Cham hasn't moved from sleep spot all day

Atardnuk

New Member
I bought Toast, a male ambilobe panther chameleon off Craigslist 10 days ago from a woman who purchased him from a breeder in PA about 8-9mos ago. She said she had a mentor who helped her make sure everything was good for him and that his set up is entirely “set and forget”—meaning everything is on timers and is as it should be. However, I have noticed so many things that have needed changes! He had coconut substrate on the bottom of his cage which I immediately threw out, no branches (just vines with fake leaves attached to the top corners of his cage), and two halogen 50W bulbs which were too hot. He also has an Arcadia 12% UVB bulb which was right on top of his cage until I realized yesterday that it was 12% and should be up higher, and I also ordered the Arcadia 6% UVB T5 HO light for him. She also had him on a misting schedule of 30 seconds every 2 hours throughout the day which I’ve changed to just once in the morning and once in the evening. Oh and she didn’t use a dripper, but I’ve added one too. I’ve had to make so many changes, I do worry it’s been stressful for Toast but he seemed like he was doing great the past few days being out and about, eating well, basking at safe temps, exploring his new branches, etc. He looked healthy and beautiful! Until today when he didn’t ever move from his sleeping spot. I'd appreciate any feedback as I am trying to adjust his cage to help keep him healthy and happy in his new home with me.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Toast is a male ambilobe chameleon, I think he is about 1 year old. He has been in my care for 10 days (I got him off Craigslist from someone who bought him from Chameleons By Design as a baby).
  • Handling - I have never handled him, although he has eaten crickets from my hand.
  • Feeding - I feed him crickets, he gets 3-4 every 2-3 days. I’ve started gut loading them using a blend of veggies and fruits I saw recommended on here. I tried feeding him a couple hornworms but he didn’t eat them.
  • Supplements - He gets ReptiCalcium calcium w/o D3 at feedings during the week and Herptivite multivitamin or ReptiCalcium calcium w/D3 one feeding every other weekend (so he will get those twice per month).
  • Watering - I have a Mist King, I’ve had to change his misting schedule to find the right humidity levels. Right now I am misting 2 mins in the morning and in the evening (before he wakes up and before he goes to bed).
  • Fecal Description - He has not been tested for parasites, I’ve only seen his poo a couple times and it has been brown with some white.
  • History - His previous owner said she got a chameleon mentor to help her raise him from a baby, however there were several things about his care that I knew I had to change when I got him
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze XL 24”x24”x48”, all screen.
  • Lighting - Currently Arcadia 12% for UVB (I am replacing with a 6%--it should arrive by the end of the week) and a 60W incandescent for basking. Lights are on 7am-7pm.
  • Temperature - Cage floor is 63-64 degrees, basking spot is low 80s. Overnight temps get down to 63 in the house, I measure with a thermal gun and also have a small digital thermometer for ambient temp.
  • Humidity - Humidity levels have been a bit all over the place as I have to adjust his Mist King from short mistings every 2 hours to just 2 mistings per day. Right now levels are in the 60s during the day, in the 80s-90s at night. I use a Mist King and dripper, and often run a humidifier in the room. I use a digital hygrometer to measure.
  • Plants - Right now I have a live large umbrella plant at the bottom, a wandering Jew and a pothos near the top (but it’s very small). There are also several fake leafy vines in there that I plan on removing, but he spends so much time in there I feel bad taking away so many of his hiding spots! Once the pothos grows out a bit I would love to replace the fake leaves with those leaves. I am also waiting on dragon strand ledges to arrive to secure more plants to the sides.
  • Placement - Cage is located in the living room in the corner, away from the baseboard heaters and windows. The cage is up on a stand and the top is about about 6.5’ off the floor. It’s just my husband and I at home plus our cats and dog, so it’s not very busy or noisy.
  • Location - I live in Maine.

Current Problem – Toast hasn’t moved all day! He is still very light, in his pajama colors, and curled up like he just never wanted to get out of bed today. I made a couple changes to his lights last night—I moved his UVB light up off of the cage and also moved it diagonally along the cage to have it overlap a little better with his basking lamp, and I’m wondering if this spooked him enough for him to stay in one spot all day long? I think a couple times when I’ve peeked in on him he had his eyes closed, which makes me super concerned!

