New enclosure progress

jomalo1970

Member
So, after receiving the reptibreeze instead of the cage I ordered, I made the best of it. I have added dragon ledges, great stuff fake rock walls, a mistking, several live plants, a fake plant, a T5HO Arcadia 12% 24" light, a dimmed 100 watt basking light, and a grumpy lizard. I also have a nice Scheffelera to put in the cage, but I still have to pot it up. The bowl in the bottom is for catching the drips from the magnaturals rock dripper. The tiki is for me, lol. It's bowl is filled with rocks and a fogger instead of the water fall. Both bowls are cleaned daily. I wrapped the back wall and partial side walls with bamboo Reed fence. Since he's been in it, grumpy lizard has been exploring it from side to side and top to bottom. He seems pleased, lol. It's much roomier than his old kit cage.
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jomalo1970

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male veiled Chameleon, not sure of his age. I have had him about a month or so. Petco, where I got him, said that they had him for about 4 months.
  • Handling - I handle him about one per week. I also hand feed him a superworm every now and then, about 2x per week.
  • Feeding - Right now, I am mostly feeding crickets gutloaded with fresh carrot, mustard greens and bug burger. He eats about 6-10 daily. They are dusted with calcium plus LoD.
  • Supplements - Daily dusting with Calcium plus LoD. Previously, I was using reptical daily and reptivite every 2 weeks, which is what came in the craptastic kit.
  • Watering - I have a magnaturals dripper that drips 24/7 onto a pothos leaf. I also have a mistking set to mist for 2 minutes 8 times per day. I have seen him drink in the mornings, from the dripper and from the leaves.
  • Fecal Description - He has not been tested for parasites. His urates are mostly white with a slight yellow tinge after they set for awhile. His poop is brown and solid.
  • History - As far as I know he has been healthy. I have had no issues since keeping him.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze, 2x2x4 with Dragon Ledges, Great Stuff fake rock and a mixture of live and silk plants. Once the live plants begin spreading, the silk plants will be taken out. Live plants include pothos, scheffelera arboricola, dracaena and bromeliad.
  • Lighting - 12 hours on/12 off with a zoomed 24" single fixture with an Arcadia 12% bulb and a dimmed 100 watt basking lamp.
  • Temperature - I have two digital thermometers. The floor temps are room temp, usually between 72 and 75 degrees. The basking area stays about 85.
  • Humidity - I'm in Florida...humidity is truly no issue, lol. My ambient humidity is usually around 60%. During and immediately after misting, it rises to about 95%. Nighttime humidity is usually around 80%. The cage is next to an aquarium that goes through 5 gallons of water each week in evaporation.
  • Plants - See above.
  • Placement - WThe cage is next to my desk and aquarium. It is not a high traffic area. I have no kids and usually just sit and watch the cage and the aquarium. The cage sits about 2 1/2 feet off the floor. The highest branches in the cage are above my head.
  • Location - NW Florida.

Current Problem - None
 

Gingero

Established Member
First off, welcome to the forums! Thanks for providing all of your info and pics. You're off to a great start.

Some suggestions:

1. I'd recommend adding some plants at the bottom of the enclosure. It's currently unused space, and would provide some nice hiding spots for your guy because right now his enclosure doesn't really give him somewhere to retreat to so he can feel safe.
2. I'd cut back on the number of misiting sessions to twice a day. Once in the morning after lights on, and once in the evening before lights off. Too frequent mistings can lead to upper respiratory infections (URIs) due to too high of humidity. Especially with where you live, keeping your humidity 60+ shouldn't be an issue.
3. I'd see if you can get your basking spot a little warmer closer to 90-95.

Hope this helps.
 

jomalo1970

Member
First off, welcome to the forums! Thanks for providing all of your info and pics. You're off to a great start.

Some suggestions:

1. I'd recommend adding some plants at the bottom of the enclosure. It's currently unused space, and would provide some nice hiding spots for your guy because right now his enclosure doesn't really give him somewhere to retreat to so he can feel safe.
2. I'd cut back on the number of misiting sessions to twice a day. Once in the morning after lights on, and once in the evening before lights off. Too frequent mistings can lead to upper respiratory infections (URIs) due to too high of humidity. Especially with where you live, keeping your humidity 60+ shouldn't be an issue.
3. I'd see if you can get your basking spot a little warmer closer to 90-95.

Hope this helps.
Thank you for the advice! I have the plants to put in his cage but it got too late last night for me to keep working on it. I hope to get it done tonight. As for the misting and basking, I will make those changes immediately. My mistking system sprang a leak last night and it's been down today, so it won't be any issue to implement that new schedule. And the basking light is dimmed so I can just bring it up until it reaches that temp. Thanks again! I'll post new pics as soon as I get the plants done... Hopefully tonight!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am just coming back from a move... I just skimmed through everything.

