New Chameleon Pet Momma--Need Help Please! :(


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My name is Madii, and I am a beginner Veiled chameleon owner. I have one little cham named Milton, and he's such a cutie. But I have a bit of a problem. I had a piece of cured driftwood and some chunks of cured grape wood in his cage, and now they have mold on them. I took everything out, and sanitized and cleaned everything, including his temporary home, and put the fake vines and plants back but not the wood. Did I do something wrong to make it mold like that, or was the wood in general a bad idea?

His temporary home is a small glass terrarium. I will be getting or making him a larger screened enclosure instead of using glass, knowing that reflections stress chameleons out. I also intend on getting some sort of live plant. I have heard that ficus trees are good choices.

I welcome any suggestions for better, healthier things for him to climb on if possible, and any other tips as well.


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Heya! Welcome to the forums! :D Your little one is a sweetie! Ficus are okay.. hit and miss with me keeping them alive but they are pretty. I've heard good and bad with them. Pothos are excellent and almost too hard to kill. You can put them anywhere in the enclosure. Lots of vines to string everywhere for your little one! Also, Schefflera ( umbrella plant ) is pretty easy to keep and when healthy can provide lots of little nooks and crannies for your sweet boy to hide. I have both of these in all my enclosures. I hope this helps a little. I searched through the following when I was making my plant list. Good luck!
Thanks so much laurenleeg. I'm so worried about him, I feel like a new mom with her first baby. :( His health and happiness are certainly my first priorities with him. Your suggestions are very helpful, and I appreciate the link you posted. :)
Hey Madii, welcome to the forum!

I find that wood like grapewood or driftwood, since it tends to be sandblasted, tends to be less protected from water than a branch with bark still on it so it may end up molding with all the misting water. I use branches cut from outside and have no issues, but I do not strip the bark (I use smooth-barked branches, not like oak or anything).

Lauren suggested great plants. The only one I would add to that is the pothos/devil's ivy. They are nearly impossible to kill, regardless of what you do, and they tend to do really well in a chameleon cage with lots of water. Mine are growing so well that I need to trim them up every couple months!
Thank you for your comment Olimpia! :) Do you cut them directly from the tree or do you use ones that have fallen?
I cut them from the tree so they're fresh. The ones that have fallen have usually been dead for a bit (or were sickly branches) and tend to have more holes and bugs in them. And because of that they don't last as well either, in my experience.
Okay, that helps a ton, Olimpia. Now, I do have a concern about the trees in our area. We have Emerald Ash Borers and other tree pests, and pesticides are also commonly sprinkled on the trees. Would either of those things really affect my chameleon? Would curing be a good idea in those situations?
I have a blasted grape vine and the darned thing is a mold sponge. I end up scrubbing it and stuffing it in the oven every other week or so. They look cool, but its almost not worth the effort.
Welcome to the forum!
The reason for the screen cages is that they offer good airflow to help keep chams healthy.

Your cham needs plants in his enclosure so he can hide behind leaves and be less stressed.
This forum page has plenty of good info about enclosures, climbing vines and branches, etc.
It also has links to safe plant lists at the very bottom:

This page is a great resource, since it lists the specifics of what your Veiled cham needs to live a long, healthy life with you:

Hope this helps you out :)
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