New Chameleon Momma🥳

surfingcham6

New Member
Hi Friends!

Just brought home this cutie last Sunday and have had him for a week now :) I never thought I’d be as obsessed with him as I am, but here we are. He’s just the best!

He’s my first ever chameleon and so I’m looking for any/all feedback and advice. I just wanna give him the best life possible! I’ve seen a lot of mention about the below husbandry sheet so I figured I’d fill it out right off rip and attached some photos too. Thanks ya’ll in advance for sharing your experiences and advice, I really appreciate it!

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon: Male Veiled, had him for a week.
  • Handling - Haven’t touched him, but have hand fed him mealworms and crickets a few time and he seems unbothered.
  • Feeding - Feeding him as many mealworms he can eat (usually 10-12/day) dusted with calcium powder NO D3 (photo attached). I also feed him gut loaded crickets (usually ten-ish every other day or so) with fresh veg and zoomed cricket care (photo attached).
  • Supplements - I dust ALL crickets and mealworms I feed him with zoomed repticalcium NO d3. I plan on dusting all his buggies with repticalcium WITH d3 on June 12 and then once every two weeks from there on out (photos of supps attached).
  • Watering - I use a big old fashioned mister (photo attached). His lights are on from 7am-7pm and I mist for about two minutes at 6:30am and 9pm. I also have a dripper running all day (photo attached). I’ve never seen the lil guy drink.
  • Fecal Description - He poops maybe twice a day and the poop is brown with white stuff on it and seems pretty moist. As far as I’m aware, he’s never been tested for parasites.
  • History - I know nothing about his past, unfortunately. Bought him from petsmart and while I’m not proud of it, at least I know I will be able to offer him a better life than a commercial pet store will!

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Glass 18x18x24 but it has a mesh cover and a lil mesh at the top (chimney effect, photos attached). I fell victim to the thrive brand chameleon kit (don’t worry, I bought him all new equipment the next day lol). I’m aware his enclosure is small, but will be moving in early August and my dad and I will be custom building him a 2x2x4 enclosure with entirely mesh sides. Hoping the smaller glass cage is sufficient until then. If I could go back in time, I woulda bought the big big tank right off the bat, but ya live and ya learn!
  • Lighting - Lights on at 7am, off at 7pm. We have a 75W basking light and T5 HO Reptisun 5.0 UVB 12” (photos attached). I will likely be using the same basking lamp in his new custom made enclosure but plan on buying the 24” T5 HO Reptisun 5.0 UVB (unless someone else has any better suggestions).
  • Temperature - I bought a temp gun and the basking branch is right around 80-85 degrees, but his skin is around 94 degrees (I’ve seen mixed opinions on if that’s too hot or not so please lmk). As for the rest of the enclosure, it ranges from 80 and then down to about 73 the lower in the enclosure you go. When nighttime rolls around and his lights are off, his enclosure is around 70-72 degrees.
  • Humidity - Daytime humidity is around 37%ish and during the night, I usually get it up to 100%, but drops to around 60%ish by the time I re-mist at 6:30am. I use a little humidity gauge stuck on the wall to measure this. I mist for about two minutes at 6:30am and two more minutes at 9pm. I also have a dripper running all day (photo attached). When I notice the humidity drops to 35% during the day, I’ll spray a few seconds at a time, as needed, until it reaches 40%ish (asking for a Mistking for my birthday in October because wowza, those thangs are PRICEY, but for now, the manual pump seems to be working alright).
  • Plants - I’m not using live plants. I’m using all fake vines/plants attached to floors, walls, and ceiling of cage (photos attached). I really want to get some real plants and have gone to home depot/lowes at least three times in the past week to buy some but FREAK. I’m terrified of pesticides/fertilizer on the leaves and even the organic soil kinda freaks me out. I don’t wanna do anything to harm my lil guy!! So any advice/soil recommendations would mean so much to me :)
  • Placement - My cage is in a corner and there’s windows on both adjacent walls, but the enclosure is not really getting direct, constant sun bc the windows are on the part of the wall furthest from enclosure. It’s in a corner with basically no foot traffic (except my bf and I going to check in on our cham haha). The cage is on a wooden nightstand, which is about 30 inches off the floor. There’s no fans or vents near the enclosure but we do have central air.
  • Location - Currently living in Florida, but moving back to Connecticut in August.
Oh also, my Cham shed on Friday and it was so friggin cute so enjoy a pic below of that awe :)

Hope this is detailed enough, but please don’t hesitate to ask questions! Again, I’m so new to this but trust me- I’m INVESTED!! looking forward to hearing everyone’s experience and advice!!
 

