Tentative habitat setup. Feedback appreciated

My plan is still developing and Im sure there is some things I forgot to put in here but this is the game plan so far. Any glaring problems you see here? This will be my first cham.

Enclosure:
diycages 24x24x48 screen enclosure with 5 dragon strand ledges

Diet:
All the norms except roaches (I just don't like roaches) on a rotating schedule. Staples likely be superworms and crickets and then mix in other insects to keep variety. Will gutload with organic fruits and vegetables such as kale, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, strawberries, peaches and apples. Whatever organics I have around I figure will be used as gutload majority of time.

Anyone gutload with avocado?

Supplements:
Herptivite x2 monthly
Pangea cal with d3 x2 monthly
Pangeacal without d3 every feeding

Environmental:
I will run a 2 nozzle mistking. Most likely will add a fogger system (low in tank for nightime humidity and morning fog replication) and a dripper system as well for ultimate control of the environment. I also feel this will give me more control and versatility in managing of my Chams hydration

For UVB I will run a 24" arcadia prot5 6% uvb

For basking I will run a deep dome directly on cage with arcadia basking lamp on a dimmer. Probably setup a second basking area option as well. Goal is for basking areas to average 82 degrees.




Fauna:
Undecided. Most likely pothos for hangers, a combo of weeping fig/ rubber trees for wall cover mounted off ground.

Any suggestions for accent plants is especially appreciated

Cage location:
Den in the corner. This is where my home office setup is and also where I watch my tv 95% of the time. The room is low traffic and I am more or less the only one ever in the room. I plan to build a curtain of sorts I can use to shield the cage from getting anything more than very low level ambient light. Like a privacy curtain not a sheet draped over the cage. There will be space and plenty of airflow.



Lastly here is a photo of the sire of the clutch my Ambilobe is coming from. I'm very excited.
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210115-200656.png
    Screenshot_20210115-200656.png
    569.1 KB · Views: 32

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. :) Congrats on your pending chameleon! All looks okay to me except feeders. I’ll attach both feeder and gutload sheets for you. Superworms should not be a staple feeder as they are too fatty, not to mention addictive. There’s several other good feeders to use as staples and of course, chams like variety as much as we do. I hear you about roaches but I’d suggest trying them. The roaches we use for feeders aren’t anything like disgusting German roaches or palmetto bugs. I hate them as much as everyone else, but I’ve got nice colonies of discoids and Surinam.
I’m not sure about using avocado as gutload. I seem to recall reading somewhere that it is toxic for some reptiles.
If you haven’t already found your way there, https://chameleonacademy.com/ is a fantastic resource for learning about chameleons. Make sure to check out the podcasts too. Another great resource is Neptune the chameleon on YouTube. Of course, the forum is always helpful and feel free to ask as many questions as needed. Most important of all though...you have to post pics of your cham when you get him/her. 🥰
2CCDF76D-D586-4FB0-A799-6CBE9CBE21B2.jpeg
DAA7404C-60EF-4829-B47F-6048F9EA3FF6.jpeg
 
Hi. :) Congrats on your pending chameleon! All looks okay to me except feeders. I’ll attach both feeder and gutload sheets for you. Superworms should not be a staple feeder as they are too fatty, not to mention addictive. There’s several other good feeders to use as staples and of course, chams like variety as much as we do. I hear you about roaches but I’d suggest trying them. The roaches we use for feeders aren’t anything like disgusting German roaches or palmetto bugs. I hate them as much as everyone else, but I’ve got nice colonies of discoids and Surinam.
I’m not sure about using avocado as gutload. I seem to recall reading somewhere that it is toxic for some reptiles.
If you haven’t already found your way there, https://chameleonacademy.com/ is a fantastic resource for learning about chameleons. Make sure to check out the podcasts too. Another great resource is Neptune the chameleon on YouTube. Of course, the forum is always helpful and feel free to ask as many questions as needed. Most important of all though...you have to post pics of your cham when you get him/her. 🥰
View attachment 289161View attachment 289162
Thank you for these sheets. I have been thinking about getting a cham for a long time and have done the deep dive on habitat and environment. I also have a lot of experience with building climates from my horticulture/ agriculture background. The specific dietary requirements I'm still learning a ton about though. I will consider the roaches lol.
 
So I think I'm going to for go a fogger with my setup in favor of maybe putting an extra mister nozzle lower in tank and doing a couple shorts sprays at night (15-30 seconds).

