When should I upgrade my enclosure?

I have that (dreaded) zoomed chameleon kit for my 6 month old male veiled, Cleo. Im a new chameleon owner and got him in January and didn’t know any better! But I figured he would outgrow it and I could just get a larger enclosure later. I changed the lights at least because I saw that the blue daylight can blind chameleons, so Ive switched to a ceramic bulb and a uvb light from (i believe?) exo reptiles (or a similar sounding name, three out the box!).

So far Cleo has enjoyed it and he’s not too big, about the length of my fingertip to my wrist. He measures at 6 1/2 inches with my measurement app. He seems to be comfortable and happy so far but hes growing quickly and I don’t want to wait til hes too big to get a larger cage.

About how old should he be/what length should he be before this cage is not appropriate anymore? And are there any good sites selling good quality screen cages (no leakage and no insect escapes which have been issues with the zoomed)

image.jpg

note that hes downstairs with my mom so hes not in there right now!

EA4BFD73-A365-44FF-AA81-575CF02E1721.jpeg

and a size reference
 

Gingero

Avid Member
Hi and welcome to the forums! I see some improvements that can be made for Cleo. Before I start diving into suggestions and improvements you can make, it'd be great to have all the info. Can you answer these questions as best as possible in as much detail as possible? It'll be super helpful to know what suggestions to make.

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?
 
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, 6 month old male. Been in my care since January 13th
  • Handling - 3-4 times a week, generally just take him outside to free range our potted plants. Occasionally let him fall asleep on me at night for a few hours then put him to bed
  • Feeding - Crickets, meal worms, and waxworms. Just ordered some blue bottle fly larvae as well to add in. Will vary more in the future now that I have a reliable source. Ill generally throw in 15 or so crickets in his cage and repeat when crickets are all gone. I put a 5-7 mealworms and 1-2 wax worms in his dish (been out of crickets bc of Coronavirus, so Ive been adding 10 mealworms a day). I discard dead food everyday, clean dish and add the specified amounts. I gutload my worms with carrots, cham safe greens, and bee pollen. I use oats as substrate so they eat that as well. Crickets are just gutloaded with Fluker’s gutloading formula, as I dont gutload these personally
  • Supplements - Repti Calcium without D3 everyday. Zoomed Reptivite calcium with D3 once every 2 weeks. Zoomed reptivite reptile vitamins once every two weeks. D3 and vitamins are on opposite schedule.
  • Watering - Zoomed dripper with a cup under to catch the water. I hope to add plants once I get a bigger cage to catch drips. I mist for about a minute 2-3 times a day. All water is dosed with Reptisafe conditioner
  • Fecal Description - Droppings are normal, dark brown and firm. Urates are white. Has not been tested for parasites but will be after this corona stuff passes
  • History - he is from Petco, I work there as the aquatic specialist (I swear i take great care of our animals and love them all very much!). I wasnt really aware of the distain people tend to have at pet store reptiles. Got a lot of grief on reddit about it. It is what it is.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen Zoomed Chameleon Kit. 16x16x30 according to my measurement app
  • Lighting - oh god idk if i remember the brand but I have a ceramic heater and an exo terra uvb light. I believe it is the 60watt 100uvb bulb. I was suggested this by a cham owner on instagram
  • Temperature - basking spot is 80F, and gradients down to 70F-72F depending. Overnight temps range between 69-72F all throughout the house
  • Humidity - I just have a typical humidity gauge idk what brand it is. I keep humidity between 40%-60% throughout the day, and increase to 70% an hour before bedtime. I maintain this by misting 2-3 times a day or more if needed
  • Plants - No live plants but hope to change that with an upgraded cage
  • Placement - My cage is in a corner next to my window in my bedroom. Its adjacent to a vent on the opposite side of my bed. Low traffic area as its my bedroom. An air purifier about 6 feet away blows towards the cage to provide circulation. Cage is resting on the floor because I do not have any better area to put it currently, but might see if I can move things around to raise him up. so top of cage is 30” off the ground currently but if i can adjust how I want to it would be 5 1/2 feet off the ground. Need parent permission to change this though
  • Location - Austin, TX
 
Hi and welcome to the forums! I see some improvements that can be made for Cleo. Before I start diving into suggestions and improvements you can make, it'd be great to have all the info. Can you answer these questions as best as possible in as much detail as possible? It'll be super helpful to know what suggestions to make.

