[DATA.BASE][Chameleo C. Calyptratus]PLZREAD=Promoting the wellbeing of your chameleon

godzillajjk

New Member
Hi friends, nice to meet you.
As we all know, caring for chameleons isn't easy as raising guppies.
They need the proper setup, food, and condition to maintain a healthy life.
Browsing though this forum, I have seem much information regarding illnesses and tackling them when they happen, and most of it was on a case and point basis. So I started asking myself, can't we do something to prevent this? What husbandry works? What method is likely to promote the well-being and longevity of your little dinosaurs.
Yes, it is true that the information is out there on this vast internet, but it is scattered all over the place. It is, I gotta say, somewhat hard to gather what is needed.

Therefore, as part of the community which is mainly concerned on one agenda:keeping your pet healthy, I thought wouldn't it be great to know, on a single forum thread, what methods people are using that actually is working?? Don't you wanna know how the other guy/girl gets its chameleon so large, handsome, and healthy?:D Well if not large and handsome, at least have your chameleon be healthier than you? ;) I wish so, and im sure many of you reading this also feels the same way. Hey you may be that intelligent one that has everything or most everything set and well we reaaaallly need your help. So, I will like to humbly ask for all successful fellow chameleon keepers to enlighten us in detail on how they keep their chameleons. I have created a kickoff template below so we can easily distinguish and categorize how you go about caring for and the success rate of it. If this works and a lot of members participate and start getting data, I believe we will be able to statistically see what works and where the "sweet spot" is in our husbandry, also we will be able to start debating on what works and what doesn't. Therefore, evolving ourselves as cham owners. Finally, and most importantly, it will help this community tremendously and results in many chameleons having a better quality of life. :)

I have constrained this thread to the husbandry of the Veiled Chameleon to start, because they are one of the popular chameleon species. If this idea works, and it is ok with the admins and members of this community we should go about making a collection of husbandry tactics on other species as well. If so, I believe organization of the thread title, and thread template has a critical value on the flow passing information along to others and I think we should debate on how this should be accomplished. For now, I used "[DATA.BASE][Species name]" in the title and its a kickoff template/idea so if you have other ideas, comments, or critiques regarding this please don't hesitate to say. I hope this idea works and becomes one valuable sticky source of this forum.

Please fill out the bottom with as much detail as you can.
Again Thank you for your valuable knowledge!!!!
===========

===[Health]===

Age:
Sex:
Length:
Weight:
Current Health Status:
Past Illness/Health Problems and cause (if known):
General Overall Health:

(For mature female)
Clutches per year:
Clutch size:

Comments[ ]

===[Enclosure]===

Size:
Materials Used:

Comments[ ]

===[Foliage]===

Plants used and number:


Comments[ ]

===[Lighting]===

Please include part number or detail for your lights.
Lights used:
Duration the lights are on:
Amount of sun exposure:

detailed information please[]

===[Temperature]===


Daytime Basking Spot temperature(high):
Daytime Ambient temperature:
Nighttime Ambient temperature:

detailed information please[]

===[Humidity]===

Daytime Humidity:
Nighttime Humidity:
How you control Humidity:

detailed information please[]

===[Hydration]===

Method of Hydrating:
How many time per day:
Duration of watering:
Where the excess water goes:

detailed information please[]

===[FOOOOD!!]===

What you offer your Chameleon:
When you offer:
How many do you offer:
What you gutload your food with:
Supplements Used(name and/or item number) and When it is used:

Please write in detail on your food. Your ration schedule, when and the amount you feed, supplement amount used, how you offer your vegetation etc.[]

===[CRITIQUE]===

Overall satisfaction of your husbandry:
What you think you can do better on your husbandry:
Other things that came to your mind:

Anything else:


======
Thanks!!
 
