Sign of MBD or typical baby behavior?

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
So would you recommend a deeper thicker drain pan to support everything
Not necessarily. Egg crate helps distribute weight, but it can only go so far—too many heavy plants will still break it. Some manufactured drain pans have interspersed supports to help take some stress off the egg crate. Others are just simple pans, and depending on the weight you want to put on the crate, may need some help—something the same height as the pan sides.

Most aftermarket drain pans come with drain hardware; others may require drilling a hole in the side or bottom and supplying your own hardware.

Ill go buy a cheap probe. I had a 70$ probe which did everything but it had alarms, and it would beep ALL the time for the temps, I could never keep it right because here in oregon some days it's cold sometimes it's hot. So a cheaper, fixed temperature probe for both of my chameleons is probably a right step in regards to addressing the temp issue.
That may have been overkill. I still like these, and I order a few at a time so I have extras, and can measure them against each other as a check.
https://www.amazon.com/Rojuna-Hygro...LVQK/ref=dp_prsubs_1?pd_rd_i=B08K8WLVQK&psc=1

I'm planning on getting her live plants like, really really soon, I really hate using the fake shrubbery, I have a small amount of fake shrubbery inside my veileds cage (hanging vines off top and left side of cage), I've been trying to find a pothos to replace that, and I want a pothos for my panther as well, among other plants that are safe, so I'm sure she'll feel very secure once that's done.
Try hitting up friends, neighbors, and/or relatives. IME, many plant nuts are only too happy to give away cuttings or extras (rather than throw them away).
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So would you recommend a deeper thicker drain pan to support everything

Ill go buy a cheap probe. I had a 70$ probe which did everything but it had alarms, and it would beep ALL the time for the temps, I could never keep it right because here in oregon some days it's cold sometimes it's hot. So a cheaper, fixed temperature probe for both of my chameleons is probably a right step in regards to addressing the temp issue. I'm planning on getting her live plants like, really really soon, I really hate using the fake shrubbery, I have a small amount of fake shrubbery inside my veileds cage (hanging vines off top and left side of cage), I've been trying to find a pothos to replace that, and I want a pothos for my panther as well, among other plants that are safe, so I'm sure she'll feel very secure once that's done.

I know her temps on her basking post are high, because it's as high as can be and under her lamps, but idk without the probe, so having the probe should allow me to adjust the vines position on any given day to make sure it's where it needs to be. Thank you.
ok just remember fake plants can be used but on the outside only. Veileds you have the risk of him eating them. Panthers will lick everything so I prefer them on the outside for them as well. In a pinch if you can not find what you want for live plants the fake ones I was telling you about work great to offer security. Also make sure they can not see each other.

Put your hand in there at that high point. Make sure it is not uncomfortable for you. If it is then it poses a thermal burn risk. Problem with babies and adults is that they will just sit there even if temps are far too hot. Black is typical of warming up trying to make the surface color absorb as much heat as possible but with her gular flaring this shows stress as well. Could be one could be both. Learning behaviors and what they all mean is in my opinion one of the hardest aspects to keeping chams.
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
ok just remember fake plants can be used but on the outside only. Veileds you have the risk of him eating them. Panthers will lick everything so I prefer them on the outside for them as well. In a pinch if you can not find what you want for live plants the fake ones I was telling you about work great to offer security. Also make sure they can not see each other.

Put your hand in there at that high point. Make sure it is not uncomfortable for you. If it is then it poses a thermal burn risk. Problem with babies and adults is that they will just sit there even if temps are far too hot. Black is typical of warming up trying to make the surface color absorb as much heat as possible but with her gular flaring this shows stress as well. Could be one could be both. Learning behaviors and what they all mean is in my opinion one of the hardest aspects to keeping chams.
Agreed on the behaviors. I already did the hand trick, it's comfortable, hotter than room, not burning hot, I bought those really good bulbs and ballasts and they seem to give off the right amount of heat, not too much not too little, with my hand I'd guess it's not above 80 not below 70.

Still need a probe though
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Agreed on the behaviors. I already did the hand trick, it's comfortable, hotter than room, not burning hot, I bought those really good bulbs and ballasts and they seem to give off the right amount of heat, not too much not too little, with my hand I'd guess it's not above 80 not below 70.
Considering skin temperature is about 90, both of those would feel slightly cool to the touch. If they feel slightly warm, their temperature is likely at or above 100.

