Chameleon hating cage

Kadertot

New Member
My Chameleon's cage is quite empty and I've been looking at options to make it better. He has two live plants (one is outside cause it's not doing well. Probably not getting enough sun.) and a few branches. One artificial but I've given up because he just wants out of his cage trying to climb up the wall and etc. What would you recommend I add to his cage? (sorry for the garbage camera quality)
1624049639764.png
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here! Here's two great cage set-up links:
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/

You need a different type of UVB light, as well. If you could fill out this form in as much detail as possible, including pics of your cham, it'd be greatly appreciated! That way we can help make sure everything is at 100%!

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.
 

Kadertot

New Member
hameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Jackson, Male, around 2 (I think. My memory is horrible, sorry.), and at least 2 months
  • Handling - Once a week. He doesn't like me much.
  • Feeding - Crickets, 3 every day. I'm gut loading them with apples.
  • Supplements - Repticalcium. Every otherday
  • Watering - Hand misting Around 6 times a day. No. I usually have to "hand feed" him water. In other words, put the spray bottle by his mouth spray and he'll drink.
  • Fecal Description - Brown, just pooped this morning and I think last Friday (I don't watch him poop. Until today.) He has not been tested.
  • History - He scratched the glass a lot at the pet store. He also just recently started shedding.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen, 16 by 16 and 30 inches tall.
  • Lighting - Reptisun UVB 5.0 and a 38 watt heat bulb (somehow because it gets quite hot) and 12 hours a day UVB and heat.
  • Temperature - 70 (bottom)to 80 (top) and at night it's usually 68. I use a zoo med digital thermometer
  • Humidity - I'm not sure. I don't have something to measure humidity. My bad.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - His cage is located in the corner of my room with a nearby ceiling fan. His cage is directly next to my desk and is about 26 inches off the ground.
  • Location - Rocky mountain region.

Current Problem - Him hating his cage.

Forgot the pictures. Sorry!
1624051198191.png
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
hameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Jackson, Male, around 2 (I think. My memory is horrible, sorry.), and at least 2 months
He's, at the very least, one year old. But if you know that he is two years old, this would make sense. Regardless, he is fully matured and done growing (rapidly).

  • Handling - Once a week. He doesn't like me much.
What is the reason for handling him? If it's to build trust, try hand-feeding him or bringing him food in a cup.

  • Feeding - Crickets, 3 every day. I'm gut loading them with apples.
How big are the crickets? If they are really tiny, then this might be fine. But if they are appropriately sized crickets, then this will lead to obesity. Try feeding him 3 crickets every other day. I feed my jackson's chameleon every other day during the weekdays and then skip the weekends. Since your guy is at a healthy weight, reducing his feedings to every other day should suffice.

The goal with feeding/gutloading the feeder insects (such as crickets) is to make sure that they get all the food/nutrition they need to be as healthy as possible for the chameleon to eat. If you want an easy gutload that is extremely nutritious for your feeders to consume, check out gutloading brands such as Repashy Bug Burger. You can buy it cheap on Amazon or find it at a reptile shop. Only feeding apples to your crickets lacks nutritional diversity. Bug burger is also extremely easy to prepare.

Also, it is recommended that you feed your chameleon more than one feeder. You should really have three or four different feeders to cycle through to ensure your cham is getting a nutritionally diverse diet as well. Other feeder options that are readily available online are dubia roaches, silkworms (most expensive option), black soldier fly larvae, superworms (treats only), and hornworms.

  • Supplements - Repticalcium. Every otherday
Is this with or without D3? If it is with D3, stop immediately! If it is without D3, you can use it at every feeding since crickets have a low calcium to phosphorous ratio. The goal with supplementation is to even out the ratio by boosting the parts of calcium per phosphorous.

You will also need to get a multivitamin supplement or he will eventually have trouble accurately shooting insects with his tongue. Since you will need to get a multivitamin anyways, I suggest you get either Reptivite with D3 or Repashy Calcium Plus LoD. I personally like Reptivite w/D3. Both of these supplements have D3 and a multivitamin so you can throw out the repticalcium if it has D3. If it doesn't have D3, then you can keep the repticalcium.

Supplementation Schedule:
--Plain calcium (without D3) at every feeding
--Calcium with D3 (and multivitamin included) once a month.

If you are confused, you can always send a picture of the supplement you are using, and we can sort out what you need for you.

