Is my chameleon adjusting to his new environment normally?

aurora_sophia

New Member
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon. He’s about 6-7 weeks old. I have had him for about 4 days now.
  • Handling - I rarely handle him. I read that is best to leave him alone for the first couple weeks of him adjusting to his new environment. I occasionally hand feed him while saying his name to build trust.
  • Feeding - I feed him 6 crickets in the morning every day and he always has mustard greens placed in his foliage (which he LOVES). I haven’t purchased my habitat for the crickets yet, I just buy them fresh daily.
  • Supplements - I dust his crickets with Repti Calcium once a week. Which vitamins are recommended and should I be dusting more often?
  • Watering - I have a self-pump mister and spray his cage several times a day. He loves to drink, his crates are totally normal.
  • Fecal Description - His poops are totally normal. They’re dark brown and black. He poops once a day. He’s never been tested for parasites

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - I got the reptibreeze chameleon kit. I have a medium size screen cage 16x16x30”
  • Lighting - I have the zoo med tropical UVB & heat lighting kit 1 DayLight Blue 60w Bulb, 1 ReptiSun Mini Compact 5.0 (13w). I turn his light on at 8:30am and turn it off at 10pm.
  • Temperature - The top of the cage is at 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and the bottom of the cage is usually 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Humidity - humidity usually hangs around 65. Is that too high?
  • Plants - I’m only using fake plants
  • Placement - My cage is located in my bedroom near my standing closet from IKEA which helps block the air from the air vents. My bedroom has a lot of air vents since it is technically the media room but it is also the warmest room in the house so I figured this was the best spot for him. He’s about 3 feet off of the ground.
  • Location - I am located in Fort Worth, TX. We just hit a cold front so we’ve been down in the 40’s


Current Problem - I am concerned about how he is adjusting. Every morning he’s relatively pale with lots of black spots. Around noon or 1pm every day he likes to come down from the basking spot and get his mustard greens and drink his water. He turns a really pretty green when he is doing that. By the time he makes his way back to the top he goes back to the pale color with the spots. Is this normal? I know it takes a long time for him to get acclimated to his new environment but I am worried there is something I should be doing to make his life better. Any advice?



Normal Green Color when eating and drinking:
IMG_2321.jpg

Petrie in the morning:
IMG_2334.JPG


Petrie when he's done eating:
IMG_2363.jpg
 

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Last edited:

cloverthechameleon

Avid Member
They can take a while to adjust. Afew changes i would make to your set up would be to ditch the compact ubv and buy a linear uvb (tube light) arcadia 6% HO t5 is a good choice, ditch the blue light heat bulb and use a regular 60 watt incandescent house bulb. I would also be feeding him more then 6 crickets a day as hes still a baby, i would feed him 12-14 a day depending on size. I would also very his diet with silk worms,horn worms and dubias. Chameleons will change color to regulate heat. This may be why hes more pale some times and darker other times. You also need to be dusting crickets with calcium daily, calcium with D3 bi weekly and a multi vitamin also bi weekly.
 

mae_day

Established Member
I'm sure you'll get lots and lots of replies here, but here's my $.02:

First of all, the dark colors he's displaying at night might be his sleeping colors or 'Pajamas'. It's not unusual for chameleons to have bright colors or patterning while they sleep.

There are a couple of issues with your husbandry:

Your chameleon is definitely older than 6-7 weeks. He looks more like 5-6 MONTHS old, but I am no means an expert, especially on veileds.

Handling: It's good that you're not handling him much. Hand feeding is a good idea but chameleon hearing is weak and weird, I'm not sure he'll associate his name the way you might be hoping he will.

Supplements: he should have calcium without phosphorus and without D3 at every feeding! He should have calcium with d3 and a multivitamin ~every 2 weeks.

Fecal Description: What color are his urates? If they're not white, it's a sign of likely dehydration.

Cage: He will absolutely need a larger cage. Please check out the veiled chameleon care sheet for minimum requirements.

Lighting: when you can upgrade to a linear UVB 6% bulb. Lightyourreptiles.com is a great place for this

Plants: It's good that you give him mustard greens as veiled often like to munch on live plants. I would recommend getting some live plants in there-- just make sure they're cham safe. Many veiled seem to like eating pothos in particular!

Please post pictures of your entire enclosure to make sure he's got enough horizontal branches and different levels at which to bask.
 

aurora_sophia

New Member
Thank you so much for the info! I was really worried about the lighting since it came as a set. I got him from PetSmart and the lady there basically knew nothing about chameleons so she's the one that told me he was 6 weeks old, thank you for clarifying, that makes me realize how much more I need to include in his diet. I also had another friend with lots of reptiles says to dust calcium once a week so I am gad I asked. His urates are totally normal, perfect white condition. I also read that Dubias can be too big to eat sometimes but is he old enough to eat them? Also, where would you recommend getting the new lights? Just online?
 

mae_day

Established Member
Thank you so much for the info! I was really worried about the lighting since it came as a set. I got him from PetSmart and the lady there basically knew nothing about chameleons so she's the one that told me he was 6 weeks old, thank you for clarifying, that makes me realize how much more I need to include in his diet. I also had another friend with lots of reptiles says to dust calcium once a week so I am gad I asked. His urates are totally normal, perfect white condition. I also read that Dubias can be too big to eat sometimes but is he old enough to eat them? Also, where would you recommend getting the new lights? Just online?
The general wisdom regarding the size of feeder insects is don't offer anything larger than the space between the cham's eyes. This is somewhat flexible as they get older but it's important when they're babies/young juveniles. You can get small dubias! There are several site sponsors you can check, but also Josh's Frogs, Gotroaches.com, etc. You will *need* to gutload any and all feeders you get (provided they eat at all [some worms/larva don't-- do your research!]) to make sure your handsome boy is getting all the nutrients he needs.

