New chameleon owner questions + enclosure review

annefirth12

Member
Hello! I’m a new keeper and I would appreciate help. I am seeing a vet tomorrow to address some of my health questions, but if anybody has any ideas about any of my concerns or can suggest improvements to my setup, it would be much appreciated.


Chameleon Info:



  • Your Chameleon - Female (?) veiled chameleon - I don’t know how old she is, since she was a Petco rescue (oops), but she looks to be about in the 6-9 months range based on her length (5-7 in). This is the third day she’s been home.
  • Handling - She has been handled only to be put inside her enclosure, but she’s taken feeders right out of my hand while I’ve been putting them in her bowl, so she’s surprisingly not hand-shy. Other than that, I’ve been hands-off.
  • Feeding - I’ve fed her three times - once a mealworm, on the day we got her, to lure her into her enclosure, yesterday some medium crickets, mealworms, and a hornworm, and today, about 10 medium crickets and 2 mealworms. I am not sure how much to be feeding her - I definitely don’t want to overfeed her, since I know that can be really bad re: eggbinding, but she finished everything I gave her in under ten minutes. My crickets are eating the recommended gutload ratio from this forum - 75% mustard greens, 10% rosemary, 5% banana, and 5% flukers cricket cubes, blended. I have silkworms and BSFL on the way, and I’m going to be buying hornworms and crickets somewhat regularly as well from a local reputable reptile store. I’ve been feeding her about two hours after her lights turn on (which is when she goes from warming up to sitting above her food dish and looking at me expectantly).
  • Supplements - I’m dusting every day with Calcium without D3 (I have a sample of the zoomed repti calcium that I’m using up, and then I’m going to use the Fluker’s calcium), and then alternating every two weeks with sticky tongue farms Miner-All and Repashy Superfoods calcium plus.
  • Watering - I have a DIY dripper set up over one of her plants as well as misting in the morning, midday, and evening, but I’m worried she’s not getting enough water. I have seen her drink, but the heat lamps dry off the water quite quickly and the DIY dripper tends to pool on the screen and not actually drip through. At night I’m misting for about two minutes right before lights out. I am unsure if I should be using room-temp or warm water.
  • Fecal Description - This is one of my concerns - despite the fact that she’s eating really well, I haven’t seen any poop. I don’t know if three days is not a long time for a juvenile chameleon not to go, but I’m worried she may have impaction from her time at Petco, where they were keeping her on wood chips.
  • History - As I said previously, she was a petco purchase. I spoke to the associates and it seems she was there for a long time, where she was cohabiting with another female (I think) chameleon. I actively saw them fighting while I was in the pet store, which is what spurred me to pick her up (even though I know it’s a bad idea, you shouldn’t support petco, etc. etc…. I’m a bleeding heart lol). At Petco, she was only eating crickets and mealworms, which is why I’m still feeding her mealworms, though I’m trying to phase them out so I can just use them as treats instead of a main part of her diet.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Reptibeeze medium (18x18x30) - I’m going to upgrade it if she is still doing well in about half a year or so, or if she gets bigger sooner than that. For the moment it seems an ok size.
  • Lighting - I was a fool and I bough the zoomed chameleon kit right before reading about how much it was useless, so right now I have a 75W zoomed reptile basking spot lamp on a thermostat and a 10 UVB Reptisun compact in a dual dome fixture, but I already have a T5 HO 5 UVB light on the way (12”). Right now, lights turn on at 8 am and off at 8 pm.
  • Temperature - Basking temperatures are at about 84-86, tank temps are about 69-75 from bottom to top. I had a shower curtain around 3 sides of her cage to help insulate the temperatures, but I think it might have been stressing her out? She kept gaping at the walls - I think she was hearing sounds but not seeing what was making them. I’m hoping that the T5 UVB linear will help keep the temperatures up lower in the cage. Night time I have the lights and heat off, and the enclosure is around 65-68. I’m hoping to drop it a little lower as per the chameleon academy recommendations.
  • Humidity - Daytime humidity is around 45-55, depending on how humid it is outside (I live on the west coast so ambient humidity fluctuates quite a bit), night time humidity is sitting a little low around 75, but I also have a humidifier/fogger on the way that should be here very soon. I’m planning on keeping the humidity closer to 100% at night. I'm going to still cover her cage with the shower curtain at night until the fogger gets here to keep humidity up.
  • Plants - One silk plant that we’re replacing soon, 1 wandering jew vine, 1 maidenhair fern, 1 schefflera. We have one spider plant and one Pothos that are going to replace the silk plant.
  • Placement - She is on a table in our kitchen, which is the most temperature-controlled room of our house. We have large potted plants on either side of the cage and she’s on a table so the top of the enclosure is about 5 and 1/2 feet above the ground, backing on a wall. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of foot traffic through the kitchen right now, but that should decrease in a week or so when school starts. We do have two small dogs and there’s really no way to bar them from the kitchen, but she doesn’t seem to be particularly phased by them since they're way below her and they ignore her completely.
  • Location - Western Washington.

