My chameleon seems to dislike the basking light that I was recommended by the pet shop

Lichisor

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled (Yemen) Male Chameleon, one month old. I've had it for 3 days
  • Handling - He is rather friendly, likes coming out of the terrarium once or even twice a day.
  • Feeding - We were suggested locusts and crickets, medium sized (only fed him locusts so far). Generally he kind of avoids them altogether, but they seem to disappear overnight. Not sure if they're dead or have been eaten early in the morning, but we've never seen him hunt them. We also give him wax worms, have given him 2 on different days so far. There are generally 2 or 3 locusts in his terrarium (we're not sure how often to feed him, so we make sure there are a couple at all times)
  • Supplements - We were advised to dust crickets twice a week with calcium powder.
  • Watering - We have a mister and we usually mist the terrarium three times a day. We do it until there is plenty of water dripping from leaves for him to drink.
  • Fecal Description - Darkish brown, normal consistency, has not been tested for parasytes.
  • History - None that we know of..

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 61hx61wx45d (centimetres) glass (exoterra)
  • Lighting - basking - ExoTerra Intense Basking Spot 100w (he seems to have a problem with it, so right now we have changed it to a regular yellow light bulb which he likes a lot more); -uv - ExoTerra UVB 200; The cage is lit from 8:30AM to 8:30 PM
  • Temperature - The basking spot reaches 32 C (90 F) Not sure about the floor as we currently only have one thermometer which is placed where the basking spot is. The lowest temp overnight is 25 C (75 F)
  • Humidity - We have been advised to mist the terrarium regularly, so we do it 3 times a day.
  • Plants - No live plants
  • Placement - It's by a window, about 1.5m from the floor level.
  • Location - United Kingdom

Current Problem - Our thermostat is currently not functioning properly, and he opens his mouth and puffs up if we turn the basking light directly on without the thermostat to control it (understandably). The basking spot is around 10-15 cm away from the light, but we have a vine for him to go up and down as he likes. Is the basking light too strong? Or too close to the basking spot? Also, why do we never see him eat anything other than the wax worms that we hand feed him?
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Current Problem - Our thermostat is currently not functioning properly, and he opens his mouth and puffs up if we turn the basking light directly on without the thermostat to control it (understandably). The basking spot is around 10-15 cm away from the light, but we have a vine for him to go up and down as he likes. Is the basking light too strong? Or too close to the basking spot? Also, why do we never see him eat anything other than the wax worms that we hand feed him?
Welcome to the forum. You will want to fix quite a bit for him. They are arboreal so they need live plants and branches to move around in. Right now 95% of his area is on the ground.
I am going to go through your help form and put my comments in red. :)

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled (Yemen) Male Chameleon, one month old. I've had it for 3 days
  • Handling - He is rather friendly, likes coming out of the terrarium once or even twice a day. He is wanting out to get to a better place to feel safer... Please do not take this as he is happy. While they can be trusting 95% of the time this is a sign that they do not like their enclosure.
  • Feeding - We were suggested locusts and crickets, medium sized (only fed him locusts so far). Generally he kind of avoids them altogether, but they seem to disappear overnight. Not sure if they're dead or have been eaten early in the morning, but we've never seen him hunt them. We also give him wax worms, have given him 2 on different days so far. There are generally 2 or 3 locusts in his terrarium (we're not sure how often to feed him, so we make sure there are a couple at all times) He may not be eating because if he is truly a month old then medium sized feeders would be much too big for him. Do you have other pics?
  • Supplements - We were advised to dust crickets twice a week with calcium powder. This is incorrect. So you want to dust either with repashy Calcium Plus LoD on all feeders lightly at every feeding OR you will use a calcium without d3 at every feed then 2 times a month use a multivitamin and 2 times a month use a calcium with D3.
  • Watering - We have a mister and we usually mist the terrarium three times a day. We do it until there is plenty of water dripping from leaves for him to drink. How long is this that your misting for?
  • Fecal Description - Darkish brown, normal consistency, has not been tested for parasytes. Get him tested. They can have some pretty bad parasites it is not something you want to have to deal with so it is better to know sooner rather then later if he has anything. So take a fecal into your vet to be checked.
  • History - None that we know of..

