New to the community! Please rate my setup :)

Dhannah

New Member
Hi all!

I am new to this forum but not necessarily new to chams. I've had a few chameleons in the past (veiled and panther) but have not had the pleasure of keeping a cham for the past 10 yrs or so. I've always been fascinated with them as long as I can remember and am finally in a position to keep again. I've recently acquired my new little buddy, Bronson, and was looking for any critique/advice/criticism/ of my husbandry. Like I said, I am not new to keeping chams but I would love to hear some opinions on my current set up. All feed back is welcome. This is my first bio-active setup, so if there's any specific advice for bio active, I'd love to hear it.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Bronson is a male ambilobe x nosy be panther, about 4-5 months, had him for two months now ( I know some of you may have problem with crosses, but don't worry, I will not be breeding him. He's just my little buddy)
  • Handling - 4-5 times per week - I know, I know, handling is frowned upon but I do not force him out of his cage. I may have been blessed with a friendly little dude who climbs onto me on his own free will (80% of time, 20% if he doesn't climb on, i don't pick him up) - usually put him on his free range house plants by the window on a sunny day - seems to love it
  • Feeding - He gets crickets and supers as his staples. Butterworms, horned worms, wax worms as treats. Trying to get him on some BSFL (any advice here, he has no interest). Currently breeding the wax worms for moths, but he lovvvves his little waxworms when he gets em (not too often, i know they're fatty little things). Because of his age I'm basically feeding as much as he'll eat everyday in the morning (few hours after waking). Will limit him as he gets older. He is growing like crazy! Gut-loading with a variety of greens, mango, papaya, sweet potato, broccoli, etc healthy veg and fruits 3-12hrs before feeding. He's been hand feeding from me from almost day one, but also use a feeder cup that he's not really interested in, so I basically feed the worms by hand and let him hunt the crickets.
  • Supplements - Dusting with zoo-med reptiCalicium w/o D3 every feeding, rep-cal Ca w/ D3 every two weeks, rep-cal herptivite multi vit. the other two weeks alternating. Any better suggestions here as far as brands?
  • Watering - Running an exo-terra monsoon mister (two nozzles), mists 3x/day for 1 min (morning just before lights, mid aft, 12am just before fogger kicks on). Also place a dripper on top mid aft just in case he's thirsty. Occasionally see him drink. Trying the naturalistic method of hydration as suggested in Chameleon breeder podcast (Avid fan and listener of Bill Strand!!)
  • Fecal Description - Poop looks healthy (brown w/ white urate). Have not tested for parasites as he was captive bred and I got him young.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - I built a custom screen cage for him. Solid back with one side covered in shower curtain to maintain humidity. Cage is approx 2.5x2.5x4.5ft. Sits on top of table so top of cage is probably around 7ft
  • Lighting - Running a 100W Daylight basking lamp in a dual dome w/ additional plant light, 2ft sunblaster T5, and 2ft T5HO 5.0 reptisun UVB. On a 12/12 schedule (7am on, 7pm off)
  • Temperature - Bottom of cage about 70-75F, basking temp is high 80s to low 90s. Recently lowered the lamp (like one inch) to increase temp slightly as he was spending a long time basking. Lowest temp at night might hit 68 in my house. Temp is measured with a probe and a temp gun to check various places. Also have a probe for ambient in the room he's in.
  • Humidity - Day humidity hovers around 50-70%. Night time I try and get it to high 90s. Misting and night fogging are used to achieve these levels. Also the bio active setup helps greatly with this. Two probes are used in different spots in the cage to monitor.
  • Plants - My bio active setup is loaded with live plants. Main large ficus tree, pothos, bromeliads, hibiscus, spider plants, dwarf umbrella, wandering jew... it think that's most of them. Starting some cham safe flowers to put in for some colour too. Too many plants? Is there such a thing?
  • Bioactive - springtales, 2-3 types of isopods (honestly dont remember the species), red wrigglers in a organic mix of various substrates, oak and maple leaf litter on top
  • Placement - Cage is in spare room (it's a room actually all for him haha), no traffic (Just my fiance and myself, have two dogs, keep them out) there is a vent in the room away from cage, and i run a little floor fan in the room for a couple hours a day for air circulation. Cage top is ~7ft from ground
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? SW Ontario
Here's some pics to help explain. Thank you in advance for any suggestions this amazing community may have and for reading this long post!! Will also be looking to add a jackson's to my family sometime (always loved them, never had one) down the road (6m to 1yr) if anyone knows a reputable breeder in ontario, or will ship to ontario. I know the cage isn't the prettiest, but it works pretty well I think! So happy to be keeping chams again :)
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Cheers
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Dhannah Welcome to the forum. Enclosure looks great. I am going to go through your form and add my notes and questions in red bold.

