First Chameleon

Rayray143

New Member
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post and first Chameleon. I just purchased back on April 5th a 3-4month old veiled chameleon. I named him Jake. He is great although I think he may still be stressed from the move. I find he is much brighter when he is sleeping and darker in the day. I don't find he moves around to much but I know he is eating I have seen him a few times and I have seen him drink. He is hydrated, I can tell from when he urinates etc.

Lastnight he darkened up for a bit and it looked almost like black spots appearing until he went to sleep then he was bright green again. I have read this can be a sign of stress but also a sign when they get new colors? Is that true? A few days ago I caught him with his eyes closed in the day time, but he did open them when I spoke to him. I have only seen this a few times and not for long periods so I am thinking possibly something got in his eye and hoping not a sign of illness.

Cage 2ft wide 2ft high screen all sides ( is it possible the cage is to large where he is so young?)
Lighting: 5.0 UVBulb & 75watt basking bulb
Temperature: Approx 65-80 ( I am thinking this may have to come up a bit?)
Humidity always between 60-80
Water always dripping for him.

pictures attached!:)
 

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Djturna4thakidz

Established Member
Hello and welcome! Your first Cham is always a special one. For me it sparked an addiction I am yet to curb. I started with one and had four within a year, it happens lol.

Anyway, your temps are a bit low. I think he would like it if the temps were 85-88. How are you checking temperature? 75 watt basking bulb is pretty hot, I usually use 40-60 and that keeps my basking temps around 90.

It would be very helpful if you would fill out the ask for help form provided as a sticky in the health forum. Those answers will tell us everything we need to know about your setup and husbandry. Pics always help too.

Sleeping during the day is never a good sign, but hopefully we will be able to figure it out. Good luck!
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello and welcome to chameleon ownership! When chameleons sleep at night they display some of their most beautiful colors, so this behavior is normal and not unique to just your chameleon. The black spots can indicate stress. Just give him time to settle in. In can take awhile. I would also bump the basking up a few degrees or so. As the other member mentioned chameleons never sleep during the day, so if they do something is not right. If he continues to do so, then it is a problem. As far as talking to him from what I know, they have no ears to hear so I am not sure how he woke up from you speaking to him!
 

Rayray143

New Member
Hi Everyone,

Thank you for taking the time and replying... Here is the sticky as requested.

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon - male 3-4months old.

How long has it been in your care? Since April 5th

Handling - Haven't held him since the day I bought him at the pet store April 5th

Feeding - Crickets mostly but he has ate a few superworms and a few butter worms last week .

What amount? approx 6 a day he don't seem to want more than that and now today he doesn't seem to have eaten anything yet....

How are you gut-loading your feeders? carrots , apples , cricket gut load product too..

Supplements - Multi vitamin Exo Terra and calcium + D3 every other feeding.

Watering - Dripper but also I have the zoo med Habba mister . How often and how long to you mist? the auto mister goes off every 3 hours for 1 minute.

Fecal Description - color is white with very little yellow looks hydrated

Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?No

History - all pet store could advise was that he was around 3-4 months old.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - all screen / 2ft-h /2ft-w /1.5ft-d

Lighting - exo terra products - 5.0 UVB goes length of cage (laying up top o n screen ) & I was using the 75watt daylight basking bulb until today I switched to the 100w to try to bring the temperature up in the cage What is your daily lighting schedule? 9am for 12 hrs set on timer.

Temperature - 65-80 (80 was more basking area) - should go up now that I have raised bulb as above) Lowest overnight temp? 60 How do you measure these temps? exo terra thermometers

Humidity - 60-80 How are you creating and maintaining these levels? automatic mister and misting occasionally myself. What do you use to measure humidity? exo terra hygrometer

Plants - Are you using live plants? No

Placement - Where is your cage located? Was in main room but moved today so he wouldn't be anywhere's near a traffic area .

At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? Just a little over 4 ft (but prior to moving his location today he was probably closer to 3ft before.)

Location - Where are you geographically located? Nova Scotia - Canada only spring here right now - house is still a little chilly.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. black spots and caught him closing his eyes a few times in the day but not for long periods of time.

