Chameleon learned to drink out of my guppy tank by trying to catch the fish. Don’t worry he is unable to catch them because of their protective slome.

Valerie crouch

New Member
So this is how I was able to stop using misters and drippers. My Cham used to try to catch my beta fish because of the movement and bright colors, so I brought home some guppies to see if it would help me train him to drink from a large tank because he is free range. It worked!!! He quickly got bored trying to catch the fish, and now drinks from my guppy tank. I do want to say to you all that if you do this place the tank away from where your Cham likes to poop to prevent sickness for all, and stay on top of your water. It has to be very clean all the time!! The one with the bowl is how I taught them (I have a male and female veiled and they each have their own guppy tank). Now they drink out of the bigger tanks in the picture of my boots habitat I have here.
 

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Thompson

Chameleon Enthusiast
I should note that, this
That is very interesting. I do wonder if chameleons have any success actually catching fish or tadpoles in the wild.
I think they're anatomically incapable of successfully catching anything aquatic due to the mechanisms of the way they shoot their tongue to grab hold of pray. Their tongues adapted to catch pray in the "air", definitely not in water.

How long have you had your chameleon, in this free-range as well? I feel like we should go over your husbandry while we're at it because, I can already tell you that I would ditch the bowl of water and continue to use misters and foggers to maintain humidity/hydration.

Could you fill out the how to ask for help form please.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
That is very interesting. I do wonder if chameleons have any success actually catching fish or tadpoles in the wild.
I’m honestly not sure, but I know my chams have tried to catch the fish, and He-Man even touched one with his tongue, but couldn’t catch it because of the slime coatings fish have. I have researched the topic though, and they do eat fish when alive and out of water. Due to the high fat and protein it’s suggested to only allow them to eat no more than 1a week.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
I only see the coil type of uvb light, no linear HO bulb🤔
Unless they're getting natural sunlight or there's more lighting not pictured, this should definitely be corrected asap 😔
So generally they could are not suggested for chameleons in a cage because they are too strong and can burn the chameleon due to them often being placed next to heat lamps, however because my chameleon is in a large free range habitat, the coil is actually the best choice because it is strong enough to provide more adequate UVB saturation to the larger area. I do keep it up high enough that he can’t get burned as well, and it is only something I would ever suggest a seasoned Cham owner to try. I have been keeping chameleons for years now, and am constantly researching still because we learn new things all the time, but my free ranges have been up over a year now with zero problems, and my chams are very healthy.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
Cool, but asking for problems with that set up, not to mention the bacteria present in aquariums.
Do I just wanted to let you know that I have done a ton of research about keeping aquariums in a veiled habitat, and the bacteria present in the water are actually good for the chameleons digestion. They act almost like a pro biotic. However because it’s very important that the bad bacteria not be allowed to take over, I do a 25% water change every other day. I also change my filter every 2 weeks, and clean the rocks with each water change as well. So I do have to keep the tank much cleaner than any ol aquarium. I have been doing free range with guppy tanks for over a year now and haven’t ever had a problem with a sick chameleon or a dehydrated chameleon. Also misting does not provide adequate hydration, it is only supposed to be used for humidity. I would not personally suggest fogger either because they tend to grow the wrong bacteria, and are way too messy in an open habitat. The key here guys is balancing husbandry based on your set up. If my Cham was in a cage like most, than my husband would change to accommodate that, but they are not in cages, so I have to change things a bit for them to be healthy and happy. I know you probably don’t see this often, so I understand the confusion. Also I call the Phoenix herpetological society any time I’m unsure of something because they have up to date real time information and work with these guys regularly.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
NOTE to anyone that is a new keeper reading this... In no way should you provide water in this way. It is the same concept of why water fountains are a no go for chams. You can not keep them clean. Best way to provide water is via misting system or spray bottle. Room temp no heating. They do not drink from streams in the wild... They drink from water droplets on the leaves after rain and or accumulation of dew from humidity at night.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
NOTE to anyone that is a new keeper reading this... In no way should you provide water in this way. It is the same concept of why water fountains are a no go for chams. You can not keep them clean. Best way to provide water is via misting system or spray bottle. Room temp no heating. They do not drink from streams in the wild... They drink from water droplets on the leaves after rain and or accumulation of dew from humidity at night.
I want to add that I have 2 forms of filters in each tank I use in the center of the tank I have a sponge bubble filter, and I have a fluval hanging filter as well. In my Fluval filter I use 5 types of filtration. I use bio rocks in a bag to grow good bacteria, I use a filter pad that removes ammonia, a filter pad that removes nitrites, a white filter that removes all kinds of tiny bits of dirt, food, or anything that goes into the filter, charcoal, and I also have a sponge filter on the intake. I clean the sponge filters every time I do a water change every 2 days, as well as cleaning the gravel. I also feed live bring shrimp that are hatched in salt water, so there is low salt content in the water that helps keep it cleaner, but not enough to dehydrated my chams. I also have live plants in the water for extra filtration. I would never suggest this to a new chameleon owner, or to someone new to aquariums because they have to be kept extremely clean if used as the drinking source for a chameleon. I have the experience, and time to maintain them properly because I work at home building chameleon habitats, breeding veiled chameleons, guppies, and dwarf sea horses. I’m a seasoned aquarist, and chameleon keeper. So please if you decide you want to do this talk to me first about aquarium care specifications. Do not do it if you can’t do the proper upkeep!! You can use a fish to say train your Cham to drink out of a clear glass by putting the fish in it until the Cham drinks from it for a day or two, and than moving the fish into a tank and leaving the drinking glass in the Cham cage, with fresh water every day. I only did things this way because of experience. It is cleaner for my chameleon, and they stay hydrated better, without constantly having to deal with water messes from misting or fogging, and without having to be concerned about my Cham getting respiratory infections from any sitting water, plus heat causing bad bacteria. I am a moderator on a sub Reddit chameleons forum, and love to teach people about these little green friends we all love so much, but I do not want to be irresponsible and cause others to take improper care. So please please before attempting to replicate my formula just talk to me and ask questions so that it’s done responsibly.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
I should note that, this

