Are we doing something wrong?

Chantal

New Member
Hi everyone,
We are from the Netherlands, we have a veiled chameleon since 3 month, female, she is cute, powerfull and very curious. Stil it’s all new territory to have a reptile, besides our 2 cats, we do our best we can. In general i think she is okay, active, eating wel. But eating a lot of soil lately and shivers sometimes...
should we worry about that? We look forward to hear about your thoughts. Below all info filled in.

Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? *** Female, 7 month old, we have her for 3 month, bought her at a reptileshop in NL.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? *** Not often, once per 2-3 weeks, only when we have special treats to get her wihout stress out of the cache
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? ***Crickets, locusts, silkworms, sometimes waxworms, superworms, 2 times a week broccoli, cooked, she loves greens, eats almost one turtleplant per week. She get’s 8 items per day, insects.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? *** Calcium with D Exo Terra, multivitamines without D Reptivite Zoo med’s
  • Watering - What kind of wateringp technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • *** we spray by hand, one minute each time, 3 times a day, and mist 4 times per night 30 min. each, never see her drinking from leafes, sometimes she drinks from the pipet, i think she gets her hydration out of the turtleplant?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? ** *** has not been tested, droppings looks good, solid, brown, not dry, and white part is sometimes quite slimy, but really white
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
  • *** None

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? *** Screen cache 100 x 50 x 50 cm, 3 sides are covered with transparant plastic screens.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? *** Lucky reptile 50 watt, uva/uvb and basking in one
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? ** * 28 degrees C 20 cm below the lamp, down in cache about 19 degrees C, overnight temp, 18-20 degrees C, lamp is on from 7:00 till 19:00
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? *** 30 - 50 overday, nights 80, spray overday, fogger during night
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? *** Yes, Philonendron and turtleplants
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? *** livingroom, corner on closet 1,20 meter of the floor, no vents, traffic yes, us (2 people) and our 2 cats, at 18:00 we cover the cache with a thin blanket so she has her privacy before sleeping, she needs that out of experience, otherwise she will search for weird sleeping places. Now she sleeps open on a stick.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? *** The Netherlands

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
*** She eats a lot of soil, before that i was wondering if eating one turtleplant per week is okay. We had none for one week and she started to eat the Philondendron and soil...now we have 2 turtleplants in her cache. recently she has some kind of shivers, like she is cold for a second, I see it 2-3 times a day.
She started to sheed last week, on her chin, but only there, nowhere else.
We also wonder if we need to place a bin already?
 

Chantal

New Member
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Rhea’s mum

Established Member
Ok so the main thing I see in your husbandry that needs to be changed ASAP is the all in one bulb. You want a liner T5 for uvb and a reptile basking flood/spot light depending on what you can get. The uvb linear will go across the top. You want a 6% bulb if you get Arcadia or a 5.0 reptisun depending on what’s available to you in the Netherlands. Arcadia is more easily found here in the uk. I can’t stress how important the Uvb is.
There are plenty of threads on here that talk about uvb so you can search for the specific distances (can’t remember them off the top of my head).

Once the uvb is sorted then there are a few other things I can see.
There are plenty of threads on here that talk about uvb so you can search for the specific distances (can’t remember them off the top of my head).
I would say you want a bit more coverage for her and make sure that they are live Cham safe plants. Especially as she likes to eat greens etc.
Read through all these modules on husbandry on this site. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/
You will want to think about cutting back on the feeding to every other day now and by about a year you will be wanting to feed her 2-3 insects 3 times a week.

you will also want to get a lay in sorted ASAP with her being 7 months old.


I know that chameleons seem like a minefield and there is a lot of conflicting information on them. But you have found the right place to learn and hopefully have a happy Cham ?
 

Chantal

New Member
Thank you for your feedback Reah’s mum.
What the bulb concerned, it’s the one thing where I have (had) no doubt’s about ?. It was quite expensive, ( € 145,00) it’s a gaslamp, has a intermediate switch and i was assured that it’s covering the needed uvb for 1-1.5 years. I have seen this with many reptiles owners. Maybe you have seen it as another kind of bulb?

We will check to get some more plants, also the bin we will place back. Had it already 2 month ago because she looked very round. But I guess it was the food, too much.

Yes, they feel like a minefield, you never know if your heading the right direction!!

what could cost the shivering? Any idea?
I was afraid that its the vitamines, shortage or overdose of something.
 

Rhea’s mum

Established Member
So this is the Arcadia light for your uvb I was on about.
https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/prot5/

Im not an expert on uvb but I know that the combi bulbs can give out incorrect amounts of uvb and they also don’t cover the same amount of area. I’m going to tag a couple of people that may be able to help a bit better and are more experienced.
@Beman @MissSkittles @AmandaS

Make sure you read through the chameleon academy husbandry that I linked before to give you a better idea.
With regards to shivering I have often seen my little girl do it when she is trying to be big and scary. From the little I know it is defence like puffing up and the tail curling tightly up.

What is your supplement regimen?
 

Chantal

New Member
So this is the Arcadia light for your uvb I was on about.
https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/prot5/

Im not an expert on uvb but I know that the combi bulbs can give out incorrect amounts of uvb and they also don’t cover the same amount of area. I’m going to tag a couple of people that may be able to help a bit better and are more experienced.
@Beman @MissSkittles @AmandaS

Make sure you read through the chameleon academy husbandry that I linked before to give you a better idea.
With regards to shivering I have often seen my little girl do it when she is trying to be big and scary. From the little I know it is defence like puffing up and the tail curling tightly up.

