Hydration + Keeping it Cool (for a Jackson's Chameleon)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by seatangle, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. seatangle

    seatangle New Member

    Hi for the 1st time, Chameleon Forums,

    I have a Jackson's Chameleon named Max from Hawaii. I am located in NYC.

    It's been hot the past couple of days and we do not have an A/C. What do you do to keep temps between 65-75F in the summer?

    I have a fan set up and we are misting his enclosure regularly to keep it humid. Max is eating and active during the day. However, I haven't been able to get the temp below 85 degrees. I'm worried, he's been through a lot already, being in the hands of first-time chameleon owners.

    In addition, he's not taking enough water. There is orange in his poop. We put him in the shower at least once a week. Usually he will drink then. Once or twice, he hasn't (even after 30+ mins of shower time) but will also occasionally take water from a handheld dropper when offered. At this rate, I've only really seen him drink once or twice a week. I've NEVER observed him drink water on his own, despite having a dropper set up in his cage and regular misting.

    I am likely getting an A/C installed in the room where he is. In the meantime I am eager for advice from owners in my region who have to deal with these jumping temps, as well as anyone who has experienced a Jackson's that doesn't seem to drink.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. kinyonga

    kinyonga Chameleon Enthusiast

    Where in Hawaii did it come from originally? What are the high temperatures in that area?
  3. seatangle

    seatangle New Member

    He was found near Honolulu (not by me). Annual high temperature is around 84F. It reached 92F here today, when I got home from work his cage was at 90F.
  4. Carlton

    Carlton Chameleon Enthusiast

    You will have to chill that cage especially at night. Use a timer to turn off the basking light in late morning on days you know it will get hot in the room. The UV light doesn't produce much heat so leave that on. You can cool the cage off by putting a freezer pack on top and letting it melt overnight. Create a cooler section of the cage so he can select the temp he wants. A temp gradient will also create a mild airflow which is also important. Use a freezer pack to cool misting water. Just don't put it where your cham ends up having no choice where to sit. Mist with cooler water...just don't spray him directly. If you do get an AC for the room (may be your best option) make sure to track the cage humidity well, as the AC will really dry out the air. As he seems dehydrated now its going to be an issue. What's your cage setup like? Maybe he's not drinking enough because there isn't enough foliage to trap and hold water droplets long enough. Many chams take a while to start drinking so it can dry out too fast for them to get enough. They can also just sit hidden and NOT drink if they feel too exposed to view all the time. More plants will also help hold onto humidity longer.
  5. seatangle

    seatangle New Member

    Thanks for your advice, Carlton! It's good to know A/C is acceptable, as long as it's kept humid. Now, we've gotten him into a room with an A/C. I tried the ice pack before that too.

    For privacy, he is in a corner of the room, where two sides are facing (but not directly against) the wall. The third side, we have covered with fabric, so only the door of his screen cage will face very minimal household "foot traffic". There are three living tropical plants in there now.

    I still haven't seen him drinking on his own - and he's still taking water from a handheld eyedropper about every other day. I just offer him water whenever I'm home, sometimes he drinks, sometimes he doesn't. It's still worrying...I'm pretty sure he doesn't like having to take water from me, but he's just so thirsty. I have one of those "Little Dripper" water droppers set up, but he just doesn't seem to recognize it as a water source. Now I've found him 'gaping' a couple of times.

    I've just purchased a cool mist humidifier online which we can install tomorrow. I have a feeling the cheap humidity meter we have isn't accurate.
  6. Remkon

    Remkon Chameleon Enthusiast

    This was also my first question when I got to these forums...
    I live in the Netherlands so it isn't to hot here that often but still we like to worry for our animals, right?
    I ended up replacing the vent in the cham's room for a larger one (obviously I did it in every room to hide from the wife that I was doing it for my chams, sssssh), then I strung up 5 8" PC fans and hooked em up to an arduino that I programmed as thermostat and placed that in front of the vent so it blows cool air from out inside the room.
    It works great for me, even on a hot night the chameleons room is noticeably cooler as night time temperatures drop to like 70F here.
    I also have an extra fan in the room to keep the air moving and I have a supply of 25 icepacks that I can place in, on or around the enclosure.
  7. seatangle

    seatangle New Member

    Haha. But must say, awesome you used an arduino for temp control! I might just look into how much that would cost. I've always wanted to try playing with arduino.
  8. Remkon

    Remkon Chameleon Enthusiast

    Guessing 2.5$ for an arduino nano, 2.5$ for a temp sensor with external feeler, 1.5$ for a relay board (to switch fans on/off). Then I needed 5 12v fans and a 12v adapter which was maybe 10$.
    Programmed to switch on at >18C and off at <15C to prevent continuous clicking of the relays.

    I will build a shed soon for my chams, I bought 5 aruino nano and 5 temp/ humidity sensor (0.97$ each) that I will use for heating/cooling and also to report temp and humidity to a raspberry pi webserver so I can keep track of it.
    Will be a fun project.

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