New Jackson chameleon owner

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
And yeah, I'm actually thinking about getting a captive bred Kenyan xanth myself sometime in the near future. Will be cool to compare the two.
You will be amazed at the difference. I have a female that is larger than most panther males. She is probably an exception to the rule. I'm hoping she has babies soon.

I use one similar to the one beside the quarter for dusting. I use a separate container to feed from and another to dust from. I have been using a bag now but it didn’t seem to help. I was putting waaay to much powder in the bag and they could barley move. 😅😅 I can’t wait until I have more experience like you all and I stop making all the rookie mistakes.
To control my dusting I use dollar store salt and pepper shakers. It makes it much easier to control the amount dispersed. I use different deli cups for each supplement and one for plain feeders.
 
Hell Iam new to this forum and a first time chameleon owner. I’ve been pretty much dependent on this forum since getting my Jackson Cham bc the pet store didn’t give the best advice. I just want to see if there are things I am doing wrong or could do better. I have male Jackson who approximately 6 to 7 months old when purchased almost a month ago. The pet store wasn’t sure. He just got updated to bigger cage that I think is 18x18x36. I had to get him out of the cracker box that the pet store said was ok. I’m not sure what size his enclosure should be but I assumed he would be happier in the bigger one we built. He has a 75 watt basking bulb and 12.0 uvb/uva halogen bulb. Is this proper lighting. The basking area is usually around 80 degrees and the ambient temp is usually a bit higher than the house temp so around 75-74. Tonight it was warm here and his cage had gotten so hot while I was cleaning the house he was gaping his mouth so I had to turn the heat lamp off and leave his halogen on and he went to sleep down in the darker thick planted area of his cage. I do try to provide the best night time temp drop I can by using ice packs and a fogger with purified water for higher humidity. Though it was darker and close to his bed time that has me concerned. He gets dusted with D3 once a month I have done this once but I haven’t had him quite a full month for another dusting of D3. He also gets calcium dusted twice a week. He was eating about 7 to 8 crickets that guy load every other day. A couple of days ago I thought I would treat him to a little extra and let him have about ten which he eat all of them. But now he just wants to eat 2 or three big crickets a day. I went to daily feedings bc I’m just not sure what to do bc I read so many different things and I’m not positive of his age. I do take him outside every so often on my shirt bc I didn’t have an outside cage but I will be getting one when it warms up enough here. Also I mist him with warm water for about two or three minutes in the morning to get him to drink and once more midway through the day. An I also must his drinking leaves every few hours. But I hardly ever see him drink since moving him to his bigger more private enclosure,I try not to hover over him much bc he doesn’t like it. He poops mainly on one of my potted plants and when I take it out to clean every few days he has black poop with white unrated so idk. The sleeping when I turned off the heat light to cool the cage earlier tonight worried me and where he seem to be eating less. An also where I cannot see him drinking all the time bc he isn’t setting out on my dresser anymore. But that’s me,always a worrying first time Cham owner. Please give me any device i my be needing. I can attach pictures if needing though he is sleeping
I have an adult male jacksons chameleon, the 18x18x36 should be fine but i have a 24x24x48 just because i want him to feel free to explore and not feel like he is isolated in a tiny area. But for jacksons chameleon the bigger enclosure that you can get. Try to not just feed on one type of insect, try to offer him a variety. Personally i have a hand mister and i mist once in the mornnig and once right before lights go off and so far he seems to love it.
 

Chey1995

Member
Hey that’s a really good idea. I will go buy some salt and pepper shakers and try that. Should I tape the top the opposite way to keep the powder coming out but to where it won’t stick to the crickets. That’s what I love about this page there is so many creative ideas to bounce off of each other. 😂 The reason I was talking about the biting is bc I’ve creeped up on him a couple times just to sneak and observe and he was opening his mouth at me. He has only done this twice and at first I was worried to death it was a health condition but now I think I just startled him. I would be scared to if a big giant kept walking by my house to spy on me too. 😂😂 also can any one tell me where I could get a cage that is just a little bit bigger than my 18x18x36. We literally just built the one he is in about two weeks ago but I told my husband I was wrong and it was actually to small. I would prefer to just do 20x20x40 or maybe the same width just a little taller. I’m kinda pinched for space. So I would like to just do taller and tiny bit wider. Do anyone know where I can buy some cages that are close to these measurements? I’ve looked and they are the same size as mine or wayyy bigger than mine in width.
 