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Bronson is a male ambilobe x nosy be panther, about 4-5 months, had him for two months now ( I know some of you may have problem with crosses, but don't worry, I will not be breeding him. He's just my little buddy)
  • Handling - 4-5 times per week - I know, I know, handling is frowned upon but I do not force him out of his cage. I may have been blessed with a friendly little dude who climbs onto me on his own free will (80% of time, 20% if he doesn't climb on, i don't pick him up) - usually put him on his free range house plants by the window on a sunny day - seems to love it
  • Feeding - He gets crickets and supers as his staples. Butterworms, horned worms, wax worms as treats. Trying to get him on some BSFL (any advice here, he has no interest). Currently breeding the wax worms for moths, but he lovvvves his little waxworms when he gets em (not too often, i know they're fatty little things). Because of his age I'm basically feeding as much as he'll eat everyday in the morning (few hours after waking). Will limit him as he gets older. He is growing like crazy! Gut-loading with a variety of greens, mango, papaya, sweet potato, broccoli, etc healthy veg and fruits 3-12hrs before feeding. He's been hand feeding from me from almost day one, but also use a feeder cup that he's not really interested in, so I basically feed the worms by hand and let him hunt the crickets. Be cautious with Butter worms. They can cause allergic reactions in chams. The BSFL may not move enough yet for him to have an interest. Keep trying. If he likes flying feeders then pupate them so you have black soldier flies. I will add images for additional items you can gutload with and feeders.
  • Supplements - Dusting with zoo-med reptiCalicium w/o D3 every feeding, rep-cal Ca w/ D3 every two weeks, rep-cal herptivite multi vit. the other two weeks alternating. Any better suggestions here as far as brands? Perfect on the schedule. I would switch out the herptivite for reptivite without D3. Herptivite does not have preformed A in it only Beta Carotene.
  • Watering - Running an exo-terra monsoon mister (two nozzles), mists 3x/day for 1 min (morning just before lights, mid aft, 12am just before fogger kicks on). Also place a dripper on top mid aft just in case he's thirsty. Occasionally see him drink. Trying the naturalistic method of hydration as suggested in Chameleon breeder podcast (Avid fan and listener of Bill Strand!!) Perfect are you also following how Bill says to turn off the basking fixture mid day when you have the fogger and mister kick on? I suggest doing a longer misting like 3 minutes in the evening after basking has kicked off but before your T5 does to do a humidity jump and give him the opportunity to clean his eyes.
  • Fecal Description - Poop looks healthy (brown w/ white urate). Have not tested for parasites as he was captive bred and I got him young. I recommend everyone do this... Parasites do happen and crickets are the most common way to get them.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - I built a custom screen cage for him. Solid back with one side covered in shower curtain to maintain humidity. Cage is approx 2.5x2.5x4.5ft. Sits on top of table so top of cage is probably around 7ft great and it looks fantastic.
  • Lighting - Running a 100W Daylight basking lamp in a dual dome w/ additional plant light, 2ft sunblaster T5, and 2ft T5HO 5.0 reptisun UVB. On a 12/12 schedule (7am on, 7pm off) Just making sure here. The sunblaster has a regular 6500 bulb in it yes? Your T5 is running in the middle of the cage not the back?
  • Temperature - Bottom of cage about 70-75F, basking temp is high 80s to low 90s. Recently lowered the lamp (like one inch) to increase temp slightly as he was spending a long time basking. Lowest temp at night might hit 68 in my house. Temp is measured with a probe and a temp gun to check various places. Also have a probe for ambient in the room he's in. Ok so basking really needs to be dropped down. Babies should not really be much hotter then 82ish at basking. This will be increased as he ages. I would lift the lamp back up.
  • Humidity - Day humidity hovers around 50-70%. Night time I try and get it to high 90s. Misting and night fogging are used to achieve these levels. Also the bio active setup helps greatly with this. Two probes are used in different spots in the cage to monitor. This is good. Just ensure that the ambient day time is not dropping below 50%. I would not have it over the 70% then it poses the risk for a respiratory infection. Night time as high as 100% so your great there as well.
  • Plants - My bio active setup is loaded with live plants. Main large ficus tree, pothos, bromeliads, hibiscus, spider plants, dwarf umbrella, wandering jew... it think that's most of them. Starting some cham safe flowers to put in for some colour too. Too many plants? Is there such a thing? lol :)
  • Bioactive - springtales, 2-3 types of isopods (honestly dont remember the species), red wrigglers in a organic mix of various substrates, oak and maple leaf litter on top Not my area of expertise. ;) but you seem to have really done your research.
  • Placement - Cage is in spare room (it's a room actually all for him haha), no traffic (Just my fiance and myself, have two dogs, keep them out) there is a vent in the room away from cage, and i run a little floor fan in the room for a couple hours a day for air circulation. Cage top is ~7ft from ground
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? SW Ontario

