In need of urgent help for baby Chameleon

Freyja737

Member
Hello everyone,
On Saturday I was gifted a male baby Chameleon that is said to have hatched in January. I desperately need help, because I was unprepared and managed to set up an enclosure for him in only a few hours just to have a place to put him in…A friend said he has everything I might need, but what he has is for an adult. I ended up having no UVB light the last two days and for warmth I’m using a small hallogen lightbulb. The cage I have turned out to be way too small as well - 15x15x30. I also live in a small town in Germany and it’s super hard to find what he needs, I gotta order everything online. I don’t know what basking light I need for such a small baby and I think my glass cage is too small and also not the best one for him since it‘s all glass.
I also bought a water dripping plant, which keeps filling the bottom with water. Additionally I spray water a couple times a day.
He has tiny black marks on the bottom of his head which I’m not sure where there when he was given to me.
I was told in the animal shop where I bought the small crickets to give him 3 per day and here I read „as many small crickets as they can eat several times a day“.
Shortly, I am so confused my everything I read lately that it only made it worse. Please help, because I’m panicking, I live alone and there’s literally noone to help me out
 

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Hi and welcome. :) Since it’s only been a couple of days that you’ve had him, breathe and relax. Babies do need everything perfect as they are fragile, but as long as you get everything put together quickly, he’ll be okay. Here’s the best place to learn the correct and current standards. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ You can probably get by with that enclosure until you can get a better one since he is just a baby. You will need to take care of the excess water drainage in the bottom though. Adding some safe cleaned live plants will help with that. Pothos is one of the best plants you can get for a chameleon and should be easy to find. For uvb, you need a linear T5HO with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then the light needs to be elevated off the top of the enclosure and have a distance of 8-9” from the basking area. For basking light, any light bulb that produces heat will work. Many use incandescent. This light too needs to be raised above the screen top by at least a few inches. You are looking for a temperature no higher than 80F for a baby. Yes, you want to feed him as much as he can eat twice a day. Make sure the insects are small enough. Anything larger than the space between his eyes is too big. He may need super tiny bugs, like fruit flies, bean beetles or pinhead sized crickets. Then you need to lightly dust the insects in a phosphorus free calcium without D3 daily or every feeding. For vitamin D3 and multivitamins, it is much easier to use a combined product and Repashy calcium plus LoD or ReptiVite with D3 are the recommended ones. You will use that to dust the feeder insects one feeding every other week. If you are unable to find either of those products, then you would have to use a different regimen. The daily calcium without D3 stays the same, but for one feeding every other week you’ll use a calcium with D3 and one feeding every other week, you’ll use a multivitamin that doesn't’ have D3. So let’s say you’ll use the calcium with D3 on the 1st and 15th of the month and use the multivitamin on the 7th and 30th of the month.
Being in glass, you’ll really have to watch your humidity carefully. The ideal range is between 30-50% during the day. I prefer for new keepers to use screen or a hybrid combo since they have better ventilation and are easier to modify to meet your needs. These are the immediate basics that your cute little guy will need. By the way, are you certain you have a boy? If you post some pics of the back of his back feet, we can help to confirm this.
 
Forgot to add, never use the fogger during the day or when your temperature is above 68-70F. Heat plus high humidity increases risks for respiratory infection. I would also remove the soil that you have on the floor. A bare floor is easiest to keep clean. The water dripper plant is something to also be removed. The idea is nice, but they can be a bacteria soup very quickly. It’s better to mist or spray the leaves for at least 2 minutes 2-3 times a day. Best times are right before lights go on and off and at mid day you can spray for a minute or use a dripper from the top of the enclosure for about 15 minutes. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking, so don’t worry if you don’t see him drink. Look at his urate (white part of his poos) to make sure he is hydrated. They should have very little to no orange or yellow.
 
Is the top of your cage glass? If so the UVB won’t pass through it and allow your chameleon to produce the D3 it needs.

Also…look at the heels of your chameleon to determine whether it’s a male or female. This won’t matter for a while but will once the chameleon is approaching sexual maturity…
http://www.adcham.com/html/husbandry/glossary/tarsalspur.html
Yes, it is glass…so I should change the cage as soon as possible? What size would be best? I can upload a couple of pics of him since U can’t really tell. Bought him at a huge terrarium animals exhibit and the breeder said he’s a boy. That’s the best pic I could make
 

