New chameleon owner

Okay thanks so much I just get a little nervous about the light because I don’t have a thermometer or hygrometer yet since this was a totally urgent and spontaneous adoption
 
Hi and welcome! There are some amazing people here and we will do our best to help you with any questions or husbandry problems you may have. What are the dimensions of his terrarium! I’m not sure about that light, most here use either a T5HO fixture with a reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% long linear bulb. The distance for these bulbs above the basking branch should be 8-9 inches.
Thank you. I adjusted the vines down, they were too high
 
Hi and welcome! :) If you’ve spent any time lurking here, you know I’ve got tons of questions.😂 As there’s so very much misinformation out there, I’d like to review all of your husbandry and make sure you get everything perfect for this sweet little guy. I’m going to assume his prior keepers did everything wrong, which means it’s more important for you to be doing everything right, from the start.
I’m not sure what that light spot is, but it may be a light burn. It’s definitely something to closely watch.
If you could please answer the following questions (just copy/paste) one of us can go over your husbandry and help make sure it’s spot on.
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

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Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
This is him shortly after I posted this message
 

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This is him shortly after I posted this message
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. No idea at all
How long has it been in your care? Six days
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? Crickets. He was not fed with previous owners and is hunting well. What amount?Four to six a day
What is the schedule? About an hour or so after he wakes up and about five hours later. Three at a time
How are you gut-loading your feeders? Carrots and mango
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Once a day with flukers high calcium dust
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? I mist his cage three times a day
How often and how long to you mist? Thirty seconds three times a day.
Do you see your chameleon drinking? No
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Never been tested for parasites and it’s soft black droppings
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
He was not fed unsure for how long. As soon as I found out the owners had not been feeding him I adopted him the next evening and he ate as soon as we got him home. Assuming it’s a “he”.

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Glass. Size 19.1"L x 16.6"W x 22.4"H 20 gallon hexagon tank
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? Zilla Slimline Tropical 15 watt 25 UVB T8 Fluorescent FixtureWhat is your daily lighting schedule? 12 hours on 12 hours off
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? I don’t have a thermostat or hygrometer yet unfortunately it was a sudden adoption due to him not being cared for
Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Need to buy them thermometer and hygrometer ASAP
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Not yet, idk what the best is yet
Placement - Where is your cage located? High on my dresser so it’s taller than me
Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? Mild traffic in my room and yes the air vent is in the ceiling
At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? 6 feet
Location - Where are you geographically located? West Virginia usa

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Should I take the plastic cover off the light, someone mentioned it’s hindering the UVB, that white spot shown on his body and bland color went away shortly after I posted this, is that normal. Am I doing everything okay? How am I going to clean his cage tomorrow and reduce the stress. I can’t have a screen cage because of my cats. Is the privacy I added in the pics I shared in the comments helpful? He is scared of the reptile humidifier we have, should I still use it? Is there any foods I should be feeding the crickets that will help him? Is it normal for him to bloat and change to a bland color with black spots after he eats? Does he have black spots because I had his vine too close to the light? I moved it down immediately
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll put my feedback in red. :)
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. No idea at all You have a young little boy veiled (or Yemen) chameleon who is about maybe 3 months old. He hasn’t yet gotten his big boy patterns, so that’s how I’m judging his age.
How long has it been in your care? Six days
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? Crickets. He was not fed with previous owners and is hunting well. What amount?Four to six a day Wha? Were they trying to kill him? Ok, confusion and anger aside.
Being so young, he should be eating much more than that. As he wasn’t being fed, I’m thinking it may be best to offer him about 8-10 feeders, once in the morning and then again in the mid afternoon. It may take him a bit to get used to. Make sure the feeders are no bigger than the space between his eyes. After maybe 2-3 weeks, get him down to just one daily feeding in the morning of about 15-20 feeders. As he gets older, this amount will gradually decrease. Crickets are good, but variety is better. Attaching feeder graphic below.