Overall you really have everything down. Your prior experience and the fact that you are still learning is great and it shows. Only a few questions on my end and please let me know if you have any as well.

I really love this website that Bill Strand does as well. https://chameleonacademy.com/


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chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

Jd♂️♂️

Established Member
Hi all!

I am new to this forum but not necessarily new to chams. I've had a few chameleons in the past (veiled and panther) but have not had the pleasure of keeping a cham for the past 10 yrs or so. I've always been fascinated with them as long as I can remember and am finally in a position to keep again. I've recently acquired my new little buddy, Bronson, and was looking for any critique/advice/criticism/ of my husbandry. Like I said, I am not new to keeping chams but I would love to hear some opinions on my current set up. All feed back is welcome. This is my first bio-active setup, so if there's any specific advice for bio active, I'd love to hear it.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Bronson is a male ambilobe x nosy be panther, about 4-5 months, had him for two months now ( I know some of you may have problem with crosses, but don't worry, I will not be breeding him. He's just my little buddy)
  • Handling - 4-5 times per week - I know, I know, handling is frowned upon but I do not force him out of his cage. I may have been blessed with a friendly little dude who climbs onto me on his own free will (80% of time, 20% if he doesn't climb on, i don't pick him up) - usually put him on his free range house plants by the window on a sunny day - seems to love it
  • Feeding - He gets crickets and supers as his staples. Butterworms, horned worms, wax worms as treats. Trying to get him on some BSFL (any advice here, he has no interest). Currently breeding the wax worms for moths, but he lovvvves his little waxworms when he gets em (not too often, i know they're fatty little things). Because of his age I'm basically feeding as much as he'll eat everyday in the morning (few hours after waking). Will limit him as he gets older. He is growing like crazy! Gut-loading with a variety of greens, mango, papaya, sweet potato, broccoli, etc healthy veg and fruits 3-12hrs before feeding. He's been hand feeding from me from almost day one, but also use a feeder cup that he's not really interested in, so I basically feed the worms by hand and let him hunt the crickets.
  • Supplements - Dusting with zoo-med reptiCalicium w/o D3 every feeding, rep-cal Ca w/ D3 every two weeks, rep-cal herptivite multi vit. the other two weeks alternating. Any better suggestions here as far as brands?
  • Watering - Running an exo-terra monsoon mister (two nozzles), mists 3x/day for 1 min (morning just before lights, mid aft, 12am just before fogger kicks on). Also place a dripper on top mid aft just in case he's thirsty. Occasionally see him drink. Trying the naturalistic method of hydration as suggested in Chameleon breeder podcast (Avid fan and listener of Bill Strand!!)
  • Fecal Description - Poop looks healthy (brown w/ white urate). Have not tested for parasites as he was captive bred and I got him young.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - I built a custom screen cage for him. Solid back with one side covered in shower curtain to maintain humidity. Cage is approx 2.5x2.5x4.5ft. Sits on top of table so top of cage is probably around 7ft
  • Lighting - Running a 100W Daylight basking lamp in a dual dome w/ additional plant light, 2ft sunblaster T5, and 2ft T5HO 5.0 reptisun UVB. On a 12/12 schedule (7am on, 7pm off)
  • Temperature - Bottom of cage about 70-75F, basking temp is high 80s to low 90s. Recently lowered the lamp (like one inch) to increase temp slightly as he was spending a long time basking. Lowest temp at night might hit 68 in my house. Temp is measured with a probe and a temp gun to check various places. Also have a probe for ambient in the room he's in.
  • Humidity - Day humidity hovers around 50-70%. Night time I try and get it to high 90s. Misting and night fogging are used to achieve these levels. Also the bio active setup helps greatly with this. Two probes are used in different spots in the cage to monitor.
  • Plants - My bio active setup is loaded with live plants. Main large ficus tree, pothos, bromeliads, hibiscus, spider plants, dwarf umbrella, wandering jew... it think that's most of them. Starting some cham safe flowers to put in for some colour too. Too many plants? Is there such a thing?
  • Bioactive - springtales, 2-3 types of isopods (honestly dont remember the species), red wrigglers in a organic mix of various substrates, oak and maple leaf litter on top
  • Placement - Cage is in spare room (it's a room actually all for him haha), no traffic (Just my fiance and myself, have two dogs, keep them out) there is a vent in the room away from cage, and i run a little floor fan in the room for a couple hours a day for air circulation. Cage top is ~7ft from ground
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? SW Ontario
Here's some pics to help explain. Thank you in advance for any suggestions this amazing community may have and for reading this long post!! Will also be looking to add a jackson's to my family sometime (always loved them, never had one) down the road (6m to 1yr) if anyone knows a reputable breeder in ontario, or will ship to ontario. I know the cage isn't the prettiest, but it works pretty well I think! So happy to be keeping chams again :)View attachment 263771View attachment 263772View attachment 263773View attachment 263780View attachment 263776View attachment 263777View attachment 263778

