New chameleon parent introduction looki

Hello my name is David and we just adopted a new veiled female chameleon from Petco what I was 16 I had two Jackson chameleons before the internet age as im 41 now and we have been doing quite a bit of research so our cage is a hybrid with screen side and a computer fan on top drawing light air through glass fronts and wood back we have a UVB bulb and a incandescent basking bulb at 75 watts , and a warming mat on the bottom keeping the cage around 75 Mister will arrive tomorrow and I set up a water droplet system currently we are misting by hand she went 5 days without eating but once we put her in her new enclosure she ate right away as this is a custom built enclosure that I made. Petco said to give her mealworms dusted with D3 riptivite but she would not eat them so we purchase crickets today and she ate right away we were starting to get concerned I have a ficus several umbrella plants and one bromeliad just for looks I'm looking for feedback on things to watch out for also on how to improve the habitat thank you
 

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Thank you , I will make it happen, are plastic plants ok for veiled chameleons, I am all natural and in January in Oregon which makes it hard to find lush natural vegetation., I'll remove the heat mat, thank you
 
Sorry but no veiled like to eat plants. The risk of impaction is to high to risk it. Only safe place for fake plants is placed on outside of the enclosure to provide cover. I have a screen mesh enclosure I use mine around sleeping area to make him feel safer when sleeping.
 
Hello my name is David and we just adopted a new veiled female chameleon from Petco what I was 16 I had two Jackson chameleons before the internet age as im 41 now and we have been doing quite a bit of research so our cage is a hybrid with screen side and a computer fan on top drawing light air through glass fronts and wood back we have a UVB bulb and a incandescent basking bulb at 75 watts , and a warming mat on the bottom keeping the cage around 75 Mister will arrive tomorrow and I set up a water droplet system currently we are misting by hand she went 5 days without eating but once we put her in her new enclosure she ate right away as this is a custom built enclosure that I made. Petco said to give her mealworms dusted with D3 riptivite but she would not eat them so we purchase crickets today and she ate right away we were starting to get concerned I have a ficus several umbrella plants and one bromeliad just for looks I'm looking for feedback on things to watch out for also on how to improve the habitat thank you
Hiya! So the reptivite with D3 should actually only be used to dust your bugs twice a month (ex. 1st and 15th) as it is a multivitamin. You’ll need calcium without D3 to dust the bugs with daily. Otherwise, the chameleon can overdose on D3. I would also purchase a basking light rather than a heat mat and place it on the top of the cage as chameleons need a basking spot that they can go to in order to thermoregulate and aid in digestion. Congrats on your new buddy!
 
Hi There welcome to the forum. I will be mentioning a few things that others have touched on. Consider cutting out the wood top of the enclosure and add aluminum screen there. THen set all lights on top of the cage. That is a pretty intense basking bulb and would be very high risk of a thermal burn and dehydration having it in the cage. Is this a 2 in 1 bulb for heat and UVB? Or are you running something else for UVB?

Temps at basking branch should be no hotter than 80. Measured with a temp gauge that has a probe.

No heat mat at all. Rope cording can be dangerous for them. They can get their nails caught up in it and it can cause issues to the pads of their feet. You want real branches from a non sap producing tree. Or if your going to use fake vines you want something like flukers vines.

Supplementation is off. D3 can be overdosed with chams. So you were given very incorrect info with that. You want a plain calcium without D3. This you will use at all feedings lightly dusted on feeders then two times a month say the 1st and the 15th you need to use a multivitamin that has vitamin A and D3 in it. Repashy calcium plus LoD version is a good one for this. It has a picture of a Jacksons chameleon on the label.

No fake plants can cause impaction with Veileds. You want Veiled tested live plants. Then put a layer of 1inch or larger river rock on top of the soil to keep the cham from eating it.

I would not feed mealworms as a staple. Crickets will be better. Baby should be eating around 2 dozen a day at this age.

This will help you as well, read through all modules and ask questions here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/


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Has anyone asked you yet if the wood you used to build the cage was sealed? The wood puts off voc’s so needs to be sealed with a waterproof sealant that is safe to use with reptiles. Someone else will have to tell you the name of the stuff to use because I can’t remember.
 
