First chameleon please help me give him a great life

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? I have a red body blue bar ambilobe panther chameleon, he is a male. He’s about 3 1/2 months old and I have had him for 5 days.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I have only handled him once, and that was from the store bag into his new home, It was recommended from the pet store I bought him to wait one week before handling him.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I am currently feeding him crickets tossed in some repashy calcium plus, he eats once every morning around 11am-12pm and is eating 7-9 crickets. I am not gut loading yet
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? The only thing I am using right now is the Repashy calcium plus, which is what the guy at the store told me was all I needed.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long do you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I currently have a zoo-Med mister (which sucks by the way and barely sprays a little spot with terrible mist) set to 45 seconds every hour, at the Moment I am using bottled water but I am looking into buying a Brita, I currently spray about once/twice an hour.
  • Fecal Description - Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? I have only noticed one dropping so far in the past two days, I will be attaching a photo of the dropping. I am not too sure if he has been tested for parasites.
  • History - I did not get much information about his previous history from the reptile store I bought him from


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - What are the dimensions? I currently have a hybrid enclosure of glass and screen with ventilation screens in the front of the glass enclosure as well as the top, I haven’t had a chance to measure the cage yet but I will attach a photo for you guys to see the size of it.


  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I currently have a flukers 8.5 inch dimmable lamp with a 75 watt red heat bulb, also a Reptisun T5 high output 14” hood with a 12” T5 5.0 UVB fluorescent light bulb. His day starts off around 8-9am and lights off around 8-9pm


  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? At the moment I have the basking spot temperature ranging from 80-90 degrees F. Near cage floor my temperature is from 60-70 F. Temperatures fluctuate when misting is in progress and my lowest temperature at night is commonly low 60’s and might dip down to high 50’s when misting.


  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I try to maintain my humidity levels between 50%-60% but will occasionally hover over to the 70’s percentile, also I notice a few times out of the day it dropping to the 40% so I try and most it right away to get the humidity up. The way I maintain the humidity is by having an auto mister spray each hour for 45 seconds but that’s doesn’t do anything so I also hand spray it about once an hour and try to maintain those percentages. At the moment I’m using a reptile thermometer for the basking spot, a zoo Med thermometer for the cool side and a digital hygrometer purchased from PetSmart.


  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? At the moment I only have fake plants in there but would love to do all real plants, I purchased my first Pothos but I still need to wash it before putting it in.


  • 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? My cage is currently sitting on top of my computer desk which about 4ft off the ground (like a normal computer desk) against the wall inside a room that does have a ceiling fan at the center of the room kept on medium but it’s also not such a big room, and the top of the cage sit a little over 6ft from the ground.


  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I live in a very dry, hot city in the antelope valley.


Current Problem - Hello, so this is my first chameleon as well as reptile ever. I need some help on how to my humidity levels up, I keep reading that I should only be spraying twice or three times a day but I’m having to spray every hour to keep the humidity percentage above 50%. Another thing I need some assistance on, is if someone can please explain gut loading to me as well as how to do it for my chameleon. Another question I have is if the guy from the pet store was right? By telling me that all I need is the Repashy calcium plus for his food?

Also if is it safe for him to walk around in my 3ft x 8ft wide raised garden bed, it currently has organic soil the plants in it are mint, bell pepper, rosemary & strawberry with a couple baby trees growing from seed, also I would like to keep live plants in his terrarium and would like to know which precautions to take and which steps to take in order to make it happen safely for him?



Sorry for all the questions, I want to make sure he has a happy, healthy life and im new to the whole reptile world.

Please help!