Toast was out of his cage, basking and moving around yesterday, looked completely normal and had eaten his crickets the day before. He was up before 9:30am yesterday and was active/basking all day until about 4pm, which is when he usually starts to settle in and then went to bed at 7pm. While he was getting to bed I checked out his UVB light, as I was expecting I’d need to change it soon since his previous owner has had him for about 9 months. I noticed that the light is an Arcadia 12% UVB which I know from these forums is too strong, especially as his top branches are only about 6-7” from the top of the screen. I elevated the UVB light 6” above the cage and also moved it diagonally. He has an appointment at 8:30am on Monday, but that’s 6 days from now…

Pics of Toast not hiding are from the past couple of days, the pic of him all curled up hiding in his sleeping spot are from today.
Toast cage.jpg
Toast.jpg
Toast 2.jpg
Toast hanging.jpg
Toast in sleeping spot.jpg
Toast sleepy.jpg
 

cruz.m

Avid Member
I bought Toast, a male ambilobe panther chameleon off Craigslist 10 days ago from a woman who purchased him from a breeder in PA about 8-9mos ago. She said she had a mentor who helped her make sure everything was good for him and that his set up is entirely “set and forget”—meaning everything is on timers and is as it should be. However, I have noticed so many things that have needed changes! He had coconut substrate on the bottom of his cage which I immediately threw out, no branches (just vines with fake leaves attached to the top corners of his cage), and two halogen 50W bulbs which were too hot. He also has an Arcadia 12% UVB bulb which was right on top of his cage until I realized yesterday that it was 12% and should be up higher, and I also ordered the Arcadia 6% UVB T5 HO light for him. She also had him on a misting schedule of 30 seconds every 2 hours throughout the day which I’ve changed to just once in the morning and once in the evening. Oh and she didn’t use a dripper, but I’ve added one too. I’ve had to make so many changes, I do worry it’s been stressful for Toast but he seemed like he was doing great the past few days being out and about, eating well, basking at safe temps, exploring his new branches, etc. He looked healthy and beautiful! Until today when he didn’t ever move from his sleeping spot. I'd appreciate any feedback as I am trying to adjust his cage to help keep him healthy and happy in his new home with me.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Toast is a male ambilobe chameleon, I think he is about 1 year old. He has been in my care for 10 days (I got him off Craigslist from someone who bought him from Chameleons By Design as a baby).
  • Handling - I have never handled him, although he has eaten crickets from my hand.
  • Feeding - I feed him crickets, he gets 3-4 every 2-3 days. I’ve started gut loading them using a blend of veggies and fruits I saw recommended on here. I tried feeding him a couple hornworms but he didn’t eat them.
  • Supplements - He gets ReptiCalcium calcium w/o D3 at feedings during the week and Herptivite multivitamin or ReptiCalcium calcium w/D3 one feeding every other weekend (so he will get those twice per month).
  • Watering - I have a Mist King, I’ve had to change his misting schedule to find the right humidity levels. Right now I am misting 2 mins in the morning and in the evening (before he wakes up and before he goes to bed).
  • Fecal Description - He has not been tested for parasites, I’ve only seen his poo a couple times and it has been brown with some white.
  • History - His previous owner said she got a chameleon mentor to help her raise him from a baby, however there were several things about his care that I knew I had to change when I got him
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze XL 24”x24”x48”, all screen.
  • Lighting - Currently Arcadia 12% for UVB (I am replacing with a 6%--it should arrive by the end of the week) and a 60W incandescent for basking. Lights are on 7am-7pm.
  • Temperature - Cage floor is 63-64 degrees, basking spot is low 80s. Overnight temps get down to 63 in the house, I measure with a thermal gun and also have a small digital thermometer for ambient temp.
  • Humidity - Humidity levels have been a bit all over the place as I have to adjust his Mist King from short mistings every 2 hours to just 2 mistings per day. Right now levels are in the 60s during the day, in the 80s-90s at night. I use a Mist King and dripper, and often run a humidifier in the room. I use a digital hygrometer to measure.
  • Plants - Right now I have a live large umbrella plant at the bottom, a wandering Jew and a pothos near the top (but it’s very small). There are also several fake leafy vines in there that I plan on removing, but he spends so much time in there I feel bad taking away so many of his hiding spots! Once the pothos grows out a bit I would love to replace the fake leaves with those leaves. I am also waiting on dragon strand ledges to arrive to secure more plants to the sides.
  • Placement - Cage is located in the living room in the corner, away from the baseboard heaters and windows. The cage is up on a stand and the top is about about 6.5’ off the floor. It’s just my husband and I at home plus our cats and dog, so it’s not very busy or noisy.
  • Location - I live in Maine.

