Hi Everyone! Some Questions, Please Help if Possible!

maggie26

New Member
Hi everyone,

I’m reach out to ask some questions. I don’t know…some might be silly but I’m an over preparer and I care very much about being able to give my baby veil chameleon the very best I can. I always like to triple check everything I know and make sure I’m doing it right.

For some background, I just got my lil guy a few days ago. On the 23st to be exact. They’re a little baby, I have to estimate about 1.5-2.5 months old based on the research I’ve done since the pet shop gave me no information whats so ever. When I first moved them in they were a little shy, hid a lot in the vines that I have in their terrarium (which has walls of mesh) but now they’re moving a lot more around and climbing which I’ve taken as a good sign. Their home is set up in my room, which I typically spend a decent amount of time in but in general is not heavily trafficked. I’m attaching some photos of them, it’d be great if you guys could tell me if they’re looking healthy?
Here are where some of my questions come in as well. This is my very first chameleon and I have no one to really chat with about what is normal and what is not, even if they are little things.
  1. When I first got them, they refused to eat. I believe this is because of the change in habitat. I put out mealworms for them but they didn’t touch it. They’re now eating the small crickets I get them, however, it seems to me that they avoid mealworms like the plague despite the fact that I have kept them in their habitat. I was given the impression that they will eat small mealworms. Is this normal? Maybe they don’t eat these insects at such a young age? Or could it just be that my chameleon just dislikes this specific food?
  2. I’ve read a lot about how chameleons can eat plants. Is there a specific age that I should be waiting to give them this? If so at what age am I allowed to start feeding them? Also my local pet shop doesn’t provide plants edible for chameleons. Is there maybe a website/sources you guys can refer to me that I can save for the future to buy from?
  3. I have a red light for my enclosure which I turn on around night fall and turn off right before I go to sleep. Is it okay that I do this? Or should I be keeping that light on all night?
  4. Basking- I have yet to see my chameleon do this at all. Is it because of their age? Should I be worried? Or does this just indicate that they’re perfectly fine with the temperature? And how many times say per week should I be looking that my chameleon is basking? My room in general is in the high 60’s during the winter in NYC, and to this point I’ve kept the temperature within the terrarium between 71-80 degrees.
  5. Gaping- Yesterday I was just observing my chameleon sitting on a vine that dangles directly to the ground. They started gaping and I’ve read about the different reasons that they may do this. I’m really hoping that it was just a threat display from me watching them but a part of me is worried about the other causes...especially since they tend to hide illnesses. I haven’t seen anything that looks like a constant sign of trouble breathing and since I haven’t even seen them bask I feel like it couldn’t be them cooling off. Is there anything that I’m missing/may be missing?
  6. Gender- I was told at the pet shop that I won’t know the gender of my chameleon for an approximated 2years but from everything that I’ve read and even watched videos of, you can tell by the time they turn 5-6 months old. Can someone really just point out for me around what time I can expect to see some indication on whether they’re a boy or girl?
I guess these are just some general questions to help me out. Personally I know that I’m always on high alert and I tend to panic rather quickly but I’d rather check all my boxes!

-Mag
 

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Hi everyone,

I’m reach out to ask some questions. I don’t know…some might be silly but I’m an over preparer and I care very much about being able to give my baby veil chameleon the very best I can. I always like to triple check everything I know and make sure I’m doing it right.