Current Problem - I have a couple concerns. Here they are listed in order:

  1. I saw her with her nose in the air this morning - I’m worried she might have been developing a respiratory infection. Fortunately, I’m taking her to the vet tomorrow where hopefully my worries can be cleared up.
  2. She hasn’t pooped despite how much she’s been eating, and she maybe looks a little bloated. I don’t have any substrate in the cage, and I’ve put big rocks on top of the dirt in the potted plants, but she was kept on wood chips or reptibark at petco and she might have been impacted there, particularly because they were feeding her from a dish on the ground. Hopefully this is also something the vet can clear up!
  3. She’s almost always dark colors - I think it might mostly be basking colors and stress of being in a new environment, but I’m concerned that she has an underlying health issue or something in my husbandry is really stressing her out. She’s also old enough (I think) that she could be gravid - what should I be looking for if so?
  4. How do I tell if she’s dehydrated? Does she look overweight to you guys? Underweight?
  5. In the summer, does anybody have any recommendations to keep the enclosure cool? I’m worried that the PNW will get another heat wave like last summer, and we don’t have central AC. We do have some portable ACs, but our house’s electric grid might not permit us to keep them running all day. Has the zoomed repticooler worked well for people?

She doesn’t seem to be all that bothered by people, though we’ve been trying to leave her alone anyways. She’ll head to her food dish even before I’ve closed the screen door (and with a camera pointed at her!), she took food right out of my hand on day one, and I’ve frequently seen her drink right after I’ve misted. She also I think realizes that hands = food already, because whenever I go over and refill her dripper or check temps, she goes right up to her food dish and stares at me. I’m a little worried that these are less because she’s brave and more because she’s really hungry/dehydrated, so if anybody can give any insight into my concerns, it would be much appreciated.

