New chameleon enclosure

janobi

New Member
Hi, forum n00b here.

A few days ago, we got our first chameleon, and I am looking for advice and support in helping her grow to be happy. I've read through quite a few posts, but im looking for additional advice.

Chameleon - Panther, female
Age - 3-4 months old
Lighting - 75w arcadia heat lamp
Food - brown crickets

I've got a small tank atm, as I didn't want to overwhelm her in her first tank, additional folleage will be added today, as having reviewed the husbandry thread it seems like we're a little sparse. I've attached some photos to show current setup, but looking for advice and support on making it better for her initial growth before moving to a bigger tank/enclosure.
 

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Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
That enclosure is really bad. It needs to go in height not in width. It needs to have linear T5HO UVB light or she is going to die out of Metabolic Bone Desease where her bones are going to break. Please fill up this form and change the enclosure ASAP.



Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Whoa now I see your cham in second pic. I would rather say that your cham is 1 month old and not 4 months… Or she looks very small just on that pic. Can you post more closeup pics of her?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh my goodness! She’s so itty bitty! 🥰
Hi and welcome! Your little cutie looks much younger than 3-4 months to me. But let’s help you get everything set up perfectly for her. Hope you like shopping!
The enclosure you have for her will maybe be ok for now, but you really will need to give her more height. She’ll be needing a 2x2x4’ or equivalent enclosure. Unless you’re somewhere really arid, I would suggest a screen or screen hybrid enclosure for adequate ventilation. It’s much easier to cover screening as needed to boost humidity than to try to figure out how to increase air circulation and ventilation.
For lighting, you’ll be needing the correct uvb so that she can synthesize vitamin D3 to convert calcium for not just bone, but general good health. The best uvb is a linear T5 fixture with either a Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. Then her basking area will need to be about 8-9” below the light. For basking, any bulb except LED will do well. Many use incandescent if they can find them. For wattage, 60 is usually a good start to try. Basking area temp should be around 80.
You should really have a digital thermometer and a digital hygrometer with probe ends to accurately measure temps and humidity.
Your little cutie will be needing a varied diet of staple feeders. Those feeders will also need to be fed a nutritious diet so that they pass that nutrition on to your chameleon. I’m attaching some graphics to help you.
Next, you’ll need to lightly dust her feeders with supplements. For use with every feeding you’ll need a phosphorus free calcium without D3. One feeding every other week you’ll use a calcium with D3 and one feeding every other week, you’ll use a multivitamin. These are super important for your little one’s good health.
While I could go thru everything here with you, it’s much easier to send you here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/
Make sure to read thru all of the modules. There is also a species specific area where you can find more about panther care. Of course, we love helping new keepers and are here to help. :)
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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi, forum n00b here.
Hi, n00b, forum here. Welcome.

I've got a small tank atm, as I didn't want to overwhelm her in her first tank,
That's... a myth. 🤓
These little pisspots are born in the wild with the whole outdoors as their "enclosure," so overwhelming them... not likely. ;)

additional folleage will be added today, as having reviewed the husbandry thread it seems like we're a little sparse.
Live plants & vines only, please. Live plants help increase and maintain humidity.

I've attached some photos to show current setup, but looking for advice and support on making it better for her initial growth before moving to a bigger tank/enclosure.
You really can't move her to a larger enclosure too soon, but she's small enough for the current enclosure for now. I think a target date for a larger enclosure of when she reaches 6 months would not be unreasonable. In the meantime, more foliage & climbing branches will help her feel more comfortable.

+1 to everything MissSkittles said, save one. ;)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Unless you’re somewhere really arid, I would suggest a screen or screen hybrid enclosure for adequate ventilation. It’s much easier to cover screening as needed to boost humidity than to try to figure out how to increase air circulation and ventilation.
I've always found just the opposite, but that's just a difference in schooling & practical experience. :) 🤓

The more posts/threads I read here about the challenges of achieving & maintaining humidity levels (in either direction), the more I'm convinced hybrid enclosures are/should be the default way to go—SO much easier to control the microclimate(s) within an enclosure.

