First time chameleon owner


New Member
Hello everyone. I bought a female Jackson chameleon yesterday and I was just wondering if her enclosure was enough. I have soil in the bottom that hold moisture very well. Plenty of sticks and leaves. A heat lamp. Heavily douse the enclosure plenty of times a day. Also she has been dark colors for the past couple of hours and she's been very irritable. I've been feeding her gross hoppers and she's been eating them.



New Member


Chameleon Enthusiast
Please fill out the form linked in its entirety. There are a lot of changes that need to be made. If you did your research, why did you think it was a good idea to purchase your chameleon before you had everything she needs? Chameleons are very sensitive and depriving them of UVB is not a good start...


Chameleon Enthusiast
I have done my research. I have a heat lamp. I don't have a UVB lamp yet. The person at the pet store said that's all they need. I have been trying to keep it humid in the tank with spraying it down with water.
We are not trying to be rude when asking for informantion. We are simply trying to see what you have going on as we can help you help your chameleon.

1. A sideways fish tank isn't a good enclosure for chams
2. They need a uvb light at all daylight hours.
3. You need way more foliage in your enclosure so she can hide
4. Get rid of that substrate and use potted plants.
5. Don't listen to people at pet stores. They usually have no idea what they are talking about. Especially whit chameleons.


Chameleon Enthusiast
You need to buy a linear UVB light bulb at your earliest convenience, preferably tomorrow. However, UVB light like the basking bulb, should come from the above the enclosure. UVB light cannot penetrate glass, so you have to replace that tank as well with something screen (or at least screen topped so the UVB light can reach her)

Once again, can you please fill out the entire help form posted above? Since the pet store already told you incorrect information, it would be good for us to see everything about your husbandry so we can make sure it is all in order


New Member
Chameleon: female Jackson chameleon about a few months old. been in my care for about 24 hours.
Handling: I have picked it up a few times but just to move it since I've had to transport it.
Feeding: I am feeding it medium-sized crickets and I just put enough in there so it can eat whenever it wants.
Supplements: none
Watering: I heavily spray the enclosure a few times a day.
Fecal Description: It has pooped once and it was black and white.

Cage Type: glass aquarium flipped on the side with a screen door. 10-gallon tank.

Lighting: after doing my research on the light bulb I have I found that I could have a full spectrum light bulb in my heating lamp (yes it makes enough heat)
Temperature: I have been very attentive about this. basking spot is about 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit and bottom of the enclosure is about 80 degrees.
Humidity: I have no way of know how humid it is inside of the tank so I just make sure I spray the tank down regularly.
Plants: I do not have any live or fake plants and I will change that.
Placement: the enclosure is about 5 feet from my floor to the top of it. it is not near any vents. it is in my room so there will be 0-1 people in my room most of the time.
Location: I am located in Chowchilla California and outside it is about 84% humidity, however, I do not know the humidity levels in my house/room.

what do I need to work on and what do I need to change? why is my cham dark and irritable? (i think it might be lack of foliage.)


You will need to get a larger tank, how large is your chameleon? If it is small enough for your tank than you should be feeding small crickets and not medium, think of it as no longer than the width between it's eyes. As well, it is best that you go with a screen tank because you live in such a humid place the glass tank will just stop your cham from getting air circulation and UVB rays do not go through glass. Try golden pothos and umbrella plants, you can find cheap ones at home depot.


hey I am a newbie to this as well so id like to tell you what I have done to be ready(I haven't even gotten my cham yet). so I made sure to get a enclosure big enough for him/her. did research for months on end including going back over info I know already. also the chameleon podcast is a very good source ill post a link after I post this. perhaps for better info call a breeder of Jackson chams to get the best info possible


Chameleon Enthusiast
You should be feeding 10-12 small crickets every day at her age. Don't just put them in there and hope for the best, it is important to count them so you an monitor how much she eats. Also, if there are any uneaten free ranging crickets at the end of the day, you need to remove them or they will bite her in her sleep.

Supplements are critical to her longterm health and survival. The recommend routine for jacksons is to dust all of her crickets with a calcium powder w/out vitamin D3 twice a week, with a multivitamin once a month, and with calcium w/ vitamin D3 once a month as well. It is important you go out and get these immediately (they are readily available at pet stores or online).

As we have already pointed out, the aquarium is completely unacceptable and should be gotten rid of ASAP. You need a full screen cage that is at minimum 16"x16"x30" for your juvenile, but you'll need 18"x18"x36" for when she is an adult, so honestly if I were you I would just get the bigger one to start. This is a commonly used, affordable, and good quality option:

Your temperature is way too hot. A juvenile Jackson's basking spot need to be 75-80 degrees tops (your girl is going to be absolutely cooking in there right now). This needs to be changed immediately.

All you need to measure humidity is a hygrometer... Go buy one, it isn't optional. Montane species need high humidity, so it is not good enough just to spray the cage and hope that's fine. With the substrate you have in there, all you are really doing is creating a breeding ground for nasty bacteria which could harm her.

Make sure to add live plants. They will help with humidity and make her feel more comfortable. She is probably so dark because she is being overheated and overall her environment is very poorly suited for a chameleon's wellbeing. Also, she is a chameleon and chameleon's are grumpy.


Established Member
Not sure why you posted this in the Pygmy Enclosure section... Please keep us updated on your new chameleon. As said above, your enclosure needs some major help and you should take the advice given here seriously.
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