I will monitor the temperatures as they should go up now and repost new temps later for over all cage vs basking spot. I know one of you have advised above 75 watt is high but pet store advised I should go with 75 or 100 due to temperatures here before I read this :)..... I will monitor closely in the risk the temperature rises to high.

Thanks again Renee
 

Rayray143

New Member
Carol I am not sure on the hearing thing either, I said his name he opened his eyes lol maybe he just sensed me around the cage :)
 

KingJulian

New Member
Welcome to the forum! I know during the day my panther will be darker than his "pajama" color and this is because he basks and hes taking in the heat. He never actually gets black spots, that usually is the color of stress. Hope your little guy is ok :)
 

tim2505

New Member
Thanks so much for the replies and the friendly welcome. I have a very good friend who I trust who would be around the cham a lot before I would be thinking of going on holiday.
As for the cham I am after, I thought about starting with a veiled but after a little research I have been thinking of a panther mainly because of the colors. What do you think are the differences between them, as far as looking after them?

Thanks again.
 

Rayray143

New Member
Had to take Jake back to pet store he continued to close his eyes in day and started to refuse eating...After 3 wks the pet store agreed he was sick and gave me a new Jake... Profile picture is the new Jake he looks much healthier :) Hoping he stays this way...
 

TSIshinobi

New Member
I think your cage might be a little bit too big. he might have a hard time finding his food :)


If your cup feeding and that works for you, then go for it. my Veileds didnt like cups and seems to be more of the run and gun kind of eaters :)

Congrats on your new little friend. And hopefully you will have him for a long time
 

Rayray143

New Member
Thank you TSIshinobi... My original Jake seem to be able to get his food no problem, he did use the cup sometimes but mostly his tongue got them lol ...When I asked if my cage was to big they said " in the wild he has how much room? lol " So I didn't think anymore of it :)

I have been trying not to disturb new Jake as I want him to get use to his new home. So far I see a complete difference right from the beginning this one seems to be much happier/healthier. The trip from the pet store didn't stress him out like the last one either. I hope he is around for a long time :) I will post once he is settled in and give an update....
 

Hakai

Member
I disagree with TSIshinobi about the cage size. I think it's perfect for his age, although higher rather than wide is preferred, it should be fine. However, he is right about the feeding. Some chams prefer to hunt for all there food whereas others don't mind eating from a feeder cup or out of your hand. My guy defiantly prefers to be on the move when he eats.
 

Rayray143

New Member
Thank you for replying Hakai,
I agree he seems to like the space in the cage...Eventually I will probably have to go up to 4ft in height, right now the cage itself is 2ft but it is just over 4ft from top of cage to floor... My new Jake seems to be doing very well so far :) My temps in day now average 72 bottom to 85 & 85-88 basking area , and in evenings now around 65....I am not sure how this Jake will prefer eating yet, I am trying to not disturb him so he can get use to his new home. I will post again once he is use to his new home :)
 

Hakai

Member
Thank you for replying Hakai,
I agree he seems to like the space in the cage...Eventually I will probably have to go up to 4ft in height, right now the cage itself is 2ft but it is just over 4ft from top of cage to floor... My new Jake seems to be doing very well so far :) My temps in day now average 72 bottom to 85 & 85-88 basking area , and in evenings now around 65....I am not sure how this Jake will prefer eating yet, I am trying to not disturb him so he can get use to his new home. I will post again once he is use to his new home :)

Yeah since he is a male veiled he will defiantly need a larger cage when he is adult. 2x2x4 is perfect. It is great that you have him elevated because the higher they are, the more content they are. As far as feeding goes, I would just let the crickets loose. The enclosure is a great size for hunting and he should have no problem finding them. Your temps and humidity seem spot on. And as i said before it's better for the enclosure to be taller that it is wide, but what you have now is perfectly sufficient as a temporary/juvy enclosure. Very well done! ;)
 

Hakai

Member
After reviewing the pics a little further it appears there is a water bowl of some sort on the bottom. You should remove that immediately because standing water like that can harbor crazy amounts of bacteria. Besides, chams usually don't recognize standing water as drinking water, I'm sure you know that most prefer to drink the water droplets off of leaves. So 3-5 misting sessions a day is sufficient as long as you see him drinking or his urate is white. Secondly, it looks like you have some substrate at the bottom. Substrate is not need and can be harmful if accidental ingested by your cham. It can cause intestinal compaction which can and usually leads to death if not treated. Also the feeder cup looks a little jagged and could possibly injure his tongue. I suggest live plants, your "how to ask for help" thing said you didn't have any. And I'm thinking more horizontal pathways (vines and such) for him to walk on. Varying sizes are good to keep his little growing feet flexible. Gonna check the pics again to see if there's anything obvious that I missed. Others may help out to. Defiantly on the right track tho.
 