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?
Added the info!
 

Gingero

Avid Member
I'm going to start out by saying this is going to be a lot of info and a lot of suggestions. Read it a few times and please ask any questions you might have. Feedback inline.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, 6 month old male. Been in my care since January 13th
  • Handling - 3-4 times a week, generally just take him outside to free range our potted plants. Occasionally let him fall asleep on me at night for a few hours then put him to bed Chameleons falling asleep on you is not a good thing. If he is falling asleep on you during the day time, it is a sign of stress. Make sure you are giving him a few hours before his lights go out to get settled in a ready for bed.


  • Feeding - Crickets, meal worms, and waxworms. Just ordered some blue bottle fly larvae as well to add in. Will vary more in the future now that I have a reliable source. Ill generally throw in 15 or so crickets in his cage and repeat when crickets are all gone. I put a 5-7 mealworms and 1-2 wax worms in his dish (been out of crickets bc of Coronavirus, so Ive been adding 10 mealworms a day). I discard dead food everyday, clean dish and add the specified amounts. I gutload my worms with carrots, cham safe greens, and bee pollen. I use oats as substrate so they eat that as well. Crickets are just gutloaded with Fluker’s gutloading formula, as I dont gutload these personally. I understand being short on bugs because of the craziness in the world... but wanted to let you know that mealworms are not recommended for chameleons and wax worms should be used as a treat. Dubia roaches, superworms, silkworms, black solider fly larvae are all great options and there are a lot of online places that are still selling and shipping. I'm not familiar with the Fluker's gutloading formula... but I'd also use your own gutload for your crickets.
  • Supplements - Repti Calcium without D3 everyday. Zoomed Reptivite calcium with D3 once every 2 weeks. Zoomed reptivite reptile vitamins once every two weeks. D3 and vitamins are on opposite schedule. Awesome. This is great.
  • Watering - Zoomed dripper with a cup under to catch the water. I hope to add plants once I get a bigger cage to catch drips. I mist for about a minute 2-3 times a day. All water is dosed with Reptisafe conditioner. I'd try to mist him closer to 2-3 minutes 2x/day to give him enough time to drink and help with the humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Droppings are normal, dark brown and firm. Urates are white. Has not been tested for parasites but will be after this corona stuff passes
  • History - he is from Petco, I work there as the aquatic specialist (I swear i take great care of our animals and love them all very much!). I wasnt really aware of the distain people tend to have at pet store reptiles. Got a lot of grief on reddit about it. It is what it is.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen Zoomed Chameleon Kit. 16x16x30 according to my measurement app You'll want to upgrade him to a larger sized enclosure (I know you already know this from your original post. I'd do this sooner than later to answer your original question). A 2'x2'x4' enclosure is the minimum size a male veiled will need. Dragon Strand makes the best enclosure on the market IMO but they also come with the prize tag to prove it.
  • Lighting - oh god idk if i remember the brand but I have a ceramic heater and an exo terra uvb light. I believe it is the 60watt 100uvb bulb. I was suggested this by a cham owner on instagram Okay so this is where it's really important to pay attention and make changes ASAP. The UVB bulb you're using right now is not sufficient for Cleo. This is a veryyy common mistake. The compact UVB bulb (the swiggly kind) do not put out enough UVB for a chameleon. I show this in my video where I tested the ultra violet index rating of a bunch of different bulbs that I'll link to below for you to watch if you want. You'll want to get Cleo a linear T5 high output (HO) UVB bulb. You can get him a Reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb. Both are great and used by many keepers. You'll also have to get a fixture for the bulb.


  • Temperature - basking spot is 80F, and gradients down to 70F-72F depending. Overnight temps range between 69-72F all throughout the house This basking temp is a little low for him. You'll want it closer to 85F at his age and bump it up to 90-95F as an adult. See if you can pick him up a higher wattage bulb. Pro tip: It doesn't have to be a 'reptile' bulb. You can just use a white light incandescent house bulb with the correct wattage.


  • Humidity - I just have a typical humidity gauge idk what brand it is. I keep humidity between 40%-60% throughout the day, and increase to 70% an hour before bedtime. I maintain this by misting 2-3 times a day or more if needed
  • Plants - No live plants but hope to change that with an upgraded cage Great idea especially since veileds are known to eat plants. The fake ones can cause serious problems. The live plants will also help maintain humidity.