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Some more images
 

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Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome @Rex_The_Chameleon I see no one has got back to you I will go through your form in a bit. Firstly get rid of the red basking light white light only red can damage your chams eyes . I will give you my feed back in a bit . Chameleon academy, Neptune the chameleon you tube and casque above. Com are great places to get info which you should read 😉
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi so gutload is essential to not only keep our feeders healthy but also provide our chameleon with good quality nutrition
 

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Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s some helpful photos I’m not the best at going through the info so I’ll leave it to the more experienced people but I’ll second that colored light isn’t good for chameleons their eyes are sensitive. There is also some other things that off the top of my head need correction
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here! My feedback and any questions will be in red. I've also attached helpful links and images below:

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? I have a red body blue bar ambilobe panther chameleon, he is a male. He’s about 3 1/2 months old and I have had him for 5 days.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I have only handled him once, and that was from the store bag into his new home, It was recommended from the pet store I bought him to wait one week before handling him. Chameleons are like fish, you don't want to handle them. Hand-feeding, getting him out of his cage to go to the vet, getting him out to go on a free-range enclosure, and getting him out to go outside should really be the limit of handling.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I am currently feeding him crickets tossed in some repashy calcium plus, he eats once every morning around 11am-12pm and is eating 7-9 crickets. I am not gut loading yet At his current age, feed him as much as he'll eat in one sitting, preferable an hour or two after lights come on. Gutloading is crucial to having a healthy chameleon, so you need to start ASAP! I've attached a great gutload chart below! Use as many ingredients that you can find (in the proper ratios and all organic), variety is best (for feeders, as well, too)! Gutloading is feeding the bugs you'll feed off so they are nice and healthy, therefore keeping your chameleon nice and healthy. You can either give high quality gutload 24/7 to all feeders or give a lower (but still good) quality gutload to all of your colonies/bins and separate the bugs you'll feed off the night before in a container with the high quality gutload.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? The only thing I am using right now is the Repashy calcium plus, which is what the guy at the store told me was all I needed. Okay, you need to get the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD version and use it once every two weeks. All other feedings need to be with a phosphorus-calcium without D3.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long do you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I currently have a zoo-Med mister (which sucks by the way and barely sprays a little spot with terrible mist) set to 45 seconds every hour, at the Moment I am using bottled water but I am looking into buying a Brita, I currently spray about once/twice an hour. I would trash the Zoo Med mister and hand-mist his enclosure until you can get a good misting system. You want to mist his cage at least 2 times a day, preferably around lights on and lights off, for a minimum of 2-5+ minutes each time. You can use a dripper during the day so he has a hydration source that doesn't add humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? I have only noticed one dropping so far in the past two days, I will be attaching a photo of the dropping. I am not too sure if he has been tested for parasites. Going to a reputable and experienced chameleon vet for a general wellness check with x-rays and a fecal sample is recommended (bring a fresh fecal with you and your cham to the appointment). After the first appointment, make sure to drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed.
  • History - I did not get much information about his previous history from the reptile store I bought him from

