New poster, just getting into Chameleons!

Hello everyone, my name is Josh, 1st time posting on these forums, but I have been reading for a few months.

Looking to get into chameleon keeping and want some advice, direction, and criticism of my plans thus far. I have some experience keeping reptiles, I have a Leopard Gecko, Crested Gecko, and a few Anoles, so I have a bit of experience with UVB and keeping temps/humidity controlled. I have two enclosures about ready to be planted, I have a Mistking just about fully setup, a 4-bulb T5 light fixture and another one the way, with one Arcadia D3 T-5 39 Watt *6% Forest UVB, two HO T5 6.5K Daylight Bulbs, and 1
Plant Pro / Tropic Pro 39 watt HO t5. I have a small Dubia colony, a large colony of cleaner Beatles from Full Throttle Feeders, plus I order crickets regularly, trying to get them to breed along with green roaches.

The bigger enclosure is: 48" tall x 44" wide x 22" deep, it has a perminent substrate tray as well, will an access door.
The 2nd smaller enclosure is: 36" tall x 38" wide x 22" deep
They both have their own, identical lighting setup, and run off the same Mistking.

My main reason for posting is just an introduction, plus to get any general advice on the setup. One big question I have is plants, I could really use some recommendations, I have a few local pet shops that can supply me with some terrarium plant, but not a huge selection. The soil I have in the picture is organic and fertilizer/pesticide free. I am also concerned about the Mistking and the carpet in my room, I can always put another carpet down if its going to get damp, I could also put plant terrariums below my enclosures. How much water can I expect to spraying on my floor from 1 nozzle in each setup?

Also I would like the setup to be bio-active, I have many different cultures of spring tails and Isopods ready to go, my crested gecko and Anole setup is bio-active and I feel like those have been fairly successful.

Hope this is all the needed info, feel free to ask if I missed anything, like I said any advice is more than welcome. I am hoping to be a long time member of this community and I appreciate everyone taking their time to read this over!
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Chamaeleo calyptratus ,I would like to have a pair, but either sex is great, baby.
  • Handling - Plan to just for weighing, not super interested in holding.
  • Feeding - Crickets and Dubias mainly, I use calcium without D3 and a multivitamin once a week. .
  • Supplements -Repashy, I dust every feeding.
  • Watering - I have a MistKing, but its not scheduled yet, need advice on this.
  • Fecal Description - N/A
  • History - N/A

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Insect screening on the sides and aluminum mesh on the top.
  • Lighting - a 4-bulb T5 light fixture, with one Arcadia D3 T-5 39 Watt *6% Forest UVB, two HO T5 6.5K Daylight Bulbs, and 1 HO T5 6.5K Daylight Bulb
  • Temperature - This setup is actually in my bedroom, which is one of my main concerns, it never goes below 70, 90 at the high.
  • Humidity - Southern Illinois, its very very humid.
  • Plants - All live, mainly pothos, a money tree, might swap out hibiscus.
  • Placement - Bedroom, 3 feet off the floor, other reptiles in the same room.
  • Location - USA, Southern IL, near STL

Current Problem - Just want to be ahead of the problem.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_2176.JPG
    IMG_2176.JPG
    39.4 KB · Views: 46
  • IMG_2175.JPG
    IMG_2175.JPG
    86.4 KB · Views: 44
  • IMG_2174.JPG
    IMG_2174.JPG
    108.6 KB · Views: 48
  • IMG_2173.JPG
    IMG_2173.JPG
    77.3 KB · Views: 45
  • IMG_2172.JPG
    IMG_2172.JPG
    42 KB · Views: 41
  • IMG_2171.JPG
    IMG_2171.JPG
    51.6 KB · Views: 45
  • IMG_2170.JPG
    IMG_2170.JPG
    49.5 KB · Views: 50

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your vivs look great and are a very good size as a permenant home for most chams, I would think your only concern would be your feeders getting out in your room, and your watering overspray & drainage. be sure there are no open spaces in your setup, feed from a cup, same routine will train them, as far as water goes most chams need water no less than every other day, I spray 1/2 gallon every other day, and mist intermittenly in the mornings, it builds up fast, that is what it takes to get mine to drink.....sometimes they will stare at it for 30-60 seconds before drinking...or it takes them 2 minutes to position themselves correctly to get a drink lol.. your setup is in your room....I would put a floor drain in your viv, with a slightly sloped floor towards drain, if I was you, I would get 2x4s rip them down from 1" to 0 from outside edge of viv to close to where the drain is, and staple a panel to it so it is solid, get pond plastic staple it to just above where your substrate is with water sealant caulking also staple it to your sloping floor to inside of drain, put gravel or rock over drain then substrate on top. Build cabinet underneath that holds a 5 gallon bucket, man that was alot of explaning..uugghh well...just an idea
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't have any feedback since I don't use bioactive, just wanted to welcome you to the forum! Good job getting everything ready in advance of getting your chameleons! I did the same and it's just so much easier to plan and prep instead of having to scramble after the fact!
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sounds like you have done your chameleon homework! Good for you!

