First-Time Veiled Chameleon Owner, So Many Questions!

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Hi! My name is Liv, and my chameleon's name is Ivy. My partner and I have a 7 year old daughter who lives with us half the time and is O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with reading about reptiles. I am a physician licensing coordinator (and disabled Army veteran) and my partner is a school teacher for 6th - 8th grade. Due to the pandemic, he works from home every day and I work from home 3x/week. We have 4 well-trained dogs (they spend most of their days basking in the sunshine on their cots outside but during inside time, we are always present to assure nothing happens to compromise animal safety). I'm sure I already sound like a piece of work, but I promise I am eager to learn! I am just so appreciative that a community like this exists. I am amazed by the incredible husbandry that people here have devoted themselves to and have already learned so much in the last 2 weeks before I finally got up the courage today to create an account and post! TL;DR I'm a mom to a tiny human and 4 pups, we are obsessed with our new chameleon, I am grateful for this community already and I am always ready to learn more.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, F, about 5-6 weeks old? She has been home with us about 32 hours and was purchased from LLL Reptile in San Diego.
  • Handling - Since coming home, she was only handled for a few minutes today so that I could place live plants in her enclosure and show her where the food bowl is located
  • Feeding - 3 small crickets in a glass bowl dusted with calcium, offered in the morning (about 8AM) after about 20 minutes awake and refreshed around 12PM, offered again around 3PM if she finished the previous feed. Gut-loading with Repashy Superfoods Bug Burger (and this morning, some strawberry). She has eaten about 6 crickets since coming home with us yesterday.
  • Supplements - Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All (w/out D3), Rep-Cal w/D3 <--have not yet given her this as we were advised to only dust with it 2x/month
  • Watering - We have a Little Dripper setup with distilled water to drip onto the branches/plants close to her feeding branch. We have seen her drink multiple times from the plant leaves with no issue.
  • Fecal Description - Color and consistency are unremarkable. Brown, soft but not lacking firm structure. Urates are white, with some clear fluid surrounding. I think she has pooped twice (both in the same spot) since we brought her home yesterday afternoon.
  • History - She's a baby, and we honestly don't know much beyond that.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Exo Terra (Medium, X-Tall) 24"x18"x36" Black Aluminum Screen Habitat covered on 3 sides and lower tray door with saran wrap (with small slits on each panel), left side covered with towel (the side my partner sits on when using his computer), front hinge door covered with towel after 12PM until 8AM. We plan to replace the saran wrap with clear shower curtain in the very near future.
  • Lighting - The lamp we are using is on a stand, but it will soon be mounted on an extended hook from the wall; we are pretty handy in our small space. We currently have a Zoo Med Combo Deep Dome Dual Lamp Fixture with an Exo Terra UVB 100 Reptile Bulb during the day (0800-2000) paired with an Exo Terra 150W Daylight Basking Spot bulb placed 13" above her basking branch. We were advised to switch out the day time bulb at 2000 with an Exo Terra 75W Night Heat Lamp bulb (still 13" above her basking branch).
  • Temperature - Cage floor 70°F, mid-cage 75°F, basking spot - 87°F. Measured with some (probably) wonky hygrometers from Petsmart. Our room is a super tiny studio on my parents' property (10'x12') but the original buildings on the property were built in the early 1900's and do not have (any) adequate insulation. We use an indoor space heater to keep the ambient temperature above 60 at night. Translation: it gets cold AF (some odd 40°F* in here) at night and on stormy days (those don't happen often here though) between November - March; it is typically warmer April - October and the ambient temperature inside is decent. *Pathetic I know.
  • Humidity - Humidity averages about 45-50% during the day and about 55-60% at night. We are still working on figuring out the best way to maintain. At this time we are currently hand-misting twice a day with a spray bottle of water around 8AM and 2PM, and fogging with the Zoo Med Repti Fogger.
  • Plants - We are working on replacing the artificial vines and small hanging plants with live plants and branches in the very near future. For live plants we currently have a Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant), Dracaena deramensis (Hawaiian sunshine), Epipremnum aureum (Devil's ivy), Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant), Adiantum raddianum (Delta maiden hair fern), and Tillandsia harrisii (bromeliad/air plant)
  • Placement - The enclosure is on my partner's desk, behind mine. It is in a corner and there is wall along the back and to the right. There is about a foot between the enclosure and his computer, but that side is covered with a towel (over the saran wrap). It is not installed near any fans, air vents, windows, or high traffic areas. The top of the cage is about 65" from the floor.
  • Location - We live in San Diego, California.

Current Problem - I just want to make sure that we are doing everything properly. I previously owned leopard geckos, a bearded dragon, some turtles, frogs, a ball python. I have never owned a chameleon. I have so many questions! I realize that many of these questions are discussed on the forums, but I often see differing opinions and want to be as up to date as possible on my information. Thank you in advance for even bothering to read this far!

Should I invest in a misting system?

Is there a drainage system we should use aside from the provided tray and substrate? The substrate is Zilla - Fir & Sphagnum Peat Moss.

