Veiled Chameleon Interior Setup Guide
The interior to any enclosure is the fun bit, trying to create a habitat that is as close to the natural world habitat as possible. Veiled Chameleon interior setup can actually be rather simple and easy to maintain, below is everything that your going to need to create a happy home for your chameleon.
Veiled Chameleon Interior Setup Plants
Plants in my opinion are the most important objects in a Chameleon enclosure. I still to this day find it fascinating that people still choose to have fake plants in their enclosure. When trying to recreate the natural habitat surely live plants are better? There is a wide range of different plants that you can purchase from your local garden centre that you can use to fill your enclosure, when i say fill i really mean fill. Veiled Chameleons love lots of bushy plants, Vines and Branches to climb / hide in, this is why big plants are better than small plants. I currently have 2 plants in my cage 1 is a Pothos plant and 1 is a camellia. There is a wide range of plant choices some of which i mention below.
My pothos plant is a medium sized plant, Pothos is great fro water retention and humidity. I spray it daily once every morning and hours later i can still see moisture on the leaves, this attracts my chameleon over and i often see her licking and eat the leaves. All very positive for re hydration, so i would highly recommend one of these in your cage.
My Camellia plant or shrub to be precise is the foundations for my enclosure and is huge. I purposely chose the biggest one i could find in my local garden centre, the long branches span the entire cage and gives my Chameleon the much needed height to get to the top and get to the much needed Heat and UVB rays. On the flipside of this, being a bushy plant it gives multiple levels and options for her to get away from the light and come down lower to the much cooler areas of the enclosure. I have also read the Camellia has very nutritious leaves giving this plant another benefit to your Veiled Chameleon. If your a bloke reading this and i'm about the unveil a secret weapon to you if your trying to convince the mrs to allow you to have a Chameleon. A camellia plant if looked after well will actually produce vibrant flowers bringing in some natural colour to your house, best of luck for your chat.
Things you need to do with Shop brought plants -
1 - When you get them home wash them down well and look for any insects that might be living in them. Make sure any spider webs are removed before putting into the enclosure.
2- you will need to keep you plant potted, remove as much soil / compost as you can from the pot at the base of the plant and replace with natural top soil. Most Garden centres sell topsoil but it needs to be natural with no anti weed formulas mixed in to it. You can add smooth stones on top if you wish but not tiny ones.
Other common plants that are safe for Veiled Chameleons are Ficus (benjamena), schefflera (umbrella Tree), Hibiscus and Dracaena.
Basking Spot - Veiled chameleon Interior setup
Although having nice big plants as described above creates various basking spots at different heights, you need a nice solid level area for your Chameleon to sit on and feel safe. My advice for this is actually to build your own. I built mine using some 18mm Dowel rod i brought from my local Diy store. The issue is how you attach anything to the mesh without ripping it under the weight of your chameleon. How i did it was to cut the dowel to the desired length measuring the width of the cage, i went 1 cm over to keep the mesh tight against the dowel. I drilled a pilot hole in each side of the dowel, grabbed some washers and placed a washer on either side of the mesh and simply put the screw through. Works really well and the washers should eliminate any risk of the mesh ripping.
Jungle Vines - Veiled Chameleon interior setup
Jungle vines in your enclosure are a must, they look good and gives your Chameleon a nice curl to climb up and down on. I suggest 2 or 3 in a cage, you can pick them up for around £14 each and are generally a 1 time purchase.
Do you need Substrate?
Absolutely not, if you use the reptibreeze setup the plastic bottom to it is all you need. It provides an easy surface to wipe daily.
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