Chameleon Color Change

FlamingTundra64

New Member
I was given a new veiled chameleon for my b-day a month ago, and I notice that he is gray in his enclosure, but when he is out of the cage he is a bright green. Is there anything wrong with my enclosure?
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! :) Sorry to say but just from your pics, I see several issues that need to be addressed. I’m going to sound harsh so I apologize in advance. You did ask what is wrong and I’m being honest.
Your temp is too high, as is your humidity. Also, that type is gauge is notoriously inaccurate. The ones that are digital and have probe ends are more accurate. Also, fake foliage is never a good idea with a veiled as they eat their plants and have been known to eat fake leaves and get impacted. From what little you show, it appears you also need to add more branches and vines.
Now that I’ve been so harshly honest, so many of us have made the same exact errors and then some. It’s often very hard to get correct keeping information on chameleons and with the best of intentions, we listen to the wrong advice. Many of us truly enjoy helping new keepers get everything just right as we were also helped. So, I suggest a full husbandry review to get the best assistance in making everything as perfect as possible for your little sweetie so that you enjoy many happy and healthy years together. If you can answer the following in as much detail as possible, including pics of your cham and entire enclosure, including lights, one of us would be more than happy to go thru it and help however we can.
Again, apologies for my blunt honesty.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Hi and welcome! :) Sorry to say but just from your pics, I see several issues that need to be addressed. I’m going to sound harsh so I apologize in advance. You did ask what is wrong and I’m being honest.
Your temp is too high, as is your humidity. Also, that type is gauge is notoriously inaccurate. The ones that are digital and have probe ends are more accurate. Also, fake foliage is never a good idea with a veiled as they eat their plants and have been known to eat fake leaves and get impacted. From what little you show, it appears you also need to add more branches and vines.
Now that I’ve been so harshly honest, so many of us have made the same exact errors and then some. It’s often very hard to get correct keeping information on chameleons and with the best of intentions, we listen to the wrong advice. Many of us truly enjoy helping new keepers get everything just right as we were also helped. So, I suggest a full husbandry review to get the best assistance in making everything as perfect as possible for your little sweetie so that you enjoy many happy and healthy years together. If you can answer the following in as much detail as possible, including pics of your cham and entire enclosure, including lights, one of us would be more than happy to go thru it and help however we can.
Again, apologies for my blunt honesty.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Well, if you didn't hit the nail on the head. (y) On point. I would get a screen cage as well. Not enough air flow in those. Could eventually lead to respiratory problems.
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well, if you didn't hit the nail on the head. (y) On point. I would get a screen cage as well. Not enough air flow in those. Could eventually lead to respiratory problems.
Actually no. Exoterras design for the chimney effect with front ventilations lid and full screen on tops works great. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/for-everyone-who-knows-you-cant-keep-chams-in-glass.31937/

Christ keeps here multiple species in glass cages. I myself kept most of my species in glass like this.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Hmmm. I had two and never had a good experience with them. Even though they have those little vents. I personally don't think its enough air flow, even with the chimney effect. That's just me though. I prefer screen and hybrid. But to each his own right.
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hmmm. I had two and never had a good experience with them. Even though they have those little vents. I personally don't think its enough air flow, even with the chimney effect. That's just me though. I prefer screen and hybrid. But to each his own right.
There is no really air circulation with screen due the temperatures being the same inside and outside the cage so there is no air movement, you just making the rooms air the cage air. I had several most of my chameleons, trioceros, panther and yemens in exo terra without problems. But the main voice that breaks the tie is Chris. He actually has a Phd in chameleons, so his voice is what it counts, plus neccas aswell.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Although I am far from being an expert on the matter, I believe the great debate of screen vs glass depends on the humidity levels of the geographical area the keeper lives, the species being kept as well as diligence of the keeper in ensuring humidity levels are ideal for the chameleon. Now, with that being said, my personal preference is for screen or hybrid, especially for a new keeper and even more so for a veiled. The commercially available glass enclosures I’ve found are very limited in size and are too small for an adult male veiled.
If we could please return to offering our help to @FlamingTundra64 in making sure his/her chameleon’s care is correct, I’d be grateful. Many thanks in advance.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don't know how one can tell exactly what enclosure that is (aside from having glass doors) from that one picture, and so far no input from the OP. 🤷‍♂️