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - What are the dimensions? I currently have a hybrid enclosure of glass and screen with ventilation screens in the front of the glass enclosure as well as the top, I haven’t had a chance to measure the cage yet but I will attach a photo for you guys to see the size of it. You need either an all-screen cage or a hybrid cage with a good chimney effect that's at least 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. Bigger is always better! Unless your cage is bioactive, there should be a bare bottom. A drainage system under the cage is crucial, as well. You need lots more branches (of multiple species and diameters- none from toxic or sap-producing trees), live plants (all chameleon-safe and cleaned properly beforehand), and vines (preferably all live or dead live vines- no moss or Exo Terra vines). I've attached two great cage set-up links and a plant list, along with two plant charts, below!
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I currently have a flukers 8.5 inch dimmable lamp with a 75 watt red heat bulb, also a Reptisun T5 high output 14” hood with a 12” T5 5.0 UVB fluorescent light bulb. His day starts off around 8-9am and lights off around 8-9pm You need a plain white light incandescent bulb, colored bulbs can hurt their eyes. How far away is his heat bulb from his basking branch? You'll want to get a bigger T5 HO fixture, at least the length that the width of what his biggest enclosure will be. How far down is his basking branch from his UVB bulb? If you can afford it, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5! It's a life-saver and so useful! Getting a timer for his lights will help tons, too!
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? At the moment I have the basking spot temperature ranging from 80-90 degrees F. Near cage floor my temperature is from 60-70 F. Temperatures fluctuate when misting is in progress and my lowest temperature at night is commonly low 60’s and might dip down to high 50’s when misting. His basking temp should be at 80*F right now. When he gets older, it should be 85*F. You need to get a digital thermometer with a probe to measure basking temps accurately. Place the probe where the top of your chameleon's back is when he's on his basking branch to measure basking. Having a few more digital thermometers or thermometer/hygrometer combos throughout the cage is best, too!
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I try to maintain my humidity levels between 50%-60% but will occasionally hover over to the 70’s percentile, also I notice a few times out of the day it dropping to the 40% so I try and most it right away to get the humidity up. The way I maintain the humidity is by having an auto mister spray each hour for 45 seconds but that’s doesn’t do anything so I also hand spray it about once an hour and try to maintain those percentages. At the moment I’m using a reptile thermometer for the basking spot, a zoo Med thermometer for the cool side and a digital hygrometer purchased from PetSmart. Live plants will help raise the humidity naturally. What's the humidity levels at night? Having a few more digital hygrometers or thermometer/hygrometer combos throughout the cage will be a great help, too!
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? At the moment I only have fake plants in there but would love to do all real plants, I purchased my first Pothos but I still need to wash it before putting it in.
  • 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? My cage is currently sitting on top of my computer desk which about 4ft off the ground (like a normal computer desk) against the wall inside a room that does have a ceiling fan at the center of the room kept on medium but it’s also not such a big room, and the top of the cage sit a little over 6ft from the ground.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I live in a very dry, hot city in the antelope valley.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Current Problem - Hello, so this is my first chameleon as well as reptile ever. I need some help on how to my humidity levels up, I keep reading that I should only be spraying twice or three times a day but I’m having to spray every hour to keep the humidity percentage above 50%. Another thing I need some assistance on, is if someone can please explain gut loading to me as well as how to do it for my chameleon. Another question I have is if the guy from the pet store was right? By telling me that all I need is the Repashy calcium plus for his food?

Also if is it safe for him to walk around in my 3ft x 8ft wide raised garden bed, it currently has organic soil the plants in it are mint, bell pepper, rosemary & strawberry with a couple baby trees growing from seed, also I would like to keep live plants in his terrarium and would like to know which precautions to take and which steps to take in order to make it happen safely for him?

Sorry for all the questions, I want to make sure he has a happy, healthy life and im new to the whole reptile world.

Please help!


Here's the links and images (read through every module and piece of info, along with listening to as many podcast episodes as possible, from The Chameleon Academy- they have the most accurate and up-to-date info out there):
 

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Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi so other members will go through this better but for now this is my input. Either get rid of your substrate or go bio active ( I'm sure you have enough to think about so I would go bare bottom having substrate down there is just a breeding ground for bacteria. Handling good just let your little guy settle in. As I mentioned get rid of the red light. Live plants yup will not only help increase humidity, improve air quality but add coverage to make your baby feel safe. As for supplements you will want to lightly dust calcium phosphorus free no d3 every feed then either twice a month multivitamin +d3 say the 1st then 15th. Or calcium phosphorus free no d3 every feed then a multivitamin no d3 say the 1st then the 15th and then say on the 8th and 30th calcium +d3.
 
Hi so other members will go through this better but for now this is my input. Either get rid of your substrate or go bio active ( I'm sure you have enough to think about so I would go bare bottom having substrate down there is just a breeding ground for bacteria. Handling good just let your little guy settle in. As I mentioned get rid of the red light. Live plants yup will not only help increase humidity, improve air quality but add coverage to make your baby feel safe. As for supplements you will want to lightly dust calcium phosphorus free no d3 every feed then either twice a month multivitamin +d3 say the 1st then 15th. Or calcium phosphorus free no d3 every feed then a multivitamin no d3 say the 1st then the 15th and then say on the 8th and 30th calcium +d3.
Flick boy thank you so much for your help, you have given me useful information especially with the plants. Thank you so much 😇
 
Here’s some helpful photos I’m not the best at going through the info so I’ll leave it to the more experienced people but I’ll second that colored light isn’t good for chameleons their eyes are sensitive. There is also some other things that off the top of my head need correction
Green Dino thank so much for this information on the plants, it is so much useful to me, also thank you for your advice on the red bulb, it makes it a lot easier for me to make a choice when multiple people agree. Also if there’s any other advice you have for me I would love to hear it, I’m trying to learn as much as possible to make sure Rex has a happy life 😇
 