Current Problem – Toast hasn’t moved all day! He is still very light, in his pajama colors, and curled up like he just never wanted to get out of bed today. I made a couple changes to his lights last night—I moved his UVB light up off of the cage and also moved it diagonally along the cage to have it overlap a little better with his basking lamp, and I’m wondering if this spooked him enough for him to stay in one spot all day long? I think a couple times when I’ve peeked in on him he had his eyes closed, which makes me super concerned!

Toast was out of his cage, basking and moving around yesterday, looked completely normal and had eaten his crickets the day before. He was up before 9:30am yesterday and was active/basking all day until about 4pm, which is when he usually starts to settle in and then went to bed at 7pm. While he was getting to bed I checked out his UVB light, as I was expecting I’d need to change it soon since his previous owner has had him for about 9 months. I noticed that the light is an Arcadia 12% UVB which I know from these forums is too strong, especially as his top branches are only about 6-7” from the top of the screen. I elevated the UVB light 6” above the cage and also moved it diagonally. He has an appointment at 8:30am on Monday, but that’s 6 days from now…

Pics of Toast not hiding are from the past couple of days, the pic of him all curled up hiding in his sleeping spot are from today.
View attachment 293642View attachment 293643View attachment 293644View attachment 293645View attachment 293646View attachment 293647
He looks kinda chubby but it’s probably his past owners fault. Right off the bat he’s from Craigslist so definitely take him to an experienced chameleon vet. Closing his eyes during the day can be a sign of MBD his joints don’t appear to be bent so that’s a good sign though I suggest taking him to the vet. Does the multivitamins have proformed or preformed vitamin A. At a year since they are now considered adults he should get 2-3 bugs every other day or every two days. Get him tested for parasites when you go to the vet (bring a fresh dropping) and drop off two more to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Either she lied or her mentor sucks. The cats and dog may bother/stress him out as well. Is there no other room he can go in? Try finding another vet if you can or getting a different appointment. Also try adding more foliage! Did the past owner tell you why they were selling him?
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So with the fixture moving it up was the right thing to do with a 12% in a single bulb T5HO fixture. You want a 12 inch distance with that one. When you get the 6% you want a 9 inch distance to the branch.

The herptivite your using does not have preformed A. So this could be causing the issue. I would switch to Reptivite with D3 and use it 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. You would then drop the calcium with D3 though if you get the reptivite version with D3. OR get the reptivite without D3 to replace the herptivite in your rotation. Then you would continue to rotate back and forth between the reptivite no D3 and the calcium with d3 week to week. Calcium without D3 would be used at all other feedings with either of these options.


Additionally. It could be stress. Tons of changes over a period of time. Almost worse then doing them all at once. So he has not had time to adjust to his home. You have a dog cage right next to him. This would be considered a predator to the cham.

Could be health/parasite related as well getting a fecal is always a good idea.

Make sure no lights are on after his kick off at night because this can interrupt their sleep.

Your husbandry is pretty much on point though nothing I am seeing there that I have not already mentioned.
 
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Atardnuk

New Member
He looks kinda chubby but it’s probably his past owners fault. Right off the bat he’s from Craigslist so definitely take him to an experienced chameleon vet. Closing his eyes during the day can be a sign of MBD his joints don’t appear to be bent so that’s a good sign though I suggest taking him to the vet. Does the multivitamins have proformed or preformed vitamin A. At a year since they are now considered adults he should get 2-3 bugs every other day or every two days. Get him tested for parasites when you go to the vet (bring a fresh dropping) and drop off two more to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Either she lied or her mentor sucks. The cats and dog may bother/stress him out as well. Is there no other room he can go in? Try finding another vet if you can or getting a different appointment. Also try adding more foliage! Did the past owner tell you why they were selling him?
I just put in an Amazon order for a new multivitamin so I'll start using that instead of the one I have. His previous owner said she was getting rid of him due to "lifestyle changes"--she used to breed snakes too and was getting out of that business, and was selling her dubia colony too.

I'm sure he's super stressed, I'll try moving the dog crate away from him (we actually put it there to keep the cats from getting too close--they kept climbing on the end table that used to be there. That part of our house is the quietest--is usually totally quiet and dark by 6-7pm as our TV and everything is upstairs in another room.