Hiya! So the reptivite with D3 should actually only be used to dust your bugs twice a month (ex. 1st and 15th) as it is a multivitamin. You’ll need calcium without D3 to dust the bugs with daily. Otherwise, the chameleon can overdose on D3. I would also purchase a basking light rather than a heat mat and place it on the top of the cage as chameleons need a basking spot that they can go to in order to thermoregulate and aid in digestion. Congrats on your new buddy!
Thank you for the information will do
 

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Has anyone asked you yet if the wood you used to build the cage was sealed? The wood puts off voc’s so needs to be sealed with a waterproof sealant that is safe to use with reptiles. Someone else will have to tell you the name of the stuff to use because I can’t remember.
hi Linda I built it and sealed everything with water based finish, I used fir and redwood with a cedar top, it has one screen sides with a glass front and bottom and wood back thanks for the info
 
Hi There welcome to the forum. I will be mentioning a few things that others have touched on. Consider cutting out the wood top of the enclosure and add aluminum screen there. THen set all lights on top of the cage. That is a pretty intense basking bulb and would be very high risk of a thermal burn and dehydration having it in the cage. Is this a 2 in 1 bulb for heat and UVB? Or are you running something else for UVB?

Temps at basking branch should be no hotter than 80. Measured with a temp gauge that has a probe.

No heat mat at all. Rope cording can be dangerous for them. They can get their nails caught up in it and it can cause issues to the pads of their feet. You want real branches from a non sap producing tree. Or if your going to use fake vines you want something like flukers vines.

Supplementation is off. D3 can be overdosed with chams. So you were given very incorrect info with that. You want a plain calcium without D3. This you will use at all feedings lightly dusted on feeders then two times a month say the 1st and the 15th you need to use a multivitamin that has vitamin A and D3 in it. Repashy calcium plus LoD version is a good one for this. It has a picture of a Jacksons chameleon on the label.

No fake plants can cause impaction with Veileds. You want Veiled tested live plants. Then put a layer of 1inch or larger river rock on top of the soil to keep the cham from eating it.

I would not feed mealworms as a staple. Crickets will be better. Baby should be eating around 2 dozen a day at this age.

This will help you as well, read through all modules and ask questions here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/


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Hi and thank you for the great feedback, I will mare necessary adjustments apparently I misspoke and we are using just the calcium, the bulb is 75w incandescent basking only it is running about 80 @ 4” above the branch, I have A Mister coming tomorrow and have read the basic husbandry from the Cham acad, and I’m definitely a newbie, waiting on vines I ordered from Amazon, I’ve been finding a lot of conflicting info so I appreciate the guidance, we also have a under bulb t the top of the cage and the cage stays steady at 75 deg

she is only eat 3/4 crickets. Day next didn’t eat for 4 days as petco sent us home with mealworms as primary and said crickets were. Great once. Week well this made her not eat until day 4 while we thought maybe she was acclimating apparently she’s picky cause once we offered crickets she ate right away
let me know what you think based off her pictures I think she’s under fed we have had her for 5 days
 

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Hi and thank you for the great feedback, I will mare necessary adjustments apparently I misspoke and we are using just the calcium, the bulb is 75w incandescent basking only it is running about 80 @ 4” above the branch, I have A Mister coming tomorrow and have read the basic husbandry from the Cham acad, and I’m definitely a newbie, waiting on vines I ordered from Amazon, I’ve been finding a lot of conflicting info so I appreciate the guidance, we also have a under bulb t the top of the cage and the cage stays steady at 75 deg

she is only eat 3/4 crickets. Day next didn’t eat for 4 days as petco sent us home with mealworms as primary and said crickets were. Great once. Week well this made her not eat until day 4 while we thought maybe she was acclimating apparently she’s picky cause once we offered crickets she ate right away
let me know what you think based off her pictures I think she’s under fed we have had her for 5 days
So that left eye of hers is she holding it closed?


How are you measuring your temps? My 75 watt incandescent bulb puts out 80 degrees and it is 11 inches above the branch. I think your temps are far higher than you realize there. For babies especially this is very dangerous.

Talk to me about UVB lighting. What are you using?

Is there any screen on the cage for ventilation?

Yeah avoid mealworms. Keep her on crickets then start mixing in other size appropriate feeders.
 
So that left eye of hers is she holding it closed?


How are you measuring your temps? My 75 watt incandescent bulb puts out 80 degrees and it is 11 inches above the branch. I think your temps are far higher than you realize there. For babies especially this is very dangerous.