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I’ll be putting my feedback in bold. I’m also going to be breaking this down into two parts.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon: Male Veiled, had him for a week. It’s hard to determine his age, but he isn’t yet fully grown. I’ll make a guesstimate that he might be around 6 months old. His casque still has some growing to do, but he’s got a very prominent tarsal spur, so no question at all about gender.
  • Handling - Haven’t touched him, but have hand fed him mealworms and crickets a few time and he seems unbothered. Ok. It’s good to let him settle in to his new home. Veileds are notorious for their attitudes, so he’ll probably let you know exactly how he feels about handling. You do want to build trust with him though and are off to a good start. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
  • Feeding - Feeding him as many mealworms he can eat (usually 10-12/day) dusted with calcium powder NO D3 (photo attached). Mealworms are not good staple feeders for chameleons, but there are several which are. I’m attaching some graphics to help guide you. Variety is best and since many of the feeders will probably need to be bought on line, try getting a variety pack if available. Check the forum sponsors for great vendors. While you’re in Florida, we can’t have dubia, but we can have discoid roaches. A nice vendor in Florida who has discoids is http://www.lindasgonebuggie.com/page/397479218 I also feed him gut loaded crickets (usually ten-ish every other day or so) with fresh veg and zoomed cricket care (photo attached). Generally the insect foods from Fluker’s, Zoo Med and others is seriously lacking, but this product looks ok enough for now. Once it’s gone though, I wouldn’t advise to buy more. The added vitamins and minerals probably won’t do much for the health of your feeders and in some cases, could potentially cause problems for your chameleon. Usually fresh produce is best and easiest. There are some quality commercial products for convenience or to round out your insects diets, like Repashy Bug Burger (avoid Repashy superload), Mazuri better bug, cricket crack, etc.
  • Supplements - I dust ALL crickets and mealworms I feed him with zoomed repticalcium NO d3. I plan on dusting all his buggies with repticalcium WITH d3 on June 12 and then once every two weeks from there on out (photos of supps attached). This is perfect! But…you also need a good multivitamin which will also be used for one feeding every other week, just like the D3 but not on the same day as the D3. ReptiVite without D3 is a great one that I recommend.
  • Watering - I use a big old fashioned mister (photo attached). His lights are on from 7am-7pm and I mist for about two minutes at 6:30am and 9pm. This is good I also have a dripper running all day Use of a dripper should be for just about 15-20 minutes. The enclosure needs time to fully dry out (photo attached). I’ve never seen the lil guy drink. Not at all unusual. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking.
  • Fecal Description - He poops maybe twice a day and the poop is brown with white stuff on it and seems pretty moist. The white is his urine, called urate. You’ll judge his hydration status by the color of it. All white to having just a little bit of yellow or orange on one end is fine. All dark or orange is dehydrated. As far as I’m aware, he’s never been tested for parasites. I definitely suggest you have this done.
  • History - I know nothing about his past, unfortunately. Bought him from petsmart and while I’m not proud of it, at least I know I will be able to offer him a better life than a commercial pet store will! Well, at least it wasn’t Petco. 😄 No one is perfect and some of us do have animals from chain pet stores (one of mine is from Petco). We don’t judge. 😊
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Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Glass 18x18x24 but it has a mesh cover and a lil mesh at the top (chimney effect, photos attached). I fell victim to the thrive brand chameleon kit (don’t worry, I bought him all new equipment the next day lol). I’m aware his enclosure is small, but will be moving in early August and my dad and I will be custom building him a 2x2x4 enclosure with entirely mesh sides. Since your dad will be building it, why not make it bigger if you can? I know not everyone has the space, but chameleons really do seem to enjoy having extra space. I have mine in double sized enclosures and even my girls use all of their space. Hoping the smaller glass cage is sufficient until then. If I could go back in time, I woulda bought the big big tank right off the bat, but ya live and ya learn! He’ll survive, but he won’t be happy. If he is willingly coming out onto your hand, he is trying to escape from an environment he doesn’t like. If you don’t have other pets, maybe make a safe free range area for him by a window (they love looking out) and give him some supervised free range time.
