New Veiled

Dave R.

New Member
Hey gang, I'm Dave. My wife Deb brought home a year old Veiled two days ago. It's eating well and will drink from a shot-glass Deb holds for it. Seems to shiver when misted (should we warm the water?). I've learned a lot by just browsing but my immediate question is can I use aluminium screen on the cage I will be building?
Dave
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Dave,

Congratulations!

Okay, you'll probably hear from several who disagree but, I think aluminum screen is fine. As long as you make sure there are no exposed little wires on the edges where your veiled could cut or scratch himself.
Also incorporate a drip system for drinking, although the drinking from the shot glass sounds pretty cute.
What is he eating?
Post a picture if you can.
Oh, and yes, you should warm the water. Pretty hot in the spray bottle, it cools in the air before it reaches the chameleon.
Veileds don't really like to be misted all that much, but I mist mine anyway especially during molting.
Good luck and, again, congrats!
-Brad
 

Dave R.

New Member
Deb and I have waited till we were sure our chameleon would not be wild caught (I won't buy marine fish either). It seems the breeders we bought from did a good job; yes, the shot-glass thing is cute but I'm sure it's not efficient, the drip system is in the works. How do you warm your misting water? Hot water from the tap? Our water is chlorinated, does that matter? We've feed pet-store meal worms and crickets, it eats about eight crickets and a few mealworms a day, we'll start gut-loading asap.
Dave
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Yeah, gut loading the food is a must!
I just use hot water from the tap. Lots of people will tell you it's bad because of the chlorine and flouride, but I read a post from someone who works in a water treatment plant recently, and he (or she) said the levels were so low by the time we get the water that it's nothing to worry about.
A lot of people boil or otherwise treat the water and a lot of people (like me) just draw it out of the tap.
I have a recipe for cricket food on my blog, it's not revolutionary but not a bad food (they'll eat anything) stay away from tomatoes, spinich and iceberg lettuce though.
I'm sure there are other things to add to that list.

-Brad

http://Raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/

p.s. don't forget to dust the crickets with calcium and vitamin supplements
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Welcome to the forums

Hey y'all,

As far as caging material goes, I think most people will tell you that vinyl coated aluminum is the best. It is easy on the feet, can usually withstand higher heat and easy to clean. The smallest I've heard of is 1/8"x 1/8", but I've never actually seen it.

Next is aluminum. Easy to clean, sturdy. If your cham likes to climb cage walls (not all chams do) this may be an issue as toe nails could get caught/torn/infected if too small of mesh is used. (Wild caught tend to have a higher incidence of this type of problem as they tend to grip harder.) Here's the rub. . .1/8" may be big enough to prevent this, but may be too small to keep smaller insects in your cage (many families frown on this.) If your cage is outside, and you cup feed, larger gauge can be readily used. Smaller gauge is recommended while your chameleon is small, but will probably need a larger gauge as your veiled gets larger.

I think there are a few people getting creative like using a hard plastic material used for fish ponds. This sounds really promising and I'm watching to see how it holds up for my own future projects.

There are probably more, but I think the last option is nylon. This is definitely a valid choice, though it may tear easier and many a cricket has been known to chew through nylon. I personally believe that nylon is harder to really get clean when disinfecting.

Some people say glass, though you've got to have a really good reason to go with this. Some chameleons really get stressed by seeing their own reflections. On the other hand, some don't. My real issue with glass is that not only does it not allow for a gradient of heat for the cham to self regulate, there is no recirculation of air which sets you up with dealing with respiratory and ocular infections. Some chams might be able to deal with it, but I think they tend to do better without having to deal with these potential problems.

Again, which is best. Probably vinyl-coated aluminum. Besides that, I think it depends on you and the personality of your cham. (I am going to use 1/8" aluminum for Manga since I see him climbing on everything.)

As far as warming your water, you have many different options available to you:

If you are hand misting, I've seen people use tap water without issue. This of course depends on your local water treatment, or well water quality. If chlorination is your issue, if left open to the air, chlorine will usually evaporate off within a 24 hour period. (I prefer spring water for the most part.) As far as warming, you could either use a warm water bath of your mister or use a microwave like you'd do a baby's bottle. I've also seen people using coffee cup warmers (though I worry this would be a great place to grow bacteria).

