New member enclosure

Shanar808

Avid Member
Hi everybody, I’m kinda new to this forum but I’ve been reading these forums for a little while and love all the great info and options shared here. I am almost done with my chameleons enclosure and was hoping for you guys’ opinions/ approval/ editing suggestions.
I’ve had Alexa for a month and she seems to be happy, always a beautiful emerald green, except of course when it’s time to be held but she brightens right back up and even takes her time leaving my hand.? She is like a member of my family and I want to provide the best I can. Thanks everybody.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Alexa is a Jackson’s chameleon, female, age unknown but around 3-3.5 inches snout to vent, in my care from 10/22/2020
  • Handling -Transporting her from indoor to outdoor enclosure almost daily for natural sunlight
  • Feeding -Crickets (gut-loaded with mix of veg (potato/carrot/spinach/soybean powder) and fruit (apple/blueberries) with bee pollen and seaweed) party fed by hand up to 7 small or 4 medium (from a Tupperware) and 2-3 let loose for hunting enrichment. Fed almost daily skipping days when any left over feeders are in the enclosure. **currently working on catching flies**
  • Supplements - Repashy calcium plus 2x/month, Flukers calcium no d w/bee pollen every other feeding
  • Watering - Naturalistic hydration thru hand misting (lights out for 1-2min/ before lights on for 2-3 min) dripper for 2-4 hours in the afternoon, and humidifier at night.
  • Fecal Description - white urates, black/brown moist not runny or dry feces.
  • History - Unknown however, seller has history of improper housing of mass amounts of chameleons. No fecal testing done.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 24x24x36 mesh screen enclosure
  • Lighting - Zilla t5 tropical 25 uvb, t5 ho 6500 full spectrum dual fluorescent grow light, and dimmable heat lamp w/60w bulb (10-12 inches above basking area) UVB and grow light 12 on/12 off, heat lamp on for 2-3 hours (I gradually lower it when she starts avoiding the basking area) **planning on upgrading to a reptisun 10.0 t5 that will hang about 9-10 inches above basking area**
  • Temperature - 72-78 ambient/ basking around 82-84/Overnight temp drop to around 64-67. Using temp gun
  • Humidity - 40-60% day/ 75-90% night using humidifier/fogger and misting schedule. Using standard hygrometer gauge **planning on upgrading to a digital hygrometer with probe**
  • Plants - Pothos, Bolivian jew, dracena, dieffenbachia, tillandsia(air plants), and fake fern and leafy vines both plastic and silk (my Jackson has never bit any plants/silk ivy plant is hanging and dries during the day to avoid mold) No substrate (I have potted plants on the bare bottom except for a couple rows of faux moss rocks in the front that get sprayed with hydrogen peroxide during cleanings)
  • Placement - Enclosure is the the corner of my room away from ac and window. My room is high traffic (4 occupants including 2 young children so I have fake plants on the outside her enclosure for more privacy) Top of the enclosure is a little over 6 feet from the floor
  • Location - Oahu Hawaii non mountain or beach area
 