For some background, I just got my lil guy a few days ago. On the 23st to be exact. They’re a little baby, I have to estimate about 1.5-2.5 months old based on the research I’ve done since the pet shop gave me no information whats so ever. When I first moved them in they were a little shy, hid a lot in the vines that I have in their terrarium (which has walls of mesh) but now they’re moving a lot more around and climbing which I’ve taken as a good sign. Their home is set up in my room, which I typically spend a decent amount of time in but in general is not heavily trafficked. I’m attaching some photos of them, it’d be great if you guys could tell me if they’re looking healthy?
Here are where some of my questions come in as well. This is my very first chameleon and I have no one to really chat with about what is normal and what is not, even if they are little things.
  1. When I first got them, they refused to eat. I believe this is because of the change in habitat. I put out mealworms for them but they didn’t touch it. They’re now eating the small crickets I get them, however, it seems to me that they avoid mealworms like the plague despite the fact that I have kept them in their habitat. I was given the impression that they will eat small mealworms. Is this normal? Maybe they don’t eat these insects at such a young age? Or could it just be that my chameleon just dislikes this specific food?
  2. I’ve read a lot about how chameleons can eat plants. Is there a specific age that I should be waiting to give them this? If so at what age am I allowed to start feeding them? Also my local pet shop doesn’t provide plants edible for chameleons. Is there maybe a website/sources you guys can refer to me that I can save for the future to buy from?
  3. I have a red light for my enclosure which I turn on around night fall and turn off right before I go to sleep. Is it okay that I do this? Or should I be keeping that light on all night?
  4. Basking- I have yet to see my chameleon do this at all. Is it because of their age? Should I be worried? Or does this just indicate that they’re perfectly fine with the temperature? And how many times say per week should I be looking that my chameleon is basking? My room in general is in the high 60’s during the winter in NYC, and to this point I’ve kept the temperature within the terrarium between 71-80 degrees.
  5. Gaping- Yesterday I was just observing my chameleon sitting on a vine that dangles directly to the ground. They started gaping and I’ve read about the different reasons that they may do this. I’m really hoping that it was just a threat display from me watching them but a part of me is worried about the other causes...especially since they tend to hide illnesses. I haven’t seen anything that looks like a constant sign of trouble breathing and since I haven’t even seen them bask I feel like it couldn’t be them cooling off. Is there anything that I’m missing/may be missing?
  6. Gender- I was told at the pet shop that I won’t know the gender of my chameleon for an approximated 2years but from everything that I’ve read and even watched videos of, you can tell by the time they turn 5-6 months old. Can someone really just point out for me around what time I can expect to see some indication on whether they’re a boy or girl?
I guess these are just some general questions to help me out. Personally I know that I’m always on high alert and I tend to panic rather quickly but I’d rather check all my boxes!

-Mag

Hey there. See my feedback in red bold.
  1. When I first got them, they refused to eat. I believe this is because of the change in habitat. I put out mealworms for them but they didn’t touch it. They’re now eating the small crickets I get them, however, it seems to me that they avoid mealworms like the plague despite the fact that I have kept them in their habitat. I was given the impression that they will eat small mealworms. Is this normal? Maybe they don’t eat these insects at such a young age? Or could it just be that my chameleon just dislikes this specific food? No mealworms at all. THey are not good for them and are high in chitin so they can be harder to digest and pass. They are also very low nutritionally. See feeder image below.
  2. I’ve read a lot about how chameleons can eat plants. Is there a specific age that I should be waiting to give them this? If so at what age am I allowed to start feeding them? Also my local pet shop doesn’t provide plants edible for chameleons. Is there maybe a website/sources you guys can refer to me that I can save for the future to buy from? You should have live plants now. You can get them at home depot or lowes. See the veiled tested plants at this link. https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Chameleon-Plants-122819.pdf
  3. I have a red light for my enclosure which I turn on around night fall and turn off right before I go to sleep. Is it okay that I do this? Or should I be keeping that light on all night? No red lights at all. No lights on at night at all. 12 hours of light during the day and 12 hours of total darkness.
  4. Basking- I have yet to see my chameleon do this at all. Is it because of their age? Should I be worried? Or does this just indicate that they’re perfectly fine with the temperature? And how many times say per week should I be looking that my chameleon is basking? My room in general is in the high 60’s during the winter in NYC, and to this point I’ve kept the temperature within the terrarium between 71-80 degrees. Baby should be basking. Post a picture of the entire enclosure including the lights so we can see your set up. 75-80max for basking temp.
  5. Gaping- Yesterday I was just observing my chameleon sitting on a vine that dangles directly to the ground. They started gaping and I’ve read about the different reasons that they may do this. I’m really hoping that it was just a threat display from me watching them but a part of me is worried about the other causes...especially since they tend to hide illnesses. I haven’t seen anything that looks like a constant sign of trouble breathing and since I haven’t even seen them bask I feel like it couldn’t be them cooling off. Is there anything that I’m missing/may be missing? Keep an eye on this... It can be a sign of an RI as well.
  6. Gender- I was told at the pet shop that I won’t know the gender of my chameleon for an approximated 2years but from everything that I’ve read and even watched videos of, you can tell by the time they turn 5-6 months old. Can someone really just point out for me around what time I can expect to see some indication on whether they’re a boy or girl? Looks like you have a male from that last pic you posted. If you can get pics of the back of the back feet I can verify. But I am 95% sure I am seeing a tarsal spur.... If your pet store told you this. please keep in mind that they could have given you a ton of other incorrect info.