Photos below: As you can see, she's much greener at night.
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll put my feedback in red.
  • Your Chameleon - Female (?) veiled chameleon - I don’t know how old she is, since she was a Petco rescue (oops), but she looks to be about in the 6-9 months range based on her length (5-7 in). This is the third day she’s been home.
  • Handling - She has been handled only to be put inside her enclosure, but she’s taken feeders right out of my hand while I’ve been putting them in her bowl, so she’s surprisingly not hand-shy. Other than that, I’ve been hands-off. Very good! She needs time to get used to her new home.
  • Feeding - I’ve fed her three times - once a mealworm, on the day we got her, to lure her into her enclosure, yesterday some medium crickets, mealworms, and a hornworm, and today, about 10 medium crickets and 2 mealworms. I am not sure how much to be feeding her - I definitely don’t want to overfeed her, since I know that can be really bad re: eggbinding, but she finished everything I gave her in under ten minutes. My crickets are eating the recommended gutload ratio from this forum - 75% mustard greens, 10% rosemary, 5% banana, and 5% flukers cricket cubes, blended. I have silkworms and BSFL on the way, and I’m going to be buying hornworms and crickets somewhat regularly as well from a local reputable reptile store. I’ve been feeding her about two hours after her lights turn on (which is when she goes from warming up to sitting above her food dish and looking at me expectantly). I really can’t tell how old she looks and that is usually what feeding amounts are based on. She does look to be at least around 5-6 months old, so I’ll use that age. While she is still growing, she’s also reaching sexual maturity. This makes it hard as we don’t want to deprive her of needed nutrition, but at the same time don’t want to over feed, which can lead to large clutches of eggs. So, I’m going to say to give her 3-4 feeders daily for now. Once she starts developing her colors, reduce her to every other day. After she lays her first clutch of eggs, she’ll be further reduced to 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week to help reduce egg production. Mealworms are ok to give in a pinch, but shouldn’t be a regular feeder. Silkworms, roaches, crickets are my staple feeders, with pupated bsfl as fun treats. Hornworms and superworms are treats only too.
    The Fluker’s cubes are really only good for hydration. I’m not that precise with what I feed my bugs…just toss a handful, of the same type greens, veggies and fruits I give my bearded dragon along with some Repashy Bug Burger. As long as you are feeding your bugs to keep them healthy, they’ll be more nutritious for your little girl.
  • Supplements - I’m dusting every day with Calcium without D3 (I have a sample of the zoomed repti calcium that I’m using up, and then I’m going to use the Fluker’s calcium), and then alternating every two weeks with sticky tongue farms Miner-All and Repashy Superfoods calcium plus. Yes for the calcium without D3 for every feeding and yes for alternating a multivitamin and calcium with D3 every 2 weeks. As for those specific supplements, I’m going to have to check on them before I can comment.
  • Watering - I have a DIY dripper set up over one of her plants as well as misting in the morning, midday, and evening, but I’m worried she’s not getting enough water. I have seen her drink, but the heat lamps dry off the water quite quickly and the DIY dripper tends to pool on the screen and not actually drip through. At night I’m misting for about two minutes right before lights out. I am unsure if I should be using room-temp or warm water. You want her enclosure to dry out in between misting. Misting for at least 2 minutes, 3 times a day is great. Instead of a mid day misting, you can use your dripper for about 20-30 minutes. Room temp water only. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking, so count yourself lucky that you see her drink.
  • Fecal Description - This is one of my concerns - despite the fact that she’s eating really well, I haven’t seen any poop. I don’t know if three days is not a long time for a juvenile chameleon not to go, but I’m worried she may have impaction from her time at Petco, where they were keeping her on wood chips. I don’t think 3 days is too bad. Definitely keep an eye on it though. There’s also the stress of moving to a new home that inhibits pooping. (Fight or flight response)
  • History - As I said previously, she was a petco purchase. I spoke to the associates and it seems she was there for a long time, where she was cohabiting with another female (I think) chameleon. I actively saw them fighting while I was in the pet store, which is what spurred me to pick her up (even though I know it’s a bad idea, you shouldn’t support petco, etc. etc…. I’m a bleeding heart lol). You are so not alone! I have a Petco girl from a weak moment, as do several others. At Petco, she was only eating crickets and mealworms, which is why I’m still feeding her mealworms, though I’m trying to phase them out so I can just use them as treats instead of a main part of her diet. Superworms are much better for treats.
    I’m breaking this down into two parts, so, to be continued….
    A9859FB4-8172-46AD-B197-AF3421F4CC2E.jpeg 12CFBD09-41E0-4938-B525-1EB6B85321D8.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Reptibeeze medium (18x18x30) - I’m going to upgrade it if she is still doing well in about half a year or so, or if she gets bigger sooner than that. For the moment it seems an ok size. You’ll want to give her more space sooner than that. A 2x2x4’ enclosure will make her so much happier.
  • Lighting - I was a fool and I bough the zoomed chameleon kit right before reading about how much it was useless, so right now I have a 75W zoomed reptile basking spot lamp on a thermostat and a 10 UVB Reptisun compact in a dual dome fixture, but I already have a T5 HO 5 UVB light on the way (12”). Right now, lights turn on at 8 am and off at 8 pm. You’ll want to return the 12” T5 and get a 24” instead to save having to buy another one of the right size when you upgrade her enclosure. The dual dome actually is kind of useful. You have your basking light in one side and in the other can put a bulb for your plants.
  • Temperature - Basking temperatures are at about 84-86, tank temps are about 69-75 from bottom to top. You need to bring your basking temps down to about 80. Try a 60w bulb instead of the 75w. Then basking area should be about 8-9” below basking and uvb lights. Your night temps are great! I had a shower curtain around 3 sides of her cage to help insulate the temperatures, but I think it might have been stressing her out? She kept gaping at the walls - I think she was hearing sounds but not seeing what was making them. Strange. Was there any print on the shower curtain or color? Their hearing isn’t very good, so I doubt it was the noise bothering her. They do get upset with any new things and changes. I’m hoping that the T5 UVB linear will help keep the temperatures up lower in the cage. Night time I have the lights and heat off, and the enclosure is around 65-68. I’m hoping to drop it a little lower as per the chameleon academy recommendations. Yay! You’ve been to CA! Best place for accurate and up to date info! You don’t say what your lighting schedule is. Should be a 12 hour on/off schedule. Timers make life so much easier for this.
  • Humidity - Daytime humidity is around 45-55, depending on how humid it is outside (I live on the west coast so ambient humidity fluctuates quite a bit), night time humidity is sitting a little low around 75, but I also have a humidifier/fogger on the way that should be here very soon. I’m planning on keeping the humidity closer to 100% at night. I'm going to still cover her cage with the shower curtain at night until the fogger gets here to keep humidity up. That’s a tad high for daytime. Ideal is between 30-50%. You do have a screen enclosure though, so airflow will help prevent problems.
  • Plants - One silk plant that we’re replacing soon, 1 wandering jew vine, 1 maidenhair fern, 1 schefflera. We have one spider plant and one Pothos that are going to replace the silk plant. Yes! All live and safe plants. I hang my fake ones on the outside door of my enclosures which gives my chams a little extra privacy. I’m guessing you’re using the safe plant list on CA.
  • Placement - She is on a table in our kitchen, which is the most temperature-controlled room of our house. We have large potted plants on either side of the cage and she’s on a table so the top of the enclosure is about 5 and 1/2 feet above the ground, backing on a wall. Unfortunately, there is a fair amount of foot traffic through the kitchen right now, but that should decrease in a week or so when school starts. We do have two small dogs and there’s really no way to bar them from the kitchen, but she doesn’t seem to be particularly phased by them since they're way below her and they ignore her completely. I’d say try to find a quieter area for her. As kitchens are usually the busiest of rooms, this can cause her chronic stress. This will especially be important when it’s time to lay eggs.
  • Location - Western Washington.
Although she may be a bit too young for needing one now, once she develops her colors, you’ll need to prepare a lay bin and keep it as a permanent part of her enclosure. It saves from not only the stress of putting a new item in her enclosure, but also saves from guessing when she needs it.
Around 6 months old (this does vary for each girl) you can expect for her to start showing some beautiful teals, oranges and yellows with some patterns. Usually around this same time she’ll become restless and start roaming endlessly thru her enclosure. This is her receptive phase. She’s all dressed up and pretty and looking for a man. This can last 2-3 weeks more or less. A few weeks later and at any time, she can start darkening her colors and patterns and look plump and even lumpy. Her appetite may decrease, she may start checking out the bottom of her enclosure a few times…she’s getting ready to lay. Once she enters her lay bin, she’ll need absolute privacy. I cover my girls with a light sheet…just the visible areas so I don’t block ventilation. There’s lots of info in very many threads on the whole process and how to prepare a lay bin. You’ve got a little bit of time or if you want all the info now, just ask. :)
Okay, I lied. Doing this in 3 parts.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Current Problem - I have a couple concerns. Here they are listed in order:

  1. I saw her with her nose in the air this morning - I’m worried she might have been developing a respiratory infection. Fortunately, I’m taking her to the vet tomorrow where hopefully my worries can be cleared up. Excellent for making the vet visit! If by chance she poops before the visit, collect it and have them do a fecal to test for any parasites.
  2. She hasn’t pooped despite how much she’s been eating, and she maybe looks a little bloated. I don’t have any substrate in the cage, and I’ve put big rocks on top of the dirt in the potted plants, but she was kept on wood chips or reptibark at petco and she might have been impacted there, particularly because they were feeding her from a dish on the ground. Hopefully this is also something the vet can clear up! You may want to ask the vet to do an x ray to check for this. It’s also important that they check her bone density as Petco is not known for their good husbandry.
  3. She’s almost always dark colors - I think it might mostly be basking colors and stress of being in a new environment, but I’m concerned that she has an underlying health issue or something in my husbandry is really stressing her out. She’s also old enough (I think) that she could be gravid - what should I be looking for if so? Again, x ray will also show if she is starting to form any eggs. My Petco girl was bright green in the store but once I got her home, she was always muddy colored. Then she got her upgrade to a 2x2x4’ enclosure and became the most beautiful little girl. It’s often hard to tell if they’re unhappy, stressed or other and then figure out why. The best is to get her husbandry as perfect as possible and go from there.
  4. How do I tell if she’s dehydrated? Does she look overweight to you guys? Underweight? With dehydration the eyes will appear sunken. However, when they are mad or stressed (like when we handle them) they sometimes will ‘suck in’ their eyes too. Usually urates are a good way to determine hydration status. White, cream, yellow and even a small bit of orange is ok. All dark/orange is dehydrated. She looks to be a healthy weight to me.
  5. In the summer, does anybody have any recommendations to keep the enclosure cool? I’m worried that the PNW will get another heat wave like last summer, and we don’t have central AC. We do have some portable ACs, but our house’s electric grid might not permit us to keep them running all day. Has the zoomed repticooler worked well for people? This I can’t answer. Although I’m in Florida where every day is a heat wave, thank goodness there’s central AC everywhere. I have read of some using fans and ice to help keep things cool.

She doesn’t seem to be all that bothered by people, though we’ve been trying to leave her alone anyways. She’ll head to her food dish even before I’ve closed the screen door (and with a camera pointed at her!), she took food right out of my hand on day one, and I’ve frequently seen her drink right after I’ve misted. She also I think realizes that hands = food already, because whenever I go over and refill her dripper or check temps, she goes right up to her food dish and stares at me. I’m a little worried that these are less because she’s brave and more because she’s really hungry/dehydrated, so if anybody can give any insight into my concerns, it would be much appreciated. I’m going to guess being at Petco and constantly being stared at has decreased her fear of humans. Also, I think younger chams are more easygoing than when they mature. My girls were so very sweet when I first got them. Now, it’s nothing but hissing and trying to bite every time I open their doors.
Veileds are very opportunistic about food and always look hungry…always! I have 3 veileds and every time I glance at them, they are heading to their feeding station and looking for food. My male used to sleep inside of his and the girls usually sleep right in front of theirs. My panther cham is the exact opposite and I usually have to put him directly in front of his station and show him his food.