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Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi everybody, I’m kinda new to this forum but I’ve been reading these forums for a little while and love all the great info and options shared here. I am almost done with my chameleons enclosure and was hoping for you guys’ opinions/ approval/ editing suggestions.
I’ve had Alexa for a month and she seems to be happy, always a beautiful emerald green, except of course when it’s time to be held but she brightens right back up and even takes her time leaving my hand.? She is like a member of my family and I want to provide the best I can. Thanks everybody.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Alexa is a Jackson’s chameleon, female, age unknown but around 3-3.5 inches snout to vent, in my care from 10/22/2020
  • Handling -Transporting her from indoor to outdoor enclosure almost daily for natural sunlight Where are you located? Natural sunlight is great, but can you continue this year-round?
  • Feeding -Crickets (gut-loaded with mix of veg (potato/carrot/spinach/soybean powder) So, high calcium greens should be 70% of your gutload. Unfortunately, though spinach has high calcium, it is so high in oxalic acid, it’s calcium is inaccessible. Try collards, dandelion greens and mustard greens. For other veg, try butternut squash, and carrots. and fruit (apple/blueberries) with bee pollen and seaweed) party fed by hand up to 7 small or 4 medium (from a Tupperware) and 2-3 let loose for hunting enrichment. Fed almost daily skipping days when any left over feeders are in the enclosure. **currently working on catching flies**
  • Supplements - Repashy calcium plus 2x/month, Flukers calcium no d w/bee pollen every other feeding
  • Watering - Naturalistic hydration thru hand misting (lights out for 1-2min/ before lights on for 2-3 min) dripper for 2-4 hours in the afternoon, and humidifier at night.
  • Fecal Description - white urates, black/brown moist not runny or dry feces.
  • History - Unknown however, seller has history of improper housing of mass amounts of chameleons. No fecal testing done.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 24x24x36 mesh screen enclosure
  • Lighting - Zilla t5 tropical 25 uvb. Is this a T5, or a compact fluorescent? It might not matter that much, if your Cham is getting several hours of natural sunlight everyday. However, as montane species, Jackson’s are sometimes thought to have higher than average uvb requirements. t5 ho 6500 full spectrum dual fluorescent grow light, and dimmable heat lamp w/60w bulb (10-12 inches above basking area) UVB and grow light 12 on/12 off, heat lamp on for 2-3 hours (I gradually lower it when she starts avoiding the basking area) **planning on upgrading to a reptisun 10.0 t5 that will hang about 9-10 inches above basking area**Good, you answered the question! Think about a solar meter.
  • Temperature - 72-78 ambient/ basking around 82-84/Overnight temp drop to around 64-67. This is on the upper edge of healthy: consider trying to get below 60. Using temp gun
  • Humidity - 40-60% day/ 75-90% night using humidifier/fogger and misting schedule. Using standard hygrometer gauge **planning on upgrading to a digital hygrometer with probe**
  • Plants - Pothos, Bolivian jew, dracena, dieffenbachia, tillandsia(air plants), and fake fern and leafy vines both plastic and silk (my Jackson has never bit any plants/silk ivy plant is hanging and dries during the day to avoid mold) No substrate (I have potted plants on the bare bottom except for a couple rows of faux moss rocks in the front that get sprayed with hydrogen peroxide during cleanings)
  • Placement - Enclosure is the the corner of my room away from ac and window. My room is high traffic (4 occupants including 2 young children so I have fake plants on the outside her enclosure for more privacy) Top of the enclosure is a little over 6 feet from the floor
  • Location - Oahu Hawaii non mountain or beach
 

CBee7726

Avid Member
I have limited experience with Jackson's... but I must say you've started off better than most :)

  • If the breeder/seller you got him from doesn't have the best reputation in regard to care/husbandry, it might be good to get a fecal done just to confirm he's parasite free.
  • From my personal experience, I also started off with the Zilla tropical UVB light and wound up swapping it out for a Reptisun bulb. Also, the zilla fixture comes with a "safety cover" which is the clear plastic over the light. To my understanding, I believe UVB does not pass through glass or plastic... I'll let @Kaizen @JacksJill @kinyonga @Beman comment on that though.
  • You've probably also read that Jackson's are more sensitive to the supplementation schedule compared to other species and have slightly different requirements. Kaizen or JacksJill should be able to comment on that.
  • Are the mossy vines natural or fake?

... looks like @Kaizen beat me to it!
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Ok thank you for your advice, I’ll add to the gutload and try to drop the temp with ice. And yes I can get her outside year round and she really loves it too.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
I have limited experience with Jackson's... but I must say you've started off better than most :)

  • If the breeder/seller you got him from doesn't have the best reputation in regard to care/husbandry, it might be good to get a fecal done just to confirm he's parasite free.
  • From my personal experience, I also started off with the Zilla tropical UVB light and wound up swapping it out for a Reptisun bulb. Also, the zilla fixture comes with a "safety cover" which is the clear plastic over the light. To my understanding, I believe UVB does not pass through glass or plastic... I'll let @Kaizen @JacksJill @kinyonga @Beman comment on that though.
  • You've probably also read that Jackson's are more sensitive to the supplementation schedule compared to other species and have slightly different requirements. Kaizen or JacksJill should be able to comment on that.
  • Are the mossy vines natural or fake?