Start reading every thing in this husbandry program https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 
Hi everyone,

I’m reach out to ask some questions. I don’t know…some might be silly but I’m an over preparer and I care very much about being able to give my baby veil chameleon the very best I can. I always like to triple check everything I know and make sure I’m doing it right.

For some background, I just got my lil guy a few days ago. On the 23st to be exact. They’re a little baby, I have to estimate about 1.5-2.5 months old based on the research I’ve done since the pet shop gave me no information whats so ever. When I first moved them in they were a little shy, hid a lot in the vines that I have in their terrarium (which has walls of mesh) but now they’re moving a lot more around and climbing which I’ve taken as a good sign. Their home is set up in my room, which I typically spend a decent amount of time in but in general is not heavily trafficked. I’m attaching some photos of them, it’d be great if you guys could tell me if they’re looking healthy?
Here are where some of my questions come in as well. This is my very first chameleon and I have no one to really chat with about what is normal and what is not, even if they are little things.
  1. When I first got them, they refused to eat. I believe this is because of the change in habitat. I put out mealworms for them but they didn’t touch it. They’re now eating the small crickets I get them, however, it seems to me that they avoid mealworms like the plague despite the fact that I have kept them in their habitat. I was given the impression that they will eat small mealworms. Is this normal? Maybe they don’t eat these insects at such a young age? Or could it just be that my chameleon just dislikes this specific food?
  2. I’ve read a lot about how chameleons can eat plants. Is there a specific age that I should be waiting to give them this? If so at what age am I allowed to start feeding them? Also my local pet shop doesn’t provide plants edible for chameleons. Is there maybe a website/sources you guys can refer to me that I can save for the future to buy from?
  3. I have a red light for my enclosure which I turn on around night fall and turn off right before I go to sleep. Is it okay that I do this? Or should I be keeping that light on all night?
  4. Basking- I have yet to see my chameleon do this at all. Is it because of their age? Should I be worried? Or does this just indicate that they’re perfectly fine with the temperature? And how many times say per week should I be looking that my chameleon is basking? My room in general is in the high 60’s during the winter in NYC, and to this point I’ve kept the temperature within the terrarium between 71-80 degrees.
  5. Gaping- Yesterday I was just observing my chameleon sitting on a vine that dangles directly to the ground. They started gaping and I’ve read about the different reasons that they may do this. I’m really hoping that it was just a threat display from me watching them but a part of me is worried about the other causes...especially since they tend to hide illnesses. I haven’t seen anything that looks like a constant sign of trouble breathing and since I haven’t even seen them bask I feel like it couldn’t be them cooling off. Is there anything that I’m missing/may be missing?
  6. Gender- I was told at the pet shop that I won’t know the gender of my chameleon for an approximated 2years but from everything that I’ve read and even watched videos of, you can tell by the time they turn 5-6 months old. Can someone really just point out for me around what time I can expect to see some indication on whether they’re a boy or girl?
I guess these are just some general questions to help me out. Personally I know that I’m always on high alert and I tend to panic rather quickly but I’d rather check all my boxes!

