Is my enclosure okay? First time Cham owner

emilhayek

Member
Hi everyone, i recently picked up a thrive 30 gallon kit for my chameleon (haven’t gotten him yet) he’s going to be a baby Cham so maybe 2 months old. i just wanted to see if that’s enough greenery for him or if i should add more. There’s a vine that the kit came with that needs to be hung up with suction cups. I’m using a tree decor in the middle, found in the aquarium section of PetSmart 😉 a homemade hanging pot that has a couple of devils ivy vines growing in it and two fake plants on the left side. There’s also coconut fiber substrate at the bottom.

everything that came in the kit:

30-gallon vertical glass terrarium with open front door

Mesh screen lid

60-watt daytime blue heat bulb

13-watt tropical UVB bulb

Two 5.5 in deep dome lamps

Thermometer/Hygrometer combo

Compressed coconut fiber substrate

Twisted leafy vine

little side note, i misread the substrate and filled in the enclosure instead of a separate container so there is water on the bottom of the enclosure, can that create bacteria or mold? That could end up hurting my chameleon?

final thing, i need to get a new hygrometer,new thermometer, calcium without d3. i already have rep-cal herptitve and rep-cal calcium w d3.

please tell me if I’m missing anything! Thank you :)
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emilhayek

Member
The compact uvb won’t give off the correct uvb levels. I can link a video that @Gingero has, it helped me understand a lot! It feels like I’ve been advertising her video recently 😂

Other than the UVB, do you see anything else i should i do the enclosure? What about the water or moisture at the bottom of the cage?
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay so that cage makes literally no sense.

Normally glass cages will have vents under the cage doors. Basically the warm, stagnant air that forms will rise up out of the screen on the top, and then the vents that should be under the doors draw fresh air in, creating a chimney effect. This cage for whatever reason does have those vents, so it likely doesn't have great airflow.

Unfortunately almost nothing in the thrive kit is suitable for a chameleon.
 

emilhayek

Member
Okay so that cage makes literally no sense.

Normally glass cages will have vents under the cage doors. Basically the warm, stagnant air that forms will rise up out of the screen on the top, and then the vents that should be under the doors draw fresh air in, creating a chimney effect. This cage for whatever reason does have those vents, so it likely doesn't have great airflow.

Unfortunately almost nothing in the thrive kit is suitable for a chameleon.
I mean, i can always take the substrate out and drill holes at the bottom for more airflow.....
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well thats not the only problem. The cage is too small aswell. Substrate is unnecessary (unless you plan to go bioactive, which is a whole other topic in itself). You need live plants. Airflow. Drainage. Proper lighting. Etc.

I would honestly just return the kit, if its possible. We can help you setup a proper enclosure for a chameleon. Most chameleon kits do not make a suitable environment for a chameleon.

Chameleons are expensive, so I hope you are prepared. I spent 700+ dollars on my setup upfront, not to mention maintaining and vet expenses.
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hmm perhaps it could house one for a very short amount of time, but not long. And with all the other problems with the kit and the cage you would spend a lot of unnecessary money try to make this setup work, when the chameleon will grow out of it in a month.
 

emilhayek

Member
I mean, i already bought it and the box is gone so might as well use this one. in a month i can go buy a bigger cage and sell the old one “Gently Used” 😉 i do plan on getting calcium without d3 today and also a t5 fixture and bulb. That compact one has to go
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes, you are going to need a calcium without d3, a multivitamin without d3, and calcium with d3. You schedule will be calcium without d3 every day, your multivitamin without d3 once every other week, and your calcium with d3 once every other week. Alternate.

You will also want some sort of bushy live plant in there, ( I see you do have small pothos already) in my opinion. What kind of chameleon are you getting?

I would remove the substrate, too.

You will need more horizontal Branches and perches.

For your lights, you will want a 5.0 t5ho reptisun bulb (or the Arcadia 6% t5ho). The highest branches in the cage should be around 6 inches away. Then, you will want to raise your uvb about 4-6 inches off the top of the screen, so you'll get a total of 10-12 inches distance from your uvb, to the highest branch.. Raise the heat light a few inches off the screen as well, to prevent burns.
This will give the required distance from branch to uvb, and prevent burns from the heat light. Normally we would set the uvb on the screen and raise the basking bulb up off the screen just a tad (to prevent burns if they screen climb), but since you cage is small we want as much room for branches as possible.

