Jackson's Chameleon basking most of the day

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Male Jackson's Chameleon. He is about a year and a half, I've had him a little over six months.
Handling - Right now, only if I need to.
Feeding - Crickets and waxworms. He eats 3-8 every other day. I am gutloading with cricket crack.
Supplements - Reptivite of calcium, calcium with D3, and multivitamin. He gets calcium about every other feeding, and the other two once a month.
Watering - Combination of MistKing and a dripper. I see him drinking all of the time.
Fecal Description - Poop is somewhat soft. Urine is white most of the time.
History - Received him from flchams.com and have had him since.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - I have a 2'x2'x4' screen cage which is always left open for free ranging.
Lighting - Reptiglo and Reptisun 5.0 linear tubes. One on top of his cage, and one on top of the free range. I have a 40W bulb for basking.
Temperature - Basking is about 84-86. Everywhere else is about 70-72. Overnight doesn't get below 65 ever. I have a digital thermo to measure temp.
Humidity - Humidity is 60%-85% most of the time. Using live plants and MistKing to regulate humidity. I use a digital gauge to measure.
Plants - Three pothos.
Placement - In my room, plenty high off the ground. 6.5 ft.
Location - Lubbock, TX.

Current Problem - For about 4 days or so he has spent 85-90% of his time in his basking spot. I have seen him move away if I put a cricket close, or if he drinks. Other than that he doesn't explore at all. He used to explore my room every single day. Now he is hardly leaving his cage. He has even been sleeping in his basking spot. He hasn't been gaping, still eats and drinks. Everything else is normal besides he doesnt move hardly at all. Should I be worried? Or is this a normal thing when the temperature begins to change again?

thanks guys!
 

ataraxia

Avid Member
i dont think reptivite makes a plain calcium version. there product comes with d3 and preformed VitA (fish oil). are his eyes closed most of the day?

if you answer yes to his eyes closed. this is just a guess from what i see.

you may be giving him way to much d3 and VitA. i would purchase some repcal plain calcium or jurassical fine plain calcium. shut uvb lights off for a few days and use just your basking light. only supplement with plain calcium for the next two weeks with no vitamins. i would also gutload vegetables and fruits that are very low or have no vitA.. you basically want to detox your guy.

recommend:
repcal plain calcium every feeding
repcal calcium with D3 twice a month
repcal herptivite twice a month or you can rotate reptivite and herptivite.
 

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
you are right, it is repcal not reptivite. I was remembering wrong, my bad. Okay, I will try that and see how he does... And no, his eyes are awake. Everything else is completely normal except he doesnt leave that area.

i dont think reptivite makes a plain calcium version. there product comes with d3 and preformed VitA (fish oil). are his eyes closed most of the day?

if you answer yes to his eyes closed. this is just a guess from what i see.

you may be giving him way to much d3 and VitA. i would purchase some repcal plain calcium or jurassical fine plain calcium. shut uvb lights off for a few days and use just your basking light. only supplement with plain calcium for the next two weeks with no vitamins. i would also gutload vegetables and fruits that are very low or have no vitA.. you basically want to detox your guy.

recommend:
repcal plain calcium every feeding
repcal calcium with D3 twice a month
repcal herptivite twice a month or you can rotate reptivite and herptivite.
 

Eltortu

Established Member
Hey dude, haven't seen you posting in awhile, maybe he is just feeling lazy and wants to hang out by the heat lamp??...
 

Chris Jury

New Member
I'd raise both the ambient and basking temps. My Jackson's here in Hawaii (outdoors) will bask a up to an ambient temp of at least 85 F (the highest we get), where temps in the sunlight (similar to 'basking temps') are in the neighborhood of 90-97 F. The past couple days we've had a fair amount of rain, and temps have only been about 70-75 F during the day. The animals have been relatively dark and basked as much as possible when there has been intermittant sunshine. On warm, sunny days here (80-85 F ambient temp, 90+ 'basking temp') they bask, but not all day, and assume lighter coloration. Similar results have been found in the field where these guys maintain body temps in the mid 80's to low 90's F by actively basking.