I think they're anatomically incapable of successfully catching anything aquatic due to the mechanisms of the way they shoot their tongue to grab hold of pray. Their tongues adapted to catch pray in the "air", definitely not in water.

How long have you had your chameleon, in this free-range as well? I feel like we should go over your husbandry while we're at it because, I can already tell you that I would ditch the bowl of water and continue to use misters and foggers to maintain humidity/hydration.

Could you fill out the how to ask for help form please.
So I explained myself in the comments below. I am a seasoned chameleon keeper, and a aquarist. Otherwise I would not attempt doing things this way. My chameleons are healthy and happy. I am also a moderator on a chameleon sub Reddit, and have learned that sometimes it’s better to ask questions rather than assume husbandry is incorrect. That being said, I should have thoroughly explained my methods, because I would not want a new keeper, especially one without aquarium experience to attempt a set up like mine, so I do apologize for my lack of explanation. If you wanna take a peek at it all now that I have laid out all out, you are welcome to. I explain my filtration methods, my tank cleaning schedule as well as my lighting, and why I do things this way. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. To answer your question, I have had my chameleons in free range setups for over a year now successfully.
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
That makes sense. I have kept chameleons for 3yrs now. My first chameleon unfortunately was my first hard lesson, and was unknown to me a wild caught. She was ill and the specialty vets here had never seen what was happening to her before, and didn’t know how to treat her so she passed away. I still have the video of some of what was happening, and on the sub Reddit I belong to, got to know the founding moderator who has over 30yrs of experience. He had seen it only once in his entire career, and said it was a parasite that damaged her nervous system. After that I went to work educating myself like crazy about these guys. My oldest I currently have is my male He-Man. I have had him for a year and a half now, and got him when he was honestly too young and only about the size of my thumb. Based on his casque size at the time I would say he was only 2mos old. My female is now a year old. At first I started with the large repti breeze screen habitat, than I tried bio active and was not happy with it lol. Finally over a year ago now, I began with free range, and have stuck with it since because it’s so much cleaner, and they love it. I’m reaching a female this coming week as well, and already have her a habitat set up as well. I began breeding only this year, but have had my first successful and fertile clutch that are now being incubated. I work with the near by personally owned pet shops to rescue, and will be taking in a bearded dragon on Sunday as well. Animals are my passion, so I have aligned myself with reptile vets, breeders, and keepers across the United States to learn as much as possible. I live in Arizona, so I also keep in contact with the Phoenix herpetological society in case of any situation I ever have questions about. So please know that I’m a very active and responsible owner, and did not intend at all to give any bad info. I could have and should have explained things much better. Being a moderator I have learned that since posting this, so I am sorry, the internet is a learning curve for me lol. I also build hand made habitats for reptiles at home in my free time. I do know and appreciate that any suggestions that have been made have been done in an attempt to be helpful, and not to bully or belittle me in any way, and I hope I have now been thorough enough to show that my intentions are the same. Here are a few photos of my Cham fam
 