Welcome on here! My feedback and any questions will be in red. I've also attached helpful links and images below:

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? I have a red body blue bar ambilobe panther chameleon, he is a male. He’s about 3 1/2 months old and I have had him for 5 days.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I have only handled him once, and that was from the store bag into his new home, It was recommended from the pet store I bought him to wait one week before handling him. Chameleons are like fish, you don't want to handle them. Hand-feeding, getting him out of his cage to go to the vet, getting him out to go on a free-range enclosure, and getting him out to go outside should really be the limit of handling.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I am currently feeding him crickets tossed in some repashy calcium plus, he eats once every morning around 11am-12pm and is eating 7-9 crickets. I am not gut loading yet At his current age, feed him as much as he'll eat in one sitting, preferable an hour or two after lights come on. Gutloading is crucial to having a healthy chameleon, so you need to start ASAP! I've attached a great gutload chart below! Use as many ingredients that you can find (in the proper ratios and all organic), variety is best (for feeders, as well, too)! Gutloading is feeding the bugs you'll feed off so they are nice and healthy, therefore keeping your chameleon nice and healthy. You can either give high quality gutload 24/7 to all feeders or give a lower (but still good) quality gutload to all of your colonies/bins and separate the bugs you'll feed off the night before in a container with the high quality gutload.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? The only thing I am using right now is the Repashy calcium plus, which is what the guy at the store told me was all I needed. Okay, you need to get the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD version and use it once every two weeks. All other feedings need to be with a phosphorus-calcium without D3.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long do you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I currently have a zoo-Med mister (which sucks by the way and barely sprays a little spot with terrible mist) set to 45 seconds every hour, at the Moment I am using bottled water but I am looking into buying a Brita, I currently spray about once/twice an hour. I would trash the Zoo Med mister and hand-mist his enclosure until you can get a good misting system. You want to mist his cage at least 2 times a day, preferably around lights on and lights off, for a minimum of 2-5+ minutes each time. You can use a dripper during the day so he has a hydration source that doesn't add humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? I have only noticed one dropping so far in the past two days, I will be attaching a photo of the dropping. I am not too sure if he has been tested for parasites. Going to a reputable and experienced chameleon vet for a general wellness check with x-rays and a fecal sample is recommended (bring a fresh fecal with you and your cham to the appointment). After the first appointment, make sure to drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed.
  • History - I did not get much information about his previous history from the reptile store I bought him from