Rayray143

New Member
Hi Hakai,

You are correct I do have a water bowl at the bottom . It catches the water from the mister that don't hit the plants ( I empty it daily) The pet store told me to have it there for humidity - not deep water.. Should I still remove it? I don't have substrate on the bottom it is carpet that you buy at the petstore :) The cup is only foam I use it more now for the worms - do you think I should just let them lose on the branches as well? I will take an updated pic as the ones besides my profile pic are from my original Chameleon... I will post new pis soon : Thanks again for all your advice.. I want this lil guy to be healthy. I see a huge difference in him from day one vs the first one I had. I believe the first one was sick from day one, the more I read the more I find out, the first Chameleon also had a bruise on his nose when I purchased him that didn't go away like the petstore said. But no marks on my new Jake and he is eating and moving all over the cage looking happy :)....
 

Rayray143

New Member
Here are some pictures, adding more now. Thanks RayRay
 

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Rayray143

New Member
Here's more, Once he is more comfortable I will get closer up pics of Jake himself :) How long do you think I should leave him be to get use to his new home?

Thanks again for all your help...
 

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Hakai

Member
I'm not sure if it's okay to leave the water bowl in there if you dump it out every day. You might wanna clean it every week and it shouldn't be a problem. The only thing I can think of is maybe crickets drowning in there but that's not a huge deal. He should still be able to hunt them even if you let them loose on the branches, that's how they do it in the wild anyways, and he'll probably think its more fun anyways. I think I read in your how to ask for help thing that you dust with D3 and vitamins every other day. That is too often. It's recommended that you use vitamins and D3 twice a month each. So just pick like saturday or something and do D3 and Vitamins on alternating saturdays. Other than that I believe everything else looks fine. Nice Job! Keep asking questions if you have any. :p
 

Rayray143

New Member
thank you ... I will clean the water bowl once a week instead of daily :)...and let him hunt wild for crickets and worms :) As for the D3 and vitamins x2 a month each should I be using just calcium without the D3 in between or just stick to the calcium with the D3 x2 a month? (Lady at the pet store said she has 3 females and dusts every other feeding) :(. Also what would you suggest on time frame where it's all new to him before tempting to remove him from cage etc.... I was looking at the hanging screen cages for outside for him also so when the weather gets nice so he can get natural sun for a few hrs etc:).... Thanks again for all your help!
 

Hakai

Member
thank you ... I will clean the water bowl once a week instead of daily :)...and let him hunt wild for crickets and worms :) As for the D3 and vitamins x2 a month each should I be using just calcium without the D3 in between or just stick to the calcium with the D3 x2 a month? (Lady at the pet store said she has 3 females and dusts every other feeding) :(. Also what would you suggest on time frame where it's all new to him before tempting to remove him from cage etc.... I was looking at the hanging screen cages for outside for him also so when the weather gets nice so he can get natural sun for a few hrs etc:).... Thanks again for all your help!

Sorry, I mislead you. You should empty the water bowl every day. But when I said clean I meant actually like scrub it with soap and water every week to make sure bacteria doesn't form. A lot of people have success with different supplementation techniques but the most common one is the one that I use. It's recommended you do something like this: Calcium without D3 at EVERY feeding. Calcium with D3 every 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, and Vitamin supplement every 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month. As far as removing her from the cage, I would give it at least a week and maybe even a month. All chameleons are different and some will never tolerate being handled. I think it would do more good than harm tho if you took him out for some natural sunlight. That's just my opinion though. So I guess I would wait a month. Ask more questions if you have them or re-ask any I missed. Always willing and happy to help! :D
 
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