My chameleon is a dark green instead of light like when I got him?! Please help!

LeahMcL

New Member
I got a baby veiled chameleon last Tuesday for my birthday and when I got him he was light green. I feed him medium crickets about 4-6 per day depending if they are gone my the time I go to bed? Every other day I put a thin coating on the crickets with calcium and D3. When I woke up this morning I found him in a darker shade of green when I went to feed him. Is this normal? I am using a ZooMed Double Dome with a UVB bulb and a Heat Bulb. The thermometer has a reading of 80 degrees F and the research I have done says thats good. I have lots of research and just want to make my chameleon as happy and healthy as possible! Thanks and please help me find out what is wrong with him!:confused::eek:
Chameleon Info:
Your Chameleon - Veiled, male, and about 2 1/2 months old. About 1 week.
Handling - Once still letting gime get used to his cage.
Feeding - Medium crickets. 4-6 per day. 3 in the morning, 1-2 at noon, if none left 1-2 before bed. Dry dog food and some type tan stuff the people I bought them from gave me? And some water gels.
Supplements - I use ExoTerra calcium+D3 every other day.
Watering - Spray bottle about 2-3 times a day. Not very much.
Fecal Description - First its white then turns into the normal brown. No.
History - Not really I just got him from a good store call Rasmussen Reptiles.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Small Reptibreeze.
Lighting - ZooMed, DoubleDome, and Repti Glo 5.0 UVB and R-Zilla Incandescent Night Red Heat Bulb 50 Watts. About 12 hours a day turn it off at night.
Temperature -About 65 degrees to 85 degrees F. 65 Degrees F. A cage thermometer.
Humidity - In between dry and humid. Sray bottle when gets super low. Hygdrometer?
Plants - No.
Placement - On a desk about 3 feet from the floor. No. About 3 feet.
Location - Fivemile, Spokane,WA

Current Problem - My baby veiled chameleon is very dark and sort of shiny and I am worried that something is wrong. I want him to be as healthy as possible so if anything is wrong above pleaze tell me!
 
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brandychams

New Member
welcome to the forums if u fill out the hoe to ask for help form maybe we can help your little guy out! usually dark is a sign of stress or trying to warm up
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum!
Please read the supplement parts below...you said you are giving it calcium with D3...but there is more to it than that and IMHO you will be giving it too often if you do what you said.

Also, your daytime temp of 65F is too low...might be part of the reason he's displaying dark colors. They do that when they want to warm up.


Hope this will help...
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/

Hope this helps!
 

Ekproject

New Member
i would consider getting a tube light for uv in my opinion..everyone has different takes on that..and get his heat up a little bit..good luck!
 

LeahMcL

New Member
That still doesn ot help me much I guess thanks though. I went to check on him and I calle dht estore I bought him from and they said to kepp checking on him and to try and hold him for about 2-3 minutes at a time so he gets used to me. I tried to go hold him because he seemed to be at his usual color so I think if I get him used to me he will be okay except he tried to get aay and got blue spots on him. How can I exactly get the temperature up? Because he was dark before when he wasnt at the top of his foliage and when he wass he was fine? I guess should just try and get hime used to me do you think?
 

Ekproject

New Member
chameleons dont generally actually like to be handled..he will be happier in his cage..get some branches higher towards his light
 

LeahMcL

New Member
The proffesionals at the pet store said that they too have triubles at first and if you hold them for a couple a minutes at a time they will begin to trust you so you can hold them. The lights have branches already close to them. I tried to rearrange the cage so the foliage is around more but when I tried to get him he hissed at me and kind of charged at the little cup? so i just left him. he didnt change into black like when hes stressed so I think if I keep trying and be gentle he will soon trust me he already climbed onto my hand to get onto another plant. Thanks for all your help.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
You will have plenty of time to handle your chameleon. So Let him get settled in to his new environment first. It takes time. Sometimes weeks. Do not feed your chameleon at night. Do not put crickets in with him at night as they might bite him. Also you need to gutload your crickets with better choices. Do not use dog food, use fresh fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apples, carrots, Kale, collard greens etc. That is much better for your chameleon.
 

Lingling

New Member
The proffesionals at the pet store said that they too have triubles at first and if you hold them for a couple a minutes at a time they will begin to trust you so you can hold them. The lights have branches already close to them. I tried to rearrange the cage so the foliage is around more but when I tried to get him he hissed at me and kind of charged at the little cup? so i just left him. he didnt change into black like when hes stressed so I think if I keep trying and be gentle he will soon trust me he already climbed onto my hand to get onto another plant. Thanks for all your help.
Most chameleons, especially veileds, do not like being handled. Some will tolerate it, others will not. My veiled hates my guts, even though I handled him regularly when he was young. He hisses, bites, lunges, and hides. He'll eat out of my hand, but should I dare try to pick him up, there goes Mr. Nice Guy. Maybe you'll get one that tolerates being handled, but you can't push it. Some just don't like it, but you'll find some that learn to associate their owners with food and "like" to be handled. Now, that usually has more to do with knowing where their food comes from than actually having any fond feelings for their keeper.