Photos below: As you can see, she's much greener at night. This is normal. :)
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Now for part 4! 😂
What I always do whenever I take one of my reptiles to the vet is I print out all of my husbandry (using the help form questions as a guide) and give it to the vet, which saves so much time. I also make sure to have a paper and pen with me to write down the vet’s instructions or advice. If you have questions, write those down so you‘ll be certain not to forget to ask them. It also sometimes is a good idea to ask if they see many chameleons so you can get an idea of their experience and knowledge. Just because a vet sees exotics doesn’t always mean they are experienced or knowledgable about chameleons. When you think about all of the many different animals they may see, it’s unimaginable to truly have in depth knowledge about the finer points of each and every single one’s husbandry.
About your supplements. I’m honestly not very familiar with Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-all. Will you be using the indoor formula as your D3? The Repashy Calcium Plus I am more familiar with and wouldn’t recommend it to be used as your multivitamin as it contains a decent amount of D3 and you’d be double dosing D3. You could use the Repashy Calcium Plus for one feeding every other week and then wouldn’t need the Miner-All at all.
 

annefirth12

Member
Apologies, I have no idea how to work the quote function on this forum yet haha

Thank you so much for your incredibly detailed responses! You've definitely helped me to feel a lot better about what I'm doing, and cleared up some things I was worried about.

Do you think it would be appropriate yet to take her outside when temperatures are high enough and let her hang out on some of my potted plants/trees in the yard? I don't want to stress her out by putting her in a completely new environment again, but I also need somewhere to put her while I remove the silk plant and add the pothos + spider plant. Is it ok to temporarily let her hang out on a tree that isn't on the safe plant list?

Unfortunately roaches are off the table for the most part as my parents are very uncomfortable with the idea of having roaches, even smaller Dubia Roaches, in the house long-term at all. I might buy them in smaller amounts that I can feed in one or two days, but for the most part I think I'll be focusing on crickets and silkworms as staple feeders. Do you have an idea what size crickets I should be feeding? Are medium crickets too small?

I'm pretty sure the supplement brands I grabbed were mentioned on the Chameleon Academy site, but I'll have to double-check.

Should I not have a dripper running most of the day? Just during the midday period?

I've heard that feeding hornworms can encourage a chameleon to poop - is that worth trying?

I'll see what I can do about the enclosure! I wanted to get the 2x2x4 at first but my parents were resistant about jumping to that size immediately, so I compromised with the understanding that we'll get a larger enclosure once she outgrows this one. Maybe this post will convince them haha

She doesn't actually bask on the highest branch - I don't know if it's because it's not quite as warm (it's closer to the UVB than the heat lamp) - or if the lower one is easier to hold onto. Who knows! Is it alright that the lower cage temps are not as high as recommended? She explores down there but spends most of her time further up.

There wasn't any print on the shower curtain, but it did rustle on the side of her mesh when people walked past. I'll experiment and see what she seems most comfortable with - maybe a towel would be better? I do have the lights on a timer. Right now they turn on at 8 am and off at 8 pm, but I might move it a bit earlier since the sun is coming up closer to 7 am. I'm just not usually awake then!

I am using the safe plants list on chameleon academy, as well as the infographic on this forum!

Unfortunately, we live in a relatively small home with four people (one of whom is a high school boy), two dogs, and night work shifts. The kitchen was one of the only places we had space and a table where we could set her up fairly high, and we'd have even fewer options with a 2x2x4. When I move out after I graduate, I'll take her with and have a lot more options at that point for where I can set her up. It is a fairly spacious room she is in right now, and the other options are pretty much the downstairs area, where the TV is and my dad works nights, so the lights are on, the living room, where my brother likes to sit at his computer and game VERY loudly, plus I'll be studying in late at night, and one of the bedrooms, which will have lights on until about midnight. If you think one of those are better, I'll see if I can rearrange something! I can also put vines on the outside, as you suggested, which I think would help with the noise + people walking by her.

I would love any information you can tell me or link me to now about laying boxes! Better to be prepared early :)

Yes, I have my fingers crossed she'll poop tomorrow and I can take it in. I'm definitely concerned about internal parasites and as soon as I can I'll make sure a fecal gets done. Do they usually poop right after eating, or a couple hours after?

