Chameleon likes the ground

Tiosk

Member
Hello, I’ve had a male veiled chameleon since December. I bought him a very trustworthy local pet store and he was about six months old. He is very healthy and lives in a spacious, 24x24x48 Zen habitats PVC/ screen combo. He has multiple live plants, proper uv and heating, A mainly cricket diet (I dont have many options locally), a automatic misting system with 3 nozzles, and plenty of space to climb and run around (which he does). In summary, this isn’t my first rodeo, and he lives in a very nice habitat with great care. However, he still chooses to venture down to the bottom of the cage multiple times a day, everyday, and just dig around in the coconut fiber/moss combo. It’s usually slightly moist to keep humidity, and he just runs around down there for hours. He still climbs around plenty and basks, but he never misses going down there in the late afternoon. He has always done it, ever since I got him. I examine him thoroughly daily to make sure he is healthy, and he always has a beautiful green and seems chill. Still, why does he run around at the bottom? I haven’t seen this before in chameleons. Does he want something?
 

Tiosk

Member
Can you post a picture of him and the enclosure?
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Here you go, the one vine in the back just came unattached today and has fallen down a little.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
If his substrate isn't bioactive, it should be taken out. The Exo Terra vines and fake plants need to be replaced with safe vines and veiled-tested live plants, too. If you want to fill out the husbandry form to make sure your husbandry is at 100%, let us know! Make sure to fill it out in as much detail as possible, too
 

Tiosk

Member
If his substrate isn't bioactive, it should be taken out. The Exo Terra vines and fake plants need to be replaced with safe vines and veiled-tested live plants, too. If you want to fill out the husbandry form to make sure your husbandry is at 100%, let us know! Make sure to fill it out in as much detail as possible, too
Why should the substrate be taken out? I use it to hold humidity since I live up north. The plants are a pothos and dracaena marginata, which are both safe for Chams. Not saying you are wrong just curious as to what’s wrong with these things. Thanks for the reply.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
If it isn't bioactive, it's just an extra risk for chams. Veileds will try to eat anything. Same with the fake plants (I see at least one, possibly three), as they're an impaction risk, which can lead to death. Adding more live plants will help with the humidity. If you want to keep the substrate, make sure it can keep springtails and isopods alive in it, and add them. How long do you mist for each time?
 

Tiosk

Member
If it isn't bioactive, it's just an extra risk for chams. Veileds will try to eat anything. Same with the fake plants (I see at least one, possibly three), as they're an impaction risk, which can lead to death. Adding more live plants will help with the humidity. If you want to keep the substrate, make sure it can keep springtails and isopods alive in it, and add them. How long do you mist for each time?
Thanks for the info. The fake plants are just in there until the pothos gets a little bigger, since I just got it not that long ago, so I will take them out soon. As for misting. I have a one minute session shortly after lights turn on. Additionally, I have 5 other sessions spread throughout the day that are roughly 45 seconds each, give or take 10 seconds. The last of the five is 30 seconds, which is the last before lights out.
 

PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the info. The fake plants are just in there until the pothos gets a little bigger, since I just got it not that long ago, so I will take them out soon. As for misting. I have a one minute session shortly after lights turn on. Additionally, I have 5 other sessions spread throughout the day that are roughly 45 seconds each, give or take 10 seconds. The last of the five is 30 seconds, which is the last before lights out.
Please fill this out

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.

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

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the info. The fake plants are just in there until the pothos gets a little bigger, since I just got it not that long ago, so I will take them out soon. As for misting. I have a one minute session shortly after lights turn on. Additionally, I have 5 other sessions spread throughout the day that are roughly 45 seconds each, give or take 10 seconds. The last of the five is 30 seconds, which is the last before lights out.
You want each misting session to be a minimum of 2-5+ minutes long each time, preferably around lights on and lights off, with a late afternoon session if needed.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there welcome. The branches are too thick for him... I am willing to bet that is part of the issue. Part of what I dislike about these enclosures is the do not give you branch holders. So it makes it a bit more difficult. Plastic plants with Veileds are high risk for them eating them and becoming impacted. Not having a fully bioactive cage with a drainage layer and isopods to clean the poo and yuck creates a bacteria breeding ground and very stagnant air.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Still, why does he run around at the bottom? I haven’t seen this before in chameleons. Does he want something?
Yup. He's hungry, and he's hunting. This doesn't mean you're not feeding him enough; some are just hungry little piggies.

My panther does the same thing. He noticed a few crickets jumped out of the feeder run cup, saw them moving around on the floor, and went after them. Now that he knows where the food is, if he doesn't find any in the food cups, he'll venture down to where he's found it before. ;)
 
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