However...
Actually no. Exoterras design for the chimney effect with front ventilations lid and full screen on tops works great.
I'm not familiar with the specific design, but if there is a screen/ventilation panel/vent anywhere near the bottom of the enclosure...
  1. It is—essentially—a hybrid enclosure.*
  2. It should be enough to create a chimney effect as long as the ambient temperature of the room isn't higher than the highest temperature in the enclosure, which in some cases might actually cause a backdraft.
The more I read & learn, the more I become of the opinion that—except in a very few climatic conditions that are very similar to a chameleon species' native habitat—hybrid enclosures are the best option for keeping these critters.

All-screen enclosures will provide air-changes (ventilation) as long as there is some temperature and/or humidity differential between inside and outside the enclosure.

The same can be said of hybrid enclosures except that both internal temperature and humidity can more easily be controlled—especially where the differentials are great(er).


*IDK of any 'official' definition of "hybrid". Everything I've read describes it as part screen/part solid, which is fine. The "solid" can be any barrier that doesn't allow transfer of air or moisture, which could include wood, PVC or other plastic, glass/acrylic, or other.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
A cold smoke test could be the best way to determine what type of chimney effect there is. You place cold smoke in the enclosure and watch how it moves. But make sure you remove the Cham first!
Wouldn't dry ice be safer? Placed outside near the intake to test the draw, and then follow the pattern.

If the flow is insufficient, it can be remedied with the addition of a small ultra-quiet muffin fan placed flat on top of the enclosure to draw the air upward.
 

FlamingTundra64

New Member
Hi and welcome! :) Sorry to say but just from your pics, I see several issues that need to be addressed. I’m going to sound harsh so I apologize in advance. You did ask what is wrong and I’m being honest.
Your temp is too high, as is your humidity. Also, that type is gauge is notoriously inaccurate. The ones that are digital and have probe ends are more accurate. Also, fake foliage is never a good idea with a veiled as they eat their plants and have been known to eat fake leaves and get impacted. From what little you show, it appears you also need to add more branches and vines.
Now that I’ve been so harshly honest, so many of us have made the same exact errors and then some. It’s often very hard to get correct keeping information on chameleons and with the best of intentions, we listen to the wrong advice. Many of us truly enjoy helping new keepers get everything just right as we were also helped. So, I suggest a full husbandry review to get the best assistance in making everything as perfect as possible for your little sweetie so that you enjoy many happy and healthy years together. If you can answer the following in as much detail as possible, including pics of your cham and entire enclosure, including lights, one of us would be more than happy to go thru it and help however we can.
Again, apologies for my blunt honesty.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • 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?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
Hi! Thank you for being honest. I want the best for my sweet baby. And I will do whatever it takes. Here is the info:
•Veiled Chameleon
•Male
•In my care for 1 month
• Not very often. Don't have an exact number.
•I feed him meal worms and wax worms. Usually about 3 meal and 2 wax 2-3 times a day.
•I gutload them with greens like lettuce or kale.
•I use Repti-Calcium and I use it before he eats for the first time of the day.
•I use an automatic mister and it it is set to dispense every 3 hours for 15 seconds. I see him drinking every now and then.
•Fecal matter is a milky brown color and has a kind of soft consistency. He has never been tested for parasites.
•No important history as far as I'm aware
•His cage type is glass all around with a screen roof. The dimensions are 12x12x15.
•Lighting is a Zoo Med dual lamp with a heat and uvb bulb. I turn it on at 10 I'm the morning and off at 9 at night.
•The basking temp is usually at 90 F°
•Bottom is usually 70-75. Lowest overnight is usually 60-70.
•I measure the top of the cage with a dual temp/hygrometer. I use a probed thermometer for the bottom.
•The humidity is usually 60-70%. I obtain these percentages using the mister. I use the hygrometer dualed with the thermometer. I do not have any live plants. I have one fake leaf bush. The cage isn't near any fans, vents, or high traffic areas.
•The length from the bottom of the cage to the floor is about 2 1/2 feet.
•I live in Jefferson, GA
•My problem is that he is always dark in his enclosure.
And by the way he looks puffed up in the photo. He just doesn't like cameras at all.
 

