and off during the day to keep his basking spot at 85 F. It does not go on at night.

The temperature probe is hook right to his basking branch inside the cage. It's also important that you don't put this lamp right on top of the cage as it will be too hot and could burn him when the bulb is on.

The CHE, lamp, and inkbird thermostat all got on Amazon.
 

Camsmom

New Member
What's the temperature in the basking area?

There should be no light at night.

For UVB I recommend the long linear reptisun 5.0 tube light.

For basking all you need is a regular household incandescent bulb of a wattage that provides the proper basking temperature.


Please remember that when he is out of his cage, if the temperature where he is is colder than his cage he will not be warm enough and that's likely why he falls asleep on your child's arm.

If he's cooler than he should be for too long during the day he won't be digesting his food as well as if he was at the proper temperature.

Hope this helps!


Thank you for the additional information. His basking area is around 78 and then its around 74 mid cage and I honestly don't know what it is at the bottom of his cage where the plants are.
 

AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
His basking should be mid 80s

He cannot digest his food properly if he isnt warm enough
 

Camsmom

New Member
Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions. We changed one of our bulbs to confirm it would provide the UVB light we need. I also marked it on our calendar to change it in 6 months to make sure he is still getting what he needs.
 
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