Howdy!! :)

GDBpetboy

New Member
I'm Michael and yesterday (Oct 11, 2020) was my 20th birthday. I've wanted a chameleon for ages now and my dad (very spur-of-the-moment) got me one. I've been lurking around on here to try and get more info on how to take care of her and spent most of the morning today reading through the beginner's resources. From what I can tell, my baby is a girl. She is also a veiled chameleon from what Petco labeled her as (I know that Petco isn't the best place to get pets but again, my dad got her for me.)
My dad had been asking questions to the lovely worker who was helping him about the chameleons and how to care for them. She told him to feed her about 3 crickets a day and pointed him in the direction of the chameleon kit they have in the store (ZooMed ReptiBreeze 16x16x30 inches, all the walls are mesh) and about 20 crickets "for the first week," he said. The worker had mentioned a specific plant to him that works for chameleons (I believe it's called a "Pothos.") I've taken out the top inch and a half of soil from the pot and placed large, flat rocks on top to help keep potential pesticides out of the enclosure.
She is, from what I can tell by reading here, a juvenile, but I don't know exactly how old she is. My best guess is maybe 2-3, maybe 4 months old? She is my first cham and I don't know hardly anything about properly caring for them, past what I read here.
I've attached a couple of images of her enclosure setup and how she looked this morning in it before I left for college, where I spent about 2 hours free time before class reading here. When I got home around 6 hours later, I fed her and changed up a couple of things based on what I read in the beginner's resources.
If anyone has any tips, tricks, or notices I'm doing something wrong, PLEASE TELL ME!! I want to make sure she's happy, healthy, and lives a full life and I'm more than willing to listen to recommendations and feedback! Thank you!!
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum no th world of chameleons!
Can you please answer the questions in the how to ask for help thread near the top of the health forum so we can check your husbandry. Please give detailed answers.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm Michael and yesterday (Oct 11, 2020) was my 20th birthday. I've wanted a chameleon for ages now and my dad (very spur-of-the-moment) got me one. I've been lurking around on here to try and get more info on how to take care of her and spent most of the morning today reading through the beginner's resources. From what I can tell, my baby is a girl. She is also a veiled chameleon from what Petco labeled her as (I know that Petco isn't the best place to get pets but again, my dad got her for me.)
My dad had been asking questions to the lovely worker who was helping him about the chameleons and how to care for them. She told him to feed her about 3 crickets a day and pointed him in the direction of the chameleon kit they have in the store (ZooMed ReptiBreeze 16x16x30 inches, all the walls are mesh) and about 20 crickets "for the first week," he said. The worker had mentioned a specific plant to him that works for chameleons (I believe it's called a "Pothos.") I've taken out the top inch and a half of soil from the pot and placed large, flat rocks on top to help keep potential pesticides out of the enclosure.
She is, from what I can tell by reading here, a juvenile, but I don't know exactly how old she is. My best guess is maybe 2-3, maybe 4 months old? She is my first cham and I don't know hardly anything about properly caring for them, past what I read here.
I've attached a couple of images of her enclosure setup and how she looked this morning in it before I left for college, where I spent about 2 hours free time before class reading here. When I got home around 6 hours later, I fed her and changed up a couple of things based on what I read in the beginner's resources.
If anyone has any tips, tricks, or notices I'm doing something wrong, PLEASE TELL ME!! I want to make sure she's happy, healthy, and lives a full life and I'm more than willing to listen to recommendations and feedback! Thank you!!
Just a quick heads up before any one chimes in here: many on this site are not fans of the chameleon kit. So just be prepared for people you don’t know to tell you that. That being said, welcome and we’d all love to help you on your way. Don’t be discouraged if you get a poster that says everything you have/are doing is wrong, and you have to change everything. This is a learning process and you can make small changes/improvements over the next little while.
 

GDBpetboy

New Member
Welcome to the forum no th world of chameleons!
Can you please answer the questions in the how to ask for help thread near the top of the health forum so we can check your husbandry. Please give detailed answers.
I'm looking through that thread now and I'm not sure where I'm supposed to put my answers? Am I supposed to put them in this post or on my profile? I apologize for my ignorance- still getting the hang of the site and how it works; I don't usually hang out on forum pages and am unfamiliar with how things function!! ^^;
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Next, let me say a little about what I think we’re all trying to accomplish (at the basic level) in the hobby. We’re all trying to keep healthy chameleons that live long lives. Given that, it follows that we are trying to provide those conditions that make that possible. With veiled chameleons, the basics are that they like ambient temperatures around the mid 70’s during the day, and a nightime drop of 20 or so degrees. 15 is acceptable. They love nightime humidity close to 100% and daytime humidity that falls below 50% (into the 30s is fine). They absolutely need a good source of uvb radiation to manufacture vitamin d3 (responsible for calcium absorption), and the ability to warm themselves up after a cool night. They also need healthy food sources that can satisfy all their nutritional requirements.

