How bad is an aquarium with screen

kellyspetparties

New Member
Ok from reading I'm getting the sence that aquariums arent good for cammies... thats what i have I get that screen ones are better but will a 40 g tank with screen not work.:(
 

jleahl

New Member
Depends on the species and age of chameleon..but most of the true chameleons need more air circulation than an aquarium can supply. They live in the trees, where the air moves all the time. The pygmy chams, which live in the undergrowth nearer the ground, need more humidity, and do well in tanks. It also partly depends on where you live; some of the folks on this forum live in extremely cold climates, and indoor heat is very dry. They use enclosures with some solid sides, but I think they always have two sides that are screen.
 

jasonc488

New Member
It would definitely depend on the species. When you say aquarium, I'm taking it that you will be using a fish tank vertically and the screen being the door. This will work, but it will require fine tuning. Being the Temperature and Humidity. Of course the air can become stagnant in this type of cage, but I believe some people over worry about the amount of air getting into this type of cage. Everytime you open the cage door to feed, mist or even to interact with your chameleon. The air inside the cage gets replenish with fresh air, thus eliminating stagnant air. If your screen is located at the front of the enclosure, everytime you move pass it there will be air movement within. I have my velied chameleon inside this type of cage and they are all doing fine. My oldest velied is 2yrs 5mths old and was bred by myself. If you are really worried, set a fan on a timer to go off every hour for a few minutes. Just make sure the enclosure is big enough for your chameleon.
 

Heika

New Member
It would definitely depend on the species. When you say aquarium, I'm taking it that you will be using a fish tank vertically and the screen being the door. This will work, but it will require fine tuning. Being the Temperature and Humidity. Of course the air can become stagnant in this type of cage, but I believe some people over worry about the amount of air getting into this type of cage. Everytime you open the cage door to feed, mist or even to interact with your chameleon. The air inside the cage gets replenish with fresh air, thus eliminating stagnant air. If your screen is located at the front of the enclosure, everytime you move pass it there will be air movement within. I have my velied chameleon inside this type of cage and they are all doing fine. My oldest velied is 2yrs 5mths old and was bred by myself. If you are really worried, set a fan on a timer to go off every hour for a few minutes. Just make sure the enclosure is big enough for your chameleon.

Where are your UVB lights? They can't pass through glass?
 

Heika

New Member
Hi Heika,

Incase you were refering to me, my uvb light is inside my enclosure.
Yes, I was referring to you.. that is why I quoted your post. Just curious about your setup.. any pictures you can show us? I always worry about electricity and misting.. and also, having my chameleons climb on the lights and become injured. Another concern with aquariums is that they can't have a drain system. I mist way too much to not have a drain.

I have been using solid sided cages with screen doors and tops for a few months now, and like them.. sort of. I don't like the lack of ventilation. Initially, I was seeing some early URI symptoms in some of my chameleons and so I set up fans to help move the air. It improved the situation, but I still think that more ventilation would be better. I plan to pull the plastic off the backs of the cages and replace it with screen.

I know lots of people use aquariums to keep chameleons, and I understand the benefits of the increased humidity, but the trade off is higher levels of bacterial growth and also less of a temperature gradient than what can be offered in screen caging.

Heika
 

jasonc488

New Member
I know where you are coming from. Although I haven't got any pictures of my enclosures posted. I can tell you that my light bulb is an all in one uva/uvb mercury vapour lamp attached by a ceramic reflector with a screen guard. I have never had any URI problems with my chams (Touch wood) and I hope I don't ever come across this problem either. As for misting, this is done by hand. About 4 times a day, this is just to keep the humidity level steady. A long time ago I had wet floor problems, but after doing some research and asking around. I went with misting frequently and shorten the time span of how long I misted at any one time.
 

kellyspetparties

New Member
I currently just have uva heat lamp ... I read that they dont neccessarily need uvb ... I've boughten two of those mesh laundry baskets I'm going to use outside to get nat light ... I was going to do this every nice day ...for the winter I'll have to get uvb lights they now sell them so they can go into a reg light ficture ...my lights point thew the screen ...so theyre coming across the tank ... it's near the top of the cage ...gotta find my camera! :p
I use a calcium with d3 ..which is the concern of the light...
It is vertical with the screen as the door ...need to make a nice door right now it's just clipped on with clothes pins ...had it taped and came home to her out found her on the fan (it wasnt on) it was ontop of the tv in our room ..so it was one of the highest spots ...well the new way holds her weight very well ..poor girl must have been scared to death ..she had a death grip on my hubby ...her nails almost broke skin there was deep dents lol she was fine when he picked her up but when she went back in the cage she wouldnt let go and just went tighter and tighter Poor girl ..should say poor husband :D :p
the humity ranges in the tank from 20-40 ... well it was 20 when I came home but I've since added plants ... room is 40 ..but with the heat lamp it dries out ..I'll check out how it is today now that i've added plants. I added bamboo shoots and spider plants.
Edit: Forgot to say She's a vieled chameleon
 