If you have a misting system, (which I totally recommend) I have heard of people using an aquarium heater in their resevoir, or wrapping a heating blanket around it. (Again issues with the bacterial growth.) If you have questions about misting system's, the following web-site give comparisons of premade systems (so worth it), but also information on how to make your own. http://www.chameleonsdish.com/hydration/wateringsystems.htm

Remember- Misting is not only for chams to drink. It is important for their eyes and their skin. Though some veileds will drink out of a bowl or glass, this does not substitute for the fluctuating change in humidity that is created by misting the enclosure. Regardless of whether your cham likes it, it still needs to happen. (You also can spray the screen above him so that he's not getting it in the face.)
________________________________________________________________
Here in the forum, you have a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and read previous postings on caging, food, lighting, supplementations,... Cham husbandry is one of the hardest hobbies out there. Do your homework now. Chams get sick really fast and die if you don't. Usually, by the time they show they are sick, they have been sick a while and it is an up hill battle to get to normal.

If you haven't done it already, I'd post a picture of your enclosure. Post foods, lights (types and wattage), supplementation, humidity, ambient temp, etc for critique. If you don't know how to care for bugs, gut it up and learn, because the quality of the bugs you give determines the health of your lizard. If you are a first time cham owner, this is how you can figure out if there is a problem before there is a problem. (Beware of the pet store employee that says he knows chameleons:( )

Good luck! I know you'll have a blast raising your little one like I have mine.

Matthew
 

Heika

New Member
I think there are a few people getting creative like using a hard plastic material used for fish ponds. This sounds really promising and I'm watching to see how it holds up for my own future projects.
So far, so good! I did replace the plastic mesh on the top of the cage because the basking light warped the mesh. It was a slow process over several months, and it never burned through, but when winter came I wanted to go with a higher wattage bulb and was worried it would melt through. So, I replaced it with generic aluminum screen on the top. With that exception.. the mesh on the cage itself has proven to be sturdy and durable. Spencer climbs on it fairly regularly with no issues. I think I will probably order more for a rack system I am building, although I am also considering a high quality pet screen for the job.

Heika
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Heika,

Did you ever find the place your uncle got that material? I looked at a number of internet sellers and was not able to identify the place, or any place for that matter that looked like yours.

Glad it is working so well. What gauge mesh did you use on the top?

Matthew
 

Dave R.

New Member
OK, I'm dedicating the whole day to building an enclosure for "Tongue" the veiled chameleon. I'm a cabinet maker so the wood work should be fairly easy. I'm designing around one of those washing machine drip pans and will use 1/8th mesh aluminum screen. I'll make a 2ft high base on rollers to hold a 5gal bucket and the cage proper will be 4ft tall. My only question is: with all the misting and dripping how do I contain my mini-tropical rainstorm in a screen walled enclosure and off my 75 year old heart-o-pine wood floors? I'll use the pump sprayer drip system for now but have plans for a much more elaborate designs in the future.
Thanks for all the help, this is an excellent site and y'all've all been exceptionally cool.
Dave
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
...and will use 1/8th mesh aluminum screen.

I'll make a 2ft high base on rollers to hold a 5gal bucket and the cage proper will be 4ft tall.

...with all the misting and dripping how do I contain my mini-tropical rainstorm in a screen walled enclosure and off my 75 year old heart-o-pine wood floors? Dave
Howdy Dave,

I'm always keeping an eye out for interesting aluminum mesh. Is it coated? Who sells the one that you are using?

Many chameleons prefer to be looking down at their keeper. It may be giving them more of a feeling of security and less of a feeling of about to be eaten :rolleyes:. The tops of my 2x2x4 screened enclosures are at almost 7 ft.

I have nice hardwood floors too. As careful as you might be with water getting on your floor, it's bound to happen. If you aren't there to mop it up then you've got real problems... I put a large piece of vinyl flooring over the most vulnerable area. It happens to have a decent fake hardwood pattern so it isn't too offensive :). I taped the edges to the wall and to the hardwood floor to minimize the chance of water getting under the vinyl. So far so good.
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Cage building

I was surprised that I don't have a real problem with water getting to the floor on a daily basis. The screen usually keep in the misting, and any fine particles that mist the floor usually evaporate within a minute.

I do spill my water resevoir every once in a while but that is an easy clean up and does not do damage.

To satisfy your wife, I agree with Dave that at least temporarily you put down some vinyl flooring as a footprint to see if you will have problems or not. I think the main issue that I went with a Promist system as opposed to making my own is that it is tested for high heat cages and there is less chances for spillage.

You can see in my gallery how close my computers are to my cage. I don't tend to have a problem. I think your set up is close to Heika's, so you might ask her.

