Coconut eco earth getting stuck to my chameleons tail and legs

gleema

New Member
Adopted a female veiled chameleon from people that weren't taking great care of her. Ive read the forum a lot and have her tank set up pretty much perfectly, except we used coconut eco earth as substrate on recommendation of the reptile supply store before reading that I shouldn't use substrate for fear she will ingest some. My issue now is that the coconut eco earth gets stuck on her feet and tail when she walks around the enclosure, and I'm afraid that it will be abrasive while she grips things to climb? I am going to take the substrate out this weekend, and leave the floor empty. Can I do anything to clean her off? Should I just wait for it to naturally fall off as she moves around and there's no more substrate?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Adopted a female veiled chameleon from people that weren't taking great care of her. Ive read the forum a lot and have her tank set up pretty much perfectly, except we used coconut eco earth as substrate on recommendation of the reptile supply store before reading that I shouldn't use substrate for fear she will ingest some. My issue now is that the coconut eco earth gets stuck on her feet and tail when she walks around the enclosure, and I'm afraid that it will be abrasive while she grips things to climb? I am going to take the substrate out this weekend, and leave the floor empty. Can I do anything to clean her off? Should I just wait for it to naturally fall off as she moves around and there's no more substrate?
Welcome to the forums! The substrate needs to be taken out ASAP, and the debris on her should fall off by itself. What type of enclosure do you have, a screen cage, glass terrarium, fish tank, DIY cage, hybrid cage, or something else? Filling out this form in as much detail as possible, including pics of her, her lights, and her full cage (lights to bottom), will help us make sure you have everything 100% for you and her on your new journey!

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.
 

gleema

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? We have a female veiled chameleon, we don't know her exact age but she is at least 5 months old. We got her 4 days ago from someone that barely fed her, only fed mealworms with no supplement, no fog or mister, and used a red light for heat. We've since changed all of this. The attached picture of her is from when she just got home, her markings were pretty dark, and lately she has presented a light green color.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? We haven't handled her except to move her from her old smaller inclosure to the one we set up for her. She was hissing and puffing up when we opened her door until today she didn't exhibit defensive behavior when we opened her door to feed her. Today she didn't puff up or retreat when we put hands in the enclosure for feeding time. She would hiss at her previous owner during handling, they did not wait for her to come out, they would grab her from enclosure. I think she will need time to get comfortable before we attempt to handle. Were not even thinking of handling her at the moment.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? We switched from what the previous owner was feeding (two mealworms every day or two NOT ENOUGH!!) to feeding her small crickets, she isn't very big so we got baby crickets. We have dusted the crickets with calcium with D3 once this week, picking up just calcium this weekend I know D3 shouldn't be used as often as plain calcium. Gutloading crickets with spinach, carrots and carrot greens this week. We've been feeding her about 10 crickets a day. We use a ceramic dish that we place on a branch, when we put the dish in the enclosure she comes quickly and feeds, she seems to know the dish means feeding time. We have worms from the previous owner, but we've only given her 2 worms over the past few days because I know they aren't easy to digest and aren't very nutritious, and were trying to get her healthier than she was.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Dusting with zoo med brand reptile vitamins with D3, dusted crickets today. Have only had her a few days, I am planning to get calcium dust and dust once a week.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? We have a homemade bottle dripper from top of enclosure, dripping onto leaves, waiting on suction cup water dish. We had one on the bottom of the enclosure but she was walking through substrate and then through the dish and getting it dirty. She seems to like to drink from the leaves anyways. We've only seen her drink from leaves and catch the drip falling from dripper. We have a fogger going most of the day that maintains 80/90% humidity. Still trying to work out schedule to make sure it doesn't get too moist in there. Sometimes she darts her tongue at the fogger. Previous owner didn't mist or use fogger.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? We have seen one dropping since getting her, it was rather dark, slimy, and had a white tail. I don't think she's been tested for parasites, previous owners knew nothing about her.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She came from a home that didn't provide humidity, plants, or moving water, they only gave her standing water dish.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? We have a Thrive glass hexagon terrarium. dimensions are 19.1 in L x 16.6 in W x 22.4 in H (42.2 x 40.6 x 56.9 cm I live in Washington and it is winter so we got glass for added insulation, our house is typically pretty cold, mesh wouldn't work. Top is a screen.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? We have one Reptisun 5.0 UVB 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb, which is the long skinny bulb, not corkscrew. We also were using 3 60 watt basking bulbs given to us by previous owner however with 3 bulbs it was getting to be too hot in the top of the enclosure so we moved down to 2 basking bulbs. The one we decided to stop using was the 'daylight blue' basking bulb by zoomed 60 watts. It seemed on forums to be deemed unnecessary. Its still being used in the attached picture. We turn the lights off around 10 at night and turn them back on around 9 or 10 am.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Basking spot is typically 85-90. It was 90 degrees so we removed one of the heat bulbs we had running.The enclosure is usually 80-85 at the top read by a zoomed dual thermometer and humidity gauge which we placed at the top of the enclosure. We have a digital at the bottom which is usually around 74
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity is usually 80-100% throughout the day, drops down to 70 by morning. We use the repifogger by zoomed. Its hard to control so far because it is either always running or off.. would take suggestions on intervals I could turn it on and off? We use the dual thermometer and humidity gauge by zoomed at the top of the cage to measure.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? So far we only have fake plants, we are going to get a pathos this week. We will have to re create her enclosure as we need to put a laying bin in her enclosure. Were thinking of taking out the coconut eco earth substrate, and put a laying bin which will take up most of the room on the bottom of the enclosure, except for a few inches around the edges of the laying bin. We also added a hammock close to the top that has taken to climbing on top of and under.
  • 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? We put her cage on a table, in a dining room we only go in to visit her. The dining room is off of the kitchen, so she does look at us across the room. No air vents or fans.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Located in Seattle, Washington.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Currently I'd like advice about using substrate/not using substrate and what is a good choice. Also if I need to help her get rid of residual substrate that keeps sticking to her legs and tail?

