NEW Chameleon hiding on the bottom of enclosure.

Jerm0228

Member
I bought my Veiled Chameleon on about 3 weeks ago from a Petsmart with everything I needed inside an 18x18x24 GLASS death kit. I wish I did my research on death kits and found FB Groups/Forums before. I brought him home and immediately spent an additional $300-$400 on the correct lighting (75W Philips Plant light, 24" Arcadia T5 HO 12%), enclosure (2x2x4 Reptibreeze), and a whole bunch of cham safe plants. He seemed to me like he loved being handled for the first few days and was eating out of my hand almost immediately. Before all of this new stuff arrived, I had a fear of a URI from looking up, gaping, and sneezing sounds, so I used the Petsmart 14 day return policy with the intent to repurchase. They brought him to a local exotic bird/reptile vet who found a blockage in his nose, gave him an antibiotic, and had the petstore monitor him for a week with higher than normal humidity to help loosen up whatever it was. No other issues found. I went back in to pick him up a week later and brought him home to his new enclosure. For the last week since getting him back, he will sit in a pothos plant low to the ground and not move a muscle. This pothos is lifted about 12-14 inches from the ground. Whenever I walk into the room, he may be on his basking branch but immediately turns dark moves as fast as he can to the pothos at the bottom at the first site of me. I bought a 2 foot plant stand to put the pothos on to keep him higher but don't want to handle him when he is already super stressed to put the stand in. I have a majesty palm, a ficus, 3 Pothos plants (2 smaller ones mounted on dowels on top and the bigger one at the bottom). I dont think coverage on top is the issue. Do you think this is just him acclimating to the new enclosure? He has been back in my card for 11 days.

  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon. Unknown age but assumed 4-5 months. In my care for about 2-3 weeks.
  • Handling - Handled often with no issues the first few days when originally got him. Only once in the last week when cleaning/adding to enclosure.
  • Feeding - Small-Medium Crickets (Carrots and Apple gut load and flukers quencher) and Small BSFL. I load up a bowl with about 5-6 BSFL and 2-3 Crickets every AM and PM. Hornworms occasionally. 2 in the last week.
  • Supplements - RepCal calcium every feeding on crickets only (I read BSFL are pretty calcium loaded and dont need dusting). Reptivite biweekly (Have only had to use this one time since he is new to me).
  • Watering - Hand mist 30 minutes before lights on (9AM) and 30 minutes after lights off (9PM) about 2-3 minutes. Have never seen him drink because he has been hidden but he looks hydrated. Fogging midnight to 6AM.
  • Fecal Description - Feces looks normal. Black and White. Toothpaste consistency. Have not seen any orange which from what I've heard is no good.
  • History - Histoty in the description above
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 reptibreeze. Shower curtain on 2 of 4 sides.
  • Lighting - Philips 75W Plant light (Doubles as basking light). Arcadia 24" T5HO 12%. 9AM-9PM lights on.
  • Temperature - Cage floor is usually between 70-75. Basking is 82-85. I have 2 therm/hygrometers. One near basking one on opposite side lower. Also use temp gun as a backup.
  • Humidity - Florida weather so relatively humid. Day time fluctuates from 35-50. Nighttime after misting around 75-80 but the fogger overnight falls directly on the plant where he has been hiding/sleeping.
  • Plants - 3 Pothos, Majesty Palm, Ficus
  • Placement - Cage is located in the living room area. Apartment and not many low traffic areas to choose from. There is a ceiling fan and vent but not close to enclosure. The enclosure is lifted about 2 feet off the ground.
  • Location - Central Florida
 
Hey there welcome to the forum, may I see some pics of the new set up including lighting positioning on top of the cage. IF you have any pics of the baby that would be helpful too. Is he eating at all?
 
Photo of the enclosure, a photo I just got of him. Making himself stick thin and hiding behind the dowel. (I’m working so he was on the basking branch). Sorry, can’t really get another as he ran back down into the pothos when I appeared. And the last is a picture within the first couple days of getting him 3 weeks ago. He looks hydrated and healthy in my opinion. Just seems extremely stressed and scared.
 

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Hey there welcome to the forum, may I see some pics of the new set up including lighting positioning on top of the cage. IF you have any pics of the baby that would be helpful too. Is he eating at all?
Please see my additional post. First time posting and didn’t know I had to hit “reply”.
 
Because you have an Arcadia 12% you will need to raise up the uvb light off the top of the cage. Also looks like you have a female I can’t see any tarsul spurs
 
Photo of the enclosure, a photo I just got of him. Making himself stick thin and hiding behind the dowel. (I’m working so he was on the basking branch). Sorry, can’t really get another as he ran back down into the pothos when I appeared. And the last is a picture within the first couple days of getting him 3 weeks ago. He looks hydrated and healthy in my opinion. Just seems extremely stressed and scared.
Ok so I think he went through a lot when he was taken back to Petco. You do have a little male based on that 3rd pic. BUT that is only if they gave you the same chameleon back. I know that sounds nuts but I have seen in other threads where they "replace" one.

Husbandry looks pretty spot on. The only exception is the 12% bulb. You want a full 11-12 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the closest branch directly below the fixture. You can lift the fixture up off the top to accommodate this total distance. Recommended bulb strength is 6% for chams with a 8-9 inch distance to the branch for a T5HO.

You will want to expand your gutload as well. See image.