Cheers
What kind of paint you use ? An sealer?
 

Dhannah

New Member
@Dhannah Welcome to the forum. Enclosure looks great. I am going to go through your form and add my notes and questions in red bold.

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Bronson is a male ambilobe x nosy be panther, about 4-5 months, had him for two months now ( I know some of you may have problem with crosses, but don't worry, I will not be breeding him. He's just my little buddy)
  • Handling - 4-5 times per week - I know, I know, handling is frowned upon but I do not force him out of his cage. I may have been blessed with a friendly little dude who climbs onto me on his own free will (80% of time, 20% if he doesn't climb on, i don't pick him up) - usually put him on his free range house plants by the window on a sunny day - seems to love it
  • Feeding - He gets crickets and supers as his staples. Butterworms, horned worms, wax worms as treats. Trying to get him on some BSFL (any advice here, he has no interest). Currently breeding the wax worms for moths, but he lovvvves his little waxworms when he gets em (not too often, i know they're fatty little things). Because of his age I'm basically feeding as much as he'll eat everyday in the morning (few hours after waking). Will limit him as he gets older. He is growing like crazy! Gut-loading with a variety of greens, mango, papaya, sweet potato, broccoli, etc healthy veg and fruits 3-12hrs before feeding. He's been hand feeding from me from almost day one, but also use a feeder cup that he's not really interested in, so I basically feed the worms by hand and let him hunt the crickets. Be cautious with Butter worms. They can cause allergic reactions in chams. The BSFL may not move enough yet for him to have an interest. Keep trying. If he likes flying feeders then pupate them so you have black soldier flies. I will add images for additional items you can gutload with and feeders.
  • Supplements - Dusting with zoo-med reptiCalicium w/o D3 every feeding, rep-cal Ca w/ D3 every two weeks, rep-cal herptivite multi vit. the other two weeks alternating. Any better suggestions here as far as brands? Perfect on the schedule. I would switch out the herptivite for reptivite without D3. Herptivite does not have preformed A in it only Beta Carotene.
  • Watering - Running an exo-terra monsoon mister (two nozzles), mists 3x/day for 1 min (morning just before lights, mid aft, 12am just before fogger kicks on). Also place a dripper on top mid aft just in case he's thirsty. Occasionally see him drink. Trying the naturalistic method of hydration as suggested in Chameleon breeder podcast (Avid fan and listener of Bill Strand!!) Perfect are you also following how Bill says to turn off the basking fixture mid day when you have the fogger and mister kick on? I suggest doing a longer misting like 3 minutes in the evening after basking has kicked off but before your T5 does to do a humidity jump and give him the opportunity to clean his eyes.
  • Fecal Description - Poop looks healthy (brown w/ white urate). Have not tested for parasites as he was captive bred and I got him young. I recommend everyone do this... Parasites do happen and crickets are the most common way to get them.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - I built a custom screen cage for him. Solid back with one side covered in shower curtain to maintain humidity. Cage is approx 2.5x2.5x4.5ft. Sits on top of table so top of cage is probably around 7ft great and it looks fantastic.
  • Lighting - Running a 100W Daylight basking lamp in a dual dome w/ additional plant light, 2ft sunblaster T5, and 2ft T5HO 5.0 reptisun UVB. On a 12/12 schedule (7am on, 7pm off) Just making sure here. The sunblaster has a regular 6500 bulb in it yes? Your T5 is running in the middle of the cage not the back?
  • Temperature - Bottom of cage about 70-75F, basking temp is high 80s to low 90s. Recently lowered the lamp (like one inch) to increase temp slightly as he was spending a long time basking. Lowest temp at night might hit 68 in my house. Temp is measured with a probe and a temp gun to check various places. Also have a probe for ambient in the room he's in. Ok so basking really needs to be dropped down. Babies should not really be much hotter then 82ish at basking. This will be increased as he ages. I would lift the lamp back up.
  • Humidity - Day humidity hovers around 50-70%. Night time I try and get it to high 90s. Misting and night fogging are used to achieve these levels. Also the bio active setup helps greatly with this. Two probes are used in different spots in the cage to monitor. This is good. Just ensure that the ambient day time is not dropping below 50%. I would not have it over the 70% then it poses the risk for a respiratory infection. Night time as high as 100% so your great there as well.
  • Plants - My bio active setup is loaded with live plants. Main large ficus tree, pothos, bromeliads, hibiscus, spider plants, dwarf umbrella, wandering jew... it think that's most of them. Starting some cham safe flowers to put in for some colour too. Too many plants? Is there such a thing? lol :)
  • Bioactive - springtales, 2-3 types of isopods (honestly dont remember the species), red wrigglers in a organic mix of various substrates, oak and maple leaf litter on top Not my area of expertise. ;) but you seem to have really done your research.
  • Placement - Cage is in spare room (it's a room actually all for him haha), no traffic (Just my fiance and myself, have two dogs, keep them out) there is a vent in the room away from cage, and i run a little floor fan in the room for a couple hours a day for air circulation. Cage top is ~7ft from ground
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? SW Ontario