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Marc10edora

Avid Member
I think it would be good to have something like this in our profile pages. We could fill out all the answers about our husbandry. That way when we ask a question about eachothers chams, we can just go to that persons profile to help us give the best answers. Knowing all aspects of the persons husbandry will help us narrow down problems for eachother. Everytime I read a thread about chameleon health issues, the question of that persons husbandry always pops up.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I think the only problem with this is that not all chams are the same. Each cham has their own specific needs within its own species. Everyone has varying techniques and scheduales that work for their cham.
 

Jewel

New Member
In general this is a good idea but what works for one person may not work for another due to a few factors. For example, I live in a climate that is very hot and humid in the summer (can get up to 100) and very cold and dry in the winter with all the snow and ice. An all screen cage just won't work for me to keep in the heat and humidity for the winter months like it would in other parts of the world.
To make this work we have to give a lot of consideration to many factors like climate
stress factors
-children in the house (example my veiled hates it when my 3 year old grandaughter is around)
-where in the house the cage is located like is it near a window or a drafty area, how much traffic flow
- can this chameleon see other chameleons in the room
- are you feeding, misting etc. the same time each day
- how often do you handle your chameleon
- how often do you watch you chameleon

The list goes on and on. Don't get me wrong, this is a good idea, I just think we just have to be careful how we present this information so it is not misleading.
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
Hmmmmmmm.
I am not poo-pooing this idea.
In theory I think it's good, But, it seems to me like
all of this information is already here (at least what we know and have so far).
As nice as it would be to have everything handed to you on plate, I can't help but think there is value to putting some effort into your research.
As previously said there are some rules that apply across the board, but many things are situation specific and require the thinking of our friends on the forums plus general knowledge and instinct to figure out.
I think a sticky not unlike the list you created could be valuable to new researchers/owners as a guide for what to search for on the forums and a place to start.
Beyond that it takes a lot of work and some actual real life experience to get things as right as possible.
Included in this proposed starting point could be links to other sites, articles and threads about each topic.
Additionally, organizing everyone's information into a general guide would be at best a nightmare of a job....if not impossible.
Anyway...that's my 2 cents on (again) a good idea that warrants some discussion and development.

-Brad
 
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chrisandpugs

New Member
Put a disclaimer if necessary to alert new owners!

Hi!
I think that it's an excellent idea just to get a more in-dept view of the profiler and how he or she maintains their Chameleons. (Just for personal interest only!)
It's obviously not meant for new owners to look at someone else's husbandry profile and assume that it will work for their Chameleon if they duplicate the same perameters.
As already mentioned, there are so many environmental variations and if necessary, the profiler can submit their information and put a disclaimer at the end emphasizing that it's only a guideline and never meant to be duplicated due to environmental variations!

Christine
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy,

I'm neutral on the overall potential outcome of the project and its value. I like the idea of having the data tied to the user's profile. Do with it what you want :). I've posted the info for the older one of my two veileds. I also have a panther. All three critters get the same basic husbandry details.

===[Health]===

Age: Presently 6-7 yrs (adopted at 4-5 yrs)
Sex: Male
Length: est. 8" SV 18" Total
Weight: 247 grams
Current Health Status: Stable
Past Illness/Health Problems and cause (if known): Parasites
General Overall Health: Showing his age and early life stresses.

(For mature female)
Clutches per year:
Clutch size:

Comments[ ] Strength and stability have declined but is still a good eater and stays hydrated.

===[Enclosure]===

Size: 24x24x48
Materials Used: Std. full screen enclosure (LLL Reptile type) with drilled PVC bottom.

Comments[ ]

===[Foliage]===

Plants used and number: 3 large potted Schefflera sitting on ~2" tall plant stands.


Comments[ ] Using Supersoil potting material.