Add a dripper to the cage. You can do this with a plastic solo cup and tiny pin holes poked in the bottom. Place on top of the cage on the screen. Add ice cubes for a slow drip. Make sure it drips onto plants for him to drink from.

chameleon-gutload.jpg
 
Hey there welcome to the forum, may I see some pics of the new set up including lighting positioning on top of the cage. IF you have any pics of the baby that would be helpful too. Is he eating at all?
After taking the picture of him hiding behind the dowel and running back down into hiding, all of the BSFL I offered this morning were gone. So, seems like he came up to eat.
 
Supplements - RepCal calcium every feeding on crickets only (I read BSFL are pretty calcium loaded and dont need dusting). Reptivite biweekly (Have only had to use this one time since he is new to me).
Make sure the repcal is without D3 and the reptivite is with D3. Correct you do not need to dust BSFL. They are the only feeder you can do this with though.
 
After taking the picture of him hiding behind the dowel and running back down into hiding, all of the BSFL I offered this morning were gone. So, seems like he came up to eat.
Good so I would load up the feeder. Babies this young really need to be taking down 2 dozen a day. I would add them all in the morning. That way he has the day to digest. Also if he decides to come out once he can eat as much as possible.
 
Per the original question. I think this little man is extremely stressed out. Hopefully he will settle down the more time he has to feel safe.

one option to help him is to add a solid side to the right side of the cage. This way three sides are blocked and he won't be looking at what is outside of the cage. Plastic PVC sheets can be great for this. Also great to attach to the outside screen to keep your walls dry.
 
Ok so I think he went through a lot when he was taken back to Petco. You do have a little male based on that 3rd pic. BUT that is only if they gave you the same chameleon back. I know that sounds nuts but I have seen in other threads where they "replace" one.

Husbandry looks pretty spot on. The only exception is the 12% bulb. You want a full 11-12 inches from the bottom of the fixture to the closest branch directly below the fixture. You can lift the fixture up off the top to accommodate this total distance. Recommended bulb strength is 6% for chams with a 8-9 inch distance to the branch for a T5HO.

You will want to expand your gutload as well. See image.

Add a dripper to the cage. You can do this with a plastic solo cup and tiny pin holes poked in the bottom. Place on top of the cage on the screen. Add ice cubes for a slow drip. Make sure it drips onto plants for him to drink from.

View attachment 352480
Thank you for the info. I've spent a ton of time on husbandry after having to leave the front door on the death kit enclosure open for ventilation. Maybe thats why he was so good with me at first. Spent hours every morning sitting there in silence just to make sure he did not get out. I do think they gave me back the same Cham but I am not surprised in the slightest if there are horror stories about a bait and switch. I do have a dripper in the form of a solo cup on top of the enclosure that you can barely see in that first pic and sounds like I'll be buying a 6% UVB.
 
Thank you for the info. I've spent a ton of time on husbandry after having to leave the front door on the death kit enclosure open for ventilation. Maybe thats why he was so good with me at first. Spent hours every morning sitting there in silence just to make sure he did not get out. I do think they gave me back the same Cham but I am not surprised in the slightest if there are horror stories about a bait and switch. I do have a dripper in the form of a solo cup on top of the enclosure that you can barely see in that first pic and sounds like I'll be buying a 6% UVB.
Do you have your desk in the same room or something? If so that is fine. While he is adjusting just try not to look directly at him. Sounds stupid but we are basically giant predators to them. So watching them makes them feel like they are in danger. You are doing really well. If you have any questions please ask... The most important thing to watch for is gaping and if his eye turrets start sinking in. My worry is if he is fully over the prior infection he had.
 
Per the original question. I think this little man is extremely stressed out. Hopefully he will settle down the more time he has to feel safe.

one option to help him is to add a solid side to the right side of the cage. This way three sides are blocked and he won't be looking at what is outside of the cage. Plastic PVC sheets can be great for this. Also great to attach to the outside screen to keep your walls dry.
Being stressed out is far better than being sick so I can deal with that. The reason I only have 2 sides covered is for more ventilation especially down here in Florida. But if you think 3 sides would be better I will 100% give it a try. I'm going try to fully ignore him for a week or so and hope he stops seeing me as a predator. Time will tell. My desk is in my bedroom, he is out in the living room. During working hours when I'm at my desk, he goes up to eat and bask. Only once has my girlfriend been watching TV and noticed him come up to eat.
 
Being stressed out is far better than being sick so I can deal with that. The reason I only have 2 sides covered is for more ventilation especially down here in Florida. But if you think 3 sides would be better I will 100% give it a try. I'm going try to fully ignore him for a week or so and hope he stops seeing me as a predator. Time will tell. My desk is in my bedroom, he is out in the living room. During working hours when I'm at my desk, he goes up to eat and bask. Only once has my girlfriend been watching TV and noticed him come up to eat.
Which is the most active room? What is to the right of his cage? Do you know what your ambient room humidity is running?
 
Which is the most active room? What is to the right of his cage? Do you know what your ambient room humidity is running?
Living room is probably less active. Bedroom I have lights on late at night when I work late and a phone that rings a lot during the day. Living room is mostly just hanging out. To the right of the cage is the entry door about 10 feet away but most of the right side is covered by the majesty palm and we aren't in and out a whole lot. Ambient humidity showing on my thermostat is 54%. Digital hygro in the enclosure attached to open side is reading 45. (Thermostat is directly next to AC Vent)
 
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Enjoy your new chameleon!😊

It could take up to 2 weeks for a new chameleon to get settled into their new home. During that time you want to give your cham space, no handling, and you don’t really want them to see you just staring at them. You want them to have a good first impression in their new home. I did this with my cham and he has settled in perfectly. Here are 2 video links that you should watch for when you get your new chameleon: Chameleon Academy Neptune the Chameleon 💗
 
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