I dont have much experience on drainage, for a glass cage ( I use screen). Perhaps someone else can chime in. Since you wont have the substrate in there, maybe you'll be able to wipe out extra water.

You'll want to mist for 2-3 minutes, in the morning, and then in the evening, for a glass cage. For a screen cage you would want to mist for 2-3 minutes a couple times a day. And then run a dripper throughout the day (poke a teeny tiny hole in the bottom of a water bottle or container, so you have a drip rate of 1-2 drips per second, and set on the top of the cage). Make sure you have a little container to catch the drips, or put a plant underneath so you water the plant while dripping. Make sure the drips are falling onto leaves or branches so then the chameleon can drink off of those surfaces.

For feeding you will want to give your baby pretty much as many small feeders as it will eat per day, normally around 15-20. Cricket and roaches are good options, but you can also include silkworms, hornworms, BSFL, etc. I will post a food sheet at the bottom of my post. Dust your feeders lightly with that days supplements, they shouldn't look like powder donuts.

I would also contain your feeders in a feeding cup instead of just throwing them in. This way the baby can find its food easily. I just secure a deli cup to the branch slightly below the basking spot, so then the chameleon can look down inside of the cup and eat its food.

For gut loading your feeders, you will want to use lots of leafy greens, veggies, and fruits. Its also recommended to include some sort of commercial gutload, such as cricket crack or Bug Burger. I will post a gutloading sheet at the bottom.

Make sure you are buying your chameleon from a reputable breeder, not a petstore. If you need help finding a good breeder let me know.

The two most common chameleons are fields and panther chameleons. For panther chameleons humidity should be around 50-70 during the day, and 90-100 at night.
For veiled's humidity should be 30-40 during the day, and 80-100 at night. Nighttime humidity can be achieved by using the fogger throughout the night. Make sure not to use it during the day, though.

Temps should be around 75 for the ambient, and around 82-84 at the basking spot (for both panther and veiled babies.. as they age the basking spot temperatures will go up). Temps should be around 65 at night, but shouldn't drop below 55.

Fecal matter should be brown with a small white urate attached. No mucus or runny fecal matter should be present in a normal poop.



I thin I covered everything you need to know.. If I didn't I will add it on.
Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 6.55.18 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-01-09 at 6.55.10 PM.png
 

emilhayek

Member
Yes, you are going to need a calcium without d3, a multivitamin without d3, and calcium with d3. You schedule will be calcium without d3 every day, your multivitamin without d3 once every other week, and your calcium with d3 once every other week. Alternate.

You will also want some sort of bushy live plant in there, ( I see you do have small pothos already) in my opinion. What kind of chameleon are you getting?

I would remove the substrate, too.

You will need more horizontal Branches and perches.

For your lights, you will want a 5.0 t5ho reptisun bulb (or the Arcadia 6% t5ho). The highest branches in the cage should be around 6 inches away. Then, you will want to raise your uvb about 4-6 inches off the top of the screen, so you'll get a total of 10-12 inches distance from your uvb, to the highest branch.. Raise the heat light a few inches off the screen as well, to prevent burns.
This will give the required distance from branch to uvb, and prevent burns from the heat light. Normally we would set the uvb on the screen and raise the basking bulb up off the screen just a tad (to prevent burns if they screen climb), but since you cage is small we want as much room for branches as possible.

I dont have much experience on drainage, for a glass cage ( I use screen). Perhaps someone else can chime in. Since you wont have the substrate in there, maybe you'll be able to wipe out extra water.

You'll want to mist for 2-3 minutes, in the morning, and then in the evening, for a glass cage. For a screen cage you would want to mist for 2-3 minutes a couple times a day. And then run a dripper throughout the day (poke a teeny tiny hole in the bottom of a water bottle or container, so you have a drip rate of 1-2 drips per second, and set on the top of the cage). Make sure you have a little container to catch the drips, or put a plant underneath so you water the plant while dripping. Make sure the drips are falling onto leaves or branches so then the chameleon can drink off of those surfaces.

For feeding you will want to give your baby pretty much as many small feeders as it will eat per day, normally around 15-20. Cricket and roaches are good options, but you can also include silkworms, hornworms, BSFL, etc. I will post a food sheet at the bottom of my post. Dust your feeders lightly with that days supplements, they shouldn't look like powder donuts.

I would also contain your feeders in a feeding cup instead of just throwing them in. This way the baby can find its food easily. I just secure a deli cup to the branch slightly below the basking spot, so then the chameleon can look down inside of the cup and eat its food.

