First time owner!

TheBipolarBear

New Member
Hey guys, first time owner of a veiled chameleon here! Normally I stick to snakes, but I wanted to try something different so I added Karma to my family! I think he's pretty happy, I just wanted to see what everyone thinks! His enclosure is an 18x12x12 Reptibreeze full screen, and his waterfall gets cleaned every other day, I'm using Canadian moss for bedding, to help create humidity. He hasn't taken any interest in eating it (yet lol), but I'm watching. At best guess he's 4 months old, the keeper I bought him from said 8 months, but after research I don't believe that! Opinions on enclosure and animal, as well as tips?

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TheBipolarBear

New Member
Asking for help

Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Male veiled chameleon, owned for 2 months, age unknown
Handling - Briefly every other day while cleaning his enclosure (I know this is frequent, but he has handled it quite well so far!)
Feeding - Large dusted crickets daily, amount varied to appetite, free roam.
Supplements - ZooMed with D3
Watering - Waterfall (rinsed every other day), and hand misting 3-4 times a day
Fecal Description - Absolutely normal
History - None given really.

Cage Info:
Full screen 18x12x12 Reptibreeze enclosure
Lighting - 25watt basking bulb, 75watt UVB bulb (bulbs were given with tank), 12 hour day/night photocycle controlled by hygrotherm
Temperature - 90F at the top, roughly 80 at the bottom, lights go off at night, room temperature drops to 75ish
Humidity - I hand mist 3-4 times daily, letting the moss bottom catch the moisture and create a humidity level of 60-80%, depending on weather outside
Plants - No live plants yet, when he's moved to his adult cage I'll be filling it.
Placement - Secluded section of the room, on a table 2 feet off the ground, at its topmost height its at about 4ft.
Location - Ontario, Canada.

Current Problem - I'd just like to know if there's anything I can do to increase happiness, I've noticed his eating varies from 6 large crickets a day to 3, and wondered if that was due to something I'm doing wrong, or just because they're such large crickets (gutloaded daily and dusted with D3 weekly)
Also I was wondering if he really could be 8 months old, I have my sincere doubts. He has the male spurs, so I know that's right.
 

CLP

New Member
Welcome to the forum. Your little one is very cute, but no way is he 8 months old. I would even say more likely only 3 months. As for your enclosure, you need to get rid of the moss and waterfall. Even if you haven't seen him try to eat any, it is an accident waiting to happen, in addition to being a breeding ground for bacteria and mold. The waterfall is also a breeding ground for bacteria. Veiled chameleons in the wild get their water from drinking rain or dew drops from leaves which is why several long misting sessions each day are needed and one of the reasons the moss is a bad idea. If you are misting as much as you should, the moss will never dry out and will get moldy.

It looks like all your plants are fake. If you're concerned about humidity, real plants can really help with that. You can also cover one or two sides of your enclosure with plastic to help keep the humidity in.

Finally, it looks like you have two screw in light fixtures. I assume 1 UVB spiral bulb and one for his basking spot. You might want to consider switching to a fluorescent UVB as the spiral ones have been known to cause eye problems especially in young chams.

This is a link to a great care sheet by one of our members: https://www.chameleonforums.com/blo...-keepers-young-veiled-panther-chameleons.html

As for the size of your feeders, if he is as small as be looks, large crickets are way too big. Feeders should be no larger that the distance between his eyes or he could choke. Also, variety is important: mealworms, small silkworms and small roaches if you can find any.

Please do lots of research and ask as many questions as you have. Chameleons are a great pet, but their needs are specific. Good luck!
 

CLP

New Member
Also should note the supplementation schedule should be calcium without D3 daily, calcium with D3 twice a month and multivitamin twice a month.

Sorry, just noticed your temps. 90 is a bit too high for a young one. You really only need his basking temps in the low80s as the babies don't thermoregulate well. Finally, your UVB is 75 watts??? It should only be a 5.0 UVB. Sounds like it is too powerful.
 

TheBipolarBear

New Member
I mist about 3 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day, is that enough?
Yes, the moss is most definitely temporary until I get his large enclosure next week, as is the waterfall, I'll be switching to a misting system with drainage, and real plants galore (I have a green thumb)!
I've already bought his new fixtures, a 20inch flourescent, and larger basking lamp!
Also, you mention plastic, is wood safe if its sealed with animal safe sealant?
 

TheBipolarBear

New Member
Also should note the supplementation schedule should be calcium without D3 daily, calcium with D3 twice a month and multivitamin twice a month.

I forgot to write that I do indeed dust them with calcium EVERY feeding. Also, his total length (nose to vent) is 4 iches. The crickets are still 'pre-wing', and he gets them no problem. But you may be right, next batch I'll get smaller :)
 

TheBipolarBear

New Member
Also should note the supplementation schedule should be calcium without D3 daily, calcium with D3 twice a month and multivitamin twice a month.

Sorry, just noticed your temps. 90 is a bit too high for a young one. You really only need his basking temps in the low80s as the babies don't thermoregulate well. Finally, your UVB is 75 watts??? It should only be a 5.0 UVB. Sounds like it is too powerful.

I replied to that particular comment on my phone, it must have corrected 5.0 to 75... Why in the world would I have that lol
 

CLP

New Member
Wood is fine as long as it is sealed and animal safe as you say. Some members do/have young chams in adult size enclosures, but I would not recommend it. They can get "lost" in them and have trouble finding their food. I would keep him where he is for a month or two, but you have to lose the moss and waterfall. And when you have the fluorescent UVB, switch it out. Large cage or not.

As for your mistings, that sounds good. Keep an eye on his urates. If they are nice and white, not yellow or orange, then he is getting enough to drink. Yellow or orange urates are a sign of dehydration.
 

TheBipolarBear

New Member
Wood is fine as long as it is sealed and animal safe as you say. Some members do/have young chams in adult size enclosures, but I would not recommend it. They can get "lost" in them and have trouble finding their food. I would keep him where he is for a month or two, but you have to lose the moss and waterfall. And when you have the fluorescent UVB, switch it out. Large cage or not.

As for your mistings, that sounds good. Keep an eye on his urates. If they are nice and white, not yellow or orange, then he is getting enough to drink. Yellow or orange urates are a sign of dehydration.

He had orange urates for the first 2 days I had him, I imagine that was just the change in environment, he's been perfectly white since. Thank you for the advice on cage size, I wasn't sure if the same rule for snakes applied to lizards, as they require much larger enclosures in generally. And I may use wood, as it looks more natural, and as I've learned with my carpet python, is fantastic for holding humidity, something that I've struggled with in this screen enclosure. I'll remove the moss and waterfall this instant, and go back to the drip cup! (You can see it in one photo, made out of a cleaned Pepsi bottle)
 
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