Going dark, walking on ground, clawing at glass.


Hey guys, I am a new chameleon owner of a 3 week old veiled chameleon. I have had him for 3 days and so far he has been doing well as far as I can tell. I've watched him for a considerable amount of time and he is eating crickets, drinking some water off the leaves and moving around quite a bit.
Today, however he was walking on the ground of the aquarium along the walls which I have not seen him do before. I noticed that his skin was very dark and patterny which is not a good sign. I assisted him back into the branches and his skin went back to the normal color. However while he is climbing on the branches he often will stand up and put his arms against the glass as if to climb it and his skin will sometimes go dark. I am wondering if perhaps he is trying to get out or if he is seeing his own reflection in the glass. The pet store owner said that it was okay to keep him in a glass cage for the first 6 months until he gets too big for it and then I should get a mesh one. Another thing I have noticed is that sometimes only his head and legs will change color.
I am wondering if I am doing something wrong, I have the temperature at about 76 and bring it down to 65 overnight. He has plenty of food, and I mist many times a day, whenever the leaves are not moist. He has a lot of branches and leaves to hide in.
Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, 3 days
* Handling - I do not handle him.
* Feeding - I am feeding him 1/4 crickets with calcium and reptile vitamin as recommended by those at the pet store. I put lettuce, carrot and apple, in the cricket cage and have about 5-10 of them in the cage at one time.
* Supplements - Zoo Med repti calcium and Zoo med Reptivite. I dust the crickets with them prior to putting them in the cage however, some of it falls off when they run around.
* Watering - I mist with water quite often (5-10) times a day or whenever the cage does not look very humid/damp. I also sometimes put ice cubes at the top of the cage I have seen him drink on the first day.
* Fecal Description -I have not seen him take a dump yet
* History -Got him from a pet store who said they got them from an independent breeder. I trust the person who sold it to me and did some research before purchasing it from that place.

Cage Info:

* Cage Type -Glass aquarium with screen top 30 inches, by 13, and 13 high
* Lighting - Exo Terra repti glo 13w UVB bulb and a Zoo Med Infrared heat lamp 75W. I set them up about a foot away from the cage.
* Temperature - I set the lights up at one side of the cage and the chameleon only spends his time in that side of the cage. It is a bout 75 in day and 65 at night. In the basking spor it is about 79. I measure these temperatures with a digital thermometer with a sensor on a wire.
* Humidity - I am misting to the make a humid environment.
* Plants - I am using fake plants and one real plant which is a ivy potted plant.
* Placement - It is located in my room on a desk.
* Location - Canada Toronto.

Current Problem - I have listed the problem above, but basically I am just concerned with him clawing at the glass and going dark.
I don't have any experience with chams and glass. The only thing I have experienced was my cham claw at some plastic sheeting in an attempt to get at the blinds behind it. My guess is that he doesn't register this "invisible wall" and is probably freaked out by it.

There have been posts on this subject in the past. If you feel up to it use the search feature and you should be able to find peoples opinions in previous threads.

You should post a pic of your setup. Maybe we can offer some suggestions at making it as ideal as possible so your cham isn't concerned with anything beyond his territory.
He doesn't need it to be 30 inches long also his 3 weeks old he may be a bit young to find the basking light on his own try putting him by the basking light because if he turns dark that might mean its to cold, but it may mean a lot of other things. Try getting a ventilated cage for your enclosure unless you live in really cold areas then use glass.

Measure his humidity as well because since his in a glass cage it can be to humid for him as well baby's are very fragile but like someone else said post pics of your enclosure please also if you feel you must keep him in glass you can someone made a guide to keeping them in that i'd recommend searching for it.
You are saying your chameleon is only 3 weeks old? Did a pet shop sell you him?. That is unbeleivably young. They are hard to care for so young. Are you sure he is not 3 months old instead of 3 weeks.? That would change alot of how you are taking care of him.
Ok I will get a humidifier detector for him. Yes he is 3 weeks old and very small, I am doing my best to care for him and everything seams to be going okay. However I am a little nervous.
I have to agree with Carol are you sure he's 3 weeks old? Even large chain pet stores don't get chams under 2 months of age. Could you post some pics of him and his set up? How long is he in inches? Care will greatly depend on his age. Things such as lighting and feeding are way different.
I'd say he is about 2 inches long with no tail.

here are some pictures.