If he's not moving around tomorrow I'll see if I can get an earlier vet appt. Thank you for your help!
 

cruz.m

Avid Member
I just put in an Amazon order for a new multivitamin so I'll start using that instead of the one I have. His previous owner said she was getting rid of him due to "lifestyle changes"--she used to breed snakes too and was getting out of that business, and was selling her dubia colony too.

I'm sure he's super stressed, I'll try moving the dog crate away from him (we actually put it there to keep the cats from getting too close--they kept climbing on the end table that used to be there. That part of our house is the quietest--is usually totally quiet and dark by 6-7pm as our TV and everything is upstairs in another room.

If he's not moving around tomorrow I'll see if I can get an earlier vet appt. Thank you for your help!
Just making sure it’s the right one can I see the one you ordered?
 

cruz.m

Avid Member
So this one has D3 so the schedule would be different. It still works though it’s just the schedule that would change. With the one without D3 it'd an be alternating schedule between this one and calcium with d3, and I think with this one it’d be just twice a month/every two weeks and no calcium with d3. So let’s take March for example you’d feed calcium without d3 every day of the blue, and the multivitamins the days marked in red. Keeping a calendar to keep track on how much was eaten and what supplements were given and all that is very helpful. I do recommend the one without though, so you’d feed the one without the days marked in red and the other in between with calcium with d3.
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome, and great job! I just have a few questions, so bear with me! Is your humidifier a whole-room one or no, and is it a cool-mist one? How often do you plan on cleaning it? Also, adding more plants and branches would make your enclosure even better! Here are two cage set-up links for some inspiration:
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/ (go through this entire website if you haven’t already, they have the most accurate and up-to-date info!)
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
 

Atardnuk

New Member
So this one has D3 so the schedule would be different. It still works though it’s just the schedule that would change. With the one without D3 it'd an be alternating schedule between this one and calcium with d3, and I think with this one it’d be just twice a month/every two weeks and no calcium with d3. So let’s take March for example you’d feed calcium without d3 every day of the blue, and the multivitamins the days marked in red. Keeping a calendar to keep track on how much was eaten and what supplements were given and all that is very helpful
Thank you! Yes I thought doing it twice a month instead of the calcium with D3 twice a month in addition to a vitamin would be easier. I'll be sure to keep track on my calendar.
 

Atardnuk

New Member
Welcome, and great job! I just have a few questions, so bear with me! Is your humidifier a whole-room one or no, and is it a cool-mist one? How often do you plan on cleaning it? Also, adding more plants and branches would make your enclosure even better! Here are two cage set-up links for some inspiration:
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/ (go through this entire website if you haven’t already, they have the most accurate and up-to-date info!)
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
The humidifier is a medium room humidifier in a rather large room (living room, dining room and kitchen are all connected) and I try to clean it out weekly, and I have a bunch of replacement filters for it. It is a cool mist one, but honestly lately I've been keeping it farther from the cage and not using it as much just because his humidity hasn't seemed to need extra help lately. I was using it for a while before I got Toast as Maine winters can be so cold and dry!

I have so many cage renovation dreams, but I really don't want to keep stressing Toast out especially when he's not even moving from his sleep spot! Should I give him a couple of weeks before I go adding more things? The dragon strand ledges should be a big game changer in what I can do with his cage, as right now I'm trying really hard not to rip the screens. I've got plants on stand by ready to add when I'm able to :)
 

cruz.m

Avid Member
The humidifier is a medium room humidifier in a rather large room (living room, dining room and kitchen are all connected) and I try to clean it out weekly, and I have a bunch of replacement filters for it. It is a cool mist one, but honestly lately I've been keeping it farther from the cage and not using it as much just because his humidity hasn't seemed to need extra help lately. I was using it for a while before I got Toast as Maine winters can be so cold and dry!

I have so many cage renovation dreams, but I really don't want to keep stressing Toast out especially when he's not even moving from his sleep spot! Should I give him a couple of weeks before I go adding more things? The dragon strand ledges should be a big game changer in what I can do with his cage, as right now I'm trying really hard not to rip the screens. I've got plants on stand by ready to add when I'm able to :)
So one day whenever you have absolutely everything ready to renovate his cage. Take him out put him in a free range that’s previously set up, maybe in the sun or outside (have someone watch him) and then get straight to work. Be as quick as you can and make sure everything is secure. I know it’s a little hard and takes time but you want to minimize stress. By everything ready I mean everything, pre plan everything have everything ready next to you so that you don’t have to be going around getting things and everything. It’s better to just rip off the band aid instead of constantly adding new things over a time period. It’ll minimize his stress etc...
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have been a keeper now for 2 and a half years and have 3 male Veiled chameleons... I am not a newbie.... The info I am giving you is actually from hands on experience and a ton of education on both Veiled and Panther chameleons.