If it were me, I'd raise the ambient temp to at least 78 F and provide a basking temp of maybe 95-100 F. This might entail moving the basking area closer to the bulb, using a higher wattage bulb, and/or wrapping the cage in some plastic, to hold in warmth better. These animals tolerate cold nighttime temps well, and tolerate cool daytime temps too, but they definitely operate best and show normal coloration when they are able to achieve these warm and, for them, normal body temps.

Hope that helps,

cj
 

Elizadolots

New Member
hmmmm...

When did you last check the temps? There's been a definite cold snap in some areas (including yours) the last few weeks. My gut feeling is that he's just staying in the warmth.
 

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
Hey dude, haven't seen you posting in awhile, maybe he is just feeling lazy and wants to hang out by the heat lamp??...

Maybe, it just seems a little odd.

I'd raise both the ambient and basking temps. My Jackson's here in Hawaii (outdoors) will bask a up to an ambient temp of at least 85 F (the highest we get), where temps in the sunlight (similar to 'basking temps') are in the neighborhood of 90-97 F. The past couple days we've had a fair amount of rain, and temps have only been about 70-75 F during the day. The animals have been relatively dark and basked as much as possible when there has been intermittant sunshine. On warm, sunny days here (80-85 F ambient temp, 90+ 'basking temp') they bask, but not all day, and assume lighter coloration. Similar results have been found in the field where these guys maintain body temps in the mid 80's to low 90's F by actively basking.

If it were me, I'd raise the ambient temp to at least 78 F and provide a basking temp of maybe 95-100 F. This might entail moving the basking area closer to the bulb, using a higher wattage bulb, and/or wrapping the cage in some plastic, to hold in warmth better. These animals tolerate cold nighttime temps well, and tolerate cool daytime temps too, but they definitely operate best and show normal coloration when they are able to achieve these warm and, for them, normal body temps.

Hope that helps,

cj

I tried to raise the temperature to 75* it was about 70, it'll just be a little until the temp goes up. You really think the basking temp should be that much? I've been told the whole time it needs to be no more than 85* I'll give it a try though.

any one else's thoughts on this?

hmmmm...

When did you last check the temps? There's been a definite cold snap in some areas (including yours) the last few weeks. My gut feeling is that he's just staying in the warmth.

Even though I know it was stressful for him I felt like I needed to check him out and I had to get him out under his will. I did notice that his grip wasn't completely gone but is definitely weak. I also noticed he had some part of a sperm plug on his body and wet my fingers and got it off. Weird thing though, he stopped trying to crawl away and turned some of the brightest green I have ever seen him display even though I had my fingers all over his tail.

Does anyone else have other thoughts?


Here are some pics from after that process:

5479704764_7808d7a524_b.jpg


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5479105273_303c8aafac_b.jpg


5479105473_7cf89afc98_b.jpg


And this one is when he started to fall asleep on my hand, which NEVER happens. I got him to wake up and put him on his branch... he started climbing to the basking spot, stood under the dripper, though I didn't see if he drank, and is now basking again. Darker than the pics, but still basking.

5479704544_e6f9fe1c0f_b.jpg
 

Seeco

Avid Member
Well he looks freaking awesome is all I have to say. Maybe you have a gas or co2 problem in your house. Jk but who knows?
 

Elizadolots

New Member
He is handsome.

I suspect he's not falling asleep so much as he's wishing it were over.

Ya know, as long as his eyes look good and his poop looks good, I'd maintain the status quo.

It might be his little internal clock thinks it's time to be a couch potato and hang out in the sun.

You definitely want to keep an eye on it, but it's called a "basking spot" for a reason: they bask there and basking involves lazy lolling around in the warmth.
 