Does anyone travel with a chameleon? We frequently visit cabins (I am training for a half marathon right now and this helps with altitude adjustment) and are wondering if we should have someone check on her?

Does she need a hideout? I've seen some people use halved coconuts or moss domes for their chams.

Are there non-artificial vines that I can purchase? I feel really silly asking this.

Which is the best digital hygrometer system (are there any that can connect via Bluetooth to your phone (is it wildly obsessed of me to even ask that)? I have heard good things about
this one.

Should I get a temperature gun?

What other plants would be good to get for her enclosure, and where in the habitat is the best placement?

What is best to insulate the enclosure with from the cold walls at night?

Is moss a good idea (I have seen posts here and all over the internet that indicate otherwise) or not?

Are the general/lighting timers a good idea? If so, what's a good schedule for a veiled?

Should I be feeding her anything else yet besides the tiny crickets?

Do I always need to use distilled water? I have seen photos/videos of people letting their chams drink from a faucet or shower.

Should I purchase a larger lamp for overall enclosure light/does she need the nighttime lamp we currently use?

What type of branches should I purchase and from where? Can I use branches that I find on a hike if I know the tree/bush type?

For now, her enclosure is just the right size for our space. Is there anything else I can do to ensure she is the most comfortable?
 

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Rhea’s mum

Established Member
Comments in red
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, F, about 5-6 weeks old? She has been home with us about 32 hours and was purchased from LLL Reptile in San Diego. She's teeny tiny! In an ideal world babies wouldn't be sold until at least 12 weeks.
  • Handling - Since coming home, she was only handled for a few minutes today so that I could place live plants in her enclosure and show her where the food bowl is located It's good to leave them be to settle in.
  • Feeding - 3 small crickets in a glass bowl dusted with calcium, offered in the morning (about 8AM) after about 20 minutes awake and refreshed around 12PM, offered again around 3PM if she finished the previous feed. Gut-loading with Repashy Superfoods Bug Burger (and this morning, some strawberry). She has eaten about 6 crickets since coming home with us yesterday. Good with the gut loading, if you want to add some fresh veg etc I will add the gut loading sheet at the bottom for you, along with feeders. Variety is key for chams, lots of variety of feeders to keep them interested. At this age you want to be feeding them as much as they want to eat, just make sure its in the first half of the day so they have time to bask and digest it. Rule of thumb for feeders size is no bigger than the space between their eyes.
  • Supplements - Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All (w/out D3), Rep-Cal w/D3 <--have not yet given her this as we were advised to only dust with it 2x/month I'm not familiar with the use of miner-all so hopefully people with more knowledge can help with that. You will want a multivitamin. If you get a multivitamin that includes D3 then you just give this 2 feedings a month and this will be instead of the rep-cal with D3. You want to make sure that the multivitamin contains vitamin A, most common one I have seen used is Reptivite (they do with and without D3). If you search supplement threads on here you will see there are different ways to do it. As long as they get phosphorous free calcium as the primary supplement and then a multivitamin and D3.
  • Watering - We have a Little Dripper setup with distilled water to drip onto the branches/plants close to her feeding branch. We have seen her drink multiple times from the plant leaves with no issue. How often and for how long?
  • Fecal Description - Color and consistency are unremarkable. Brown, soft but not lacking firm structure. Urates are white, with some clear fluid surrounding. I think she has pooped twice (both in the same spot) since we brought her home yesterday afternoon. Well worth getting a faecal done.
  • History - She's a baby, and we honestly don't know much beyond that.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Exo Terra (Medium, X-Tall) 24"x18"x36" Black Aluminum Screen Habitat covered on 3 sides and lower tray door with saran wrap (with small slits on each panel), left side covered with towel (the side my partner sits on when using his computer), front hinge door covered with towel after 12PM until 8AM. We plan to replace the saran wrap with clear shower curtain in the very near future. So this is fine at the minute but she will very quickly out grow it. Bigger is always better for chams so the minimum should be 4' tall. If you are tight for space you could look into building your own if that is an option for you as to fit your space.
  • Lighting - The lamp we are using is on a stand, but it will soon be mounted on an extended hook from the wall; we are pretty handy in our small space. We currently have a Zoo Med Combo Deep Dome Dual Lamp Fixture with an Exo Terra UVB 100 Reptile Bulb during the day (0800-2000) paired with an Exo Terra 150W Daylight Basking Spot bulb placed 13" above her basking branch. We were advised to switch out the day time bulb at 2000 with an Exo Terra 75W Night Heat Lamp bulb (still 13" above her basking branch). So this is the big one. You need to get a Linear T5HO UVB ASAP. Either a 6% bulb (arcadia) or 5.0 (reptisun). Unless her cage gets down to the 50s then they don't need a heat source at night. The temp drop does them good. 150w is a little high and temps look high too.
  • Temperature - Cage floor 70°F, mid-cage 75°F, basking spot - 87°F. Measured with some (probably) wonky hygrometers from Petsmart. Our room is a super tiny studio on my parents' property (10'x12') but the original buildings on the property were built in the early 1900's and do not have (any) adequate insulation. We use an indoor space heater to keep the ambient temperature above 60 at night. Translation: it gets cold AF (some odd 40°F* in here) at night and on stormy days (those don't happen often here though) between November - March; it is typically warmer April - October and the ambient temperature inside is decent. *Pathetic I know. You want it no hotter at the basking than 80. 50s are fine at night, you want at least a 10 degree drop, more if can be achieved.
  • Humidity - Humidity averages about 45-50% during the day and about 55-60% at night. We are still working on figuring out the best way to maintain. At this time we are currently hand-misting twice a day with a spray bottle of water around 8AM and 2PM, and fogging with the Zoo Med Repti Fogger. So ideally during the day you want under 50% but at night it can go up as high as possible (as long as it is cool). It might be worth doing a dripper during the day and then putting back the 2nd misting to an hour or 2 before lights off
  • Plants - We are working on replacing the artificial vines and small hanging plants with live plants and branches in the very near future. For live plants we currently have a Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant), Dracaena deramensis (Hawaiian sunshine), Epipremnum aureum (Devil's ivy), Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant), Adiantum raddianum (Delta maiden hair fern), and Tillandsia harrisii (bromeliad/air plant)
  • Placement - The enclosure is on my partner's desk, behind mine. It is in a corner and there is wall along the back and to the right. There is about a foot between the enclosure and his computer, but that side is covered with a towel (over the saran wrap). It is not installed near any fans, air vents, windows, or high traffic areas. The top of the cage is about 65" from the floor.
  • Location - We live in San Diego, California.



