He's here! Introducing little Gideon

CamiCham

Member
He's here, he's here! It was hard getting him out of the cloth bag and he is now all brown in his new home. We are leaving him alone to see if his stress level will reduce. He jumped in and pretty much landed in the pot of the fiddle leaf fig and sat there for awhile. He is now working his way up to the top so I'm happy to see that. So this is Gideon and we are so in love with him! Here are a couple photos and all the husbandry info. The 2nd photo is him immediately as we got him out of the box/cloth bag. Please chime in and let me know what we need to work on to make things perfect for him. As noted below, we know his setup isn't perfect and are working on converting an old armoire into a custom enclosure but hoping this will make him happy in the meantime. The first photo of the enclosure was from yesterday - we've taken the hygrometers out so he can maneuver around easier. Here is the husbandry info

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Gideon - male veiled juvenile from FL Chams (Driskel bloodline) received today, August 22, 2023.
  • Handling - just getting out of the cloth bag he was shipped in - otherwise leaving him alone
  • Feeding - for today - we just went to the store and got some small crickets but I haven’t put them in yet. He is on a vine near the front of the enclosure and visibly stressed so I don’t want to open it or go near it at this moment. But the plan going forward is…as much as he wants - twice a day. BSFL gut loaded with carrots, sweet potatoes, watercress, mango… And banded crickets gut loaded at shipment time from Josh’s Frogs. We did buy some Repashy Bug Burger - haven’t read how to use it yet but we have it. Dubias and apparently Orange Head roaches are illegal here (per the order cancellation I just got this morning) and discoids have been sold out at multiple places I’ve looked so working with crickets mainly for now.
  • Supplements - The kit came with Reptivite with D3 for 2x a month dusting as well as ReptiCalcium with D3…Noticed that and promptly ordered the ReptiCalcium without D3 for daily dusting.
  • Watering - Hand misting with filtered, room temp water for 3 minutes 30 min before and 30 min after lights on/off. Afternoon water dripping (around 2:00pm) with medium deli cup filled up (6 seconds of water fill).
  • Fecal Description - fecal sample test scheduled for Tues 29th. Vet is at Exotics Con veterinary conference this week so we have to wait. No poops seen yet.
  • History - Purchased from FL Chams - no history known other than he is supposedly from the Driskel bloodline.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium complete kit (18x18x36 screened). We decided to get a “complete setup” to get the 30 day guarantee from FL Chams but we now know its too small. We are in process of converting an old armoire into a custom enclosure that will be 48h x 40w x 22d with living walls and screened front and will have appropriate lighting - as soon as I figure out what that would actually be for that size/width.
  • Lighting - Lights on at 8:00am and off at 8pm. The kit came with the Reptisun T8 20” hood with 18” Reptisun 5.0 UVB bulb. We ended up using a 60w incandescent bulb in 5 1/2” clamp lamp (the 75w heat bulb that came with the kit had the temps over 106 degrees). Basking light is placed directly onto screen & basking branch is 8” below screen.
  • Temperature - Basking temp is 83 degrees and lower part of enclosure is at 74 degrees. Lowest overnight temp I’ve seen is 67 degrees. Putting in fogger tonight to push temp down and increase humidity overnight. Measuring with digital hygrometer
  • Humidity - Misting for 3 minutes 30 min before and 30 min after lights on/off. Daytime humidity at basking branch is usually around 43% - closer to the bottom is usually around 53%. Nighttime humidity has gotten up to 88% but that is brief…it goes back down to the high 50s/low 60s. As mentioned above, I am putting in fogger tonight for overnight use 30 min on/30 min off from 12-6am is what I’m planning on trying. Measuring with digital hygrometer.
  • Plants - Kit came with hard plastic plants but we aren’t using them - we are using all live plants. The small plants at top need to grow down but should be good once they grow a bit. We have a boston fern, pothos, Tradescantia (wandering jew) and a polka dot plant at the top of the enclosure. A Creeping Jenny in the middle then a bromeliad, fiddle leaf fig, maidenhair fern, schefflera, sunpatiens (that is already suffering from overwatering) in a cork log on the enclosure floor. Plant grow light should be here within a week.
  • Placement - corner of Living Room away from busiest rooms, top of cage is about 5 ft, sides and back are loosely covered to block view of our dogs etc. - no ceiling fans or direct A/C.
  • Location - Tampa, FL

Current Problem - First time setting up a vivarium - looking for feedback on things I can do better:

Do we have too much on the floor of the enclosure? (4 live plants and a cork log with flowers - it’s so dense I’m not sure about cleaning poop etc.).

The exo-terra “jungle vines” that came with the kit shed horribly - is this ok? Seems like it may be a problem for the health of the chameleon since it isn’t a natural product and veileds munch on plants and stuff in their enclosures. I’m afraid the shedding that falls on the leaves will be consumed.
 