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Andrew1283

Established Member
Wouldn't dry ice be safer? Placed outside near the intake to test the draw, and then follow the pattern.

If the flow is insufficient, it can be remedied with the addition of a small ultra-quiet muffin fan placed flat on top of the enclosure to draw the air upward.
Dry ice is just carbon dioxide, which is heavier than air. Therefore any expelled CO2 gas from dry ice would just sink. For purposes of proving a chimney effect you need something that closely resembles the density and temperature of the surrounding room air, like a light smoke. It’s still denser than room air, since it contains particulate matter but that’s my best idea.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
The last picture looks like he either has stuck shed or burns on the top of his casque and back. Might be because basking temp is to high. Should be 85 max. His enclosure is too small. He should be in a 2x2x4 foot high minimum enclosure wether it be screen or a hybrid. I hope we can help you with good advice and you can correct some of these areas that need correcting. you Should also offer crickets and maybe some Dubia roaches for food and not the meal worms as they aren’t digested well. The wax worms should only be offered as a treat and not very often. The crickets and Dubia roaches should be his staple diet. You need more real plants rather than fake as mentioned above.
 
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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Does your repticalcium have D3 in it? It shouldn’t. It should be plain calcium and all feeders should be dusted with it before feeding. You can use a calcium supplement with D3 once a month or maybe twice a month, not sure. You need to change your uvb bulb to a linear T5HO either reptisun5.0 or arcadia 6%. This will really help a lot.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I really think if you can make some of these changes he will be much happier and his color will be better. There will be more knowledgeable people that can give you even better advice than I can as well so listen to them. I’m not a veiled Cham keeper, I have a Jackson’s Cham but I think they’re similar in their environmental needs. Good luck!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll be putting feedback in red. Much will be repeating some of what has already been said.
Hi! Thank you for being honest. I want the best for my sweet baby. And I will do whatever it takes. Here is the info:
•Veiled Chameleon
•Male Are you certain of this? Does he have little nubs (tarsal spurs) on his back feet?
•In my care for 1 month Do you know about how old he is?
• Not very often. Don't have an exact number.
•I feed him meal worms and wax worms. Usually about 3 meal and 2 wax 2-3 times a day. How much to feed depends on his age. He looks young enough that he should be getting about 10 - 12 appropriately sized feeders once daily. I’m attaching both feeder and gutloading graphics for you. Crickets are perhaps the most commonly used staple feeder. However roaches and silkworms are perhaps the healthiest ones. Pet stores rarely offer these so do check out the forum sponsors.
•I gutload them with greens like lettuce or kale. Do check the graphic attached. The healthier we feed and keep our feeder bugs, the more nutritious they are for our animals.
•I use Repti-Calcium and I use it before he eats for the first time of the day. Does it contain D3? If not, you’ll use it for every feeding. Then you’ll need to add a multivitamin and a calcium with D3, each to be used one feeding every other week.
A much easier option is to use the calcium with no D3 every feeding and then Reptivite with D3 at one feeding every other week. That is a combination multivitamin and D3. Supplements can be confusing and there are so very many regimens. They are essential to good health though so ask if you have questions.