Also, should a laying bin be a constant fixture in her enclosure? Any tips when it comes to laying bin? I'm super worried about getting the laying bin correct as she's about old enough to start laying eggs. She hasn't showed any signs, is still very skinny and petite, and has remained a steady green color.

I would appreciate any tips or advice regarding what we are currently doing for her, she was definitely not in the healthiest environment and I want her to thrive!! My partner previously cared for other reptiles but not a chameleon, and I have no experience with chameleons either.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
MY REPLIES WILL BE IN CAPS...
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? We have a female veiled chameleon, we don't know her exact age but she is at least 5 months old. We got her 4 days ago from someone that barely fed her, only fed mealworms with no supplement, no fog or mister, and used a red light for heat. We've since changed all of this. The attached picture of her is from when she just got home, her markings were pretty dark, and lately she has presented a light green color. CAN YOU PLEASE POST S PHOTO OF HER ON SOMETHING THAT WILL SHOW HER SIZE...HAND FOR INSTANCE.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? We haven't handled her except to move her from her old smaller inclosure to the one we set up for her. She was hissing and puffing up when we opened her door until today she didn't exhibit defensive behavior when we opened her door to feed her. Today she didn't puff up or retreat when we put hands in the enclosure for feeding time. She would hiss at her previous owner during handling, they did not wait for her to come out, they would grab her from enclosure. I think she will need time to get comfortable before we attempt to handle. Were not even thinking of handling her at the moment.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? We switched from what the previous owner was feeding (two mealworms every day or two NOT ENOUGH!!) to feeding her small crickets, she isn't very big so we got baby crickets. We have dusted the crickets with calcium with D3 once this week, picking up just calcium this weekend I know D3 shouldn't be used as often as plain calcium. Gutloading crickets with spinach, carrots and carrot greens this week. We've been feeding her about 10 crickets a day. We use a ceramic dish that we place on a branch, when we put the dish in the enclosure she comes quickly and feeds, she seems to know the dish means feeding time. We have worms from the previous owner, but we've only given her 2 worms over the past few days because I know they aren't easy to digest and aren't very nutritious, and were trying to get her healthier than she was.
    SPINACH SHOULD BE USED RARELY OR NOT AT ALL...IT BINDS CALCIUM. DANDELION GREENS, KALE, COLLARDS, SQUASH, ZUCCHINI, SWEET POTATO, SWEET RED PEPPER, CARROTS, AND A SMALL SMALL AMOUNT OF APPLES, PEARS, MELONS, BERRIES, ETC CAN BE USED TO FEED/GUTLOAD THE INSECTS.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Dusting with zoo med brand reptile vitamins with D3, dusted crickets today. Have only had her a few days, I am planning to get calcium dust and dust once a week.
    ITS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU DUST LIGHTLY WITH A PHOS FREE CALCIUM POWDER AT ALL FEEDINGS BUT ONE A WEEK. ON THAT ONE DAY EACH WEEK ALTERNATE BETWEEN A PHOS FREE CALCIUM/D3 POWDER LIGHTLY AND A VITAMIN POWDER WITH A PREFORMED SOURCE OF VITAMIN A LIGHTLY.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? We have a homemade bottle dripper from top of enclosure, dripping onto leaves, waiting on suction cup water dish. We had one on the bottom of the enclosure but she was walking through substrate and then through the dish and getting it dirty. She seems to like to drink from the leaves anyways. We've only seen her drink from leaves and catch the drip falling from dripper. We have a fogger going most of the day that maintains 80/90% humidity. Still trying to work out schedule to make sure it doesn't get too moist in there. Sometimes she darts her tongue at the fogger. Previous owner didn't mist or use fogger.