I gave up trying to handle His Majesty. He thinks he's too good for me, that I am good for nothing other than lunch and dinner. :rolleyes: Oh well. I still handle him occasionally to take him outside or to the shower, but it's no easy task trying to catch him, especially since he's free ranged from my 10ft ceiling, and I'm only 5ft tall. The ladder permanently resides in my bedroom.

Like Carol said, you'll have time to handle him later. Give him a week or two to settle it. After that, try to give him treats when you handle him. He'll "like" you better if handling means food. If you can get ahold of small hornworms, butterworms, silkworms, or even occasional waxworms, they make easy treats to give by hand, since they can't jump off like crickets. With patience and food, he may learn to tolerate handling well. They're not animals that should be handled daily, no matter how well they seem to tolerate you and despite what the "professionals" at the pet store might say. I work at a pet store that sells chameleons - trust me, if it is anything like your average pet store, they are not professionals and probably have very little knowledge or experience with chameleons. Being a specialty reptile store, hopefully that's not true of them, but I wouldn't take everything they say as fact.
 

camosmommy

New Member
Help! my chameleon has been turning a little darker lately too, iv had him for about a month and when i got him he was at a local pet shop and they did not have a heating/basking light on him so i just recently bought one like yesterday and ever since he keep turning dark...i tried turning down the lamp..but he gets darker..so i put it back on thinking he likes it..i just dont know why hes so upset =( and i constantly mist his cage..he actually is spoiled and likes to the bottle to be infront of his mouth and squirted in the mouth with the water...maybe hes just always thirst..? im just worried..and he doesnt seem to be eating as much as what everyone elses chams seem to be eating..he always has crickets in his cage..but he seems strong and not sick..no ickies in his mouth..no weakness as hes climbing.
 

melric

Established Member
Help! my chameleon has been turning a little darker lately too, iv had him for about a month and when i got him he was at a local pet shop and they did not have a heating/basking light on him so i just recently bought one like yesterday and ever since he keep turning dark...i tried turning down the lamp..but he gets darker..so i put it back on thinking he likes it..i just dont know why hes so upset =( and i constantly mist his cage..he actually is spoiled and likes to the bottle to be infront of his mouth and squirted in the mouth with the water...maybe hes just always thirst..? im just worried..and he doesnt seem to be eating as much as what everyone elses chams seem to be eating..he always has crickets in his cage..but he seems strong and not sick..no ickies in his mouth..no weakness as hes climbing.
I think you need to start your own thread and fill out the how to ask for help form.
 

ChameleonNerd

New Member
i had a similar problem with my male veiled a bit over a month ago. i had a circular, standard thermometer. big mistake. he was black, gaping a lot, and on occasion shaking. didn't make any sense, because black is a sign of cold, and gaping is a way to expel heat. anyway, the black was because he was unhappy. if you do not already, considering the small enclosure, get a probe thermometer, stick it in the basking spot. you might be frying him.
 

Julirs

New Member
The proffesionals at the pet store said that they too have triubles at first and if you hold them for a couple a minutes at a time they will begin to trust you so you can hold them. The lights have branches already close to them. I tried to rearrange the cage so the foliage is around more but when I tried to get him he hissed at me and kind of charged at the little cup? so i just left him. he didnt change into black like when hes stressed so I think if I keep trying and be gentle he will soon trust me he already climbed onto my hand to get onto another plant. Thanks for all your help.
The "professionals" at the pet store have given you all kinds of WRONG advice. When chameleons are young they are a bit more trusting-meaning they have just not gotten territorial. Chameleons do NOT like to be handled, some are more tolerant, but if you got a chameleon to handle-you purchased the wrong kind of animal. In fact my most tolerable animals were the ones handled the LEAST when they were young.
Also -hopefully you have a digital thermometer-those round analog dial styles do not measure basking temps accurately, and you may be freezing or cooking you cham.
Dog good is not a gutload you want to use for your crickets. It is too high in protein and can cause kidney issues, and overusing D3 can cause harm also-you need to get a calcium that has no D3.
Chameleons associate white light with basking heat, so switch the red bulb out for a 60-75 watt household light bulb-whatever gets your basking spot in the low 80's-an appropriate temp for a young Veiled.
What does shiny mean? That has me a bit concerned.
 
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