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - What are the dimensions? I currently have a hybrid enclosure of glass and screen with ventilation screens in the front of the glass enclosure as well as the top, I haven’t had a chance to measure the cage yet but I will attach a photo for you guys to see the size of it. You need either an all-screen cage or a hybrid cage with a good chimney effect that's at least 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. Bigger is always better! Unless your cage is bioactive, there should be a bare bottom. A drainage system under the cage is crucial, as well. You need lots more branches (of multiple species and diameters- none from toxic or sap-producing trees), live plants (all chameleon-safe and cleaned properly beforehand), and vines (preferably all live or dead live vines- no moss or Exo Terra vines). I've attached two great cage set-up links and a plant list, along with two plant charts, below!
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I currently have a flukers 8.5 inch dimmable lamp with a 75 watt red heat bulb, also a Reptisun T5 high output 14” hood with a 12” T5 5.0 UVB fluorescent light bulb. His day starts off around 8-9am and lights off around 8-9pm You need a plain white light incandescent bulb, colored bulbs can hurt their eyes. How far away is his heat bulb from his basking branch? You'll want to get a bigger T5 HO fixture, at least the length that the width of what his biggest enclosure will be. How far down is his basking branch from his UVB bulb? If you can afford it, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5! It's a life-saver and so useful! Getting a timer for his lights will help tons, too!
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? At the moment I have the basking spot temperature ranging from 80-90 degrees F. Near cage floor my temperature is from 60-70 F. Temperatures fluctuate when misting is in progress and my lowest temperature at night is commonly low 60’s and might dip down to high 50’s when misting. His basking temp should be at 80*F right now. When he gets older, it should be 85*F. You need to get a digital thermometer with a probe to measure basking temps accurately. Place the probe where the top of your chameleon's back is when he's on his basking branch to measure basking. Having a few more digital thermometers or thermometer/hygrometer combos throughout the cage is best, too!
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I try to maintain my humidity levels between 50%-60% but will occasionally hover over to the 70’s percentile, also I notice a few times out of the day it dropping to the 40% so I try and most it right away to get the humidity up. The way I maintain the humidity is by having an auto mister spray each hour for 45 seconds but that’s doesn’t do anything so I also hand spray it about once an hour and try to maintain those percentages. At the moment I’m using a reptile thermometer for the basking spot, a zoo Med thermometer for the cool side and a digital hygrometer purchased from PetSmart. Live plants will help raise the humidity naturally. What's the humidity levels at night? Having a few more digital hygrometers or thermometer/hygrometer combos throughout the cage will be a great help, too!
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? At the moment I only have fake plants in there but would love to do all real plants, I purchased my first Pothos but I still need to wash it before putting it in.
  • 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? My cage is currently sitting on top of my computer desk which about 4ft off the ground (like a normal computer desk) against the wall inside a room that does have a ceiling fan at the center of the room kept on medium but it’s also not such a big room, and the top of the cage sit a little over 6ft from the ground.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I live in a very dry, hot city in the antelope valley.
ERKleRose thank you so so much for all of this information, I’m so grateful.

Ok so for the gutloading im a little confused as to which insect eats what vegetable or fruit or is the photo showing me the different things that all of the recommended bugs will consume or should I research about which insect will it what??

So for the Repashy calcium plus I basically have the wrong one right?? I will purchase the right one with Lod but will the current one that I have ever be for good use or should I just trash it?

For the lighting I will be making the updates ASAP, the branch closest to his uvb bulb is about 3 inches away and the branch from his baking spot is 7 1/2 inches away. He also hangs on the screen under the lighting every day Alice a couple hours and then comes down I don’t know if that’s badbut he seems to like it and it’s a routine for him already

As far as the temperature my thermometer I have 2 digital meters one for the baking spot and another for the cool side, I also have a digital hygrometer and I’ll be saving up for the solar meter.

At night time I will spray in their and get the humidity up to 80% but the mister I have sucks so at night when I’m sleeping it will drop to 40%.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
ERKleRose thank you so so much for all of this information, I’m so grateful.

Ok so for the gutloading im a little confused as to which insect eats what vegetable or fruit or is the photo showing me the different things that all of the recommended bugs will consume or should I research about which insect will it what??

So for the Repashy calcium plus I basically have the wrong one right?? I will purchase the right one with Lod but will the current one that I have ever be for good use or should I just trash it?

For the lighting I will be making the updates ASAP, the branch closest to his uvb bulb is about 3 inches away and the branch from his baking spot is 7 1/2 inches away. He also hangs on the screen under the lighting every day Alice a couple hours and then comes down I don’t know if that’s badbut he seems to like it and it’s a routine for him already

As far as the temperature my thermometer I have 2 digital meters one for the baking spot and another for the cool side, I also have a digital hygrometer and I’ll be saving up for the solar meter.

At night time I will spray in their and get the humidity up to 80% but the mister I have sucks so at night when I’m sleeping it will drop to 40%.
No problem, we're here to help!

Feed as many foods as you can find (in the correct ratios) to all of your bugs (feed all of the them the same). Using the tip in the example box on the chart makes things a lot easier!

Yes, the plain Calcium Plus has too much D3, the Calcium Plus LoD is the version you need. Unless you have other reptiles or amphibians that need higher D3 levels, I'd toss it or donate it.