Still need a probe though
Yup. (y) Maybe a couple/few. ;)
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
He did not like having his basking post moved 🤣 currently hiding behind a tree in the corner

20210526_115715.jpg
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
I'd make sure the mesh on the stainless steel is large enough not to catch claws. Mine has gotten stuck on the aluminum, but it's soft enough—and he's strong enough—that he can extricate himself without damage.


Water's gotta go somewhere. You can usually find an aftermarket drain pan that'll work, but you'll still need something the right height to support the egg crate. Patio tiles, wire stand, etc.

One sq. ft. should be enough for a mister reservoir and drain bucket (if stacked). If I had to, I could fit both under the table my enclosure sits on.

Misters are just plain convenient. Not having to worry about misting at certain times, and for how long. The biggest worry I have is remembering to fill the reservoir every few days. The drain bucket only needs emptying once a month.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091GD9ZW...abc_5PQGG3VKNFFWZTF1SYR7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

So I forgot to respond to this bit yesterday. This is the screen I have added to my cart and I specifically picked it because of the medium sized grate (small enough to walk across if needed and not fall in, big enough for debris) and the thickness of the grate seems solid, and the bindings of the squares seem to be relatively flush so I can't imagine claws will get caught, plus in the long term it should hold up to rust whereas plain aluminum can rust over time. Either way aluminum or stainless steel should work so long as their claws aren't catching as you say. Feel free to respond and let me know what you think of this screen I chose.


Also I found this water tank so I think this is what I'll use, I think I'll lay it on it's side on top of the cages, it might squeeze between the two but we'll see. I question if it'll fit on top with the ballasts and all that, it's a lot to squeeze in a small space, but this is looking like what I'll get unless I find something different.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZLYUOP6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_VP3PNTZBTESVKB3N76C3
 
Last edited:

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091GD9ZW...abc_5PQGG3VKNFFWZTF1SYR7?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

So I forgot to respond to this bit yesterday. This is the screen I have added to my cart and I specifically picked it because of the medium sized grate (small enough to walk across if needed and not fall in, big enough for debris) and the thickness of the grate seems solid, and the bindings of the squares seem to be relatively flush so I can't imagine claws will get caught, plus in the long term it should hold up to rust whereas plain aluminum can rust over time. Either way aluminum or stainless steel should work so long as their claws aren't catching as you say. Feel free to respond and let me know what you think of this screen I chose.
I... don't have a bias, but I'll pass on what I've learned.
5 mesh is a good size, but some feeders can & will pass through it. IDK if that makes a difference or not. I know if my cham is hungry, he'll venture down to the floor to hunt escapees, but his crickets, small dubias, and worms will fall, crawl, or pass through a 5 mesh.

I've read there is still some concern about claws getting caught, so some advocate using either coated or galvanized mesh.

Aluminum will corrode after many years, but the process is accelerated by salts & acid in rain water. I forget if you're building an outdoor enclosure, but it shouldn't be a problem for an indoor enclosure. Misters use either distilled or RO water, so this should minimize any deterioration, but it might be a good question to ask in a separate thread (this one has drifted rather far from topic as is). You might also search the archives for "mesh"; it's been discussed ad nauseum, but informative (if not conclusive).

Anodized aluminum screen should also be corrosion resistant, but likely more expensive.

AFAIK, most of the commercial mfd. enclosures use aluminum window screen.

Also I found this water tank so I think this is what I'll use, I think I'll lay it on it's side on top of the cages, it might squeeze between the two but we'll see. I question if it'll fit on top with the ballasts and all that, it's a lot to squeeze in a small space, but this is looking like what I'll get unless I find something different.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZLYUOP6/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_VP3PNTZBTESVKB3N76C3
Aside from being obscenely expensive (IMO), it's still ~7" wide, and opaque, which will make it difficult to determine when it needs refilling.

If you can deal with flat, try searching flat bin. They're still expensive, but translucent with lids are available.

