Lighting Advice: Switching to T8 bulbs

txmedic

New Member
I have a female Veiled that's 4 to 5 months old. We were not as prepared as we thought when we purchased her and went with the cheapo PetSmart kit with a CFL reptisun which I'd like to get rid of. I'm wanting to switch to a double 24" T8 fixture and have a Reptisun 5.0 in one, and a grow light for the plants in the other. I'm not finding a ton of options as far as fixtures. Most terrarium fixtures are single bulb and are pretty expensive. Everything I am seeing at the local Lowe's is under cabinet lighting and not designed to sit on top of a cage. I'm wondering what everyone else's setup looks like so that I can get some ideas.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
I use hanging shop lights. I also use hanging aquarium lights, you may be able to find a double bulb hood in the aquarium section, and "most" shop lights are double bulb.

I would like to point out that with a double bulb setup without a chrome reflector (a lot are just white) you will need a 10.0, and if you already bought the 5.0, feel free to use both the 10.0 and the 5.0. A 5.0 without reflector is not going to have useful UV past a foot away. That is great for a "fish tank" setup with anoles and geckos, but its not going to cut it for a 3-4ft tall cham setup. And no you wont cook the cham, you would need something 6x stronger than a T8 10.0 to even mimic a cloudy day outside at 1 foot.


Hmmm... After looking around, i cant find squat for 2ft florescent fixtures, i guess the led revolution has happened. Well looks like you might have to get on the band wagon and go for a 5.0/6% T5 HO 22" setup. That would put out 2x-4x the light of the 10.0 T8 since most come with reflectors. Plus with double the light wattage(and 33% efficiency boost) output, you would only need 1 light to get the same output as your dual T8.
 

txmedic

New Member
Interesting. Thanks for the input. I could probably do the T5 HO rig and just do a regular type A grow light for the plant. Since she's a female I don't really need a basking bulb (if I've been reading correctly).
 

txmedic

New Member
So what about UVB burn? Can I put these lamps directly on the top of the cage? I've got the medium reptibreeze right now, going to upgrade when she gets a bit bigger. I'm just concerned that I've got her climbs too close to the top if I go with a T5 HO setup.
 

JoshD49

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here's how I have mine. No problems so far.
 

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nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
So what about UVB burn? Can I put these lamps directly on the top of the cage? I've got the medium reptibreeze right now, going to upgrade when she gets a bit bigger. I'm just concerned that I've got her climbs too close to the top if I go with a T5 HO setup.

You cant get a UVB burn(even a uvi meter at the bulb is less than sun light), but the bulbs are too hot to touch. So you cant have the bulbs laying directly on the screen(else they can get a toe/tail in there), you want a 1/2-1" gap, the cham might even "bask" directly under the bulb since at that distance it may get into the 90's.

Full grown females will still need a basking spot, or at least a "hot" area that is in the lower 90's.

I have my T5 ho in the cage (its 6ft) and since my hood is aluminum(like most) the cham uses as the worlds longest heat rock, it does even get to 90f but it is warm to the touch.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Im following this blogs advice in hopes that she *wont* lay eggs as we have no immediate interest in breeding her. http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html?m=1

That blog is from 2007. Lets give some history. In the mid nineties you had to save up for a veiled, so you didnt have to get one of the cheap non hearty parsons. Zoos were paying top dollar for mated pars of veileds less than a decade before that blog post.

There is plenty of good material on veileds that are 2015 and newer.

And sorry, but shes gonna be like a green chicken, shes going to lay eggs a few times in her life, with or without a rooster around, regardless of how you set her up. So read up on how to make a nesting pot :)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast

amfire125

Established Member
I have a female Veiled that's 4 to 5 months old. We were not as prepared as we thought when we purchased her and went with the cheapo PetSmart kit with a CFL reptisun which I'd like to get rid of. I'm wanting to switch to a double 24" T8 fixture and have a Reptisun 5.0 in one, and a grow light for the plants in the other. I'm not finding a ton of options as far as fixtures. Most terrarium fixtures are single bulb and are pretty expensive. Everything I am seeing at the local Lowe's is under cabinet lighting and not designed to sit on top of a cage. I'm wondering what everyone else's setup looks like so that I can get some ideas.

