New Chameleon Owner (Review Appreciated)

Doolingdogs

Member
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Hi there! This is Doug. I got him yesterday but have been preparing for him for a while. I've asked in a Facebook group but I appreciate all the input I can get as I want to give my little man the best life possible.
Here is his enclosure:
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Enclosure: 36"x24"x48" AP Cage with screen top
Lighting: Zoo Med Dual Linear T5 HO UVB 10.0 Reptisun 36"/LED plant light, 75w Arcadia halogen basking bulb with dimmer (standard 65w floodlight was not putting out enough heat)
Fans: 2 computer fans for air circulation not pointed where Chameleon hangs
Parameters: Daytime: 70*-76*F ambient temp, 83*-85*F basking temp, humidity ranges from 35%-55% top to bottom
Nighttime: 65* temp drop, 95% humidity
Fogger running 12:00am-4:00am
Lights on 7:00am, off 7:00pm
Hand misting for 1 minute 30 minutes before lights on and after lights off
Supplements: Repti calcium without d3 every feeding, Reptivite for the 1st and 15th of the month (where do I add bee pollen?)
Food: BSFL as a staple food, hornworm treats, crickets (need to gutload first, correct?)
Substrate: contains a small amount of springtails, need to add isopods still

One thing I want to change with his enclosure is adding more foliage so I know that that is something to work on. I took him from PetSmart where he lived in a 10x12x12 box with no place to hide though so I'm pretty sure he considers this an upgrade.
Anything else I'm missing? This is my first reptile and I know I'm in the deep end with a chameleon so I want to quadruple check with experts!
 
Hiii I’m still fairly new also, but had a meeting with a chameleon expert. First pic is what you need to stay away from for gutloading & the second pic is what is recommend to gutload with! Try to gutload more with veggies & I purchased bee pollen also! You can dust them if it’s a powder OR dust the fruits/veggies that you are gutloading the insects with. :)

Also for misting, I was told to mist for at least 4 minutes!
 

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Hi and welcome. :) Looks like you’ve definitely done your research. The only thing needing to be changed is the strength of your uvb. You either need to get a 5.0 or 6% OR raise the 10.0 so that the distance between basking area and light is around 10-11” rather than the 8-9” if you were using a 5.0 or 6%. Adding more safe live plants and branches would be great…give lots of areas to hide or take shade in and lots of little chameleon roads to travel. Not sure if you’re aware, but Doug will nibble his plants so it’s extra important that they are all live and safe. Great resource for plants here.https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
Misting for 2 minutes is the ideal and current recommendation - right before lights go on and off and it’s optional at mid day. I like to give that mid day opportunity to drink.
I don’t necessarily gut load, but I do make sure that I keep my feeders well fed a variety of fresh produce and a little bit of Repashy Bug Burger (that I add a little bee pollen and spirulina to just for kicks and giggles). It’s purely anecdotal but many chams have gotten edema from too much bee pollen, so maybe just give to your feeders to pass on to your cham.
Make sure to provide your isopods pieces of cork bark to hide beneath and a thick layer of leaf litter. My male has gotten overweight from treating his clean up crew like an all you can eat buffet.
These may help. I avoid kale and other greens that are high in oxalates which can bind to calcium.
Do ask whatever other questions you have and please share as much as you want of your chameleon and experiences. :) This is an awesome community and full of great people.
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Hi and welcome. :) Looks like you’ve definitely done your research. The only thing needing to be changed is the strength of your uvb. You either need to get a 5.0 or 6% OR raise the 10.0 so that the distance between basking area and light is around 10-11” rather than the 8-9” if you were using a 5.0 or 6%. Adding more safe live plants and branches would be great…give lots of areas to hide or take shade in and lots of little chameleon roads to travel. Not sure if you’re aware, but Doug will nibble his plants so it’s extra important that they are all live and safe. Great resource for plants here.https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/
Misting for 2 minutes is the ideal and current recommendation - right before lights go on and off and it’s optional at mid day. I like to give that mid day opportunity to drink.
I don’t necessarily gut load, but I do make sure that I keep my feeders well fed a variety of fresh produce and a little bit of Repashy Bug Burger (that I add a little bee pollen and spirulina to just for kicks and giggles). It’s purely anecdotal but many chams have gotten edema from too much bee pollen, so maybe just give to your feeders to pass on to your cham.
Make sure to provide your isopods pieces of cork bark to hide beneath and a thick layer of leaf litter. My male has gotten overweight from treating his clean up crew like an all you can eat buffet.
These may help. I avoid kale and other greens that are high in oxalates which can bind to calcium.
Do ask whatever other questions you have and please share as much as you want of your chameleon and experiences. :) This is an awesome community and full of great people.
View attachment 335227View attachment 335228
Is the 10-11" the total distance or the distance from the screen?
Thanks so much!
 
Hi there welcome to the forum. misting times are entirely dependent on species and enclosure set up along with ambient humidity levels. It is best to base them off your house humidity and enclosure type rather than a set time. Someone in AZ with very low humidity vs someone in FL are going to have to run misting sessions very differently due to ambient humidity levels in the home.
 
Hi there welcome to the forum. misting times are entirely dependent on species and enclosure set up along with ambient humidity levels. It is best to base them off your house humidity and enclosure type rather than a set time. Someone in AZ with very low humidity vs someone in FL are going to have to run misting sessions very differently due to ambient humidity levels in the home.
Makes sense!
 
