Meet Lorne!

Exyst

New Member
Hey Everyone! This is Lorne. The Store said it was a male, and I have no other knowledge of confirming for now. He’s a 10-Week old Veiled Cham and also my first reptile! I figured I’d just post to get a feel for what I have done correctly, or anything I may need to fix/change. I’ll be asking several questions as I’m new to caring for a Cham.
His enclosure is a reptibreeze (16x16x30) vertical terrarium. I struggled quite a bit to keep humidity trapped within the enclosure, so I bought some aquarium backing and closed off the left, back, and right sides. The top and front is still exposed to allow proper airflow. I have to keep the temperature in the household fairly comfortable; I have a one-year old whom doesn’t cooperate well with the heat. So I installed a dripper that drips constantly throughout the day, and that didn’t maintain Humidity as well I thought it would. I had moss for substrate in the bottom of the enclosure thinking it would trap humidity further in the lower levels of the enclosure, but I didn’t account for how many crickets were hiding underneath it nor the bacteria that could have started to grow. It’s all been removed since that discovery. (Through this experimenting, the humidity levels remained at a constant 40-45%, which I knew weren’t sufficient for the Cham) I’ve since installed a fogger as well, which has kept the humidity levels at a solid 50-60% constantly. I still spray twice a day (morning & night) to keep the humidity high enough at times to allow him to shed.

Crickets are his main food source, which he eats happily! They have 24/7 access to food/water. They’re gut filled with Fluker’s high-calcium diet and cricket quencher. I dust them with Repti-calcium WITHOUT D3 daily and Reptivite multivitamin WITH D3 1-2 times monthly. I’ve tried to hand feed him both spring mix leaves, and freeze-dried (rehydrated) vegetables but He won’t even acknowledge them both in my hand or somewhere in the enclosure within his eye-sight. (Will continue to work on that).
His UVB-Light is an 18” Zoo-Med 5.0 fixture that is on during his 12-14hr daytime cycle. I went with a 150w Exo-Terra +75% intensity basking bulb, which he stays under quite frequently. I’ve seen him gape his mouth open sometimes to cool himself off when he leaves the basking spot, so I’m not sure if his spot is getting too hot for him to bask comfortably (To be determined). I have an Exo-Terra 100w night-heat bulb to turn on when I turn off his UVB/Basking bulb at night:
As for any worries or questions:
He has a fairly noticeable black line in his color down the side of his right ribcage. I don’t know if that’s a shedding issue, or his color coming in as he grows.
He is also still quite wobbly when he moves. Nowhere near as much as he was when we brought him home eight-days ago, but enough to make me question it.
He’s incredibly vibrant and green at night, is that normal?
How many crickets should I be feeding him a day? I figured as young as he is, he should just eat until he’s full.
Should I be concerned with the fact that he’s eating absolutely no vegetables, nor is he attracted to them at all.
Is it detrimental to his development that I put real plants in his enclosure with him? Or will he be just fine with the synthetics?

Thank you all for your time and patience reading! I’ll attach plenty of pictures DEFINITELY open for constructive criticism! Please don’t hesitate to give me advice or criticism on my current setup! I want Lorne to enjoy his enclosure, not to be miserable and me assume that he’s happy!
 

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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the group! Lorne is adorable! I do see some things that need adjusting but I’m not an expert on veiled s so I’ll tag some people in that are. Also there’s a form for you to fill out so that we can see and understand your Cham and the way you’re keeping him so we can help you. I’ll tag people in now so hang in there, help is on the way! @Beman , @ERKleRose , @MissSkittles
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Male for sure. but I can not go through the help form now. Few things right off the top... 150watt heat bulb WAY TOO HOT. reduce to a 60-75watt max.

You need a 10.0 bulb for that T8 fixture. The 5.0 will not get far enough down. And you need the distance to basking branch below the UVB to be about 6 inches to get the right UVI level. Farther down and baby will not get what it needs.

Changing over to a T5HO fixture may be better in the long run with a 5.0 bulb for it and then distance would be 8-9 inches to the basking branch below it.

Start reading this and every single module... It is a crash course in chameleon husbandry and will teach you how to do it right. Plus you will understand our feedback better once you read it. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Putting my feedback in red.