  • Placement - My cage is in a corner next to my window in my bedroom. Its adjacent to a vent on the opposite side of my bed. Low traffic area as its my bedroom. An air purifier about 6 feet away blows towards the cage to provide circulation. Cage is resting on the floor because I do not have any better area to put it currently, but might see if I can move things around to raise him up. so top of cage is 30” off the ground currently but if i can adjust how I want to it would be 5 1/2 feet off the ground. Need parent permission to change this though. Could see if you could just get a little night stand or coffee table to put him on. I know it gets tricky when the parents are involved.
  • Location - Austin, TX
 
I'm going to start out by saying this is going to be a lot of info and a lot of suggestions. Read it a few times and please ask any questions you might have. Feedback inline.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, 6 month old male. Been in my care since January 13th
  • Handling - 3-4 times a week, generally just take him outside to free range our potted plants. Occasionally let him fall asleep on me at night for a few hours then put him to bed Chameleons falling asleep on you is not a good thing. If he is falling asleep on you during the day time, it is a sign of stress. Make sure you are giving him a few hours before his lights go out to get settled in a ready for bed.


  • Feeding - Crickets, meal worms, and waxworms. Just ordered some blue bottle fly larvae as well to add in. Will vary more in the future now that I have a reliable source. Ill generally throw in 15 or so crickets in his cage and repeat when crickets are all gone. I put a 5-7 mealworms and 1-2 wax worms in his dish (been out of crickets bc of Coronavirus, so Ive been adding 10 mealworms a day). I discard dead food everyday, clean dish and add the specified amounts. I gutload my worms with carrots, cham safe greens, and bee pollen. I use oats as substrate so they eat that as well. Crickets are just gutloaded with Fluker’s gutloading formula, as I dont gutload these personally. I understand being short on bugs because of the craziness in the world... but wanted to let you know that mealworms are not recommended for chameleons and wax worms should be used as a treat. Dubia roaches, superworms, silkworms, black solider fly larvae are all great options and there are a lot of online places that are still selling and shipping. I'm not familiar with the Fluker's gutloading formula... but I'd also use your own gutload for your crickets.
  • Supplements - Repti Calcium without D3 everyday. Zoomed Reptivite calcium with D3 once every 2 weeks. Zoomed reptivite reptile vitamins once every two weeks. D3 and vitamins are on opposite schedule. Awesome. This is great.
  • Watering - Zoomed dripper with a cup under to catch the water. I hope to add plants once I get a bigger cage to catch drips. I mist for about a minute 2-3 times a day. All water is dosed with Reptisafe conditioner. I'd try to mist him closer to 2-3 minutes 2x/day to give him enough time to drink and help with the humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Droppings are normal, dark brown and firm. Urates are white. Has not been tested for parasites but will be after this corona stuff passes
  • History - he is from Petco, I work there as the aquatic specialist (I swear i take great care of our animals and love them all very much!). I wasnt really aware of the distain people tend to have at pet store reptiles. Got a lot of grief on reddit about it. It is what it is.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen Zoomed Chameleon Kit. 16x16x30 according to my measurement app You'll want to upgrade him to a larger sized enclosure (I know you already know this from your original post. I'd do this sooner than later to answer your original question). A 2'x2'x4' enclosure is the minimum size a male veiled will need. Dragon Strand makes the best enclosure on the market IMO but they also come with the prize tag to prove it.
  • Lighting - oh god idk if i remember the brand but I have a ceramic heater and an exo terra uvb light. I believe it is the 60watt 100uvb bulb. I was suggested this by a cham owner on instagram Okay so this is where it's really important to pay attention and make changes ASAP. The UVB bulb you're using right now is not sufficient for Cleo. This is a veryyy common mistake. The compact UVB bulb (the swiggly kind) do not put out enough UVB for a chameleon. I show this in my video where I tested the ultra violet index rating of a bunch of different bulbs that I'll link to below for you to watch if you want. You'll want to get Cleo a linear T5 high output (HO) UVB bulb. You can get him a Reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb. Both are great and used by many keepers. You'll also have to get a fixture for the bulb.


  • Temperature - basking spot is 80F, and gradients down to 70F-72F depending. Overnight temps range between 69-72F all throughout the house This basking temp is a little low for him. You'll want it closer to 85F at his age and bump it up to 90-95F as an adult. See if you can pick him up a higher wattage bulb. Pro tip: It doesn't have to be a 'reptile' bulb. You can just use a white light incandescent house bulb with the correct wattage.