With the reptivite with D3. This one would be given on the 1st and the 15th for easy remembering and then all other feedings you would give the calcium without D3. These cover ALL your supplementation needs. The reptivite is your multivitamin with D3, vitamin A, and other vitamins. And then your calcium without d3 is used at all other feedings to balance the calcium to phosphorus ratio of the feeders.

There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with utilizing this method.

@ERKleRose is a very experienced keeper of Panthers. She will be a great resource for accurate hands on experience.


Unless you have a safe free range area that he is used to then I highly recommend putting him in a dark box with a stick pushed through for him to grip. Close the box up. He will sleep while you make all the changes to the enclosure. Otherwise you are adding much more stress to an already stressed cham by putting him on a free range that he is not used to is going to freak him out more. Not to mention you have to watch him while you are trying to do the cage changes. This is not efficient and takes longer.
My boys have been in boxes for 6 hours while doing a cage overhaul. They are perfectly fine when they come out. In fact this is how you would transport them to a vet as well. Because it is the most efficient way to not cause additional stress because they sleep.

This may help you...
2x2x4 cage set up: https://chameleonacademy.com/case-study-2-x-2-x-4-cage/
setting up a chameleon cage: https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/
how to get the most out of your dragon ledges: https://dragonstrand.com/getting-the-most-from-your-dragon-strand-dragon-ledges/
 

Atardnuk

New Member
Thanks for everyone's help--I ended up taking Toast to the vet this morning after he still hadn't moved from his sleeping spot. The vet said he looks great and that he was quite active and strong when he was in her office, so she suspects he is stressed out. I will drop off a poo sample once I get one. She said because he looks so good right now she didn't recommend doing bloodwork or x-rays, but to let her know if anything changes for the worse.

Once I brought him home and he got back in his cage he basked the rest of the day and ate his crickets, then went to settle in for bed around 4:30pm. I'm hoping with some extra time and no cage changes for a bit he will be back to normal.

The vet did suggest that I raise his cage temps, although I think the info she was reading was outdated (one of the resources she gave me said his basking temp should be up to 95 and cage no cooler than 68 at night and around 77 during the day) and that his humidity levels should also be higher, in the 70s during the day. His previous owner did keep the top of his cage very warm with two halogen lights but I removed them after I saw him gaping and retreating to the floor of his cage after basking (and the temps were easily in the 90s, some of the branches were getting readings in the 100s). Today when he was basking, the top of his back was 84 degrees, although he did seem to want to get right up to the top of his cage to get as close to the lightbulb as possible (which he is able to do with the setup in there right now due to his vines being attached to the top of the cage). I don't plan on making any major changes any time soon, but is it possible he is missing some of his extra warm air he used to get? Everything I've read on here says 80s should be the goal for basking, and I don't want him to get burned.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for everyone's help--I ended up taking Toast to the vet this morning after he still hadn't moved from his sleeping spot. The vet said he looks great and that he was quite active and strong when he was in her office, so she suspects he is stressed out. I will drop off a poo sample once I get one. She said because he looks so good right now she didn't recommend doing bloodwork or x-rays, but to let her know if anything changes for the worse.

Once I brought him home and he got back in his cage he basked the rest of the day and ate his crickets, then went to settle in for bed around 4:30pm. I'm hoping with some extra time and no cage changes for a bit he will be back to normal.

The vet did suggest that I raise his cage temps, although I think the info she was reading was outdated (one of the resources she gave me said his basking temp should be up to 95 and cage no cooler than 68 at night and around 77 during the day) and that his humidity levels should also be higher, in the 70s during the day. His previous owner did keep the top of his cage very warm with two halogen lights but I removed them after I saw him gaping and retreating to the floor of his cage after basking (and the temps were easily in the 90s, some of the branches were getting readings in the 100s). Today when he was basking, the top of his back was 84 degrees, although he did seem to want to get right up to the top of his cage to get as close to the lightbulb as possible (which he is able to do with the setup in there right now due to his vines being attached to the top of the cage). I don't plan on making any major changes any time soon, but is it possible he is missing some of his extra warm air he used to get? Everything I've read on here says 80s should be the goal for basking, and I don't want him to get burned.
So be very careful with how close he can get to the actual fixture this is a major thermal burn risk.

