Cham is sleeping during the day?

Munch

New Member
I have a 5 month old male Jackson's Chameleon I recently adopted from a local pet store. He's been eating, pooping, and drinking normally but I've noticed one red flag. He's sleeping in the day, and when I picked him up, he kept both of his eyes closed. (Just started today) I don't know if this is a red flag or not, but it just set me off. As you can see, I'm new to the whole Chameleon thing. Munch is fed 5 crickets daily along with an abundant supply of mealworms that are available at all times. His lighting system in the daytime is a Tropical UVB 100 light bulb from the makers of Exo Terra. The nighttime light is an Incandescent Black 75 heat bulb from Zilla. Here's the list of supplies we are using:

~Extra Large Reptibreeze (24" x 24" x 48")
EcoEarth soil
One large leafy artificial plant
Small vine
Stumpy, hollow log from pet store
Yellow tropical Hibiscus branch w/flower
Reptile UVB 100 watt Daytime bulb(ExoTerra)
Zilla 75 watt black heat incandescent nighttime bulb
Dripper system
Large pump misting bottle (Soon to get a fogging system)
5 gutloaded crickets daily
Abundant supply of mealworms available always

We bring him outside once weekly for some sunlight and a "sunshower" once a week.

Anything here I shouldn't be using? Anything I should be using/instead of?
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is good you picked up on this right away. A few things that need changing. no lights at night. Chameleons need darkness to sleep. No soil or substrate in the bottom of the cage. They can eat it and become sick or impacted. Need to know more about the bulb you are using for uvb. Uvb bulbs do not give off heat unless they are a combo uva/uvb bulb. They usually are either 5.0 or 10.0 and not 100 watt so not sure what you are using there. If that bulb is not giving off heat in the day, you need to get a heat bulb. A white housebulb will do the trick. Not a black light or red. What are current temps in the cage? please post pics of your set up.
 

bradley

New Member
It sounds as if you have a combined heat and uv bulb. You need two separate ones.

You need a 40 watt household reflector bulb for heat and a 5.o linear uv bulb with reflector. The 75 watt bulb is not needed and no heating is needed at night. a good nightime temp drop is good for montanes like the jacksons.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Are you not using any supplements??

It's possible your black light is emitting UVB too....and as was said already there should be no light at night.

What is the cage temperatures? Basking?
 

Munch

New Member
Okay let me see.. I am not using any supplements as we literally got him three days ago. He just started doing this about 5 hours ago. We will get rid of the soil. I've heard paper towels is a good substitute. Now that you mention it, I have seen him with a piece of dirt hanging out his mouth. No heat light at night? Are you saying the two bulbs we have should be on at the same time? I can get a few photos of the bulbs we are using. He has stopped all his eye closing; just sleeping a lot.

He has been a dark lime color for some times, with occasional brown flecks. Is this something that needs to be concerned about?

Would Vitamin A dust help if we dusted his crickets and worms?

Thanks for all your help.
 

ChamLife

New Member
Pregnant panther?

So I have a panther chameleon and she is about 6-7 months old. she has been acting very weird. she has stopped eating and drinking, she is very restless, she is extremely les active then usual, she just lies on the same branch all day, she sleeps all most all day, her belly is getting a little bit bigger but her skin is getting very loose and she is like full orange with just a little bit of beige witch I was told that those are the colors she will show when she is ready to mate but when ever I bring my male close to her she gets very angry and tries to attack him. I was very worried so I took her to the vet and she x-rayed her but we did not see any eggs so I was very curious as to what is wrong? any and all help is very much appreciated thanks
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I have a panther chameleon and she is about 6-7 months old. she has been acting very weird. she has stopped eating and drinking, she is very restless, she is extremely les active then usual, she just lies on the same branch all day, she sleeps all most all day, her belly is getting a little bit bigger but her skin is getting very loose and she is like full orange with just a little bit of beige witch I was told that those are the colors she will show when she is ready to mate but when ever I bring my male close to her she gets very angry and tries to attack him. I was very worried so I took her to the vet and she x-rayed her but we did not see any eggs so I was very curious as to what is wrong? any and all help is very much appreciated thanks

you need to go to the health clinic section and start your own thread. People will be happy to help you out. Also there is a form in the health clinic to fill out. Do that also. It will help us better help you.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay let me see.. I am not using any supplements as we literally got him three days ago. He just started doing this about 5 hours ago. We will get rid of the soil. I've heard paper towels is a good substitute. Now that you mention it, I have seen him with a piece of dirt hanging out his mouth. No heat light at night? Are you saying the two bulbs we have should be on at the same time? I can get a few photos of the bulbs we are using. He has stopped all his eye closing; just sleeping a lot.

He has been a dark lime color for some times, with occasional brown flecks. Is this something that needs to be concerned about?

Would Vitamin A dust help if we dusted his crickets and worms?

Thanks for all your help.

yes, on the two bulbs but not if one of them is a black light. A white housebulb can be used for basking. If you are using a 100 watt uvb/uva bulb(does it give out heat?) then it may very well be too intense for your chameleon and that is why he is closing his eyes. I was wondering how youj know the difference between just closing eyes and sleeping? Either way it is not normal for a chameleon to close his eyes, nap, or sleep during the day. Vitamin A can help if your chameleon indeed has a Vit A deficiency. That has not been determined yet. Does he close his eyes outside of the cage also or just in while under the lights? Paper towel can be used as long as it is changed out daily if it is getting soggy and wet.
 