ETA: I'm super glad his urates are white! That's fantastic. I'd say your humidity levels are totally fine. Be sure to continue to monitor his bowel movements to ensure he stays hydrated. :)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - Male Veiled Chameleon. He’s about 6-7 weeks old. I have had him for about 4 days now.
  • Handling - I rarely handle him. I read that is best to leave him alone for the first couple weeks of him adjusting to his new environment. I occasionally hand feed him while saying his name to build trust.
  • Feeding - I feed him 6 crickets in the morning every day and he always has mustard greens placed in his foliage (which he LOVES). I haven’t purchased my habitat for the crickets yet, I just buy them fresh daily.
  • Supplements - I dust his crickets with Repti Calcium once a week. Which vitamins are recommended and should I be dusting more often?
  • Watering - I have a self-pump mister and spray his cage several times a day. He loves to drink, his crates are totally normal.
  • Fecal Description - His poops are totally normal. They’re dark brown and black. He poops once a day. He’s never been tested for parasites
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - I got the reptibreeze chameleon kit. I have a medium size screen cage 16x16x30”
  • Lighting - I have the zoo med tropical UVB & heat lighting kit 1 DayLight Blue 60w Bulb, 1 ReptiSun Mini Compact 5.0 (13w). I turn his light on at 8:30am and turn it off at 10pm.
  • Temperature - The top of the cage is at 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit and the bottom of the cage is usually 72-76 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Humidity - humidity usually hangs around 65. Is that too high?
  • Plants - I’m only using fake plants
  • Placement - My cage is located in my bedroom near my standing closet from IKEA which helps block the air from the air vents. My bedroom has a lot of air vents since it is technically the media room but it is also the warmest room in the house so I figured this was the best spot for him. He’s about 3 feet off of the ground.
  • Location - I am located in Fort Worth, TX. We just hit a cold front so we’ve been down in the 40’s


Current Problem - I am concerned about how he is adjusting. Every morning he’s relatively pale with lots of black spots. Around noon or 1pm every day he likes to come down from the basking spot and get his mustard greens and drink his water. He turns a really pretty green when he is doing that. By the time he makes his way back to the top he goes back to the pale color with the spots. Is this normal? I know it takes a long time for him to get acclimated to his new environment but I am worried there is something I should be doing to make his life better. Any advice?



Normal Green Color when eating and drinking:
View attachment 215966

Petrie in the morning:
View attachment 215964


Petrie when he's done eating:
View attachment 215965
Okay, I’m going to be abrupt because there’s a lot. Did you read the caresheet? Could you post a pic of the back of his back feet so we know he’s a male? He needs to fed multiple times a day and given as much as he wants to eat. More variety is good, too. You must gutload all of your feeders!!! He needs phosphorous free calcium without D3 every feeding, phosphorous free calcium with D3 twice monthly, and a multivitamin twice monthly. If he seems still thirsty after mistings, get a dripper or mist more or both. When you get the money, invest in an automated mister. He’ll eventually need a bigger cage at minimum size of 2’ by 2’ by 4’ tall. Get rid of the blue daylight bulb and get a regular white light heat incandescent bulb from the hardware store. If you have the money now, also get a t5HO linear light fixture and uvb. 12%, 6%, or 10.0 by Arcadia or Zoo Med, respectively. While you’re at the hardware, get a timer for his lights, he needs 12 hours of basking and uvb and 12 hours of complete darkness. Get a temp gun to measure his basking temp and a digital thermometer/hygrometer combo meter to get humidity and ambient temp. The care sheet has proper temps and humidity levels on it. Humidity should be fine. Could you move the air vent direction away from his cage or close them?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Some great feeders are multiple types of roaches (orange-headed, ivory-headed, red runner, dubia, green banana, etc.), hornworms, silkworms, butterworms, crickets, multiple types of flies (blue bottle flies and spikes, black soldier flies and larvae, etc.), painted lady butterflies, mantids, stick insects, snails, etc. For smaller chams, isopods and bean beetles are great, along with fruit flies, fly spikes/larvae and other appropriately sized foods. Superworms can be given as treats or occasional variety, roaches and silkworms are the healthiest, and hornworms are great for hydration. Make sure to gutload every feeder! And make sure every feeder is appropriately sized for your cham- not thicker than the width of their head, use common sense.
 

aurora_sophia

New Member
I could close the air vent! That's a great idea. Here's his back foot. Kind of unfocused but I didn't want to scare him lol. I have read the caresheet, there are just so many varying opinions on how to care for them, I'm really glad this forum exists! Thank you for the advice.

IMG_2375.jpg
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
I would suggest to get a pothos in the enclosure so he has more foliage and will feel more secure. In the second and third pictures he is definitely exhibiting stress colors likely due to not feeling secure in the enclosure. Also, I have noticed that many chameleons will turn in even before the sun goes down, so lights on until 10pm is likely too long. I would use say 7am to 7pm as a basic guide for the lighting, but around 12 hours total is good.
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
The cage is less than 3 feet tall and the cham is relatively young. Also pics show there is no foliage up there.
True, but I would still go with the Arcadia 6%. If concerned about the strength you can use a spare piece of screen to help filter out some UVB for the first 6 months. Hopefully the plant issue is dealt with quickly :).
 

aurora_sophia

New Member
I immediately went and bought more plants! I am going to get the lightbulb upgrade tomorrow. Thank you all so much for your help, I truly want Petrie to have the best life ever so whatever I can do to make that his reality, I'm here for it! :)
 
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