Sounds like they do have outdated info on temps and humidity.

You can take up up to 85 for basking but no hotter. Night time they actually need the temp drop. So your looking at 60-65.
Daytime humidity is 50-60% with night time being 80-100% as long as your temps have dropped below 68.

Personally I would not run blood work or xrays without a reason behind it. Right now I agree stress is the most obvious reason for the behavior.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for everyone's help--I ended up taking Toast to the vet this morning after he still hadn't moved from his sleeping spot. The vet said he looks great and that he was quite active and strong when he was in her office, so she suspects he is stressed out. I will drop off a poo sample once I get one. She said because he looks so good right now she didn't recommend doing bloodwork or x-rays, but to let her know if anything changes for the worse.

Once I brought him home and he got back in his cage he basked the rest of the day and ate his crickets, then went to settle in for bed around 4:30pm. I'm hoping with some extra time and no cage changes for a bit he will be back to normal.

The vet did suggest that I raise his cage temps, although I think the info she was reading was outdated (one of the resources she gave me said his basking temp should be up to 95 and cage no cooler than 68 at night and around 77 during the day) and that his humidity levels should also be higher, in the 70s during the day. His previous owner did keep the top of his cage very warm with two halogen lights but I removed them after I saw him gaping and retreating to the floor of his cage after basking (and the temps were easily in the 90s, some of the branches were getting readings in the 100s). Today when he was basking, the top of his back was 84 degrees, although he did seem to want to get right up to the top of his cage to get as close to the lightbulb as possible (which he is able to do with the setup in there right now due to his vines being attached to the top of the cage). I don't plan on making any major changes any time soon, but is it possible he is missing some of his extra warm air he used to get? Everything I've read on here says 80s should be the goal for basking, and I don't want him to get burned.
Go with the temps and care from The Chameleon Academy, it is the most accurate and up-to-date info and is all based on science. Where his casque/top of his back is when he’s on his basking branch should 85*F max. If he’s too hot, lower the temps a degree or two, and if he’s too cold raise the temps up one degree at a time, but only to 86-87*F max! Why wouldn’t she do x-rays? He’s also big enough to get bloodwork done safely, too. If I were the vet, I would’ve done both, especially considuring how his husbandry was beforehand. I’d rather you get stuff tested when he is healthy, not if he’s going down hill, as it’ll just add to his stress and take a bigger toll on his body. Do you have any vets more experienced with chameleons near you? Sometimes you have to go through some to find a good chameleon vet. It personally took me four vets to get one that‘s good!
 

DeShawni Green

Established Member
Have you tried moving the cage somewhere where natural light from a window can get in? It looks awful dark in the pics you sent. I can't really tell, but they are very sensitive to the sun cycles. Might help him adjust more to waking/sleeping. Just an idea that could be easy to try...
 

Atardnuk

New Member
Have you tried moving the cage somewhere where natural light from a window can get in? It looks awful dark in the pics you sent. I can't really tell, but they are very sensitive to the sun cycles. Might help him adjust more to waking/sleeping. Just an idea that could be easy to try...
The pic was taken after sunset so it was pretty dark! The room he's in has a big bay window in front so it's usually pretty well-lit during the day :)
 