Humidifiers are absolute breeding grounds for mold and bacteria unless you run white vinegar and let them dry out completely (essentially impossible to dry out interior components completely) basically weekly. I don't even use them with myself or in my plant room unless absolutely necessary which happens maybe 3 times each winter to bring levels back to stable.
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your set up sounds great! Another couple of feeders to consider are silkworms, black soldier fly larvae (and their flies), blue and green bottle flies. And the discoid and dubia roaches are much less scary as @MissSkittles mentioned

I like to use fogger a too. For a couple of mine I have two foggers and two sets of pvc that I rotate and allow to dry to help keep them cleaner

other little things. Get the cage up high so your Cham can tower over you like the little overlords they are and carefully consider your drainage system for the water you’re putting into the enclosure
 
Your set up sounds great! Another couple of feeders to consider are silkworms, black soldier fly larvae (and their flies), blue and green bottle flies. And the discoid and dubia roaches are much less scary as @MissSkittles mentioned

I like to use fogger a too. For a couple of mine I have two foggers and two sets of pvc that I rotate and allow to dry to help keep them cleaner

other little things. Get the cage up high so your Cham can tower over you like the little overlords they are and carefully consider your drainage system for the water you’re putting into the enclosure

So I just built a 3 foot stand for my cage. Ceiling height in the room is just under 8 feet which will leave just enough room for lights on top of cage. So he will be as high as he can be!

What would you suggest for drainage?
My plan is basically to put a 1/2 in bulkhead in bottom of cage floor that drains straight to a bucket house inside the stand.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210116_195154890.jpg
    IMG_20210116_195154890.jpg
    98.3 KB · Views: 16
Been having a hell of a time finding plants online or in person. All the lowes and home Depot around have nothing during winter and all the nurseries I'd use near me are either closed for winter or not carrying what I'm looking for.

Anyway I found this site called "PlantVine" and they have EVERYTHING!
a bit more expensive for some stuff especially rarer plants but overall awesome site.

Below is photos what I'm ordering!

Ficus benjamina, pothos, a couple calathea and a couple croton!

They will be medium sized and give me a good dense foliage but my have to supplement some extras while they grow out
 

Attachments

  • Screenshot_20210117-113647.png
    Screenshot_20210117-113647.png
    161.7 KB · Views: 19
  • Screenshot_20210117-113640.png
    Screenshot_20210117-113640.png
    157.6 KB · Views: 17
  • Screenshot_20210117-113632.png
    Screenshot_20210117-113632.png
    161.8 KB · Views: 17

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I just built a 3 foot stand for my cage. Ceiling height in the room is just under 8 feet which will leave just enough room for lights on top of cage. So he will be as high as he can be!

What would you suggest for drainage?
My plan is basically to put a 1/2 in bulkhead in bottom of cage floor that drains straight to a bucket house inside the stand.
I kind of figured you had a plan

that is exactly what I use for drainage from my pan
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Been having a hell of a time finding plants online or in person. All the lowes and home Depot around have nothing during winter and all the nurseries I'd use near me are either closed for winter or not carrying what I'm looking for.

Anyway I found this site called "PlantVine" and they have EVERYTHING!
a bit more expensive for some stuff especially rarer plants but overall awesome site.

Below is photos what I'm ordering!

Ficus benjamina, pothos, a couple calathea and a couple croton!

They will be medium sized and give me a good dense foliage but my have to supplement some extras while they grow out
I would recommend an umbrella plant or two, as well, once you find them. As your future cham gets bigger, the ficus benjamina won’t be able to support his weight once he’s fully grown. Other options are dwarf crepe myrtle trees, small mulberry trees (great for silkworms), amd more. FL Chams has a pretty extensive plant list, too! For roaches, red runner roaches are great, too! They get to the size of adult crickets, don’t look like normal roaches, and most chams love them! They don’t climb or fly either (people say the adult males can flutter, but I’ve never experienced it in almost 6 years of keeping and breeding them)! Also, pupated waxworm moths, painted lady butterflies (when cham is bigger), luna moths (when cham is bigger), grasshoppers, mantids, katydids, etc. are great, too!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
And the Rep-Cal Herptivite only has pro-formed Vitamin A. You can either choose to get a multivitamin with pre-formed Vitamin A in it or supplement your cham as needed (usually once to twice a month) with pre-formed Vitamin A 10,000 IU gel capsules. Just poke a hole (I use dog/cat insulin needles to extract some) in the capsule, and put a drop of the liquid inside on the back of a feeder, then feed off that feeder.
 