•I use an automatic mister and it it is set to dispense every 3 hours for 15 seconds. I see him drinking every now and then. You don’t say which misting system and each has their limitations. It would be much better to mist for longer (2 minutes) with less frequency (2-3 times daily). Many also use a dripper for about 15-20 minutes during the day.
•Fecal matter is a milky brown color and has a kind of soft consistency. He has never been tested for parasites. Having a vet wellness check and a fecal parasite check is always a great idea.
•No important history as far as I'm aware
•His cage type is glass all around with a screen roof. The dimensions are 12x12x15. Your little one is outgrowing this as I type. He will need a minimum 2x2x4’ enclosure very soon. You’ve seen the debate of glass vs screen above and you’ve seen my view on it. As Georgia is hot and humid and you seem to be a new keeper, I’d suggest screen. As much as I dislike buying from this store and this brand, I just got these myself and it’s a great sale price. https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/zoo-med-reptibreeze-open-air-screen-cage Hopefully you can take advantage of the sale now.
•Lighting is a Zoo Med dual lamp with a heat and uvb bulb. I turn it on at 10 I'm the morning and off at 9 at night. As has already been said, you need a linear T5 ho fixture with either a 5.0 or 6% uvb bulb. The screw in bulbs aren’t able to provide adequate uvb levels any farther away than 2”. Above linked pet store doesn’t sell the T5 per my knowledge. I just bought one of these. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html Then you’ll want your uvb about 8-9” above your basking area.
•The basking temp is usually at 90 F° This is much too high. For veileds, basking shouldn’t be any higher than 80-82. As babies tend to climb the screen tops, you’d want to make sure to raise the basking light a few inches off of it to prevent burns.
•Bottom is usually 70-75. Lowest overnight is usually 60-70. Perfect!
•I measure the top of the cage with a dual temp/hygrometer. I use a probed thermometer for the bottom. Go digital with probes for all…much more accurate.
•The humidity is usually 60-70%. I obtain these percentages using the mister. I use the hygrometer dualed with the thermometer. I do not have any live plants. I have one fake leaf bush. The cage isn't near any fans, vents, or high traffic areas. Humidity during the day should be between 30-50%. At night when temps are much cooler, it could reach as high as 80-100% using a cool mist fogger to simulate natural hydration.
Live plants only. All it takes is one little nibble and the consequences could be fatal. I’m also attaching plant graphics. Many of the plants do need some special lighting. Pothos and philodendron are always favorites as they are very easy to grow and usually do ok without supplemental lighting.
You also need to add many more branches/vines. You can use natural branches from outside (avoid pine and other sappy trees). Just give a scrub with soap, a good rinse, dry in the Georgia sun and they’re good to go. As your pothos grows longer, drape or wrap the vines around the branches for additional hiding places and climbing paths. To attach plants, branches and things to screen enclosures, Dragon Ledges are awesome. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ Some either recreate their own or use other methods such as garden lattice or making little scaffolds to hang things. It’s a matter of budget and creativity. Take a peek at one of the many enclosure threads for some inspiration. Oh…btw, best substrate for the enclosure bottom is no substrate. Bark chips are another impaction risk.

•The length from the bottom of the cage to the floor is about 2 1/2 feet. Being arboreal, they feel safest when they are high above us and their world.
•I live in Jefferson, GA
•My problem is that he is always dark in his enclosure. There can be many reasons for this. Chameleon colors are a somewhat complex thing at times. However, in your situation I’m thinking he’s dark because he just isn’t happy with his home/enclosure. The bright green is actually a stress color as none of them enjoy being handled. When I first got one of my girls, I had her in a too small of an enclosure and her color was always like mud. When I had to take her for her vet wellness visit, she was almost neon green! Once I got her in her proper enclosure, she brightened up to a nice green and has become very beautiful. I think when you give your little one some upgrades, his color will greatly improve.
And by the way he looks puffed up in the photo. He just doesn't like cameras at all. Lol…none of them like cameras/phones.
So I’ve given you a lot of info and changes to make and I understand it may seem overwhelming and expensive. While all of the changes are important, the most important to make right now and without delay are getting supplements and proper uvb lighting. Without these, your chameleon is at risk for developing metabolic bone disease (mbd) which besides leading to deformity and broken bones, it can eventually be fatal. Next in line would be a new enclosure and go from there. While we love helping new keepers and you can feel free to ask anything, some other great resources are Neptune the chameleon on YouTube, https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/ (also has awesome podcasts and some videos on YouTube) and https://caskabove.com/
Very happy to have you and your chameleon here and I hope I’ve been of some help. :)