Talk to me about UVB lighting. What are you using?

Is there any screen on the cage for ventilation?

Yeah avoid mealworms. Keep her on crickets then start mixing in other size appropriate feeders.
her eyes are usually both open i think she may have been sleepy, i measured temp with a mercury type therm (old school) I will move it. The uvb light is

Zilla Slimline Tropical 25 UVB T8 Fluorescent Fixture,​

the left side of enclosure is screen from top to bottom and the top has two 5in holes one has a computer fan to pull air through the cage,

my goal right now is to set up basics to thrive then to dial it in,

also, I'm in Oregon and have been unable to find real large, qualified plants or vives as its January, so I'm working with what i have, we have traveled up to 60 miles on two different days within the last 6 days of pet ownership going to 5 different garden centers, Lowes, Home Depot, Fred Meyer, wilco, Safeway and what we have is all we have been able to acquire. I'm kind of lost on where to find approved vines with leaves that are mature enough to fill the space we have created, otherwise temp is 75deg ambient temp, and we are misting thoroughly 3 times a day and feeding twice a day in morning and evening now as much as she will eat in 15 min,

thank you so much for your help, most sincerely David
 
Has anyone asked you yet if the wood you used to build the cage was sealed? The wood puts off voc’s so needs to be sealed with a waterproof sealant that is safe to use with reptiles. Someone else will have to tell you the name of the stuff to use because I can’t remember.
Hello, Yes its is all sealed with waterbased finish that i use on cutting boards, basically food safe, thanks
 
her eyes are usually both open i think she may have been sleepy, i measured temp with a mercury type therm (old school) I will move it. The uvb light is

Zilla Slimline Tropical 25 UVB T8 Fluorescent Fixture,​

the left side of enclosure is screen from top to bottom and the top has two 5in holes one has a computer fan to pull air through the cage,

my goal right now is to set up basics to thrive then to dial it in,

also, I'm in Oregon and have been unable to find real large, qualified plants or vives as its January, so I'm working with what i have, we have traveled up to 60 miles on two different days within the last 6 days of pet ownership going to 5 different garden centers, Lowes, Home Depot, Fred Meyer, wilco, Safeway and what we have is all we have been able to acquire. I'm kind of lost on where to find approved vines with leaves that are mature enough to fill the space we have created, otherwise temp is 75deg ambient temp, and we are misting thoroughly 3 times a day and feeding twice a day in morning and evening now as much as she will eat in 15 min,

thank you so much for your help, most sincerely David
Ok so I still highly recommend cutting out the top of that enclosure to add aluminum window screen. Get the lights up and out of it so that there is more usable cage space and so that the cham is safe. Go get a temp gauge with probe. Zoo med makes one. They are pretty cheap. Hook the probe at the basking branch leave it for 5 minutes and see what the output really is at basking.

The zilla will not work it has a very low UVB output ability. You want a T5HO fixture with a 5.0 or 6% UVB bulb. YOu want one that runs the length of your enclosure. This should be outside the cage on top of aluminum screen. Then you want a 8-9 inch distance to the branches below. Without the correct UVB the baby will suffer failure to thrive and decline. Also MBD is high risk.

With the plants you want to look in the indoor garden center. This is where they keep the houseplants we use for chams. 75 ambient level is on the high end... You want low 70's for ambient.

Baby needs constant access to food during the day. Feeding at night is less preferred because they have less time to bask and digest so the food just sits. Are you using a feeder run or Cup so the feeders are easy for baby to get to?
 
Welcome to the forums 👋
I see a few changes that need to be made, the heat mat is not needed and you need a lot more foliage. Is your uvb light T5HO ? Here's one of my enclosures to give you some ideas on yours.
Here's a great link that you will find useful ...
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/
Updated my cage setup with correct bulb , mister, fan, holes on top with screen and I found a 3 ftx2ft Sheffiela half price (29$) that is healthy and huge, along with ficus, and grapeleaf ivy, I sculpted a .piece to look like driftwood as main perch along with lots of twigs for highways up and down and a clear feeder run I made from plexiglass, she seems like she's loving it, sleeps at highest branch of new plant and coves down 30 min after lights come on and lays under her basking bulb,. bringing our family joy to see her happy, thanks for all the support
 

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