-Mag
Hello and welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your new cham, I'm glad to see that you chose to be proactive and ask questions early on- there is no such thing as a dumb question here :) While you're getting answers to your questions, I recommend going through the entire husbandry program as well as refer to the care guide specifically for veileds on this website: https://chameleonacademy.com/

  1. For the first couple of days, your cham is getting used to their new home. They are likely stressed from the move, as well as the fact that they have no idea whether their new home is safe- this is normal. Give them a few days and they will adjust. Please note though, that mealworms are not a good feeder for chameleons. I'll attach the feeder guide on this thread. Also since your cham is a baby, it is important to make sure you feed appropriate-sized bugs- they should be no wider than the space between the cham's eyes.
  2. For plants- you want to have only live plants in your enclosure, no fake ones. Yes, it is true that veiled chameleons are known to eat their plants so it's important to keep plants that are chameleon safe. I'd recommend a pothos to start- they're the easiest to take care of. Most people buy their plants at the local garden or hardware store, and give them a good wash, change the soil to organic soil, and cover the top of the pot with large stones (big enough that he can't accidentally eat them). Also note that the reason fake plants are not recommended for veiled chameleons is because they could lead to impaction/ blockage if accidentally eaten. You don't need to wait until a specific age for this.
  3. Colored lights are not recommended for chameleons: it can be bad for their eyes, and chams actually need some drop in temp (w/increase in humidity) at night.
  4. Basking would be hanging out under the heat lamp- the important thing is to make sure the temps are correct. Hopefully someone more experienced with baby veileds can comment here.
  5. There are 3 main reasons a chameleon might gape: defensive posture (ie, he feels threatened by you or something he sees), he's too hot, or he has an RI. A respiratory infection is life threatening, and there are usually other signs to go with the gaping in this case- is he doing anything else?
  6. take a photo of the back of their feet. A male chameleon will have a tarsal spur, and females will not.

Lastly, I'll recommend a husbandry review since you're new to this. Chameleon husbandry can be a very tricky thing to get right in the beginning, so it's best if we make sure everything is good now, rather than later. Fill out the form below and post your answers to this thread :)

Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:


  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

--------------

Please Note:


  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful
 

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Hey there. See my feedback in red bold.
  1. When I first got them, they refused to eat. I believe this is because of the change in habitat. I put out mealworms for them but they didn’t touch it. They’re now eating the small crickets I get them, however, it seems to me that they avoid mealworms like the plague despite the fact that I have kept them in their habitat. I was given the impression that they will eat small mealworms. Is this normal? Maybe they don’t eat these insects at such a young age? Or could it just be that my chameleon just dislikes this specific food? No mealworms at all. THey are not good for them and are high in chitin so they can be harder to digest and pass. They are also very low nutritionally. See feeder image below.
  2. I’ve read a lot about how chameleons can eat plants. Is there a specific age that I should be waiting to give them this? If so at what age am I allowed to start feeding them? Also my local pet shop doesn’t provide plants edible for chameleons. Is there maybe a website/sources you guys can refer to me that I can save for the future to buy from? You should have live plants now. You can get them at home depot or lowes. See the veiled tested plants at this link. https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Chameleon-Plants-122819.pdf
  3. I have a red light for my enclosure which I turn on around night fall and turn off right before I go to sleep. Is it okay that I do this? Or should I be keeping that light on all night? No red lights at all. No lights on at night at all. 12 hours of light during the day and 12 hours of total darkness.
  4. Basking- I have yet to see my chameleon do this at all. Is it because of their age? Should I be worried? Or does this just indicate that they’re perfectly fine with the temperature? And how many times say per week should I be looking that my chameleon is basking? My room in general is in the high 60’s during the winter in NYC, and to this point I’ve kept the temperature within the terrarium between 71-80 degrees. Baby should be basking. Post a picture of the entire enclosure including the lights so we can see your set up. 75-80max for basking temp.
  5. Gaping- Yesterday I was just observing my chameleon sitting on a vine that dangles directly to the ground. They started gaping and I’ve read about the different reasons that they may do this. I’m really hoping that it was just a threat display from me watching them but a part of me is worried about the other causes...especially since they tend to hide illnesses. I haven’t seen anything that looks like a constant sign of trouble breathing and since I haven’t even seen them bask I feel like it couldn’t be them cooling off. Is there anything that I’m missing/may be missing? Keep an eye on this... It can be a sign of an RI as well.
  6. Gender- I was told at the pet shop that I won’t know the gender of my chameleon for an approximated 2years but from everything that I’ve read and even watched videos of, you can tell by the time they turn 5-6 months old. Can someone really just point out for me around what time I can expect to see some indication on whether they’re a boy or girl? Looks like you have a male from that last pic you posted. If you can get pics of the back of the back feet I can verify. But I am 95% sure I am seeing a tarsal spur.... If your pet store told you this. please keep in mind that they could have given you a ton of other incorrect info.


