First time Chameleon owner

Bernie

New Member
Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and more specifically Chameleons.

Me and my girlfriend did a lot of research before bringing home our little fella. Although it seems there is never an endpoint to the amount of knowledge you can gain about these magnificent creatures.

We live in the UK.

We have had him almost 2 weeks now. He is a male Veiled Cham - He has finally settled now and is eating and drinking and moving around his viv nicely. He is somewhere between 3 and 4 months old.

Our set up is...

- Wooden vivarium : 4ft tall, 3 ft wide and 2ft deep.
- 100w basking light with a gap of about 10inches from its nearest perch
- UV tube - 5%
- 3 real plants, all non-toxic
- 3 or 4 branches at various levels for perching, and an artificial vine, and some artificial leaves for cover/hiding
- Astroturf on the bottom
- Heat mat under the turf - although not been using this
- Humidity is usually around 40-50% mark
- We spray his favourite artifical leaves around 3 times a day which he likes to drink from
- Lights on at 7.30am and off at 8pm
- Basking temp is around 95F and low down the viv its around 77
- We have a dripper but not used it yet

He is still quite nervous, especially when we open his vivarium. I am hoping this will change when he gets older and starts to eat from our hands. However this doesnt stop him swinging around and exploring.

We have noticed that he occasionally rubs his eyes, but he seems to stop after a spray.

I have been leaving a small plastic bowl of food for him each day under his favourite perch, usually either 5 locusts or 5 crickets (dusted). Although he tends to prefer the escapee's. Must be his wild instinct (thrill of the chase!)

I have a few questions for some of you experienced folk....
  • How much should he be eating per day at this age?
  • Should a dripper be used?
  • When he occasionally rubs his eyes, are we right to offer water for him?
  • What is the best way to get a young Cham to become more relaxed around our hands and take the food we offer?
  • How often should he be handled to keep him as friendly as possible as he grows older?
[/LIST]

Here are a few pics.... The contents of his viv have changed slightly since I took this, he has more branches in there now and the bark has been replaced with astroturf on the bottom...







All advice and tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 

ShortStack

New Member
Hello !!

I am by no means an expert.. But ill tell you about what i have experienced so far (i got mine a little older than yours) and hope it helps!

Dont use the heat mat... They dont need it (as they move to the bottom to cool off) and they can burn themselves due to them not being very cautious about how hot / how long they have been on the heat bad. Same as with the basking lamp.... It can burn the top of their casque. I have heard about a foot between the highest perch and the light is what you should aim for.

Mine ate about 3-5 crickets a day... But this all depends on your chameleon... some eat more than others... I really like having a "Food bowl"... a bowl with crickets and worms that has easy to access but wont let the crickets out. They only seem to eat as much as they want...

Drippers are the best way to go... if you have a friendly one like i do.. mine drinks from a water bottle out of my hand (the bottles for Rabbits, hampsters, stuff like that)... its adorable... but if you dont have time to do that a dripper is almost a neccessity...

With the eye rubbing.. could be a few things... maybe someone else can chime in...

People will tell you that handling a cham isnt always the best... I feel that if I can take my girl out and she doesnt seem to stress... then shes okay. I got lucky and got one that loves attention. Im not sure how handling effects their temper when they grow...

Hope some of this helps!
 

VeiledChams

Avid Member
Hello everyone, I am new to the forum and more specifically Chameleons.

Me and my girlfriend did a lot of research before bringing home our little fella. Although it seems there is never an endpoint to the amount of knowledge you can gain about these magnificent creatures.

We live in the UK.

We have had him almost 2 weeks now. He is a male Veiled Cham - He has finally settled now and is eating and drinking and moving around his viv nicely. He is somewhere between 3 and 4 months old.

Our set up is...

- Wooden vivarium : 4ft tall, 3 ft wide and 2ft deep. Preferably screen enclosure in order for ventilation. If the enclosure is completely closed, ait will become stagnant and will cause respiratory problems.
- 100w basking light with a gap of about 10inches from its nearest perch
Probably too much (IMO) for such a small fella.. I use 75W for my adult veileds.
- UV tube - 5% remember to change every 6 months
- 3 real plants, all non-toxic
- 3 or 4 branches at various levels for perching, and an artificial vine, and some artificial leaves for cover/hiding
- Astroturf on the bottom
Remove as this could cause impaction.
- Heat mat under the turf - although not been using this
Not needed and could burn the chameleon as they have no heat receptors on their lower body or extremities. they perceive heat on their back
- Humidity is usually around 40-50% mark
a higher humidity could prevent some eye issues and help keep the cham hydrated
- We spray his favourite artifical leaves around 3 times a day which he likes to drink from
- Lights on at 7.30am and off at 8pm
- Basking temp is around 95F and low down the viv its around 77
WAAAAY too high for such a small guy.. get it down to between 85-90 (tops).. temperatures at night can drop (and should drop) to lower 70's
- We have a dripper but not used it yet

He is still quite nervous, especially when we open his vivarium. I am hoping this will change when he gets older and starts to eat from our hands. However this doesnt stop him swinging around and exploring.