Good luck,
Matthew
 

Heika

New Member
I think your set up is close to Heika's, so you might ask her.
I have been using a pump up garden sprayer system for about a year now. I have two heads in each of the cages, and the mist still stays fairly contained. It hits the screen a bit, but doesn't soak the carpet or the walls. Accidents happen though, mainly from filling the pump sprayer, etc. and the carpet does get wet on occasion. I am currently pulling my hair out trying to set up a cornelius keg in place of the garden sprayer, pressurized with an air compressor. I am having a few difficulties, and have managed to truly drench myself, a shelf full of bugs, and the carpet a couple times now. Hopefully, I will eventually get this working..

Did you ever find the place your uncle got that material? I looked at a number of internet sellers and was not able to identify the place, or any place for that matter that looked like yours.

Glad it is working so well. What gauge mesh did you use on the top?
To answer you about the screen, Matthew.. it looks like the company I bought it from is no longer in existance. There are quite a few places out there that sell it, but price varies from under $2.00 a foot to 4 or 5 times that. However, I did find this site...
http://www.aquaticeco.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/iid/3139/cid/962

This is the same stuff that I bought for my cage, and I called and confirmed that the 30' length is an error. It is supposed to be 50'. Shipping to Southern Oregon is only $20.00, which I thought was pretty reasonable for the size and weight. So, total cost of $88.00 puts it under $2.00 a foot. I think that is less than what I paid for it the first time.

I used plain ol' window screen to replace the plastic mesh on the top of the cage because it was easily available and it is Spencer's cage.. he doesn't climb around upside down on his ceiling anyhow.

...will use 1/8th mesh aluminum screen...
I would like to know where you found that, too! The only stuff I can find locally is galvanized dipped metal screen in 1/8", which I personally think is dangerous for more than one reason. Someone needs to become a distributor, buy a bunch of 1/8" aluminum screen and have it vinyl coated... I would be one of the first buyers!

Heika
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy,

Just as a refresher post about my favorite screen. The people at www.cages.net use a really nice screen that is basically the same wire gage used with typical aluminum screen except theirs has a nice, thin coating of something like an epoxy paint or maybe just a baked enamel paint. It holds-up really well and has a slightly less abrasive feel to it than regular screen. No one has been able to find it elsewhere. I think they buy it from a supplier/mfgr somewhere in the "South." Anyway, I bought one of their 2x2x4 enclosures and like that optional 1/8"x1/8" coated screen.

www.cages.net optional 1/8" screen:


Typcial 1/16" screen:
 

Dave R.

New Member
I found the "pond" screen material that was discussed earlier. This stuff is perfect for our application if somewhat expensive. It comes in a variety of grades and thick enough stand on its own, it would make a beautiful frameless circular cage. Unless your crickets have little hack-saws, there is no way they'll get through it.

Aquatic Eco-systems, INC.
aquaticeco.com

It called "micron nylon screening". It ranges through a score meshes, starting at 20microns/.0008" for $56.60 per yard x 40inch (one meter) to 5,000micorns/.1969inch at $27.01 a yard.

I'm having trouble posting pictures. On most sites when I click "insert image", I get "browse" then I can download an image from my "documents".
I can't seem to get there from here.
Dave
 

Dave R.

New Member
You're right, it might not be the same material. Next time I'm at the store I'll compare the two. The 5,000 micron material has about a 2/10ths of an inch mesh, that's about 3/16" (big enough for meal-worms to get through). I got the 2,000 micron stuff, it seems to be real close to about 1/16" mesh. I was able to purchase a large roll, on sell, relatively cheap, so whatever the "stuff" is, that's what I'm using: cheap counts.
I'm also thinking about non-reflecting picture frame glass for the front panel. I'll keep the old screen panel "at the ready" in case the glass doesn't workout. How does passing through glass effect sunlight? Are the UV rays filtered out? "Tongue" seems to like basking in the sunlight through a window with southern exposure, does this do it any good...or harm?
Dave
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Yeah,

Unfortunately, glass filters out UVB so supplementing with a UVB bulb (full spectrum) is necessary. I'm curious to see if the non-reflecting glass works. I'd though of it, but have been too lazy to include this on my "to do" list of projects.

I'm a big believer though that natural sunlight, even if filtered, psychologically has a positive impact on the pineal gland (even if you are turning on and off your inside lights.)

So, it doesn't hurt to be by the window, but doesn't help preventing MBD.

Matthew
 
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