... looks like @Kaizen beat me to it!
Thank you and I’m glad to hear from someone that started with this Zilla light too, I’m ordering the light upgrade this weekend. I’m hoping to avoid taking her to vet cuz I’ve read some horror stories but I would like to get a fecal done but I’ve been watching closely for any symptoms and did a poop smear to look for any blood or anything crawling. And I didn’t even consider that shield blocking the uvb? why would they even make it like that... and the moss vines are dried Galapagos moss vines.
 

CBee7726

Avid Member
Thank you and I’m glad to hear from someone that started with this Zilla light too, I’m ordering the light upgrade this weekend. I’m hoping to avoid taking her to vet cuz I’ve read some horror stories but I would like to get a fecal done but I’ve been watching closely for any symptoms and did a poop smear to look for any blood or anything crawling. And I didn’t even consider that shield blocking the uvb? why would they even make it like that... and the moss vines are dried Galapagos moss vines.

Yeah the Zilla light was something I upgraded pretty quickly based on people's recommendations. I haven't specifically looked up the UVB output of these vs the reptisun or Arcadia bulbs (I'm sure someone has done this though).
Horror stories are why it's important to find a vet who is specifically experienced with chameleons, not just someone who "can see them." There is a thread on here with a list of cham vets that people recommend, so it might be worth taking a look to see if there's one near you (you might have to go for a drive though). For the fecal, it is good to have it analyzed at the vet's office by a trained professional, because they'll look for microscopic organisms as well.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Yeah the Zilla light was something I upgraded pretty quickly based on people's recommendations. I haven't specifically looked up the UVB output of these vs the reptisun or Arcadia bulbs (I'm sure someone has done this though).
Horror stories are why it's important to find a vet who is specifically experienced with chameleons, not just someone who "can see them." There is a thread on here with a list of cham vets that people recommend, so it might be worth taking a look to see if there's one near you (you might have to go for a drive though). For the fecal, it is good to have it analyzed at the vet's office by a trained professional, because they'll look for microscopic organisms as well.
Ok thank you I will be looking into that for sure. And I’m waiting on my lights to come in the mail. Just wish that solarmeters didn’t cost soo much then I could measure and post that info to help others that are just buying the best available to them at the moment (just like I did). I’ve seen uv cards that change color in the uv but doesn’t measure how much uv just if it’s there, was thinking of getting it just to see if the Zilla is even putting out any uv through that plastic cover.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Thank you soo much! I just pray that I can keep the plants alive for her. I do not have a green thumb (more like a black thumb with ☠️) cuz I killed 1/2 the plants I bought in like 5 days. I was not letting them dry between misting and they got the rot. So I cleaned and replanted them and picked up air plants. And thanks to the Chameleon Academy I found the naturalistic watering helps my plants and Alexa stay hydrated without being soggy.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Ok adding collard greens and watercress to my current gutload batch and adding butternut squash next batch too. And I was finally able to drop the night temp to 59 degrees with this tea jug “swamp cooler” attached to my humidifier/fogging hose? Thanks again for your advice!
 

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Shanar808

Avid Member
Amazon ☺ oh btw ifyou get them make sure they don’t get funky... they can stay moist for a while and any bacteria can make mold so either let it dry during the day or keep an eye on it and spray diluted hydrogen peroxide if any fuzzies appear.
 

