Jackson's is sluggish, won't open eyes

JacksonLover

New Member
Update: I have gotten a good cage for him immediately. He is acting normal again, but I have yet to see him eat.



Chameleon Info:

* Your Chameleon - 6 month old male Jackson's Chameleon, I've had it for a day now
* Handling - Sadly, I've been handling him often because I'm worried about him and I want to make sure he's not dead.
* Feeding - Gut loaded crickets, feed fresh apples and fish flakes, 5-9 a day
* Supplements - Calicum powder on crickets
* Watering - Mist twice a day, dripper on leaves for water
* Fecal Description - Dark, lumpy
* History - N/A


Cage Info:

* Cage Type - 10 Gallon Tank
* Lighting - R-zilla Dual UVB/Heat fixture
* Temperature - 70-80F
* Humidity - 30-50%, depending on when I mist
* Plants - No
* Placement - In a quiet, cool basement
* Location - NJ


Current Problem - I have just received my chameleon yesterday. He was eating yesterday and was moving about happily. When I went to check at him at about 3pm, his eyes were shut and he wasn't moving. He has been like this all night. I bought a bottle for misting, and started misting him with bottled water, and believed that to be the problem. Right now it's about 6:30 and he will still not move. He hasn't eaten today. Whenever I walk by him, he will open his eyes for a few moments, but then close them again. When I pick him up, he does move but slowly. I put him under warm water for a bit, and he became very alert and moved, but returned again to being sluggish after I put him back in his tank. I plan on buying him a live plant to increase humidity, which I have trouble maintaining. Do you think I am handling him too much, and this is why he is acting this way? Should I wait for him to adjust? How can I help maintain his humidity?
 

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carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Often times the incorect lighting will make chams close their eyes. What type of Zilla do you have and how long have you had it.? There were some problems with certain types of Zilla lights. a 10 gallon tank is WAY WAY too small
 

JacksonLover

New Member
Often times the incorect lighting will make chams close their eyes. What type of Zilla do you have and how long have you had it.? There were some problems with certain types of Zilla lights. a 10 gallon tank is WAY WAY too small
It is a Desert Series 50 Combo Dome, I have just purchased it. I plan on buying a larger enclosure, but I want to see if it can survive a day or two more.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Absolute wrong lighting!!! The best lighting out there for chams is Zoomed Reptisun 5.o tube. I would get rid of that light immediately. The newer zilla's are supposed to be ok but Zilla had a problem witht those exact lights way back and they were causing major problems with reptiles eyes because they were putting out way too much uvb. The company never really came to the plate and said they had completely modified the light to be perfect. There are still unanswered questions from the report I have read. You only have a 10 gallon tank which I said is way way too small for your chameleon. you should have something like a 18 X 18 X30 minimum for a juvenile and larger for an adult. You are probably burning your chameleons eyes I hate to tell you. Your chameleon will probably survive just fine if you get rid of that light
 

JacksonLover

New Member
Absolute wrong lighting!!! The best lighting out there for chams is Zoomed Reptisun 5.o tube. I would get rid of that light immediately. The newer zilla's are supposed to be ok but Zilla had a problem witht those exact lights way back and they were causing major problems with reptiles eyes because they were putting out way too much uvb. The company never really came to the plate and said they had completely modified the light to be perfect. There are still unanswered questions from the report I have read. You only have a 10 gallon tank which I said is way way too small for your chameleon. you should have something like a 18 X 18 X30 minimum for a juvenile and larger for an adult. You are probably burning your chameleons eyes I hate to tell you. Your chameleon will probably survive just fine if you get rid of that light
I understand, I will get a larger tank as soon as possible. As for the lights, what are some good compatible tops for that kind of light? I have a hood for the tank, not sure if it can fight those bulbs. Is there a similar tube type bulb for heat that may fit, or shall I buy another thing for heat?
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, do you know you do not leave the lights on all night. 10-12 on 10-12 off. Darkness for night time.
 