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
Well, he hasnt eaten for a couple of days now and looks really skinny in comparison to normal. Does anyone have experience with Jackson's this time of year? It might just be temperament change and me overreacting, but I just want to make sure...
 

jojackson

New Member
Darker color and spending excessive time 'basking' generally indicates its not acheiving its desired body temperature.
Im betting cooler ambient temperatures are responsible, possibly its losing body heat at a greater rate than it can warm up, hence staying there.
I would raise the temperature right under the lamp by 5-10f atleast , particularly if your cage offers are decent thermal gradient.
If it continues to stay there rather than move about and regulate its temp, consider raising the rooms ambient temperature some.
Commonly suggested temperatures are a guideline for a given species 'comfort zone', aka
a small range of temperatures between which, your species can comfortably function.
Wild lizards simply dont remain within that, they both get cooler and alot hotter, as they see fit.
What seems to be commonly misunderstood here, is that lizards, no matter what climate they come from, can and do raise their body temperatures well above the ambient.
This is the point of 'basking'. If your basking temp is set to guideline ranges, you deny your lizard the ability to raise its body temperature above that if it needs to.
Basking temperatures 10-20f above the recommended range will allow your lizard to do that.
What you need to keep in mind, is that it also needs to escape those temps to cool down, hence a good thermal gradient is crucial.
Thermal gradient refers to the varience between the very hottest and the very coolest temperatures your lizard can experience in its environment.
The high should be above the guideline temperature, the low should be below it.
The greater the range of temperature (thermal gradient) you can provide your lizard in its environment, the more efficiently it can regulate its own desired body temperature as it will in nature. :)
 

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
Darker color and spending excessive time 'basking' generally indicates its not acheiving its desired body temperature.
Im betting cooler ambient temperatures are responsible, possibly its losing body heat at a greater rate than it can warm up, hence staying there.
I would raise the temperature right under the lamp by 5-10f atleast , particularly if your cage offers are decent thermal gradient.
If it continues to stay there rather than move about and regulate its temp, consider raising the rooms ambient temperature some.
Commonly suggested temperatures are a guideline for a given species 'comfort zone', aka
a small range of temperatures between which, your species can comfortably function.
Wild lizards simply dont remain within that, they both get cooler and alot hotter, as they see fit.
What seems to be commonly misunderstood here, is that lizards, no matter what climate they come from, can and do raise their body temperatures well above the ambient.
This is the point of 'basking'. If your basking temp is set to guideline ranges, you deny your lizard the ability to raise its body temperature above that if it needs to.
Basking temperatures 10-20f above the recommended range will allow your lizard to do that.
What you need to keep in mind, is that it also needs to escape those temps to cool down, hence a good thermal gradient is crucial.
Thermal gradient refers to the varience between the very hottest and the very coolest temperatures your lizard can experience in its environment.
The high should be above the guideline temperature, the low should be below it.
The greater the range of temperature (thermal gradient) you can provide your lizard in its environment, the more efficiently it can regulate its own desired body temperature as it will in nature. :)

That makes a lot of sense actually. Though one thing that confuses me is that the temps outside have been increasing as he started this behavior. He does seems to be a little more energetic right now, instead of laying on the branch, hes standing on it. I will raise the temp more tomorrow and see how he changes. Could this also cause a decrease in appetite?
 

jojackson

New Member
Yes, since appetite depends on your lizards metabolism, which is dependant on its ability to reach/maintain desired body temp.
Though temps outside have been increasing, most homes are well insulated and have comfort loving humans living in them, these odd creatures like to control their own environment with fans, airconditioning and central heating. :)
If the room temp is thermostatically controlled to maintain a certain temperature, its ambient temp may still be cool enough to make thermoregulating an issue.
A screen or otherwise largely open cage, will be subject to ambient room temps.
Your heating being on top, will only penetrate so far down, since heat rises, so outside the immeadiate basking area, your cage temps will be largely ambient room temp.
Caging and lighting options/design being such, it can be difficult to provide a range of temperatures , especially with only one artificial heat source.
The big light bulb in the sky is much better at it! :D
 

Cainschams

New Member
I have to disagree with those who said he looks great. To me he looks overfed and is a little swollen around the neck area. I would stop feeding the wax worms and put him on a diet. Blue bottle flies, spiders, moths, hoppers etc are much better treats for him. BB flies can be bought online the rest can be caught.

I have noticed in some of my animals that feeding crickets gut loaded on cricket crack more than a few times a week tend to get a little edema. Some animals dont. I use the crack sparingly now, once or twice a week. I use the montane mix along with all the fresh fruits and greens.