Chey1995

Member
I also have a new question to ask. When the humidity is high in the morning when I turn off the fogger and do my morning mist I take my box fan and set it closer to the cage to pull out humidity. I have been catching him setting on the cage right beside the fan? Is he getting to hot and trying to cool off by the fan? My house is up to 75 so the cage is a few degrees hotter when he does this. Is ok to leave the fan closer for him bc I’m afraid to do that?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
can any one tell me where I could get a cage that is just a little bit bigger than my 18x18x36. We literally just built the one he is in about two weeks ago but I told my husband I was wrong and it was actually to small. I would prefer to just do 20x20x40 or maybe the same width just a little taller. I’m kinda pinched for space. So I would like to just do taller and tiny bit wider. Do anyone know where I can buy some cages that are close to these measurements? I’ve looked and they are the same size as mine or wayyy bigger than mine in width.
Is there any way we can talk you into 36 x 18 x 36 or better yet, 24 x 24 x 48 (both the minimum recommended by Chameleon Academy et al)? These sizes are readily available (particularly the latter) from many mfrs.

There is still (always) the DIY option, which can be built to any size/specification you choose.

I also have a new question to ask. When the humidity is high in the morning when I turn off the fogger and do my morning mist I take my box fan and set it closer to the cage to pull out humidity. I have been catching him setting on the cage right beside the fan? Is he getting to hot and trying to cool off by the fan? My house is up to 75 so the cage is a few degrees hotter when he does this. Is ok to leave the fan closer for him bc I’m afraid to do that?
Sorry if you've covered this; as Jackson's need a significant temperature drop at night, why is the enclosure warmer than the house in the morning?

I'm not sure the fan is even necessary to pull out humidity in the morning. As the temperature rises, the humidity will drop naturally; if it takes an hour or so, that shouldn't be a problem.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
I also have a new question to ask. When the humidity is high in the morning when I turn off the fogger and do my morning mist I take my box fan and set it closer to the cage to pull out humidity. I have been catching him setting on the cage right beside the fan? Is he getting to hot and trying to cool off by the fan? My house is up to 75 so the cage is a few degrees hotter when he does this. Is ok to leave the fan closer for him bc I’m afraid to do that?
He is probably sitting next to the fan for the added airflow. In the wild, by the time the temps have warmed up, the humidity has dropped 50% humidity. My main concern is the temperature that you are fogging at. While high humidity and higher temps don't automatically cause a respiratory infection, it should be something to avoid. I would fog the cage when the cage is at its coolest. I would stop fogging once the cage starts to warm up from the nighttime temp drop. So once the cage is above 65 degrees, I would stop fogging. Fogging the cage at 75 is too warm for high humidity. You can set up the humidifier to a timer so it can turn it off earlier in the morning. Make sure to get that nighttime temp drop.

@Klyde O'Scope beat me to it. But yes, I agree with everything he said. Make sure to get that nighttime drop. And if you want a taller cage that is not necessarily wide, you should go with the 24x24x48.
 

Chey1995

Member
Ok I see this makes sense but I hadn’t completely thought this out. I had just been running the fogger on half a tank on high speed but they last couple nights I’ve been filling it up. But this was only bc it has been colder here so it would stay cooler longer where his cage is. But couldn’t I just do half a tank on high bc I know it should be staying pretty cold in there for at least five to six hours and then the temps slowly rise after that. It’s usually in the low 60’s and then I’ve seen the temps rise to the higher 60’s by the time I go to turn the lights on. It’s gets no higher than 73 at night in the whole house but it’s a little cooler in the closet where I keep him. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
 

Chey1995

Member
I just wanted to show you guys the new lights and I did a little redecorating bc I think I just had to many plants and it was aiding to the darkness in my cage.
 