I went ahead and upgraded to Arcadia brand's 24'' double linear fixture. It's a little pricey but WELL worth it and my cham is SO happy. It comes with a 6% high output (HO) UVB bulb and a 6.5 daylight bulb. My cham and my plants are doing amazing. The fixture is also super high quality! I got it from lightyourreptiles.com. My veiled is about 6-7 months old and I did this upgrade within the past 2 months. I know they all seem expensive, but it's an investment that will last for many many years.
 

txmedic

New Member
Y'all are awesome with these replies, I'm learning a lot from this place! Per ERKleRose here's more info:

Chameleon info: Female Veiled, somewhere around 4 to 5 months old
Handling: I typically bring her out of her enclosure once a day and walk around outside for a few minutes with her but try to give her space the rest of the time
Feeding: Black Soldier Fly Larvae, super worms, and crickets, usually the equivalent weight of 4 or 5 large crickets a day, I also give her a collard green leaf to munch on every day or two
Supplements: I'm gutloading the crickets and BSFL with repashy, also occasionally dust with rep-cal calcium/D3 suppliment and rep-cal herpavite
Watering: I mist the cage 3 times a day, I also provide her a small dish of standing water which she occasionally drinks from
Fecal description: Nothing abnormal according to the fecal guide
History: PetSmart special, picked her up about a week and a half ago


Cage info: Reptibreeze 16x16x30 (Part of the zoo med chameleon kit)
Lighting: Reptisun 5.0 CFL in one dome, LED full spectrum grow light in the other dome, small ceramic heat lamp in a separate single dome for basking
Temps: Ambient runs around 73-74 during the day, basking is around 85
Humidity: I've ordered a hygrometer but it's not in yet, I mist the cage 3 times a day with a pump sprayer and am about to invest in an automated mister system.
Plants: Golden Porthos, Hibiscus, and a small bromeliad as well as the fake plant that came with the cage kit up top so she has some coverage up high until the hibiscus grows more
Placement: Approximately 3 feet from a window, about 4 feet from my computer desk, there is a small house fan nearby but not pointed at her cage directly.
Location: North of Houston, TX

Additional info: I intend to upgrade her to a larger enclosure in a couple of months. Probably something from DIY cages. I'm going to get some play sand today to give her a laying bin per this guide I found linked on the caresheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/

Here's a picture of our current setup:
Current setup:
QcW6kUb.jpg
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Y'all are awesome with these replies, I'm learning a lot from this place! Per ERKleRose here's more info:

Chameleon info: Female Veiled, somewhere around 4 to 5 months old
Handling: I typically bring her out of her enclosure once a day and walk around outside for a few minutes with her but try to give her space the rest of the time
Feeding: Black Soldier Fly Larvae, super worms, and crickets, usually the equivalent weight of 4 or 5 large crickets a day, I also give her a collard green leaf to munch on every day or two
Supplements: I'm gutloading the crickets and BSFL with repashy, also occasionally dust with rep-cal calcium/D3 suppliment and rep-cal herpavite
Watering: I mist the cage 3 times a day, I also provide her a small dish of standing water which she occasionally drinks from
Fecal description: Nothing abnormal according to the fecal guide
History: PetSmart special, picked her up about a week and a half ago


Cage info: Reptibreeze 16x16x30 (Part of the zoo med chameleon kit)
Lighting: Reptisun 5.0 CFL in one dome, LED full spectrum grow light in the other dome, small ceramic heat lamp in a separate single dome for basking
Temps: Ambient runs around 73-74 during the day, basking is around 85
Humidity: I've ordered a hygrometer but it's not in yet, I mist the cage 3 times a day with a pump sprayer and am about to invest in an automated mister system.
Plants: Golden Porthos, Hibiscus, and a small bromeliad as well as the fake plant that came with the cage kit up top so she has some coverage up high until the hibiscus grows more
Placement: Approximately 3 feet from a window, about 4 feet from my computer desk, there is a small house fan nearby but not pointed at her cage directly.
Location: North of Houston, TX

Additional info: I intend to upgrade her to a larger enclosure in a couple of months. Probably something from DIY cages. I'm going to get some play sand today to give her a laying bin per this guide I found linked on the caresheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/

Here's a picture of our current setup:
Current setup:
QcW6kUb.jpg
I'm in Houston, too! I'm at lunch, but when I get back home, I'll address some things I see with your info!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well howdy fellow Texan! Are you aware of/recommend repticon? I was thinking of going for a day next weekend to see what more I could learn.
Yes, just some of the vendors don’t care for their animals well and are sketchy. It it’s a great place to look at animals and compare prices with supplies! Lots of fun!
 