What about under the enclosure? Many folks who build DIY also build stands/tables/cabinets underneath to accommodate misting bins.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Aluminum will corrode after many years, but the process is accelerated by salts & acid in rain water. I forget if you're building an outdoor enclosure, but it shouldn't be a problem for an indoor enclosure. Misters use either distilled or RO water, so this should minimize any deterioration, but it might be a good question to ask in a separate thread (this one has drifted rather far from topic as is). You might also search the archives for "mesh"; it's been discussed ad nauseum, but informative (if not conclusive).
Has your aluminum screen corroded?
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
I... don't have a bias, but I'll pass on what I've learned.
5 mesh is a good size, but some feeders can & will pass through it. IDK if that makes a difference or not. I know if my cham is hungry, he'll venture down to the floor to hunt escapees, but his crickets, small dubias, and worms will fall, crawl, or pass through a 5 mesh.

I've read there is still some concern about claws getting caught, so some advocate using either coated or galvanized mesh.

Aluminum will corrode after many years, but the process is accelerated by salts & acid in rain water. I forget if you're building an outdoor enclosure, but it shouldn't be a problem for an indoor enclosure. Misters use either distilled or RO water, so this should minimize any deterioration, but it might be a good question to ask in a separate thread (this one has drifted rather far from topic as is). You might also search the archives for "mesh"; it's been discussed ad nauseum, but informative (if not conclusive).

Anodized aluminum screen should also be corrosion resistant, but likely more expensive.

AFAIK, most of the commercial mfd. enclosures use aluminum window screen.


Aside from being obscenely expensive (IMO), it's still ~7" wide, and opaque, which will make it difficult to determine when it needs refilling.

If you can deal with flat, try searching flat bin. They're still expensive, but translucent with lids are available.

What about under the enclosure? Many folks who build DIY also build stands/tables/cabinets underneath to accommodate misting bins.
I found this one just this morning by searching for "flat water bin", I was having a hell of a time, but found one that should work perfect, it's only 2 inches wide, 50 inches tall, 20 inches in length, 10 gallons, and has a pvc fitting, plus already has some tubing to run to a water output. It's 250 bucks but will be worth it.

https://www.frontrunneroutfitters.c..._l58vpR9OT7Ttc-MsEEh58o-1b_zd0AwaAsCIEALw_wcB
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I found this one just this morning by searching for "flat water bin", I was having a hell of a time, but found one that should work perfect, it's only 2 inches wide, 50 inches tall, 20 inches in length, 10 gallons, and has a pvc fitting, plus already has some tubing to run to a water output. It's 250 bucks but will be worth it.

https://www.frontrunneroutfitters.c..._l58vpR9OT7Ttc-MsEEh58o-1b_zd0AwaAsCIEALw_wcB
Keep shopping. I just found the same tank for $225
https://www.taylordoverland.com/products/upright-water-tank-flat
Here's another for $150
https://www.vividracing.com/ironman...-tank-with-barbed-outlet-gal-p-152809669.html


https://www.google.com/search?q=fla...WQZM0KHdsGA3AQ_AUoAnoECAEQBA&biw=1024&bih=636
Just watch where they're coming from—many are in Australia or Africa. ;)
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
Alright so the lay bins were too large for my enclosure which is my fault, I need to get some smaller containers with more depth. My drip tray arrived today so I set up the egg crate/aquarium separator and cut it to fit, also cut the stainless steel mesh to fit, it was a little small so I had to combine 2 bits that I cut together. I did my best to make all ends of the screen point down or horizontally, and overall it's a pretty flush fit on my part.

i didn't have enough materials to do the back of the enclosure so I just did the bottom which should be fine. I plan to replicate this same method for my panther chameleon soon.

Lay bin will be coming soonish, just need to get the right size.
20210612_173641.jpg
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
I found some more of the egg crate lying around! Added the wall to the back wall, it fits perfect! It's just a little short so it has about 6 inches of space from the top, but should be easier for her to climb on. Thank you guys!
20210612_173641 (1).jpg
 

ConfusedHornwormGuy

Established Member
I ordered more egg crate and steel mesh for my panther chameleon and it has arrived so I plan to update her setup soon. I found shoe containers that will fit their cages for about a dollar at lowes. I purchased a gallon of some washed, fine play sand on amazon and packed it into the shoe crate with a devils ivy pothos or golden pothos, I'm not sure if they are the same thing but I checked on both golden and devils ivy and I believe they are safe.