1611826669859.png


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Rhea’s mum

Established Member
Should I invest in a misting system?
A lot of people prefer them because it is easier and a lot can be put on timers.
Is there a drainage system we should use aside from the provided tray and substrate? The substrate is Zilla - Fir & Sphagnum Peat Moss.
Unless doing bioactive then substrate is a no no. Take it out straight away. Bare bottom or paper towels only on the bottom.
Does anyone travel with a chameleon? We frequently visit cabins (I am training for a half marathon right now and this helps with altitude adjustment) and are wondering if we should have someone check on her?
Timers are a saviour for this. When she is a bit older and feeding less then a day away from her is fine. But as a baby she needs feeding everyday. Moving them often stresses them so if its a holiday or a few days away it will be easier on everyone if you can get someone to check in on her and feed her and mist her if you stick with hand misting.
Does she need a hideout? I've seen some people use halved coconuts or moss domes for their chams.
No as long as you have LOTS of real plants in there she will use these as hiding spots. You want it so you have to play where's waldo every time.
Are there non-artificial vines that I can purchase? I feel really silly asking this.
So you can use branches off trees outside. Try to get them from places not on the roadside. You need to make sure that they are non sap producing trees though. again plenty of threads on this if you want to search. Some people clean them and strip them, some just put them straight in, it also depends on where you are etc.
Which is the best digital hygrometer system (are there any that can connect via Bluetooth to your phone (is it wildly obsessed of me to even ask that)? I have heard good things about
this one.
Everyone is different with these. As long as they are not the analog dials then choose which ever you like. I know some people on here use the govee ones that link.
Should I get a temperature gun?
Temp guns only measure surface temperature. You can get one if you want but multiple thermometer probes are fine. Make sure you have a probe where you put your thermostat probe to make sure the thermostat is working correctly.
What other plants would be good to get for her enclosure, and where in the habitat is the best placement?
https://chameleonacademy.com is a great resource to learn and has plant lists and placement ideas.
What is best to insulate the enclosure with from the cold walls at night?
I have the clear window insulation plastic covering mine but as long as nothing sticky goes inside and nothing toxic is used to adhere you can get creative on the outside. Hard plastic sheets are often used, towels.
Is moss a good idea (I have seen posts here and all over the internet that indicate otherwise) or not?
NO! Yemens can get impacted if they eat the moss, they are like toddlers and put everything in their mouths. The only time you can safely use a small amount of moss is when creating a bioactive substrate and the moss is mixed in.
Are the general/lighting timers a good idea? If so, what's a good schedule for a veiled?
Timers aren't a must but they make things so much easier. Lights should be on a 12h on 12h off cycle.
Should I be feeding her anything else yet besides the tiny crickets?
I'll attach feeder sheet. The flies on there are always good for babies. Roach nymphs and small BSFL are good too.
Do I always need to use distilled water? I have seen photos/videos of people letting their chams drink from a faucet or shower.