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kellyspetparties

New Member
Curious to where you read that any sort of cham does not need UVB light?
There is, as always, quite a controversy regarding correct lighting and chameleons. The current trend is to provide chameleons with full-spectrum fluorescent lighting that emits energy in the UVB wavelengths (290-315 nm). It is thought that when chameleons are irradiated with UVB, they create vitamin D3 under their skin from its precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (Annis, 1995). Vitamin D3 is important for calcium absorption, and without appropriate amounts of vitamin D3, there is evidence to support the idea that chameleons will suffer from a calcium deficiency. However (this is where it gets more confusing!), there is a recent study that suggests that chameleons do not manufacture vitamin D3 by the photochemical process described above (Henkel and Heinecke, 1994).
http://webspinners.com/coloherp/careshts/lizards/veilcham.php#heathttp://webspinners.com/coloherp/careshts/lizards/veilcham.php#heat

athough it talks about the study ..but says they use uvb anyways....heres the link for the study done http://webspinners.com/coloherp/careshts/lizards/veilcham.php#henkel
i intend on getting one anyways ... but for the next couple weeks im just going to take her outside on nice days ... i might get one this weekend if i can afford it ... but i'll take her out when its warm for a few hrs ...they say a min temp is 16 todays chilly only 13 ...plus the suns not really out.

EDIT:
I did take her out for 1/2 hr its up to 16! :)
 
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MWheelock

Veterinarian
Really not trying to be rude, but the article you are citing is over 10 years old. The studies that are being done right now are not debating on whether UVB is required by chameleons, but how much is optimal. UVB is absolutely required. There is not a recent study that states that chameleons do not use a photochemical process to synthesize D3.

I cannot tell you how many chameleons and other diurnal lizards that have come into my clinic only supplemented with Calcium w/ D3 and no UVB. Not surprisingly, most of those cases revolve around secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism (MBD)

I am troubled that misinformation is still floating around out there suggesting this point...
 
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kellyspetparties

New Member
Really not trying to be rude, but the article you are siting is over 10 years old. The studies that are being done right now are not debating on whether UVB is required by chameleons, but how much is optimal. UVB is absolutely required. There is not a recent study that states that chameleons do not use a photochemical process to synthesize D3.

I cannot tell you how many chameleons and other diurnal lizards that have come into my clinic only supplemented with Calcium w/ D3 and no UVB. Not surprisingly, most of those cases revolve around secondary nutritional hyperparathyroidism (MBD)

I am troubled that misinformation is still floating around out there suggesting this point...
thank you for pointing that out ... i intend on getting her a uvb ...right now shes just got uva ...... for now i'm trying to get her nat light for a bit everyday.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
kellyspetparties...you said that you are taking your chameleon outside...and you say you are giving it calcium with D3....a word of caution....D3 from supplements can build up in the system and if your chameleon is outside for an appropriate length of time it likely doesn't need more D3. Are you dusting with a phosphorous-free calcium powder at all?

Here's an article about UV light transmission....
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/skintests.htm

Regarding glass tanks...I live in Canada and the winters are quite cold and in the house its quite dry...so I started off MANY years ago using glass tanks with screen lids. This is done successfully in areas of Europe where the climate is somewhat like ours is. Some of them I even closed in part of the screen lid to help keep the humidity in. Using glass tanks with screen lids does not come without concerns...and I certainly don't recommend them being used in areas where the temperatures are hot...but in all the years I did that I never had a chameleon contract a URI or other problems that I could attribute to keeping them in glass cages. I kept C. chamaleons, veileds, panthers, rudis, Senegal's...and quite a few other species of chameleons in glass cages. Most lived long lives...even the WC's.

Quite a few years ago I switched to cages that had three sides and the floor glass and the door and lid screen. This makes it difficult to keep the temperature and humidity up in during the winter...and I hate putting the chameleon in the situation of having to sit under the basking light all (or almost all) day in order to keep warm and digest its food.
 

kellyspetparties

New Member
kellyspetparties...you said that you are taking your chameleon outside...and you say you are giving it calcium with D3....a word of caution....D3 from supplements can build up in the system and if your chameleon is outside for an appropriate length of time it likely doesn't need more D3. Are you dusting with a phosphorous-free calcium powder at all?