Certain things follow from this; namely, that your enclosure should be able to satisfy these requirements.One main criticism of the chameleon kit is that it makes it very difficult to do this. The uvb bulb provided looses its efficacy within at few inches of the bulb, and provides, at best, a 4” wide effective zone. Since your veiled chameleon will eventually reach 18” or more, this will be insufficient. The fact that your chameleon will eventually be longer than the cage is wide, will also be problematic. A fully screened cage makes it difficult to have the temperature and humidity different from that of the room it is in.

So, there are challenges to getting the kit to work given the veiled’s requirements. that’s not to say that it is impossible, short term, but challenging. Some things that you can do to overcome some of these challenges are:

1) use a shower curtain or like material to close in three sides of the enclosure. This will help not only to regulate temperature, but also humidity.
2) this one is almost worth just getting a new light, but for the first few months, you could arrange your main horizontal basking branch within 4” of the uvb source. The problem here is that you have to make sure that while your Cham is soaking up the uvb, he isn’t cooking under a 100watt baking light as well. Try using a 20/25watt bulb for basking.
3) keep your cage in a room that gets cool at night and add a humidifier/small fogger/auto mister. Also, use as many live plants as your can, as they help increase humidity.
4) Plan on having to upgrade the enclosure within a few months

That’s how to make what you have work for the time being.

There is a myriad of other thingsthat are crucial, but I assume, by this time, you’ve already been berated by people telling you to get a new enclosure immediately, so I hope this helps.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm looking through that thread now and I'm not sure where I'm supposed to put my answers? Am I supposed to put them in this post or on my profile? I apologize for my ignorance- still getting the hang of the site and how it works; I don't usually hang out on forum pages and am unfamiliar with how things function!! ^^;
No worries at all. So, you can open the form in a new tab, and then start a post in another tab, and just answer the questions. You could also just copy/paste the form into a new thread, and answer each question in different coloured text...use the droplet icon in the ribbon above.
 

GDBpetboy

New Member
Next, let me say a little about what I think we’re all trying to accomplish (at the basic level) in the hobby. We’re all trying to keep healthy chameleons that live long lives. Given that, it follows that we are trying to provide those conditions that make that possible. With veiled chameleons, the basics are that they like ambient temperatures around the mid 70’s during the day, and a nightime drop of 20 or so degrees. 15 is acceptable. They love nightime humidity close to 100% and daytime humidity that falls below 50% (into the 30s is fine). They absolutely need a good source of uvb radiation to manufacture vitamin d3 (responsible for calcium absorption), and the ability to warm themselves up after a cool night. They also need healthy food sources that can satisfy all their nutritional requirements.

Certain things follow from this; namely, that your enclosure should be able to satisfy these requirements.One main criticism of the chameleon kit is that it makes it very difficult to do this. The uvb bulb provided looses its efficacy within at few inches of the bulb, and provides, at best, a 4” wide effective zone. Since your veiled chameleon will eventually reach 18” or more, this will be insufficient. The fact that your chameleon will eventually be longer than the cage is wide, will also be problematic. A fully screened cage makes it difficult to have the temperature and humidity different from that of the room it is in.

So, there are challenges to getting the kit to work given the veiled’s requirements. that’s not to say that it is impossible, short term, but challenging. Some things that you can do to overcome some of these challenges are:

1) use a shower curtain or like material to close in three sides of the enclosure. This will help not only to regulate temperature, but also humidity.
2) this one is almost worth just getting a new light, but for the first few months, you could arrange your main horizontal basking branch within 4” of the uvb source. The problem here is that you have to make sure that while your Cham is soaking up the uvb, he isn’t cooking under a 100watt baking light as well. Try using a 20/25watt bulb for basking.
3) keep your cage in a room that gets cool at night and add a humidifier/small fogger/auto mister. Also, use as many live plants as your can, as they help increase humidity.
4) Plan on having to upgrade the enclosure within a few months

That’s how to make what you have work for the time being.

There is a myriad of other thingsthat are crucial, but I assume, by this time, you’ve already been berated by people telling you to get a new enclosure immediately, so I hope this helps.
Thank you very much for going in-depth about how to improve what I have! I'll be working to get her a better enclosure ASAP and making the proper accommodations for her lighting and foliage. I really really appreciate you explaining this to me! I'm thrilled to have her, but I'm so in the dark and out of the loop, so your help is really nice to have!
 

GDBpetboy

New Member
No worries at all. So, you can open the form in a new tab, and then start a post in another tab, and just answer the questions. You could also just copy/paste the form into a new thread, and answer each question in different coloured text...use the droplet icon in the ribbon above.
Thank you! I'll be filling this out now!
 
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