So you need a branch that is directly under your bulb (lined up under, not on the bulb) and going in the same direction. That branch should be the closest to your UVB bulb. The distance from that branch to the UVB bulb needs to be 8-9" if you don't have a Solarmeter 6.5 to check (awesome job on saving up for one, they're more than worth it!). Since he hangs on the screen. Make the branch be 5" below the screen top and raise the UVB so that the bulb is raised 4" above the screen top. The UVB bulb and fixture need to be on top of the cage going over the middle, not backed to the edge of the cage.

Great! One digital thermometer needs to have a probe to accurately measuring basking if you don't have one already.

His humidity shouldn't be going up that high in his current cage anyway (which needs to be replaced ASAP, too). It doesn't have enough circulation.
 
Welcome on here! My feedback and any questions will be in red. I've also attached helpful links and images below:

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? I have a red body blue bar ambilobe panther chameleon, he is a male. He’s about 3 1/2 months old and I have had him for 5 days.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I have only handled him once, and that was from the store bag into his new home, It was recommended from the pet store I bought him to wait one week before handling him. Chameleons are like fish, you don't want to handle them. Hand-feeding, getting him out of his cage to go to the vet, getting him out to go on a free-range enclosure, and getting him out to go outside should really be the limit of handling.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? I am currently feeding him crickets tossed in some repashy calcium plus, he eats once every morning around 11am-12pm and is eating 7-9 crickets. I am not gut loading yet At his current age, feed him as much as he'll eat in one sitting, preferable an hour or two after lights come on. Gutloading is crucial to having a healthy chameleon, so you need to start ASAP! I've attached a great gutload chart below! Use as many ingredients that you can find (in the proper ratios and all organic), variety is best (for feeders, as well, too)! Gutloading is feeding the bugs you'll feed off so they are nice and healthy, therefore keeping your chameleon nice and healthy. You can either give high quality gutload 24/7 to all feeders or give a lower (but still good) quality gutload to all of your colonies/bins and separate the bugs you'll feed off the night before in a container with the high quality gutload.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? The only thing I am using right now is the Repashy calcium plus, which is what the guy at the store told me was all I needed. Okay, you need to get the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD version and use it once every two weeks. All other feedings need to be with a phosphorus-calcium without D3.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long do you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I currently have a zoo-Med mister (which sucks by the way and barely sprays a little spot with terrible mist) set to 45 seconds every hour, at the Moment I am using bottled water but I am looking into buying a Brita, I currently spray about once/twice an hour. I would trash the Zoo Med mister and hand-mist his enclosure until you can get a good misting system. You want to mist his cage at least 2 times a day, preferably around lights on and lights off, for a minimum of 2-5+ minutes each time. You can use a dripper during the day so he has a hydration source that doesn't add humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? I have only noticed one dropping so far in the past two days, I will be attaching a photo of the dropping. I am not too sure if he has been tested for parasites. Going to a reputable and experienced chameleon vet for a general wellness check with x-rays and a fecal sample is recommended (bring a fresh fecal with you and your cham to the appointment). After the first appointment, make sure to drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed.
  • History - I did not get much information about his previous history from the reptile store I bought him from