Hey Everyone! This is Lorne. The Store said it was a male, and I have no other knowledge of confirming for now. He’s a 10-Week old Veiled Cham and also my first reptile! I figured I’d just post to get a feel for what I have done correctly, or anything I may need to fix/change. There looks to be quite a bit to change. It may seem overwhelming, but I’ll prioritize for you best I can. I’ll be asking several questions as I’m new to caring for a Cham. Perfect! It’s the best way to learn and give Lorne his best life.
His enclosure is a reptibreeze (16x16x30) vertical terrarium. This size is okay for him for now, but he’ll be growing fast and within just a few short months he’ll be needing at least a 2x2x4’ enclosure. I struggled quite a bit to keep humidity trapped within the enclosure, so I bought some aquarium backing and closed off the left, back, and right sides. Many of us do this to help contain water spray too. The top and front is still exposed to allow proper airflow. Excellent. I have to keep the temperature in the household fairly comfortable; I have a one-year old whom doesn’t cooperate well with the heat. So I installed a dripper that drips constantly throughout the day, and that didn’t maintain Humidity as well I thought it would. For water, you should be misting/spraying 2-3 times a day for at least 2 minutes. Early AM, optional mid day and before lights out. Using a dripper should be for only about 15-20 minutes during the day. I had moss for substrate in the bottom of the enclosure thinking it would trap humidity further in the lower levels of the enclosure, but I didn’t account for how many crickets were hiding underneath it nor the bacteria that could have started to grow. No substrate is best for now…just bare floor. It poses too many risks for not only various bacterial and fungal growths, but impaction if he accidentally ingests some of it. It’s all been removed since that discovery. (Through this experimenting, the humidity levels remained at a constant 40-45%, which I knew weren’t sufficient for the Cham) Humidity is much lower than you think it should be. During the day it should be between 30-50%. Let your enclosure have time to dry out completely. I’ve since installed a fogger as well, which has kept the humidity levels at a solid 50-60% constantly. Don’t use a fogger during the day or when temps are high. It can be a respiratory infection risk. At night, you want a decent temp drop and then you can use your fogger for a few hours to boost humidity to 80-100% to simulate natural hydration thru fog. still spray twice a day (morning & night) to keep the humidity high enough at times to allow him to shed.

Crickets are his main food source, which he eats happily! Like us, chams like variety in their diet. Attaching a feeder graphic. My favorite feeders are roaches and silkworms and they are perhaps the more nutritious staple feeders I can get. They have 24/7 access to food/water. Excellent. They’re gut filled with Fluker’s high-calcium diet and cricket quencher. Not so excellent. Lol Those will keep your bugs alive, but not necessarily healthy. The healthier your feeders are, the more nutritious they are. Attaching a ‘gutload’ graphic. I dust them with Repti-calcium WITHOUT D3 daily and Reptivite multivitamin WITH D3 1-2 times monthly. Absolutely awesome! However, you should be using the Reptivite with D3 for one feeding every other week. I’ve tried to hand feed him both spring mix leaves, and freeze-dried (rehydrated) vegetables but He won’t even acknowledge them both in my hand or somewhere in the enclosure within his eye-sight. (Will continue to work on that). Even though veileds will occasionally munch on vegetable matter, they have no need for it and can’t digest it. Give the veggies to your feeders instead. Give your cham lots of safe live plants and he’ll nibble the leaves as he wants. Pothos is a favorite of keepers and chams alike. Attaching a plant graphic too. Do keep in mind that some will need a plant light to thrive.
His UVB-Light is an 18” Zoo-Med 5.0 fixture that is on during his 12-14hr daytime cycle. Is that a T5 or a T8 fixture? It should be a T5 for optimal uvb output and range. The 5.0 is perfect with a T5. Then basking area needs to be about 8-9” down from the light. You could also get an Arcadia 6% which lasts a year vs Zoo Med’s 6 month lifespan. When he gets his larger enclosure, he’ll need a 24” uvb to span the width. I went with a 150w Exo-Terra +75% intensity basking bulb, which he stays under quite frequently. What are your temps? 150w is super high! I use a 60w and get ideal temps of around 80. Get a thermometer with a probe end and monitor basking temps. I’ve seen him gape his mouth open sometimes to cool himself off when he leaves the basking spot, so I’m not sure if his spot is getting too hot for him to bask comfortably (To be determined). It most likely is. I have an Exo-Terra 100w night-heat bulb to turn on when I turn off his UVB/Basking bulb at night: No lights and no heat needed at night. Unless your night temps get in the low 50’s, your cham will do great with a good cool night.
As for any worries or questions:
He has a fairly noticeable black line in his color down the side of his right ribcage. I don’t know if that’s a shedding issue, or his color coming in as he grows. It looks like it may just be a part of his colors starting to me. Does it come and go? If so, it’s just his colors and no concern. If it's constant, it could be a bruise or something else that you'd just want to monitor and we can revisit the subject again.
He is also still quite wobbly when he moves. Nowhere near as much as he was when we brought him home eight-days ago, but enough to make me question it. Little ones do a very exaggerated 'leaf walk' all the time. I'll look for a video of it so you can compare.
He’s incredibly vibrant and green at night, is that normal? Yes. At night when they are asleep they and their colors relax and they'll be bright.
How many crickets should I be feeding him a day? I figured as young as he is, he should just eat until he’s full. Yes! He should be eating all he wants in about a 15 minute period. If he's under 12 weeks old, you could actually be feeding him twice daily. As he grows, feeding amounts will be changing.
Should I be concerned with the fact that he’s eating absolutely no vegetables, nor is he attracted to them at all. Nope.
Is it detrimental to his development that I put real plants in his enclosure with him? Or will he be just fine with the synthetics? The problem with fake plants is that he’ll eventually try nibbling on them. It only takes one successful bite of a fake plant to cause a potentially lethal impaction.