We have noticed that he occasionally rubs his eyes, but he seems to stop after a spray.
as I said, higher humidity can prevent eyes problems

I have been leaving a small plastic bowl of food for him each day under his favourite perch, usually either 5 locusts or 5 crickets (dusted). Although he tends to prefer the escapee's. Must be his wild instinct (thrill of the chase!)

I have a few questions for some of you experienced folk....
  • How much should he be eating per day at this age?
    should use only crix until about 6 months..thats what I've read
  • Should a dripper be used?
    dripper is a must
  • When he occasionally rubs his eyes, are we right to offer water for him?
    mist plenty, but not excessively. Mist, let cage dry and mist again. about 5 minute mists are good
  • What is the best way to get a young Cham to become more relaxed around our hands and take the food we offer?
    Chameleons get stressed when handled. I don't handle mine unless absolutely necessary. It depends on their personality. You cant MAKE him like you or become relax. They are a pet that is better observed than handled.
  • How often should he be handled to keep him as friendly as possible as he grows older?
    As i said, they shouldn't be handled. It also depends on their personality. Veileds tend to be very feisty, so not likely your will like you ;).. its ok though, mine dont like me either.
[/LIST]

Here are a few pics.... The contents of his viv have changed slightly since I took this, he has more branches in there now and the bark has been replaced with astroturf on the bottom...


All advice and tips would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
Anyways, welcome to the wonderful world of chameleons!:D
 

Tandra Lee

New Member
in my opinion(also this info is readily available in the husbandry section on here) your cham should be eating roughly 10-12 med size crix a day at that age..i have a male that is the same age and he eats this many,when he reaches 5-12 mnths of age then feed crix 8-9med/larger crix..a dripper should always be present during the day along with 3-5 heavy mistings(lightly mist cham a few times too) you should aim for humidity to reach 55-65% during the day and 45-55% at night..no heat pad..temps for a hatchling to 3 mnth old should be 74-76 degrees,a 5 -12mnth old male veileds temps should be 82-85 degrees during the day with a 10 degree drop off during the night..get a digital temp gun or even a digital thermo/hygrometer,you will get more precise temps and humidity readings...ps.make sure you are dusting your crix prior to feeding them to your cham and always gut load your crix with plenty of fresh veggies and also a dry cricket blend:) i hope this answered some of your questions..
 

Tandra Lee

New Member
i did fail to mention,lightly misting your cham will give him the oportunity to rinse his eyes if there is debris in them,also he may have just scratched his eye on something,if misting him a few times a day fails to remedy the eye rubbing or if this starts to look worse or is happening often a vet trip is in order asap! as for handling your cham..they will let you know if its ok to do so lol..you will def know when its not ok for him:D they tend to get more cranky as they age unfortunately but you may have an acception to this with yours..
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the world of chameleons!

Is he shutting his eye(s) during the day?
At that age you can feed him as much as he will eat in a couple of minutes every second day. You will be able to see if he is getting fat....and if so cut back a bit. Constantly overfeeding is not good so its good to keep him from getting fat.

A dripper is recommended once the chameleon is a couple of months old. I run one every day for them as well as misting the cage.

Here is some information that I hope will help....

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. Temperatures needed can vary with the species and age. For hatchling panthers I keep the temperature in the warmest area in the low 80's. For older panthers I keep it in the mid to high 80's for the most part.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite which has beta carotene.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
If you can't access the sites above that have the word "archive" in you can do it through the WayBackMachine.
 
Last edited:

Bernie

New Member
Is he shutting his eye(s) during the day?

Only when he basks in the heat lamp. Generally the are always open and active. He tends to have stopped rubbing since we increased the humidity so hopefully this has helped him.

Here is some information that I hope will help....but none of it likely has anything to do with the knee. I can't tell what's going on with the knee...sorry. Vet is likely the best option. IMHO you need to make some changes with the supplementing and the gutloading.

What about his knee? I didnt mention his knee, does something look wrong?
Thanks very much for the info and advice.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry...the comment about the knee and gutloading should have been cut out...it was meant for another post. Notice I removed it from my previous post. :(
 

Bernie

New Member
Sorry...the comment about the knee and gutloading should have been cut out...it was meant for another post. Notice I removed it from my previous post. :(
Thats a relief. Was a little worried then. Thanks again for your guidance.
 

Jackson14

New Member
I would try to get the glass outa the cage. There need to be some open air always moving around so take off the doors and possibly put screen there. Trust me I found out the hard way, my Senegal chameleon died because he did not have a screened enclosure. It caused respiratory infections and well as EYE problems. He would not be able to open his eyes ever. So get more airflow going in this cage and you should be good!:D
 
Top Bottom