Jackson's enclosure and feeding problems

funkycox

New Member
I purchasedmy first Chameleon ( a Jackson's) at the local huge chain petstore where they told me to take him home in an aquarium and feed him 4 crickets a day and to make sure he drinks out of a water dish. After much research I have realized everything they told me is wrong. I currently keep him in a 65 gallon screen enclosure with real plants and I mist every chance I get and have made a drip system out of a plastic cup w/a hole in it. I have been looking on avery single website out there for the exact needs of a jackson's chameleon. It seems that my efforts are all in vain. The screen cage with the label "the cage preferred by breeders" pulled out all of the claws on his back feet. When I put up Hardware cloth to make it easyer for him to climb without further injury, the crickets would climb in between the hardware cloth and the screen where he can't get to them. I then tried bowl feeding and he doesn't seem interested. I even made a special bowl out of a milk jug that allows the crickets to climb one side of the jug so he can see them and still he won't eat http://www.chameleonnews.com/year2003/jan2003/hints/hints.html. He still drinks but only if water is directly landing on his head. In the past 2 days he has eaten 3 insects. One superworm and 2 crickets. What am I doing wong? Please help
 

jkashyap

New Member
u should get a hygrometer and thermometer and keep his temperature around 85 at basking and 75 ambient... they REALLY need a 10 degree drop at night, the humidity should be above 60% at least.... this can be achieved using a humidifier and running it for about 4 or 5 30 min intervals... u can check out my pics and see my tank for my jackson... i am no expert. and anyone correct me if i am wrong but this is just some advice i can give to start
 

Sean

New Member
What are you doing wrong? Nothing. Your efforts are admirable, especially the fact that you did the research and changed the parameters accordingly. The simple truth is your chameleon got off to a bad start by being housed incorrectly at the pet store. Pet stores, at the very least, are ignorant and at the most, completely villainous. I have never seen a chameleon properly housed at a pet store, ever. That's why it's imperative to buy from knowledgeable breeders. Impulse buys happen, that's how I got my start, so don't feel bad. I would advise you to go back to the store and let the manager know of your experience and the health problems that have resulted from their poor advice. An email to the corporation or franchise owner wouldn't hurt either. By and large pet stores know what their doing is wrong, but forego proper housing because it's inconvenient to water chameleons in a screen enclosure, plus they want to sell you an aquarium. This is deplorable, and reason enough to boycott the purchase of chameleons from such establishments.
 

Jordan

New Member
I guess I really have some questions.

What size is your Jackson?
When did you purchase him?
What is your lighting system?
What is you temperature, basking and ambient?
What is your humidity?
What condition are his back feet in and when did this occur?

A digital thermometer/hydrometer can be purchased at walmart near the garden department for under $15 in most cases. The analog ones are highly inaccurate.

A injury such as have your nails riped out is tramatic enough not to mention the fact of switching cages multiple times. This would be enough for a lot of other chameleons to stop eating all together in a short amount of time.

It is good to here that you are doing the necessary research and trying to go about his care in a proper way.
 

funkycox

New Member
reply

He is about 9 inches total including the tail so I asume he is a subadult. I have a digital thermometer in the cage. The temp gets to about 75-78 during the day and it drops to around 60 at night. I have two basking lamps one is a 60 watt and the other is 100. They also sold me a heatlamp to leave on at night!(which of course I don't use) can you believe that? Unfortunately I have no idea what the humidity level is but I do spray every chance I get and leave water dripping in the cage as much as I can. I might go to the evil walmart today and look for a humidity gauge and thermometer combo.
 
when you say watering every chance you get how often is that. i spray my jackson at least twice a day and i leave water dripping all day i keep them on a screen porch so they have natural sunlight but it doesn't get to hot. can you post photos of him
 

Frank Castle

New Member
funkycox said:
I have two basking lamps one is a 60 watt and the other is 100. They also sold me a heatlamp to leave on at night!(which of course I don't use) can you believe that?
Is One of these bulbs a UVB Bulb, Like Reptisun 5.0? Some of the issues with feeding may be lack of UVB.

Frank
 

funkycox

New Member
I spray the cage 2 to 3 times a day and water is dripping most of the day. As far as UVB I can't really tell. Both of the lamps had pictures of reptiles on them and claimed to give the correct amount of "UV" light. Those reptisun bulbs are pretty expencive, is there other alternatives?
 