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? We have seen one dropping since getting her, it was rather dark, slimy, and had a white tail. I don't think she's been tested for parasites, previous owners knew nothing about her.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She came from a home that didn't provide humidity, plants, or moving water, they only gave her standing water dish.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? We have a Thrive glass hexagon terrarium. dimensions are 19.1 in L x 16.6 in W x 22.4 in H (42.2 x 40.6 x 56.9 cm I live in Washington and it is winter so we got glass for added insulation, our house is typically pretty cold, mesh wouldn't work. Top is a screen.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? We have one Reptisun 5.0 UVB 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb, which is the long skinny bulb, not corkscrew. We also were using 3 60 watt basking bulbs given to us by previous owner however with 3 bulbs it was getting to be too hot in the top of the enclosure so we moved down to 2 basking bulbs. The one we decided to stop using was the 'daylight blue' basking bulb by zoomed 60 watts. It seemed on forums to be deemed unnecessary. Its still being used in the attached picture. We turn the lights off around 10 at night and turn them back on around 9 or 10 am.
    @beman ?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Basking spot is typically 85-90. It was 90 degrees so we removed one of the heat bulbs we had running.The enclosure is usually 80-85 at the top read by a zoomed dual thermometer and humidity gauge which we placed at the top of the enclosure. We have a digital at the bottom which is usually around 74 BASKING SHOULD BE AT 80F FOR A FEMALE VEILED.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity is usually 80-100% throughout the day, drops down to 70 by morning. We use the repifogger by zoomed. Its hard to control so far because it is either always running or off.. would take suggestions on intervals I could turn it on and off? We use the dual thermometer and humidity gauge by zoomed at the top of the cage to measure.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? So far we only have fake plants, we are going to get a pathos this week. We will have to re create her enclosure as we need to put a laying bin in her enclosure. Were thinking of taking out the coconut eco earth substrate, and put a laying bin which will take up most of the room on the bottom of the enclosure, except for a few inches around the edges of the laying bin. We also added a hammock close to the top that has taken to climbing on top of and under. NO SUBSTRATE IS BEST...UNLESS YOU WANT TO DO BIOACTIVE.
  • 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? We put her cage on a table, in a dining room we only go in to visit her. The dining room is off of the kitchen, so she does look at us across the room. No air vents or fans.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Located in Seattle, Washington.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Currently I'd like advice about using substrate/not using substrate and what is a good choice. Also if I need to help her get rid of residual substrate that keeps sticking to her legs and tail?

Also, should a laying bin be a constant fixture in her enclosure? Any tips when it comes to laying bin? I'm super worried about getting the laying bin correct as she's about old enough to start laying eggs. She hasn't showed any signs, is still very skinny and petite, and has remained a steady green color.
ILL ADD ALINK AT THE END.

I would appreciate any tips or advice regarding what we are currently doing for her, she was definitely not in the healthiest environment and I want her to thrive!! My partner previously cared for other reptiles but not a chameleon, and I have no experience with chameleons either.