It all depends on what you water is like. I know some people only use tap water. Others only use RO or distilled.
Should I purchase a larger lamp for overall enclosure light/does she need the nighttime lamp we currently use?
No night time light whatsoever! Complete darkness for her once her daytime lights have gone out. If she is in an area where you are and you have lights on it may be worth covering her up at night, but still allowing airflow where possible. The only extra lamp that people use are plant lights for the larger enclosures to help the plants thrive, but this is on the same schedule as the day lights.
For now, her enclosure is just the right size for our space. Is there anything else I can do to ensure she is the most comfortable?
Let her settle in and make the needed adjustments. You will be amazed at how fast she grows and how quickly she will outgrow her current enclosure. I would also start to read up about females and egg laying as it is something you will have to be prepared for in the future. Again plenty of threads if you search or just ask/start a new thread about it if you are unsure on anything.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! :) Looks like you got some great advice from @Rhea’s mum. There’s a great deal of bad or outdated info on keeping chameleons out there, so I’m so very glad you’re here. The best, most accurate and up to date is here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ I encourage/urge you to really explore all that the site has to offer. Besides the general husbandry program, there is also species specific info. The pod casts are amazing! Another really great source of accurate information is Neptune the chameleon on YouTube. She has a video for just about everything and is always adding more. Of course, the forum is always here to help with husbandry, ask questions, and just share the joys of being kept by a chameleon.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Comments in red
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled, F, about 5-6 weeks old? She has been home with us about 32 hours and was purchased from LLL Reptile in San Diego. She's teeny tiny! In an ideal world babies wouldn't be sold until at least 12 weeks.
  • Handling - Since coming home, she was only handled for a few minutes today so that I could place live plants in her enclosure and show her where the food bowl is located It's good to leave them be to settle in.
  • Feeding - 3 small crickets in a glass bowl dusted with calcium, offered in the morning (about 8AM) after about 20 minutes awake and refreshed around 12PM, offered again around 3PM if she finished the previous feed. Gut-loading with Repashy Superfoods Bug Burger (and this morning, some strawberry). She has eaten about 6 crickets since coming home with us yesterday. Good with the gut loading, if you want to add some fresh veg etc I will add the gut loading sheet at the bottom for you, along with feeders. Variety is key for chams, lots of variety of feeders to keep them interested. At this age you want to be feeding them as much as they want to eat, just make sure its in the first half of the day so they have time to bask and digest it. Rule of thumb for feeders size is no bigger than the space between their eyes.
  • Supplements - Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All (w/out D3), Rep-Cal w/D3 <--have not yet given her this as we were advised to only dust with it 2x/month I'm not familiar with the use of miner-all so hopefully people with more knowledge can help with that. You will want a multivitamin. If you get a multivitamin that includes D3 then you just give this 2 feedings a month and this will be instead of the rep-cal with D3. You want to make sure that the multivitamin contains vitamin A, most common one I have seen used is Reptivite (they do with and without D3). If you search supplement threads on here you will see there are different ways to do it. As long as they get phosphorous free calcium as the primary supplement and then a multivitamin and D3.
  • Watering - We have a Little Dripper setup with distilled water to drip onto the branches/plants close to her feeding branch. We have seen her drink multiple times from the plant leaves with no issue. How often and for how long?
  • Fecal Description - Color and consistency are unremarkable. Brown, soft but not lacking firm structure. Urates are white, with some clear fluid surrounding. I think she has pooped twice (both in the same spot) since we brought her home yesterday afternoon. Well worth getting a faecal done.
  • History - She's a baby, and we honestly don't know much beyond that.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Exo Terra (Medium, X-Tall) 24"x18"x36" Black Aluminum Screen Habitat covered on 3 sides and lower tray door with saran wrap (with small slits on each panel), left side covered with towel (the side my partner sits on when using his computer), front hinge door covered with towel after 12PM until 8AM. We plan to replace the saran wrap with clear shower curtain in the very near future. So this is fine at the minute but she will very quickly out grow it. Bigger is always better for chams so the minimum should be 4' tall. If you are tight for space you could look into building your own if that is an option for you as to fit your space.
  • Lighting - The lamp we are using is on a stand, but it will soon be mounted on an extended hook from the wall; we are pretty handy in our small space. We currently have a Zoo Med Combo Deep Dome Dual Lamp Fixture with an Exo Terra UVB 100 Reptile Bulb during the day (0800-2000) paired with an Exo Terra 150W Daylight Basking Spot bulb placed 13" above her basking branch. We were advised to switch out the day time bulb at 2000 with an Exo Terra 75W Night Heat Lamp bulb (still 13" above her basking branch). So this is the big one. You need to get a Linear T5HO UVB ASAP. Either a 6% bulb (arcadia) or 5.0 (reptisun). Unless her cage gets down to the 50s then they don't need a heat source at night. The temp drop does them good. 150w is a little high and temps look high too.
  • Temperature - Cage floor 70°F, mid-cage 75°F, basking spot - 87°F. Measured with some (probably) wonky hygrometers from Petsmart. Our room is a super tiny studio on my parents' property (10'x12') but the original buildings on the property were built in the early 1900's and do not have (any) adequate insulation. We use an indoor space heater to keep the ambient temperature above 60 at night. Translation: it gets cold AF (some odd 40°F* in here) at night and on stormy days (those don't happen often here though) between November - March; it is typically warmer April - October and the ambient temperature inside is decent. *Pathetic I know. You want it no hotter at the basking than 80. 50s are fine at night, you want at least a 10 degree drop, more if can be achieved.
  • Humidity - Humidity averages about 45-50% during the day and about 55-60% at night. We are still working on figuring out the best way to maintain. At this time we are currently hand-misting twice a day with a spray bottle of water around 8AM and 2PM, and fogging with the Zoo Med Repti Fogger. So ideally during the day you want under 50% but at night it can go up as high as possible (as long as it is cool). It might be worth doing a dripper during the day and then putting back the 2nd misting to an hour or 2 before lights off
  • Plants - We are working on replacing the artificial vines and small hanging plants with live plants and branches in the very near future. For live plants we currently have a Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant), Dracaena deramensis (Hawaiian sunshine), Epipremnum aureum (Devil's ivy), Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant), Adiantum raddianum (Delta maiden hair fern), and Tillandsia harrisii (bromeliad/air plant)
  • Placement - The enclosure is on my partner's desk, behind mine. It is in a corner and there is wall along the back and to the right. There is about a foot between the enclosure and his computer, but that side is covered with a towel (over the saran wrap). It is not installed near any fans, air vents, windows, or high traffic areas. The top of the cage is about 65" from the floor.
  • Location - We live in San Diego, California.



