Help with improvements on care

wst0209a

New Member
Cage Info:
Cage Type - 2 1/2'X2 1/2'X 5'. Wood Cage with screening.
Lighting - 1 Zoo med 18" repti sun 10.0 UVB, 2 Zoo Med 100 watt basking spot lamp. Lights go on at 7:30 am off at 8:00 pm.
Temperature - 84F basking and room temp is 68F? Basking spot temp is around 84F? The Night temperature is around 66F.
Humidity - Humidity is about 50%? Mist and water the plants a few times a day?
Plants - I have an umbrella tree (the tag that came out of the plant says Brassaia Actinophylla). I also have a pothos hanging from the top.
Location - Cage is in the basement, not a lot of traffic and not next to and vents.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Two Veiled Chameleons about 13 weeks old.
Feeding - I feed them crickets, superworms, and waxworms? Crickets- how ever many they will eat. Superworms- five a week. Waxworms- 2-3 a week? I gut-load them all the proper way.
Supplements - I use repcal calcium with D3 three times a week. Repcal herptivite 2 times a week.
Watering - I mist the plant often allowing it to dry first and see the chameleons drinking very well.
Fecal Description - Dropping seem to be normal.
History -
Current Problem - The cage- how to improve it, where should I place the lights, is it the right wattage, should I get anymore lights?, Are the plants ok to eat, how much is to much to eat? Are the temperatures and humidity ok? Food- How often can I feed superworms? What is the best way to feed them in this big cage? About how many crickets should they be getting? Is the supplement schedule good? Any thing else that you can think of. Please put in any of your comments.


Thats not where the UVB light will be either. I just had it there for right now. The screen looks like it would block a lot of the rays so I am still deciding where to put it. Any good ideas?
 
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Brian S

New Member
too big of a cage if it is 2.5'X2.5'X5'. They will not be able to efficiently hunt in an area that size at that age.
 

wst0209a

New Member
also what is another good feeder that I could get that is simple to take care of. Please comment on my setup and everything. Thank you
 
Some people might disagree with me, but I find Silkworms fairly easy to take care of. Just keep them warm dry and clean. I love feeding Silkies as one of their staples.

-Jaz
 

Cherron

New Member
First I would like to say that it is always nice to see people trying to improve thier husbandry before they have a health problem with one of their chameleons.

After that having been said, you definitely need to go with a smaller enclosure. At 13 weeks, I would probably take the cage down to at least half the size that it currently is.

The rest of your husbandry sounds okay, except for using the calcium with D3 three times a week. At 13 weeks I would use a calcium without D3 dust 4 or 5 times a week, alternating with the D3 version maybe once every 2 weeks or so.

With such a large enclosure, you will probably want to get a plant stand for your umbrella plant. Ideally, the plant should grow up to almost the top of the screen since chameleons like to spend their time as high up as they can get. Adding another plant at the bottom after that will help fill it out. You want your cage to be densely planted to help your chameleon feel secure. The live plants also help with humidity, though if you are having problems with bare spots a fake plant or two can be incorporated.

With a cage that size I would recommend 2 UVB light fixtures to ensure that your chams are getting the proper amount of lighting. As for placement of the fixtures, I would put the UVB lights up top. If you are worried about the screen blocking too much of the light, adding a second will also help remedy this.

To be sure that your veileds are getting enough food, just watch them. Veileds are great eaters and you should be able to observe them snatching feeders soon after you feed them.

If you are looking for a simple care feeder, roaches are the way to go in my opinion. They breed like wildfire, are quiet, eat anything (great gutloading possibilities) and don't have that awful smell that crickets can get. Silkworms are also a great feeder, as are locusts and flies.

Good luck!
 

wst0209a

New Member
will they be able to fill out this cage and use it all eventually? What age should they be to be in a 5 foot cage? Thank you for all of your comments.
 

Cherron

New Member
Well, by the time you are ready to move them into a new enclosure, you will have to seperate them! You will need two enclosures after they hit about 4 months. Veiled chameleons are not social creatures and housing them together (even if it is a male and a female or two females) will cause them a lot of stress, which may eventually lead to illness and even death. Yes, your chameleons will "grow" into the large enclosure.. but only one of them will be able to utilize it :)
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
At the age they are now they would be perfectly happy in 12x18x20 inch screen enclosures.
I would seperate them now.
5 foot tall enclosures would be great for them as adults if you have the space. Bigger is always better for adults.
Crickets are good for them right now and the worms you are offering are good. How about roach nymphs? Easy to care for and a great food source!
I would suggest blatta Lateralis.
Silkworms are really great too, as previously mentioned, and lots of info is available on the forums right now.
If you are excited about building enclosures then start now with one that is 3 feet wide x 1 foot deep x at least twenty inches tall that is divided in the middle with a solid wall and has a seperate door on each side.
This will house both of them seperately for the next few months and you can utilize one flourescent hood across the top. You'll need two basking lights (which can go to their larger cages later).
They can live in this till they are 6 or 7 months old giving you plenty of time to build the second large enclosure and you can use this smaller one later for babies if you decide to breed them.

-Brad
 

Brian S

New Member
Feed them 8-15 crix a day, 10-15 silkies a day, or 6-7 superworms a day. That is if you ONLY do crickets, or ONLY do silkies, ect. You can change up the amounts if you combine different insects. Silkworms are easy to use as a feeder and i find them to be a like a lot from my animals. As you know i'm sure, you won't be able to keep two animals in one cage no matter how large it is. It must have slipped by me in my first post.
 

wst0209a

New Member
another question. how often do superworms molt their skin? what is the main thing they need to promote this?
 

Brian S

New Member
yes and yes. And on the feeder thing, use your best judgement. Don't put in all feeders at once because it will confuse the cham (he won't know what to focus on.)
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Just think smaller altered version of what you've already built.
I would have feeder cups and start getting them used to that.
Especially if you decide to try roaches.

-Brad
 

wst0209a

New Member
how many crickets is too much to put in a feeder cup so they don't gte confused? Is there a way to introduce it to them or do they just go at it usually? Also what about the superworm question. Thanks for all of the help. I appreciate it.
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
I've never really paid much attention to the molting of my zophobas.
I buy them 500 or 1000 at a time and they last forever.
Were you wanting to breed them?
Someone posted a link for that recently...sorry I can't remember who or find where it's at.
I know to get them to pupate you need to seperate each worm and stop feeding them. Although I do find the odd beetle in my zophoba container now and then.
Anyway they last in cereal for a really long time as larvae.

-Brad
 
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