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - What are the dimensions? I currently have a hybrid enclosure of glass and screen with ventilation screens in the front of the glass enclosure as well as the top, I haven’t had a chance to measure the cage yet but I will attach a photo for you guys to see the size of it. You need either an all-screen cage or a hybrid cage with a good chimney effect that's at least 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. Bigger is always better! Unless your cage is bioactive, there should be a bare bottom. A drainage system under the cage is crucial, as well. You need lots more branches (of multiple species and diameters- none from toxic or sap-producing trees), live plants (all chameleon-safe and cleaned properly beforehand), and vines (preferably all live or dead live vines- no moss or Exo Terra vines). I've attached two great cage set-up links and a plant list, along with two plant charts, below!
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I currently have a flukers 8.5 inch dimmable lamp with a 75 watt red heat bulb, also a Reptisun T5 high output 14” hood with a 12” T5 5.0 UVB fluorescent light bulb. His day starts off around 8-9am and lights off around 8-9pm You need a plain white light incandescent bulb, colored bulbs can hurt their eyes. How far away is his heat bulb from his basking branch? You'll want to get a bigger T5 HO fixture, at least the length that the width of what his biggest enclosure will be. How far down is his basking branch from his UVB bulb? If you can afford it, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5! It's a life-saver and so useful! Getting a timer for his lights will help tons, too!
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? At the moment I have the basking spot temperature ranging from 80-90 degrees F. Near cage floor my temperature is from 60-70 F. Temperatures fluctuate when misting is in progress and my lowest temperature at night is commonly low 60’s and might dip down to high 50’s when misting. His basking temp should be at 80*F right now. When he gets older, it should be 85*F. You need to get a digital thermometer with a probe to measure basking temps accurately. Place the probe where the top of your chameleon's back is when he's on his basking branch to measure basking. Having a few more digital thermometers or thermometer/hygrometer combos throughout the cage is best, too!
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I try to maintain my humidity levels between 50%-60% but will occasionally hover over to the 70’s percentile, also I notice a few times out of the day it dropping to the 40% so I try and most it right away to get the humidity up. The way I maintain the humidity is by having an auto mister spray each hour for 45 seconds but that’s doesn’t do anything so I also hand spray it about once an hour and try to maintain those percentages. At the moment I’m using a reptile thermometer for the basking spot, a zoo Med thermometer for the cool side and a digital hygrometer purchased from PetSmart. Live plants will help raise the humidity naturally. What's the humidity levels at night? Having a few more digital hygrometers or thermometer/hygrometer combos throughout the cage will be a great help, too!
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? At the moment I only have fake plants in there but would love to do all real plants, I purchased my first Pothos but I still need to wash it before putting it in.
  • 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? My cage is currently sitting on top of my computer desk which about 4ft off the ground (like a normal computer desk) against the wall inside a room that does have a ceiling fan at the center of the room kept on medium but it’s also not such a big room, and the top of the cage sit a little over 6ft from the ground.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? I live in a very dry, hot city in the antelope valley.


As far as for cleaning the live plants before putting them in, do I need to clean them with something specific or just hand rinse every inch with tap water? Also I seen some people having specific “cleaning crew” bugs in the soil of the live plants, is that something I should also be doing to keep Rex safe?

the dimensions to his cage is 18x18x37 i was thinking of having him in this cage until he got to his juvenile stage and I was thinking of just building him a bigger cage for his adult hood.

Again thank you so much for your help
 
No problem, we're here to help!

Feed as many foods as you can find (in the correct ratios) to all of your bugs (feed all of the them the same). Using the tip in the example box on the chart makes things a lot easier!

Yes, the plain Calcium Plus has too much D3, the Calcium Plus LoD is the version you need. Unless you have other reptiles or amphibians that need higher D3 levels, I'd toss it or donate it.

So you need a branch that is directly under your bulb (lined up under, not on the bulb) and going in the same direction. That branch should be the closest to your UVB bulb. The distance from that branch to the UVB bulb needs to be 8-9" if you don't have a Solarmeter 6.5 to check (awesome job on saving up for one, they're more than worth it!). Since he hangs on the screen. Make the branch be 5" below the screen top and raise the UVB so that the bulb is raised 4" above the screen top. The UVB bulb and fixture need to be on top of the cage going over the middle, not backed to the edge of the cage.

Great! One digital thermometer needs to have a probe to accurately measuring basking if you don't have one already.

His humidity shouldn't be going up that high in his current cage anyway (which needs to be replaced ASAP, too). It doesn't have enough circulation.
Ok I will be making those changes. As far as humidity at night, it only gets that high because I purposely raise it up as I have been reading that chameleons naturally hydrate more through the moisture at night and that a fogging it at night would be good for them, if I don’t purposely raise up the humidity, it will drop down 35-40 percent humidity on its own as I have a ceiling fan on all day and night.
For my temperature gauge, the both of them have probes on them but I will be raising the probe for his basking spot to match the height of his back
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi @Rex_The_Chameleon just reading back through your thread I don't think its mentioned only run a fogger at night when temps are 67 or 65 f and below for me personally using a govee mini wireless helps me best determine when to run mine and when not to and also the best time at night to run it. I hope this helps
 
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