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See my feedback in red bold. Let me know if you have questions.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Gideon - male veiled juvenile from FL Chams (Driskel bloodline) received today, August 22, 2023. We already talked about this. So all my feedback is going to be based on being really cautious until you get the fecal sample run and the results.
  • Handling - just getting out of the cloth bag he was shipped in - otherwise leaving him alone
  • Feeding - for today - we just went to the store and got some small crickets but I haven’t put them in yet. He is on a vine near the front of the enclosure and visibly stressed so I don’t want to open it or go near it at this moment. But the plan going forward is…as much as he wants - twice a day. BSFL gut loaded with carrots, sweet potatoes, watercress, mango… And banded crickets gut loaded at shipment time from Josh’s Frogs. We did buy some Repashy Bug Burger - haven’t read how to use it yet but we have it. Dubias and apparently Orange Head roaches are illegal here (per the order cancellation I just got this morning) and discoids have been sold out at multiple places I’ve looked so working with crickets mainly for now. He is probably only used to crickets so your fine there right now... You need to toss some ice cubes on top of the cage and let them melt over the plants or use a cup with tiny pin holes. They need to hydrate after shipment. If you can spray down the enclosure but that may cause stress depending on what he is used to. Only feed him once a day. You want to do this in the morning so he has the day to bask and digest. He may not cup feed. You might want to get a feeder run so your feeders are contained and it is more like free range feeding which he is probably used to.
  • Supplements - The kit came with Reptivite with D3 for 2x a month dusting as well as ReptiCalcium with D3…Noticed that and promptly ordered the ReptiCalcium without D3 for daily dusting. Interesting the kit used to come with the calcium without D3. This is good for me to know. Ok so calcium without D3 at all feedings and then reptivite with D3 two times a month say the 1st and the 15th. This is a multivitamin with D3 and A.
  • Watering - Hand misting with filtered, room temp water for 3 minutes 30 min before and 30 min after lights on/off. Afternoon water dripping (around 2:00pm) with medium deli cup filled up (6 seconds of water fill). Ok good your using a dripper. Put this on first thing in the morning and keep it going all day the next few days. He needs to hydrate after shipping.
  • Fecal Description - fecal sample test scheduled for Tues 29th. Vet is at Exotics Con veterinary conference this week so we have to wait. No poops seen yet. Ok with the fecal you want to collect this within 24 hours of the appointment. My vet has me put it in a plastic baggy without the urate portion. Limit stress as much as possible until you get the results. If he has a parasite load stress is your enemy because it will impact his immune system. Water intake and food intake will be really important.
  • History - Purchased from FL Chams - no history known other than he is supposedly from the Driskel bloodline.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium complete kit (18x18x36 screened). We decided to get a “complete setup” to get the 30 day guarantee from FL Chams but we now know its too small. We are in process of converting an old armoire into a custom enclosure that will be 48h x 40w x 22d with living walls and screened front and will have appropriate lighting - as soon as I figure out what that would actually be for that size/width. Ok do not move him into a new enclosure until you get the fecal test back. You do not want to risk a possible cross contamination into the new enclosure if he pops a positive for parasites.
  • Lighting - Lights on at 8:00am and off at 8pm. The kit came with the Reptisun T8 20” hood with 18” Reptisun 5.0 UVB bulb. We ended up using a 60w incandescent bulb in 5 1/2” clamp lamp (the 75w heat bulb that came with the kit had the temps over 106 degrees). Basking light is placed directly onto screen & basking branch is 8” below screen. Ok you want to order the right UVB. This one is not going to do it. T8 is weaker. you could make this one work but you need the 10.0 bulb for it. You also have to adjust your distance to the branch with this one it needs to be more like 6 inches. With a T5ho and a 5.0 bulb you would then have that 8-9 inch distance.
  • Temperature - Basking temp is 83 degrees and lower part of enclosure is at 74 degrees. Lowest overnight temp I’ve seen is 67 degrees. Putting in fogger tonight to push temp down and increase humidity overnight. Measuring with digital hygrometer All of this sounds good. with the fogger you have to be getting your low temps at night while you run it.
  • Humidity - Misting for 3 minutes 30 min before and 30 min after lights on/off. Daytime humidity at basking branch is usually around 43% - closer to the bottom is usually around 53%. Nighttime humidity has gotten up to 88% but that is brief…it goes back down to the high 50s/low 60s. As mentioned above, I am putting in fogger tonight for overnight use 30 min on/30 min off from 12-6am is what I’m planning on trying. Measuring with digital hygrometer. This is all fine... Veileds will tolerate ambient humidity down to 30% daytime as well. Keep in mind fogging is another form of hydration and should only be done at night with colder temps and airflow.
  • Plants - Kit came with hard plastic plants but we aren’t using them - we are using all live plants. The small plants at top need to grow down but should be good once they grow a bit. We have a boston fern, pothos, Tradescantia (wandering jew) and a polka dot plant at the top of the enclosure. A Creeping Jenny in the middle then a bromeliad, fiddle leaf fig, maidenhair fern, schefflera, sunpatiens (that is already suffering from overwatering) in a cork log on the enclosure floor. Plant grow light should be here within a week. Pull the sunpatiens out... This is not a veiled tested plant and I would not risk it. You have quite a bit on the bottom and honestly since you do not have a fecal yet I would pull everything from the bottom so you have a bare bottom until fecal test is done. You have other non veiled tested plants in there. It is up to you if you want to leave them or not. I will say I have used a bromeliad in my cage and beman even tried to eat the flowers but he did not have issues. Just be really cautious with non veiled tested plants.
  • Placement - corner of Living Room away from busiest rooms, top of cage is about 5 ft, sides and back are loosely covered to block view of our dogs etc. - no ceiling fans or direct A/C.
  • Location - Tampa, FL
Current Problem - First time setting up a vivarium - looking for feedback on things I can do better:

Do we have too much on the floor of the enclosure? (4 live plants and a cork log with flowers - it’s so dense I’m not sure about cleaning poop etc.). Yes see my feedback under plants. Right now this is a risk just because you do have have a fecal test on him yet. Due to where you got him from I would be extra cautious about this. If he were mine I would go with a bare bottom until fecal results are clean.

The exo-terra “jungle vines” that came with the kit shed horribly - is this ok? Seems like it may be a problem for the health of the chameleon since it isn’t a natural product and veileds munch on plants and stuff in their enclosures. I’m afraid the shedding that falls on the leaves will be consumed. I personally hate these vines... the coating flakes off which can pose a risk to their eyes if they rub on them. I would not use them in the permanent enclosure. only fake ones I recommend are the flukers vines. However right now I would leave them because doing too much is going to freak him out. And I think pulling the plants in the bottom is more high priority.

When you go into your set up for your permanent cage lets talk more about how your placing plants... Ideally you want them sitting so that they are coming just below or just above the top basking branches. You do this so that the cham is not climbing up too high and it creates more hiding places mid level. We can post pics of our cages so you see what I mean. Here is a link to my cages album it will show you everything from branch layout to pot layout and how the plants fill in spots. :) https://www.chameleonforums.com/media/albums/my-enclosures.6672/
 
@Beman thank you so much! We will make some changes here quick. Just started the dripper and he is responding to it. Also - any tips on how to get some crickets out and dusted without dusting all of them? I have a bag of 20. I'm a little afraid I'm going to end up with crickets running loose in the house.
 
@Beman thank you so much! We will make some changes here quick. Just started the dripper and he is responding to it. Also - any tips on how to get some crickets out and dusted without dusting all of them? I have a bag of 20. I'm a little afraid I'm going to end up with crickets running loose in the house.
Did you get a cricket keeper or critter keeper for them? Really need one of those... I use a large sized keeper. Then you put toilet paper rolls or paper towels rolls cut in half in there. The crickets climb into those then you just pull one up and shake them into a plastic cup. Makes it easier. then take a bit of powder and pop it into the cup shake them around in it and pour them into the feeder run or cup.
 
Did you get a cricket keeper or critter keeper for them? Really need one of those... I use a large sized keeper. Then you put toilet paper rolls or paper towels rolls cut in half in there. The crickets climb into those then you just pull one up and shake them into a plastic cup. Makes it easier. then take a bit of powder and pop it into the cup shake them around in it and pour them into the feeder run or cup.
Sounds like I'm getting a cricket keeper when I go back for more crickets. I've watched him eat a few crickets now as he's hiding behind the fern. Trying so hard to stay out of that room altogether but it's hard!
 
Sounds like I'm getting a cricket keeper when I go back for more crickets. I've watched him eat a few crickets now as he's hiding behind the fern. Trying so hard to stay out of that room altogether but it's hard!
Congrats, I feel your excitement. We are like little kids at Xmas 🤣 As @Beman said eating and drinking is a good sign, and yes some take longer than others to get acclimated to their new surroundings.
 
Congrats, I feel your excitement. We are like little kids at Xmas 🤣 As @Beman said eating and drinking is a good sign, and yes some take longer than others to get acclimated to their new surroundings.
Yeah, little kid at Christmas - for sure. 😁 I'm like a sneaky stalker...just sticking the corner of my phone around the corner in hopes to see him on my screen, lol.
 