Here's an article about UV light transmission....
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/skintests.htm

Regarding glass tanks...I live in Canada and the winters are quite cold and in the house its quite dry...so I started off MANY years ago using glass tanks with screen lids. This is done successfully in areas of Europe where the climate is somewhat like ours is. Some of them I even closed in part of the screen lid to help keep the humidity in. Using glass tanks with screen lids does not come without concerns...and I certainly don't recommend them being used in areas where the temperatures are hot...but in all the years I did that I never had a chameleon contract a URI or other problems that I could attribute to keeping them in glass cages. I kept C. chamaleons, veileds, panthers, rudis, Senegal's...and quite a few other species of chameleons in glass cages. Most lived long lives...even the WC's.

Quite a few years ago I switched to cages that had three sides and the floor glass and the door and lid screen. This makes it difficult to keep the temperature and humidity up in during the winter...and I hate putting the chameleon in the situation of having to sit under the basking light all (or almost all) day in order to keep warm and digest its food.
I live in ontario (canada for you usa folks lol) I've been dusting with Rep-cal calcium with vit d3 .... I've just been trying to take her out a bit each day to make up for not having the uvb light ...about 1/2hr ....well yesterday was the 1st time ;) i just got her sat ...she's still adjusting. Today I was thinking i would take her out longer as it is supposed to be warm :D well hot to me lol it's 9am and it 19 out already! suppossed to go to 22!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Exposure to sunlight allows the chameleon to produce D3. It usually won't lead to an overdose as long as the chameleon can move into the shade....but D3 from supplements can lead to an overdose.

http://www.seavs.com/case_studies/lizards/chameleons.asp
"Excessive vitamin D3 supplementation can result in organ toxicity (gular edema)metastatic calcification, gout, and pseudo-gout (calcium-like deposit)."

http://web.archive.org/web/20060421082042/www.chameleonjournals.com/vet/index.php?show=6.Vitamin.D3.and.Calcium.html
"1. Excess calcium causes muscles to become sluggish and weak. It causes decreased appetite and causes obstipation (intractable constipation) due to decreased contractility of the intestinal walls. 2. Excess Vitamin D actually causes ABSORPTION of bone. It actually mimics hyperparathyroidism. 3. Vitamin D causes calcification of bone. Excess Vitamin D causes inappropriate mineralization of organs such as the kidney or soft tissue. Excess Vit D3 and Calcium has been implicated in mineralization of large blood vessels, causing cardiac disease. 4. If we fry the kidneys with excess Vitamin D we cannot get the active form, 1,25 Dihydroxycholecalciferol. Of course, there are many other problems that come along with fried kidneys. 5. The body will only allow so much Hydroxycholecaliferol before the conversion of Vit D3 in the liver is stopped. What happens to the excess Vitamin D3? It is stored in the liver doing no good but potentially causing problems in the future. 6. If the Calcium-binding proteins remain in the cells for weeks after the 1,25 Dihydroxycholecalciferol is gone, why are we redosing two or three times a week? 7. When we over supplement our baby chams with Vit D and Calcium, Calcitonin is secreted which has the job of DECREASING serum calcium. This effect is much more important in young animals. Their young, growing bones are more easily affected by subtle changes in nutritional balances."

Providing the chameleon with UVB by exposing it to the sunlight will allow it to produce vitamin D3 which allows it to use the calcium in its diet. Many insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous so dusting them with a phos.-free calcium powder helps to make up for it. Appropriate gutloading will help with the chameleon's health too. Excess preformed vitamin A will also prevent the body from using the D3...so be careful not to overdose the preformed vitamin A too.
 
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kellyspetparties

New Member
:confused: um ok now i dont know what to do the calcium they sell here has vit d3 in it ... I also feed the crickets calcium water gel ..but it came in a little plastic contaner like you would get sauce from a restuarant to take home ... it doesnt say it has d3 but i dont know.... :confused:
so my chameleon is not a baby... well she's still growing but shes a fair size already the breeder told me that she's old enough to try to breed her now if thats what i choose ... I'm feeding her about 6 crickets every other day ...should I be only putting the calcium d3 on every other day? its repcal ... i need to pick up some herptivite as well. :confused:
 
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