ALSO...
There are better options than an all glass cage with no ventilation in the lower part of the cage. The glass terrarium might be ok for a few days....but...when using a glass terrarium you have to create a chimney effect. You have too much of the top of the cage blocked for that to happen. I'll explain more later n this post.

Egg laying bin...
 
Last edited:

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sadly, a lot of this is wrong and needs to be adjusted immediately, so bear with me here, as there is going to be a lot of info to digest. My feedback and any questions will be in red, but it is more important to get her to an experienced chameleon vet first! While the husbandry changes need to be made ASAP, so does her vet appointment (make sure it is an experienced chameleon vet with tons of chameleon experience and tons of accurate and up-to-date chameleon knowledge)! I’ve also posted helpful links throughout this form and at the bottom, as well as attaching helpful images at the end, too!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? We have a female veiled chameleon, we don't know her exact age but she is at least 5 months old. We got her 4 days ago from someone that barely fed her, only fed mealworms with no supplement, no fog or mister, and used a red light for heat. We've since changed all of this. The attached picture of her is from when she just got home, her markings were pretty dark, and lately she has presented a light green color. If she is that age (members on here can help you verify that!), she needs a proper lay bin ASAP! Female veileds will lay eggs even without being mated, just like a chicken. I’ve posted a lay bin image below, and here is a great video on egg-laying from @Gingero (who is Neptune the Chameleon on YouTube):
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? We haven't handled her except to move her from her old smaller inclosure to the one we set up for her. She was hissing and puffing up when we opened her door until today she didn't exhibit defensive behavior when we opened her door to feed her. Today she didn't puff up or retreat when we put hands in the enclosure for feeding time. She would hiss at her previous owner during handling, they did not wait for her to come out, they would grab her from enclosure. I think she will need time to get comfortable before we attempt to handle. Were not even thinking of handling her at the moment. Good! When you have to get her out for vet appointments, use a stick for her to climb onto to transfer her to her transport bin, don’t grab her out. Hand-feeding is a great way to start to build up trust, along with taking her outside (when the temps are appropriate) or to a free-range enclosure (make sure she has proper UVB, which I’ll get into more in the lights section on here, if she’s on there long enough), along with feeding her treats (in moderation) during these activities. Here are two great videos and a great link on handling a chameleon, which will be needed if you ever have to give her medication and if she doesn’t climb onto the stick when you are getting her for her vet appointment(s) (all of these are from Bill Strand from The Chameleon Academy, which used to be The Chameleon Breeder Podcast):
    https://chameleonacademy.com/basics-handling-chameleons/
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? We switched from what the previous owner was feeding (two mealworms every day or two NOT ENOUGH!!) to feeding her small crickets, she isn't very big so we got baby crickets. We have dusted the crickets with calcium with D3 once this week, picking up just calcium this weekend I know D3 shouldn't be used as often as plain calcium. Gutloading crickets with spinach, carrots and carrot greens this week. We've been feeding her about 10 crickets a day. We use a ceramic dish that we place on a branch, when we put the dish in the enclosure she comes quickly and feeds, she seems to know the dish means feeding time. We have worms from the previous owner, but we've only given her 2 worms over the past few days because I know they aren't easy to digest and aren't very nutritious, and were trying to get her healthier than she was. She needs a better