Adopted a new chameleon. Need advice please.

tignish99

New Member
Hello:

Before I start, I know that many of my questions are probably answered elsewhere in the forum, but I just want to make sure I have the basics covered until I have a chance to browse.

We adopted a veiled chameleon very late last night. We did intend to get one in the next little while and I have been researching, but this little girl happened very quickly due to some circumstances. We estimate her age to be around 20 months. She is very friendly and will happily climb on a hand and up to the shoulder. Stores were closed so we had to make due with what was given to us with her. We will fill in the blanks this evening. Here is her husbandry:

-38 tall, 48 wide, 17 deep wood and mesh enclosure.
-I have the basking temp is at 95 on the nearest vine to the light.
-She has a twisty bulb UVB light, which we will replace tonight with Reptisun.
-She has vines and plastic plants. I intend to put a real plant in there as soon as I can.
-She came with a Reptifogger, but I am not sure how often I should turn it on or even if I need to.
-She came with a waterfall, but I know those are not recommended.
-She has a Little Dripper and I put in distilled water.
-I have a spray bottle with distilled water to mist down the terrarium.
-She has a sand box with playsand because her previous owner said she is starting to show signs of egg laying behaviour and her big tummy seems to confirm this. There are only about 3 or 4 inches of sand. That does not seem like enough. Apparently she laid eggs last year without any issues.
-I have calcium with D, calcium w/o D, and multivitamin.


Do you recommend at Reptisun 5 or 10? Can I lay it on top of the terrarium or should I hang it?
At what temps do they need a ceramic heater at night?
How often should I mist down her enclosure?
Anything I should know about egg laying?
How often do I dose her with the different vitamins?
Since this is a new environment, how long can she go without eating before I should get worried?
How quickly should the Little Dripper drip onto the plants?
Do they need baths like bearded dragons? Do I mist her or just the plants?

Any other info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
 
Great questions! Welcome to the forums. I will try to give you brief answers from my experience and provide as many links as possible for wonderful information from some really experienced members. :D

Do you recommend at Reptisun 5 or 10? Can I lay it on top of the terrarium or should I hang it?
There will be a lot of opinions on this. Personally, I use the Reptisun 10.0's tubes until they need to be replaced again. I will be switching to Arcadia bulbs from Lightyourreptiles.com. I have read a ton about them and they are just great. Those bulbs WILL work. You can lay the fixture on the top. This will be an excellent thread to pull info from. https://www.chameleonforums.com/definitive-lighting-thread-everything-you-really-need-know-80869/

At what temps do they need a ceramic heater at night?
A night heater shouldn't be needed unless dropping below 50F (10C).

How often should I mist down her enclosure?
At this time, I hand mist all of my enclosures.I do this 3-4 times a day and for about a minute or so each. The water should dry completely between mistings. This is something that you will have to find a balance with. The humidity where I live is always pretty high. What type of plants ( real or artificial ) will also play a role in your humidity and how much to mist. Make sure she is well hydrated at all times. This is good reading. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/water/

Anything I should know about egg laying?
This is a great video to watch to set up a laying bin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5usyXP_u4Zc

How often do I dose her with the different vitamins?
The general rule of thumb with supplements - Calcium w/o D3 pretty much every feeding. Calcium w/ D3 2x a month. Vitamin supplement 2x a month. There are different factors with this as well. If your little lady will be outside a lot, you wouldn't need the D3. I know a few people that don't at all because they are able to keep them outside.

Since this is a new environment, how long can she go without eating before I should get worried?
It might take her a few weeks to get settled in. She may or may not want to eat in front of you. That's okay just try both ways. Mine have taken a few days at times, one of them even a week. If you see from her that she's really shy, just give her privacy. Lol.. there's so much more to that but I don't want you to have to read all of my opinions when there will hopefully be many more great opinions. Watch out for her poo and urates.

How quickly should the Little Dripper drip onto the plants?
My little Drippers last me a whole day.

Pulled from care source - Shower - Another method of providing water, especially to dehydrated chameleons, is by using a shower. Place a large plant in the tub, aim the shower head against the wall, and run the water so that only a fine mist reaches the chameleon. The water should be room temperature (not hot!). They may drink for up to 30 minutes. Make sure to supervise your chameleon at all times while using this method.

^ I have only used this method if I start to see signs of dehydration and or if they are taking a long time to poo.

I hope I helped a little. There is a lot of homework to keep these little ones happy. I am sure there will be tons more good advice inc! Good luck! Can't wait to hear about and see how she's doing. :)
 

Kate

Established Member
I think you have most of your answers. I would ditch the waterfall. Most chams do not recognise standing water and the waterfall will be a source of bacteria as feeders drown in it and your girl will likely poop in it. She won't need a bath as chams don't absorb water through there skin.:)
 

tignish99

New Member
Thank you very much. She did eat some butterworms this morning and I did see a poo. She seems bright and alert and seems to be interested in her surroundings. I love the eyeballs going in two different directions LOL!

So you do not recommend the Reptifogger for her at all?

The Little Dripper is dripping once every few seconds.

Is there a safe cleaning solution for her terrarium?
 

Tyaeda

Member
As you'll find in the care sheets and posts here, you will most likely not need a night time heat source unless the nighttime temperatures go lower than 60*F.

There are also many threads related to egg laying bins on these forums that you will find helpful.
 
Thank you very much. She did eat some butterworms this morning and I did see a poo. She seems bright and alert and seems to be interested in her surroundings. I love the eyeballs going in two different directions LOL!

So you do not recommend the Reptifogger for her at all?

The Little Dripper is dripping once every few seconds.

Is there a safe cleaning solution for her terrarium?

I have never used one but some do. How are your humidity levels? I've used water and vinegar, and also peroxide to clean my cages. A really good steamer is excellent to have. Really good ones can get a little pricey, but are worth it IMO. I have http://www.amazon.com/Steamfast-SF-...qid=1377103268&sr=1-12&keywords=steam+cleaner. Works great. :D
 
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