Munch

New Member
We changed out his cage and used paper towel instead. The only reason I was concerned about his eye closing, is because when I picked him up to mist the plant he was on, he froze up a little bit, shut his eyes, and until I put him back on the branch did he loosen up and open his eyes. Like I said, he's new to the house and new noises. He's been a little more active since then. He's been sitting on his same branch all day, however. Could it be possible he is dehydrated?
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleons are really creatures of habit and just changing around their cage can even up set them, so it can really take some time for them to settle in coming from another environment. As far as the noises, chameleons don't have ears so really do not hear anything( I still talk to mine like a crazy person though lol) A sure sign of dehydration is sunken eyes. If a chameleon is severely dehydrated it may not be able to open its eyes at all. The majority of us use two lights, a uvb and a basking(uva). Like I said you need to change out that light. On the home page of this forum, to the far right is a box that says Chameleon Care Start Here. Click on that box and then to the left on the next page that comes up it will say caresheets. Click on that and then onto Jackson's Chameleons. It will give you everything you need to buy and learn to keep your Jackson's healthy and happy. Oh and when you mist, you do not need to remove him, you can lightly mist him too!
 

Munch

New Member
Okay thanks for the advice! I'll be sure to check that out. I got photos of the bulbs we are using
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(Sorry it's a side image)
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I did a little research on the light you are using. It is indeed a uvb light without any uva so it should be giving off little heat. According to the specs, it says it is replaces the former 5.0 reptiglo which is a bulb that is ok to use. The 100 watt threw me off, but it is actually a 26 watt. Most of us use the tube style bulbs. They cover more of an area in the cage and light it up better. Many people are skeptical of the compact bulbs like you have because of issues way back that were causing eye problems. There are still people that say to this day that they have had issues, but many people defend them also. If your chameleon is closing his eyes when he is not exposed to the bulb, most likely there is something else going on. Temps and humidity have to be just right also. It is up to you if you want to change out the bulb.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Welcome to the forum!
So many of us have had the experience of being told the wrong things and sold the wrong things, so most of us can relate to the irritation of that.
Sorry your cham is having some problems.

Ditching the nighttime bulb will enable him to get the rest he needs at night.
10-12 hours of total darkness is best for a cham's health.

In addition to the good care advice you've been given, I'll add a few important points--especially since Jackson's are my favorite. :)

Hydration is very important, for Jackson's especially.

Jackson's are a bit different in their needs than some other chams.
They need much more humidity and lower temperatures than Panthers and Veileds do, because Jackson's come from cooler, mountainous areas where the humidity is typically 70%-80%.
Florida is excellent outdoors for humidity, but you have to be careful about too high temps outside.
Ideally, he should be on a plant or bush so that he can regulate his temperature by deciding whether or not to be in direct sunlight or in the shade.

It can be challenging to provide this higher humidity level in a screened cage, especially in an air-conditioned home, but there are a few things you can do to make it much easier.

You already know that frequent mistings will raise humidity levels.

If you cover 2 or 3 sides of the cage with clear plastic sheeting--like the kind sold in hardware stores as dropcloths, etc.--it will help hold some humidity.
I cut the plastic a couple of inches short of the bottom of the cage to ensure there is still good airflow.

Live plants will help humidity levels and providing a Jackson's with plenty of foliage to hide behind will help him too.

Automatic misting systems like the MistKing or AquaZamp can be set to mist your cham's cage throughout the day, so you won't need to stress if you want to go away for a weekend.
A good drainage system is needed (video link at the bottom of my post shows details) and using a dripper to drip drinking water onto leaves is also a good idea.

A fogging system is very useful for maintaining higher humidity levels but will not provide the drinking water that your cham needs--just so you're aware.

Also very important to know is that Jackson's should only have their feeders dusted lightly with supplements 1/2 as often as Veiled or Panther chams.

A good schedule is:
Calcium without any D3 or phosphorus every other feeding
Calcium with D3 only 1x each month
Multivitamin only 1x a month

The best diet for your Jackson's is a variety of well-fed feeders, which are lightly dusted as above.

More details on what Jackson's needs are can be found here:

https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/jacksons/

If you have a half hour to spare, this Jackson's cham care video by a forum member is a very worthwhile view:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKTbUaOQ0aA
 

Munch

New Member
Thanks so much.
We're keeping the nightlight off now, and the misting system is being shipped to us. He's been acting perfectly normal, now. I think he just needs to catch up on his sleep. There are three crickets in his terrarium that haven't been eaten all day. Any red flags there? Should we place his terrarium outside a half hour or more, at all?

We will try the dietary supplements as soon as we can. Thanks for all the help!

As for the daytime light, would it be best to use an average 25 watt bulb?
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
You're very welcome!
I'm so glad to hear that he seems to be getting back to normal.
A day without food is no problem.
I'm sure you'll keep an eye on him to be certain all is well.
Crickets have the nasty habit of chewing on chams as they sleep.
If you can remove them, that's great.
If you can't, then put a quarter of a potato in the cage, so they will have a source of moisture and food.
A regular household bulb is what most people use but the room temperature needs to be in the 70s.
How high or low a wattage depends on how close the bulb is to his basking branch and how warm the room is.
Jackson's can't take the heat, so this time of year he would be too hot outside in much of the US--unless it is in the 70s.
 

Munch

New Member
He's acting perfectly normal now! Thanks for all the advice all of you! He's eaten all but one cricket in the terrarium. I'll set a potato in there as well. The two bulbs are about 8 inches from the screen, however the room is cooler than most of the house. It's about
75F in there right now.
 
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