Start reading every thing in this husbandry program https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
lol ur faster than me
 
Being truly proactive would have included reading up on cham husbandry (and getting answers for these questions) before bringing any home.

Sorry...feeling a bit salty today. I'll go back in my den now. Wishing you good luck with them OP! Don't forget to locate an experienced reptile vet before you actually need one. If you keep chams very long you probably will.
 
Being truly proactive would have included reading up on cham husbandry (and getting answers for these questions) before bringing any home.

Sorry...feeling a bit salty today. I'll go back in my den now. Wishing you good luck with them OP! Don't forget to locate an experienced reptile vet before you actually need one. If you keep chams very long you probably will.
I guess by proactive I meant I was happy to see op was asking questions early on, before anything became an issue. Of course in a perfect world we would all do our research ahead of time... but in many cases that just doesn't happen: whether people believe the pet store and think cham husbandry is no big deal, or they don't realize this forum exists, or they received it as a holiday/birthday gift and don't know truly what they are getting into. Not that I'm here to make excuses for anyone: I would just rather see someone asking all the questions on day one as opposed to waiting until something bad happens because they're afraid to speak up.

Anyways, I totally agree with finding a good cham vet now. Better have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. :)
 
Hi everyone! I hope everyone's holiday season went well! Thank you so much for your help and comments. I’m sorry I didn’t answer quicker, I was reflecting on the advice you guys gave me and adjusting some things for my little guy based on the answers I received. This is a bit of a long post but I think I should’ve started out with this especially since you guys now gave me a template to go off of to help you pinpoint where I stand!

It’s not my first time getting an animal I know nothing about and doing research on them to make sure I’m giving them the proper food, home, treatment, etc. I’ve had numerous pets in the past and I have members in my family who own farms and exotic animals. I guess this is a unique situation for me because this little guy was a Christmas present and I had little time to prepare for him when typically in the past I’ve taken weeks to prepare and get to know the animal I’m taking in. Once I found out I was getting him I did as much reading as I could with the resources that I have available to me. I continued to find out as much as I could even after I got him to make sure I had all the correct information, so I was doing a lot of fact-checking and double-crossing all the sources I found to make sure they were consistent. I also knew I’d have to make changes to what I was given with him. However, I think everyone can agree that every first chameleon is a little stressful, and just like everyone I’m navigating the rights and wrongs especially since I quickly found out that there are a lot of grey areas in knowing how chameleons live and there are lots of things that can scare a first time owner.

I reached out here to ask for help in confirming these little questions that can make the biggest difference just because I wanted to hear from a community of people who know what they are talking about and can root out the things I’ve read that are wrong. Some of these questions I already knew the answers to but I wanted to confirm that I had the right answers. I get very anxious very quickly in general. In the past, I’ve also had experienced people by my side to help me navigate taking care of my other pets but I have no one who could help me with a chameleon so I just wanted to really thank you guys for being so quick to answer.

