Need advice quick about enclosure

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
Hi, My name is Ester. I was just given a new Jackson Chameleon. Along with him I was given a large terrarium, a large fake tree, some vines, bark for the bottom of the terrarium and crickets. 2 lamps, a basking lamp and a UVA lamp. I have been reading all kinds of sites that say a misting system is needed. I unfortunately leave in a basement apartment and its a bit chilly and the temp in there says its 70...is this warm enough for all day? I'm afraid to turn off the light at night because my apartment gets very cold at night. I Set up the tank so the vines go pretty close to the lamps in case he needs warmth. I read it isn't necessary to have a water dish but I have one in there just in case. I haven't gotten any live plants because so many sites have different opinions. I would appreciate any advice, info, anything. I wasn't prepared to own him but it was a gift. ( I do love him already but I want to ensure he's safe and comfortable.) I also know he needs calcium.

btw, I put in a few crickets today and he ate about 4 of them. I think only one was left.... attached is a picture of him. I don't think he was too happy at the moment :(
 

Attachments

Sir Spiral Tail

New Member
You don't need the bark in the bottom, definitely don't need the water dish, how big is your terrarium? He is probably going to want something much bigger to have some roaming room.
 

Sir Spiral Tail

New Member
ok, i had to read it again...you should get some real trees/plants too, they help keep your humidity up. You would be fine with just your basking lamp, and uv light. I am not a jackson's expert, so other than that, I wouldn't know what to tell you
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Hi, My name is Ester. I was just given a new Jackson Chameleon. Along with him I was given a large terrarium, a large fake tree, some vines, bark for the bottom of the terrarium and crickets. 2 lamps, a basking lamp and a UVA lamp. I have been reading all kinds of sites that say a misting system is needed. I unfortunately leave in a basement apartment and its a bit chilly and the temp in there says its 70...is this warm enough for all day? I'm afraid to turn off the light at night because my apartment gets very cold at night. I Set up the tank so the vines go pretty close to the lamps in case he needs warmth. I read it isn't necessary to have a water dish but I have one in there just in case. I haven't gotten any live plants because so many sites have different opinions. I would appreciate any advice, info, anything. I wasn't prepared to own him but it was a gift. ( I do love him already but I want to ensure he's safe and comfortable.) I also know he needs calcium.

btw, I put in a few crickets today and he ate about 4 of them. I think only one was left.... attached is a picture of him. I don't think he was too happy at the moment :(
Hello & Welcome to the forum. Here are a few of my thought, and I do keep Jacksons.
I don't use any substrate on the bottom, much easier to clean & the cham doesn't swallow it by accident.
The water dish breeds problems, the cham can drown in almost no water, feeders and poop can easily land in there, I wouldn't use one.
Is the light you were given a UVA or a UVB? You will need a UVB.
On heat light I like a basking somewhere temp of 70 - 73 with a temp down to about 65 at the bottom. It gets below 60 in your room at night I would not worry about about the temp.
I would not worry about not having a mister system. I had chameleons for a couple years before I invested in a misting system. I just hand misted so that the humidity stayed up at different times of the day from about 80% down to about 40%. I would think your humidity there should be pretty good. You do need a digital hydrometer/thermometer combo to measure what is going on.
I will tell you all about plants later is someone else doesn't cover it, but live plants are the best thing to help humidity & I feel the chameleon it more natural in live plants.
Now what sir cage do you have?

Ask more questions and we will all try to help.
 

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
Thank you...
Ok here goes.

The terrarium is 18x18x24 glass all around except for the top. Its a Zoo Med Naturalistic Terrarium
The light is UVB.
When I came home today he was hanging around the bottom of the tank. I have found him down there for the last two days. occasionally he'll climb up to the top vines but he both days I came home from work he's back down.

I do mist the tank walls and the vines and stuff but not directly him. I feel bad spraying him lol.

I don't have a thermometer or a humidity gauge but I will be purchasing one on Thursday.

Also, what are other things I can feed him besides crickets. Someone said meal worms but would i just put them in a dish or just drop some in the tank?

I don't really know what else to ask because I don't know too much about him except that when they are agitated or stressed he'll turn very dark. And if he's dehydrated he will open and close his mouth and look like he's having trouble breathing.

Are there any physical signs that I should watch out for? I feel so lost... and I really want him to be ok...
 

Itwas

New Member
you should be turning all lights off at night as Chams need darkness to sleep. Are you dusting his feeders?

I hope you told the person who give it to you that pets as surprise presents are not a very good idea, especially exotic lizards which require a lot of care.
 

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
I Didn't turn off the lights the first night but I have since. I didn't get the calcium yet that's among the too things I'm buying tomorrow.

I did say that just not in those words. I told them surprises like these are better if the person prepares for them way ahead of time. I'm very grateful they thought of me and purchased him for me but a little preparation would have helped
 

Julirs

New Member
I imagine he may be hanging at the bottom because it is too hot. Make sure you get a digital thermometer with a probe, and place it about 6-8 inches below the basking bulb on a branch he can bask on. Jacksons do not like it hot, but they do like a warm basking spot like Laurie said, but I would go no higher than 80. The rest of the tank should be low 70's. They can drop to 60 with no issue at night, so no lights or heat as long as your house stays at least that warm. You will need a UVB light-preferably a linear flourescent tube-Zoomed Reptisun 5.0 is best but a Reptiglo is usually easier to find and will do. These lights need to be replaced every 6 months. Jackson's usually do better with air flow and a screen cage, but seeing that you are going into winter in the NE, the Exo tank should be fine. Take out the substrate and get some live safe, washed plants. Also remove the water dish. Don't worry to much about misting him directly, some like it.
Get the UVB and thermometer ASAP. UVB is essential in keeping your guy from getting metabolic bone disease (MBD).
 

jpm995

Member
I'd say the most important thing is proper lighting [basking/spot light that he can get away from if he wants and a "reptile" floresent bulb that emits light in uvb range for calcium/bone building]. Then diet, crickets daily and treats occosianly [waxworms. mealworms, really most any other bug.] They like to climb so too much time on the ground would worry me. Vet checkup where they check poop would be a good idea to check for parasites. Good luck.
 