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 61hx61wx45d (centimetres) glass (exoterra) You will eventually need to upgrade this to a larger size for a male Veiled. Depending on your humidity levels a screen enclosure might be better but if you are getting the correct humidity in the exo terra just get the biggest size they carry... Also with the glass you will need to do a true bio active enclosure... Otherwise your dirt etc is going to get really nasty and grow all sorts of stuff.
  • Lighting - basking - ExoTerra Intense Basking Spot 100w (he seems to have a problem with it, so right now we have changed it to a regular yellow light bulb which he likes a lot more); -uv - ExoTerra UVB 200; The cage is lit from 8:30AM to 8:30 PM Ok so that basking bulb is going to produce much too high of heat for him. If he is that young especially. With the UVB lighting is it a T5HO fixture with the long linear bulb? He needs to be able to bask beneath this at about 7-8 inches away to get the correct UVI level so he does not develope MBD>
  • Temperature - The basking spot reaches 32 C (90 F) Not sure about the floor as we currently only have one thermometer which is placed where the basking spot is. The lowest temp overnight is 25 C (75 F) WAY too hot. Baby/juvenile (<9 months): ambient 72-80F (22-26C), basking 85F (29C)
  • Humidity - We have been advised to mist the terrarium regularly, so we do it 3 times a day. You need to get a hydrometer... They need a level of 30-40% during the day when the lights are on. It can be higher at night but your cage is a bit warm still at night.
  • Plants - No live plants Dwarf umbrella plants are great They will give him areas to hide and get higher in his cage.
  • Placement - It's by a window, about 1.5m from the floor level.
  • Location - United Kingdom
Ok here are some links that will be helpful and additional info.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/
Awesome podcast tons of info here https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/

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Last edited:

Lichisor

Member
Wow, thanks for your time. There is a lot to do, we'll keep an eye out from now on.

We mist for about 20 seconds I'd say.

We use a small bulb, not a linear kind.

We did think that the crickets are way too big but the people at the pet shop insisted that they're fine and that this is what they've eaten for a while now.

Everyone comes at us with different suggestions and opinions and it's hard to choose which one is right. How do I make the temperature lower AND get him a place to bask? Because the basking light will make the enclosure very hot, especially the one we were suggested by the pet shop (100W)
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow, thanks for your time. There is a lot to do, we'll keep an eye out from now on.

We mist for about 20 seconds I'd say.

We use a small bulb, not a linear kind.

We did think that the crickets are way too big but the people at the pet shop insisted that they're fine and that this is what they've eaten for a while now.

Everyone comes at us with different suggestions and opinions and it's hard to choose which one is right. How do I make the temperature lower AND get him a place to bask? Because the basking light will make the enclosure very hot, especially the one we were suggested by the pet shop (100W)
Everything @Beman said is spot on. To lower temps you have a few options. Lower the wattage, move the bulb further away from the branch, move the branch further away from the bulb, combination of those two, or invest on a dimming thermostat.
 

Lichisor

Member
Everything @Beman said is spot on. To lower temps you have a few options. Lower the wattage, move the bulb further away from the branch, move the branch further away from the bulb, combination of those two, or invest on a dimming thermostat.

Would a 42W bulb suffice at that distance? Maybe if we lower the vine as well? You can see in the picture that the basking spot we chose for him is the dark brown vine to the right side of the viv. Thanks!
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Would a 42W bulb suffice at that distance? Maybe if we lower the vine as well? You can see in the picture that the basking spot we chose for him is the dark brown vine to the right side of the viv. Thanks!
Hard to say. Everyones ambient temps are different. At that age you don't want a basking spot above 82*F though (you'll have to convert that into Celsius). I always recommend staring with a 50w. You'll need to measure this with a laser temp gun
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow, thanks for your time. There is a lot to do, we'll keep an eye out from now on.

We mist for about 20 seconds I'd say.

We use a small bulb, not a linear kind.

We did think that the crickets are way too big but the people at the pet shop insisted that they're fine and that this is what they've eaten for a while now.

Everyone comes at us with different suggestions and opinions and it's hard to choose which one is right. How do I make the temperature lower AND get him a place to bask? Because the basking light will make the enclosure very hot, especially the one we were suggested by the pet shop (100W)
Yeah so exactly what Camo said... You have to get a linear UVB light. Arcadia brand are excellent and you should be able to get one easily there. You want the T5Ho fixture single bulb with a 6% arcadia UVB bulb. This is absolutely necessary so he does not develop MBD. This is a horrible debilitating disease that is 100% preventable with the correct lighting. You need the basking level at 7-8 inches below. As for the 100 watt. pull that thing. OUt they are nuts to give you that. Start with a 60 watt incandescent and if that is still producing too much heat then raise it more off the screen.

One way to add height in an exo or any other cage so you can get your branches up is to build a bamboo frame. @CamoChameleonsHuman Can you attach pics of your frame and cage so they see what they can do with one?

Here is my cage.... So you can see 7-8 inches below the basking level starts then it is filled with pothos plants and branches for him to choose his spot.

You will want to get the hydrometer to see what humidity your getting in the exo. Problem is if it is too high you have a risk of him getting a Respiratory infection (RI). 20 seconds is pretty short.

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