  • Humidity - I just have a typical humidity gauge idk what brand it is. I keep humidity between 40%-60% throughout the day, and increase to 70% an hour before bedtime. I maintain this by misting 2-3 times a day or more if needed
  • Plants - No live plants but hope to change that with an upgraded cage Great idea especially since veileds are known to eat plants. The fake ones can cause serious problems. The live plants will also help maintain humidity.


  • Placement - My cage is in a corner next to my window in my bedroom. Its adjacent to a vent on the opposite side of my bed. Low traffic area as its my bedroom. An air purifier about 6 feet away blows towards the cage to provide circulation. Cage is resting on the floor because I do not have any better area to put it currently, but might see if I can move things around to raise him up. so top of cage is 30” off the ground currently but if i can adjust how I want to it would be 5 1/2 feet off the ground. Need parent permission to change this though. Could see if you could just get a little night stand or coffee table to put him on. I know it gets tricky when the parents are involved.
  • Location - Austin, TX
falling asleep always happens around 7pm when its dark out, and his lights are set to go off at 8:30pm. He doesnt sleep during the day and is a very active and adventurous lil dude! Someone on r/chameleons suggested this for taming him. But Ive also had negative experiences on the sub so Im not sure if that was a reliable suggestion

He eats crickets mainly, I normally pull a couple worms out each morning that he didn’t eat the day before. Now that I’ve found a feeder supplier I like I will definitely be weaning off the mealworms all together. I try to balance the amount of wax worms he gets so its 1-2 everyday until the cup runs out, and then I go off them for a few weeks

Thanks for the cage reccomendation!!

Will the bulb I have be okay for the next few months? I just bought this new bulb two weeks ago and I know my parents would throw a fit if I ordered the bulb you suggested after getting a new one soo recently. Every day when it’s 75F or warmer out I take him outside to sunbathe for about 2-3 hours. Will this be okay to supplement the uvb hes missing until I can get a replacement uvb bulb without getting harassed by my parents?

I also talked to my parents and were going to get a small table to put him on until we can go and get a proper, nice looking stand for his cage. So thats good!

Thanks so much for the insight and advice! The chameleonforums community seems to be really welcoming and kind!!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can always order your feeders on line. Check out the site sponsors. If your parents allow, you may want to think about starting to breed your own feeders like dubia or discoid roaches, silkworms and even crickets.
 
You can always order your feeders on line. Check out the site sponsors. If your parents allow, you may want to think about starting to breed your own feeders like dubia or discoid roaches, silkworms and even crickets.
Im going to start ordering from rainbowmealworms to get a better variety for Cleo! I know my parents would never let me breed feeders but Ill definitely be switching to better feeders than solely mealworms and crickets as a staple
 
I now have him on a table so the top of the cage is 4ft off the ground now :) and basking temps will be closer to 90F with a gradient down to ~78F. I had his lights raised a few inches but adjusted them so theyre adjacent to his basking spot without risking burns. Once we upgrade his cage my parents agreed we could go shop for some chameleon safe plants as well!
 

Attachments

Last edited:
I'm going to start out by saying this is going to be a lot of info and a lot of suggestions. Read it a few times and please ask any questions you might have. Feedback inline.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, 6 month old male. Been in my care since January 13th
  • Handling - 3-4 times a week, generally just take him outside to free range our potted plants. Occasionally let him fall asleep on me at night for a few hours then put him to bed Chameleons falling asleep on you is not a good thing. If he is falling asleep on you during the day time, it is a sign of stress. Make sure you are giving him a few hours before his lights go out to get settled in a ready for bed.