Thank you all for your time and patience reading! I’ll attach plenty of pictures DEFINITELY open for constructive criticism! Please don’t hesitate to give me advice or criticism on my current setup! I want Lorne to enjoy his enclosure, not to be miserable and me assume that he’s happy!
This has gotten rather long, so I’ll add more in a separate post. :)
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is a pretty good example of leaf walking. They do wobble a little bit too. They are trying to look like a leaf blowing in the breeze to hide themselves from predators.

This is one of my enclosures to help give you an idea of how to set one up. I use Dragon Ledges, which while a bit expensive, they make hanging plants, branches and vines sooo much easier. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ If you can squeeze them into your budget when you upgrade Lorne’s enclosure size, you’ll love them. Some have made their own, but I’m not crafty or patient enough. Many keepers have gotten very creative in creating ways to hang branches. There are a few enclosure threads that you can check out for ideas.
I have as many plants as I can squeeze in, not just to provide lots of shade and hiding areas, but to help soak up the overspray of water too. It makes cleaning tougher, but that’s the trade off. I do use branches from outside. Nothing with sap, like pine. I just wash with dish soap, sun dry and voila’.
If I missed anything, I’m sure someone else will add feedback. Many of us, myself included, started with everything wrong and love being able to give back the same help that we received. 🤗
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Exyst

New Member
This is a pretty good example of leaf walking. They do wobble a little bit too. They are trying to look like a leaf blowing in the breeze to hide themselves from predators.

This is one of my enclosures to help give you an idea of how to set one up. I use Dragon Ledges, which while a bit expensive, they make hanging plants, branches and vines sooo much easier. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ If you can squeeze them into your budget when you upgrade Lorne’s enclosure size, you’ll love them. Some have made their own, but I’m not crafty or patient enough. Many keepers have gotten very creative in creating ways to hang branches. There are a few enclosure threads that you can check out for ideas.
I have as many plants as I can squeeze in, not just to provide lots of shade and hiding areas, but to help soak up the overspray of water too. It makes cleaning tougher, but that’s the trade off. I do use branches from outside. Nothing with sap, like pine. I just wash with dish soap, sun dry and voila’.
If I missed anything, I’m sure someone else will add feedback. Many of us, myself included, started with everything wrong and love being able to give back the same help that we received. 🤗
View attachment 305797
I greatly appreciate the time you put into your feedback @MissSkittles . It seems I have quite a bit to learn still. I spent hours researching before I had even bought Lorne. I’ve been looking for a place to ask any questions I had, or reassurance when I thought I had it all wrong. Super grateful I found this group!

To touch base with the dripper, fogger, and spraying: even doing all three more frequently than I should, the humidity levels still tend to drop the high forties when the enclosure completely dries out. Is there a percentage low enough that I should start to worry?
i’ll definitely look into diversifying his palette of food, toning back on the basking light wattage, and ridding of the night lamp altogether.
I’ve already started looking into budgeting for a larger than 2’x2’x4’ just to err on the safer side for his Quality of Life front.

Again thank you so much! I’ll keep you up to date with his progress!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
To touch base with the dripper, fogger, and spraying: even doing all three more frequently than I should, the humidity levels still tend to drop the high forties when the enclosure completely dries out. Is there a percentage low enough that I should start to worry?
If humidity gets below 30%, then I’d take actions to try to increase it. Adding lots of live plants will help greatly with humidity and create little ‘pockets’ of humidity so your cham can choose his own level. Also, if you are using an analog gauge, I’d question the accuracy. Digital ones with probes for both temps and humidity are more accurate. If you lime smart gadgets, many keepers use and like these. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07R586J3...colid=KJ5ZG5Z20HLW&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
I use these for ambient temps and humidity along with thermometer gun and probed things. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07R3YC1BC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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