I guess my biggest concern right now is just his general health. Since the pet shop had no history on him and he’s still a baby I’m trying to figure out if he might be hiding anything from me. Overall he looks healthy, I know he’s hydrated, he’s active and moving around his enclosure and he hunts his small crickets and eats normally. However, as I had mentioned in my very first post I’ve seen him gaping. I’ve seen him do it two more times as well and both times was when he was resting and I was observing him. I know the temp is fine. I feel like he might be doing it just because he might be annoyed with me. My biggest concern is that I might be missing an RI sign but I haven’t seen any other symptoms of that. His eyes aren’t sunkin in, there hasn’t been any change in his color, I haven’t seen him with his eyes closed during the day, I haven’t even seen him sitting with his nose up in the air. Today when I fed him he sat at one point with his head up and his front legs raised but he was eating a cricket and he continued on normally after. Now I’m wondering though if that might be a sign or if that’s just him swallowing his food and me overreacting.

Anyway below I’m posting the form! Maybe you guys can comment a little more and help me soothe my nerves about that. Like I said before I’ve done a lot of reading but sometimes I prefer to ask the questions again and talk to some people who can tell me if I’m overreacting or not.
 
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled Chameleon, male (I watched the video @Gingero posted for me thank you!), about 2.5 months old, he’s been in my care app. 2 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • Only twice since I got him. I’ve been giving him space to adjust. Once when I attempted to hand feed him but he doesn’t like that and the second time when I saw some white stuff around his nose which freaked me out but I had read about that and came to the conclusion that it was just some skin from the shedding he is finishing. Please tell me if I'm wrong I'll attach a pic. He only has it on one side.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • I’m feeding him small crickets. About 8-10 per day. I look to see how many he’s eaten, sometimes he’ll leave one or two behind till the next day so I just add some in for him. I’ve also been following the feeding pdf’s that @CBee7726 gave me for gutloading too!
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • I’ve been using Repti Calcium. Only used it a few times to dust about 20-30 crickets for the past 2 weeks. From some of what I’ve read, I don’t think this is the best supplement for me to use. I’ve read about other supplements to use instead. I attached a picture of it below but can you guys recommend specific brands you use that I should buy instead or is this okay?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long do you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I have an automatic humidifier that keeps one of the plants inside the enclosure continuously dewy most days. I mist manually 2-3 times a day and let it dry out completely before each session. I have yet to see him drinking but I know that he is hydrated from examining his dropping. This might be a silly question but is there an ideal time for me to catch him drinking? I’ve also noticed that he tends to go hide under the leaves when I mist as if he doesn’t want to get wet…he doesn’t particularly like it… is this normal? I’ve read that some other male veiled chameleons do this and they just need to get used to it with time, is that true?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • His droppings are normal: the feces are brown and soft and the urates are white/creamy yellow.
    • As far as I know, he’s never been tested for parasites. Should I have him tested? I feel like taking him to the vet right now would give him extra stress so if I were to have him tested is there a specific amount of time I should wait if he’s looking healthy? I’ve read a little about parasites in chameleons but can you guys help me out by also just giving some descriptions I can look out for in the future? Or maybe there’s a way of having him tested without moving him? I know there would be some smelling in the droppings (which I don’t have) but I’m lacking knowledge in this area and I don't want to sike myself out too quickly.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • I have no history:( The pet shop didn’t know squat.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • Screen all around and it is 16” x 16” x 30”
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • I have sunrise around 7 am and sunset around 4 pm in NYC. I turn on the lights around 8:30 am as soon as I wake up and turn them off around 7 pm at night. I do this manually because I haven’t set up a timer for my lights yet which I plan to do.
    • I have two different types of lights right now. A UVB and a regular 50watt heat bulb.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • I have two thermometer probes. One is about 5” from the bottom and one is about 8” from the top. The lowest it gets at night is around 67F. During the day the bottom is between 72-74F and the top is 80-85F.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • Humidity is between 50-70%. I have a type of humidity thermometer and I check it twice a day, sometimes more. I have an automatic humidifier but also mist 2-3 times a day.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • Live plats: I have pothos and a money tree. My local Home Depot didn’t have much I could go off of so I feel like it feels a little bare but it's definitely better than what I started with. If you guys have any tips on how I can change some things around there for him please let me know.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    • In my bedroom. I have a ceiling fan but I don’t use it during the winter, only during the summer. This also isn’t a highly trafficked area. I’m the only person in my room other than my siblings or parents coming in from time to time. In general it's very quiet and calm. The cage stands on a table and the top is app. 48” from my floor.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
    • Staten Island, NY
 
Pictures.
 

