New Cham Owner ^^

Hi I’m Ray! I’m a newb cham owner but really excited to treat my new pet Khalid as best I can. I don’t have any really pressing concerns, but I am a little insecure about my lighting currently. Last week I was worried about the humidity, but I feel it is more under control now.

Here’s more about me and Khalid. If you have suggestions or comments, please let me know! :)


Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - He is a veiled chameleon named Khalid. I got him on 7.14.19 at a local reptile Expo. The seller told me he was 10 weeks old at the time of purchase.
  • Handling - I don’t take him out to ‘play'. But I’ve had to move him around a bit as I make adjustments to his cage.
  • Feeding - At first it was mealworms, then superworms, now I found some wax worms - all of these were coated with calcium w/o d3. I’ve recently begun dusting with vitamins the last two days. I also introduced crickets within the first week of having him. I’m learning about gut loading but have made a cricket container with the orange cubes in there for now. I plan to have crickets as the staple, and am interesting in learning about more resources for food as a reptile store is not nearby. I feed Khalid as much as he wants to eat. I’ve seen him eat about 5 crickets/ day and go down to his worm bowl a couple times a day, but he’s kinda a grazer right now. I am starting to feed him in the morning only. I saw him eat some pothos today. I try not to give him so many crickets that there are some in there over night, but I usually see at least a couple in there all the time.
  • Supplements - ZooMed ReptiCalcium without D3, and Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin. I have been on 3 days off 3 days, with the calcium, but plan to do it every day going forward. Not knowing when his last dose of vitamins were, I gave him some yesterday for the first time. Plan to do that every week or two?
  • Watering - I was misting by hand 3 times a day, but want something more reliable. I got a ReptiRain system which mists for 45s every 3 hours between 9am - 10pm using filtered water. I also added a bottle with a hole in the bottom and some melting tap water ice cubes which I will have full each day. I haven’t really seen him drinking, but he has yet to get used to the position and schedule of the ReptiRain and the bottle, I think.
  • Fecal Description - When I first brought him home, his droppings where black and white, the black but being rather small. Today I noticed a few big brown drops and white sac attached. I read the poop 101 forum and they look healthy! :) Has not been tested for parasites. Haven’t seen or found a vet yet.
  • History - No history on Khalid. Some pertinent info is that this is my first reptile since I was an adolescent. I’m trying to learn a lot quickly. Khalid seems pretty easy-going, maybe that’s just his young age, though. I have 2 cats, one really skittish and easy going, and one year old curious, though generally well-behaved. No other pets.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 16”x16”x30" screen cage for now, will upgrade to 2’x2’x4' or bigger. Looking to put a humidity screen on one side.
  • Lighting - He gets UVB via this light https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-25156-Reptisun-Fluorescent/dp/B00A8RI8TK this is his heat lamp 60w blue https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Daylight-Incandescent-Reptile/dp/B000255OV8/ His timer is set to go on at 9:30AM and turn off around 10PM. The timer is hooked up to his lights as well as his ReptiRain water, so the water does spray him at night.
  • Temperature - I have 2 temp gauges and 1 hygrometer. One temp probe near basking spot, having trouble getting it to read 80 degrees. It’s more like 75 degrees in basking spot. Second temp probe in mid-lower area of cage is between 66-75*, usually 5-10* colder than basking temp. Over night I was going down to 65*, but recently upped that to about 70*.
  • Humidity - The hygrometer was reading about 60% humidity, give or take, but since I got the ReptiRain a few days ago, it’s read 99% all the time, which I think is wrong, it just needs to dry out. And I don’t want to disturb him by taking it out or messing with it.
  • Plants - Right now I have 2 fake vines and 2 pothos plants from Menards.
  • Placement - It is in my dining area. My house is very small and has an open-feel. There is a busy office, the kitchen/dining room/living room (where he is, and is honestly less busy than the office), then there is my bedroom, which is dark and quiet. I could move him there, but I also like to keep an eye on him. There is a ceiling fan over the dining room, but is rarely on. The cage is about 40"off the floor now, 33” high table and 6” or so of water basins as I was focused on figuring out humidity last week.
  • Location - Minnesota