I'll ask the vet tomorrow about an x-ray! I really appreciate all the help.

I'll update the thread with anything the vet says :)
 

annefirth12

Member
Now for part 4! 😂
What I always do whenever I take one of my reptiles to the vet is I print out all of my husbandry (using the help form questions as a guide) and give it to the vet, which saves so much time. I also make sure to have a paper and pen with me to write down the vet’s instructions or advice. If you have questions, write those down so you‘ll be certain not to forget to ask them. It also sometimes is a good idea to ask if they see many chameleons so you can get an idea of their experience and knowledge. Just because a vet sees exotics doesn’t always mean they are experienced or knowledgable about chameleons. When you think about all of the many different animals they may see, it’s unimaginable to truly have in depth knowledge about the finer points of each and every single one’s husbandry.
About your supplements. I’m honestly not very familiar with Sticky Tongue Farms Miner-all. Will you be using the indoor formula as your D3? The Repashy Calcium Plus I am more familiar with and wouldn’t recommend it to be used as your multivitamin as it contains a decent amount of D3 and you’d be double dosing D3. You could use the Repashy Calcium Plus for one feeding every other week and then wouldn’t need the Miner-All at all.
I was going to write out a long list of all my potential concerns, because unfortunately the vet isn't allowing people in the lobby and I can only talk with them afterwards. The receptionist assured me that the vets see lots of chameleons, which I hope is true! If I end up not liking this place, I fortunately do live in an area with a fair number of exotics vets, several of which were recommended to me by the Petco employee, who keeps chameleons herself. (None of them had appointments available until October, though!).

I was thinking the Miner-all was going to be the multi-vitamin, and the Repashy calcium plus would be the D3. Miner-all was recommended here, actually!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Let’s see if I can answer the rest of your questions.
Yes, if weather is nice certainly take her outside for some real uvb. Just keep a close and constant watch on her. They move like lightening when they want to.
As long as the tree isn’t sappy and you’ll make sure she doesn’t eat any leaves, a short time on it should be ok I think.
After experiencing crickets, I’ll take roaches any day! So much cleaner, quieter and less chance for escaping. We all naturally think, ‘eww…German roaches’, but dubia (I have their cousins, discoid) are nothing like those.
Feeders should be no larger than the space between her eyes.
Yes, hornworms are great for hydration which may help stimulate and lubricate pooping.
You want the enclosure to have time to dry out, so run the dripper for only a short time…or add a mid day misting.
The larger enclosure will not only make your girl happier, but will better accommodate the lay bin.
Yes, you want varied temperature and humidity gradients thru your enclosure, so she can move to the temps and humidity levels she wants.
Rather than the noise of the shower curtain, it was probably the movement that caused her to get upset.
She would probably do better in a lower traffic area. You may need to find a way to block the light at night without impeding air circulation.
Regarding the miner-all, let me have @Beman address this. I try and try, but the finer points of various supplements just confound me.
For a lay bin, you’ll need a plastic bin which is at least 12” long and wide. Depth doesn’t matter so much as long as you can fill it to about 6” with washed play sand. The sand will need to be kept moist enough so that it holds a tunnel without collapsing. They tend to dig at an angle and my one girl likes to dig across, so this is important. Make sure she has at least 2 stable ways to get in/out. You can put a plant in a corner of the bin and then you’d need to add a bit of organic soil. So that the bin doesn’t become a muddy mess, you can drill some tiny drainage holes in the bottom. Some sand may leak out or you could put a piece of landscape fabric to prevent that.
Once she enters her bin and starts digging, you’ll want to cover the visible areas of her enclosure with a light sheet and give her absolute privacy. I cut some peek holes so I can monitor her. My one sideways digger did have her tunnel collapse on her and I had to rescue her. That was my fault though as my sand wasn’t as moist as I thought. Thankfully she went right back to digging the next morning.
She may dig several spots until she likes one. She’ll be busy digging away and when she’s satisfied, she’ll turn around with her head out and lay her eggs. When done with that, she’ll cover her tunnels very well and you’ll know she’s completed her task when she’s sitting basking, looking dirty and much thinner. The whole process can take a couple of days and she may sleep in her tunnel. You don’t need to worry about feeding her. To offer hydration, use a dripper.
When she’s done, feed her very well and help her to recover some resources. I make sure to have some hornworms and silkworms for my girls. You can feed her well for 2-3 days and then start her on the reduced schedule of 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week.
Laying is very stressful for us too. If your husbandry is correct, all should go without any problems. However, some times there are things that are beyond our control. Signs of distress include lethargy, staying low in her enclosure (not basking), not eating/drinking, eyes closed during the day, etc.
One thing that does help with figuring out if your girl is close to laying is to weigh her with a gram scale on a regular basis. While you may not be able to get a baseline/non gravid weight just yet, start keeping a record of her weights anyhow.
One more thing…when we take steps to reduce egg production, it is possible that your girl may become receptive and not lay. Since Feb/March 2020, one of my girls has laid only once and the other hasn’t at all. I do watch them closely and am always alert for signs of possible distress and keep track of their weights. Here’s a great article on it. http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Supplements - I’m dusting every day with Calcium without D3 (I have a sample of the zoomed repti calcium that I’m using up, and then I’m going to use the Fluker’s calcium), and then alternating every two weeks with sticky tongue farms Miner-All and Repashy Superfoods calcium plus.
@annefirth12