Attachments

  • 5397531B-E637-4345-B163-091A5A5CB857.jpeg
    5397531B-E637-4345-B163-091A5A5CB857.jpeg
    222.7 KB · Views: 18

Mendez

Avid Member
I just wanted to show you guys the new lights and I did a little redecorating bc I think I just had to many plants and it was aiding to the darkness in my cage.
You pretty much can't have too many plants. It's important to note that some plants will block out more light than others. Looking at your original photos, I agree that some of those plants probably blocked out a lot of light. I also agree with you that they should be taken out, but they should also be replaced with better plants. Plants play an important role in chameleon husbandry such as stabilizing humidity levels, providing places for our chams to hide if they want, and also being the water dish that a chameleon can lap water off of in the mornings. A good plant to pick is Schefflera arboricola. This plant can be the centerpiece, and it will also allow light to reach the bottom of the cage since they have many small leaves instead of a few large ones that block out all the light. Then get a few other plants like pothos and secure it in the middle/top portion so it vines down and provides coverage near the mid to bottom portion of the cage. I have also put a peace lily at the bottom for additional hiding places.

20210322_104359.jpg
20210322_104339.jpg

Your cage doesn't have to be as filled out as mine. Instead, you can heavily plant a few parts of the cage so he can hide, drink, and feel secure, and then have other sections with no plants to let the light through. You want to create visual barriers between you and him. If you can do that, then you have succeeded.

I have a white shower curtain on three sides of the cage to help keep in the humidity and also to provide a visual barrier. If you plant heavily in the front half of the cage, then the back half could be more open to let light through since the shower curtain will make him feel secure back there.

The shower curtain part is just an idea, you don't have to do this. However, you do need to add more plants to the cage.


And don't feel bad about the changes you made. We have all been in this stage.
 

Chey1995

Member
Yes I definitely agree and I should have said this but iam going to buy re buying my plants. The vine I had I left inside but the tree was just so heavy and big so I took it out. But he really liked drinking from it. It was just so hard for me to clean any poop where it was so full. But I’m not sure exactly which ones I’m going to get just yet. I know I would like to put a snake plant in too and I’m hoping the vine I bought will start climbing if I can get it to grow more. I do take his cage out when it’s warm to just give everything some natural sun and fresh air. But I just need a cage that just a little bigger and this will help with my plants. I do like the center being more open and the sides fuller. It does look a little bare but I plan to put one good size plant in the middle. I would like to do either the sides having a lot of foliage and one plant in the center or the back with lot of foliage and the front more open. Either way I will be bringing back the jungle vibes inside his cage. I just need to get out to the store and get things ordered. I’m trying my best to take everyone’s suggestions if it’s something that I can do and I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me all of these suggestions and advice.
 

Chey1995

Member
Also how does everyone feel about a hybrid cage with pvc inserts on the sides and back or just the sides? I’m not sure which but I was thinking of buying those and inserting them into my new cage when it gets here.
 

Chey1995

Member
Oh I also forgot to meantion but I did take the shower curtain advice! It’s a great idea but I took some plastic that’s kind of a clear cloudy color that you can’t see through for night time. Could I just leave that on during the day as well until I buy his new hiding/drinking and plants?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh I also forgot to meantion but I did take the shower curtain advice! It’s a great idea but I took some plastic that’s kind of a clear cloudy color that you can’t see through for night time. Could I just leave that on during the day as well until I buy his new hiding/drinking and plants?
An alternative is window insulation kits (AKA storm window kits). The plastic is very clear, and it's shrink-wrap; with a heat gun/hair dryer, it'll shrink to remove wrinkles, etc.

Also how does everyone feel about a hybrid cage with pvc inserts on the sides and back or just the sides? I’m not sure which but I was thinking of buying those and inserting them into my new cage when it gets here.
I have a hybrid enclosure with PVC sides & back, but I wasn't aware anyone made "inserts" or what enclosures they would fit.

