Constant Peeling / Escape

SamW

New Member
Hey all,

So lately my almost 2 year old veiled male has constantly had some peeled skin (specifically around his 'yellow stripes') and it will not go away. I understand that shedding is a determinant of health quality (in relation to diet, lighting, hydration, etc.), but I believe that he has proper care. He lives in the largest, tall DIY cage, I think its like 24l 24w and 48t, owns a pretty nice Pothos, many vines, and has UVB plus heat. His heat is provided by ZooMed's 150w Repti Basking Spot Lamp and his UVB is generated by a Reptisun 10.0 UVB bulb. He eats a steady supply of crickets (I just found out that Petco dusts their packaged crickets with Reptical, which was frustrating to learn, because I too have been supplementing them with powder) I regularly use Repashy calcium too. He also enjoys many meal worms and wax worms. Lately I've been better with providing him fruit salads regularly (he loves red peppers and blueberries specifically). His light cycles are 9am and 9pm. I mist as needed, and he also drinks directly from a bottle (let's me pour it into his mouth).

My main concern is his enclosure setup and why his skin is a constantly 'peeling.' He still has his normal sheds, but this little amount of skin is always surrounding his yellow stripes. Do I have too little or too much light? My apartment is kept around 70 degrees F., and he actually spends a lot of time directly under the 150w bask. He also spends a lot of time 'out of light' and tries to go to one spot of the cage and go as highest as he can. When he does this, I think he's trying to escape light or heat. Also, he is always trying to bust out of the cage and will often come out whenever given the chance. Due to limited space/practicality, he is stationed in a corned of the apartment where little to no sun is received.

In previous posts, I've asked for suggestions/feedback on my setup (specifically lights). I also understand that we can only provide so much care and are only able to simulate climate to an extent, but I think I could still be doing something different or better.

I will greatly appreciate any help on these issues. If you are going to suggest specific products, please provide links to the exact model or very specific details. Let me know if I left out some important information or you have any other questions. I like to think I take great care of my guy, and want to continue doing so.

Thanks,

Sam and Samir
 

Kate

Established Member
I think pics of areas you talk about would be helpful. I would ignore the petco supplement thing because you need to dust immediately prior to feeding, and whatever petco do will be worthless a couple of hrs after.:)
 

SamW

New Member
misting, humidity, plants, and cleaning

I mist him moderately twice a day, making sure to let the area dry in between. While I'm at it, I also have trouble with plants eventually dying or lose many leaves; it's happened with my pothos, hibiscus, and ficus. I understand that those plants need different conditions of climate and that the are getting trampled on. What do you guys do? I'm thinking about starting with new plants and maybe getting additional lighting and heat for the area? Should I possibly add organic Happy Frog fertilizer? Sorry for all the new questions, but I feel that maintaining healthier plants in the environment would help with humidity/hydration = his peeling problem. Also, what are your recommendations for cleaning? I know that heat is the best way, but I have yet to purchase a steam cleaner. In the past I have used mixtures of mild soap, hot water, and vinegar.
 

camimom

New Member
well theres part of your problem. you arent misting enough.

i mist all my chams every 2 hours from 8 am to 6 pm.

hes not getting misted enough so his skin is drying out.

as for keeping your plants alive- try gettng a grow light from home depot or lowes.
also make sure they are getting adequate water, too much water or not enough can kill them.

as for cage cleaning- i normally just use hot water. if its real bad i dilute a tiny amount of dish soap in the water first.
 

SamW

New Member
Thanks a lot, I may have figured that, but he already hates the sprays he gets now. Are the lights that I have now Okay? I'll add a grow light too. I also realize that he's a prisoner, and no one likes being restrained, but are there any possible considerations for why he is always trying to escape?
 

juju

Established Member
Thanks a lot, I may have figured that, but he already hates the sprays he gets now. Are the lights that I have now Okay? I'll add a grow light too. I also realize that he's a prisoner, and no one likes being restrained, but are there any possible considerations for why he is always trying to escape?
him trying to escape could be that he is trying to look for a girl lol that's just my guess but I have seen on here that chams sometimes like to run around outside of there cage have you ever thought of a small free range where u live? Would be something to look in to if he likes to run about.
 

SamW

New Member
Unfortunately I live in a 2br apartment where there isn't enough room for my self haha. So a full-size free range is out of question. I do have a nice sized ficus and hibiscus outside of the cage and he likes to hangout in those. Outside of the balcony window are a series of huge, green trees so he always just wants to climb up the curtains. I suppose it is very natural, I was just looking for some insight. Thanks to everyone who contributed to my posts
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
While I'm at it, I also have trouble with plants eventually dying or lose many leaves; it's happened with my pothos, hibiscus, and ficus.
There are several reasons why your plants lose their leaves or die, but we'd need you to check some things before we can answer that one.

1. Inadequate light: In the typical vertically oriented cham cage the only part of the plants that gets much light is the top layer of the "canopy". The leaves below that get shaded eventually drop off because they don't produce any energy for the plant. You can help keep them bushier by hanging a fluorescent tube light vertically on one side of the cage to light the lower parts of it. Hibiscus needs pretty direct bright light to do well. Ficus are fussy and can drop leaves if you change something (temps, light level, move the cage, etc). Pothos are pretty hard to kill, so something pretty basic is wrong if yours are dying.

2. Root rot or potbound: If your plants' potting soil is constantly saturated due to all the misting you have to do, the roots just rot away. The potting soil surface might feel as though it is drying out, but you do need to check the soil lower down around the roots to determine this. If you find soggy roots you'll need to increase the drainage of your pots either by putting more drain holes in the pot or adding pumice or perlite to the soil and pebbles in the bottom of the pot. Don't let drain water sit in pot saucers. You don't want perlite sitting on the soil surface but you can bury it. Eventually plants outgrow their pots...do the roots wrap around inside the pots or grow through the drain holes? Plants also use up the nutrients in their potting soil so you do have to repot them with fresh soil.

3. Heat stress: Are your plants simply drying out too much? Do the top leaves get burned because they are too close to the basking spot? Again, check the moisture of the lower parts of the pot not just the surface.
 

SamW

New Member
I am certain that my plant(s) are receiving too little light. I am going to purchase a grow light to hang vertically, do you have any suggestions?
 

ambanjamom

New Member
This is just my thoughts I would ditch the 10.0 UVB and switch to a 5.0
I would also change out the 150 w basking bulb & go with something a lot lower or just do a regular house bulb.
After reading this forum for the past yr.,I have seen numerous posts stating this & of course this is what I do myself.
Good luck
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I am certain that my plant(s) are receiving too little light. I am going to purchase a grow light to hang vertically, do you have any suggestions?
Yes. You want to try to light more of the cage instead of just the top. Try the vertical fluorescent tube idea. I use my "spent" ReptiSuns that are still producing light. Plants are not as picky about the UV level and its a good way to make use of them. I don't want to stare into a tube light while viewing the cage, so I attach the tube fixture so it faces away from the cage front, usually along one corner of the cage frame. Plug the fixture into the same timer the UV light comes on so it runs the same cycle.
 
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