He's here, he's here! It was hard getting him out of the cloth bag and he is now all brown in his new home. We are leaving him alone to see if his stress level will reduce. He jumped in and pretty much landed in the pot of the fiddle leaf fig and sat there for awhile. He is now working his way up to the top so I'm happy to see that. So this is Gideon and we are so in love with him! Here are a couple photos and all the husbandry info. The 2nd photo is him immediately as we got him out of the box/cloth bag. Please chime in and let me know what we need to work on to make things perfect for him. As noted below, we know his setup isn't perfect and are working on converting an old armoire into a custom enclosure but hoping this will make him happy in the meantime. The first photo of the enclosure was from yesterday - we've taken the hygrometers out so he can maneuver around easier. Here is the husbandry info

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Gideon - male veiled juvenile from FL Chams (Driskel bloodline) received today, August 22, 2023.
  • Handling - just getting out of the cloth bag he was shipped in - otherwise leaving him alone
  • Feeding - for today - we just went to the store and got some small crickets but I haven’t put them in yet. He is on a vine near the front of the enclosure and visibly stressed so I don’t want to open it or go near it at this moment. But the plan going forward is…as much as he wants - twice a day. BSFL gut loaded with carrots, sweet potatoes, watercress, mango… And banded crickets gut loaded at shipment time from Josh’s Frogs. We did buy some Repashy Bug Burger - haven’t read how to use it yet but we have it. Dubias and apparently Orange Head roaches are illegal here (per the order cancellation I just got this morning) and discoids have been sold out at multiple places I’ve looked so working with crickets mainly for now.
  • Supplements - The kit came with Reptivite with D3 for 2x a month dusting as well as ReptiCalcium with D3…Noticed that and promptly ordered the ReptiCalcium without D3 for daily dusting.
  • Watering - Hand misting with filtered, room temp water for 3 minutes 30 min before and 30 min after lights on/off. Afternoon water dripping (around 2:00pm) with medium deli cup filled up (6 seconds of water fill).
  • Fecal Description - fecal sample test scheduled for Tues 29th. Vet is at Exotics Con veterinary conference this week so we have to wait. No poops seen yet.
  • History - Purchased from FL Chams - no history known other than he is supposedly from the Driskel bloodline.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Medium complete kit (18x18x36 screened). We decided to get a “complete setup” to get the 30 day guarantee from FL Chams but we now know its too small. We are in process of converting an old armoire into a custom enclosure that will be 48h x 40w x 22d with living walls and screened front and will have appropriate lighting - as soon as I figure out what that would actually be for that size/width.
  • Lighting - Lights on at 8:00am and off at 8pm. The kit came with the Reptisun T8 20” hood with 18” Reptisun 5.0 UVB bulb. We ended up using a 60w incandescent bulb in 5 1/2” clamp lamp (the 75w heat bulb that came with the kit had the temps over 106 degrees). Basking light is placed directly onto screen & basking branch is 8” below screen.
  • Temperature - Basking temp is 83 degrees and lower part of enclosure is at 74 degrees. Lowest overnight temp I’ve seen is 67 degrees. Putting in fogger tonight to push temp down and increase humidity overnight. Measuring with digital hygrometer
  • Humidity - Misting for 3 minutes 30 min before and 30 min after lights on/off. Daytime humidity at basking branch is usually around 43% - closer to the bottom is usually around 53%. Nighttime humidity has gotten up to 88% but that is brief…it goes back down to the high 50s/low 60s. As mentioned above, I am putting in fogger tonight for overnight use 30 min on/30 min off from 12-6am is what I’m planning on trying. Measuring with digital hygrometer.
  • Plants - Kit came with hard plastic plants but we aren’t using them - we are using all live plants. The small plants at top need to grow down but should be good once they grow a bit. We have a boston fern, pothos, Tradescantia (wandering jew) and a polka dot plant at the top of the enclosure. A Creeping Jenny in the middle then a bromeliad, fiddle leaf fig, maidenhair fern, schefflera, sunpatiens (that is already suffering from overwatering) in a cork log on the enclosure floor. Plant grow light should be here within a week.
  • Placement - corner of Living Room away from busiest rooms, top of cage is about 5 ft, sides and back are loosely covered to block view of our dogs etc. - no ceiling fans or direct A/C.
  • Location - Tampa, FL

Current Problem - First time setting up a vivarium - looking for feedback on things I can do better:

Do we have too much on the floor of the enclosure? (4 live plants and a cork log with flowers - it’s so dense I’m not sure about cleaning poop etc.).

The exo-terra “jungle vines” that came with the kit shed horribly - is this ok? Seems like it may be a problem for the health of the chameleon since it isn’t a natural product and veileds munch on plants and stuff in their enclosures. I’m afraid the shedding that falls on the leaves will be consumed.
He is adorable and I love his name!
 
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