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FlamingTundra64

New Member
I’ll be putting feedback in red. Much will be repeating some of what has already been said.
Hi! Thank you for being honest. I want the best for my sweet baby. And I will do whatever it takes. Here is the info:
•Veiled Chameleon
•Male Are you certain of this? Does he have little nubs (tarsal spurs) on his back feet?
•In my care for 1 month Do you know about how old he is?
• Not very often. Don't have an exact number.
•I feed him meal worms and wax worms. Usually about 3 meal and 2 wax 2-3 times a day. How much to feed depends on his age. He looks young enough that he should be getting about 10 - 12 appropriately sized feeders once daily. I’m attaching both feeder and gutloading graphics for you. Crickets are perhaps the most commonly used staple feeder. However roaches and silkworms are perhaps the healthiest ones. Pet stores rarely offer these so do check out the forum sponsors.
•I gutload them with greens like lettuce or kale. Do check the graphic attached. The healthier we feed and keep our feeder bugs, the more nutritious they are for our animals.
•I use Repti-Calcium and I use it before he eats for the first time of the day. Does it contain D3? If not, you’ll use it for every feeding. Then you’ll need to add a multivitamin and a calcium with D3, each to be used one feeding every other week.
A much easier option is to use the calcium with no D3 every feeding and then Reptivite with D3 at one feeding every other week. That is a combination multivitamin and D3. Supplements can be confusing and there are so very many regimens. They are essential to good health though so ask if you have questions.

•I use an automatic mister and it it is set to dispense every 3 hours for 15 seconds. I see him drinking every now and then. You don’t say which misting system and each has their limitations. It would be much better to mist for longer (2 minutes) with less frequency (2-3 times daily). Many also use a dripper for about 15-20 minutes during the day.
•Fecal matter is a milky brown color and has a kind of soft consistency. He has never been tested for parasites. Having a vet wellness check and a fecal parasite check is always a great idea.
•No important history as far as I'm aware
•His cage type is glass all around with a screen roof. The dimensions are 12x12x15. Your little one is outgrowing this as I type. He will need a minimum 2x2x4’ enclosure very soon. You’ve seen the debate of glass vs screen above and you’ve seen my view on it. As Georgia is hot and humid and you seem to be a new keeper, I’d suggest screen. As much as I dislike buying from this store and this brand, I just got these myself and it’s a great sale price. https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/zoo-med-reptibreeze-open-air-screen-cage Hopefully you can take advantage of the sale now.
•Lighting is a Zoo Med dual lamp with a heat and uvb bulb. I turn it on at 10 I'm the morning and off at 9 at night. As has already been said, you need a linear T5 ho fixture with either a 5.0 or 6% uvb bulb. The screw in bulbs aren’t able to provide adequate uvb levels any farther away than 2”. Above linked pet store doesn’t sell the T5 per my knowledge. I just bought one of these. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html Then you’ll want your uvb about 8-9” above your basking area.
•The basking temp is usually at 90 F° This is much too high. For veileds, basking shouldn’t be any higher than 80-82. As babies tend to climb the screen tops, you’d want to make sure to raise the basking light a few inches off of it to prevent burns.
•Bottom is usually 70-75. Lowest overnight is usually 60-70. Perfect!
•I measure the top of the cage with a dual temp/hygrometer. I use a probed thermometer for the bottom. Go digital with probes for all…much more accurate.
•The humidity is usually 60-70%. I obtain these percentages using the mister. I use the hygrometer dualed with the thermometer. I do not have any live plants. I have one fake leaf bush. The cage isn't near any fans, vents, or high traffic areas. Humidity during the day should be between 30-50%. At night when temps are much cooler, it could reach as high as 80-100% using a cool mist fogger to simulate natural hydration.
Live plants only. All it takes is one little nibble and the consequences could be fatal. I’m also attaching plant graphics. Many of the plants do need some special lighting. Pothos and philodendron are always favorites as they are very easy to grow and usually do ok without supplemental lighting.
You also need to add many more branches/vines. You can use natural branches from outside (avoid pine and other sappy trees). Just give a scrub with soap, a good rinse, dry in the Georgia sun and they’re good to go. As your pothos grows longer, drape or wrap the vines around the branches for additional hiding places and climbing paths. To attach plants, branches and things to screen enclosures, Dragon Ledges are awesome. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ Some either recreate their own or use other methods such as garden lattice or making little scaffolds to hang things. It’s a matter of budget and creativity. Take a peek at one of the many enclosure threads for some inspiration. Oh…btw, best substrate for the enclosure bottom is no substrate. Bark chips are another impaction risk.

