Lazy cham or some problem ?


Hello everyone, that is my 1st post here, but i am reading the forum since i have a cham. She is female, 6-7 months old.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - 6-7 months old, female, been in my care about a month.
  • Handling - Not a lot, since i have him maybe twice. She doesn't like and is scared.
  • Feeding - Crickets, mealworms, superworms.She was eaten 10-12 crickets (medium to big) for day. My wife is giving her 3-4 crickets at the day, and when i came back (17:00) i gave the others.Since 2 days, she is eating 3-4 crickets and 1, max 2 superworms.I am gutloading with what i have. Vegies, fruits, etc.
  • Supplements - I was feeding her with Calcium with d3 (Drago-Vit calcium + D3) + multivitamin (Terra Fauna Repto Life) every day (i did not know, i have to give it to her only twice a month). Before 2 days, i started giving her Exo Terra Calcium without D3 on every cricket or superworm.
  • Watering - Misting 2-3 times a day. When i come back from work, i am spraying directly in her mouth. I have never seen her to drink from leafs. In 1 week i will make it automatic - Every 3 hours from 08;30 to 19;00 o'clock i will spray water on leafs for 10-15 seconds. Correct me if i have to make it different.
  • Fecal Description - Brown with yellow to orange tip. Never been tasted for parasites.
  • History - Don't know a lot. All i know is , she was with a male in one terrarium. They told me she will have fertile eggs.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Terrarium was made by me. 500mm x 350mm x 700mm (Width x Depth x Height)
  • Lighting - 25W regular bulb. Exo Terra Reptile UVB 100, 25W. Turns on at 08;30 and turns off at 16;30 o'clock.
  • Temperature - I don't not have thermometer in terrarium, but outside, next to it, the temp is 26 degrees celsius at the day and 24-25 degrees celsius at night.
  • Humidity - Doesn't have hygrometer too.
  • Plants - One umbrella plant, 2 "happy bamboos" and one more live plant, but don't know his name (in front of the pictures).
  • Placement - In living room about 1,2 meters from the ground, so her position is about 1,6-1,7 meters from floor, my wife and kid (2 years and 4 months old) are always in this room and playing there whole day.
  • Bottom of terrarium - Pressed coco soil, about 10 cantimiters.
  • Location - Sofia, Bulgaria, Europe.
Current Problem - Since 2 days she started to eat little. Has dark lines on her green color. She is missing some hits with his tongue (2-3 misses per 4-5 shots).Her aim is not far from the target, but can't hit it correctly. Could that be, because she is hitting the tweezers sometimes?She stopped eating from the bowl and only eat from them.She has laying bin (What is your opinion for it?). She is staying only on the top branch. Moving under the bulb when turns on, when turns off she is going back to the position where is now (on pictures). Please give me suggestions what should i do or change. Very soon i will protect the heating lamp with metal net. I am not sure, should i put 45W bulb ? Thank you in advice.


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Chameleon Enthusiast
Do not feed mealworms to chameleons. They are nutritionally useless and can cause impaction, which is definitely something you don't want to deal with. Crickets are great, super worms should only be given as treats. Consider adding more variety: hornworms, silkworms, black soldier flies/larvae, etc. Lots of other good options out there. Just no mealworms.

As far as gutload goes, not all fruits/vegetables are created equally. While you're doing the right thing using fresh produce, make sure to look into the actual nutritional value of what you're using. Dark leafy greens like turnip greens and mustard greens are especially good.

10-15 seconds is no where near long enough of a misting session. You want to aim for at least several 2+ minute misting sessions a day, preferably with a 5-minute session in there as well for exceptional hydration. Be careful when spraying water directly into her mouth. The opening to their respiratory tract is actually in the front of their mouth and you can easily cause aspiration of water by doing that and mess with her lungs. Lots of chameleons just don't like to drink while being watched.

I would recommend upgrading her cage size, too. For female veileds, 18"x18"x36" is the recommended minimum.