gutload, as spinach has high oxalates, but more importantly, it binds calcium! Her gutload also needs more nutrition and variety as well, as variety is key for both gutload ingredients and different types of feeders! I’ve attached both gutload and feeder charts below. Since she is a female, you need to watch how much you feed her and how often, along with what her temps are, as high temps and too much food cause bigger and more egg clutches, which will shorten her lifespan. Her age determines how much and how often to be fed, so once you know it (if it isn’t 5 months), you can change her to that schedule. Granted, I would also wait see what the vet says since before you start that, as she was fed very little and little nutrition since she was a baby, so that could change things. @jannb will be able to help out more with that, along with aging her and helping you find a good vet!
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Dusting with zoo med brand reptile vitamins with D3, dusted crickets today. Have only had her a few days, I am planning to get calcium dust and dust once a week. This is crucial, especially since she’s a female and since she never had correct or any supplementation, as if there isn’t enough calcium to produce eggs, her body will take it from her bones to help form them. She needs a quality phosphorus-free calcium without D3 every feeding (like Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3) and a quality multivitamin with D3 and preformed Vitamin A once every two weeks (like Zoo Med Reptivite with D3). Now, once it gets warmer out, she will definitely benefit in going outside for natural sunlight, so if she stays outside for long enough, you will need to get a quality multivitamin without D3 (still with preformed Vitamin A) to use once every two weeks (like Zoo Med Reptivite without D3), since she’ll produce her own D3 when outside.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? We have a homemade bottle dripper from top of enclosure, dripping onto leaves, waiting on suction cup water dish. We had one on the bottom of the enclosure but she was walking through substrate and then through the dish and getting it dirty. She seems to like to drink from the leaves anyways. We've only seen her drink from leaves and catch the drip falling from dripper. We have a fogger going most of the day that maintains 80/90% humidity. Still trying to work out schedule to make sure it doesn't get too moist in there. Sometimes she darts her tongue at the fogger. Previous owner didn't mist or use fogger. The dripper should drip onto multiple plant leaves then down to the bottom, not a water dish, where there is a proper drainage system in place. Water dishes are bacterial breeding grounds, so both need to be removed ASAP! THE FOGGER NEEDS TO STOP UNTIL SHE HAS AN ENCLOSURE WITH PROPER AIRFLOW AND ONLY USED AT NIGHT ONCE YOU GET THAT! High heat, high humidity, and no airflow (which you have all 3), leads to a respiratory infection! It also must be a cool-mist fogger only and only used during the coldest parts of the night (ONLY if that if below 68*F, but preferably lower, like 60-65*F max, hopefully closer to 60*F or lower). It, and any tubes and other accessories used, needs to be cleaned thoroughly and often, too! If it does have tubes, place it at the top of her new cage, so the fog rolls down. Her entire enclosure should be misted a minimum of 2-5+ minutes each time, once in the morning and once at night for her daytime mistings, if her humidity allows them to be that far apart. Once you get her a proper cage (which needs to happen ASAP!), you can run the fogger during the coldest parts of the night (only if it’s cold enough) and mist short spurts throughout the night (an automatic mister will greatly help with that- though I would caution to wait to get one until she gets her new cage). The recommended mister brands are CliMist or MistKing, though if you can’t afford one of those two yet, an Exo Terra Monsoon can make do until then. HER DAYTIME HUMIDITY LEVELS NEED TO BE BETWEEN 30-50% DURING THE DAY, and once she has a properly vented cage, the nighttime levels can get up to 80-100%, but only AFTER she has a proper cage!
 
