Heating Question?

Goldenbaby

New Member
I'm hoping maybe someone can give me a few pointers. I am solely going off of an exotic pet shop advice, which sometimes is good but maybe not entirely accurate. I have an enclosure 2' x 2' x 4', lots of vines/foliage, with the expectation that my new little veiled cham will be coming home in 2 weeks (he needs to be a bit bigger before the exotic vet allows them to be sold). I want to get the lighting and heat all set up. I live in the Northern Climate (Michigan = cold) So I was recommended in getting a Powersun 100wt bulb (leaving a 6" header at the top), which this was to give my little guy both UVA/UVB and Heat, then at night turn off the "sun" and turn on a ceramic heating bulb (60 wt). This is currently what they have the cham's sitting under. I know that cham's will adjust if they are too hot/too cold by moving within the enclosure. I generally keep my house at 68 degrees in the winter, and 75 in the summer. It was stated that when it became summer to only have the powersun on during the day and no heat on at night because my house temp is already at 75. Am I on a good path?
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I cannot comment on the powersun bulb. I know that the majority of us on here use the Zoomed REptisun 5.0 with zero problems. A regular housebulb for basking. Turn your lights on for 12 hours and off for 12. If your house gets below like 60 degrees then use a ceramic heater, otherwise no light or heat at all. By the way what type of chameleon are you getting?
 
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Goldenbaby

New Member
See sometimes especially in the spring / fall us Michiganders don't run our furnaces or AC so there would be a chance that it would go below 60 in the house, I know I know BRRR when you wake up in the morning... haha...
That is why I want to make sure I take extra care on his enclosure. I specifically asked the gentleman from the Pet Store about the Reptisun bulb and he stated that because they only provide UVB for the top 18" of the enclosure that if my little guy was down lower he wouldn't get the necessary UVB. As with the Powersun it extends that coverage to 36". Then it provides the heat as well causing only 1 thing being turned on instead of 2 lamps.
 

RAFASTAR23

New Member
I have a similar set up 24" X 24" X 48" and i have the Powersun 100W light on from 8:30am to 8:30pm. no other heat source at night since the temp in my Chameleon's room does not drop below 60 (deg. f). My Jackson's Chameleon has had this set up for a year and he is healthy. My new ambilobe (5 month old), seems to be doing great with the same set-up, although i've had him for about a month. I'm in SoCal though, so my chams do enjoy some time out in the sun every other day.
 

Chris Jury

New Member
The powersun is fine IMO, as would be the reptisun bulb. Really, the animals need to be able to move freely from positions with high UV exposure to areas away from and shaded from the UV. You want them to be able to regulate their exposure.

I wouldn't use a cermic heater unless nighttime temps are regularly dropping below 50 F or so, and adults can withstand much colder than that. These guys are very tolerant of cold nighttime temps.

Do you know what size the animal will be when you get it? For a subadult or adult chameleon, a 2x2x4 cage would be great. For a young animal, however, I'd use a smaller cage, making it easier to keep track of feeding, defecation, etc. I'd also suggest being especially mindful with providing drinking water, and keeping humidity up, most especially with a younger chameleon. A number of years ago I bred Veiled chameleons when I lived in MI (just north of Lansing), and keeping young animals well hydrated during the winter was a very serious issue and obstacle to overcome. I found that mostly glass or solid-sided enclosures was well-suited for housing young animals in winter, and screen cages were very poorly suited for doing so.

cj
 

Goldenbaby

New Member
I was told I couldn't take my cham outside it was too risky. I hear that a lot of owners allow their Cham to go outside, I was going to just roll his enclosure outside during the warm months of MI (Jul - Aug), and I have a covered patio where I could put his enclosure 1/2 out in the sun and 1/2 in the shade. They were very concerned and stressed not to take the Cham outside cause he might eat a wild insect and that it would stress him too much. But so many owners do take them outside and are perfectly healthy Chams.
 

Goldenbaby

New Member
The vet said that they aren't ready to be placed into homes yet and right now they are about 6 inches long. The watering I have figured out, they have a great example at their pet shop using aquatic plant woven through the top of the enclosure for security and then with a dripper it drips down the plants and into a bowl with again the same aquatic plants in the bowl so that if the little guy happens to fall in they can get out with out any issues. Then they said that I should still mist 2x a day. I plan on getting a pothos plant as well with LARGE river rock to cover up the dirt.
During the winter, my house is at 68 degrees. Then summer 75. Its really the transition between those two seasons that are hard to tell, cause we can have a great day (and to us low 60's) we turn off the furnace and then in the morning forget about the furnace and wake up to a house that is in the low 50's. That is a common thing in the spring and fall.
 