What is the schedule? About an hour or so after he wakes up and about five hours later. Three at a time
How are you gut-loading your feeders? Carrots and mango That’s a good start, but add more fresh veggies and greens. I feed my bugs a mix of various squashes, arugula, collards, chard, sweet potato, a little bit of fruit and also Repashy Bug Burger with a bit of bee pollen added to it. The healthier you keep your bugs, the more nutritious they’ll be for your cutie. Attaching gutload graphic below too.
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Once a day with flukers high calcium dust This is a start, but again, he needs more. There are just as many regimens as their are supplements. Of course I’m partial to the one I use. Every feeding you want to lightly dust with a phosphorus free calcium without D3. Then one feeding every other week, you’ll use Reptivite with D3.
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? I mist his cage three times a day
How often and how long to you mist? Thirty seconds three times a day. It would be better to mist for at least 2 minutes each time.
Do you see your chameleon drinking? No This is common. Many chameleons are very secretive about drinking. We have to go by their urate to judge their hydration.
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Never been tested for parasites and it’s soft black droppings I always think it’s a good idea to have all new animals get a veterinary wellness check along with a fecal test.
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
He was not fed unsure for how long. As soon as I found out the owners had not been feeding him I adopted him the next evening and he ate as soon as we got him home. Assuming it’s a “he”. WTH is wrong with them?! Bless you for taking him!

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Glass. Size 19.1"L x 16.6"W x 22.4"H 20 gallon hexagon tank While for some a glass enclosure is ok, I’m going to suggest a screen enclosure. He will be needing much more space as he grows and a 2x2x4’ enclosure is the minimum. Even though he’s small now, the sooner you can get this, the better.
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? Zilla Slimline Tropical 15 watt 25 UVB T8 Fluorescent FixtureWhat is your daily lighting schedule? 12 hours on 12 hours off Your 12 hour schedule is perfect. I’m truly not sure about that uvb. I looked it up and it doesn’t give any strength. The standard is a linear T5 with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. The uvb should be long enough to span the width of your enclosure. Both ReptiSun and Arcadia sell the fixture with a bulb for about the same price. I prefer Arcadia as the bulb last one year vs 6 months for ReptiSun.
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? I don’t have a thermostat or hygrometer yet unfortunately it was a sudden adoption due to him not being cared for You’ll want to get a digital thermometer with a probe end. Ideal basking temp for your little guy is no higher than 80. At night, he can tolerate a drop down as low as mid 50’s (although we try not to cool them off so much).
Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Need to buy them thermometer and hygrometer ASAP Yes! Again, digital with a probe end. Many here use Govee which are relatively inexpensive on Amazon. Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. High heat + high humidity = increased risk for respiratory infection. At night when it’s cool, you can boost humidity to 80-100% with a cool mist humidifier, which simulates natural hydration thru fog.
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Not yet, idk what the best is yet All live plants is best. Attaching another graphic for you. Veileds will nibble on their plants so they need to be safe, cleaned and live. All it takes is one nibble from a plastic plant and they can become impacted.
Placement - Where is your cage located? High on my dresser so it’s taller than me Perfect! The higher they are, the safer they feel.
Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? Mild traffic in my room and yes the air vent is in the ceiling If the vent is blowing directly on him, you should get a diverter. It’s just a magnetic (or screw on) plastic shield available at Ho,e Depot and Lowe’s.
At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? 6 feet
Location - Where are you geographically located? West Virginia usa

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Should I take the plastic cover off the light, someone mentioned it’s hindering the UVB, Yes, although I suggest getting a T5. Uvb can’t pass thru most things. that white spot shown on his body and bland color went away shortly after I posted this, is that normal. Not sure. If it were a burn, it wouldn’t have gone away. All I can say is to keep an eye on it for any further changes. Am I doing everything okay? Well, I’ve listed the changes that need to be made and it may seem overwhelming. Just go one step at a time though and ask whatever questions you may have. It’s a process of learning and making changes and will take some time. You have him, you care about him and will take great care of him, so yes, that is more than okay. How am I going to clean his cage tomorrow and reduce the stress. Just do a quick spot clean, picking up any poo when you see it. I can’t have a screen cage because of my cats. Ah, but you can! I have cats too. ReptiBreeze makes a stand for their enclosures, that would pretty much fit any enclosure of the same sizes. The great thing about it is it’s high enough and has nothing for your cat to sit on and plan it’s attack. Having enough plants inside will also help shield your cham from the cats. Attaching the plastic plants to the outside will also add privacy. Is the privacy I added in the pics I shared in the comments helpful? He is scared of the reptile humidifier we have, should I still use it? Only at night when he is asleep and temps are below 70. Is there any foods I should be feeding the crickets that will help him? See below graphic. Is it normal for him to bloat and change to a bland color with black spots after he eats? Bloating, no. However, if he wasn’t being fed at all I imagine his poor little stomach has to adjust to food. Color changes just happen…usually when stressed, mad, sleeping, etc. You’ve probably seen the pics of those big bright male veileds…those are when they are fired up. Their ‘resting’ or normal colors are much duller. Chams will darken to better absorb heat too. Does he have black spots because I had his vine too close to the light? Nope I moved it down immediately
To be continued….:)

