Helpful suggestions for a new chameleon owner

Discussion in 'Enclosures And Supplies' started by Malachi26, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    hello im new to this forum hopefully I posted this on the right one! I’m curious what everyone’s opinion on my set up is before I commit and buy the chameleon.

    Basically, I wanted to set up an automated system so that I could keep a veiled chameleon in a sustainable environment for it to be happy. What I’ve done to attempt this... is a lot of work lol. Here’s what I got:

    the tank is a 55 gal aquarium, I was aware that glass enclosures are not exactly ideal for chameleons due to the lack of air flow and ability to climb. So what I did was build an additional screen layer above. This doubles the height of the tank, and, allows me to significantly increase the air quality and air flow of the tank.

    Now I added clay balls to make some sort of way for excess water to not pool and rot the plants. (kind of reminds me of an aquifer.) this allows me to mist the tank without flooding the plants or causing stagnant water to raise humidity levels.

    I’ve incorporated several plants primarily golden pothos for a vining plant which should spread to the canopy eventually and ficus Benjamin for a shading plant.

    The substrate is packed with isotopes and springtails to further clean the tank and prevent molds from being an issue.

    I also placed several sticks about the tank to provide plenty of climbing space and varying basking points for my guy. I have a t5 hood with reptisun 10.0 uvb lights in it, as well as two 150 watt basking bulbs to provide the optimal basking temps of about 88-90 degrees. The shaded temp is about 65 degrees consistently. humidity stays at around 50% consistently except, when the fogger goes off. I haven’t decided if it should be twice a day for 30 minutes or just once. The fogger provides water to collect on all the leaves which, as far as I’m aware should provide all the water needs for the chameleon.

    Going back to ventilation I added 2 mini fans that I have automated to turn on for 10 minutes every hour during the light cycle. This really helps circulate the air and maintain moderate to low humidity.

    So that’s my set up I’ll add pictures so you can see how it looks.

    basically I want to know if this is enough? I really care about all the animals I decide to take care of, and if I invest in this chameleon I want him to be as content as he can be.

    Also my apologies for the HUGE post I guess I had a lot to say haha..

    And all those wires will be moved, I’m just trying to get as consistent of a temperature read as I can.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Avid Member

    Great job on researching first! For the most part, looks great! Hate to break it to you, but veileds are notorious for eating substrate. I would at minimum double the height of the screen part, as well. The veiled care sheet here is a great source of info. Add more branches and vines, mostly horizontal, everywhere throughout the cage, along with some more plant cover
     
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  3. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Avid Member

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  4. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    Do you think the substrate will be a big issue? i read about that happening a bit but i'm not very educated on the dirt eating aspects, i got very specific substrate its 100% sphagnum peat moss i read that peat moss was an ideal substrate in chameleon vivariums... And the height was a concern i had as well... but i was hoping 4 feet of climbing room would be sufficient do you think it needs double that? 8 feet is taller than my ceiling allows me to build lol... Also thank you for reading and replying :)
     
  5. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    alright thanks!
     
  6. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Avid Member

    Have at least 3’ tall of the screen part of the enclosure. You can try the substrate but just watch out for him (or her) eating it. Plain peat moss won’t support the plants or clean up crew. Get ABG mix or make your own. Cover the ABG mix, or what ever soil you use, with sphagnum moss and then top it off with leaf litter, it’ll cover the substrate and moss and give the clean up crew food to eat. What sex are you getting? Females have different requirements than males, like a lay bin, or deeper substrate at least 12” deep, but preferably ~16”
     
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  7. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Avid Member

    What’s the size of your enclosure? Adult males will need a minimum of 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall cage, while females need a minimum of 18” by 18” by 36” tall cage
     
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  8. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    I have been basing everything off of the idea of having a male veiled chameleon because they live longer and have more color.
     
  9. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    The dimensions of the tank are 3 feet tall, 4 feet long by 1 foot wide... Which brings me another question because i was already concerned about width i figured i could make up for the width in height is that ok? or is it just not going to work?
     
  10. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    Also i love the idea of adding leaf litter i will definitely do that i think that would make the tank look more natural and it seems it would prevent the dirt eating issue!
     
  11. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Avid Member

    12” is too narrow, veiled chameleons get longer than that, you want them to be able to turn around. I suggest building a new cage or buying a screen cage. If you’re set on bioactive, I can link my build thread if you want
     
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  12. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    Ok heres my idea based on what you have said i will add leaf litter to the ground of the tank, add more sticks and vines. I don't want to spend another 200$ or more buying an entirely new cage... So, i'm thinking what if i just build another top to the tank that is 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall. This would make the tank dimensions 5 feet tall by 4 feet long and then the upper width would be 3 feet wide. obviously with the glass base being the same foot in width.
     
  13. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    And yes, I am set on a living vivarium the main attraction will be the plants and foliage considering the chameleon is a pretty shy animal and will be more in the background of what i had in mind..
     
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  14. ERKleRose

    ERKleRose Avid Member

    You can build a 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall screen cage for $80 or less or buy one for $99. What would be the depth of the new top?
     
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  15. Malachi26

    Malachi26 New Member

    The depth would be 2 feet doubling the current depth that should be enough space right?
     
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