Overall you really have everything down. Your prior experience and the fact that you are still learning is great and it shows. Only a few questions on my end and please let me know if you have any as well.

I really love this website that Bill Strand does as well. https://chameleonacademy.com/


View attachment 263811View attachment 263812
Thank you so much for your input and suggestions! Really appreciate it.
As far as your questions, the sunblaster is just a normal 6500K bulb, and I don’t run the fogger in the day, just at night. I haven’t been turning off the basking bulb during misting simply because the enclosure doesn’t trap much heat and there’s lot’s of airflow, but I’m always willing to try new things to improve my husbandry. And I’ll move the lamp back up for now ?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much for your input and suggestions! Really appreciate it.
As far as your questions, the sunblaster is just a normal 6500K bulb, and I don’t run the fogger in the day, just at night. I haven’t been turning off the basking bulb during misting simply because the enclosure doesn’t trap much heat and there’s lot’s of airflow, but I’m always willing to try new things to improve my husbandry. And I’ll move the lamp back up for now ?
So if you listen to the podcast on naturalistic hydration. Bill recommends the basking to kick off. Mainly this is because you want the temp to drop. The issue with leaving on a heat lamp with you are misting a cage is that the heat combined with the moist air makes it wet hot air that your cham is breathing. There is a higher chance of developing an RI with this.

And the UVB is in the T5 that you have centered on the middle of the enclosure not the back correct?
 

Dhannah

New Member
So if you listen to the podcast on naturalistic hydration. Bill recommends the basking to kick off. Mainly this is because you want the temp to drop. The issue with leaving on a heat lamp with you are misting a cage is that the heat combined with the moist air makes it wet hot air that your cham is breathing. There is a higher chance of developing an RI with this.

And the UVB is in the T5 that you have centered on the middle of the enclosure not the back correct?
That makes perfect sense. I'll try and tweek my timing to incorporate that. I have listened to that podcast, and I must have misunderstood that part. I just figured because of the screen cage and tons of ventilation it may not be an issue.
And yeah, thats my UVB in the middle, and plant light at the back.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
That makes perfect sense. I'll try and tweek my timing to incorporate that. I have listened to that podcast, and I must have misunderstood that part. I just figured because of the screen cage and tons of ventilation it may not be an issue.
And yeah, thats my UVB in the middle, and plant light at the back.
Then UVB is perfect as well hun.

I had to listen to that episode like 4 times... I took notes lol. I was paranoid about everything being "correct" when I first got into the hobby. I have spent so much it is like having a second child :hilarious:
 

Dhannah

New Member
Then UVB is perfect as well hun.

I had to listen to that episode like 4 times... I took notes lol. I was paranoid about everything being "correct" when I first got into the hobby. I have spent so much it is like having a second child :hilarious:
Hahaha I hear yeah!
 
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