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Y'all are awesome with these replies, I'm learning a lot from this place! Per ERKleRose here's more info:

Chameleon info: Female Veiled, somewhere around 4 to 5 months old
Handling: I typically bring her out of her enclosure once a day and walk around outside for a few minutes with her but try to give her space the rest of the time
Feeding: Black Soldier Fly Larvae, super worms, and crickets, usually the equivalent weight of 4 or 5 large crickets a day, I also give her a collard green leaf to munch on every day or two
Supplements: I'm gutloading the crickets and BSFL with repashy, also occasionally dust with rep-cal calcium/D3 suppliment and rep-cal herpavite
Watering: I mist the cage 3 times a day, I also provide her a small dish of standing water which she occasionally drinks from
Fecal description: Nothing abnormal according to the fecal guide
History: PetSmart special, picked her up about a week and a half ago


Cage info: Reptibreeze 16x16x30 (Part of the zoo med chameleon kit)
Lighting: Reptisun 5.0 CFL in one dome, LED full spectrum grow light in the other dome, small ceramic heat lamp in a separate single dome for basking
Temps: Ambient runs around 73-74 during the day, basking is around 85
Humidity: I've ordered a hygrometer but it's not in yet, I mist the cage 3 times a day with a pump sprayer and am about to invest in an automated mister system.
Plants: Golden Porthos, Hibiscus, and a small bromeliad as well as the fake plant that came with the cage kit up top so she has some coverage up high until the hibiscus grows more
Placement: Approximately 3 feet from a window, about 4 feet from my computer desk, there is a small house fan nearby but not pointed at her cage directly.
Location: North of Houston, TX

Additional info: I intend to upgrade her to a larger enclosure in a couple of months. Probably something from DIY cages. I'm going to get some play sand today to give her a laying bin per this guide I found linked on the caresheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/

Here's a picture of our current setup:
Current setup:
QcW6kUb.jpg
She needs a lay bin, you don’t have to handle her everyday, when you take her outside, put her on a plant or in a cage and watch her, don’t carry her around (let her be there for atleast 30 minutes-1 hour if you have the time, atleast once a week), you need to gutload the supers and possibly add some more variety to her diet- Repticon is great to get feeders-, she needs phosphorous free calcium without D3 dusted over her food daily, phosphorus free calcium with D3 twice monthly, and a multivitamin twice monthly. Take out the standing water and make sure each misting session is atleast 2 minutes, but preferably 5 minutes, long. When you get the money, invest in an automated mister! You could also add a dripper. She’ll need a bigger cage, atleast 18” by 18” by 36” tall, preferably bigger. When you get the money, invest in a t5HO linear uvb fixture and bulb (Arcadia 6% is great!). It’s not needed, but if you want to swap out your ceramic heat emitter for a basking bulb, she can not only feel, but see where her basking area is (an incandescent heat bulb from the hardware store is fine). She needs more branches, vines, and plants (real or fake), throughout her cage, make sure most are horizontal. Have you read the veiled care here on the forums? Welcome!
 

txmedic

New Member
Okay, new setup until we can afford the bigger enclosure. Went to lowes and found a 16 inch planter that the cage fits on perfectly. Filled with washed play sand with small holes in the bottom to let water out. Also swapped the ceramic for a regular incandescent bulb and changed around the plants to ensure maximum access to the laying bin. I'm already sold on getting a mist king when budget allows and get that t5 HO fixture mentioned.20181014_171702.jpg 20181014_171702.jpg 20181014_171705.jpg
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay, new setup until we can afford the bigger enclosure. Went to lowes and found a 16 inch planter that the cage fits on perfectly. Filled with washed play sand with small holes in the bottom to let water out. Also swapped the ceramic for a regular incandescent bulb and changed around the plants to ensure maximum access to the laying bin. I'm already sold on getting a mist king when budget allows and get that t5 HO fixture mentioned.View attachment 215738 View attachment 215738 View attachment 215739

Love the plant pot for laybin :). Wish the 18" pots fit the 18" enclosure as well as the 16" does.

As to the arcadia dual tube fixture, please take the time to research a better fixture. It's somewhat comical that we all worry about the screen cutting the uv penetration yet recommend fixtures( arcadia/ odyssea) that cut it 30 to 40% in the case of the dual tube before it's even gone through the screen. Think about it for a minute, if screen of a typical screen cage is blocking 20% and the fixture is reducing 30 to 40% due to reflector design you're already losing 50 to 60% off your tubes output with a brand new bulb :wideyed:. 70 to 80% loss in the case of the arcadia quad fixture through screen with brand new bulbs. That is a pretty significant loss of usable uvb from a new tube. A fixture with individual reflectors you lose 5 to 15% at the fixture plus the 20% due to the screen. Best case is 25%, worst case is 35% loss on new bulb through screen.
 
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