I bought Toast, a male ambilobe panther chameleon off Craigslist 10 days ago from a woman who purchased him from a breeder in PA about 8-9mos ago. She said she had a mentor who helped her make sure everything was good for him and that his set up is entirely “set and forget”—meaning everything is on timers and is as it should be. However, I have noticed so many things that have needed changes! He had coconut substrate on the bottom of his cage which I immediately threw out, no branches (just vines with fake leaves attached to the top corners of his cage), and two halogen 50W bulbs which were too hot. He also has an Arcadia 12% UVB bulb which was right on top of his cage until I realized yesterday that it was 12% and should be up higher, and I also ordered the Arcadia 6% UVB T5 HO light for him. She also had him on a misting schedule of 30 seconds every 2 hours throughout the day which I’ve changed to just once in the morning and once in the evening. Oh and she didn’t use a dripper, but I’ve added one too. I’ve had to make so many changes, I do worry it’s been stressful for Toast but he seemed like he was doing great the past few days being out and about, eating well, basking at safe temps, exploring his new branches, etc. He looked healthy and beautiful! Until today when he didn’t ever move from his sleeping spot. I'd appreciate any feedback as I am trying to adjust his cage to help keep him healthy and happy in his new home with me.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Toast is a male ambilobe chameleon, I think he is about 1 year old. He has been in my care for 10 days (I got him off Craigslist from someone who bought him from Chameleons By Design as a baby).
  • Handling - I have never handled him, although he has eaten crickets from my hand.
  • Feeding - I feed him crickets, he gets 3-4 every 2-3 days. I’ve started gut loading them using a blend of veggies and fruits I saw recommended on here. I tried feeding him a couple hornworms but he didn’t eat them.
  • Supplements - He gets ReptiCalcium calcium w/o D3 at feedings during the week and Herptivite multivitamin or ReptiCalcium calcium w/D3 one feeding every other weekend (so he will get those twice per month).
  • Watering - I have a Mist King, I’ve had to change his misting schedule to find the right humidity levels. Right now I am misting 2 mins in the morning and in the evening (before he wakes up and before he goes to bed).
  • Fecal Description - He has not been tested for parasites, I’ve only seen his poo a couple times and it has been brown with some white.
  • History - His previous owner said she got a chameleon mentor to help her raise him from a baby, however there were several things about his care that I knew I had to change when I got him
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Reptibreeze XL 24”x24”x48”, all screen.
  • Lighting - Currently Arcadia 12% for UVB (I am replacing with a 6%--it should arrive by the end of the week) and a 60W incandescent for basking. Lights are on 7am-7pm.
  • Temperature - Cage floor is 63-64 degrees, basking spot is low 80s. Overnight temps get down to 63 in the house, I measure with a thermal gun and also have a small digital thermometer for ambient temp.
  • Humidity - Humidity levels have been a bit all over the place as I have to adjust his Mist King from short mistings every 2 hours to just 2 mistings per day. Right now levels are in the 60s during the day, in the 80s-90s at night. I use a Mist King and dripper, and often run a humidifier in the room. I use a digital hygrometer to measure.
  • Plants - Right now I have a live large umbrella plant at the bottom, a wandering Jew and a pothos near the top (but it’s very small). There are also several fake leafy vines in there that I plan on removing, but he spends so much time in there I feel bad taking away so many of his hiding spots! Once the pothos grows out a bit I would love to replace the fake leaves with those leaves. I am also waiting on dragon strand ledges to arrive to secure more plants to the sides.
  • Placement - Cage is located in the living room in the corner, away from the baseboard heaters and windows. The cage is up on a stand and the top is about about 6.5’ off the floor. It’s just my husband and I at home plus our cats and dog, so it’s not very busy or noisy.
  • Location - I live in Maine.

Current Problem – Toast hasn’t moved all day! He is still very light, in his pajama colors, and curled up like he just never wanted to get out of bed today. I made a couple changes to his lights last night—I moved his UVB light up off of the cage and also moved it diagonally along the cage to have it overlap a little better with his basking lamp, and I’m wondering if this spooked him enough for him to stay in one spot all day long? I think a couple times when I’ve peeked in on him he had his eyes closed, which makes me super concerned!

Toast was out of his cage, basking and moving around yesterday, looked completely normal and had eaten his crickets the day before. He was up before 9:30am yesterday and was active/basking all day until about 4pm, which is when he usually starts to settle in and then went to bed at 7pm. While he was getting to bed I checked out his UVB light, as I was expecting I’d need to change it soon since his previous owner has had him for about 9 months. I noticed that the light is an Arcadia 12% UVB which I know from these forums is too strong, especially as his top branches are only about 6-7” from the top of the screen. I elevated the UVB light 6” above the cage and also moved it diagonally. He has an appointment at 8:30am on Monday, but that’s 6 days from now…

Pics of Toast not hiding are from the past couple of days, the pic of him all curled up hiding in his sleeping spot are from today.
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Cute cham, what is the reason for the UVB to be raised while the heat lamp is Resting on the top of the cage? Just wondering?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cute cham, what is the reason for the UVB to be raised while the heat lamp is Resting on the top of the cage? Just wondering?
The op is using a 12% uvb which has a much farther distance in order to reach the ideal level of 3.0 UVI. If it were placed directly on top of the enclosure, the basking area would need to be around 12” below. In order to provide more area for the cham, it is better to raise the light rather than lower the basking area.
 
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