I would recommend an umbrella plant or two, as well, once you find them. As your future cham gets bigger, the ficus benjamina won’t be able to support his weight once he’s fully grown. Other options are dwarf crepe myrtle trees, small mulberry trees (great for silkworms), amd more. FL Chams has a pretty extensive plant list, too! For roaches, red runner roaches are great, too! They get to the size of adult crickets, don’t look like normal roaches, and most chams love them! They don’t climb or fly either (people say the adult males can flutter, but I’ve never experienced it in almost 6 years of keeping and breeding them)! Also, pupated waxworm moths, painted lady butterflies (when cham is bigger), luna moths (when cham is bigger), grasshoppers, mantids, katydids, etc. are great, too!
I'll check out flchams again. I was looking on there for plants but must have just missed the section. And I will probably switch out the benjamina on your advice. I wanted umbrella but all the one I found in stock were over $60 a piece and I'm trying to keep plant budget to $150-200 atm. I'll look around some more!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'll check out flchams again. I was looking on there for plants but must have just missed the section. And I will probably switch out the benjamina on your advice. I wanted umbrella but all the one I found in stock were over $60 a piece and I'm trying to keep plant budget to $150-200 atm. I'll look around some more!
Wow that’s expensive! Also stick bugs are great, too!
 
So I painted the stand black and got the mistking laid out. Be a couple of adjustments but mainly tube management.

Tank should be here next Monday. Ordered a couple of 2ftx4ft black pvc foam boards to line the sides of the cage that will be against walls. I think this will really make all the colors pop. Should also help with humidity control and allow me to direct misters at the boards to reduce over spray and improve drainage.

Do any of you drain straight from cage into a bucket below? I plan to skip the use of drainage pan and am curious what people have done to filter water towards your drain?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20210118_231602599.jpg
    IMG_20210118_231602599.jpg
    132.7 KB · Views: 18

NAUSEATE

Member
So I painted the stand black and got the mistking laid out. Be a couple of adjustments but mainly tube management.

Tank should be here next Monday. Ordered a couple of 2ftx4ft black pvc foam boards to line the sides of the cage that will be against walls. I think this will really make all the colors pop. Should also help with humidity control and allow me to direct misters at the boards to reduce over spray and improve drainage.

Do any of you drain straight from cage into a bucket below? I plan to skip the use of drainage pan and am curious what people have done to filter water towards your drain?


For your question on filtering the water towards the drain home. You can put your biggest pot in the center. Usually the weight in the middle makes the water run towards the drain hole. Atleast thats what Ive read and seen on here. Dope set up you're about to have, man.

Question for you. I made my own fogger that uses a fan to push the fog through PVC tubing I have hidden in my enclosure. I've read that running a computer fan 24/7 can help keep bacteria down. Having worked in Agriculture and horticulture, do you recommend this? I do weekly cleaning and drying out of all part, but want to avoid respiratory infections.
 
For your question on filtering the water towards the drain home. You can put your biggest pot in the center. Usually the weight in the middle makes the water run towards the drain hole. Atleast thats what Ive read and seen on here. Dope set up you're about to have, man.

Question for you. I made my own fogger that uses a fan to push the fog through PVC tubing I have hidden in my enclosure. I've read that running a computer fan 24/7 can help keep bacteria down. Having worked in Agriculture and horticulture, do you recommend this? I do weekly cleaning and drying out of all part, but want to avoid respiratory infections.
can't give you a real scientific answer on that but I can see some logic in it. Depending on the setup it may help but I'm not sure thered be high efficacy. Being rigid on cleanliness and maintenance is always #1. You seem diligent I'm sure you'll be good.

Also I'm going to have bare floor if I can but you just sparked an idea. I will bake the pvc just a touch to soften it. Then I will put some 1/8 risers under edges and try to slope it ever so slightly to center 👌
 

Shanar808

Avid Member
So I think I'm going to for go a fogger with my setup in favor of maybe putting an extra mister nozzle lower in tank and doing a couple shorts sprays at night (15-30 seconds).

Humidifiers are absolute breeding grounds for mold and bacteria unless you run white vinegar and let them dry out completely (essentially impossible to dry out interior components completely) basically weekly. I don't even use them with myself or in my plant room unless absolutely necessary which happens maybe 3 times each winter to bring levels back to stable.
I’ve been able to keep my humidifier from getting any mold growth by adding a little hydrogen peroxide to my tank with every fill. H2O2 is actually naturally occurring in rain (and breastmilk-fun fact) but levels are decreasing due to air pollution so in the rainforest it would be even more present. It is also known to help fight respiratory infections. Before I got my chameleon I was using the humidifier with hydrogen peroxide anyways at 1c/5 liters but for her I reduced it to less than 1/2 c and it’s still going well. I’ve had to clean it once in 4 months and it was barely dirty, with being run almost daily. Just a tip if you hate having to clean that frequently. ☺
 
Top Bottom