I fell for the ‘all-you-need’ chameleon kit
Reptibreeze 16"x16"x30", Naturalistic Vine, Cage Carpet, Naturalistic Plant, Repticalcium sample, Digital Thermometer, Tropical Lighting Kit w/ UVB

Have since added:

He had a healthy shred over the last two days. It only took a couple days and it all came off. I think his poop looks healthier now than when I first got him, it’s certainly bigger. He was opening his mouth today in his basking spot. He’s never showed me any aggressive colors yet, if he has any at this age. Moves around the cage frequently, basks a lot. Sways a little after he eats, did some shakes when he was shedding. Seems pretty happy. :)

I am planning to go out of town for 4 nights in the next week or so. I can have someone stop by to feed and refill ReptiRain maybe twice in those few days if I’m lucky. Any recommendations on that?
 

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Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Hi I’m Ray! I’m a newb cham owner but really excited to treat my new pet Khalid as best I can. I don’t have any really pressing concerns, but I am a little insecure about my lighting currently. Last week I was worried about the humidity, but I feel it is more under control now.

Here’s more about me and Khalid. If you have suggestions or comments, please let me know! :)


Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - He is a veiled chameleon named Khalid. I got him on 7.14.19 at a local reptile Expo. The seller told me he was 10 weeks old at the time of purchase.
  • Handling - I don’t take him out to ‘play'. But I’ve had to move him around a bit as I make adjustments to his cage.
  • Feeding - At first it was mealworms, then superworms, now I found some wax worms - all of these were coated with calcium w/o d3. I’ve recently begun dusting with vitamins the last two days. I also introduced crickets within the first week of having him. I’m learning about gut loading but have made a cricket container with the orange cubes in there for now. I plan to have crickets as the staple, and am interesting in learning about more resources for food as a reptile store is not nearby. I feed Khalid as much as he wants to eat. I’ve seen him eat about 5 crickets/ day and go down to his worm bowl a couple times a day, but he’s kinda a grazer right now. I am starting to feed him in the morning only. I saw him eat some pothos today. I try not to give him so many crickets that there are some in there over night, but I usually see at least a couple in there all the time.
  • Supplements - ZooMed ReptiCalcium without D3, and Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin. I have been on 3 days off 3 days, with the calcium, but plan to do it every day going forward. Not knowing when his last dose of vitamins were, I gave him some yesterday for the first time. Plan to do that every week or two?
  • Watering - I was misting by hand 3 times a day, but want something more reliable. I got a ReptiRain system which mists for 45s every 3 hours between 9am - 10pm using filtered water. I also added a bottle with a hole in the bottom and some melting tap water ice cubes which I will have full each day. I haven’t really seen him drinking, but he has yet to get used to the position and schedule of the ReptiRain and the bottle, I think.
  • Fecal Description - When I first brought him home, his droppings where black and white, the black but being rather small. Today I noticed a few big brown drops and white sac attached. I read the poop 101 forum and they look healthy! :) Has not been tested for parasites. Haven’t seen or found a vet yet.
  • History - No history on Khalid. Some pertinent info is that this is my first reptile since I was an adolescent. I’m trying to learn a lot quickly. Khalid seems pretty easy-going, maybe that’s just his young age, though. I have 2 cats, one really skittish and easy going, and one year old curious, though generally well-behaved. No other pets.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 16”x16”x30" screen cage for now, will upgrade to 2’x2’x4' or bigger. Looking to put a humidity screen on one side.
  • Lighting - He gets UVB via this light https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-25156-Reptisun-Fluorescent/dp/B00A8RI8TK this is his heat lamp 60w blue https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Daylight-Incandescent-Reptile/dp/B000255OV8/ His timer is set to go on at 9:30AM and turn off around 10PM. The timer is hooked up to his lights as well as his ReptiRain water, so the water does spray him at night.
  • Temperature - I have 2 temp gauges and 1 hygrometer. One temp probe near basking spot, having trouble getting it to read 80 degrees. It’s more like 75 degrees in basking spot. Second temp probe in mid-lower area of cage is between 66-75*, usually 5-10* colder than basking temp. Over night I was going down to 65*, but recently upped that to about 70*.
  • Humidity - The hygrometer was reading about 60% humidity, give or take, but since I got the ReptiRain a few days ago, it’s read 99% all the time, which I think is wrong, it just needs to dry out. And I don’t want to disturb him by taking it out or messing with it.
  • Plants - Right now I have 2 fake vines and 2 pothos plants from Menards.
  • Placement - It is in my dining area. My house is very small and has an open-feel. There is a busy office, the kitchen/dining room/living room (where he is, and is honestly less busy than the office), then there is my bedroom, which is dark and quiet. I could move him there, but I also like to keep an eye on him. There is a ceiling fan over the dining room, but is rarely on. The cage is about 40"off the floor now, 33” high table and 6” or so of water basins as I was focused on figuring out humidity last week.
  • Location - Minnesota