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
That was getting pretty long and I wanted to add a bit more.
While getting everything correct as quickly as possible is ideal, it does get costly and we aren’t always able to do that. Chameleons are expensive creatures to keep…but so very worth it! Your priorities are to get his lighting and supplements corrected. Usually I would say enclosure upgrade would be much lower priority, but I’m concerned about humidity and heat being trapped in the glass. While glass enclosures usually do have good venting, if you aren’t able yet to upgrade enclosure, at least get a small muffin type fan to pull air out the top and keep it well circulated within the tank. Adding lots of branches and vines for him to travel is actually free. I use branches I gather outside. I give a little scrub with Dawn dish soap, rinse with the hose and dry in the sun. No need to bake or bleach them. Do avoid pine and other sappy trees. Attaching them may be a challenge, but there are several creative ways to do it. The main idea is to create a little scaffold or trellis to attach to the enclosure or it’s frame and then you can attach branches to it. If it’s in budget, Dragon Ledges are awesome! https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ If you do get them, it’s better to put them on before assembling your enclosure. Many crafty keepers build their own enclosures from wood, pvc and even old entertainment or dining cabinets. There are several build threads…just do a search for them and you’ll find lots of inspiration. This is as good a place as any to add in, there should be no substrate. Bare floor is best. Various barks chips and such pose impaction risks. You may also want to buy or make a feeding station. I like this one https://tkchameleons.com/products/shooting-gallery-large-small-bundle
There is a ton of misinformation out there. o_O The most accurate and up to date source for all things chameleon is https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/ and for veiled specific info https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/ On YouTube there is Neptune the Chameleon with lots of videos about chameleon care. Of course, the forum is filled with many wonderful keepers of all levels of experience, all walks of life and from around the world and most (all?) of us enjoy helping others and sharing our experiences. I hope I haven’t overwhelmed you too badly and have been of some help. Just remember, we all start at the beginning.:) I know you’ll be giving this sweet little boy a wonderful life.
 
I’ll put my feedback in red. :)
Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. No idea at all You have a young little boy veiled (or Yemen) chameleon who is about maybe 3 months old. He hasn’t yet gotten his big boy patterns, so that’s how I’m judging his age.
How long has it been in your care? Six days
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Never
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? Crickets. He was not fed with previous owners and is hunting well. What amount?Four to six a day Wha? Were they trying to kill him? Ok, confusion and anger aside.
Being so young, he should be eating much more than that. As he wasn’t being fed, I’m thinking it may be best to offer him about 8-10 feeders, once in the morning and then again in the mid afternoon. It may take him a bit to get used to. Make sure the feeders are no bigger than the space between his eyes. After maybe 2-3 weeks, get him down to just one daily feeding in the morning of about 15-20 feeders. As he gets older, this amount will gradually decrease. Crickets are good, but variety is better. Attaching feeder graphic below.

What is the schedule? About an hour or so after he wakes up and about five hours later. Three at a time
How are you gut-loading your feeders? Carrots and mango That’s a good start, but add more fresh veggies and greens. I feed my bugs a mix of various squashes, arugula, collards, chard, sweet potato, a little bit of fruit and also Repashy Bug Burger with a bit of bee pollen added to it. The healthier you keep your bugs, the more nutritious they’ll be for your cutie. Attaching gutload graphic below too.
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Once a day with flukers high calcium dust This is a start, but again, he needs more. There are just as many regimens as their are supplements. Of course I’m partial to the one I use. Every feeding you want to lightly dust with a phosphorus free calcium without D3. Then one feeding every other week, you’ll use Reptivite with D3.
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? I mist his cage three times a day
How often and how long to you mist? Thirty seconds three times a day. It would be better to mist for at least 2 minutes each time.
Do you see your chameleon drinking? No This is common. Many chameleons are very secretive about drinking. We have to go by their urate to judge their hydration.
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Never been tested for parasites and it’s soft black droppings I always think it’s a good idea to have all new animals get a veterinary wellness check along with a fecal test.
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
He was not fed unsure for how long. As soon as I found out the owners had not been feeding him I adopted him the next evening and he ate as soon as we got him home. Assuming it’s a “he”. WTH is wrong with them?! Bless you for taking him!

Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Glass. Size 19.1"L x 16.6"W x 22.4"H 20 gallon hexagon tank While for some a glass enclosure is ok, I’m going to suggest a screen enclosure. He will be needing much more space as he grows and a 2x2x4’ enclosure is the minimum. Even though he’s small now, the sooner you can get this, the better.
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? Zilla Slimline Tropical 15 watt 25 UVB T8 Fluorescent FixtureWhat is your daily lighting schedule? 12 hours on 12 hours off Your 12 hour schedule is perfect. I’m truly not sure about that uvb. I looked it up and it doesn’t give any strength. The standard is a linear T5 with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. The uvb should be long enough to span the width of your enclosure. Both ReptiSun and Arcadia sell the fixture with a bulb for about the same price. I prefer Arcadia as the bulb last one year vs 6 months for ReptiSun.
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? I don’t have a thermostat or hygrometer yet unfortunately it was a sudden adoption due to him not being cared for You’ll want to get a digital thermometer with a probe end. Ideal basking temp for your little guy is no higher than 80. At night, he can tolerate a drop down as low as mid 50’s (although we try not to cool them off so much).
Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Need to buy them thermometer and hygrometer ASAP Yes! Again, digital with a probe end. Many here use Govee which are relatively inexpensive on Amazon. Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. High heat + high humidity = increased risk for respiratory infection. At night when it’s cool, you can boost humidity to 80-100% with a cool mist humidifier, which simulates natural hydration thru fog.
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? Not yet, idk what the best is yet All live plants is best. Attaching another graphic for you. Veileds will nibble on their plants so they need to be safe, cleaned and live. All it takes is one nibble from a plastic plant and they can become impacted.
Placement - Where is your cage located? High on my dresser so it’s taller than me Perfect! The higher they are, the safer they feel.
Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? Mild traffic in my room and yes the air vent is in the ceiling If the vent is blowing directly on him, you should get a diverter. It’s just a magnetic (or screw on) plastic shield available at Ho,e Depot and Lowe’s.
At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? 6 feet
Location - Where are you geographically located? West Virginia usa

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Should I take the plastic cover off the light, someone mentioned it’s hindering the UVB, Yes, although I suggest getting a T5. Uvb can’t pass thru most things. that white spot shown on his body and bland color went away shortly after I posted this, is that normal. Not sure. If it were a burn, it wouldn’t have gone away. All I can say is to keep an eye on it for any further changes. Am I doing everything okay? Well, I’ve listed the changes that need to be made and it may seem overwhelming. Just go one step at a time though and ask whatever questions you may have. It’s a process of learning and making changes and will take some time. You have him, you care about him and will take great care of him, so yes, that is more than okay. How am I going to clean his cage tomorrow and reduce the stress. Just do a quick spot clean, picking up any poo when you see it. I can’t have a screen cage because of my cats. Ah, but you can! I have cats too. ReptiBreeze makes a stand for their enclosures, that would pretty much fit any enclosure of the same sizes. The great thing about it is it’s high enough and has nothing for your cat to sit on and plan it’s attack. Having enough plants inside will also help shield your cham from the cats. Attaching the plastic plants to the outside will also add privacy. Is the privacy I added in the pics I shared in the comments helpful? He is scared of the reptile humidifier we have, should I still use it? Only at night when he is asleep and temps are below 70. Is there any foods I should be feeding the crickets that will help him? See below graphic. Is it normal for him to bloat and change to a bland color with black spots after he eats? Bloating, no. However, if he wasn’t being fed at all I imagine his poor little stomach has to adjust to food. Color changes just happen…usually when stressed, mad, sleeping, etc. You’ve probably seen the pics of those big bright male veileds…those are when they are fired up. Their ‘resting’ or normal colors are much duller. Chams will darken to better absorb heat too. Does he have black spots because I had his vine too close to the light? Nope I moved it down immediately
To be continued….:)

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You are an angel. Thank you!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You are an angel. Thank you!
I just want to add in here hun.

Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? Zilla Slimline Tropical 15 watt 25 UVB T8 Fluorescent FixtureWhat is your daily lighting schedule? 12 hours on 12 hours off
Remove the plastic and then go buy the reptisun T8 10.0 bulb for it in the length that the fixture is. You need the stronger bulb because this is a T8 fixture not a T5HO. Distance to branches below would need to be 5-6 inches for is to be in the right UVI level. You do not put this one farther away due to the lower output. But the plastic needs to be removed or the UVB will not penetrate it and the distance has to be correct.

The spot does not look like a burn to me. Almost looks like an area getting ready to shed.

Your in great hands with @MissSkittles with your husbandry.
 
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