  • Lighting - Lights on at 7am, off at 7pm. Good We have a 75W basking light and T5 HO Reptisun 5.0 UVB 12” (photos attached). Try placing the uvb diagonally. I will likely be using the same basking lamp in his new custom made enclosure but plan on buying the 24” T5 HO Reptisun 5.0 UVB (unless someone else has any better suggestions). The Arcadia Pro T5 with a 6% bulb is quite nice.
  • Temperature - I bought a temp gun and the basking branch is right around 80-85 degrees, but his skin is around 94 degrees (I’ve seen mixed opinions on if that’s too hot or not so please lmk). This is too hot. Get a digital thermometer with a probe end and place it at basking area. His temp shouldn’t go above 85. As for the rest of the enclosure, it ranges from 80 and then down to about 73 the lower in the enclosure you go. When nighttime rolls around and his lights are off, his enclosure is around 70-72 degrees. Ok, good.
  • Humidity - Daytime humidity is around 37%ish perfect and during the night, I usually get it up to 100%, but drops to around 60%ish by the time I re-mist at 6:30am. Just do make sure to monitor night temps as yours are right on the line for not wanting to raise humidity at night. Usually we say if your night temps aren’t below 68-70, you shouldn’t raise humidity at night. I use a little humidity gauge stuck on the wall to measure this. Hoping it’s digital. The analog ones are notoriously inaccurate. I mist for about two minutes at 6:30am and two more minutes at 9pm. I also have a dripper running all day (photo attached). When I notice the humidity drops to 35% during the day, I’ll spray a few seconds at a time, as needed, until it reaches 40%ish (asking for a Mistking for my birthday in October because wowza, those thangs are PRICEY, but for now, the manual pump seems to be working alright). Mist kings are worth their weight in Gold!
  • Plants - I’m not using live plants. I’m using all fake vines/plants attached to floors, walls, and ceiling of cage (photos attached). I really want to get some real plants and have gone to home depot/lowes at least three times in the past week to buy some but FREAK. I’m terrified of pesticides/fertilizer on the leaves and even the organic soil kinda freaks me out. I don’t wanna do anything to harm my lil guy!! So any advice/soil recommendations would mean so much to me :) Your guy is at greater risk of harm from fake plants than safe live ones. Veileds like to nibble their plants and they have been known to eat a fake leaf and get a bowel obstruction which can be fatal if not identified and treated promptly. I get my plants from Lowe’s, Home Depot and Walmart. I remove all of the soil down to the bare roots and then usually plunge it upside down (roots not in water) in a bucket of soapy water (I use Dawn dish soap) and gently agitate or massage the leaves to clean them. The I rinse rinse rinse and rinse some more. I do this all outside with the hose to take advantage of the water pressure. Then I repot in organic soil (nothing with perlite). Some will cover the soil with river rocks which are too big to accidentally be eaten. Even if all you use is pothos, that’s fine. Remove all of the fake plants. Some plants will require additional grow lights. There is Arcadia Jungle Dawn or Sansi, which is my choice. Avoid any that have colored lights. This will help guide you. https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
  • Placement - My cage is in a corner and there’s windows on both adjacent walls, but the enclosure is not really getting direct, constant sun bc the windows are on the part of the wall furthest from enclosure. It’s in a corner with basically no foot traffic (except my bf and I going to check in on our cham haha). The cage is on a wooden nightstand, which is about 30 inches off the floor. There’s no fans or vents near the enclosure but we do have central air. Sounds good
  • Location - Currently living in Florida, but moving back to Connecticut in August. Awesome!
Oh also, my Cham shed on Friday and it was so friggin cute so enjoy a pic below of that awe :)

Hope this is detailed enough, but please don’t hesitate to ask questions! Hey! That’s my line! 🤪Again, I’m so new to this but trust me- I’m INVESTED!! looking forward to hearing everyone’s experience and advice!! I think you’re off to a good start. The only thing you didn’t mention though is the water glass. It’s completely not a natural way for a chameleon to drink and they don’t even recognize still water. Also, I suggest getting a feeding station. There’s a few different styles. For all screen there is the shooting gallery https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery?variant=30018608595032 for all there is https://www.fullthrottlefeeders.com/ and https://sunsetchameleons.com/product-category/chameleons/chameleon-feeders/ plus there’s several variations on Etsy. Whichever you choose, you’ll want it to be just below the level of and visible from basking area.
 
Hi and welcome to the forum! You’ve gotten great advice from the experts, feel free to post pictures and get to know everyone! Your guy is very cute!
 
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