New Updated Enclosure - Constructive Critiscm Wanted

Caboose

New Member
First I want to thank everyone who gave me advice on my last post a few months back about my set up (Previous Post Link: https://www.chameleonforums.com/thr...ted-on-how-to-improve-my-setup-please.178074/)

I've been working to try and improve Richard's cage set up using the advice given and the Chameleon Academy over the past few months and as budget allowed. I would love if I could get some new advice on the current set up.

If you would like to see how the cage was before please click on the link to my previous post. Pictures of him I have are the ones from my previous post also.
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, Male . Age: ~4-5 years old. Owned since juvenile.
  • Handling - Never if possible. Otherwise use a stick to get him out of possible with as little fuss to keep his stress down.
  • Feeding - Dubai roaches with occasional hornworms. Feed 6-8 1 1/4 inch - 1/5 inch roaches every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Friday gets extra roaches since no feedings over the weekend.
    • Roaches are gut loaded with roach chow meant for feeders. Occasional veggie scraps thrown in.

  • Supplements - Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamins and Zoomed Repti-Calcium w/ D3. Yes I dust the feeders every time with a mix of both supplements.
    • Herptivite Multivitamins mixed with Rep-Cal Calcium W/out D3 - Every 1st and 3rd Monday of the month.
    • Rep-Cal Calcium W/out D3 - Every Wednesday
    • Rep-Cal Calcium With D3 - Every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month.

  • Watering - Mistking misting system that mists 2 times a day. Once at 6:55 Am for 5 minutes and once at 1:00 PM for 2 minutes. Using 2 of the Mistking Adjustable Rain Nozzles (one of each side of the cage). Link: https://www.mistking.com/Adjustable-Rain-Nozzle.html. Reservoir bucket has been recently switched out for a clear food grade 22 qt bucket.

  • Fecal Description - Dark brown and white. They are usually dry and hard. Can't tell which are fresh or not though or if fresh have been falling below the grating.
  • History - Had a mild respiratory infection 3-4 years ago. Had exotic vet diagnose and give treatment schedule. Have not been able to tong feed since illness. Has small lump near spine and has been overfed on Calcium D3 supplements until recently.
    • Lump was noticed when removed from cage for cage redo. Will be closely monitoring his behavior and food intake before bringing him to the vet to check that out. Will also see if vet will accept a picture of said lump and give advice via phone/email.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen and wood. Interior Dimensions Approx. 41 inches tall x 28 inches wide x 21 inches deep . Full height: 83.5 inches.
  • Lighting -
    • Reptisun 5.0 UVB and All Living Things 100 watt basking bulb. Schedule: These are on from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    • Ecotech Marine Radion XR30W Generation 1 - Has a dawn dusk Cycle, Starting with barely any light at 5:00 AM and ending with barely any light at 8:10 PM.
      • This light is purely for the plants and unlike the newer generations does not emit UVB. Is a used model my father had left over.


  • Plants - Live and Plastic . Live plant's dirt is currently covered either by sheet moss or sphagnum moss. Plastic plants to create hiding space until the Pothos grows in.
    • Codiaeum variegatum | Croton 'gold dust'
    • Schefflera arboricola | Dwarf Umbrella Bush
    • Hoya carnosa | 'Krimson queen' Wax Plant
    • Asplenium nidus | Birds Nest Fern
    • Neon Pothos
    • Red Maranta Prayer Plant
  • Placement - Office /bedroom. Two computer desks on opposite wall. Cage is by window There is a floor vent by the cage but it is kept closed or partially closed. Top of the interior of cage is ~77.5 inches from floor. Note Cage itself sits on top of a cabinet that holds the water drainage bucket.

  • Location - Geographically located in New Jersey USA in rural settings.

Current Problem - Need recommendation for a cheap/affordable solarimeter so I can ensure the UVB bulb is at a appropriate distance and ideas for keeping plants alive.
 

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Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Need recommendation for a cheap/affordable solarimeter so I can ensure the UVB bulb is at a appropriate distance and ideas for keeping plants alive.

no cheap solarmeter. The solarmeter 6.5 is what you need and it’s expensive. You will want to switch out your uvb bulb for a linear t5 5.0 uvb. With a linear t5 5.0 you want the basking branch about 9” down from the light.

You will also want different lights for your plants. Aquarium lights are usually 7000k - 10,000k to penetrate the water. For a vivarium you want 5000k - 6700k. i run 6400k or 6500k t5 bulbs (Depending what’s available) on my vivs.
 

Caboose

New Member
no cheap solarmeter. The solarmeter 6.5 is what you need and it’s expensive. You will want to switch out your uvb bulb for a linear t5 5.0 uvb. With a linear t5 5.0 you want the basking branch about 9” down from the light.

You will also want different lights for your plants. Aquarium lights are usually 7000k - 10,000k to penetrate the water. For a vivarium you want 5000k - 6700k. i run 6400k or 6500k t5 bulbs (Depending what’s available) on my vivs.
Thank you for the advice! I did consider getting the T5 grow lights but wanted to do the combo T5 HO Arcadia ForestDweller 6% D3 UVB bulbs which I've read can double as plant grow lights or purchase a set of plant grow lights plus hoods and 12" linear UVB and hood. The reason I didn't though was budget tbh. I plan to save up for the better lights though once I save up for and purchase a solarimeter.

The aquarium lights were used due to being free, extremely adjustable and programable, and able to go down to 5K. I currently have them programmed in the 5.5K range and have it adjusted for mostly green, red and white light wavelengths with a bit of blue wavelengths. I included a picture of the schedule with the kelvin, light wavelengths etc. for the 11:48 AM timepoint, if you're interested.

I'll have to measure, to see how far my current UVB bulb is from the basking perch to see if its the 9" you recommended. This will help me to make a better decisions.
 

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Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for the advice! I did consider getting the T5 grow lights but wanted to do the combo T5 HO Arcadia ForestDweller 6% D3 UVB bulbs which I've read can double as plant grow lights or purchase a set of plant grow lights plus hoods and 12" linear UVB and hood. The reason I didn't though was budget tbh. I plan to save up for the better lights though once I save up for and purchase a solarimeter.

The aquarium lights were used due to being free, extremely adjustable and programable, and able to go down to 5K. I currently have them programmed in the 5.5K range and have it adjusted for mostly green, red and white light wavelengths with a bit of blue wavelengths. I included a picture of the schedule with the kelvin, light wavelengths etc. for the 11:48 AM timepoint, if you're interested.

I'll have to measure, to see how far my current UVB bulb is from the basking perch to see if its the 9" you recommended. This will help me to make a better decisions.

you only want to run 1 uvb bulb. The dual fixture would be 1 uvb and 1 plant light.

the 9” distance is for a t5 5.0 or 6% bulb (this could be different with the screen you have ontop) . With your current bulb the Cham would have to be within an few inches to get proper uvb. Which i do not recommend with your basking light there also. Plus those bulbs can have absolutely wild uvi readings.

this link explains a lot about lighting and how to setup the different available systems.

https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-cage-set-up-replicating-the-sun/
 
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