Hi there... So mineral depends on which version it is, Outdoor or indoor. Mineral indoor has very low levels of D3 in it and mineral outdoor has no D3 it is just phos free calcium nothing additional. Your UVB lighting needs to be spot on if your using this product. Really no need to ever rotate this one in with Repashy calcium plus. The repashy calcium plus has everything. It is multivitamins, D3, and vitamin A.

Supplements should be Calcium without D3 at all feedings. Then 2 times a month you could use the Repashy calcium plus. Say the 1st and the 15th.
 

annefirth12

Member
Let’s see if I can answer the rest of your questions.
Yes, if weather is nice certainly take her outside for some real uvb. Just keep a close and constant watch on her. They move like lightening when they want to.
As long as the tree isn’t sappy and you’ll make sure she doesn’t eat any leaves, a short time on it should be ok I think.
After experiencing crickets, I’ll take roaches any day! So much cleaner, quieter and less chance for escaping. We all naturally think, ‘eww…German roaches’, but dubia (I have their cousins, discoid) are nothing like those.
Feeders should be no larger than the space between her eyes.
Yes, hornworms are great for hydration which may help stimulate and lubricate pooping.
You want the enclosure to have time to dry out, so run the dripper for only a short time…or add a mid day misting.
The larger enclosure will not only make your girl happier, but will better accommodate the lay bin.
Yes, you want varied temperature and humidity gradients thru your enclosure, so she can move to the temps and humidity levels she wants.
Rather than the noise of the shower curtain, it was probably the movement that caused her to get upset.
She would probably do better in a lower traffic area. You may need to find a way to block the light at night without impeding air circulation.
Regarding the miner-all, let me have @Beman address this. I try and try, but the finer points of various supplements just confound me.
For a lay bin, you’ll need a plastic bin which is at least 12” long and wide. Depth doesn’t matter so much as long as you can fill it to about 6” with washed play sand. The sand will need to be kept moist enough so that it holds a tunnel without collapsing. They tend to dig at an angle and my one girl likes to dig across, so this is important. Make sure she has at least 2 stable ways to get in/out. You can put a plant in a corner of the bin and then you’d need to add a bit of organic soil. So that the bin doesn’t become a muddy mess, you can drill some tiny drainage holes in the bottom. Some sand may leak out or you could put a piece of landscape fabric to prevent that.
Once she enters her bin and starts digging, you’ll want to cover the visible areas of her enclosure with a light sheet and give her absolute privacy. I cut some peek holes so I can monitor her. My one sideways digger did have her tunnel collapse on her and I had to rescue her. That was my fault though as my sand wasn’t as moist as I thought. Thankfully she went right back to digging the next morning.
She may dig several spots until she likes one. She’ll be busy digging away and when she’s satisfied, she’ll turn around with her head out and lay her eggs. When done with that, she’ll cover her tunnels very well and you’ll know she’s completed her task when she’s sitting basking, looking dirty and much thinner. The whole process can take a couple of days and she may sleep in her tunnel. You don’t need to worry about feeding her. To offer hydration, use a dripper.
When she’s done, feed her very well and help her to recover some resources. I make sure to have some hornworms and silkworms for my girls. You can feed her well for 2-3 days and then start her on the reduced schedule of 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week.
Laying is very stressful for us too. If your husbandry is correct, all should go without any problems. However, some times there are things that are beyond our control. Signs of distress include lethargy, staying low in her enclosure (not basking), not eating/drinking, eyes closed during the day, etc.
One thing that does help with figuring out if your girl is close to laying is to weigh her with a gram scale on a regular basis. While you may not be able to get a baseline/non gravid weight just yet, start keeping a record of her weights anyhow.
One more thing…when we take steps to reduce egg production, it is possible that your girl may become receptive and not lay. Since Feb/March 2020, one of my girls has laid only once and the other hasn’t at all. I do watch them closely and am always alert for signs of possible distress and keep track of their weights. Here’s a great article on it. http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html
Thank you so much for all the info! I was brainstorming other places to put her and I thought I could either move her to the dining room side of the kitchen, which is less frequently trafficked since it is far away from the stairs - so we’d still be in the room, but mostly on the other side from her - or in my room, and I’d figure out something to block the light. The only problem with my room is that I have a loud and annoying alarm clock that will be going off at 6:30 in the morning two days a week. Is that better or worse than the kitchen?
 