•The length from the bottom of the cage to the floor is about 2 1/2 feet. Being arboreal, they feel safest when they are high above us and their world.
•I live in Jefferson, GA
•My problem is that he is always dark in his enclosure. There can be many reasons for this. Chameleon colors are a somewhat complex thing at times. However, in your situation I’m thinking he’s dark because he just isn’t happy with his home/enclosure. The bright green is actually a stress color as none of them enjoy being handled. When I first got one of my girls, I had her in a too small of an enclosure and her color was always like mud. When I had to take her for her vet wellness visit, she was almost neon green! Once I got her in her proper enclosure, she brightened up to a nice green and has become very beautiful. I think when you give your little one some upgrades, his color will greatly improve.
And by the way he looks puffed up in the photo. He just doesn't like cameras at all. Lol…none of them like cameras/phones.
So I’ve given you a lot of info and changes to make and I understand it may seem overwhelming and expensive. While all of the changes are important, the most important to make right now and without delay are getting supplements and proper uvb lighting. Without these, your chameleon is at risk for developing metabolic bone disease (mbd) which besides leading to deformity and broken bones, it can eventually be fatal. Next in line would be a new enclosure and go from there. While we love helping new keepers and you can feel free to ask anything, some other great resources are Neptune the chameleon on YouTube, https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/ (also has awesome podcasts and some videos on YouTube) and https://caskabove.com/
Very happy to have you and your chameleon here and I hope I’ve been of some help. :)

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Thank you so much for this! I will make sure to get everything needed for him as soon as possible. This is a big help. Oh and I dont know how old it is. It was a surprise for my birthday, and my parents didn't ask for its age.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much for this! I will make sure to get everything needed for him as soon as possible. This is a big help. Oh and I dont know how old it is. It was a surprise for my birthday, and my parents didn't ask for its age.
Are you sure it’s a boy? If you post a pic of the back of the back feet, I can tell you for sure.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
Looks like a female veieled to me. Definitely watch the temp in that enclosure. My female veiled suffered burns on her back because I had a halogen lamp way too close to her basking branch. These forums helped me to get the temperature just right and I’m glad to say she made a full recovery. It doesn’t take long!

if she’s green in your hand that’s really sweet but that also means something is wrong with her enclosure. She doesn’t feel comfortable in it and that could be because it’s a new environment. They can turn dark when stressed but they also turn dark to absorb more heat when they want to raise their temp. When I changed my girl’s enclosure she was very dark and didn’t eat for three days. Don’t handle her any more than you have to but build trust with hand feeding. Eventually she will crawl onto you during feedings and that’s really fun. Just put her back in the enclosure when she’s done eating so she thinks of being with you as nothing but a positive experience. Make sure to follow the posted advice on feeding with supplements and keep that temp in check. She is beautiful by the way!
 

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