View attachment 290711

View attachment 290712
Is it okay if I clarify some info on here, @Rhea’s mum ?
 

Flick boy

Avid Member
Hi and welcome. I'm not familiar with the digital temp/ hygro you posted But the govee h5074001 has really good independent reviews
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay, my copy and paste won’t put @Rhea’s mum comments in red, so I’m answering in the quoted response Comments in red First off, @aleagueofherown thank you for your service, and I LOVE your username! My feedback and any questions will be in purple. I’ll also post helpful links and a lay bin image at the end:
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Veiled, F, about 5-6 weeks old? She has been home with us about 32 hours and was purchased from LLL Reptile in San Diego. She's teeny tiny! In an ideal world babies wouldn't be sold until at least 12 weeks.
Handling - Since coming home, she was only handled for a few minutes today so that I could place live plants in her enclosure and show her where the food bowl is located It's good to leave them be to settle in.
Feeding - 3 small crickets in a glass bowl dusted with calcium, offered in the morning (about 8AM) after about 20 minutes awake and refreshed around 12PM, offered again around 3PM if she finished the previous feed. Gut-loading with Repashy Superfoods Bug Burger (and this morning, some strawberry). She has eaten about 6 crickets since coming home with us yesterday. Good with the gut loading, if you want to add some fresh veg etc I will add the gut loading sheet at the bottom for you, along with feeders. Variety is key for chams, lots of variety of feeders to keep them interested. At this age you want to be feeding them as much as they want to eat, just make sure its in the first half of the day so they have time to bask and digest it. Rule of thumb for feeders size is no bigger than the space between their eyes. At that age, feed her as much as she’ll eat multiple times a day.
Supplements - Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-All (w/out D3), Rep-Cal w/D3 <--have not yet given her this as we were advised to only dust with it 2x/month I'm not familiar with the use of miner-all so hopefully people with more knowledge can help with that. You will want a multivitamin. If you get a multivitamin that includes D3 then you just give this 2 feedings a month and this will be instead of the rep-cal with D3. You want to make sure that the multivitamin contains vitamin A, most common one I have seen used is Reptivite (they do with and without D3). If you search supplement threads on here you will see there are different ways to do it. As long as they get phosphorous free calcium as the primary supplement and then a multivitamin and D3. With the Sticky Tongue Farms, you need the Miner-all Indoor version and Vit-all. Gutload all feeders overnight to a few hours before feeding them off with wet Sticky Tongue Farms Vit-all (mixed with the correct amount of water), and dust all feeders with Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-all Indoor every feeding. If you take her outside for long enough, you’ll need to use the Outdoor Miner-all because she’ll produce her own D3 in the natural sunlight.
Watering - We have a Little Dripper setup with distilled water to drip onto the branches/plants close to her feeding branch. We have seen her drink multiple times from the plant leaves with no issue. How often and for how long? She also needs to be misted for a minimum of 2-5+ minutes at least two times during the day (in the morning and late afternoon/night when her cage is cooler- try to only mist those two times during the day if the humidity allows it). Do you use anything at night?Fecal Description - Color and consistency are unremarkable. Brown, soft but not lacking firm structure. Urates are white, with some clear fluid surrounding. I think she has pooped twice (both in the same spot) since we brought her home yesterday afternoon. Well worth getting a faecal done. Since she is from LLL, definitely take her in to an experienced chameleon vet for a fecal float (bring a fresh sample with you), x-rays, and bloodwork (if she’s big enough/if the vet can). Also drop off at least two more fresh fecal samples afterwards to make sure no parasites were missed.
History - She's a baby, and we honestly don't know much beyond that.
Cage Info:
Cage Type - Exo Terra (Medium, X-Tall) 24"x18"x36" Black Aluminum Screen Habitat covered on 3 sides and lower tray door with saran wrap (with small slits on each panel), left side covered with towel (the side my partner sits on when using his computer), front hinge door covered with towel after 12PM until 8AM. We plan to replace the saran wrap with clear shower curtain in the very near future. So this is fine at the minute but she will very quickly out grow it. Bigger is always better for chams so the minimum should be 4' tall. If you are tight for space you could look into building your own if that is an option for you as to fit your space. When she’s bigger, she’ll need a minimum cage size of either 36” x 18” x 36” tall or 2’ x 2’ x 4’ tall, but preferably 4’ x 2’ x 4’ tall or bigger. Bigger is always better! She’ll also need a permanent and proper lay bin in her enclosure once she reaches 4 months old, if not earlier, just in case she’s an early bloomer (I’ve attached a lay bin information image at the end). Uncover the Saran Wrap from her service door. Why do you cover the door to her cage at night? Could you post a pic of her full cage please (from the outside view and lights to bottom so I can see what you‘re talking about)? Is there substrate in the bottom of her enclosure? If so, remove it all ASAP, it is an impaction risk for veileds! Either bare bottom or bioactive only, no in-betweens. Also, remove the Exo Terra vines and add more vines, branches, and live plants in her cage (I’ll go over it more in the plant section on here).