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Hi and welcome. I use arcadia supplements which are available from dragon strand you are going to want to change your uvb lights the ones you have are not really suitable for chameleons you will want a t5ho long fluorescent arcadia 6% or a zoo med 5.0 % . Daytime humidity should be 30 -50% max you can run your humidifier at night instead night time humidity can go up to 100 . You will also want to add more branches to create little chameleon highways for physical and mental stimulation and also more plant cover to provide your baby hiding places to feel safe. Also think about an upgrade to 2x2x4 is recommended
 

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Okay, there’s a lot to go over, so just bear with me. My comments will be in red:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Veiled Chameleon, male (I watched the video @Gingero posted for me thank you!), about 2.5 months old, he’s been in my care app. 2 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • Only twice since I got him. I’ve been giving him space to adjust. Once when I attempted to hand feed him but he doesn’t like that and the second time when I saw some white stuff around his nose which freaked me out but I had read about that and came to the conclusion that it was just some skin from the shedding he is finishing. Please tell me if I'm wrong I'll attach a pic. He only has it on one side. I’m not sure about the thing on his nose, someone else will probably have a better answer for you.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • I’m feeding him small crickets. About 8-10 per day. I look to see how many he’s eaten, sometimes he’ll leave one or two behind till the next day so I just add some in for him. I’ve also been following the feeding pdf’s that @CBee7726 gave me for gutloading too! At that age, he should be eating as much as he wants. Make sure all feeders are gutloaded for at least an hour or three (max of overnight unless you continuously feed the whole colony with quality foods and gutload) and dusted with supplement before feeding them.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • I’ve been using Repti Calcium. Only used it a few times to dust about 20-30 crickets for the past 2 weeks. From some of what I’ve read, I don’t think this is the best supplement for me to use. I’ve read about other supplements to use instead. I attached a picture of it below but can you guys recommend specific brands you use that I should buy instead or is this okay? Zoo Med is a great supplement brand, and since you already have it, I wouldn’t worry about switching to a new brand. You do need to get a Zoo Med Reptivite with D3 and dust his feeders with that once every two weeks. Use the Zoo Med ReptiCalcium without D3 to dust every feeding except for when you use Reptivite with D3. Make sure to dust the feeders right before you feed them off.
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long do you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I have an automatic humidifier that keeps one of the plants inside the enclosure continuously dewy most days. I mist manually 2-3 times a day and let it dry out completely before each session. I have yet to see him drinking but I know that he is hydrated from examining his dropping. This might be a silly question but is there an ideal time for me to catch him drinking? I’ve also noticed that he tends to go hide under the leaves when I mist as if he doesn’t want to get wet…he doesn’t particularly like it… is this normal? I’ve read that some other male veiled chameleons do this and they just need to get used to it with time, is that true? The humidity is too high for during the day. It should be 30-50% during the day and 75-100% at night. Humidity with heat causes respiratory infections and other not fun stuff. Mist in the morning and late afternoon/night, and run the humidifier at night. It’s normal for chameleons to not like getting misted. Make sure to get a digital hygrometer to measure the humidity.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • His droppings are normal: the feces are brown and soft and the urates are white/creamy yellow.
    • As far as I know, he’s never been tested for parasites. Should I have him tested? I feel like taking him to the vet right now would give him extra stress so if I were to have him tested is there a specific amount of time I should wait if he’s looking healthy? I’ve read a little about parasites in chameleons but can you guys help me out by also just giving some descriptions I can look out for in the future? Or maybe there’s a way of having him tested without moving him? I know there would be some smelling in the droppings (which I don’t have) but I’m lacking knowledge in this area and I don't want to sike myself out too quickly. Definitely take him to an experienced chameleon vet to test for parasites and a respiratory infection, along with x-rays, bloodwork, and an exam to make sure everything is okay with him.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • I have no history:( The pet shop didn’t know squat.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • Screen all around and it is 16” x 16” x 30” He’ll need a bigger cage, minimum of 2’ x 2’ x 4’ tall, but bigger is always better!
