Is it ok for a chameleon to be without lights for a short period?

LS416315

New Member
My chameleon has recently started closing her eyes, long story short we originally thought she had debris or stuck in it when it was just one eye but now believe it is due to the lighting.

Currently she has the Reptisun compact 5.0 UVB which recently replaced the 10.0; the Zoomed basking lamp 100w and a red heat lamp that stayed on during the night, I’m unsure of the wattage. I’m pretty sure all of that is wrong after doing my best to find the correct info online. There is a lot of conflicting information.

We have now ordered the linear t5ho 5.0 with the hood but while we wait for that to come I read it’s best to have all her lights turned off, is that true? She isn’t currently in a room that gets a lot of natural light but there is a normal bulb in the ceiling fixture I can turn on. I’ve had them off since yesterday and she seemed a lot more comfortable with them off and started moving around opening her eyes. It hasn’t gotten below 70 in there either. Any advice info is greatly greatly appreciated!
 

Tige21v

Avid Member
I would still run the uvb and 100 watt until the new fixture comes in. The 100 watt is an incandescent, not an LED, correct?
70 is low, unless it is a Jacksons or other mountain species. You didn't say what kind you have.


THROW AWAY THE RED HEAT LAMP.
 

LS416315

New Member
I would still run the uvb and 100 watt until the new fixture comes in. The 100 watt is an incandescent, not an LED, correct?
70 is low, unless it is a Jacksons or other mountain species. You didn't say what kind you have.


THROW AWAY THE RED HEAT LAMP.
She’s a veiled chameleon, we think around 5-6 months. The 100 watt is incandescent, yes. I’ll turn them back on now for her. They were also previously on top of her enclosure, I’ve since strung them up above it about 6 inches, is that better?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I respectfully disagree. Keeping the incorrect UVB isn't going to help anything. It takes weeks or months for MBD to set in, so going without artificial lights for a few days won't hurt a thing.

I read it’s best to have all her lights turned off, is that true?
At night, yes. Complete darkness at night is best (a little indirect ambient light won't hurt).
I do agree with ditching the heat lamp; it's not needed at night, and a household incandescent (not LED) or flood (not spot) is fine for a basking lamp.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a husbandry review to make sure everything else is good.
Copy/paste these questions, and please include pics of the enclosure from top (showing lights) to bottom (showing floor, substrate, drainage).

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.
 

Tige21v

Avid Member
I respectfully disagree.....

No knowledge of the cham''s past, if has in fact ever been exposed to proper uvb, how long until the new fixture will arrive.
You and I, we know our critters would be fine bc they have been exposed to proper uvb.
It may not help, but it won't hurt.
 

LS416315

New Member
I respectfully disagree. Keeping the incorrect UVB isn't going to help anything. It takes weeks or months for MBD to set in, so going without artificial lights for a few days won't hurt a thing.


At night, yes. Complete darkness at night is best (a little indirect ambient light won't hurt).
I do agree with ditching the heat lamp; it's not needed at night, and a household incandescent (not LED) or flood (not spot) is fine for a basking lamp.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a husbandry review to make sure everything else is good.
Copy/paste these questions, and please include pics of the enclosure from top (showing lights) to bottom (showing floor, substrate, drainage).

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.
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, we think 5-6 months. We’ve only had her for one month.
  • Handling - She doesn’t much like being handled, however when we thought she had debris in her eye she was being handled 2x day to go on a plant in the shower. Hasn’t been handled in two days.
  • Feeding - She eats crickets, roughly 8 a day, We try to space them out into 3 feedings and she eats from a cup. She also gets strawberries and collard greens. Crickets are gutloaded with fruits and veggies plus they have those little orange cubes.
  • Supplements- So I think this is wrong but she was getting repticalcium w/o d3 a few times a week and then reptivite once a day when it was suggested she may need more Vit A.
  • Watering - We use an oral syringe and put droplets on top of her cage, she usually comes over and slurps some water up and occasionally does it to water on the plant leaves as well. The cage gets misted with a plant mister 4x a day, maybe more.
  • Fecal Description - Brown stool with white urates. Never tested for parasites.
  • History - She came from Petco so unsure of her history besides the fact that the employee dropped her when taking her out. She’s been with us a month. Started with one eye closed a few days ago and now she’s just not doing much with both eyes closed. She’ll open them occasionally but I can tell it bothers her. Her eyes also bulge around when she has them closed.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Screen cage, reptibreeze chameleon kit, 16x16x30x
  • Lighting - Currently she has Reptisun 5.0 compact UVB, I can’t find the box for her day lamp but it’s 100w and circular not a coil like her UVB is. She also has a red heat lamp which I now know is a big no so that’s gone. Her reptisun linear T5HO 5.0 is being delivered next week along with a hood for it.
  • Temperature - Top basking area is between 80-84, middle is 77-80 and bottom is probably 73-75. Last night was her first night with no lights and it got down to 73.1. We have a temperature gauge that can move around.
  • Humidity- I’m having a tough time with this but it’s typically 35-40% even with daily misting.
  • Plants - She has a live pothos, dragon tree, snake Plant and I clip my huge Pothos often to give her lots of vines to climb on.
  • Placement - She’s in the spare room in an empty (Besides plants) walk in closet that’s always open. No fans, vents and definitely not high traffic. She’s on a table and the top of the cage is 4 feet from the ground.
  • Location - I am in Massachusetts.