RAFASTAR23

New Member
I was told I couldn't take my cham outside it was too risky. I hear that a lot of owners allow their Cham to go outside, I was going to just roll his enclosure outside during the warm months of MI (Jul - Aug), and I have a covered patio where I could put his enclosure 1/2 out in the sun and 1/2 in the shade. They were very concerned and stressed not to take the Cham outside cause he might eat a wild insect and that it would stress him too much. But so many owners do take them outside and are perfectly healthy Chams.
It may be risky to have a cham out with no protection from birds of prey (if any exist in your area). Other than that, i make sure mine have been fed before being out in the sun. I have not seen mine eat anything (wild), while out. Also, if you have your cham in a cage while outdoors, the cage might help prevent any wild insects from entering the cham's hunting sphere.
 

Goldenbaby

New Member
RAFASTAR23> I was going to just roll the entire enclosure outside with him inside, that way I don't stress the little guy out by handling him. I will feed him before I roll him out. We get days that are like 80 degrees outside with high humidity, and as long as I keep part of his enclosure in the shade and then the other part in the sun I think that might work. Its so nice to have a community that is so helpful!! Thank you So Much!!!!
 

pennington

New Member
(Such a good helpful forum)

I live in Manchester, UK, and I worry about the night time temperature too. This is my first Chameleon (Panther) and I worry about him getting too cold at night. I suppose as time goes on and I get more confident with them I will be more relaxed about leaving him with no heat at night.

Anyway, currently I have a Day/night dimmer thermostat (habistat) that is set at 90 under the heat lamp and 75 at night. The heat lamp I am using is an infrared heat bulb that I am using as his basking light. This heat bulb dims at night providing a cooler nightime temerature.

However, I had problems with the heat bulb and dimmer thermostat so I have ordered a ceramic heat emitter and a basking light and I will run both together. The ceramic heat emitter will provide an ambient temperature during the day and a cooler but not cold temperature throughout the night. The basking light I have ordered will do just that and provide a heat source during the day for the chameleon to bask under.

Living in a cold climate like britain causes problems. I'm always interested in other Chameleon keepers that live in cold countries.

I will put keith (my Chameleon) out in the summer months and depending on how warm my dining room is I may leave the ceramic heater off at night. We rarely put the heating on becuase it is so expensive to run so I need to keep him warm rather than the room he is in.
 

RAFASTAR23

New Member
RAFASTAR23> I was going to just roll the entire enclosure outside with him inside, that way I don't stress the little guy out by handling him. I will feed him before I roll him out. We get days that are like 80 degrees outside with high humidity, and as long as I keep part of his enclosure in the shade and then the other part in the sun I think that might work. Its so nice to have a community that is so helpful!! Thank you So Much!!!!
I was under the impression you were getting a Veiled chameleon. That particular species actually enjoys some handling (interaction with keeper), otherwise, it could develop a more agressive personality. If it gets used to being handled ocassionaly, it will be fine.
 

Goldenbaby

New Member
I was under the impression you were getting a Veiled chameleon. That particular species actually enjoys some handling (interaction with keeper), otherwise, it could develop a more agressive personality. If it gets used to being handled ocassionaly, it will be fine.
I am getting a veiled :) Again maybe this is the inaccurate information I am getting with the pet shop they told me (again I'm new to owning a Cham, this will be my first Cham - so I want to make sure I'm doing everything correct before I bring him home) that I should NOT handle the Veiled Cham because it stresses them out too much and its too hard on them. So as little to almost no handling. Which I've seen other owners handling their's, I want to get as much reliable information as I can before making mistakes. :)
 

RAFASTAR23

New Member
My jackson's chameleon, comes to my hand when i extend it into his cage because i trained him (classical conditioning). I use to spend time with him after he settled and hand feed him. Now, whether i'm feeding him or not, he will walk ont my hand and out of his cage. maybe i'm lucky to have a relatively friendly and not so shy cham. I'm trying to do train my ambilobe to handfeed as well. :D
 

RAFASTAR23

New Member
I am getting a veiled :) Again maybe this is the inaccurate information I am getting with the pet shop they told me (again I'm new to owning a Cham, this will be my first Cham - so I want to make sure I'm doing everything correct before I bring him home) that I should NOT handle the Veiled Cham because it stresses them out too much and its too hard on them. So as little to almost no handling. Which I've seen other owners handling their's, I want to get as much reliable information as I can before making mistakes. :)
At first, you do have to let the little guy get settle (confortable). let him see you without handling him (unless necessary). Then little by little interact with him more. Offer him some food from your hand. He'll see you as "the hand the feeds him" and hopefully will loosen up and get close to you and start to climb on you the way mine does. His individual personality will also be an important factor. Some chams just don't like to be handled or are too shy. So, get to know him!
 

Goldenbaby

New Member
My jackson's chameleon, comes to my hand when i extend it into his cage because i trained him (classical conditioning). I use to spend time with him after he settled and hand feed him. Now, whether i'm feeding him or not, he will walk ont my hand and out of his cage. maybe i'm lucky to have a relatively friendly and not so shy cham. I'm trying to do train my ambilobe to handfeed as well. :D
Wow that would be so cool!!!! I really am drawn to the "runt of the litter". He is smaller than the other 2 males that they have in there. He seems to be more "frisky" at least for a Cham!