I also purchased 2 large dracanae trees with some lamp posts and also putchased some ballasts and bulbs, so I can place the chameleons out into the living area more, they really enjoy basking on the trees, I don't leave them out for too long as I like to give them as much time under the acadia bulbs as possible because I know these basking lamps I put over the dracanae trees probably aren't as good, they seem to enjoy the heat they give off, particularly my veiled.

I received a letter in the mail from the pet shop saying my veiled chameleon had a 1 year birthday, so I'm guessing the pet store may track the ages of their pets. I also noticed that my veiled chameleon is quickly getting larger and larger and her belly seems to be growing as well. She's still eating and drinking so she may not be ready to lay, but as a precaution I've placed blankets over her cage so she cant see any movement going on around the house and can lay in peace whenever she is ready.

I'm thinking between her size and the letter I received from the pet shop, that she may be getting ready to lay in the next month or two, or may be ready to lay already, but not fully sure.


Regardless her setup is pretty pristine at this point and should be up to par, a proper lay bin provided so crossing my fingers that I've done my job and I give her a proper lay without having her end up egg bound.

Thanks again for all of the help.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I ordered more egg crate and steel mesh for my panther chameleon and it has arrived so I plan to update her setup soon. I found shoe containers that will fit their cages for about a dollar at lowes. I purchased a gallon of some washed, fine play sand on amazon and packed it into the shoe crate with a devils ivy pothos or golden pothos, I'm not sure if they are the same thing but I checked on both golden and devils ivy and I believe they are safe.
Yes, Golden Pothos = Devil's Ivy = Epipremnum aureum. It's listed as safe for chameleons of her persuasion. ;)
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/

I have some around here someplace; I think it's taking a turn in my bearded dragon's enclosure. The plant currently in my chameleon enclosure that I thought was Epipremnum aureum turned out to be Philodendron hederaceum—a climbing philodendron that looks very similar to pothos.

1625665399946.png

I also purchased 2 large dracanae trees with some lamp posts and also putchased some ballasts and bulbs, so I can place the chameleons out into the living area more, they really enjoy basking on the trees, I don't leave them out for too long as I like to give them as much time under the acadia bulbs as possible because I know these basking lamps I put over the dracanae trees probably aren't as good, they seem to enjoy the heat they give off, particularly my veiled.
The odd hour or two without UVB—a couple times a week—shouldn't be a problem; it takes many weeks/months with NO UVB to develop MBD.

Customary practice is to turn all lights on/off 12/12 hrs., but common sense and experience tells us that most chameleons don't sit under a UVB (or the Sun) for 12 hours a day.
In a typical scenario, in the mornings, before 10AM the UVI builds up to around 2. You then get a jump in UVI all the way up to 10 or higher from 10AM an on as the sun is in the highest point in the sky. And then, the UVI drops as the sun starts moving towards the horizon. We can get back down to a UVI of 2 around 5 or 6 PM.

The significance of this is that the daily habits of chameleons are usually to come out in the morning, get their core temperature warmed up via basking, and then retreat into the leaves before the sun gets too hot. This means that in the wild they are basking when the sun is providing UVI of 1 – 3. Just like us humans concerned about sun burns, so chameleons hide away from intense sunlight. They are certainly active, but they stay in the cover of the leaves and out of the intensity of the afternoon sun.
https://chameleonacademy.com/basics-uvb-for-chameleons/


I received a letter in the mail from the pet shop saying my veiled chameleon had a 1 year birthday, so I'm guessing the pet store may track the ages of their pets.
Certainly possible, but are they perhaps just marking the anniversary of the day you bought her? 🤷‍♂️
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I ordered more egg crate and steel mesh for my panther chameleon and it has arrived so I plan to update her setup soon. I found shoe containers that will fit their cages for about a dollar at lowes. I purchased a gallon of some washed, fine play sand on amazon and packed it into the shoe crate with a devils ivy pothos or golden pothos, I'm not sure if they are the same thing but I checked on both golden and devils ivy and I believe they are safe.

I also purchased 2 large dracanae trees with some lamp posts and also putchased some ballasts and bulbs, so I can place the chameleons out into the living area more, they really enjoy basking on the trees, I don't leave them out for too long as I like to give them as much time under the acadia bulbs as possible because I know these basking lamps I put over the dracanae trees probably aren't as good, they seem to enjoy the heat they give off, particularly my veiled.