  • Feeding - Crickets, meal worms, and waxworms. Just ordered some blue bottle fly larvae as well to add in. Will vary more in the future now that I have a reliable source. Ill generally throw in 15 or so crickets in his cage and repeat when crickets are all gone. I put a 5-7 mealworms and 1-2 wax worms in his dish (been out of crickets bc of Coronavirus, so Ive been adding 10 mealworms a day). I discard dead food everyday, clean dish and add the specified amounts. I gutload my worms with carrots, cham safe greens, and bee pollen. I use oats as substrate so they eat that as well. Crickets are just gutloaded with Fluker’s gutloading formula, as I dont gutload these personally. I understand being short on bugs because of the craziness in the world... but wanted to let you know that mealworms are not recommended for chameleons and wax worms should be used as a treat. Dubia roaches, superworms, silkworms, black solider fly larvae are all great options and there are a lot of online places that are still selling and shipping. I'm not familiar with the Fluker's gutloading formula... but I'd also use your own gutload for your crickets.
  • Supplements - Repti Calcium without D3 everyday. Zoomed Reptivite calcium with D3 once every 2 weeks. Zoomed reptivite reptile vitamins once every two weeks. D3 and vitamins are on opposite schedule. Awesome. This is great.
  • Watering - Zoomed dripper with a cup under to catch the water. I hope to add plants once I get a bigger cage to catch drips. I mist for about a minute 2-3 times a day. All water is dosed with Reptisafe conditioner. I'd try to mist him closer to 2-3 minutes 2x/day to give him enough time to drink and help with the humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Droppings are normal, dark brown and firm. Urates are white. Has not been tested for parasites but will be after this corona stuff passes
  • History - he is from Petco, I work there as the aquatic specialist (I swear i take great care of our animals and love them all very much!). I wasnt really aware of the distain people tend to have at pet store reptiles. Got a lot of grief on reddit about it. It is what it is.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen Zoomed Chameleon Kit. 16x16x30 according to my measurement app You'll want to upgrade him to a larger sized enclosure (I know you already know this from your original post. I'd do this sooner than later to answer your original question). A 2'x2'x4' enclosure is the minimum size a male veiled will need. Dragon Strand makes the best enclosure on the market IMO but they also come with the prize tag to prove it.
  • Lighting - oh god idk if i remember the brand but I have a ceramic heater and an exo terra uvb light. I believe it is the 60watt 100uvb bulb. I was suggested this by a cham owner on instagram Okay so this is where it's really important to pay attention and make changes ASAP. The UVB bulb you're using right now is not sufficient for Cleo. This is a veryyy common mistake. The compact UVB bulb (the swiggly kind) do not put out enough UVB for a chameleon. I show this in my video where I tested the ultra violet index rating of a bunch of different bulbs that I'll link to below for you to watch if you want. You'll want to get Cleo a linear T5 high output (HO) UVB bulb. You can get him a Reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb. Both are great and used by many keepers. You'll also have to get a fixture for the bulb.


  • Temperature - basking spot is 80F, and gradients down to 70F-72F depending. Overnight temps range between 69-72F all throughout the house This basking temp is a little low for him. You'll want it closer to 85F at his age and bump it up to 90-95F as an adult. See if you can pick him up a higher wattage bulb. Pro tip: It doesn't have to be a 'reptile' bulb. You can just use a white light incandescent house bulb with the correct wattage.


  • Humidity - I just have a typical humidity gauge idk what brand it is. I keep humidity between 40%-60% throughout the day, and increase to 70% an hour before bedtime. I maintain this by misting 2-3 times a day or more if needed
  • Plants - No live plants but hope to change that with an upgraded cage Great idea especially since veileds are known to eat plants. The fake ones can cause serious problems. The live plants will also help maintain humidity.


  • Placement - My cage is in a corner next to my window in my bedroom. Its adjacent to a vent on the opposite side of my bed. Low traffic area as its my bedroom. An air purifier about 6 feet away blows towards the cage to provide circulation. Cage is resting on the floor because I do not have any better area to put it currently, but might see if I can move things around to raise him up. so top of cage is 30” off the ground currently but if i can adjust how I want to it would be 5 1/2 feet off the ground. Need parent permission to change this though. Could see if you could just get a little night stand or coffee table to put him on. I know it gets tricky when the parents are involved.
  • Location - Austin, TX
I meant to reply to this message haha, still trying to figure the site out but I added a picture in the thread of his new cage spot, the top is 4ft off the ground and basking temps are raised now
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Im going to start ordering from rainbowmealworms to get a better variety for Cleo! I know my parents would never let me breed feeders but Ill definitely be switching to better feeders than solely mealworms and crickets as a staple
Silkworms are the least offensive to breed and are very easy to keep contained with no escapees. They are basically just caterpillars and are a good staple feeder. It takes a little to get the hang of it, but once you do they’re easy. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/posting-my-silkworm-experience.168402/
 
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