Adopted new Veiled-first time Chameleon owner

Katiew

New Member
Hello there! I adopted a veiled chameleon just a few days ago and want to check in with all you marvelous people so that I make sure he has an appropriate set up, and he is healthy (or suggestions on how to get him back to healthy). He came to me in a fairly small, completely mesh enclosure but did have the basics from what I can tell. I am buying a much larger cage from a friend (I believe its 4-5 feet tall) and want to make sure I fill it up accordingly. Thank you for all your help!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Tonks is a male veiled chameleon. I am unsure of his age, but the previous family had him a couple years. I have only had him a couple days.
  • Handling - I am limiting handling too much until I think he is more settled, but he is surprisingly friendly and will come out and crawl on me when I leave the door open.
  • Feeding - I am currently feeding only crickets daily (roughly 8ish) and a couple mealworms as a snack yesterday. I am offering small pieces of mustard greens and apple as well. Currently I am gut loading with only some orange and some of the mustard greens as well.
  • Supplements - I am using the Flukers "Repta Calcium with Vit D3 and phosphorus free". I have not ordered any other type of vitamin supplements yet. I was planning on dusting them every other day.
  • Watering - Right now I am watering just by misting multiple times of day. Usually I do a long mist (maybe a full minute or 2) early in the morning, and before bed. I also do a couple spot mists throughout the day. I do not see him drinking off the leaves in particular, but definitely what is running down his face.
  • Fecal Description - He has only had 2 bowl movements since I have brought him home, but both have a dark brown, mostly formed part, with a white part as well. I am not sure if he has been tested for parasites but I doubt its been recently.
  • History - I do not have much history on him.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - His current cage is fully screen, and I think the dimensions are 18x18x36. The new cage is also fully screen and will be 4-5 feet tall. I do not know the specific dimensions.
  • Lighting - He came with a 50watt UVB bulb. I have a fixture for the long bulbs and was planning on getting a Reptisun bulb for it. I would love recommendations for what is best. The bulb is currently on from about 7am-8pm (a little earlier if I'm home earlier)
  • Temperature - There were not temperature gauges on his original cage unfortunately so I do not have an exact range. I do plan on putting them in the bigger cage. However, my house does not have AC and I live in the south, so my ambient temperature is between 75-82 currently. I believe that the basking area is about 90 degrees.
  • Humidity - I am currently winging the humidity levels and will have a hygrometer in the new setup. I am used to maintaining humidity in my PacMan frog's habitat, but since that one is enclosed and not completely screen, I'm not sure how well I'm doing. What are your humidity levels?
  • Plants - I currently do not have any in there, but a friend is repotting some pothos to put in the new enclosure. I would like to use more live plants if suitable.
  • Placement - Currently the cage is on my dining room table, in front of my big window. It is a fairly high traffic area as far as people walking by, but my house is a pretty calm environment, minus some dogs wrestling occasionally. I am hoping to move the larger cage into my sewing room. It has more space and will be even less of a high traffic area. I have a nice window I could put him in front of. Currently the top of the cage is at my height- so maybe 5 1/2 feet high. I want to put the larger enclosure on a table as well so that hes not too low to the ground and not on dog-level.
  • Location - I live near Asheville, North Carolina. In the beautiful mountains!
 

