New Chameleon Owner


New Member
I am a new chameleon owner, but not a new pet owner. I have rehabbed turtles and salamanders up North, raised birds, all kinds of rodents, etc. I broke my cardinal rule when gettting my first Veiled, and brought from a pet store. They do have an excellent reputation, but the little guy was prob less than a month old and had no business being there. He died 4 days later, leaving me brokenhearted. The pet store did refund all of my $, knowing full well the little guy had a very small chance being thin and dehydrated.
I have done major research and talked to many owners. I set up my new enclosure weeks before getting my new Veiled 2 days ago. He is 2 months old and came from a good breeder. He lives in a 38 tall Reptarium with UVB lighting and a basking light that holds the temp in that area to 90-95 degrees. I have one live pothos and several fake vines and plants in there for him. I mist twice a day and have a drip system that runs for an hour in the morning. The first day he ate 7-8 1/4" crickets and I have observed him drinking. So far he sleeps soundly, wakes up and drinks, and them basks a few hours in the morning. My daughter said he roamed the cage all day yesterday, but I haven't seen him eat since the first day, but haven't been watching him the entire time. There are plenty of crickets in there, and I see that many people say you should not leave them in overnight. Can anyone tell me what their chameleons day is like?
Its very difficult to tell you what my chameleon's day is like....each chameleon is different. Some roam around quite a bit and others don't. They should, however, not be sleeping during the day. Young ones should eat well (as many crickets as they can eat in a couple of minutes, for males). I try not to leave more than a couple of crickets in the cage overnight.

Providing the appropriate basking temperature is important for digestion....thus absorption of nutrients. For young ones, I keep the cage in the low 80'sF and for adults in the mid to high 80's. Young bodies are smaller and can heat, cool, and dehydrate more easily.

Providing UVB light from florescent tubes or from sunlight (both of which should not pass through glass or plastic) is important so that the chameleon can produce vitamin D3 which will allow it to use the calcium in its diet.

Dusting with a phosphorous-free calcium on most feedings is recommended because insects generally have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorous and this helps to make up for it.

I also dust with a vitamin powder a couple of times a month making sure that the vitamin A source is beta carotene. Beta carotene will not build up in the system but preformed will. Giving preformed once in a long while won't likely cause a problem though.

Since my chameleons don't get direct sunlight, I dust with a calcium/D3 powder a couple of times a month. Be aware that D3 from supplements can build up in the system and don't over do it.

Hydration is important too.

With your previous experience, most of what I have said above you should already know....but I wrote it just in case!

Good luck with your chameleon!
If you meant the reptarium is 38 inches tall then it sounds like the cage is too big for the little guy to get to his food. You might want to get a small one for him until he is like 6 months old.

It is a 38 gallon Reptarium. The little guy has taken well to grabbing crickets out of a short container not to mention he is an incredible little hunter!
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