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Hi and welcome. :) Since it’s only been a couple of days that you’ve had him, breathe and relax. Babies do need everything perfect as they are fragile, but as long as you get everything put together quickly, he’ll be okay. Here’s the best place to learn the correct and current standards. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ You can probably get by with that enclosure until you can get a better one since he is just a baby. You will need to take care of the excess water drainage in the bottom though. Adding some safe cleaned live plants will help with that. Pothos is one of the best plants you can get for a chameleon and should be easy to find. For uvb, you need a linear T5HO with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then the light needs to be elevated off the top of the enclosure and have a distance of 8-9” from the basking area. For basking light, any light bulb that produces heat will work. Many use incandescent. This light too needs to be raised above the screen top by at least a few inches. You are looking for a temperature no higher than 80F for a baby. Yes, you want to feed him as much as he can eat twice a day. Make sure the insects are small enough. Anything larger than the space between his eyes is too big. He may need super tiny bugs, like fruit flies, bean beetles or pinhead sized crickets. Then you need to lightly dust the insects in a phosphorus free calcium without D3 daily or every feeding. For vitamin D3 and multivitamins, it is much easier to use a combined product and Repashy calcium plus LoD or ReptiVite with D3 are the recommended ones. You will use that to dust the feeder insects one feeding every other week. If you are unable to find either of those products, then you would have to use a different regimen. The daily calcium without D3 stays the same, but for one feeding every other week you’ll use a calcium with D3 and one feeding every other week, you’ll use a multivitamin that doesn't’ have D3. So let’s say you’ll use the calcium with D3 on the 1st and 15th of the month and use the multivitamin on the 7th and 30th of the month.
Being in glass, you’ll really have to watch your humidity carefully. The ideal range is between 30-50% during the day. I prefer for new keepers to use screen or a hybrid combo since they have better ventilation and are easier to modify to meet your needs. These are the immediate basics that your cute little guy will need. By the way, are you certain you have a boy? If you post some pics of the back of his back feet, we can help to confirm this.
Thank you so much for your detailed answer 😊
 
Thank you all for responding, you’ve been very helpful. I’m very glad I found this forum. 😊 I have one last question though- does anyone know what these black things on his head are ?
 

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Those look like they could be little bruises. Do you have anything that he could have gotten poked by? Do you free feed crickets? Uneaten crickets at night will bite your chameleon if there isn’t any food left in the enclosure for them.
 
Those look like they could be little bruises. Do you have anything that he could have gotten poked by? Do you free feed crickets? Uneaten crickets at night will bite your chameleon if there isn’t any food left in the enclosure for them.
I think there isn’t anything thay he got poked by I really don’t know where he got them from. The crickets I put in a small cup. Lately he’s eating 2 a day. The other day in the tropical shop they gave me this beetle jelly ( https://www.reptilienkosmos.de/en/dragon-jelly-food-beetle-jelly_976_4369 ) to feed the crickets and I did, but I’m not sure it’s good for him. The breeder told me to feed the crickets with some type of salad, which has calcium which I put from in the crickets box. So when I put him crickets in the cup yesterday I put a small piece of salad for them, cuz there was a chance they jump out and I wanted to make sure they don’t bite him or sth. Later one of the three crickets was eaten and the piece of salad. His poop was watery today and the urate was a bit yellow so he’s probably also dehydrated. The other day there was a weird amout of water again and some of the plants were smelling funny moldy in a way. The breeder told me the Jemenchameleon is a desert chameleon so he doesn’t need that much moisture so I had to take him out a third time in a few days and rearrange again( cuz of the water and the smell) which I know is bad for him and he was hugging a plant in my living room while I was fixing the terrarium, there was issues and it took me a couple of hours…after that he didn’t wanna go back in and he even got bigger and made a sound like hissing or sth. Today he kept trying to escape the glass cage, he was sitting at the bottom a few times and I think he was trying to hide since there is only a couple of plants which I think are not good for him to hide and there’s no space for more. I left the cage open on purpose to see if he will go out from the bottom. When I came back to the room, he was on one of my plants outside that I have around the terrarium, walking around and not wanting to go back. I’m still keeping him warm with an improvised light I have, because everything I ordered online is still not here…I already have a basking bulb (gonna put a photo of it). The things I ordered him are :

Zoo Med Repti Breeze Screen Cage, 61 x 61 x 122 cm​

Zoo Med ReptiSun T5, 60 cm, for daylight in terrarium​

Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0 UVB, T5 fluorescent tube for Terrariums​

Exo Terra Reptile Dome Aluminium Reflector Lamp, Heat-Resistant​

Porcelain Fitting, Suitable for Lamps up to 160 W, E27 Socket, Black​

All of these things are finally coming later today and tomorrow, specifically the warming bulb dome will be here later today thankfully. I am so mad at my friend gifting me this baby, knowing that I don’t have what it takes to take care of him or a proper cage to put him in. He said he has everything I might need and he will give me things…The things he gave are totally unusable and I pray to God baby doesn’t get sick or die, because I won’t forgive myself. At the moment he’s sleeping up in the cage next to the ventilation thingy and Idk if because he’s warm or afraid…I think the light from the other room woke him up, you can see the colors he has rn
 