  • Lighting - The lamp we are using is on a stand, but it will soon be mounted on an extended hook from the wall; we are pretty handy in our small space. We currently have a Zoo Med Combo Deep Dome Dual Lamp Fixture with an Exo Terra UVB 100 Reptile Bulb during the day (0800-2000) paired with an Exo Terra 150W Daylight Basking Spot bulb placed 13" above her basking branch. We were advised to switch out the day time bulb at 2000 with an Exo Terra 75W Night Heat Lamp bulb (still 13" above her basking branch). So this is the big one. You need to get a Linear T5HO UVB ASAP. Either a 6% bulb (arcadia) or 5.0 (reptisun). Unless her cage gets down to the 50s then they don't need a heat source at night. The temp drop does them good. 150w is a little high and temps look high too. Like @Rhea’s mum said, she needs a T5 High Output linear fixture ASAP! Make sure to get it the length of (or a foot longer than) her permanent bigger enclosure. With the Arcadia UVB linear bulbs (like the 6%- which you would get with a T5 HO fixture), they need to be replaced once a year, while Zoo Med‘s (another option with the 5.0) are every six months. If you can afford it, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5, it is a game-changer! It’ll give you precise UVI readings, let you know if a linear UVB bulb is defective, and tell you when to actually replace your linear UVB bulb (when the readings are cut in half)! Once your linear fixture and bulb comes in, hang above the cage so her highest basking branch is 8-9” away from the bulb, and make sure that if she screen climbs, the bulb is raised far enough away so her UVI readings at the top screen don’t go over 6! She needs a regular white light household incandescent bulb, not a blue basking bulb. The distance between her basking branch and bulb is great, though! Take out the nighttime bulb, it isn’t needed unless it gets lower than 55-60*F at night, and if it does, you need the minimum wattage ceramic heat emitter bulb instead to get it up to those temps! All lights (white light basking bulb, linear UVB, and any plant lights) should be on for 12 hours and all off for 12 hours (no nighttime heat bulbs unless you use a ceramic heat emitter when needed)!
  • Temperature - Cage floor 70°F, mid-cage 75°F, basking spot - 87°F. Measured with some (probably) wonky hygrometers from Petsmart. Our room is a super tiny studio on my parents' property (10'x12') but the original buildings on the property were built in the early 1900's and do not have (any) adequate insulation. We use an indoor space heater to keep the ambient temperature above 60 at night. Translation: it gets cold AF (some odd 40°F* in here) at night and on stormy days (those don't happen often here though) between November - March; it is typically warmer April - October and the ambient temperature inside is decent. *Pathetic I know. You want it no hotter at the basking than 80. 50s are fine at night, you want at least a 10 degree drop, more if can be achieved. Her basking spot needs to be 78-80*F max as an adult! I have no idea for a baby that young, so someone else will have to post it. It should be measured with a digital thermometer with a probe placed where her casque/top of her back is when she’s on her basking branch. If it gets below 55*F at night, use the minimum wattage ceramic heat emitter bulb needed to raise it up to 55-60*F. Also get 3 digital thermometer-hygrometer combos to measure ambient temps and humidity levels throughout her cage. Place one near the top, one in the middle, and one at the bottom of her cage.
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Humidity - Humidity averages about 45-50% during the day and about 55-60% at night. We are still working on figuring out the best way to maintain. At this time we are currently hand-misting twice a day with a spray bottle of water around 8AM and 2PM, and fogging with the Zoo Med Repti Fogger. So ideally during the day you want under 50% but at night it can go up as high as possible (as long as it is cool). It might be worth doing a dripper during the day and then putting back the 2nd misting to an hour or 2 before lights off Her humidity levels should be between 30-50% during the day and up to 100% at night. So I‘d take off the saran wrap on one or both sides of her cage if needed to lower daytime levels (her service door should already have it taken off). ONLY USE THE FOGGER AT NIGHT! Make sure to place the output tube at the top of her cage so the fog rolls down. Make sure to properly clean it, all tubes, and all other accessories used thoroughly and often (minimum 1-2x a week or more)! I’d replace the kink tubes that come with it with straight tube and/or PVC pipe, as well. For the misting, see my above notes in the watering section.
    Plants - We are working on replacing the artificial vines and small hanging plants with live plants and branches in the very near future. For live plants we currently have a Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant), Dracaena deramensis (Hawaiian sunshine), Epipremnum aureum (Devil's ivy), Chlorophytum comosum (Spider plant), Adiantum raddianum (Delta maiden hair fern), and Tillandsia harrisii (bromeliad/air plant) There should be no fake plants, fake flowers, fake leaf bunches, fake vines with leaves on them, etc. so remove it all ASAP! Veileds will try to take a bite out of anything, so anything besides real plants is an impaction risk. She should have tons of chameleon-safe live plants, real dead and/or live vines, fake vines without leaves (if needed), and multiple species and diameters of branches (just none from toxic or sap-producing trees). Don’t use Exo Terra fake vines because they can cause health issues with their debris. I’ve linked a chameleon-safe plant list and two great cage set-up links at the end. Also make sure all plants are properly cleaned off beforehand and all soil in the pots is covered with rocks too big for her to eat!
    • Placement - The enclosure is on my partner's desk, behind mine. It is in a corner and there is wall along the back and to the right. There is about a foot between the enclosure and his computer, but that side is covered with a towel (over the saran wrap). It is not installed near any fans, air vents, windows, or high traffic areas. The top of the cage is about 65" from the floor.
    • Location - We live in San Diego, California.
    Here are the links and image (make sure to read through every module and the veiled species profile, as well as listen to as many podcasts as possible from The Chameleon Academy, like @MissSkittles said, they have the most accurate and up-to-date info available!):
    https://www.chameleons.info/en/
    http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html
    http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/
    https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/external-resources/
    https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
    https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/
    https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
    https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/
    http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
WOW! So much incredible information. Thank you so much for all of the insight and advice. I'm going to do my best to pinpoint the changes that have been suggested, and add some more information here that may be useful. I am hearing and vision impaired, hence why I use bold/italics/colors, and I am so appreciative when others do the same to help highlight really important info! I just finished reading through the Chameleon Husbandry modules, and also exploring some of the other external resources. Please note the photos attached here were taken before I removed the substrate completely from the bottom tray and replaced it with paper towels.