I fell for the ‘all-you-need’ chameleon kit
Reptibreeze 16"x16"x30", Naturalistic Vine, Cage Carpet, Naturalistic Plant, Repticalcium sample, Digital Thermometer, Tropical Lighting Kit w/ UVB

Have since added:

He had a healthy shred over the last two days. It only took a couple days and it all came off. I think his poop looks healthier now than when I first got him, it’s certainly bigger. He was opening his mouth today in his basking spot. He’s never showed me any aggressive colors yet, if he has any at this age. Moves around the cage frequently, basks a lot. Sways a little after he eats, did some shakes when he was shedding. Seems pretty happy. :)

I am planning to go out of town for 4 nights in the next week or so. I can have someone stop by to feed and refill ReptiRain maybe twice in those few days if I’m lucky. Any recommendations on that?
Hello, Welcome to Forum.Since he still little, he needs all the food and supplements he can get, Till he’s tired of eating. Might wanna educate to whoever is gon take care of him on that. That being said, would you want some more constructive criticism on your husbandry?
 
Hello, Welcome to Forum.Since he still little, he needs all the food and supplements he can get, Till he’s tired of eating. Might wanna educate to whoever is gon take care of him on that. That being said, would you want some more constructive criticism on your husbandry?
Yes please, I would like to know more
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Yes please, I would like to know more
So you said you added the T5HO 5.0 right? Also, are you giving him anything with D3 and Vit A? My recommendation Would be Using Repashy Calcium Plus LoD... That replaces all supplements. That way you don’t really keep track of when u gave him vitamins etc. That’s every feeder and every feeding. Members recommended me that and I’m happy with it. In this stage of his life it’s really important he gets proper nutrition.
Does his cage look fuller? With the plants you added. His basking light shouldn’t be any color but clear. With basking light on humidity has to be around 30-40%... It’s really important he gets humidity spikes during the day. At night it is recommended somewhere around 80-100% humidity.
 
So you said you added the T5HO 5.0 right?
I haven't added it yet because I am uneasy about balancing the 30" light/frame on top of the 16" cage... I can figure something out if needed, but I already have it on hand for when he gets a bigger cage in a few months.
Does his cage look fuller? With the plants you added
The pic added to the original post is a current picture. I feel it is pretty full, could be fuller. I want to attach one of the pothos to the side of the cage and let it grow down, don't know if current cage will support that or how to do that.
Also, are you giving him anything with D3 and Vit A? My recommendation Would be Using Repashy Calcium Plus LoD... That replaces all supplements. That way you don’t really keep track of when u gave him vitamins etc. That’s every feeder and every feeding. Members recommended me that and I’m happy with it. In this stage of his life it’s really important he gets proper nutrition.
The Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin has Vit A. I am using calcium Without D3. I like the idea of an all in one, though! Thanks!
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
I haven't added it yet because I am uneasy about balancing the 30" light/frame on top of the 16" cage... I can figure something out if needed, but I already have it on hand for when he gets a bigger cage in a few months.

