First time Veiled Chameleon owners, want to make sure we're doing things right

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - It is a terrarium, glass, however the front part of the cage has a large rectangle screened part at the top facing you of the terrarium and at the back, and the top is also screened. We plan on purchasing a bigger, even more screened cage within a couple months. For now we just keep a light small fan blowing around the cage to keep the air moving. 24"x24"x38" inches Can you take a picture for me so I can see which one they had you purchase? A few of them are death traps for chams.
  • Lighting - We have a UVB 16 watt bulb in a dome, (a 12" linear UVB bulb and fixture is on its way from amazon) and we use a 150 watt heating bulb in the corner of the cage for his basking light. It is on a 12 on, 12 off schedule. Take back the 150 watt and get a 60 watt. 150 is going to make it a hot box. glad you got the UVB can you provide a link to the one you ordered so I can double check it.
  • Temperature - I have 3 thermometers in the cage. One right next to the basking spot, stays around 85F-95F. The "cool" side of the cage where he/she hangs at the top corner is around 74 degrees. Middle is around 80 degrees. What type of thermometers are you using? If they are the analog ones they are not accurate. You need a wired probe thermometer for the basking spot. You want NO hotter then 80 at basking and then it should drop to low 70's as you go down in the cage.
  • Humidity - I have to hygrometers, one at the bottom of the cage, and one at the top of the cage. We use the reptifogger which makes fog/humidity and keep the cage around 50-80% humidity. NO reptifogger during the day when lights are on. The only time you can use these with a chameleon is at night if your temps are below 67 degrees. Otherwise baby can develop a respiratory infection. Humidity should be within 30-50% max daytime.
  • Plants - No live plants just yet. Plan on creating a live soil base with real plants once we upgrade to the full size cage. You want live plants. This will stabilize your humidity levels and the air will be cleaner. You also have to have them with Veileds they will try to eat any fake plants. For vines if you are using the black exo terra jungle vines they need to go. Pieces come off and can get stuck in their eyes when they rub on them. All moss needs to be removed baby will eat it and it is a major impaction risk. This is a good bio active link if you want to go that way https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/intro-to-bio-activity.2429/ Link to live plants. Choose the Veiled tested. Buy at home depot or lowes and get 1 inch or larger rock to put on top of the soil to keep baby out. https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Chameleon-Plants-061321.pdf
  • Placement - It is located in the living room, next to the TV. However in my apartment myself and my roommate mainly keep to ourselves in our rooms in our own space without really ever using the living room where the Tv and cage is located. It used to be located on my dining room table when we first set it up, and it was about 6.5 feet in the air at the top of the cage. Today we realized the coconut fiber the pet store sold us was a terrible idea, and that they had no idea what they were talking about at the store. So we had to completely take everything out of the cage except for suction cup vines on the sides that he/she likes to hang out on during the day. I assume that stressed him/her out, since we had to scoop out like 8lbs of coconut fiber substrate that was all water logged for obvious reasons. Now we are just using paper towels and will be changing twice a week or so. You will want a drip pan when you upgrade cage. Dragon strand makes them. And they make exceptional cages.

    Now after relocating the cage to the top of an end table next to the TV in the living room where there is much less traffic. When he/she was on the dining room table near our kitchen and fridge it was very high traffic as we were constantly in the kitchen cooking etc, AND our cat Simba the table was his roost and hang out spot so he'd be up there on the table gently shaking the cage even by jumping on the table which is also why we resituated it. Watch the cat with the Cham... Yes they can be in the same household but always be on your guard with them.
  • Location - We live in the northern arizona mountains. However he/she is an inside chameleon. I keep my apartments A/C thermostat 70 AT THE LOWEST. So the temperature at night is around 70 in the cage at the top where he sleeps, because that is where the thermostat is. Where in AZ are you? I am in Flagstaff. AZ keeping is different then what a lot of other people have to do. You have to adjust and compensate for our dry hot weather.

Current Problem - We are just concerned as he/she is looking very skinny after a day or two and it hasn't eaten at all today from what I can tell, even though we are doing everything we can. I've spent hours online researching. Here are some pictures of him/her. We just want to know if we should do anything different.

My buddy who has had panthers, veiled's and jacksons told me he is most likely very, very stressed since he just moved in, and we just had to completely rearrange and move the cage today. Told him the same that he/she had droppings yesterday and the day before so he won't starve in the next couple days and he (my chameleon friend) suggested we put a blanket around the cage and just totally leave him alone for the next couple of days except for feedings and waterings. Nope no blanket. You do not want to reduce air flow further with your cage type. Baby will adjust. But needs the right feeders and needs time.

You can see the mason jar I've been putting crickets in. Using a more "salsa dip bowl" shaped glass now thats a bit more open, but the crickets still can't crawl up or jump because of the glass, just like scorpions out here can't climb glass.


I recommend reading through this site https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 
Top Bottom