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janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there! I didn't see anyone post an updated husbandry review so I will start. I will add my response in red. If I miss anything hopefully one of the other members will add on to it.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Tonks is a male veiled chameleon. I am unsure of his age, but the previous family had him a couple years. I have only had him a couple days.
  • Handling - I am limiting handling too much until I think he is more settled, but he is surprisingly friendly and will come out and crawl on me when I leave the door open.
  • Feeding - I am currently feeding only crickets daily (roughly 8ish) and a couple mealworms as a snack yesterday. I am offering small pieces of mustard greens and apple as well. Currently I am gut loading with only some orange and some of the mustard greens as well. Having a variety of feeders is always good. Each one has different nutritional value. See the care sheets I posted in your other thread. This will give you an idea on what feeders are the best and what not to feed. I would cut out the meal worms, they don't gut load well and add no nutritional value. Feed first thing in the morning, basking aids in digestion. Since he is an adult you don't need to feed every day. Curb him back to every other day.
  • Supplements - I am using the Flukers "Repta Calcium with Vit D3 and phosphorus free". I have not ordered any other type of vitamin supplements yet. I was planning on dusting them every other day. He should be getting calcium without D3 at every feeding except 2 times a month he should have calcium with d3 and 2 times a month she should have a multivitamin.
  • Watering - Right now I am watering just by misting multiple times of day. Usually I do a long mist (maybe a full minute or 2) early in the morning, and before bed. I also do a couple spot mists throughout the day. I do not see him drinking off the leaves in particular, but definitely what is running down his face. 2 min misting is good, make sure the morning mist is before the lights come on. I would also recommend a dripper system to drip on some leaves for extra hydration. Most Chams are shy drinkers so you may not ever see him drink. If you do, great! I would also recommend an automatic misting system.
  • Fecal Description - He has only had 2 bowl movements since I have brought him home, but both have a dark brown, mostly formed part, with a white part as well. I am not sure if he has been tested for parasites but I doubt its been recently. I would HIGHLY recommend a getting a fecal done. Crickets can carry a parasite called Coccidia, I have recently dealt with this as well as other members. It is better to catch it early.
  • History - I do not have much history on him.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - His current cage is fully screen, and I think the dimensions are 18x18x36. The new cage is also fully screen and will be 4-5 feet tall. I do not know the specific dimensions. Minimum for adult is 2x2x4. Bigger is always better.
  • Lighting - He came with a 50watt UVB bulb. I have a fixture for the long bulbs and was planning on getting a Reptisun bulb for it. I would love recommendations for what is best. The bulb is currently on from about 7am-8pm (a little earlier if I'm home earlier) Heat bulb you can use a regular incandescent bulb. Get rid of the current UVB bulb and switch to a linear 6% T5HO bulb. Make sure you get a fixture long enough to fit over the new cage so you are not having to spend extra money. I am not a lighting expert because I keep my Cham outside. See the attached care image on the other thread.
  • Temperature - There were not temperature gauges on his original cage unfortunately so I do not have an exact range. I do plan on putting them in the bigger cage. However, my house does not have AC and I live in the south, so my ambient temperature is between 75-82 currently. I believe that the basking area is about 90 degrees. Ambient temp is good, make sure you get a good temp/humidity gauge, I have several that are throughout the cage to measure ambient temp and humidity. Temp gun works best to get the most accurate reading for the basking branch. No heat or light at night, they benefit from a temp drop.
  • Humidity - I am currently winging the humidity levels and will have a hygrometer in the new setup. I am used to maintaining humidity in my PacMan frog's habitat, but since that one is enclosed and not completely screen, I'm not sure how well I'm doing. What are your humidity levels? Day time humidity should be between 40-60, you want nighttime to be between 80-100. Many keepers are using foggers and humidifiers at night. Here is a podcast that is highly recommended that goes into more detail. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/
  • Plants - I currently do not have any in there, but a friend is repotting some pothos to put in the new enclosure. I would like to use more live plants if suitable. Live plants are highly recommended, Pothos is a great one. Keep in mind the Veiled species is known to eat plants and dirt. Get large river rocks to place on top of the dirt. There should be lots of coverage, vines, branches. It should take you a little bit to find him. I would search enclosures to get a better idea of full coverage set ups.
  • Placement - Currently the cage is on my dining room table, in front of my big window. It is a fairly high traffic area as far as people walking by, but my house is a pretty calm environment, minus some dogs wrestling occasionally. I am hoping to move the larger cage into my sewing room. It has more space and will be even less of a high traffic area. I have a nice window I could put him in front of. Currently the top of the cage is at my height- so maybe 5 1/2 feet high. I want to put the larger enclosure on a table as well so that hes not too low to the ground and not on dog-level. My cham is afraid of dogs and it seems like you will be moving him which is good. Just watch for stress because you may have to move him sooner. Natural light is great but just keep in mind UVB does not go through glass. Take him out for some sunshine a couple hrs a week. If you haven't already, start looking for a vet that specializes in Herps. Your cham would benefit from a vet visit.
  • Location - I live near Asheville, North Carolina. In the beautiful mountains!

Sorry if I missed anything, if you have any questions or need more specifics/details don't hesitate to ask!!
 
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