New Build Questions

k8shm8

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Nosy be panther chameleon, 8 months. Been in my care for about a month now.
  • Handling - Only handle when necessary, so about once a week if that. I try my best not to stress him out.
  • Feeding - He has primarily been eating crickets since I got him. I have recently experimented with horned worms and dubia roaches. He loves horned worms but did not eat all the roaches (honestly think the roaches were a little too small for him, I might try to get bigger ones and hand feed to him). He eats every morning, sometime between 6:30am-7:30am varying by my work schedule. He has been eating about 10 crickets. I gut load my crickets with any left over fresh veggies so things like cabbage, sweet potato, broccoli, carrots, and leafy greens.
  • Supplements - I use Repticalcium without D3, light dusting daily. I also was given some liquid calcium to give orally daily for a week (ill explain below).
  • Watering - I hand mist, I hand mist 3-4 times per day. I usually spray for about 3 minutes until the leaves are saturated with water. I have seen him drink here and there, last vet check a week ago said he was hydrated and he shows no signs of dehydration.
  • Fecal Description - Yesterday I cleaned his poop up and it was still super fresh and soft. It looks "normal" brown with a white spot attached. I am testing him for parasites at next vet check tomorrow actually. I lately have not been able to find his poop so I have some concerns to address to the vet.
  • History - So just some brief history on my chameleon, I actually got him from my boyfriend. My boyfriends house caught fire and is now unlivable so I am taking care of his chameleon (I am actually going to keep him haha). A lot of the stuff I currently have for the chameleon I did not purchase myself and its not stuff I would personally choose for him.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium Reptibreeze Screen Cage - 16" x 16" x 30"
  • Lighting - There is a compact light fixture, the heat bulb is about 75 watt and there is a new fluorescent bulb. Reptisun is the brand. I usually have the lights on from 7am until 7pm.
  • Temperature - The basking spot is about 80 degrees. The middle of the cage is 70 degrees. The bottom is 60 degrees. A night, the cage stays around 65 degrees, I use a NO LIGHT ceramic heater to keep him warm since I live in PA and its very cold here. I have a temperature and humidity gauge I bought.
  • Humidity - Humidity is around 50% or so. When I hand mist it spikes to 99%.
  • Plants- one schefflera
  • Placement - My cage is in a quiet area, low traffic, away from my other pets. A rough guess would be like 3 feet off the floor.
  • Location - Pennsylvania

Current Problem -
So like I said in my brief history, this chameleon was not mine to begin with. I am unhappy with a lot of the things he currently has. Since it is tax return season I thought I would upgrade his terrarium. Last week I rushed my lil guy to the vet kind of as an "emergency" because he was on the bottom of his cage and looked super super dark. He didn't finish his crickets and I got scared he was sick. The vet suggested to wait until his recheck (which is tomorrow) before upgrading his cage. I was originally looking at the Reptibreeze XL that is 24"x 24"x 48". I was going to add the standard chameleon safe plants like ficus, pathos, umbrella plant, schefflera, yucca, and dracaena. I plan on purchasing these from a local garden store to ensure no use of pesticides or any harmful chemicals. My questions:
  1. I was looking at builds of converting a hutch into a terrarium. My plan was to find a cheap hutch and pop out the glass doors and insert a screen mesh. I wanted to do the same with the top of the cage as well to allow my heat lamps/UV lamps to shine down. Has anybody done this before? Should I just get the XL reptibreeze and call it a day? (My main fear with this is to mess up and waste money haha).
  2. What lighting do you guys recommend. I am going to get rid of my compact light fixture once I upgrade. I want a UV light, basking light, and plant light.
  3. I am unsure about purchasing a mister, if I do I don't want to spend a fortune on it. Any recommendations for misting systems.
  4. Plants- placement, how to make them look good. Which ones are better than others.
  5. Any overall recommendations for a new build would be greatly appreciated.
Below I will add some pictures of what I have now, what my inspirations are, and my chameleon. Any help is appreciated!



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My current cage


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Reptibreeze Cage Inspiration

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Hutch cage inspiration (obviously would use screen instead of glass doors)

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Hutch for sale in my area for $65

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Diego my chameleon.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Last post came off as rude.... let me rephrase that...

Yes it was a lot of work but if you want a nice live cabinet conversion that’s what it takes.
 

k8shm8

Member
Last post came off as rude.... let me rephrase that...

Yes it was a lot of work but if you want a nice live cabinet conversion that’s what it takes.

Its fine haha, I just work 2 jobs and go to school full time so im not sure if i am ready to take on another project
 

timw1

Chameleon Enthusiast
Beautiful guy you have there! If you do the cabinet conversion look into drainage, as it will be your biggest obstacle. Waterseal everything inside with poly so it does not rot. Use an auto misting system like Mistking, and a good lighting system such as http://www.lightyourreptiles.com. Arcadia uvb bulbs are the best imho.
 
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