Also,

recommend:
repcal plain calcium every feeding
repcal calcium with D3 twice a month
repcal herptivite twice a month or you can rotate reptivite and herptivite.

I dont know how many times Ive had to come behind this "recommended" schedule for lowlands and say it shouldnt be recommended for montane species, IMHO.

I think you are giving plenty of supplements as it is. These species are more prone to over supplementation issues than the general veiled or panther.

I dont supplement any of my montane species with multivitamins. With the crack and well rounded fresh fruit and veggie gut load you shouldnt need too. I dust with plain calcium very very very VERY lightly. To the amount you can barely see any on the feeders. My adults get fed every other day to 3 days. My guys get some natural sun most of spring to fall with the warmer months them getting lots of it. I dust twice with D3 in the 4 months they dont go outside. I do dust with spirulina powder and wheat grass powder. The flies are mainly dusted with these along with feeding them dried honey/bee pollen along with fresh fruits.

I would put him on a diet, give lots of water and slack off on supplements. Of course get him to a vet soon if he doesnt stop closing his eyes in the day.
 
Last edited:

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
Yes, since appetite depends on your lizards metabolism, which is dependant on its ability to reach/maintain desired body temp.
Though temps outside have been increasing, most homes are well insulated and have comfort loving humans living in them, these odd creatures like to control their own environment with fans, airconditioning and central heating. :)
If the room temp is thermostatically controlled to maintain a certain temperature, its ambient temp may still be cool enough to make thermoregulating an issue.
A screen or otherwise largely open cage, will be subject to ambient room temps.
Your heating being on top, will only penetrate so far down, since heat rises, so outside the immeadiate basking area, your cage temps will be largely ambient room temp.
Caging and lighting options/design being such, it can be difficult to provide a range of temperatures , especially with only one artificial heat source.
The big light bulb in the sky is much better at it! :D

I feel like I should already know the details but all of this makes so much sense. I am no longer worried that he's sick, just cold haha. I will raise the temps to see how that works...

Do you have an explanation of why I had to, really urge him out of his cage stressing him, but as soon as he was out on my hand he turns soooo bright?
 

jojackson

New Member
Perhaps the fact that you are, as far as the lizards concerned, a predator about 5000 times it size reaching for it! :D
Defensive behaviours are normal, infact Id be worried if it never reacted at all.
The cage is his territory and if another cham ventures into that, you'll see it defended,
this is another aspect.
Outside the cage is neutral territory, sitting on your hand/arm there is akin to a new branch on a tree, sans any obvious threat, it should be relaxed.
Every lizard behaves according to its environment, state of health etc, some are 'easy going', some are the lizard antichrist, most will cease seeing you as a potential threat eventually. :)
Its all about body language, how you move, how quickly or slowly, how you approach it etc.
Any big moving thing in a lizards world is a potential threat, since most big moving things in its natural environment will see it as a happy meal. :)
Move slowly, never raise your hand above it (threats come from above aswell, Birds etc),
likewise from behind it will make him nervous too. Offering a stick (below his feet) rather than your hand may make getting him out of the case less drama.
 

cantgetagoodsn

Avid Member
Perhaps the fact that you are, as far as the lizards concerned, a predator about 5000 times it size reaching for it! :D
Defensive behaviours are normal, infact Id be worried if it never reacted at all.
The cage is his territory and if another cham ventures into that, you'll see it defended,
this is another aspect.
Outside the cage is neutral territory, sitting on your hand/arm there is akin to a new branch on a tree, sans any obvious threat, it should be relaxed.
Every lizard behaves according to its environment, state of health etc, some are 'easy going', some are the lizard antichrist, most will cease seeing you as a potential threat eventually. :)
Its all about body language, how you move, how quickly or slowly, how you approach it etc.
Any big moving thing in a lizards world is a potential threat, since most big moving things in its natural environment will see it as a happy meal. :)
Move slowly, never raise your hand above it (threats come from above aswell, Birds etc),
likewise from behind it will make him nervous too. Offering a stick (below his feet) rather than your hand may make getting him out of the case less drama.

well today he seemed to be doing a little better, but he had one eye closed for a little bit. Im sorta getting worried now
 
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