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He pressed his head on the holes of the thingy 😭 I’m so worried
 

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Hello. I raised a vieled and started him off is an xl reptibreeze. The breeder said it was perfect even though he looked so small.in it but the breeders said he should double in size every two to three weeks and he was right. Vieleds eat plants and that can change fecas color and texture and urates. collard greens have high content of vitamin a which they need. Another vieled loved my herb garden and would pick off all the little leaves off the orgeano plants! the way his cascque.bends towards the back and is small make me think he might be a she. The back feet have little spurs on the back part of the foot if its a male. also 2 crickets a day is not enough should be eating 6-8 now and in a month 8-10 and up to 12-14 small crickets a day. Also black soldier fly larvae (bsfl) is very good for them this young. Its important that they learn to hunt and use their tongues when young so there are no issues when they are older. Best of luck to you.
 
I think there isn’t anything thay he got poked by I really don’t know where he got them from. The crickets I put in a small cup. Lately he’s eating 2 a day. The other day in the tropical shop they gave me this beetle jelly ( https://www.reptilienkosmos.de/en/dragon-jelly-food-beetle-jelly_976_4369 ) to feed the crickets and I did, but I’m not sure it’s good for him. The breeder told me to feed the crickets with some type of salad, which has calcium which I put from in the crickets box. So when I put him crickets in the cup yesterday I put a small piece of salad for them, cuz there was a chance they jump out and I wanted to make sure they don’t bite him or sth. Later one of the three crickets was eaten and the piece of salad. His poop was watery today and the urate was a bit yellow so he’s probably also dehydrated. The other day there was a weird amout of water again and some of the plants were smelling funny moldy in a way. The breeder told me the Jemenchameleon is a desert chameleon so he doesn’t need that much moisture so I had to take him out a third time in a few days and rearrange again( cuz of the water and the smell) which I know is bad for him and he was hugging a plant in my living room while I was fixing the terrarium, there was issues and it took me a couple of hours…after that he didn’t wanna go back in and he even got bigger and made a sound like hissing or sth. Today he kept trying to escape the glass cage, he was sitting at the bottom a few times and I think he was trying to hide since there is only a couple of plants which I think are not good for him to hide and there’s no space for more. I left the cage open on purpose to see if he will go out from the bottom. When I came back to the room, he was on one of my plants outside that I have around the terrarium, walking around and not wanting to go back. I’m still keeping him warm with an improvised light I have, because everything I ordered online is still not here…I already have a basking bulb (gonna put a photo of it). The things I ordered him are :

Zoo Med Repti Breeze Screen Cage, 61 x 61 x 122 cm​

Zoo Med ReptiSun T5, 60 cm, for daylight in terrarium​

Zoo Med Repti Sun 5.0 UVB, T5 fluorescent tube for Terrariums​

Exo Terra Reptile Dome Aluminium Reflector Lamp, Heat-Resistant​

Porcelain Fitting, Suitable for Lamps up to 160 W, E27 Socket, Black​

All of these things are finally coming later today and tomorrow, specifically the warming bulb dome will be here later today thankfully. I am so mad at my friend gifting me this baby, knowing that I don’t have what it takes to take care of him or a proper cage to put him in. He said he has everything I might need and he will give me things…The things he gave are totally unusable and I pray to God baby doesn’t get sick or die, because I won’t forgive myself. At the moment he’s sleeping up in the cage next to the ventilation thingy and Idk if because he’s warm or afraid…I think the light from the other room woke him up, you can see the colors he has rn
That looks like a good list of things. :) He’ll be sooo much happier once you get him settled into his new bigger and better home. It sounds like he isn’t happy in his current one. You will need a way to hang branches and vines. A garden trellis is a good and rather quick/easy option. You’ll want whatever you use to be attached to the frame of the enclosure. The screen can’t take any weight or will tear. Zip ties are what many of us use to secure branches. You can use real branches that you scavenge. Avoid pine and other sappy or aromatic trees. Give a good wash with a dish soap, a really good rinse and sun dry if you can. The goal is to utilize as much space to provide lots of little roads for your cham to travel. Different diameter branches will help exercise those mitten feet muscles. With your plants, create some areas of thicker foliage where he can take shade or hide.
You do want to feed your feeder insects a varied diet of fresh produce. Greens (dandelion, mustard, turnip, collards, etc), different squashes, sweet pepper, carrot, etc and just a small amount of fruit. Pretty much when you have an insectivore as a companion animal, you also have their food to care for and keep healthy. Healthy insects are more nutritious. Usually the jelly and colored cubes aren’t good enough.
Far too many of us for various reasons started off with just about all of the wrong stuff and had to scramble to get the right set ups. Do soak up as much knowledge as you can from Chameleon Academy and ask us as many questions as you need. I’m really excited for you and looking forward to seeing your progress as you set up your baby’s new house. 💗 We all love being able to witness how we all learn, change and improve…success stories.
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Aight. So you live on Germany, you got everything there. Germany was the first country to start with herpetology I believe. The light should come from above not from the sides. You need and Arkadia uvb florescent T5. You can use a screen cage. You know clothes hampers? I now people that have used them for their animals. Or get an exoterra cage.
 