The pic added to the original post is a current picture. I feel it is pretty full, could be fuller. I want to attach one of the pothos to the side of the cage and let it grow down, don't know if current cage will support that or how to do that.

The Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin has Vit A. I am using calcium Without D3. I like the idea of an all in one, though! Thanks!
He needs some type of supplements with D3.. D3 is what helps them metabolize calcium into their bones. I don’t think metabolize is the correct word but you get it lol.
I would rearrange the plants so he has hiding spots. He will appreciate you for that. Lighting is really important, especially at his age. Those compact bulbs don’t produce enough “usable” UVB. Changes that require immediate attention would be your lighting, and supplementation. Other than that, tell Khalid Hi for me.
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
He needs some type of supplements with D3.. D3 is what helps them metabolize calcium into their bones. I don’t think metabolize is the correct word but you get it lol.
I would rearrange the plants so he has hiding spots. He will appreciate you for that. Lighting is really important, especially at his age. Those compact bulbs don’t produce enough “usable” UVB. Changes that require immediate attention would be your lighting, and supplementation. Other than that, tell Khalid Hi for me.
Something I missed, Calcium without D3 every feeding, MultiVit and D3 every 2 weeks.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Ray! Welcome to the forum. I am going to go through everything with you that you posted about. See my feedback in Red bold. I may be repeating what has already been given to you. This will be a great reference tool for you and please ask if your unsure of any feedback.

Chameleon Info:


  • Your Chameleon - He is a veiled chameleon named Khalid. I got him on 7.14.19 at a local reptile Expo. The seller told me he was 10 weeks old at the time of purchase.
  • Handling - I don’t take him out to ‘play'. But I’ve had to move him around a bit as I make adjustments to his cage.
  • Feeding - At first it was mealworms, then superworms, now I found some wax worms - all of these were coated with calcium w/o d3. I’ve recently begun dusting with vitamins the last two days. I also introduced crickets within the first week of having him. I’m learning about gut loading but have made a cricket container with the orange cubes in there for now. I plan to have crickets as the staple, and am interesting in learning about more resources for food as a reptile store is not nearby. I feed Khalid as much as he wants to eat. I’ve seen him eat about 5 crickets/ day and go down to his worm bowl a couple times a day, but he’s kinda a grazer right now. I am starting to feed him in the morning only. I saw him eat some pothos today. I try not to give him so many crickets that there are some in there over night, but I usually see at least a couple in there all the time. At this age he should eat about 15-20 feeders a day. You can use a feeder cup for these. I will give you an image for feeders below along with a gutload image for feeding your insects.
  • Supplements - ZooMed ReptiCalcium without D3, and Exo-Terra Multi Vitamin. I have been on 3 days off 3 days, with the calcium, but plan to do it every day going forward. Not knowing when his last dose of vitamins were, I gave him some yesterday for the first time. Plan to do that every week or two? So the easiest thing here is to use repashy calcium plus LoD at every feeding. This is a balanced supplement with everything he needs.
  • Watering - I was misting by hand 3 times a day, but want something more reliable. I got a ReptiRain system which mists for 45s every 3 hours between 9am - 10pm using filtered water. I also added a bottle with a hole in the bottom and some melting tap water ice cubes which I will have full each day. I haven’t really seen him drinking, but he has yet to get used to the position and schedule of the ReptiRain and the bottle, I think. Make sure you are using distilled or RO water for your reptirain or it will get funky and stop working from calcium buildup. I would add in an afternoon handmisting of about 2 minutes or so for him to clean his eyes. If the reptirain breaks then get a mistking starter system. Much more versitile.
  • Fecal Description - When I first brought him home, his droppings where black and white, the black but being rather small. Today I noticed a few big brown drops and white sac attached. I read the poop 101 forum and they look healthy! :) Has not been tested for parasites. Haven’t seen or found a vet yet. I would get a fecal done at a vet. Just to ensure there are no issues with parasites.
  • History - No history on Khalid. Some pertinent info is that this is my first reptile since I was an adolescent. I’m trying to learn a lot quickly. Khalid seems pretty easy-going, maybe that’s just his young age, though. I have 2 cats, one really skittish and easy going, and one year old curious, though generally well-behaved. No other pets. Careful with the cats... especially if you are cleaning the cage or have him out. I would make sure the cats are in another room during these times.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - 16”x16”x30" screen cage for now, will upgrade to 2’x2’x4' or bigger. Looking to put a humidity screen on one side.
  • Lighting - He gets UVB via this light https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-25156-Reptisun-Fluorescent/dp/B00A8RI8TK this is his heat lamp 60w blue https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Daylight-Incandescent-Reptile/dp/B000255OV8/ His timer is set to go on at 9:30AM and turn off around 10PM. The timer is hooked up to his lights as well as his ReptiRain water, so the water does spray him at night. Ok your going to need to switch the UVB to the T5HO you have... Just center it on the top of the cage. Basking level should be 7-8 inches below with the fixture sitting directly on top.
  • Temperature - I have 2 temp gauges and 1 hygrometer. One temp probe near basking spot, having trouble getting it to read 80 degrees. It’s more like 75 degrees in basking spot. Second temp probe in mid-lower area of cage is between 66-75*, usually 5-10* colder than basking temp. Over night I was going down to 65*, but recently upped that to about 70*. Get yourself a temp gun off amazon. They are only 15 bucks and will give you much better temps. You want it about 85 at basking right now for him.
  • Humidity - The hygrometer was reading about 60% humidity, give or take, but since I got the ReptiRain a few days ago, it’s read 99% all the time, which I think is wrong, it just needs to dry out. And I don’t want to disturb him by taking it out or messing with it. Ok so yeah it sounds like your getting a faulty reading. Digital gauges are better. and hook them in where they will not be sprayed. You want 30-50% max during the day and up to 100% at night when the cage is at its coolest. I will give you a link on natural hydration at the end.
  • Plants - Right now I have 2 fake vines and 2 pothos plants from Menards. Live plants are the way to go. You could get a dwarf umbrella plant that would fill out the top area as well. Make sure the dirt is covered with 1 inch river rock so he does not try to eat it.
  • Placement - It is in my dining area. My house is very small and has an open-feel. There is a busy office, the kitchen/dining room/living room (where he is, and is honestly less busy than the office), then there is my bedroom, which is dark and quiet. I could move him there, but I also like to keep an eye on him. There is a ceiling fan over the dining room, but is rarely on. The cage is about 40"off the floor now, 33” high table and 6” or so of water basins as I was focused on figuring out humidity last week. Sounds good. As long as people arent stopping and messing with him he should be fine.
  • Location - Minnesota

I fell for the ‘all-you-need’ chameleon kit
Reptibreeze 16"x16"x30", Naturalistic Vine, Cage Carpet, Naturalistic Plant, Repticalcium sample, Digital Thermometer, Tropical Lighting Kit w/ UVB

Have since added:


If he is opening his mouth while basking it means he is a bit warm. either raise the fixture or lower the top vine he is basking on. This should be about 7-8 inches below anyway for the correct UVB light from the T5 fixture.

Give whoever clear instructions on his care and to make sure that everything is running correctly. :)

podcast on natural hydration. All his podcasts are great too. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/podcast/ep-89-naturalistic-hydration-for-chameleons/
My favorite cages www.dragonstrand.com but they also have drip pans and dragon ledges for other cage types as well.
Veiled caresheet. His needs will change as he ages. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/
safe plants https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/

Finally congrats on your new guy. Welcome and if you have any questions please ask. :)

chameleon-food(1).jpg
chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha thanks! No, I am listening to the natural hydration podcast now, though. Super cool!