Last edited:

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? We have seen one dropping since getting her, it was rather dark, slimy, and had a white tail. I don't think she's been tested for parasites, previous owners knew nothing about her. She definitely needs a vet appointment with an experienced chameleon vet to check for parasites, Metabolic Bone disease, and calcium and vitamin levels. Make sure to bring a fresh fecal sample with you to the appointment (the whole thing, the dark part and the white part), as this is what’ll be checked for parasites. She’ll also need x-rays done to check for MBD, as well as possibly doing bloodwork to check vitamin levels, if it’s safe enough to do so and the vet is comfortable with it. Make sure to drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed. Also make sure to get a good chameleon vet, as normal vets or non-experienced chameleon vets might try to prescribe medications without having proof that they’ll help! So make sure if they are trying to give any medication(s), there is proof of what what the problem is and that the medication(s) used will actually treat her problem(s)!
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She came from a home that didn't provide humidity, plants, or moving water, they only gave her standing water dish. Kudos to that, and this will be an incredible experience with her, but it’ll also be very expensive just for getting her the proper supplies, not including vet care, so make sure you are financially prepared for this!
 

Flick boy

Avid Member
Hi and welcome if you check your night temps in the room where your girl is might not be to cold as they can go down to 10c at night you will want to upgrade to a minimum of 2x2x4 if it is too cold you can still get a mesh enclosure and sheet the back and 2 sides you will also want to provide a constant lay bin for your girl as she will lay eggs irregardless of being with a male . Have a read through the info at chameleon academy will give you a good insight to care requirements
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage Info:

Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? We have a Thrive glass hexagon terrarium. dimensions are 19.1 in L x 16.6 in W x 22.4 in H (42.2 x 40.6 x 56.9 cm I live in Washington and it is winter so we got glass for added insulation, our house is typically pretty cold, mesh wouldn't work. Top is a screen. That cage is too small and doesn’t have correct airflow! It also needs a ton of work on the inside of it, which I’ll go through on the plant section! She needs either an all-screen cage, a glass terrarium with vents on the front bottom (Exo Terra), or a hybrid cage (like some Zen Habitats and DragonStrand cages). The minimum-sized cage for a female veiled is either 36” x 18” x 36” tall (Exo Terra has a glass terrarium and screen cage in this size) or 2’ x 2’ x 4’ tall (DragonStrand and Zen Habitats each have hybrid cages of this size, as well as DIY Cages, Zoo Med, and DragonStrand all have screen cages of this size), but preferably 4’ x 2’ x 4’ tall (DragonStrand has an all screen cage and a hybrid cage of this size, along with Zen Habitats having a hybrid cage of this size) or bigger! Bigger is always better! You can also build your own cage, but it isn’t always cheaper and you have to be careful with what materials you use. If you go with a glass terrarium, make sure she can’t see her reflection in the glass, and make sure it has a screen top and enough ventilation near the bottom on the front so it has a chimney effect, which will allow the cage to have proper ventilation and enough airflow. Granted, there are other ways to make a glass terrarium work, but for a beginner, that will be easiest as there are already commercially-available glass terrariums with everything correct already built into them, like Exo Terras. Bill Strand goes deeper into this here:
https://chameleonacademy.com/glass-chameleon-cages/
-Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? We have one Reptisun 5.0 UVB 13 watt compact fluorescent bulb, which is the long skinny bulb, not corkscrew. We also were using 3 60 watt basking bulbs given to us by previous owner however with 3 bulbs it was getting to be too hot in the top of the enclosure so we moved down to 2 basking bulbs. The one we decided to stop using was the 'daylight blue' basking bulb by zoomed 60 watts. It seemed on forums to be deemed unnecessary. Its still being used in the attached picture. We turn the lights off around 10 at night and turn them back on around 9 or 10 am. This is incorrect and needs to be changed IMMEDIATELY! You need a T5 High Output linear fixture (with a good reflector on it) that is either the length of what her biggest enclosure will be (place it straight across the middle over the top of the screen) or what the distance is going diagonal across over the top of what her biggest enclosure will be (placed diagonal across the middle over the top of the screen). You need a T5 HO linear UVB bulb that’s either an Arcadia 6% (replace yearly) or a Zoo Med 5.0 (replace every six months) of the matching size (usually 2” shorter than the light fixture). With those strengths on a commercially available screen cage top, her basking branch will be 8-9” away from the linear UVB bulb. If you can afford it, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5, especially if you’ll build your own cage (should be an essential either way)! It’ll give you precise UVI readings, which’ll also tell you where to actually place her basking branch from her linear UVB bulb, tell you if a linear UVB bulb is defective, and let you know when to actually replace her linear UVB bulb (when the readings are cut in half)! She needs only one basking bulb, which should be a white light. Plain household incandescent bulbs from the hardware store work great! You’ll have to play around with the wattages to get the correct temps. Her basking bulb needs to be a minimum of 7”+ away from where her casque/top of her back is when she’s on her basking branch, but preferably 8-9” or more. Tilting the dome at an angle provides a better thermogradient as well! @Beman has a great example of this (I’ll post it at the end of this section)! All lights (linear UVB, basking bulb, and any plant lights you might want to use in the future) need to all be on for 12 hours and all off for 12 hours of complete darkness. Don’t use any lights or any heat source at night, unless it’s constanly in the 30*s to low 40*s or below. If that is the case, only use one ceramic heat emitter in one corner on top of her cage of the lowest wattage needed to get it to those temps. Make sure the 12 hrs on and 12 hrs off somewhat follows the daylight schedule, like 8am-8pm or something, nothing like 12am-12pm or anything like that, obviously. Here is a link to one of @Beman posts showing how she set up her basking dome:
Post in thread 'Age ?'
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/age.181096/post-1645750
-Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Basking spot is typically 85-90. It was 90 degrees so we removed one of the heat bulbs we had running.The enclosure is usually 80-85 at the top read by a zoomed dual thermometer and humidity gauge which we placed at the top of the enclosure. We have a digital at the bottom which is usually around 74 That is way too hot! Her basking temp (measured with a digital thermometer with a probe, with the probe placed where her casque/top of her back is when she’s on her basking branch) should be 78-80*F max! What are her night temps? They need to be low, preferably 65*F or lower. The analog thermometer-hygrometer combos are garbage and need to be replaced ASAP! You need a digital thermometer with a probe to measure basking temps, a digital infrared temp gun (optional to spot-check areas), and some digital thermometer-hygrometer combos (preferably at least 3- one placed near her basking branch at the top of her cage, one placed in the middle, and one placed at the bottom) to measure ambient temps and humidity levels.
-Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity is usually 80-100% throughout the day, drops down to 70 by morning. We use the repifogger by zoomed. Its hard to control so far because it is either always running or off.. would take suggestions on intervals I could turn it on and off? We use the dual thermometer and humidity gauge by zoomed at the top of the cage to measure. Her humidity levels are too high, which I went through in the watering section on here. Analog timers work great for controlling lights, foggers, and automatic misters (CliMist and MistKing systems come with their own timers). I prefer analog over digital because if there is ever a poweroutage or surge, analog timers will keep the exact schedule and all you have to adjust is what the current time is! For all things plugged in for your cham, I would also recommend plugging them into surge protectors just in case.
-Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? So far we only have fake plants, we are going to get a pathos this week. We will have to re create her enclosure as we need to put a laying bin in her enclosure. Were thinking of taking out the coconut eco earth substrate, and put a laying bin which will take up most of the room on the bottom of the enclosure, except for a few inches around the edges of the laying bin. We also added a hammock close to the top that has taken to climbing on top of and under. Veileds need all live plants only, and you need to remove all fake plants, substrate, hammock, and Exo Terra Vines ASAP! Veileds will try to eat anything, so fake plants are an impaction risk, along with any substrate that isn’t bioactive (which should only be used with a healthy chameleon anyway)! They need live chameleon-safe and veiled-tested plants that are properly cleaned beforehand, and all having rocks too big for her to eat covering the soil in the pots! I’ve posted two great veiled-tested plant lists and a great plant link below! The Exo Terra vines need to be taken out ASAP as well, as they can cause eye issues! The hammock isn’t meant for chameleons and can rip out her nails, as well, so it needs to removed, too! She needs tons more live plants, real branches of multiple species and diameters (no moss covered dowels or branches from toxic or sap-producing trees), and more vines (preferably all live but fake ones that aren’t moss or Exo Terra can work)!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
-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? We put her cage on a table, in a dining room we only go in to visit her. The dining room is off of the kitchen, so she does look at us across the room. No air vents or fans. How high up is the bottom of her cage? Do you use any strong cleaners in your kitchen or anywhere else close to her (they have sensitive lungs)? Is the dining room a high-traffic anywhere? -Location - Where are you geographically located? Located in Seattle, Washington.
-Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

Currently I'd like advice about using substrate/not using substrate and what is a good choice. Also if I need to help her get rid of residual substrate that keeps sticking to her legs and tail? No substrate, just a bare bottom with a drainage system under the cage, and the substrate on her should come off on its own.

Also, should a laying bin be a constant fixture in her enclosure? Any tips when it comes to laying bin? I'm super worried about getting the laying bin correct as she's about old enough to start laying eggs. She hasn't showed any signs, is still very skinny and petite, and has remained a steady green color. Yes, the lay bin needs to be permanent in her enclosure and put in ASAP. Veileds usually become sexually mature around 5 months old, but it could happen sooner or later than that.

I would appreciate any tips or advice regarding what we are currently doing for her, she was definitely not in the healthiest environment and I want her to thrive!! My partner previously cared for other reptiles but not a chameleon, and I have no experience with chameleons either.

Here are the rest of the helpful links and images (make sure to read through every module and the veiled species profile, as well as listen to as many podcasts as possible, from The Chameleon Academy, as they have the most accurate and up-to-date info!):
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/external-resources/
https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/
https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
 

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