Can veiled chameleons eat fish?

Discussion in 'Chameleon Food' started by brandonppr, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    Just wondering is it possible for them to catch fish swimming in water?
  2. It may be possible but probably not recommended...
  3. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    I was thinking about building a very large cage that goes over top a open top 150 gallon aquarium that has breeding guppies in it. Most fish in there are about 1/8th" long and swim at the surface. I was just curious if they would attempt to eat the fish. I don't really care if they did get eaten because there are plenty of fish in there. I was just wondering if they had insects availible and the fish were there also would they try?
  4. Chameleon Company

    Chameleon Company Avid Member

    Well, if you catch one doing it ...

    ... get the video rolling, as it will probably be a first ! We all know that veileds like to bask over minnow loaded streams within 12" of the water's surface :rolleyes: ... sorry, couldn't resist. I think you are more likely to see a big fish jump out and eat the chameleon, but that is not very likely either.
    #4 Chameleon Company, Jul 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  5. SSimsswiSS

    SSimsswiSS Avid Member

    Sounds like it would be a wonderful toilet for your veil to rid his/her waste matter in. :)
  6. Chris Anderson

    Chris Anderson Dr. House of Chameleons
    Staff Member

    I can see a number of problems with this type of setup but I'll focus on any attempt the chameleon might make to feed on the fish. Basic physics would suggest that if the chameleon were to take a shot at fish in the water, the change in density between air and water would cause the tongue to very suddenly stop or redirect in another direction. This is similar to a chameleon shooting at a cricket on the other side of a plate of glass. They don't see the obstacle and the abrupt and unanticipated stop could cause damage to the tongue.

  7. cushcameleon

    cushcameleon New Member

    I think it may be a bit risky to have your chameleon cage over an open top aquarium.
  8. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    Do you think it could fall in and drown?
  9. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    I have a simular setup for my green iguana. He feeds the fish in that aquarium:). amazingly the water stays clear and the fish eat all the waste in a matter of 10mins or so. The iguana has large branches that he can climb around on that lead up to the top of the aquarium and over it. Sometimes he gets in the water and sticks his head under water while hanging from a branch.
  10. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    No chamleons eating guppies in my other tank.:p
  11. nick barta

    nick barta Avid Member
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  12. SSimsswiSS

    SSimsswiSS Avid Member

    But the Iguana is'nt snacking on the cleaner (turd) fish? :confused: right.
  13. sandrachameleon

    sandrachameleon Chameleon Enthusiast

    That's possible, especially if there is no easy exit from every side of the tank. Chameleons CAN swim though iguanas are more natural swimmers imo
    Panther Chameleon Voluntarily Swimming: (scroll down a bit - text is dutch)

    Interesting concept, but I think Chris is right. Iguana's are likely grabbing the fish with their mouths, right in the water, whereas a chameleon would (if anything) try to shoot its tongue (unsuccessfully).
    #13 sandrachameleon, Jul 16, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  14. Chameleon Company

    Chameleon Company Avid Member

    This is certainly "outside the box"

    Looking just at waste management, once the nitrogen cycle was established in the tank, the bacteria in with the fish could probably handle some chameleon feces too .. .Yummmmm ... it would work. Your biggest risk would be chameleon drowning IMO. For all my experience, I have no clue how well chams swim. You could solve that issue with a net, or lots of vines into the water, etc. I am not recommending what you are proposing, but with some efforts, it could be managed. I can think of easier ways to run a system though, but it is your cham, your money, and your effort, and I will not argue that ! Good luck.
  15. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    There would defintly be vines and lots of them. It would be simular to the setup I have now with my veiled. I have many vines running out of the ground that carry up to her basking area with a waterfall on the back wall. I guess its not so much of a "cage", but that is something like what I want to do with the aquarium. Just vines running into the water and twisted together to form a large area above the water to bring it up to its basking area. The part that is agaist the wall would have a water fall built into it that comes from the tanks filter return. This would run across the back wall to prevent the cham from going behind the tank or escaping from the tank area. From the ceiling would be a mister system that brings in heated RO water and falls into the tank. An over flow will take the extra water out and into a waste drain. Food would be given the same way I give food to my cham now. That is the plan. The cham may not even attempt to eat the fish. I just wondered if anyone ever seen them try to eat fish.

    BTW my fish in my iguana setup still get fish food. The iguana is free roam as well as a cockatiel I have is also free roam. The birds food is above the tank and the seed falls into the tank which is also eaten by the fish. I have a system in place to remove waste from the tank and auto change water as well to help with the bioload.
  16. PantherVeileD

    PantherVeileD New Member

    Can you share some pictures of all of this?? Thanks
  17. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    These pics are old. It has changed a little since these were taken. Maybe I can get some better pics soon.




  18. jojackson

    jojackson New Member

    Apart from the bizzare mechanics of the suggestion, why would you consider adding something so alien to your chameleons diet anyway, even if it could/would eat them?
    If your guppies are breeding beyond capacity, feed them to your big fish in the pic above. Naturalistic settings are desireable to a point, but there is nothing natural in chams/fish.
    Natural diet encompasses prey items/types taken by a species in its wild habitat.
    Aborial and insectivorous species would likely never consume fish, chameleons in particular. They dont have the agilty, nor the apparatus to catch fish, evolution knows best. :)
  19. brandonppr

    brandonppr New Member

    I'm not talking about forcing her to eat fish. I will not take away the normal diet from her. I was just curious about the fish thing. I don't care whether she eats them or not. If she wants to that will be up to her.

    BTW the big fish is mostly a vegitarian. It eats seed, fruit, plants. It will only eat fish if all other things are taken away. There are also guppies and baby guppies and baby convicts in that tank and the pacu does not touch them. There is a knife fish in there that controls the population for the most part. My iguana does not eat fish either. She will stick her head in the water, but never to eat fish. The surface of the water will not be still with the waterfall, so I doubt the cham will even notice the fish in the water anyway.

    My goal with this setup is:
    a. add humidity
    b. be able to mist her without molding the substrate
    c. The "cage" would be virtually clean all the time
    d. I think it will look nice
    e. she would have a large area and not be closed in

    I am open to suggestions on how to make this work, but please don't act like I am going to take away her food and make her eat fish.

    So far suggestions I see are

    She might drown - That is a good point and has been addressed. They can swim and she will have many ways out of the water and there will be no fish in the water that would eat her.

    Chams don't eat fish - I am not forcing her to

    She might damage her tounge striking the water- This is the only concern I have so far, but if she has insects would she ever even attempt striking the water especially since we have established fish are not something they eat?
  20. jojackson

    jojackson New Member

    It might. Movement plays a big part in a chams (most lizards) prey recognition.
    Refraction would cause some difficulty with striking at fish aswell I imagine, despite binocular vision.(just for the record)

    You should. Your lizards health is your responsibility. If it 'wanted' to eat cheeseballs would you let it?
    A diet of fish, if it 'wanted', and you let it, would soon see your lizard with serious problems.

    why not show equal concern for the correct diet for your lizard?

    #20 jojackson, Jul 17, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009

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