advice needed

ericcham

New Member
I was hoping anyone could give me some advice

I have become the owner of a chameleon from a friend who had to get 'rid' of him due to personal reasons, i was happy to take ownership as i have wanted a lizard of some sort for a while now and i wanted my friends chameleon to go to a good home so i couldn't say no

It is a Yemen p beiled/veiled, just over a year old and roughly 6 inches long, exc the tail

My friend told me what to feed and how to 'home' him etc but a few more opinions would be even better

He has had a diet of crickets and meal worms which my friend has said he fed mainly on crickets: what is the best thing to feed him as his main diet and what for a treat? (he has had about 3/4 crickets in his tank but he isnt actually eating them so do you think i shouldnt bother with these anymore? he has clearly seen them and not bothered, but he loves the worms)

The tank has the ray light and a temp gauge which at the moment reads 38 degrees Celsius, could you tell me what is the best temp to keep the tank at?

There is a light inside the tank: i wanted to know when is best to keep the light on/off? i.e should i keep it on all day (i know they need less light at night)

I think that is all i need to know, i have done a bit of research before taking ownership, my main worry is that it has had a 1st owner for over a year and it wont take kindly to me holding the reptile or becoming agitated (which i would hate) as i would have to clean the tank every few weeks thus having to hold him

Any feedback & a quick response would be much appreciated

Thanks

Andy
 
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balmybaldwin

New Member
I don't keep yemens, I have apanther instead, but will help out where I can.

Food:

Crickets, Mealworms, Morios (if he's big enough) are all good, you could also try waxworms (not too often as very fatty) wax moths (that come from waxworms), silkworms, calciworms(pheonixworms), butterworms or dubia roaches. Try to gut load all food with fresh vegies (avoid spinach) and possibly fruit etc.

At each feeding dust your food with Calcium powder before giving to the cham.

Lights:
sounds like you have a heat lamp (posibly a megaray?) and a secondary light. It is very important that your CHam has access to UVB light to be able to use calcium and prevent MBD, so it is important to work out what you have. Essentially there are 2 options:

1. a standard heatlamp giving out heat and light but not much if any UVB use one of these in conjunction with a Tube Strip light that produces UVB (use a 6% bulb if mounted internally, or 10-12% if mounted outside mesh - don't mount outside glass as this blocks UVB)
2. A Mercury Vapour Bulb that produces heat, light and UVB - these are a little more awkward to set-up as they cant be put on a thermostat. (they are also pricier to replace bulbs)


Temps - someone else will help you out I'm sure but I believe you need a basking spot about 95F. you will also need a temperature gradient (lower temps lower down) which is normally quite easy to achieve

Handeling and Cleaning:
He may never like you, he may even hate you... try to be patient and let him have his space and he should eventually tolerate you... you could of course be lucky and end up with a friendly one!
For cleaning etc to avoid annoying him too much, try getting a big house plant you can put near the enclosure and use your hands to encourage him onto it ... you can then slide this to the side and get on with cleaning, and if you put the plant in a good place (by an screen window etc) he may come to enjoy this experience and almost ask to be let out (if you are lucky!)

HTH
 

wsidepinoy

New Member
Gonna clarify the uvb bulb, never hang the lights internally, ever. Chams can hang and get burns from them being too close..

5.0 uvb reptisun / reptiglo on top of enclosure is fine
10.0 uvb reptisun / reptiglo on top of enclosure ONLY if it is a large enough enclosure. The uvb light needs stronger rays to penetrate such a dense / deep distance.

If your cage is 18 x 18 x 36 or 24 x 24 x 48 then 5.0 is completely fine, anything taller wider or denser, maybe a 10.0 but would still depend.
 

ericcham

New Member
Hi thank you for the feedback, it is external the lamp (heat lamp and standard lamp) so i am ok with that, at the moment the temp is 20 degrees celcius/68 fahrenhit, the heatlamp will only dip 2 inches above the mesh and not onto it, would this be a problem? though it seems to warm up at night? maybe due to the curtains being closed (not on the tank obviously lol) i also have the heat lamp on at all times

Going onto the holding of eric (named after cantona :D) when i go to 'get' him he gets edgy and moves away, i go to him slowly which may be a threat to him it gets me on edge as i dont want to piss him off much, but this may become a problem for when i do clean his tank out, he may be like that as the previous owner has him for over a year so he obviously isnt used to me, would you agree or do i just have to be patient?

Thanks
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
do you have a basking bulb? If your heat lamp is only putting off 68 degrees that is not warm enough 68 is cool for the cage for an ambient without having a basking area to warm up. You have to have a baskinb bulb in order for him to digest his food. An ordinary houselbulb will do about a 60 watt. Place it right on top of the screen and plack a basking branch or vine about 8 inches down. You want the temp to be 85 ish or a little higher. Make sure the branch is far enough down so no part of your chameleon can touch the screen and get burned. As far as the cage being large and using a 10.0. you can still use a 5.0 as they will tend to gravitate towards the top of the cage anyways especially if you have a branch below the uvb. Just don't have a ton of foilage at the top under the uvb and the 5.0 is just fine. I would not leave any lights on at night. You do not need a heat lamp unless your cage is gonna get below 50 degrees. They can take the colder temps.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the world of chameleons!
Is it a male for sure?