You asked about your misting schedule. For misting and fogging these are 2 good links to listen too. If you haven’t heard about the chameleon breeder podcasts they have some awesome information on chameleon keeping.
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-110-fogging-and-airflow-with-mario-jungmann/

For overspray of water on your carpet from the mister you may have to cover up some sides of your cage with a clear plastic vinyl or shower curtain.

Supplements you will want to dust calcuim WITHOUT D3 every other day. Calcuim WITH D3 every 2 weeks. Multivitamin preferably with vitamin A in it every 2 weeks also. Alternate weeks between the two. So a 4 week month will look like this. Calcuim WITH D3 first week. Multivitamin 2nd week. Calcuim WITH D3 3rd week. Multivitamin on the last week. You said you were using Repashy? If it’s repashy calcuim plus LOD I’m pretty sure you can use that daily if that’s the only supplement you are using. Not too sure on this though so don’t take my word for it.

You were asking about plants here is a link on some known safe chameleon plants. https://flchams.com/chameleon-safe-plant-list/

Your Temperatures in your cage during the day should be 85 at the highest basking branch this is for baby veileds. Adults can have up to 90 for their basking temperature. The cage ambient should be around 75-80. At night you want to shoot for at least a 10 degree drop so 65 would be ideal. You say your room temperatures vary from 70-90 so you may have to get a window AC to achieve these temperatures.

That’s about all the info I can think of at the moment but I’m sure someone else will chime in and give their thoughts also.
 
Your vivs look great and are a very good size as a permenant home for most chams, I would think your only concern would be your feeders getting out in your room, and your watering overspray & drainage. be sure there are no open spaces in your setup, feed from a cup, same routine will train them, as far as water goes most chams need water no less than every other day, I spray 1/2 gallon every other day, and mist intermittenly in the mornings, it builds up fast, that is what it takes to get mine to drink.....sometimes they will stare at it for 30-60 seconds before drinking...or it takes them 2 minutes to position themselves correctly to get a drink lol.. your setup is in your room....I would put a floor drain in your viv, with a slightly sloped floor towards drain, if I was you, I would get 2x4s rip them down from 1" to 0 from outside edge of viv to close to where the drain is, and staple a panel to it so it is solid, get pond plastic staple it to just above where your substrate is with water sealant caulking also staple it to your sloping floor to inside of drain, put gravel or rock over drain then substrate on top. Build cabinet underneath that holds a 5 gallon bucket, man that was alot of explaning..uugghh well...just an idea


Appreciate the response, they both have pretty solid bottoms that will hold water, I was thinking I would plant the substrate heavily to help suck up water, then punch a hole in the bottom of the tray and put another planted terrarium below it again to drink up more water. If the water is to much for the plants in both the chameleon enclosure and the planted terrarium, I can switch to a bucket like you said, was just hoping to keep it contained. Is there any plants that drink up a ton of water? Same things people use in rain gardens?
 
Sounds like you have done your chameleon homework! Good for you!

You asked about your misting schedule. For misting and fogging these are 2 good links to listen too. If you haven’t heard about the chameleon breeder podcasts they have some awesome information on chameleon keeping.
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/
https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-110-fogging-and-airflow-with-mario-jungmann/

For overspray of water on your carpet from the mister you may have to cover up some sides of your cage with a clear plastic vinyl or shower curtain.

Supplements you will want to dust calcuim WITHOUT D3 every other day. Calcuim WITH D3 every 2 weeks. Multivitamin preferably with vitamin A in it every 2 weeks also. Alternate weeks between the two. So a 4 week month will look like this. Calcuim WITH D3 first week. Multivitamin 2nd week. Calcuim WITH D3 3rd week. Multivitamin on the last week. You said you were using Repashy? If it’s repashy calcuim plus LOD I’m pretty sure you can use that daily if that’s the only supplement you are using. Not too sure on this though so don’t take my word for it.

You were asking about plants here is a link on some known safe chameleon plants. https://flchams.com/chameleon-safe-plant-list/

Your Temperatures in your cage during the day should be 85 at the highest basking branch this is for baby veileds. Adults can have up to 90 for their basking temperature. The cage ambient should be around 75-80. At night you want to shoot for at least a 10 degree drop so 65 would be ideal. You say your room temperatures vary from 70-90 so you may have to get a window AC to achieve these temperatures.

That’s about all the info I can think of at the moment but I’m sure someone else will chime in and give their thoughts also.
Thanks so much for all the info! Super helpful! Do you think a fan oscillating on the chameleon at night would help drop it that 5 degrees? I can kick up the misting at night and put the fan on. I actually usually put an oscillating fan on all my reptiles at night, how do people feel about this practice? Its on low, no closer than 3 feet to any 1 enclosure, does not seem to dry things out.
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks so much for all the info! Super helpful! Do you think a fan oscillating on the chameleon at night would help drop it that 5 degrees? I can kick up the misting at night and put the fan on. I actually usually put an oscillating fan on all my reptiles at night, how do people feel about this practice? Its on low, no closer than 3 feet to any 1 enclosure, does not seem to dry things out.
I’m not sure on this as I have not read anyone doing this. I have heard people using very small fans to create airflow within the enclosure but not for dropping the temperatures. Hopefully someone else can help on this.
 
Top Bottom