  • Watering - Hand misting Around 6 times a day. No. I usually have to "hand feed" him water. In other words, put the spray bottle by his mouth spray and he'll drink.
Is it possible for you to get a Mistking? While it is safe to mist the cage when the humidity is low during the day, it's when the humidity levels are over 50-60% with high temps that create respiratory infections. The whole community has pretty much moved to a naturalistic hydration schedule where we mist and fog the cage when the temps are the coolest. For a jackson's chameleon, this should be under 65F (preferably lower) throughout the night. This is where it's nice to have a mistking. With a mistking, you can set the timer and it will mist the cage for a couple minutes every so often throughout the night.

The humidity levels that you should aim for during the day: 30-50%
The humidity levels that you should aim for at night: 75% or higher

I would avoid putting the spray bottle right up to his mouth. Chameleons have a strong reflex to drink as they don't get the option to drink too often in the wild. If you hold the spray bottle to his mouth, the water may trigger him to overdrink and potentially inhale water. I never thought too much about it until my Jackson's chameleon aspirated water and nearly drowned. The vet bills were also pretty expensive. Increasing the humidity at night, as well as misting the cage first thing in the morning, should be sufficient enough to ensure a well-hydrated chameleon. Adding more plants to increase the spots were he can lap water off the leaves, as well as to hide behind, will increase his odds of living a healthy life.

  • Fecal Description - Brown, just pooped this morning and I think last Friday (I don't watch him poop. Until today.) He has not been tested.
Is it all brown? No sign of white or orange urate? A well-hydrated chameleon should have a white urates (equivalent of urine) in their poop. A chameleon can drink all day, but if the humidity in the cage is too low, he will lose the water the that he just consumed by breathing in the dry air. This is why it is extremely important to have a hygrometer to ensure you have proper humidity levels.

  • History - He scratched the glass a lot at the pet store. He also just recently started shedding.
Did he suffer any injuries from scratching the glass?

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Screen, 16 by 16 and 30 inches tall.
A 16x16x30 is too small for an adult jackson's chameleon. He needs more room. A 24x24x48 is considered the minimum cage size for your subspecies of jackson's chameleon.

  • Lighting - Reptisun UVB 5.0 and a 38 watt heat bulb (somehow because it gets quite hot) and 12 hours a day UVB and heat.
You will need to get a t5 HO 6% arcadia bulb or Zoomed 5.0 linear uvb bulb and fixture. The bulb you are currently using is insufficient and will eventually cause metabolic bone disease (MBD) which causes the bones to weaken and curve. Luckily, your chameleon does not look like he has mbd. So if you get the recommended light fixture soon, he should be A-Okay. Arcadia 6% light needs to be 8 inches above the basking spot to ensure proper uvb levels. Not sure about Zoomed. I got my arcadia uvb light and fixture from Lightyourreptiles.com.

  • Temperature - 70 (bottom)to 80 (top) and at night it's usually 68. I use a zoo med digital thermometer
Your daytime temps are perfect! Your nighttime temps could use some work. You really need to be able to provide them with a temp drop into the low 60s. The maximum nighttime temp should be 65F. The lower the temp, the better.

  • Humidity - I'm not sure. I don't have something to measure humidity. My bad.
No worries, you can get a cheap hygrometer off from your local hardware store or you can buy one off of amazon. Govee has a Bluetooth unit that you can pair with your phone to see statistics for like $15 (Amazon). The sooner you get a hygrometer, the better you can dial in your husbandry parameters. When you get your hygrometer, make sure it is out of the misting spray zone. If water lands directly on the probe, it will skew the results significantly.

  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
You will need to add more plants so he can feel safe and hide behind them if he feels. Plants also provide drinking spots with their leaves, help stabilize the humidity, and provide walkways for your chameleon. You will also need to provide more branches for him to climb on. If you put branches near where he climbs the screen, he will climb the branches instead of the screen. Screen climbing is a sign of discomfort in the cage, but at least putting branches there will help deter him from accidentally ripping out a toenail when screen climbing while we get all the other parameters dialed in.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them! We are here to help, not to judge. BTW, I like your username! Tatertots but with a K and d!:D
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s some great charts, as well, for gutload ingredients, feeders, and plants!
 

Attachments

  • chameleon-gutload 2.jpg
    chameleon-gutload 2.jpg
    188 KB · Views: 25
  • chameleon-food.jpg
    chameleon-food.jpg
    192.3 KB · Views: 23
  • 98E70BB5-21F9-4E64-B1A3-7C8287BAE040.jpeg
    98E70BB5-21F9-4E64-B1A3-7C8287BAE040.jpeg
    254.8 KB · Views: 29
  • AA3AB99C-5E76-42EB-9A16-FB39CFEA51AD.jpeg
    AA3AB99C-5E76-42EB-9A16-FB39CFEA51AD.jpeg
    177.9 KB · Views: 24
Top Bottom