What enclosure do you have coming that you could do this with?
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Yes I definitely agree and I should have said this but iam going to buy re buying my plants. The vine I had I left inside but the tree was just so heavy and big so I took it out. But he really liked drinking from it. It was just so hard for me to clean any poop where it was so full. But I’m not sure exactly which ones I’m going to get just yet. I know I would like to put a snake plant in too and I’m hoping the vine I bought will start climbing if I can get it to grow more. I do take his cage out when it’s warm to just give everything some natural sun and fresh air. But I just need a cage that just a little bigger and this will help with my plants. I do like the center being more open and the sides fuller. It does look a little bare but I plan to put one good size plant in the middle. I would like to do either the sides having a lot of foliage and one plant in the center or the back with lot of foliage and the front more open. Either way I will be bringing back the jungle vibes inside his cage. I just need to get out to the store and get things ordered. I’m trying my best to take everyone’s suggestions if it’s something that I can do and I really appreciate you all taking the time to give me all of these suggestions and advice.
Awesome, it sounds like you have a solid plan! Glad to hear more plants will be added.

Also how does everyone feel about a hybrid cage with pvc inserts on the sides and back or just the sides? I’m not sure which but I was thinking of buying those and inserting them into my new cage when it gets here.
If you can find pvc inserts, and are willing to pay for them, then go for it! PVC will look better than the shower curtain or window shrink wrap.

Oh I also forgot to meantion but I did take the shower curtain advice! It’s a great idea but I took some plastic that’s kind of a clear cloudy color that you can’t see through for night time. Could I just leave that on during the day as well until I buy his new hiding/drinking and plants?
Yes, that's fine. You can leave the shower curtain on during the day until you buy more plants. And then, if you want, you can decide to take it off or leave it on.
 

Chey1995

Member
Yeah the plastic and all that doesn’t look good to me but I’ve tried it out today and he seems to be loving it. I just have it on one side bc he is in my closet and I do not want to take any chances with the air being able to stagnate. Even though he has a fan on low in there with him. But I just wanted to add he seems to be so much more active with his new linear light fixture. This has really just made such a difference and I think the plastic helped too. But he is just really moving around so much more in there. Before he would just set perched up in one spot and would only move around to eat or drink and when he would sit under the screen to get under the compacted bulb. You guys are so right about the compact bulb not being right. I can really explain it but I can just tell that light is better for him. Today I’m going to Walmart to look at some plants instead of ordering some bc I think I need to try to get some in there quickly. After that I’m looking into finding the right cage for him. I think I want to try to get a 24x24x48. It may be a tight fit but I think it will be fine. I’m not sure if I will buy one or just make one. I think we can just order the aluminum mesh online and the pvc to make a customized cage.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
After that I’m looking into finding the right cage for him. I think I want to try to get a 24x24x48. It may be a tight fit but I think it will be fine. I’m not sure if I will buy one or just make one. I think we can just order the aluminum mesh online and the pvc to make a customized cage.
(y)(y)

You should be able to get those materials at any big box home improvement store.
I liked this series on DIY enclosures from window screens.
 

Chey1995

Member
Hey that’s a good idea. I think I will look at Lowe’s or Home Depot to find some kind of inserts. I have the big cage on it’s way. Only think now I need lots of plants and a grow light.
 

Chey1995

Member
Also I just wanted to say I’ve not been on in a while due to an unexpected move that we just had to make. But I also need everyone’s help with another chameleon that I just went and purchased today. She is a veiled chameleon and it was probably very stupid of me but I just couldn’t leave her at that pet store after I seen the enclosure she was in. She was also suffering from malnourishment when they got her. She has a burnt area on her tail as well. I will make a new thread for her bc I she is a veiled and I only know how to care for Jackson’s at the moment. If you guys have any experience with them please keep an eye out for my new thread.
 
Top Bottom