===[Lighting]===

Please include part number or detail for your lights.
Lights used: 18" ESU fixture with 18" Zoomed Reptisun 5.0 UVB tube. 75W Philips DuraMax R20 flood lamp mounted in small reflector clip-on for basking.
Duration the lights are on: 12 hours.
Amount of sun exposure: Depending on weather 4-12 hours of outdoor sun on 1-2 weekend days per week in the summer. Minimum 2 hrs/month winter.

detailed information please[] UVB output levels checked using Solarmeter 6.2

===[Temperature]===

Daytime Basking Spot temperature(high): 90F
Daytime Ambient temperature: 70F
Nighttime Ambient temperature: Winter low 60F. Summer low 70F

detailed information please[] Not using any nighttime added heat source.

===[Humidity]===

Daytime Humidity: Target is 40%-60%. Seasonal min/max usually not below 40% while summer max may reach 70%-80% on occasion. Most often around 60%.
Nighttime Humidity: Similar to daytime.
How you control Humidity: air flow and misting.

detailed information please[] Chameleon room is aprox 10'x10' with single door access. Humidity controlled by leaving the door open 4". Combination of air flow in/out of the room and 20 minutes of misting twice a day along with soil retention keeps humidity in check.


===[Hydration]===

Method of Hydrating: Through automated misting only.
How many time per day: 2 times (8am and 2 pm)
Duration of watering: 20 minutes
Where the excess water goes: Drainage system carries used water away form enclosure bottom and into 4 gallon bucket.

detailed information please[] Fresh water storage bucket kept at 70F using 25w aquarium heater. Under ~70F minimizes algae slime growth while not leaving the water so cold that my 300W Hydor inline heater can't increase it to ~80F-90F as the water passes through on its way to the mist nozzles.

===[FOOOOD!!]===

What you offer your Chameleon: Superworms, silkworms, lobster roaches, dubia roaches, crickets. Rarely offered waxworms, butterworms, hornworms.
When you offer: Every other day at 7am.
How many do you offer: Usually two large items such as roaches or supers or silks. If crickets then 4-5 of them at a time.
What you gutload your food with: W.E.R. gutload. (I still have access to purchasing it.) Various fruits and veggies depending on what was for dinner!
Supplements Used(name and/or item number) and When it is used: Miner-All (O) and (I). Herptivite. (I almost always lightly dust superworms with Miner-All (O) since their Ca-Ph ratio is so poor.) Normal dusting Miner-All (I) (that has D3) is aprox twice a month in the summer (more sunlight exposure) and 4 times a month in the winter. Herptivite is used once a month. A small dose of liquid vitamin A is lightly wiped onto a feeder insect at a target dose of 100 IU once or twice a month keeping an eye out for symptoms showing possible excess levels.

Please write in detail on your food. Your ration schedule, when and the amount you feed, supplement amount used, how you offer your vegetation etc.[]
I began limiting food intake when it appeared that all of my chameleons were gaining too much excess fat. I dropped intake until about 10% of their weight dropped off. Then I limited their intake to 2 food items per feeding and kept track of their weight on a weekly basis. Their weight is now fairly stable with no gain or loss. Intake is adjusted from time to time if there is a drop.

===[CRITIQUE]===

Overall satisfaction of your husbandry: Good food and lots of automated misting combined with decent UVB and basking temps in conjunction with a well-planted enclosure have kept my panther and 2 veileds in pretty good health.
What you think you can do better on your husbandry: Clean more things more often.
Other things that came to your mind: I may be trying an externally ballasted metal halide lamp as a basking source in the near future. This may provide better visual spectrum content than my ordinary flood lamp.

Anything else: Enclosures are cleaned of any fecal material daily. PVC bottom is wiped down weekly and spray-soaked with properly diluted Nolvasan (a very safe product) and allowed to air-dry with the residue left to be rinsed only by misting. Plants and vines cleaned on a not-so regular basis. Plants re-potted maybe once a year. If things were easier to disassemble, I would also use 10:1 water:bleach to kill even more microorganisms.

Located in Manhattan Beach, California where the weather is relatively mild all year. Not too hot and not too cold. The humidity is pretty reasonable too.
 
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