What should I do to improve my Enclosure?

Kamran_k

Established Member
Species: Jacksons Chameleon
Age: Juvenile less then 5 months (Is still mostly brown)
Size of cage: 16 x 16 x 30 (I'm aware he will outgrow this but it was all I could afford at the time)
Lighting: 60 W Daylight Blue Zoomed Basking Light, 13 W UVB Light Zoomed
Plants: Weeping Ficus and Money Tree
Humidity: 70-80 (Had to wrap 2 sides in plastic I live in an Arid Climate)
Temp: Ambient around 70-74 during the day and drops about 10 degrees at night and basking is around 79-80
Handeling: He likes to be handled I usually take him outside to get some real sun because I read its good for them to get some fresh air and he turns brighter when I handle him

I've noticed for the past 2 days he's been dark and when I handle him he gets significantly lighter and even shows a little green (He underwent his first shed) and I was wondering what I could do to make him more comfortable and less stressed (if thats the case) he seems to just like to hangout at the very top of his enclosure.
 

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Ruthless

Avid Member
Get ready cause the form you should fill out is coming but until you have time to fill it out here’s a couple things that you can change. Blue light and your 13 watt uvb are garbage change them out to either a 60 watt house light or maybe even a 45 Phillips flood light and for your UVB you need at least at T5 HO or T8 bulb 5.0. Your plants are too tall for your cage you also need more foliage in the middle portion of your cage and some basking spots at the upper portion of your cage.
 

Kamran_k

Established Member
Okay thanks ill get some stuff for the middle of the cage, Should I remove the two trees or no? Where do I get the lights?
 

Ruthless

Avid Member

Ruthless

Avid Member
Please fill out the “how to ask for help” form and post your answers back here. Quality pictures will help us help you.

Chameleon Info:
◦ Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
◦ Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
◦ Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
◦ Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
◦ Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
◦ Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
◦ History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
◦ Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
◦ Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
◦ Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
◦ Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
◦ Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
◦ Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
◦ Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
1 The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
2 Photos can be very helpful.
 

Kamran_k

Established Member
Species,Age, Sex: Jacksons Chameleon, Less then 5 months, Male, and he's been in my care for about 2 weeks
Handeling: Often usually take him outside for real sun
Feeding: 4-5 Crickets, 1-3 Superworms (Only as a treat), 1 Wax Worm (only as a treat), Gut loaded with Flukers Complete Cricket Diet. Feed every day in the morning and again in the afternoon. (I just ordered Silk Worms)
Supplements: 3 times a week Repashy Calcium plus, 1 time a month Reptivite d3
Lighting: *Listed in the previous comment by me
Temp and Humidity: Measured with Thermometer and hydrometer (*listed in previous comment by me) I keep the humidity by covering 2 sides in plastic wrap
Plants: Weeping Ficus and Money Tree
Location: Los Angeles, California

I've noticed my Cham is really dark when hes in his cage and when I take him out he turns a little green and I was wondering how to reduce stress so he can have the best possible life. He just shed the first time so his green is starting to come out.
 

Kamran_k

Established Member
I was also looking on tips on how to setup my cage better because I'm still very new to chameleon keeping and have learned a lot over the past 2 weeks but there is still much for me to learn. I've had experience with other reptiles (Bearded Dragon, California Kingsnake) but never with a Cham
 

Kamran_k

Established Member
Water: I mist his cage 3-4 times a day and he drinks off the leaves
Fecal Description: Normal, Urate is white and he's never been checked for parasites but hes going to be examined this month
History: no previous history, I purchased him from Underground reptiles and ive had to rehouse him about 4 times because my past 3 cages just weren't working so im a bit hesitant to rehouse him again, first 2 times it was glass and too small and he was overheating so I purchased the screen cage and I put him In there and 3rd time was to put the plants I have in there now also to move him away from the door.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Species,Age, Sex: Jacksons Chameleon, Less then 5 months, Male, and he's been in my care for about 2 weeks
Handling: Often usually take him outside for real sun
Feeding: 4-5 Crickets, 1-3 Superworms (Only as a treat), 1 Wax Worm (only as a treat), Gut loaded with Flukers Complete Cricket Diet. Feed every day in the morning and again in the afternoon. (I just ordered Silk Worms)
Great that he's getting real sun but handling him often may be the source of his stress. This podcast may give you some insight into proper handling and minimizing stress chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-80-handling-your-chameleon/ when you get your larger cage you can make the smaller one an outdoor sun/play area.
Supplements: 3 times a week Repashy Calcium plus, 1 time a month Reptivite d3
Repashy Calcium plus has D3 and vitamins in it so you won't need the Reptivite. In fact you are giving too much D3. You will only need the Repashy and should use it very lightly on half your feeders. If you ghost your feeders you will overdose him, on D3 especially, leading to organ failure. If you plan to get him outside on a regular basis you could switch to Repashy Cal plus LoD used very lightly on 1/2 the feeders 2-3 times weekly. It will also give you a better margin for error even without outdoor sun.
Lighting: Lighting: 60 W Daylight Blue Zoomed Basking Light, 13 W UVB Light Zoomed
There are two major problems with the double dome. First it doesn't provide much UVB and only in a small area that your cham is unlikely to spend enough time under. Second it doesn't allow you to keep the UVB close enough when you may need to raise it up to adjust heat. I don't have a huge problem with the blue light except they are pricey and don't last very long. When it burns out and that won't be very long from now replace it with a 40 or 50 watt incandescent from Home Depot or Lowes. Even better get one that is a plant grow light to help your plants. The linear T5's mentioned above are far superior for UVB.
Temp and Humidity: Measured with Thermometer and hydrometer (
Humidity: 70-80 (Had to wrap 2 sides in plastic I live in an Arid Climate)
Temp: Ambient around 70-74 during the day and drops about 10 degrees at night and basking is around 79-80
) I keep the humidity by covering 2 sides in plastic wrap
Plants: Weeping Ficus and Money Tree
Location: Los Angeles, California
Some observations made in the wild are now indicating that Jackson's naturally have lower daytime humidity than was previously thought. They can go as low as 35% during the day but do need 80% or higher at night. I keep mine in the 40-50% range during the day (no reason to go over board). The thinking is that the higher heat and humidity combo we are giving them is creating a situation where bacterial growth can flourish leading to respiratory and temporal gland infections.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
About your plants, I think you could just pinch back a few of the upper leaves to create some space up top and use plastic or other live plants to fill in the middle. I always recommend pothos. Add as many horizontal branches as you can leaving a six-eight inch gap under the UVB as a basking area.
 
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