Yes it is.
Here's Zoo Med's page for it :) I have the 36" one
https://zoomed.com/t5-reptisun-led-uvb-terrarium-hood/
Perfect thank you. Just wanted to make sure they give the T5 its own area with full reflector. So with the 10.0 bulb going through aluminum window screen you want a measured distance from the bottom of the fixture to the top of the branch that is directly below the uvb bulb of 11-12 inches. If it is more like 10 that is still fine as it will not exceed the max exposure level.

You also want to get some larger centerpiece plants. Choose plants from this image that say veiled tested. Since they eat their plants we have to be very cautious.

He is quite a handsome little man.

Screen Shot 2022-06-27 at 11.41.38 AM.png
 
Perfect thank you. Just wanted to make sure they give the T5 its own area with full reflector. So with the 10.0 bulb going through aluminum window screen you want a measured distance from the bottom of the fixture to the top of the branch that is directly below the uvb bulb of 11-12 inches. If it is more like 10 that is still fine as it will not exceed the max exposure level.

You also want to get some larger centerpiece plants. Choose plants from this image that say veiled tested. Since they eat their plants we have to be very cautious.

He is quite a handsome little man.

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Thank you! I will adjust it right away, I think it's closer to 9" so it definitely needs another couple inches.
I am planning on adding more plants this Sunday! Thank you for the list :)
 
Thank you! I will adjust it right away, I think it's closer to 9" so it definitely needs another couple inches.
I am planning on adding more plants this Sunday! Thank you for the list :)
Your off to a fantastic start with set up. Looks really good. Bottom is totally bioactive with clean up crew and a layer of leaf litter on top, correct?
 
Your off to a fantastic start with set up. Looks really good. Bottom is totally bioactive with clean up crew and a layer of leaf litter on top, correct?
I have springtails, still need isopods, they should be arriving this weekend. But leaf litter on top, yes!
Quick question, can I add some BSFL in the substrate as CUC? Would they be beneficial in any way other than enrichment when they turn to flies?
 
I have springtails, still need isopods, they should be arriving this weekend. But leaf litter on top, yes!
Quick question, can I add some BSFL in the substrate as CUC? Would they be beneficial in any way other than enrichment when they turn to flies?
Sure you can... They will just dig down and munch stuff until they pupate. Just make sure you have a good layer of leaf litter. Veileds are little brats if they see movement they are going to go try to eat it. Kinda like a toddler as in everything with them goes in the mouth. lol
 
Hey hun. Where did you get Doug? See the pocket of skin in his eye turrets? how it is folded up like that? That is not normal.
 
Hey hun. Where did you get Doug? See the pocket of skin in his eye turrets? how it is folded up like that? That is not normal.
PetSmart :( I knew there was a chance there would be something wrong with him. Here's another photo, do you still see the problem? I can call the vet immediately.
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PetSmart :( I knew there was a chance there would be something wrong with him. Here's another photo, do you still see the problem? I can call the vet immediately.
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Ok looking over this what I see... Eyes are sunk in... This can mean dehydration,illness or stress. He is very thin for his age as well. Petco/Petsmart like to overdose chams. They typically only give calcium with D3. So what I am seeing with the puffy corner of the eyes can be for too much D3. So what we will do is add a dripper to the cage to help if it is dehydration. This can be as easy as putting ice cubes on the top where they will drip onto the leaves below. Since he has only been with you 1 day call and make an appointment for a week out. This will give him the week to acclimate and for us to see what exactly is going on. If it is a D3 toxicity issue the vet can not do anything for that this just simply takes time for the D3 to clear from the tissues since it is fat soluble. But the fact he is so thin can be from not getting enough food. We are talking a dozen or more feeders a day being needed for these guys at this age. So start feeding him well. If he is eating really well this is a good sign. Now then for the appointment with the vet you want to take in a fresh fecal sample. If he poops the day prior grab it with a plastic baggy and put it in the fridge. The more recent sample the better to rule out a parasite issue.

Don't stress big box stores do not automatically mean bad things. My boy will be 5 in June and he was from Petco.
 
Ok looking over this what I see... Eyes are sunk in... This can mean dehydration,illness or stress. He is very thin for his age as well. Petco/Petsmart like to overdose chams. They typically only give calcium with D3. So what I am seeing with the puffy corner of the eyes can be for too much D3. So what we will do is add a dripper to the cage to help if it is dehydration. This can be as easy as putting ice cubes on the top where they will drip onto the leaves below. Since he has only been with you 1 day call and make an appointment for a week out. This will give him the week to acclimate and for us to see what exactly is going on. If it is a D3 toxicity issue the vet can not do anything for that this just simply takes time for the D3 to clear from the tissues since it is fat soluble. But the fact he is so thin can be from not getting enough food. We are talking a dozen or more feeders a day being needed for these guys at this age. So start feeding him well. If he is eating really well this is a good sign. Now then for the appointment with the vet you want to take in a fresh fecal sample. If he poops the day prior grab it with a plastic baggy and put it in the fridge. The more recent sample the better to rule out a parasite issue.

Don't stress big box stores do not automatically mean bad things. My boy will be 5 in June and he was from Petco.
I thought he was thin too so I've been giving him plenty to eat. I'll start the ice cube protocol and get a vet appointment. Thank you so much for noticing and saying something! Should I skip the multivitamin the 1st since it has d3 in it?
 
I thought he was thin too so I've been giving him plenty to eat. I'll start the ice cube protocol and get a vet appointment. Thank you so much for noticing and saying something! Should I skip the multivitamin the 1st since it has d3 in it?
If he were mine I would and wait until the 15th. This will give a few weeks to lower D3 levels if they were overdosing. You could call the store and try to talk to someone that takes care of the chams to find out what the exact supplement was but half the time they do not even know.

Is he eating well so far?
 
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