It is not safe to have the lightbulbs inside of the cage like you do. Poses a serious risk of a burn for her and you also risk damaging the bulbs when you're misting. Sometimes bulbs even explode for no obvious reason, and you definitely don't want them raining down glass onto her. While we're on the topic of lighting, the UVB you are using is not at all a good choice. That's called a "compact bulb" and they are very bad at distributing UVB light, which is incredibly important to your girl's health. Please try to switch to a linear, tube-style light like a Reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia model. You want the long bulbs for UVB. Can't stress this enough!

You need to get a thermometer inside the cage, ASAP. How are you going to know what the basking temperature is without measuring it? You can't just put a chameleon near an exposed lightbulb and hope that everything will be fine. It is critical that you carefully test the specific parameters inside her cage.

I believe lucky bamboo plant leaves are toxic to chameleons. Since veileds are plant-eaters, I would recommend removing those. The pothos and schefflera are great, though. I also notice that you aren't really utilizing the volume of your enclosure to the best of your ability. I would like to see it flushed out with more live plants and, especially, more horizontal branches especially higher up in the cage. She has a fairly limited amount of walking space so far and chameleons are explorers. She would appreciate more options for lateral movement.

Unless the soil you're using is bioactive (has springtails and isopods in it, as well as drainage), I would remove it ASAP. The soil will just collect water, mold, and provide a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria to flourish and pose a risk to your cham's health.

There are a lot of things that could be going on here. A vet visit would be your best option, if her condition doesn't improve. Poor tongue control can be related to MBD and is not something to take lightly. With your current light setup, it is not possible for her to bask and get UVB light at the same time. So, since she is probably spending lots of time by the basking bulb, she is being deprived of the UVB that is critical for her longevity.


Thank you for your replay. I will try to optimize everything. Should i spray mist at her or on the leafs ?


Hello again, last week i removed the soil and put the lighting bulb outside . I changed it with 60W. Now she can stand to bask and near the UVB Bulb. The temperature in the terrarium (bottom side) is 25C. Under the light bulb its 31C. I spray 3 times a day for 2 mins and 1 time for 5. Also i put more branches and vines. She is moving around very well, but the tongue problem still occurs. She is eating 7-10 medium to big crickets per day and sometimes 1-2 superworms. Now she is cant miss with her tongue, but she is eating only from my tweezers. I take the cricket and she comes at 1cm from the tweezers, push out her tongue and takes the victim. Should i take liquid calcium for her ? Also, does she have MBD (if you can see from the pictures). I think she doesn't.


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Is this good - Exo Terra Repti Glo 5.0 15W PT-2160 ? And why "Zoo Med ReptiSun™ 5.0 26W UV-B" is not ? Why they sell them if they dont work ?

Last edited:

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
You need a linear bulb, compact do not work, I tried, beleive me. Your basking bulb needs to be seperate from your uv bulb


Chameleon Enthusiast
Coil bulbs are not recommended due to the fact that they focus all the useable UVB in a small area directly under the bulb. Linear tube bulbs are used since they help spread out the UVB throughout the enclosure. Otherwise the cham is only absorbing UVB while basking which may not be a sufficient amount of time leading to MBD symptoms.

Also, never give a cham liquid calcium without a vet recommendation and dosing instruction. It is easy to overdose calcium causing a lot of serious health issues.

The tongue issue is enough for me to want to make a vet appointment with a vet who has had chameleon experience.


Hello again, i want to know, can i put the linear uvb lamp inside in terrarium on hooks on the top ?


In 2 or 3 days i will make another cage - 500x400x1000mm. It will be like zoo med open air, but with drainage system.As you said, i will put new linear UVB bulb - ExoTerra 5.0 15W. I will change also the basking bulb with Philips Reflector Bulb - 75W. There will be also thermometer and hygrometer. The supplements will be the same - every cricket with Calcium without D3, once every two week Calcium with D3 and minerals (vitamins). If u have any other suggestions i will be glad to hear.
Those are defiantly bites from your cham. I have 2 females and 1 eats the leaves from her plant consistently. The other one bites a leaf from time to time, but in both cases, the leaves from the plant look like your picture.


Hello, should i be worried about my cham position ? He is moving freely during the day, but when the lamps turn off, she goes in that position. I think, she has some problems with one eye. I put the new linear uvb and hope everything will be fine. The new lamp has absolutly different light from the compact.


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