The front of her enclosure is covered at night because we still have the lights on in the room she is in with us until around 11PM. This is because my partner and I both work full time and are full-time students, so we are on the computer quite a bit late into the evening. I don't want our lights to disturb her after 8/9PM, which is why she is covered. Also, we were advised to do the night time light because it DOES drop well below 50 in our studio at night. As I mentioned in the initial post, we have zero insulation in the studio and we do not run the space heater at night after we head to sleep (in another small studio on the property). We could move her enclosure to another part of the studio (and expand it so that it's bigger), but the problem is it will get hot during the summer and it would be about 18 inches away from the small wall air conditioning unit we use (not every day). Is that ok if I can direct the AC airflow away from her cage?

To Clarify:
- We really love the idea of bioactive, but I understand the moss needs to only be mixed with the substrate. Any tips on bioactive for beginners? I know I can search the forums but it always helps me to hear specific experience or well-known sources. I have a friend who keeps/propagates jewel orchids and I'd love to add some in here.
- The output tube for the fogger is in the back right at the top of her cage.
- I did read posts/watch some videos regarding laying, and will work on creating a permanent lay bin for her once she gets closer to 4 months old.
- We have an appointment with Dr. Gillet at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital here in San Diego on 2/2/2021. We plan to have a full exam and fecal done then!

I have: removed the saran wrap from her service door, purchased a T5 High Output linear fixture and minimum wattage ceramic heat emitter bulb, and outlined additional research on digital hygrometers/thermometers.

Moving forward we will:
- Only run the fogger at night
- Remove all fake vines/plants and replace with real branches/vines/plants (noted: no sap and I've got the plants list/infographic bookmarked - I know she needs a lot more plants)
- Work on creating a permanent lay bin for her once she gets closer to 4 months (I've read the posts/forum discussions on this and watched videos)
- Replace the fogger tube with PVC (and clean frequently)
- Cover the soil in the plant pots with rocks (noted: so that she can't eat the soil),
- Gut load feeders overnight and provider her with more variety in feeders (I'd love to learn how to keep Dubias if anyone is willing to teach me!)
- Save to purchase a Solarmeter 6.5R

Thank you again so much to everyone for the assistance so far! We love this little gal very much.

Liv
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
WOW! So much incredible information. Thank you so much for all of the insight and advice. I'm going to do my best to pinpoint the changes that have been suggested, and add some more information here that may be useful. I am hearing and vision impaired, hence why I use bold/italics/colors, and I am so appreciative when others do the same to help highlight really important info! I just finished reading through the Chameleon Husbandry modules, and also exploring some of the other external resources. Please note the photos attached here were taken before I removed the substrate completely from the bottom tray and replaced it with paper towels.