Another reason I'm in favor of the larger enclosure ASAP is so that janobi won't have to do all this (making changes) twice—once now and again for a different larger enclosure. A lot of what can be changed now can apply to the larger setup (e.g., lighting, mister, some plants & decor) but not everything.

janobi, since a larger enclosure is kind of a lynch pin here, can you tell us what you have in mind, (i.e. size; screen or hybrid; DIY or mfd.; std. or bioactive; other)? :unsure:
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Like Klyde o scope said in the wild they are born with a whole jungle to explore and call home so the necessary cage requirements won’t hurt him even if he’s small. You’ve got great advice above
 

janobi

New Member
Wow! Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

So the Cham, I was told is 3-4 months old, but as all the eggs hatch at the sametime, she's not perhaps as old/strong as the other ones? Again, i'm not sure on the validity of all that.

I've had her 4 days now.

I knew a bigger enclosure was required, and this is the one i've been reviewing;

24 x 18 x 36″ Chameleon Setup​

  • 24 x 18 x 36″ Wooden Vivarium (Available in Oak or Black)
  • 4 x Extra Vents (for a total of 8)
  • T8 18″ 10% UVB Bulb
  • UVB Controller
  • Reflector
  • AnalogueThermometer
  • 2m Bendable Jungle Vine
  • 2 x Large Plastic Plants
1631475020409.png


ve_viva_arboreal_small_black-v1-80-80.jpg




Vivexotic Viva+ Arboreal Vivarium - Small Black 57.5x49x91.5cm​


Above is another option for the enclosure.

With regards to gut feeding, can I buy the feed already gut fed, or do I just need to do that myself?


Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? - 4 days, panther, female
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? - Few times since getting her. But trying to leave her settle
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? 1st brown crickets, twice a day, I release quite a few into the tank to simulate the wild.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? - none at present
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? - No misting, spray the tank twice a day. Morning when light goes on, and just before light goes off at night. Spray the whole tank, and make sure there is good amount of water droplets. Yes i've seen her drinking from the leaves etc.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? - No idea, I wouldn't know what to look for or where to look. I was told she's eating/shedding/pooping when I got the Cham
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. - Bought from local breeder, he showed me the father Cham which was amazing in colour and such. No other information available.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? - Current is 1x1x2
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? - Arcadia 75w, 10-12hrs of light on/off
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? - Basking spot is around 100, overnight is around 80, there's an analog temp gauge within the tank.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? - Unsure on humidity levels
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? - Only plastic ones at present.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? - Bedroom, about 2.5ft off ground at present. No fans, there are 2 air vents within the tank at the back, no high traffic areas
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? - Wales
Thanks for all the replies :)
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow! Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

So the Cham, I was told is 3-4 months old, but as all the eggs hatch at the sametime, she's not perhaps as old/strong as the other ones? Again, i'm not sure on the validity of all that.

I've had her 4 days now.

I knew a bigger enclosure was required, and this is the one i've been reviewing;

24 x 18 x 36″ Chameleon Setup​

  • 24 x 18 x 36″ Wooden Vivarium (Available in Oak or Black)
  • 4 x Extra Vents (for a total of 8)
  • T8 18″ 10% UVB Bulb
  • UVB Controller
  • Reflector
  • AnalogueThermometer
  • 2m Bendable Jungle Vine
  • 2 x Large Plastic Plants
View attachment 309935

ve_viva_arboreal_small_black-v1-80-80.jpg




Vivexotic Viva+ Arboreal Vivarium - Small Black 57.5x49x91.5cm​


Above is another option for the enclosure.

With regards to gut feeding, can I buy the feed already gut fed, or do I just need to do that myself?


Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? - 4 days, panther, female
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? - Few times since getting her. But trying to leave her settle
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? 1st brown crickets, twice a day, I release quite a few into the tank to simulate the wild.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? - none at present
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? - No misting, spray the tank twice a day. Morning when light goes on, and just before light goes off at night. Spray the whole tank, and make sure there is good amount of water droplets. Yes i've seen her drinking from the leaves etc.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? - No idea, I wouldn't know what to look for or where to look. I was told she's eating/shedding/pooping when I got the Cham
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. - Bought from local breeder, he showed me the father Cham which was amazing in colour and such. No other information available.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? - Current is 1x1x2
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? - Arcadia 75w, 10-12hrs of light on/off
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? - Basking spot is around 100, overnight is around 80, there's an analog temp gauge within the tank.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? - Unsure on humidity levels
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? - Only plastic ones at present.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? - Bedroom, about 2.5ft off ground at present. No fans, there are 2 air vents within the tank at the back, no high traffic areas
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? - Wales
Thanks for all the replies :)
So I’ll go over husbandry but the ones u want to buy are still to tiny
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? - 4 days, panther, femalehave you had the gender checked
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? - Few times since getting her. But trying to leave her settletry to aim for once a week
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? 1st brown crickets, twice a day, I release quite a few into the tank to simulate the wild. What’s the exact amount at this age it should be 10-15, what are you gutload Ed and on your question for store bought I would say no but there is something called bug burger that’s good and I’ll attach photo of good greens to gutload w
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? - none at present you will want to supplement or it can lead to mbd you want calcium without D3 every feeding and then reptivite with D3 on the 1st and 15th of every month
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? - No misting, spray the tank twice a day. Morning when light goes on, and just before light goes off at night. Spray the whole tank, and make sure there is good amount of water droplets. Yes i've seen her drinking from the leaves etc. so a dripper is a good back up but not a must you will want to mist 3-4 minutes 30 minutes before lights turn on a 3-4 min after lights turn off and maybe 2 minutes in mid night but it depends where you live because different places have different humidity
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? - No idea, I wouldn't know what to look for or where to look. I was told she's eating/shedding/pooping when I got the Cham next time you see a poop include a description.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. - Bought from local breeder, he showed me the father Cham which was amazing in colour and such. No other information available.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? - Current is 1x1x2
  • Feet, meters, cm? What unit Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? - Arcadia 75w, 10-12hrs of light on/offwhat uvb do you have or none
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? - Basking spot is around 100, overnight is around 80, there's an analog temp gauge within the tank. 100!! I’m not very familiar with panther info but I know it shouldn’t be 100 buy regular 60 incandescent home heat bulb (not led) and that will do better with heat
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? - Unsure on humidity levels govee has great hygrometers
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? - Only plastic ones at present.I’ll attach a photo of safe plants plastic isn’t good they can eat it and get an impaction and that’s a huge vet bill
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? - Bedroom, about 2.5ft off ground at present. No fans, there are 2 air vents within the tank at the back, no high traffic areas
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? - Wales
Thanks for all the replies :)
 

janobi

New Member
You do not want that cage... A few issues. Too small and lighting is on the inside this is not advised with Chameleons. You want to be able to sit lighting on top of the cage and it should go through screen.
So a reptibreeze? Those seem to be the only ones of size.

Im a little confused, as both of those enclosures are recommended by reptile shops, they're selling them specifically for Chams.
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
So a reptibreeze? Those seem to be the only ones of size.

Im a little confused, as both of those enclosures are recommended by reptile shops, they're selling them specifically for Chams.
Some reptile shops are not expierenced in chams and provide false info that’s just the life of it and dragon strand is a great brand of cage.
 

janobi

New Member
Some reptile shops are not expierenced in chams and provide false info that’s just the life of it and dragon strand is a great brand of cage.

Not available within the UK from what I can see. US only, so that's not a viable option.

Code:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234079070860?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

That's a reptibreeze setup (complete). Size dimensions would fit, and comes with vines/branches and UVB/UVA lights.
 
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