For gut loading your feeders, you will want to use lots of leafy greens, veggies, and fruits. Its also recommended to include some sort of commercial gutload, such as cricket crack or Bug Burger. I will post a gutloading sheet at the bottom.

Make sure you are buying your chameleon from a reputable breeder, not a petstore. If you need help finding a good breeder let me know.

The two most common chameleons are fields and panther chameleons. For panther chameleons humidity should be around 50-70 during the day, and 90-100 at night.
For veiled's humidity should be 30-40 during the day, and 80-100 at night. Nighttime humidity can be achieved by using the fogger throughout the night. Make sure not to use it during the day, though.

Temps should be around 75 for the ambient, and around 82-84 at the basking spot (for both panther and veiled babies.. as they age the basking spot temperatures will go up). Temps should be around 65 at night, but shouldn't drop below 55.

Fecal matter should be brown with a small white urate attached. No mucus or runny fecal matter should be present in a normal poop.



I thin I covered everything you need to know.. If I didn't I will add it on.View attachment 265485View attachment 265486
It’s going to a be a veiled cham
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Got it.. they love to eat vegetation, so you don't want fake plants in your enclosure as they may ingest a fake leaf, which is no good. I would get get another pothos plant, or another vining/branchy plant that is safe. You can go outside find some nice branches to put all over the enclosure. Be sure to wash them with a bit of soap, and then let them dry out.

When you upgrade I would go ahead and get their adult cage. For screen you could go with a 2x2x4 (minimum), or if you are set on glass you could go with the exoterra large extra tall... either is fine. You could also make a custom cage.

Some like to gradually increase cage size.. as long as the baby figures out where the basking spot is and where the food is, it will be fine. You can if you want, though. I didnt.

Cage sizes are width to height proportions are a bit controversial, lol.


What gender are you getting? Females will need a laybin, as they lay eggs every few months, regardless of breeding. Once they come of age to do this you will want to cut down basking temps to 82-83 degrees (to slow metabolism) and then cut down feedings to every 1-2 days, and 5 crickets each feeding. This regimen will help the female to form smaller clutches, so it is less hard on her to lay. Eventually it can eliminate clutches forming altogether. It varies from female to female.
 

emilhayek

Member
Got it.. they love to eat vegetation, so you don't want fake plants in your enclosure as they may ingest a fake leaf, which is no good. I would get get another pothos plant, or another vining/branchy plant that is safe. You can go outside find some nice branches to put all over the enclosure. Be sure to wash them with a bit of soap, and then let them dry out.

When you upgrade I would go ahead and get their adult cage. For screen you could go with a 2x2x4 (minimum), or if you are set on glass you could go with the exoterra large extra tall... either is fine. You could also make a custom cage.

Some like to gradually increase cage size.. as long as the baby figures out where the basking spot is and where the food is, it will be fine. You can if you want, though. I didnt.

Cage sizes are width to height proportions are a bit controversial, lol.


What gender are you getting? Females will need a laybin, as they lay eggs every few months, regardless of breeding. Once they come of age to do this you will want to cut down basking temps to 82-83 degrees (to slow metabolism) and then cut down feedings to every 1-2 days, and 5 crickets each feeding. This regimen will help the female to form smaller clutches, so it is less hard on her to lay. Eventually it can eliminate clutches forming altogether. It varies from female to female.
After speaking to a local reptarium shop, I’m just going to sell this whole terrarium kit and use that money to get a repti-breeze XL and buy all the better fixtures. Bummer that petco won’t accept returns 😡😡
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well at least you found a solution!

Remind me, how old is the chameleon you are getting, and where are you getting it from?
 

emilhayek

Member
It’s a baby not sure how old and a local reptarium $125 for a adult and $150 for a baby, $200 for a panther not sure if it’s adult or baby though
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hmmm. I wouldn't get a chameleon younger than 3 months for your first.

Did the chameleons at the shop look heathy? Nice full eyes, awake, alert, moving around, ect? No obvious signs of MBD ( bendy limbs and joints, misshapen bodies and casque, ect ), etc?

I would still buy from a breeder, if I were you. Flchams is a good breeder, though if you buy from them I would get a fecal on the chameleon asap, as you would with any new reptile. Their juveniles (3-4 months) are 150 dollars I believe.
 

emilhayek

Member
the adult wasn’t moving around much, two of the babies were sitting under the light and one was moving around a bunch and climbing around

Is it safe them shipping a chameleon to you?
 
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