The front of her enclosure is covered at night because we still have the lights on in the room she is in with us until around 11PM. This is because my partner and I both work full time and are full-time students, so we are on the computer quite a bit late into the evening. I don't want our lights to disturb her after 8/9PM, which is why she is covered. Also, we were advised to do the night time light because it DOES drop well below 50 in our studio at night. As I mentioned in the initial post, we have zero insulation in the studio and we do not run the space heater at night after we head to sleep (in another small studio on the property). We could move her enclosure to another part of the studio (and expand it so that it's bigger), but the problem is it will get hot during the summer and it would be about 18 inches away from the small wall air conditioning unit we use (not every day). Is that ok if I can direct the AC airflow away from her cage?

To Clarify:
- We really love the idea of bioactive, but I understand the moss needs to only be mixed with the substrate. Any tips on bioactive for beginners? I know I can search the forums but it always helps me to hear specific experience or well-known sources. I have a friend who keeps/propagates jewel orchids and I'd love to add some in here.
- The output tube for the fogger is in the back right at the top of her cage.
- I did read posts/watch some videos regarding laying, and will work on creating a permanent lay bin for her once she gets closer to 4 months old.
- We have an appointment with Dr. Gillet at Avian & Exotic Animal Hospital here in San Diego on 2/2/2021. We plan to have a full exam and fecal done then!

I have: removed the saran wrap from her service door, purchased a T5 High Output linear fixture and minimum wattage ceramic heat emitter bulb, and outlined additional research on digital hygrometers/thermometers.

Moving forward we will:
- Only run the fogger at night
- Remove all fake vines/plants and replace with real branches/vines/plants (noted: no sap and I've got the plants list/infographic bookmarked - I know she needs a lot more plants)
- Work on creating a permanent lay bin for her once she gets closer to 4 months (I've read the posts/forum discussions on this and watched videos)
- Replace the fogger tube with PVC (and clean frequently)
- Cover the soil in the plant pots with rocks (noted: so that she can't eat the soil),
- Gut load feeders overnight and provider her with more variety in feeders (I'd love to learn how to keep Dubias if anyone is willing to teach me!)
- Save to purchase a Solarmeter 6.5R

Thank you again so much to everyone for the assistance so far! We love this little gal very much.

Liv
-For her towel at night, just make sure the service door and top of her cage aren’t covered so she gets airflow.
-If
you could make sure the A/C system doesn’t hit her cage and there are no drafts near/in her cage with it on, that’d be perfect!
-Here is a great blog with basic bioactive info:

https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/intro-to-bio-activity.2429/
Just make sure she has at least 6” of substrate depth so she can lay her eggs in it. If not, you’ll have to use a lay bin as well.
-She needs much more foliage, branches, and vines ASAP (especially plants)! She probably isn’t feeling secure (and is most likely stressed out) right now because she is so visible with not really anywhere to hide. You can also put some cardboard on the outside of the saran wrap so there is a visual barrier between her and outside of her cage on the sides and back, it’ll help with that.
-Everything else sounds great!
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
-For her towel at night, just make sure the service door and top of her cage aren’t covered so she gets airflow.
-If
you could make sure the A/C system doesn’t hit her cage and there are no drafts near/in her cage with it on, that’d be perfect!
-Here is a great blog with basic bioactive info:

https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/intro-to-bio-activity.2429/
Just make sure she has at least 6” of substrate depth so she can lay her eggs in it. If not, you’ll have to use a lay bin as well.
-She needs much more foliage, branches, and vines ASAP (especially plants)! She probably isn’t feeling secure (and is most likely stressed out) right now because she is so visible with not really anywhere to hide. You can also put some cardboard on the outside of the saran wrap so there is a visual barrier between her and outside of her cage on the sides and back, it’ll help with that.
-Everything else sounds great!
Thanks so much again for providing the bio activity blog link. I've been reading up and doing research for several hours now and I've ordered almost everything I need. I'm planning to build her a custom enclosure in the larger space. It'll be 32x24x38 and fit perfectly in the space. I messaged someone here about purchasing some isopods for the clean-up crew and I'm hoping that I'll be able to transition her into the new enclosure in about 3.5 weeks.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks so much again for providing the bio activity blog link. I've been reading up and doing research for several hours now and I've ordered almost everything I need. I'm planning to build her a custom enclosure in the larger space. It'll be 32x24x38 and fit perfectly in the space. I messaged someone here about purchasing some isopods for the clean-up crew and I'm hoping that I'll be able to transition her into the new enclosure in about 3.5 weeks.
Awesome! Just make sure the substrate is deep enough for her to lay in (6”)
 

AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
Temps can drop into the 40s for veileds. You just dont want them at those temps for prolonged amounts of time. I wouldnt use the heat bulb at night, IMO, unless it drops lower than mid 40s.
 
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