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
Ok today I got him some pothos and placed it in the tank. He seemed livelier today. I do have uvb bulbs in there already. I think he was at the bottom cuz he was too hot. I turned off the lights for awhile and he climbed back up. Tomorrow right after work I will be buying the thermometer and the gauge. Also picking up more crickets and the calcium. So just to clarify, no bark? just plants and vines. Please anything else that I should get as a beginner please let me know.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Ok today I got him some pothos and placed it in the tank. He seemed livelier today. I do have uvb bulbs in there already. I think he was at the bottom cuz he was too hot. I turned off the lights for awhile and he climbed back up. Tomorrow right after work I will be buying the thermometer and the gauge. Also picking up more crickets and the calcium. So just to clarify, no bark? just plants and vines. Please anything else that I should get as a beginner please let me know.
First sorry this D**m Mac keeps changing my spelling to what it wants. I need to spend some time proof reading.

One the plants, pothos are great. Did you wash the leaves with mild dishsoap & water? You never know what is on those plants. Next cover the dirt in the plants with rocks to large for the chameleon to get in his mouth, so the chameleon can't ingest dirt by accident.

You said uvb bulbs are in there, they are on the outside of the terrarium correct?

I will try to get a picture of one of my terrariums and show you how I use plants and sticks. But for now, since everyone is asleep, take wooden dowels from the hardware store, cut them or have them cut 1/8" smaller than the inside distance from side to side, buy a few suction cups at a craft store, use twist ties - from any produce dept at the store- attach the dowels to the suction cups, make them go side to side in the terr, put in 3 or 4 at different levels. For the size terr you have you could add a small ficus or umbrella tree, wash leaves & cover dirt again, add a few sticks or bio vines from the pet store from the plants to the dowels and your guy will have highways to get around on.

When you spray, use warm water, from a water filter or reverse osmosis. Use bottles water if that is all you can get. Open the front doors and using the finest mist possible completely mist the plants & your chameleon. What you are after is seeing him drink. He may drink from the misting or lick water off the leaves. Misting him well 3 times a day should provide plenty of humidity. The tank needs to dry between mistings. Doing it that way will create very little water on the floor of the terr, just wipe it up with a paper towel.

Next food, you can order silk worms or butter worms from plan sponsors listed on the top right of the forum. Make sure if you order silk worms that you order them WITH food included. Sometimes they don't ship with enough food for the worms. If you get those we can talk about what to do with them. Also some pet stores carry super worms, superworms and meal worms are not the same - you want superworms. Stop at the grocery store and get fresh collard greens or fresh kale to feed the crickets and worms. Much more on that later.:):)

We have lots more to talk about but I am off to bed. I will send you a private message so you can call me with questions.
 

KawaiiMunchkin

New Member
He loves the plant. He's always on it now when he's basking and when he wants shade. He's eating 3-4 crickets a day. I took out the substrate but don't know what to put on the bottom of the tank now... Should I just but a bunch of Pothos and place them in there??? I went online today and saw a dripper??? would that be good for him?
Is Fluker's Thermometer and Hygrometer an adequate one to place in there? I will be heading out to the store in about 3 hours or so. Any last ideas? Much appreciated.
 

dropanuke

Member
Thank you...
Ok here goes.

The terrarium is 18x18x24 glass all around except for the top. Its a Zoo Med Naturalistic Terrarium
The light is UVB.
When I came home today he was hanging around the bottom of the tank. I have found him down there for the last two days. occasionally he'll climb up to the top vines but he both days I came home from work he's back down.

I do mist the tank walls and the vines and stuff but not directly him. I feel bad spraying him lol.

I don't have a thermometer or a humidity gauge but I will be purchasing one on Thursday.

Also, what are other things I can feed him besides crickets. Someone said meal worms but would i just put them in a dish or just drop some in the tank?

I don't really know what else to ask because I don't know too much about him except that when they are agitated or stressed he'll turn very dark. And if he's dehydrated he will open and close his mouth and look like he's having trouble breathing.

Are there any physical signs that I should watch out for? I feel so lost... and I really want him to be ok...
these creature tend to store the heat in their bodies especially for when the temp drops and this is why they most of the time go lighter when lights are off, they go pale and it reduces the ammount of heat loss from their bodies>
 

dropanuke

Member
He loves the plant. He's always on it now when he's basking and when he wants shade. He's eating 3-4 crickets a day. I took out the substrate but don't know what to put on the bottom of the tank now... Should I just but a bunch of Pothos and place them in there??? I went online today and saw a dripper??? would that be good for him?
Is Fluker's Thermometer and Hygrometer an adequate one to place in there? I will be heading out to the store in about 3 hours or so. Any last ideas? Much appreciated.
and also if you had plenty of live plants at the bottom they would collect 70-90% of the water going downwards,
 

christen525

New Member
Hi,

first off, you are doing a great job of being a responsible cham owner. I have a Jacksons as well, Hermin :)

All the advise you've gotten so far has been great. As far as misting goes, try not to directly spray him if he doesn't like it, Hermin acts like its acid if it gets him lol.

For the flooring, its best to have it bare so your cham can't choke on anything. I put the green "terrarium carpet" they sell for reptiles on the bottom of my terrarium. Its easy to clean and pretty cheap to replace.

Since you have live plants (which are great) just remember to pick up the leaves that drop.

good luck and keep asking questions!
 
Top Bottom