What is your supplement regimen?

supplement are Calcium with D Exo Terra, multivitamines without D Reptivite Zoo med’s, each once per week.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there welcome to the forum. @Rhea’s mum is correct about the feedback she gave you.

The 2 in 1 bulbs really should not be used unless you have a solarmeter to know what your UVI levels at basking are. They tend to be more unstable and produce higher UVI output then a cham should be exposed to at close ranges. So we recommend a T5HO linear fixture with a 6% arcadia uvb bulb. THis should run the width of your enclosure and then basking level should be 9 inches below the fixture for the correct UVB level.

Temps at basking should be 26-27 max for a female. food amounts need to be reduced to 2-3 feeders 3 days a week. Temperature and feeding amounts directly impact the amount of eggs she will lay. The more they lay the harder it is on them and the more dangerous it is. So by reducing the temps and feeders this makes clutch size smaller and easier for a chameleon to recover from.

Waxworms should not be fed they are high in fat and do not feed her any vegetables or fruit. THey are insectivores and feeding fruit and veg is bad on their system.

Per the supplements.... You should be using a calcium WITHOUT D3 at all feedings then rotate week to week at one feeding between the calcium with D3 and the reptivite without D3. OR replace the two separate ones and buy reptivite with D3 and use this one 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. But you need to be using the calcium without D3 version at all other feeds. Too much D3 causes its own issues and too much fat soluble vitamins do as well.

With her being female @AmandaS or @MissSkittles can give you more specifics on laybins and what you will want to do for her.
 

Chantal

New Member
So this is the Arcadia light for your uvb I was on about.
https://www.arcadiareptile.com/lighting/prot5/

Im not an expert on uvb but I know that the combi bulbs can give out incorrect amounts of uvb and they also don’t cover the same amount of area. I’m going to tag a couple of people that may be able to help a bit better and are more experienced.
@Beman @MissSkittles @AmandaS

Make sure you read through the chameleon academy husbandry that I linked before to give you a better idea.
With regards to shivering I have often seen my little girl do it when she is trying to be big and scary. From the little I know it is defence like puffing up and the tail curling tightly up.

What is your supplement regimen?
The lights you refer to i have seen before in this forum, not sure if I have seen them here in NL before. I really hope ours is covering all needs, I will try to find more info about it.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome to the forum! :) The mercury vapor uvb can be used, but they can be difficult to maintain correct uvb levels. You’d need to have a solarmeter (which is expensive) to make sure the uvb levels are correct. That is one of the reasons that the T5 fixture with a 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb is suggested and used most often. It delivers a wider area of uvb and levels are more consistent at various distances. The T5 needs to span the width of your enclosure.
Looking at your supplements, you don’t say how often you use each. Also, you don’t mention a calcium without D3. While there’s many different regimens, I’ll suggest one using what you already have. You will need to get a calcium without D3 which you’ll use at every feeding except one per week. Once per week you’ll use either the calcium with D3 or the multivitamin, alternating them so each is given once every other week.
Correct uvb and supplements are essential to preventing metabolic bone disease, eye problems reproductive problems etc.
I’m not sure what a turtle plant is and Google isn’t helping, so I’m not sure if it’s safe. You do need to add some more live plants and pothos is always a great one. Here’s a list of safe plants. https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/ To prevent her from eating the soil, cover the exposed soil with river rocks that are too large for her to eat. I’m going to take a wild guess that she may be eating the soil for calcium and other minerals.
Your chameleon may be eating the vegetables that you are giving her, but she really has no need for them. All she needs are insects and you are giving her a great variety.
You definitely need to prepare a lay bin as she will lay eggs regardless of being mated. It’s simply a bin that is at least 12x12x12” filled with moistened play sand or organic garden soil to a depth of around 8”. She’s old enough to be needing it at any time. More on laying later. :)
 

Chantal

New Member
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh dear! Your phone needs to be recharged! ;)
All I can find on that plant is, “Callisia repens is also called Turtle Vine because it is often used to feed turtles and other reptiles”. While it may be safe and fine, I can’t say.
 

Chantal

New Member
Thanks a lot for the feedback and explanations. We will definitly get the Calcium without D and cut back the feedings. I know its neccessary, but I feel a bit sorry for her sitting there the whole day and not hunting, could we give small insects, like fruitfly’s, just to keep her active?
The plant (callisia repens) is eatable and especially for reptiles and turtles, the lea carry a lot of water.

See also some pictures from the bulb we have.
About the laybin we have read a lot, we have it ready hete, with playsand and will put it in tomorrow.
 

Chantal

New Member
Right that is the type of bulb we are saying should never be used without a solarmeter 6.5 to check the UVI level of the bulb. While they can work you have to know the exact output through the screen... The distances they give are all without screen measurements and they do not give you the actual UVI level it produces.
? that I didn’t expect, so many people here use it...
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you add some more plant cover to give her places to hide, you won’t need to cover her enclosure at night. :) Here is one of my enclosures to give you an idea. Do keep in mind that I do use a good plant light to keep them all alive and thriving.
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
? that I didn’t expect, so many people here use it...
See if any local reptile groups to you have a solarmeter 6.5 that they would be willing to either come take measurements for you or you could borrow.

Then you know for sure. I would not harp on it but over exposure is just as bad as under exposure. :(
 

Chantal

New Member
See if any local reptile groups to you have a solarmeter 6.5 that they would be willing to either come take measurements for you or you could borrow.

Then you know for sure. I would not harp on it but over exposure is just as bad as under exposure. :(
The shop where I bought it can measure that, I will ask them.
 
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