You will need to do a 6% arcadia bulb in a single bulb fixture. The 12% should only be used for a quad fixture that has a single reflective panel for all 4 bulbs.

additional to the other advice given. Watch your humidity levels. Veileds should be 30-50% max during the day. I would listen to this podcast to dial in your misting sessions. You do not need that many in the day if you have a dripper going. Otherwise RI risk is high. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/

Other wise everything looks good. Love the New cage!
 

jomalo1970

Member
Thanks! Unfortunately, our humidity here is so high it feels like you're swimming through the air when you step outside. Getting it to 50% indoors is a blessing, even with our A/C set to 68. I have taken Gingero's advice already and will only mist 2x per day now. As for the bulb, I thought a 12% was good for when the cage has heavy cover. The bottom of his cage is completely shaded and dark. He only gets the full effect when he is on the very top. The bulb is about 8 inches from his basking branch. I have a reptisun 5.0 also, but bought the Arcadia thinking it was the better option...

I used this article as a guideline for setting up gradients in the cage... https://dragonstrand.com/principles-chameleon-cage-setup/
 
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Gingero

Established Member
Much, much better!!

I was also under the impression that a heavily planted enclosure can use a 12%. That's what I use for my adult panther...
 

jomalo1970

Member
Currently, in Pensacola, it is 82 degrees F. Relative humidity is 99%. It is 10:46 PM. Our current heat index is 95 degrees F. At 10:45 PM. Seriously. It is hot and humid here.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks! Unfortunately, our humidity here is so high it feels like you're swimming through the air when you step outside. Getting it to 50% indoors is a blessing, even with our A/C set to 68. I have taken Gingero's advice already and will only mist 2x per day now. As for the bulb, I thought a 12% was good for when the cage has heavy cover. The bottom of his cage is completely shaded and dark. He only gets the full effect when he is on the very top. The bulb is about 8 inches from his basking branch. I have a reptisun 5.0 also, but bought the Arcadia thinking it was the better option...

I used this article as a guideline for setting up gradients in the cage... https://dragonstrand.com/principles-chameleon-cage-setup/
Much, much better!!

I was also under the impression that a heavily planted enclosure can use a 12%. That's what I use for my adult panther...

Ok I figured I would just quote both of yall here. Ok so with UVB lighting heavy cover means literally that... That the whole top of the cage is so dense with foliage that only little bits of light pass through.

Here are the UVB guides... So without a solarmeter 6.5 we are giving you approximates since all fixtures and brands of UVB differ.
So a single or a dual T5HO fixture will need to have a 5.0 zoo med or a 6% arcadia bulb.
A quad fixture with individual reflector panels for each bulb will have to have a 5.0 zoo med or a 6% arcadia bulb.
A quad T5HO fixture with 1 single reflector panel for all 4 bulbs will have to have a 10.0 zoo med or a 12% arcadia bulb.

So with either you are looking at the basking level (highest point in the cage) to be 7-8 inches below the T5HO and the light should be centered, running the length of the cage, and sitting directly on the cage. Doing this and following the above bulb to fixture info will give you a 3-4 UVI level for UVB light output.

@jomalo1970 ok so what you will need to do is provide more light. One T5HO fixture will not provide enough for your plants. I happen to use a quad fixture and have 2 6500 daylight bulbs along with a plant pro bulb for my plants. You can add a new fixture or get a dual T5hO with the 6500 daylight bulbs. You can get dome lighting with led bulbs. There are a few different options here. I would search threads on lighting for plants. You will get a ton of info there. I knowledge is limited to UVB rather then the plant lighting.

@Gingero The 12% could be correct for you if you are using the quad T5HO fixture with the single reflector. :)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh and one way to get down natural humidity in the house is a dehumidifier. I have to do this where I live in the far northern coast of Cali or my humidity sits at 70-80%. With the dehumidifier in the room I can get it down to 43%.
 

jomalo1970

Member
If I were to run a dehumidifier, my aquariums would go through more water than I could provide I fear. The drain for my central A/C looks almost like a faucet running, lol. As for the lighting, I will swap the bulbs back out when I get home... I do have a double dome fixture that came with the kit that I can use for led plant lights, so I will get that set up too. Thanks again for the guidance!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I were to run a dehumidifier, my aquariums would go through more water than I could provide I fear. The drain for my central A/C looks almost like a faucet running, lol. As for the lighting, I will swap the bulbs back out when I get home... I do have a double dome fixture that came with the kit that I can use for led plant lights, so I will get that set up too. Thanks again for the guidance!
Oh yeah you have aquariums lol nix that idea then. and your welcome.
 
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