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Shanar808

Avid Member
Amazon ☺ oh btw ifyou get them make sure they don’t get funky... they can stay moist for a while and any bacteria can make mold so either let it dry during the day or keep an eye on it and spray diluted hydrogen peroxide if any fuzzies appear.
And one more thing about the moss... I wouldn’t recommend it for a veiled or panther because they’re more likely to eat it and Jackson’s usually don’t (so I’ve read during my research) and I watch her carefully. I wouldn’t want to risk impaction if I had one of those species, just in case.☺️
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi everybody, I’m kinda new to this forum but I’ve been reading these forums for a little while and love all the great info and options shared here. I am almost done with my chameleons enclosure and was hoping for you guys’ opinions/ approval/ editing suggestions.
I’ve had Alexa for a month and she seems to be happy, always a beautiful emerald green, except of course when it’s time to be held but she brightens right back up and even takes her time leaving my hand.? She is like a member of my family and I want to provide the best I can. Thanks everybody.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Alexa is a Jackson’s chameleon, female, age unknown but around 3-3.5 inches snout to vent, in my care from 10/22/2020
  • Handling -Transporting her from indoor to outdoor enclosure almost daily for natural sunlight
  • Feeding -Crickets (gut-loaded with mix of veg (potato/carrot/spinach/soybean powder) and fruit (apple/blueberries) with bee pollen and seaweed) party fed by hand up to 7 small or 4 medium (from a Tupperware) and 2-3 let loose for hunting enrichment. Fed almost daily skipping days when any left over feeders are in the enclosure. **currently working on catching flies**
  • Supplements - Repashy calcium plus 2x/month, Flukers calcium no d w/bee pollen every other feeding
  • Watering - Naturalistic hydration thru hand misting (lights out for 1-2min/ before lights on for 2-3 min) dripper for 2-4 hours in the afternoon, and humidifier at night.
  • Fecal Description - white urates, black/brown moist not runny or dry feces.
  • History - Unknown however, seller has history of improper housing of mass amounts of chameleons. No fecal testing done.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 24x24x36 mesh screen enclosure
  • Lighting - Zilla t5 tropical 25 uvb, t5 ho 6500 full spectrum dual fluorescent grow light, and dimmable heat lamp w/60w bulb (10-12 inches above basking area) UVB and grow light 12 on/12 off, heat lamp on for 2-3 hours (I gradually lower it when she starts avoiding the basking area) **planning on upgrading to a reptisun 10.0 t5 that will hang about 9-10 inches above basking area**
  • Temperature - 72-78 ambient/ basking around 82-84/Overnight temp drop to around 64-67. Using temp gun
  • Humidity - 40-60% day/ 75-90% night using humidifier/fogger and misting schedule. Using standard hygrometer gauge **planning on upgrading to a digital hygrometer with probe**
  • Plants - Pothos, Bolivian jew, dracena, dieffenbachia, tillandsia(air plants), and fake fern and leafy vines both plastic and silk (my Jackson has never bit any plants/silk ivy plant is hanging and dries during the day to avoid mold) No substrate (I have potted plants on the bare bottom except for a couple rows of faux moss rocks in the front that get sprayed with hydrogen peroxide during cleanings)
  • Placement - Enclosure is the the corner of my room away from ac and window. My room is high traffic (4 occupants including 2 young children so I have fake plants on the outside her enclosure for more privacy) Top of the enclosure is a little over 6 feet from the floor
  • Location - Oahu Hawaii non mountain or beach area

Every time I see this many branches and vines Im reminded I STILL dont have enough places for my chameleon to climb.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Lol, I just kept adding vines to all the areas she’s couldn’t reach until she could get everywhere, and trust me it was soo worth it. Watching her climb everywhere like a spider monkey is even better than watching tv. ? It’s also is great for when she’s hunting down that last elusive cricket, they’re good at hiding but they’re no match for her. Plus it completely stopped any screen climbing she had to do to reach them.
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
Just found this site that gives the uvi for the Zilla 50s it also has some good uv info on other uvb bulbs if anyone is interested. I was doing research to get a good estimate on how much uvb output I’m getting on the Zilla t8 tropical 25 for use in my play area setup. It doesn’t need to be perfect since she’ll only be there 2 hours MAX.
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/phototherapyphosphor-tests.htm
 

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