annefirth12

Member
@annefirth12

Hi there... So mineral depends on which version it is, Outdoor or indoor. Mineral indoor has very low levels of D3 in it and mineral outdoor has no D3 it is just phos free calcium nothing additional. Your UVB lighting needs to be spot on if your using this product. Really no need to ever rotate this one in with Repashy calcium plus. The repashy calcium plus has everything. It is multivitamins, D3, and vitamin A.

Supplements should be Calcium without D3 at all feedings. Then 2 times a month you could use the Repashy calcium plus. Say the 1st and the 15th.
I have the indoor miner-all. I don’t have a solar meter so I can’t be super precise with uvb - should I just get rid of the miner-all? Would it be harmful to use it up?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have the indoor miner-all. I don’t have a solar meter so I can’t be super precise with uvb - should I just get rid of the miner-all? Would it be harmful to use it up?
Personally I would not utilize it with the repashy calcium plus because you are adding that much more D3 in. If it were the outdoor version then that would be different because it is just plain calcium. This version of repashy calcium plus has very high levels of D3 and A. I use the repashy calcium plus LoD version 2 times a month. It still has higher levels but not like the regular version. And I would not utilize the mineral indoor with the Lod version either. Same concept adding unneeded D3. D3 and vitamin A are fat soluble so you can actually overdose a cham on them.
 

annefirth12

Member
Personally I would not utilize it with the repashy calcium plus because you are adding that much more D3 in. If it were the outdoor version then that would be different because it is just plain calcium. This version of repashy calcium plus has very high levels of D3 and A. I use the repashy calcium plus LoD version 2 times a month. It still has higher levels but not like the regular version. And I would not utilize the mineral indoor with the Lod version either. Same concept adding unneeded D3. D3 and vitamin A are fat soluble so you can actually overdose a cham on them.
alright, good to know! Since I've only used it once, I don't think I can return it but I might be able to resell it lol
 

annefirth12

Member
Update from the vet - she did poop right before I took her, so I brought it in for sampling. She does have coccidia, and will be taking a dewormer for a little bit, and the x-ray showed a bit of congestion indicating a respiratory infection, so we’re also starting antibiotics. Other than that, the vet said she looked healthy, has no bone density issues, and is constipated but not impacted.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Update from the vet - she did poop right before I took her, so I brought it in for sampling. She does have coccidia, and will be taking a dewormer for a little bit, and the x-ray showed a bit of congestion indicating a respiratory infection, so we’re also starting antibiotics. Other than that, the vet said she looked healthy, has no bone density issues, and is constipated but not impacted.
coccidia is not that simple... What medicine did they give you for the coccidia? Did they explain the proper cleaning you need to do to rid the enclosure of the coccidia oocysts?
Did they explain that they can recontaminate themselves. You need to cup feed or feed in in feeder run not free feed.
 

annefirth12

Member
coccidia is not that simple... What medicine did they give you for the coccidia? Did they explain the proper cleaning you need to do to rid the enclosure of the coccidia oocysts?
Did they explain that they can recontaminate themselves. You need to cup feed or feed in in feeder run not free feed.
I was given toltazuril. No instructions for cleaning, but she likely picked up the infection at petco, not here. If you’re willing to explain, that would be great! We already use a feeder run cup.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was given toltazuril. No instructions for cleaning, but she likely picked up the infection at petco, not here. If you’re willing to explain, that would be great! We already use a feeder run cup.
ok I know that one can be used for it as well. Did they tell you what her parasite load was?

I will give you the link to my thread. I dealt with it. Not all situations turn out like mine though so keep that in mind when you read through it. But there is a ton of info there that was given to me on how to clean and deal with it. It is a lot of work. Your stripping the cage down of basically everything. flukers vines are a good temporary replacement as they are easily wiped clean. The oocysts can live for years without being ingested. It is good that you cup feed. You will want to pull the cup every day and clean it. Don't let her eat off any branches and spot clean every day taking out the fecal. The fecal matter is how they recontaminate themselves. So licking a branch where the fecal was or a feeder running across a branch and her eating it.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/coccidia-help-and-cleaning-advice-please.170202/
 
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