I received a letter in the mail from the pet shop saying my veiled chameleon had a 1 year birthday, so I'm guessing the pet store may track the ages of their pets. I also noticed that my veiled chameleon is quickly getting larger and larger and her belly seems to be growing as well. She's still eating and drinking so she may not be ready to lay, but as a precaution I've placed blankets over her cage so she cant see any movement going on around the house and can lay in peace whenever she is ready.

I'm thinking between her size and the letter I received from the pet shop, that she may be getting ready to lay in the next month or two, or may be ready to lay already, but not fully sure.


Regardless her setup is pretty pristine at this point and should be up to par, a proper lay bin provided so crossing my fingers that I've done my job and I give her a proper lay without having her end up egg bound.

Thanks again for all of the help.
When you say you have placed a blanket over her cage what do you mean by this? You do not want to cover the entire thing. It will not get air flow. During the day it will get very hot. Simply hooking a light weight sheet to the front of the cage is enough. :)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Are philodendrons not safe ?
Excellent (and frustrating 😒 ) question. I've literally spent hours in pursuit of a definitive answer—to no avail—but keeping an open mind. It seems to depend on whom you ask. :unsure:

First, I am not a veterinarian. 👨‍⚕️ I don't even play one on TV. 📺 :rolleyes:

Here's what I've found to date:

Posts/threads in the archives seem split right down the middle. 🤷‍♂️
Of the sources that say it's poisonous to chameleons, the closest thing to a reason I've found is:
Philodendron- All parts of the plant are poisonous, due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals.

What are calcium oxalate crystals?​

Calcium oxalate crystals are the most common cause of kidney stones — hard clumps of minerals and other substances that form in the kidneys. These crystals are made from oxalate — a substance found in foods like green, leafy vegetables — combined with calcium. Having too much oxalate or too little urine can cause the oxalate to crystalize and clump together into stones.
https://www.healthline.com/health/calcium-oxalate-crystals
If that's the case, it would seem that Veiled/Yemen chameleons are at greater risk, as they are the reputed "munch mouths" of the chameleon world. 😋 Personally, I am not as concerned about Panther and/or Jackson's chameleons being poisoned by philodendron, as they don't normally indulge in "Philly-Snax." 👅

Special Mention of "Poisonous" Plants​


We in the chameleon world are in a difficult position that we have no idea which plants are poisonous to chameleons. The poison lists we have are for mammals and birds which are just not transferable to chameleons. Although many species are reported to take a nibble here and there, it is the veiled chameleon that is our plant muncher. So we will use the Veiled Chameleon as our point chameleon in our exploration as to what plants are and are not poisonous to chameleons. Veiled Chameleons have been known to ignore the poison lists no matter how much we tell them they will die. Pothos, Ficus benjamina, and Schefflera are all considered toxic, but are regularly reduced to stems by Veiled Chameleons. But they also continue to eat plants that are considered more dangerous such as philodendron and croton. So what can we determine from this? Only that our present lists are not terribly useful. On the bright side, you can follow the present “safe plant” lists for chameleons and you will be fine. But we must not overstate the significance of those lists. We must realize that our confidence in telling people what plants are dangerous might be exaggerated. Please enjoy a mini-gallery of the remnants of poisonous plants that did not affect a Veiled Chameleon.
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/

Here's what I've NOT found to date:

Any reports/mention of any chameleon(s) dying from ingesting philodendron. This doesn't mean that no chameleons have died from ingesting philodendron; it only means I haven't been able to find any documentation of it.

If anyone has new/different information (not hearsay) please jump in!
 

Lindasjackson

Avid Member
I have 3 pothos plants or what I thought were pothos but ive seen pics of philodendron to and to me they look just alike. The two in my Cham cage came planted in the base of the mass cane I recently purchased for my Cham cage but when I repotted the mass cane into organic soil I took them out and potted them seperately and put them in the Cham cage as well. the label on the mass cane did not identify them so I assumed they were pothos. I will leave them in unless someone comes a long and says I shouldn’t for some reason because my Jackson’s so far has never eaten the plants. I’ve never known a jacksons to eat plants.
 
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