Current Problem - Eyes are closed and not moving much besides to eat. Still green in color though.

I apologize I’m not at home and don’t have good pics of her set up right now, I’ll try to add later. She has a trellis type thing in there that’s wrapped in vines that gives her spots to sit anywhere in the cage, we have newspaper on the bottom. Hope I didn’t miss anything- thank you all in advance! I really don’t wanna fail this little lady, I feel so bad.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
@LS416315 Hi there welcome to the forum. I will go through your form and bold text my responses. First off no lighting at all on at night 12 hours lights on and 12 hours total darkness. The red lights will also harm her eyes. But using them at night make it so she is not sleeping properly. So she is more then likely closing her eyes during the day due to stress from not sleeping. Please let me know what questions you have. And when you can please post pics of her and the enclosure.

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, we think 5-6 months. We’ve only had her for one month.
  • Handling - She doesn’t much like being handled, however when we thought she had debris in her eye she was being handled 2x day to go on a plant in the shower. Hasn’t been handled in two days. More then likely not due to debris and is due to the red light at night.
  • Feeding - She eats crickets, roughly 8 a day, We try to space them out into 3 feedings and she eats from a cup. She also gets strawberries and collard greens. Crickets are gutloaded with fruits and veggies plus they have those little orange cubes. No fruit or veg for her. They can not actually digest it and sugary items are not recommended at all. See gutload image and feeder image below.
  • Supplements- So I think this is wrong but she was getting repticalcium w/o d3 a few times a week and then reptivite once a day when it was suggested she may need more Vit A. So this is incorrect... You will use the calcium without D3 at all feedings and then the reptivite only 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th. I need to know if your reptivite says with D3 or Without D3? Lightly dusting all feeders and feeding.
  • Watering - We use an oral syringe and put droplets on top of her cage, she usually comes over and slurps some water up and occasionally does it to water on the plant leaves as well. The cage gets misted with a plant mister 4x a day, maybe more. You want to use a dripper on top of the cage. This can be done with a solo plastic cup and a tiny pin hole in the bottom. Fill with water each morning and set it on top of the cage away from the lighting so it can drip down on the plants for her to drink.
  • Fecal Description - Brown stool with white urates. Never tested for parasites.
  • History - She came from Petco so unsure of her history besides the fact that the employee dropped her when taking her out. She’s been with us a month. Started with one eye closed a few days ago and now she’s just not doing much with both eyes closed. She’ll open them occasionally but I can tell it bothers her. Her eyes also bulge around when she has them closed. This goes back to being caused by the red light more then likely.
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Screen cage, reptibreeze chameleon kit, 16x16x30x. You will need to upgrade cage size to a 2x2x4. DIYCages has better less expensive cages or dragon strand has premium cages with drip pans and dragon ledges.
  • Lighting - Currently she has Reptisun 5.0 compact UVB, I can’t find the box for her day lamp but it’s 100w and circular not a coil like her UVB is. She also has a red heat lamp which I now know is a big no so that’s gone. Her reptisun linear T5HO 5.0 is being delivered next week along with a hood for it. You want to put the dual dome fixture on top of the cage.... Reduce the bulb wattage of the 100watt back down to a 40-60 watt. She is getting no UVB with you having it raised 6 inches. No red light which you know now. The T5 with 5.0 bulb needs to be directly on the cage and you want the branch below it to be 8 inches away from the top of the cage where the fixture is to get the right UVB level for her.
  • Temperature - Top basking area is between 80-84, middle is 77-80 and bottom is probably 73-75. Last night was her first night with no lights and it got down to 73.1. We have a temperature gauge that can move around. Want to drop basking temps 78-80max for a female. See info below on this. You really want to get a temp drop below 68 at night... close down heat vents in the room, crack a window whatever you need to do to get it a bit cooler at night for her.
  • Humidity- I’m having a tough time with this but it’s typically 35-40% even with daily misting. That is fine for day time. Can be up to 100% at night if temp is below 68 degrees.
  • Plants - She has a live pothos, dragon tree, snake Plant and I clip my huge Pothos often to give her lots of vines to climb on. great.
  • Placement - She’s in the spare room in an empty (Besides plants) walk in closet that’s always open. No fans, vents and definitely not high traffic. She’s on a table and the top of the cage is 4 feet from the ground.
  • Location - I am in Massachusetts.
Current Problem - Eyes are closed and not moving much besides to eat. Still green in color though.

