Need Advice: New Cage & Environment Questions

Lapp

New Member
Without going into details of symptoms, I have reason to believe that my ~11 month old male Ambilobe is still not acclimating well to his new environment and it may be the cage/setup. He has been in my care for ~2 months now. Sorry I don't have photos to show, but I'm going to buy and setup an entirely new cage in hopes that it will turn around his situation. I'm positive the chameleon I have was in excellent health when I purchased him (he is a top notch specimen from a very reputable breeeder). I'd really like advice on setting up a new cage/enviroment.

Current Cage & Setup:

Cage model: http://www.reptilehavenonline.com/cgi-bin/supplies.cgi?p=chamcage

I added vertical and horizontal bamboo and some plastic plants. I initially had live plants, but had to removed them because I didn't have the misting/drainage for the Pro Mist and little dripper worked out (the plant soil was getting too wet). Basking spots & temp are correct, but I need to work on humidity (averages 50%). Lighting should also be correct (Reptisun 10.0 and 50 watt basking).

I'm speculating somewhat but the problems with my cham's health may be related to the following:
+ Lack of Live plants (would also help keep the humidty up)
+ Cage is not as vertically oriented as it should be
+ Cage doesn't sit high off the ground

Proposed New Cage/Setup

Cage model: 24x24x48 from http://www.cages.net

Should I get the standard screen or the more open screen (less fine) cages.net offers? Which is better (pros/cons)?

I'll redecorate this cage with standard non-toxic live plants and I may try to add a cool air humidifier into the mix (either in the room or perhaps experment with piping in the humidity)

Any thoughts on getting this new setup right would be greatly appreciated. I need to act fast so my cham doesn't continue to go down hill -- I can't wait to see him thrive!!!

---

I plan on keeping my current cage for a female; hoping she will not have a problem with the cage; I'm betting that if I get a younger specimen this time it will better adapt to a new housing situation.

TIA,
Eric
 

ChameleonsTree

New Member
Eric Lapp said:
Without going into details of symptoms, I have reason to believe that my ~11 month old male Ambilobe is still not acclimating well to his new environment and it may be the cage/setup. He has been in my care for ~2 months now. Sorry I don't have photos to show, but I'm going to buy and setup an entirely new cage in hopes that it will turn around his situation. I'm positive the chameleon I have was in excellent health when I purchased him (he is a top notch specimen from a very reputable breeeder). I'd really like advice on setting up a new cage/enviroment.

Current Cage & Setup:

Cage model: http://www.reptilehavenonline.com/cgi-bin/supplies.cgi?p=chamcage

I added vertical and horizontal bamboo and some plastic plants. I initially had live plants, but had to removed them because I didn't have the misting/drainage for the Pro Mist and little dripper worked out (the plant soil was getting too wet). Basking spots & temp are correct, but I need to work on humidity (averages 50%). Lighting should also be correct (Reptisun 10.0 and 50 watt basking).

I'm speculating somewhat but the problems with my cham's health may be related to the following:
+ Lack of Live plants (would also help keep the humidty up)
+ Cage is not as vertically oriented as it should be
+ Cage doesn't sit high off the ground

Proposed New Cage/Setup

Cage model: 24x24x48 from http://www.cages.net

Should I get the standard screen or the more open screen (less fine) cages.net offers? Which is better (pros/cons)?

I'll redecorate this cage with standard non-toxic live plants and I may try to add a cool air humidifier into the mix (either in the room or perhaps experment with piping in the humidity)

Any thoughts on getting this new setup right would be greatly appreciated. I need to act fast so my cham doesn't continue to go down hill -- I can't wait to see him thrive!!!

---

I plan on keeping my current cage for a female; hoping she will not have a problem with the cage; I'm betting that if I get a younger specimen this time it will better adapt to a new housing situation.

TIA,
Eric
I keep my humidity for my panthers at 65%-75%...I would also recommend a higher wattage of bulb. I doubt you are getting temps high enough in his basking area.I also use reptisun 5.0. Also it would help to tell us how long your lamps are on and what you are feeding him.
 

Lapp

New Member
ChameleonsTree said:
I keep my humidity for my panthers at 65%-75%...I would also recommend a higher wattage of bulb. I doubt you are getting temps high enough in his basking area.I also use reptisun 5.0. Also it would help to tell us how long your lamps are on and what you are feeding him.
The basking spot is ~90 degrees. I took measurements at various areas in the cage to make sure there was appropriate gradients before I brought the cham home.

I leave the lights on/off 12/12. Temps drop about 10 degrees during the evening.

I feed crickets (free range) gutloaded and dusted as suggested in most of the common care sheets. He was cup trained by the breeder, but doesn't seem to like the cup in my setup (tried a couple different times). I tried to feed him silkworms and hornworms in the past, but he didn't seem to like them.

I don't keep him in a high traffic area.

I actually think he is a very sensitive animal (i.e., very shy and perhaps finicky). He is definately an awesome animal though and was in the best of health when I received him. Here is a link to a photo (his name is Turbo and is somewhere near the bottom of the page): http://www.screameleons.com/portal/alias__Screameleons/lang__en-US/tabID__3365/DesktopDefault.aspx?alias=Screameleons&lang=en-US&tabID=3365

I still have very high hopes for this animal if I can get him on the right track (making sure my husbandry skills are correct & have the proper setup). I can't wait to see him thrive.
 
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