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • I have sunrise around 7 am and sunset around 4 pm in NYC. I turn on the lights around 8:30 am as soon as I wake up and turn them off around 7 pm at night. I do this manually because I haven’t set up a timer for my lights yet which I plan to do.
    • I have two different types of lights right now. A UVB and a regular 50watt heat bulb. His lights should all be on together for 12 hours and all off for 12 hours, so using a timer will be way easier. You need to get a linear T5 High Output fluorescent light fixture and either a Zoo Med 5.0 or Arcadia 6% UVB light bulb that matches the size of your light fixture. The light fixture will need to be at least the length of his cage, if not longer if you want to run it diagonal across the top. I’d get a 24” in. one so you can use it on his future cage as well as now. I would take out the blue light basking bulb, and replace it with a regular incandescent one from the hardware store. The info I’m attaching will have the correct basking temp. Make sure to put one of your thermostat probes by his basking area to get accurate temps for the light bulb. Make sure to take your coil UVB out of the current dome fixture, as well.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • I have two thermometer probes. One is about 5” from the bottom and one is about 8” from the top. The lowest it gets at night is around 67F. During the day the bottom is between 72-74F and the top is 80-85F. See above and info linked.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • Humidity is between 50-70%. I have a type of humidity thermometer and I check it twice a day, sometimes more. I have an automatic humidifier but also mist 2-3 times a day. See above and info linked.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • Live plats: I have pothos and a money tree. My local Home Depot didn’t have much I could go off of so I feel like it feels a little bare but it's definitely better than what I started with. If you guys have any tips on how I can change some things around there for him please let me know. You absolutely need to add tons of more branches, vines, and live plants. The branches should be mostly horizontal, with some diagonal ones to create a highway for him to reach every part of his cage, along with vines. The info I’m linking has tons of info on setting up a cage properly. Make sure all of his plants are real, since veileds will take a chomp out of anything.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
    • In my bedroom. I have a ceiling fan but I don’t use it during the winter, only during the summer. This also isn’t a highly trafficked area. I’m the only person in my room other than my siblings or parents coming in from time to time. In general it's very quiet and calm. The cage stands on a table and the top is app. 48” from my floor. That’s fine for now, but when summer comes, the fan needs to stay off unless it’s lowest setting isn’t powerful and the cage is far away from it.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
    • Staten Island, NY
Edit: the vine with fake leaves needs to go. You can use artificial vines as long as it is only a vine with no fake leaves or anything on it.
 
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@Flick boy and @ERKleRose thank you. I'll fix that with the humidity right away. I got the cage with him and I know I'll have to upgrade to a 2x2x4. I'd do it rn but my pet shop won't take returns for anything b/c of covid and I simply don't have the money to change the cage since they do cost a bit so since he's just 2 months old right now I was gonna wait. I was also going to be going out to collect branches for his enclosure today. It's been a bit tricky for me right now cause it's been raining and snowing in nyc on and off for the past couple of weeks. Thank you all for your advice!
 
@Flick boy and @ERKleRose thank you. I'll fix that with the humidity right away. I got the cage with him and I know I'll have to upgrade to a 2x2x4. I'd do it rn but my pet shop won't take returns for anything b/c of covid and I simply don't have the money to change the cage since they do cost a bit so since he's just 2 months old right now I was gonna wait. I was also going to be going out to collect branches for his enclosure today. It's been a bit tricky for me right now cause it's been raining and snowing in nyc on and off for the past couple of weeks. Thank you all for your advice!
Just make sure you sterilize your collected branches properly! There are multiple ways, so use what’s best for you!
 
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