almost 1 year old veiled apetite decline


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I've searched this forum for hours... and found some answers to my questions... but I still have some things. Here's my setup.

I have a male Veiled almost a year old. I've had him 6 months. He's in a 30"x30"x16" mesh flexarium. I mist him twice daily. He has a waterfall and a drip system. he has 2 tall driftwood stacks, fake vine, and a bunch of fake silk plants. I've been feeding him a dozen crickets a day, and sometimes meal worms late afternoon. I gut load with flukers orange cube and either apple/potato/collard greens. I have a 150W basking light, a 5.0 compact UVB light, and a 2.0 tube. his ambient temp is 75-80 and basking at 95-100. I run a humidifier a few hours a day to keep humidity up. He seems very healthy, good color, eyes not sunken, wide open constantly looking around. very active in the cage. I've never handled him since I put him in. I've hand fed him a few times. He's always been a good eater... but...

here's my questions:
1) the past couple days he hasn't been eating as much as he used to... still eats... just much less. I've noticed that in the morning when I feed him, he doesn't go eat all the crickets right away like he used to, and there have been crickets left in the cage at the end of the day. What could cause that? is 12 large crickets a day just too much? I would also add meal worms to his diet frequently. do they eat less as they slow/stop growing? he is shedding, would that cause a loss of appetite?

2) I don't see him drink anymore... he used to drink lots from the waterfall. His poop is still white, and his color is awesome. He's strong, and has a big sturdy casque. I just recently started the drip setup, could there be any dehydration?

I am a little worried about his decline in appetite. is there anything to worry about? or am I panicking for no reason??

thanks in advance for any input you have!

Sam Vos
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I've read alot of bad things about waterfalls and how bacteria gets caught up in it if not cleaned frequently. All it does is recycle water, even dirty water so if your chameleon is drinking that maybe thats it. Say you just cleaned the waterfall and while you are at work or something he poos in it and then drinks from it then thats bad I would suppose. And usually after growth stops the amount of feeding wouldnt be the same as when they are babies and during their growth spurt. He also might be getting bored of just crickets and mealworms, try something new like some silkworms and waxworms to stimulate appetite. Theres a whole list of different feeders on the forum. Anyone correct me if I'm wrong here ^_^
Just guessing at size I would say 12 adult crickets is probably to much. Around that age 6-8 crickets is probably a more reasonable number. You could at this time start skipping days also. I would try to add a couple more feeder options to your list for some variety.

What is your supplementations schedule like? What kind of supplements?

What is your misting schedule like? I would not depend on a waterfall for sole means of hydration.
crickets are my main dish... basically everyday. I also sometimes use meal worms and superworms. also the odd house fly. everything I put in I dust with calcium. there isn't any places around to get many other insects... I can get wax worms, and the big green ones (can't remember the name) but I was warned against them because of the fat content??? what should be his regular diet?

I mist in the morning when I get up and feed him for nearly 10 minutes. I use just a dollar store spray bottle. He hates it... sometimes he'll hiss at me... usually he just hides... I try to get him as wet as I can, but I usually don't see him drink during it. is there something I'm doing wrong when I mist him? is there a better product/method?

when I get home from work I mist him again, but not as thorough.

can you tell me how your drip system is setup? I have it dripping on some leaves... but then it just runs down the stems... and gets everything wet... is that ok? I don't know if a dish would even help, it runs down everywhere

I've also noticed that now that he's grown up.. he always climbs the side of the mesh and goes right to the top... almost like he's figured out that he's captive and wants out.
Well since you already have mealworms you could try this and get some beetles. You can also leave a porch light on and catch some moths. Zoo Med sells a little tent looking thing that I hear works great for this purpose. I really can not catch that big a moths in my area but seeing something different gets their interest going. I like giving them flies I catch too. Really some crickets, supers, meals, beetles, moths and flies would be quite a big list compared to some keepers. Really you would not have to do to much more work either. I will try to remember to take pictures of my fly trap. I have not been using it because it has been cold lately. Yes you are right wax worms are high in fat. You could use them but it should be sparingly.

If you are just supplementing calcium you may want to add two more. One is calcium with D3 and phosphorus-free. You could just do this once a week at his age. Another would be a multivitamin maybe just supplement once a month.

I would fill you hand mister with the hottest water that will come out of the tap. If you want to try something cheap and would be a little easier I would suggest something like this. The 10 minutes you use in the morning could be spread out in the day and he would get ample water, 20-40 minutes depending on how you use it. I would note that you will need a cage that drains good to get rid of the excess.

He will probably need a bigger cage in the near future. Veileds are pretty active, large and like some territory to roam around in.
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One question, are you dusting your crickets before serving them up? Also, how are you gutfeeding them if at all? Please make sure that you do NOT use "Repti-Cal" brand calcium supplement as I just lost a 5 months old veiled male due to an infection stemming from his kidneys not being able to handle the "safe" supplemental dusting I gave his crickets once a month. If you see the tip of his tail start to get lighter or bend in slightly odd right angles, get him to a reptile specialist immediately! I only found this out all too late.
is that repti-cal you talked about made by aristopet? does it have a black label? with a bearded dragon in it?
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