That looks like a good list of things. :) He’ll be sooo much happier once you get him settled into his new bigger and better home. It sounds like he isn’t happy in his current one. You will need a way to hang branches and vines. A garden trellis is a good and rather quick/easy option. You’ll want whatever you use to be attached to the frame of the enclosure. The screen can’t take any weight or will tear. Zip ties are what many of us use to secure branches. You can use real branches that you scavenge. Avoid pine and other sappy or aromatic trees. Give a good wash with a dish soap, a really good rinse and sun dry if you can. The goal is to utilize as much space to provide lots of little roads for your cham to travel. Different diameter branches will help exercise those mitten feet muscles. With your plants, create some areas of thicker foliage where he can take shade or hide.
You do want to feed your feeder insects a varied diet of fresh produce. Greens (dandelion, mustard, turnip, collards, etc), different squashes, sweet pepper, carrot, etc and just a small amount of fruit. Pretty much when you have an insectivore as a companion animal, you also have their food to care for and keep healthy. Healthy insects are more nutritious. Usually the jelly and colored cubes aren’t good enough.
Far too many of us for various reasons started off with just about all of the wrong stuff and had to scramble to get the right set ups. Do soak up as much knowledge as you can from Chameleon Academy and ask us as many questions as you need. I’m really excited for you and looking forward to seeing your progress as you set up your baby’s new house. 💗 We all love being able to witness how we all learn, change and improve…success stories.
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Tysm 💜 I’m looking forward to making the best home for him possible. Could you put a photo of your enclosure? Yesterday I bought wonderful plants for him - Ficus benjamina, Schefflera, Bromeliad, Pothos and Spider plant. Not sure how to perfectly position them tho. I‘d like to ask how do I proceed with disinfecting them and getting them ready for his cage ? I have Terrarium soil, does that work? I don’t really have where to get organic soil from atm. And my second question is - since I have him I haven’t vacuumed at all, because my vacuum cleaner is really loud and I don’t want to scare him, but I really need to clean at home. He’s at a place in the living room where I don’t need to go so much, but I only have a living room, kitchen and a small bedroom and no other place to put him. What do you recommend is best to do when I have to clean ?
 
Here’s a couple of my enclosures. The first was for my panther and the second was for one of my veileds. I graduated to bioactive, which is why there’s a substrate in the 2nd pic.
For preparing plants, I may do a bit too much but it’s what I feel comfortable with. I take the plants down to bare root, removing as much soil as I can. I wash the leaves with Dawn dish soap and rinse very very well. If it’s a particularly bushy plant, I’ll dunk it upside down into a bucket of soapy water and gently massage as many leaves as I can while dunking. Then I repot in fresh organic soil. It is a challenge to find organic soil. The main thing to avoid is mixed in fertilizers and other chemicals. To avoid your cham accidentally eating the soil, many cover the top with stones that are too big for your cham to eat.
You can vacuume with no worries. Chams have very poor hearing and can only hear lower frequency sounds. They do feel vibration mainly. Unless you are vacuuming for hours at a time, your cham will be fine. Do avoid spraying aerosol cleaners, hair spray, scented candles and other such things in the same room as him. They have very fragile lungs.
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Since the watery poop the other day he ate 2 crickets and yesterday 7. Today he ate only 1 and I’m noticing on the plants there’s only urate, I couldn’t find that he pooped anywhere ever since the watery one. There’s sth on his butt tho. (photo attached) The uv lamp and the dome for the basking bulb arrived today, but sadly they didn’t deliver the cage (meaning I can’t use them yet) so it‘s been since last Saturday that I have him and I’m keeping him warm with a desk lamp. I think he might be constipated
 

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I wouldnt worry to much initially as his system is coping with changes in environment, food, stress, etc. you should clean that off and see if it happens again. The poop comes out first and the urate is connected to it and follows. Soil. If your soil has bark, pearl lite, etc in it, then you need to sift it out for the top two inches. Remember their tongues are very strong with suction too, so if a feeder goes on the soil whetever that tongue hits is going down the gullet too. Some people cover the top soil with large flat rocks, but they must be heavy enough that the tongue cant pick it up. I,ll shiw u a few pics of my vieled when i first got him.
 

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