I apologize I’m not at home and don’t have good pics of her set up right now, I’ll try to add later. She has a trellis type thing in there that’s wrapped in vines that gives her spots to sit anywhere in the cage, we have newspaper on the bottom. Hope I didn’t miss anything- thank you all in advance! I really don’t wanna fail this little lady, I feel so bad.

Remove the newspaper... Bare bottom is what you need for easy cleaning. Plus then you do not have ink transference to her.


As she matures you will have to start cutting back her food. By about 6 months she should be getting about 5-8 small feeders each day. At about 7 months you want to slowly reduce by cutting down feeder amounts so that she is on a feeding schedule of 3 days a week with 3 feeders. You want them to be on this schedule by the time they are 9-10 months old.


You will not ever want basking to be over 78-80 for her. Very important for females because as she ages she needs this temp no higher at basking to help control the amount of eggs she produces.

A lay bin should be added as a permanent fixture by the time they are 6 months old so they get used to it and it does not cause stress.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video.77225/



chameleon-gutload.jpg
chameleon-food(1).jpg
laybin graphic.jpg
 

LS416315

New Member
The first pic is close to when we first got her, her eye isn’t closed she’s just looking behind. Second pic is yesterday, still basically what she looked like this morning, she was just perched up higher. Lights were off in pic.
 

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Ambilobe123

Established Member
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled chameleon, female, we think 5-6 months. We’ve only had her for one month.
  • Handling - She doesn’t much like being handled, however when we thought she had debris in her eye she was being handled 2x day to go on a plant in the shower. Hasn’t been handled in two days.
    Do not shower her, debris or not. This is incredibly stressful for her
  • Feeding - She eats crickets, roughly 8 a day, We try to space them out into 3 feedings and she eats from a cup. She also gets strawberries and collard greens. Crickets are gutloaded with fruits and veggies plus they have those little orange cubes.
    Which fruits and veggies are fed to the crickets? The orange cubes are useless, save your money. Variety is essential, just crickets is insufficient
  • Supplements- So I think this is wrong but she was getting repticalcium w/o d3 a few times a week and then reptivite once a day when it was suggested she may need more Vit A.
    Okay. This might be your problem. Calcium should be every day, vitamins and d3 only twice per month
  • Watering - We use an oral syringe and put droplets on top of her cage, she usually comes over and slurps some water up and occasionally does it to water on the plant leaves as well. The cage gets misted with a plant mister 4x a day, maybe more.
    Looks good
  • Fecal Description - Brown stool with white urates. Never tested for parasites.
  • History - She came from Petco so unsure of her history besides the fact that the employee dropped her when taking her out. She’s been with us a month. Started with one eye closed a few days ago and now she’s just not doing much with both eyes closed. She’ll open them occasionally but I can tell it bothers her. Her eyes also bulge around when she has them closed.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Screen cage, reptibreeze chameleon kit, 16x16x30x
  • 16x16x30 is far too small. Minimum cage size is 2’x2’x4’. Upgrade ASAP
  • Lighting - Currently she has Reptisun 5.0 compact UVB, I can’t find the box for her day lamp but it’s 100w and circular not a coil like her UVB is. She also has a red heat lamp which I now know is a big no so that’s gone. Her reptisun linear T5HO 5.0 is being delivered next week along with a hood for it.
    Others have already advised you on lighting. Use only white lights, and nothing at night
  • Temperature - Top basking area is between 80-84, middle is 77-80 and bottom is probably 73-75. Last night was her first night with no lights and it got down to 73.1. We have a temperature gauge that can move around.
  • Humidity- I’m having a tough time with this but it’s typically 35-40% even with daily misting.
    For a veiled, 30-50% daytime is ideal. For the night, though, you need much higher
  • Plants - She has a live pothos, dragon tree, snake Plant and I clip my huge Pothos often to give her lots of vines to climb on.
    Looks good, you can never have too many plants for her, unless she physically can’t move.
  • Placement - She’s in the spare room in an empty (Besides plants) walk in closet that’s always open. No fans, vents and definitely not high traffic. She’s on a table and the top of the cage is 4 feet from the ground.
  • Location - I am in Massachusetts.

Current Problem - Eyes are closed and not moving much besides to eat. Still green in color though.

I apologize I’m not at home and don’t have good pics of her set up right now, I’ll try to add later. She has a trellis type thing in there that’s wrapped in vines that gives her spots to sit anywhere in the cage, we have newspaper on the bottom. Hope I didn’t miss anything- thank you all in advance! I really don’t wanna fail this little lady, I feel so bad
Newspaper is a no-no, don’t use substrate unless it’s bioactive. Your priorities are the new lights, larger enclosure, and the supplement change. Please post photos of her enclosure as soon as possible.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."the employee dropped her when taking her out"... How far did she fall? What did she land on? Did she look ok as soon as she was picked back up?
 
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