Also checked out those cages. A lot of good resources there. I will respond with questions at some point soon. :)
I love all his podcasts. I learn a lot from him. He is the owner of dragon strand. Well let us know if you have any questions. Happy I did not freak you out lol I always try to give a ton of feedback especially when people come in as you did offering a ton of info :)
 
So I do have a couple questions.

  • Feeding - At this age he should eat about 15-20 feeders a day. You can use a feeder cup for these. I will give you an image for feeders below along with a gutload image for feeding your insects.
By 15-20 feeders, do you mean like 10 worms, 5 crickets? Am I OK to leave 15 worms in a cup attached to the side of the screen and try to dump out about 5-7 crickets per day? Watching the cricket amount so that it's not more than 1-2 over night, and replacing worms daily?
  • Cage Carpet, No substrate in the cage unless you are doing bio active... otherwise it just gets nasty and bacteria filled.
So Cage Carpet is the 'substrate' I was referring to, it came with the chameleon kit. https://www.amazon.com/ZooMed-Cage-Carpet-Gallon-tanks/dp/B0027IZ5M6
Until I get a better drainage kit, I was planning on cleaning this 'cage carpet', like upgraded paper towels, once a week.
If he is opening his mouth while basking it means he is a bit warm. either raise the fixture or lower the top vine he is basking on. This should be about 7-8 inches below anyway for the correct UVB light from the T5 fixture.
He is actually opening his mouth for the first time I've noticed today, even right now. Normally it is while basking, but now it is somewhat in the shade... The basking temp probe says it's 80* when he is opening his mouth. That probe is on the side of the cage whereas the basking area is 6" from the top of the cage towards the middle, so it could be hotter. I am going to get a temp gun.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I do have a couple questions.


By 15-20 feeders, do you mean like 10 worms, 5 crickets? Am I OK to leave 15 worms in a cup attached to the side of the screen and try to dump out about 5-7 crickets per day? Watching the cricket amount so that it's not more than 1-2 over night, and replacing worms daily?

So Cage Carpet is the 'substrate' I was referring to, it came with the chameleon kit. https://www.amazon.com/ZooMed-Cage-Carpet-Gallon-tanks/dp/B0027IZ5M6
Until I get a better drainage kit, I was planning on cleaning this 'cage carpet', like upgraded paper towels, once a week.

He is actually opening his mouth for the first time I've noticed today, even right now. Normally it is while basking, but now it is somewhat in the shade... The basking temp probe says it's 80* when he is opening his mouth. That probe is on the side of the cage whereas the basking area is 6" from the top of the cage towards the middle, so it could be hotter. I am going to get a temp gun.
So with the worms... Superworms should only be about 20% of the diet, You want the bulk to be crickets or dubia if you can get him onto them. Waxworms as treats only and work best for hand feeding.

remove the carpet. Use papertowels and put in new ones everyday until you get better drainage.

Now the gapping... I am concerned about. If it is only 80 degrees and he is gapping down out of the lights... If he is doing this consistently he needs to see a reptile vet. While gapping most commonly is due to heat and them regulating their temp it is also a sign of a Respiratory infection. Otherwise refered to here as an RI. These require a vet and antibiotics. If you see stringy saliva when he is opening his mouth this is another sign of a RI. So keep a very close eye on this and I would go ahead and look up reptile vets in your area. Call around and find out who is actually experienced with Chams. This is important to know anyways just in case.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I switched his heat lamp to a clear 60w bulb (non LED) and switched the UVB to the T5 HO. Got a temp gun and have seen the basking spot warming up already! :)

Haven't seen him sitting with his mouth open since yesterday.

Going to start focusing on gut loading.
Just checking in. How is the gutloading going?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I switched his heat lamp to a clear 60w bulb (non LED) and switched the UVB to the T5 HO. Got a temp gun and have seen the basking spot warming up already! :)

Haven't seen him sitting with his mouth open since yesterday.

Going to start focusing on gut loading.
I use Repashy Bug Burger, Repashy Superload, bee pollen powder, and Oh My Gutload as well as fresh collard and mustard greens as well. My bugs love it but most importantly my chameleons are healthy from it.
 
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