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Hey guys, I just put some crickets in the cage and when I opened up the cage he started to puff himself up and the crest underneath his jaw got inflated until it extended beyond his lower jaw.

What does this mean? Is he really stressed out?
Are you aware that your loosing UVB one by placing that far away and 2 by it going through the glass? Is it a 5.0 UVB bulb? He is sooo tiny, I've never seen one that small before. Also the live plant that you have did you check to make sure it was on the safe list?
Hey guys, I just put some crickets in the cage and when I opened up the cage he started to puff himself up and the crest underneath his jaw got inflated until it extended beyond his lower jaw.

What does this mean? Is he really stressed out?

Or really scared. They do that when they are not happy lol, what color is he staying, he looks brown in the pics.
No I was not aware of that, I will position the UVB light so it is better, it is a 5.0 bulb.

He is staying a lime green color, but there is often times when he gets a brown/black spot on his head or on his side. When he was crawling along the floor he was a very dark color with prominent patterns, but I picked him up and put him back in the branches and he went back to lime green.

Thanks for your help, this is my first chameleon (I had 2 leopard geckos before) and I am somewhat nervous about this. I really want to provide him with a good life and would be happy for some suggestions.
Thanks for your help, this is my first chameleon (I had 2 leopard geckos before) and I am somewhat nervous about this. I really want to provide him with a good life and would be happy for some suggestions.
Definitely, if this is your first, follow the link I posted.
This is what I changed. I also looked at some of his poo and there appears to be a yellowish white thing in it. I remember my leopard gecko had something like this too. Is it normal?


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Check out this blog, it has a ton of good info on it BLOG
How often is he on the floor of the tank?
I too don't have any experience with glass my Cali girl is in a screened inclosure. Did you wash everything before you put in the tank? Repot the the plants with organic potting soil? And anything you used from outside needs to be washed and baked so make sure there is nothing on them can harm the cham. I will try to find the link where they explain baking outside items for pygmay cham inclosures. I personally don't use anything in my chams setup that is from outside.
Here is a pic of mine:

you have the uvb too far away from the cage. position it directly over the screen and get it in a dome light fixture. You can pic them up at home depot. That will get you by for now, but I would invest in a Reptisun tube light 5.0 uvb. They are the bulbs most of us use and we have no problems with them ill effecting our chams.
What are your cage temps? If they are around 80 then you do not need a basking bulb. Do you know that you turn the lights on for 10-12 hours and then off. No lights at night! They need darkness and like it cool to sleep.
Ok thanks for the help. I will look into purchasing a better screen cage for him when he is a little bigger (6months or so) but right now I am making sure the basic necessities are in order.

The temperature is about 75 in the day measured with a thermometer on the top of the cage, but as you can see the heat lamp is positioned to the side of the cage and he prefers to be around the heated side. He tries to get as close to the heat lamp as possible which leads me to believe that he is cold so I move it a tiny bit closer. In the evening I turn off the UVB (obviously) and move the heat lamp a good foot or two away from its day time position. I know I should turn off the light but I am concerned that he will get too cold because he is so little. Last night I turned it off completely for about 4 hours but got scared in the middle of the night so I turned it on again.

The only time I've ever seen him on the ground was once today. Other then that he likes to be in the branches. I think I will move the branches a little bit away from the glass and more to the center of the cage so he will not spend a lot of his time looking into the glass and getting stressed by his reflection (if that is the case.) Should I also get a small fan to help with air flow?
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