Crickets are always a good feeder since they are easy to gutload/feed and keep and readily available. Superworms, silkworms, roaches, etc. are also good to use. Once in a while you can give it waxworms for a treat.

The UVB and basking lights should both be on for 12 to 14 hours a day. There should be no light at night...and no heat at night is needed unless the room temperature drops below the mid 60's. The basking area for that age of chameleon can be in the mid to high 80's F although they can take hotter temperatures for some time too.

Here is some information that I hope will help....
Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. Temperatures needed can vary with the species and age. For hatchling panthers and veileds I keep the temperature in the warmest area in the low 80's. For older panthers and veileds I keep it in the mid to high 80's for the most part.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite which has beta carotene.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
If you can't access the sites above that have the word "archive" in you can do it through the WayBackMachine.
 
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ericcham

New Member
again thank you for all the info, my cham is a yemen so may need a different diet to the panther, highly unlikely though

About the crickets, he has 4 in his tank at the moment he spots them but doesnt bother eating them? and they actually seem to be growing as the crickets in the container are small yet the ones in the tank seem to be a lot bigger now, do you think i should take out the crickets from the tank and dispose of them as he doesnt seem keen on them? or try the powedered calcium on the crickets? like i say i have only just taken ownership and dont want to give him a bad diet

and 1 last thing, he does get nervous when i go to touch him (i have put that down to me being new to him) and today i fed him a couple of worms then pointed to a lone worm (i put them in a hanging 'basket' making them easy to spot and he eats them straight away) and it was if he was redy to pull his tongue out to eat my finger lol, is this beacuse he sees me put worms in and they come from my hand? or possibly telling me to piss off? (no hissing as yet either)

thanks
 

Spunky

New Member
I have a veiled that i just got about 3 weeks ago and she used to get pretty pissy at just the site of my hand in her home. She'd get black stipes all over and hiss if i got too close for comfort. I have been just sitting with my hand in her home so she'll get used to me and over the last few days i have been able to get closer and closer before she would show any signs of stress. Yesterday she actually climbed on my hand without any persuasion and ate a cricket from my hand. Just be patient with your fella and give him space if he needs it. As for trying to get your finger, my guess is he thought it was food lol. Unless he thinks he is part puppy :p congrats on your new guy but be warned...they are addictive!!
 

ericcham

New Member
ha ha well i will give it a few days, he is a year and a half old though so it will be even weirder for him i guess, and yeh he must have thought my fingers were big worms (would have made his day if they were lol) he is brilliant though and his colouring is mad, at some point i will have to get him out though when i clean the cage so wether he likes it or not he has to get used to it :D
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
I treat the veileds and the panthers the same re: gutloading/feeding the insects and supplementing but I feed the male panthers quite a bit more than the veiled males. In either case, the idea is, of course to feed them enough that they are not getting fat or staying too skinny.
 

ericcham

New Member
Hi, i have seen this a lot 'gutfeeding' what do you actually mean? sorry to sound like a dunce lol, wel the locust he doesnt touch at all he just loves the worms and eats them straight away so that may have to be his diet
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Gutloading is feeding them (the insects) nutritious foods, so the nutrition is passed on to your chameleon.
 

ericcham

New Member
ahh i see, well about the locust, i put them in his tank but he doesnt seem to keen on them yet the meal worms i feed him he loves and eats them as soon as they go in the tank, is this a healthy diet for him and if so how many day and night should i feed him? he seems happy with about 7-10, he is a year old & a half old i have just taken ownership of him so want to make sure i dont over/underfeed him

any advice will be appreciated thanks
 

wsidepinoy

New Member
i would supplement with worms but have a staple feeder that is gutloaded properly such as crickets or dubias.

My cham eats about 5-8 crickets (crix gutloaded with flukers orange cube, flukers calcium dry feed, romaine lettuce & grapes) a day (cham is 4 months old) out of a cup. I'm also going to start giving him silkies and when he gets large enough I have some super worms I had from a previous cham that are just sitting and getting gutloaded as we speak.

I wanna try dubias but the wife HATES roaches and told me I would have to move myself and my cham and roaches to another house LOL

Crix/Supers/Silkies it is !
 

ericcham

New Member
well there are 5 crickets but he hasnt bothered with them at all, they walk past him and he leaves them, he has had a mixture of worms and locust today and he ate them so i will carry on like that

ha ha the missus giving out the orders to you, just do it anyway and hope she doesnt notice, highly unlikely lol

the only thing bothering me is eric had a previous owner for a year and a half (his age now) and he is still a little edgy with me, he didnt seem to bothered when i stroked his spine and his 'chin' this morning but he was on the floor in the tank, it is when he is facing me and looking straight at me that he gets a little nervous, i hope this passes so i can pick him up and let him get a little exercise on the table, and obviously il need to take him out to clean the tank properly when it needs doing
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Are the crickets the right size for him? Are they the brown ones?

I'm not a fan of commercial gutloads so I use a wide assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet red pepper, sweet potato, zucchini, etc.). Romain lettuce and red leaf lettuce are okay as a small part of it because they provide water/moisture.
 
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ericcham

New Member
yeh they are brown, they may be to big for him but there is a little gap between the mesh and the inside of the tank and they hide there and rarely crawl out, but when they do he doesnt bother with them, probably using them for some company lol

i may try some lettuce then and some of the above also, though he loves the meal worms and has eaten a couple of locust today as well
 
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