Ace

Avid Member
dude.....LINEAR TUBE REPTI-SUN 5.0, WITH FIXTURE--THIS PROVIDES UVB

you need another light for heat, a regular hardware house 60 watt light bulb is fine, as long the temps do not reach no more that 82 degrees at the basking area. everyehere else should be in the 70's degree...and at night in the 60's....
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
you have to be super careful with glass because it holds the heat. Most of us prefer to use the screen cages. Glass can be used but you need good ventilitation and a decent size. You need a basking bulb but I would just use that dome and put in an ordinary housebulb like a 20 watt. Your chameleon has really no where to go and cool off in a 10 gallon tank with the lights blaring in there. Jackson's are from Africa but they inhabit the cool humid mountainous regions. They are not in the desert and the light you are using is for something like bearded dragons . I am telling you if your change your lighting and enclosure you will have a different chameleon on your hands. I would not spend money on any lighting to fit that cage because you have to change it. I have my adult cham in a 18 X 30 X 36 and most on here use the 24 X 24 X48. Chams like to be high up. The higher the better. I am sure your cham is also highly stressed being in that cage. I would for now screw in like a20 watt and don't turn that zilla back on your cham again until you can get the right lighting
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
dude.....LINEAR TUBE REPTI-SUN 5.0, WITH FIXTURE--THIS PROVIDES UVB

you need another light for heat, a regular hardware house 60 watt light bulb is fine, as long the temps do not reach no more that 82 degrees at the basking area. everyehere else should be in the 70's degree...and at night in the 60's....
Ace Dont you think a 60 watt in a 10 gallon tank is too hot.!? I say like a 20 or 40 max!!!! The cham has no where to go to escape the heat!
 

Ace

Avid Member
Ace Dont you think a 60 watt in a 10 gallon tank is too hot.!? I say like a 20 or 40 max!!!! The cham has no where to go to escape the heat!
yeah..but he can move the light higher to change the temps...but you are right...for now get a very low wattage bulb until you get the right cage.

and mist him more often:)
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
yeah..but he can move the light higher to change the temps...but you are right...for now get a very low wattage bulb until you get the right cage.

and mist him more often:)
yeah, I guess you could go that route also.
 

Action Jackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
There you go. Good advice right there. Screen cage, ficus tree,linear fixture(I'd go with a 24" dual bulb fixture from say Home Depot with a 6500k bulb and the Repiti Sun) a spot lamp (probably 60 w) and mist a couple times a day or more. That will get you started. You will also need to get your food and supplements handled.

He's a nice looking Male and should have no problem living with proper housing,food and care.

you have to be super careful with glass because it holds the heat. Most of us prefer to use the screen cages. Glass can be used but you need good ventilitation and a decent size. You need a basking bulb but I would just use that dome and put in an ordinary housebulb like a 20 watt. Your chameleon has really no where to go and cool off in a 10 gallon tank with the lights blaring in there. Jackson's are from Africa but they inhabit the cool humid mountainous regions. They are not in the desert and the light you are using is for something like bearded dragons . I am telling you if your change your lighting and enclosure you will have a different chameleon on your hands. I would not spend money on any lighting to fit that cage because you have to change it. I have my adult cham in a 18 X 30 X 36 and most on here use the 24 X 24 X48. Chams like to be high up. The higher the better. I am sure your cham is also highly stressed being in that cage. I would for now screw in like a20 watt and don't turn that zilla back on your cham again until you can get the right lighting
 

sevarious

New Member
with the dome light, look for one that has a dial on the cord ot adjust the brightness. i have a 60 watt bulb in mine but it will sometimes push the basking area close to 90 degrees and i have to turn it down. much easier htan having to move it all the time to adjust the tempurature. i got mine for 15 bux at petsmart.
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Just raise or lower the incandescent until you get the temp you need at the basking branch. An adjustable fixture is nice but not really necessary.
 

jessica

Avid Member
These guys like ALOT of water also. The sooner you can change him into proper housing the better.

He is beautiful
 

JacksonLover

New Member
Thanks, I have already the cage in mind that I bet on eBay. It is 18 x 18 x 36, but I won't get it until after X-mas. I have trouble maintaining the humidity, what should I do in the mean time? He is acting the same and I am getting new lights.

This statement is pretty concerning, I hope I have mis-interpreted it.

I mean, I don't want to spend money and have it die just a day after. It seems that it's healthy in every other way but is acting in this same way. It is day 2 now of its weird behavior.
 

jessica

Avid Member
How often are you misting? If you could mist more and may be run a humidifier in the room.

Make sure you are drying the bottom of the cage and water is not puddling and stagnate.
 
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