This is why I am so Happy that I found this community!!!! All of you have been so wonderful in answering my "dumb" questions.

I know this pet shop is a mom pop owned place and they are amazing with fish, birds, and then reptiles. HOWEVER they hire people who aren't as familar with the types of critters that they supply. The vet that comes in to make sure everything is OK is an awesome exotic vet. He breeds turtles and has several reptiles. I am just amazed with him and respect him a lot. I'm very fortunate that I have an exotic vet so close. But the problem is I keep getting misleading information from the pet shop itself on equipment that I need, even down to the food I need. So I am trying my best to ask all the right questions before I bring the little guy home.
 

RAFASTAR23

New Member
Wow that would be so cool!!!! I really am drawn to the "runt of the litter". He is smaller than the other 2 males that they have in there. He seems to be more "frisky" at least for a Cham!

This is why I am so Happy that I found this community!!!! All of you have been so wonderful in answering my "dumb" questions.

I know this pet shop is a mom pop owned place and they are amazing with fish, birds, and then reptiles. HOWEVER they hire people who aren't as familar with the types of critters that they supply. The vet that comes in to make sure everything is OK is an awesome exotic vet. He breeds turtles and has several reptiles. I am just amazed with him and respect him a lot. I'm very fortunate that I have an exotic vet so close. But the problem is I keep getting misleading information from the pet shop itself on equipment that I need, even down to the food I need. So I am trying my best to ask all the right questions before I bring the little guy home.
Well, there is a lot of info out there. and some is not acurate. Here you'll find you are not the only one being missled. It is hard to sort through the inacurate info, but here you'll find that most of the senior members are very knowledable and have tons of experience with the particular species you are keeping. ther is no such thing as a "dumb" question. So ask away my friend!
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are plenty of people on here that handle their Veild's on a daily basis as I do with my panther. It just depends on the animal and its temperment. They are all different. Let your chameleon come to you on his terms. Don't force it by backing him up in his cage and stressing him out. After he gets situated in his new cage(I would give it a couple of weeks) then try just openeing the cage door and see if you can hand feed him a cricket. Little by little let him gain your trust and associate your hand with good things like feeding. Also try putting another plant outside the door and see if he will venture out onto that or maybe climb onto the cage door. Alot of times chameleons are more tolerant of handling out of their cages. Some may never let you do it in or out of the cage. It is kinda luck of the draw here. It is absolutely encouraged to get your chameleon outside for natural sunlight. There is nothing better. As others have said, you need to provide shade. I live in Florida and let my chameleon go outside year round, even in the blazing hot summer. I just mist him with lots of water to cool him down and take him out at times of the day when the sun is not the most extreme. You just have to use common sense!!!
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was under the impression you were getting a Veiled chameleon. That particular species actually enjoys some handling (interaction with keeper), otherwise, it could develop a more agressive personality. If it gets used to being handled ocassionaly, it will be fine.
not necesarily though, there are members on here who cannot handle their Veilds easily even after years of ownership. Again, it depends on the chameleon. It is like this with any animal species. You get some that are nice, and some that are not. I will agree with you however, it is worth a try but should not be forced.
 

Goldenbaby

New Member
I almost have my enclosure all set (I just have to tack up some of the vines). I have my heating source all set. But I want to check to make sure my daytime heating is OK for my veiled cham.
During the day the top 1/3 of the enclosure is 79-80 degrees, the basking spot is at 92. Then of course it gets cooler the further down he goes. This OK?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the world of chameleons!
Goldenbaby...you are lucky to be buying the chameleon from a place that won't let them go until they feel they are old enough.

pennington...do you have a UVB light?? (see below for information about the need for one, if you don't).

RAFASTAR23...most chameleons do not enjoy being handled...some will tolerate it....some never will. I leave it up to the individual chameleon to tell me what it will allow. I have had veileds that willingly come out on my hand and it never seems to have caused them problems...I have had other veileds that will run down the branch and attack me no matter how often I have tried to handle it and will definitely attack me viciously if I take them out. Just like people...they have different personalities and different levels of tolerance.

Here's some information to get you started.......I didn't talk about cage set up, exact temperatures or misting, etc....but that information is not hard to find on this forum and caging and temperature varies somewhat with the species ....but here is how I keep hatchlings...
http://chameleonnews.com/02NovHorgan.html

Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon. Heat is not required at night unless your room temperatures drop below the mid 60's and then it depends on the species and age of the chameleon to some extent because some can go even lower than that. If you do need heat at night, then a ceramic heat emitting "bulb" is recommended so that there is no light in your chameleon's cage.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. For a basking light (when one is required) I use a regular incandescent household light in a domed hood of a wattage that provides the basking temperature required. Many hatchlings don't need the temperatures to be as hot as the adults do...their small body size allows them to dehydrate and cool off and warm up more rapidly than the adults do.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/

One more thing...most chameleons won't recognize the ceramic heat emitter as a source of heat...so they look for a light source to warm up under during the daytime...so to speak.
 
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