Frank Castle

New Member
funkycox said:
I spray the cage 2 to 3 times a day and water is dripping most of the day. As far as UVB I can't really tell. Both of the lamps had pictures of reptiles on them and claimed to give the correct amount of "UV" light. Those reptisun bulbs are pretty expencive, is there other alternatives?
There are no real alternatives, Other than placing your cham outside during the day to get natural sunlight. You need to get one of those floresent tube lights. There are diffrent brands and strengths but you NEED to have one. If you bulbs are the regular lightbulb type they will not give off the UVB needed for your cham. This light helps them digest food, and absorb vitamins. You should get this bulb ASAP. You can usually buy The Floresent Fixture in a hardware store way cheaper than what they sell in the pet store. The fixture should cover the length of the top of your cage, Example: Your cage is 2 feet wide, you should get a 24" Light. Make sure you get a bulb that emits UVB. your regular light will put out UVA. Good Luck

Frank
 
what is the difference between reptisun and repti glo other then price on reptilesupply reptiglo 5.0 is 10.50 and reptisun 5.0 is 19.63
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
jvillereptile said:
what is the difference between reptisun and repti glo other then price on reptilesupply reptiglo 5.0 is 10.50 and reptisun 5.0 is 19.63
Howdy,
A loooong story short, studies suggest that the D3 yield index is best from the Zoomed Reptisun 5.0 vs. the other mfgr. Try BigAppleHerp for one of the best prices on the Zoomed tubes. If you don't want to get it from them then check to see if your store of choice will match their price. For example, LLL Reptile will match.

BigAppleHerp:
http://www.bigappleherp.com/bigappleherp.filereader?4512011800b463c4271e424d361a05c4+EN/products/262125

LLL Reptile:
http://lllreptile.com/
I have personally found that they will match the internet price from BigApple.

More of the UVB story can be found at:
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/ The Ever-Popular UVB Site
http://www.testudo.cc/ The Main Page
http://personal.inet.fi/private/testudo/Pages/Table 4.html D3 Yield Index

Bottom Line: Stick with the Reptisun 5.0 with its proven history. :)
 

Jordan

New Member
Regarless of product name a light that legitimittly produces uvB is in immediate order. Two things concerned me with what you posted.

One, the fact that they gave you was at best "crappy" information in regards to proper husbandry and diet probably means that they where in fact using it. If they are good knowledgable sells people they will go at great lenghts to disclose proper information in an attempt to jack up the sells. These flourescent bulbs have to be replaced every six months, they require some sort of ballist, and that adds up to a repeat customer $$$.

Second, if this Jackson was being held at this pet store for a substianal amount of time he is probabely in poor health. The two symptoms you gave where lethargic behavior and poor appetiate. These could be symptoms of many different health problems. The one that immediatly pops into my head is MBD given the information that was provided.

I would at this point check the Jackson over very well. You will be looking for several things: swelling at the joints, bumps at on any part of the skeleton, broken toes, curving of the long bones, jaw shutting flush (underbite is normal, we are talking horizontally), "S" ing of the spine, a tail that does not roll up completly (or flacid), tremors (noticable most at the feet), inability to properly support weight (most notably in the rear section, "dragging his butt" so to speak), favoring feet when standing, and some report noticably ruinier stool.

I have heard that in Jacksons with MBD that the ends of the horns become noticably opauce but this is not a reilable source. Just curious if anyone else had heard of that.

I would do this check in conjuction with some further research in this area. I would think at this point you have multiple options. If he is showing more substainal signs then the ones you listed perhaps you could return him for a refund. If they will not refund your money a trip to the vet is in order. If he is not showing more substainal sign I would keep these thoughts in your mind. The two things that cause MBD are improper husbandry, improper diet or a combination of the two. Researching of proper husbandry and diet can start on this forum. There are multiple people who own or have owned Jackson myself included. The reason I said keep MBD in mind is simple. Beginning cases of this can be cured with no trips to the vet or adverse effects on the chameleons lifestyle. Cases that are allowed to advance can get ugly.

Husbandry is not just numbers but rather providing them with an enviroment that encourages natural behaviors. Just feeding them food is not enough you have to feed the feeders properly and adopt some sort of supplement regiment. A jacksons is a demanding chameleon to start out with but it can be done. When you do these things good a chameleon can be a very rewarding pet to own.
 
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funkycox

New Member
I got the reptisun bulb yesterday and he seems to be improving already. The funny thing is the giant chain store I got it from didn't have a fixture that fit the bulb. Lowe's doesn't either. I eventually found an exotic animals store that has stuff like 5 foot Caymans and Sharks. This guy told me he didn't have any new ones in stock and even if he did they would be like 30 dollars. So he went in the back and found a fixture which had the cord bitten through by some unnamed animal. He fixed the wire and sold it to me for 18 bucks. Sweet!

Thanks for all the help
Jon
 
Sounds Expensive actually. I pay about $11 US for a ballast that holds 2x 48" bulbs. I buy them at home depot. Make sure that there is no glass or plastic bewteen the bulb and your chameleon.
 

funkycox

New Member
Hey I think the new light did the trick. He is eating more and has just started shedding. Should I help with this or just leave him alone?
 

Frank Castle

New Member
Just leave them alone. In my experiences, they get extra grumpy when they shed. A few Extra Prolonged mistings will help things along.

Frank
 
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