Upgrading cage from 1.5x1.5x4 to 2x2x4

Roody

New Member
My chameleon is about 2 years old now, and I have been keeping her in a 1.5x1.5x4 foot cage. I purchased a 2x2x4 cage and want to keep the stress to a minimum, it is a very big size difference, and I am putting live plants in this cage and removing the water bowl/dripping leaf as I have been advised it can cause problems. What should I do to make this change as stress free as possible for my chameleon? The new cage is in the same room, but it is in my closet (my closet has no doors) so there will be clothes to the left and right of her. I decided the closet was a better location because I rarely take anything out of there and it is in a more isolated part of the room. (Photos included, empty cage is the new cage)
 

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nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its going to be no more stress than cleaning out the old cage. It will be fine, just might take a few days to find all of the favorite spots again.

I also see no linear bulb, what are you using for a UVB bulb?
 

ItsMike64

Established Member
Kind of surprised I’m the first to say this, but is the new enclosure on the floor? I can’t really tell…as far as I’m aware that’s a no no because they want to be higher up off the ground as if they were in the trees. It’s tough with those shelves, but I’d recommend removing the shelf, putting the enclosure on top of something (this will also allow you to drain it properly for the plants) and then get clothes racks for either side.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Kind of surprised I’m the first to say this, but is the new enclosure on the floor? I can’t really tell…as far as I’m aware that’s a no no because they want to be higher up off the ground as if they were in the trees.
+1. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-cage-placement/

Its going to be no more stress than cleaning out the old cage. It will be fine, just might take a few days to find all of the favorite spots again.
+1.

What should I do to make this change as stress free as possible for my chameleon?
  1. Leave chameleon in old enclosure while setting up new
  2. When new enclosure is ALL ready to go & balanced (temps, humidity, basking, etc.), take cham out of old enclosure and put in new.
It may take a few days for adjustment, but that's normal, and may actually be fun for the cham, exploring the new digs.
 

Roody

New Member
Its going to be no more stress than cleaning out the old cage. It will be fine, just might take a few days to find all of the favorite spots again.

I also see no linear bulb, what are you using for a UVB bulb?
I'm using one of these https://www.cbreptile.com/product/zoomed-dual-mini-dome-light-fixture/ with a uvb bulb in one side and heat lamp in the other.
Kind of surprised I’m the first to say this, but is the new enclosure on the floor? I can’t really tell…as far as I’m aware that’s a no no because they want to be higher up off the ground as if they were in the trees. It’s tough with those shelves, but I’d recommend removing the shelf, putting the enclosure on top of something (this will also allow you to drain it properly for the plants) and then get clothes racks for either side.
I'll have to ask the landlord about removing shelves but I hadn't thought about that so thanks for pointing it out. Yes the new cage is on the ground, it is too big to fit on my dresser like the old one so the closet seems like the only option right now. Hopefully
 

ItsMike64

Established Member
I'm using one of these https://www.cbreptile.com/product/zoomed-dual-mini-dome-light-fixture/ with a uvb bulb in one side and heat lamp in the other.

I'll have to ask the landlord about removing shelves but I hadn't thought about that so thanks for pointing it out. Yes the new cage is on the ground, it is too big to fit on my dresser like the old one so the closet seems like the only option right now. Hopefully
So just an idea I'll throw out here. Lowes has 27"x30" drain pans for like $35 - You could get one of those and put it on top of the dresser and then put the 2x2x4 enclosure on that so it would act like a base. It would still overhang from the dresser, so you'd likely have to somehow secure the cham enclosure (Could maybe fashion a counterweight or secure it to the dresser's back) and that would work. Judging from the pics, if you had an 18" deep enclosure that fit on your dresser with a few inches to spare, you'd likely only be overhanging 2-3". Just a thought!
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm using one of these https://www.cbreptile.com/product/zoomed-dual-mini-dome-light-fixture/ with a uvb bulb in one side and heat lamp in the other.
CFLs tipically wont work for a 4ft tall enclosure. They dont have enough penetration. So far the only one that is worth a crap is the very high wattage models:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/uv-compact-bulb-that-works.185999/#post-1715904

So if your bulb is 25-30 watts and a 10.0/12%, odds are its a good one. but if its only 10-15 watts, odds are its not doing much when the chameleon is further than a foot away.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm using one of these https://www.cbreptile.com/product/zoomed-dual-mini-dome-light-fixture/ with a uvb bulb in one side and heat lamp in the other.
Most CFLs are not going to provide enough UVB far enough into the enclosure.
Most here (and elsewhere) will recommend a linear T5 HO UVB—either 5.0 or 6%—running full width of the enclosure.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/search/1606118/?q=best+uvb&c[title_only]=1&o=relevance
https://chameleonacademy.com/basics-uvb-for-chameleons/
 

Roody

New Member
So just an idea I'll throw out here. Lowes has 27"x30" drain pans for like $35 - You could get one of those and put it on top of the dresser and then put the 2x2x4 enclosure on that so it would act like a base. It would still overhang from the dresser, so you'd likely have to somehow secure the cham enclosure (Could maybe fashion a counterweight or secure it to the dresser's back) and that would work. Judging from the pics, if you had an 18" deep enclosure that fit on your dresser with a few inches to spare, you'd likely only be overhanging 2-3". Just a thought!
This is a good solution, I'm going to give that a try, thanks!

CFLs tipically wont work for a 4ft tall enclosure. They dont have enough penetration. So far the only one that is worth a crap is the very high wattage models:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/uv-compact-bulb-that-works.185999/#post-1715904

So if your bulb is 25-30 watts and a 10.0/12%, odds are its a good one. but if its only 10-15 watts, odds are its not doing much when the chameleon is further than a foot away.
Right now I'm just using a 13 watt bulb that I get from my local pet store, I'll try and find that stronger bulb before I make the switch. Thanks, nightanole and Klyde O'Scope for letting me know these bulbs weren't enough for the new enclosure, I didn't know.
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your closet/ clothing might get moldy with the amount of moisture needed for good hydration and humidity if you mist you'll have over spray in the screen cage.
Also you'll have limited airflow so it will be likely to get mold or mildew, you may want to if at all possible re consider the placement.

It might be some work getting it to fit on the desk as others mentioned but very much worth it so your stuff doesnt get soiled and the chameleon will have better environmental controls. And it'll be easier to view and service the enclosure.

I'll second the importance that you Snag the linear t5 fixture as mentioned above.
If you need a plant light the Sansi 70w full spectrum led is a lovely option.

When doing your new set up Avoid the fake textured vines and deck it out with some live plants your Cham will be happy. If you need branches and can't source them from the outdoors Marshalls and craft stores often sell various sizes and they are very useful and cheaper than the pet shop ones.

Best of luck with the new set up
and dig into the search option if you need plant recommendations or even suggestions for light set ups often times people will post links to good items and materials. If you can't find what your looking for don't be afraid to ask There is a wealth of information and knowledge available on the forums but most questions for cage set up have been discussed in great length 👍
 
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