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Valerie crouch

New Member
Just to clarify have you been keeping chameleons for one year or just free ranging for a year? How long have you had chameleons and how old is your oldest? I'm just trying to get an idea of how much experience you have. Some new members have lots and it's hard to tell without asking.
Oh and here are photos of them when I bought them. The darker one is baby He-Man and the lemon colored one is Shera my girl on the day I brought ‘em home.
 

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AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Couple of questions-- where is the lay bin for your female? I love a free range but never understood it with a lay bin. ..

Also, how can a coil uvb provide more "saturation" than a linear bulb? Please link me to some info. The spread of a linear bulb has to be wider than a coil, just by nature of size....
 

Valerie crouch

New Member
Couple of questions-- where is the lay bin for your female? I love a free range but never understood it with a lay bin. ..

Also, how can a coil uvb provide more "saturation" than a linear bulb? Please link me to some info. The spread of a linear bulb has to be wider than a coil, just by nature of size....
The lay bin is at the bottom. I used a medium sized glass corner habitat, and removed the lid, added a mixture of half soil/half sand, and at the very top placed 2 large pathos. The lay bin stands to about my knees. Sorry for the poor pic quality, but I moved her habitat to the corner behind my sectional couch, because she likes to hide well when laying eggs. Last time she laid, she insisted her bin be on the floor, so I just added it when moving her into the living room. Here are a few pics. Oh and I have a linear bulb in her habitat because it’s not as big as my boys is, so between her linear and she gets to bask in the sunlight from the window, she gets plenty of good UVB. (Our Windows are not modern fancy glass that filters the UVB like most do these days) Also the reason coil UVB are not suggested for chameleons is not because of lower saturation, it is actually because they are much stronger than the linear bulbs, and when put into a dome they focus the light and UVB to a smaller location when put on top of a cage. It’s almost like burning an ant with a magnifying glass. Focusing the beam on a small area makes it stronger. This is great for desert lizards, but will very quickly burn a chameleon in a cage. However because I put my light near the ceiling pointed in the direction of the basking spot, but from about 2 feet away, it allows for the UVB to hit his basking area without burning him because of the large area it is in rather than sitting on top of a cage, baking a poor chameleon. However since mine are in open ranges that are not fully covered by a linear bulb, focusing the UVB on the basking spot from a safe distance allows for adequate UVB exposure, without burning. I don’t know how to do a link, but here is a pic from one group of researchers. The name is up too if you want to look up their research.
Couple of questions-- where is the lay bin for your female? I love a free range but never understood it with a lay bin. ..

Also, how can a coil uvb provide more "saturation" than a linear bulb? Please link me to some info. The spread of a linear bulb has to be wider than a coil, just by nature of size....
 

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