New Jackson’s Dad

Psychomunky

Member
So I am a father to 5 wonderful children, 2 dogs, and now this fella here…

So I’ve done the reading as everyone suggests. I know I made a lot of the rookie mistakes. First of all, this is my first reptile. I know, I wasn’t supposed to do that, but it’s done now and I am looking for help to make sure this guy makes it.

I have located a reptile vet, and I am perfectly ok with having a living decoration as a pet (meaning he’s not for handling, he’s for viewing and loving from a distance). His current enclosure is shown here as well. Yes, it was a kit. I am removing the coconut substrate today, putting a small container fixed with a metal mesh (to allow water and feces to drip through but not allow Yoshi to slip through), which I will drain daily. He has a dual mister scheduled for 60 seconds every 6 hours in conjunction with my morning and evening mist (3-4 minutes continuous flow).

I just got him the day before yesterday, and that evening the ants got to and ate his live crickets, so he was fed two super worms coated in Reptivite with D3, today he’s getting gutloaded crickets. I put a squished grape, some green pepper, and some crushed almond dust in the container with the crickets last night around 6, about to feed now. Lots of poop located near the food stuffs so I guess they ate well enough….

I don’t have any more money to invest at the moment, next month he’ll be getting a screen enclosure, and I have 200 bucks set aside in case a vet visit is needed (I’m not sure how much it will cost, but I’m doing the best I can).

He exhibits some odd behaviors (probably not odd to you guys or him, but odd to me). He will at times do this thing where he arches his back so he’s almost bent in half with his front feet grasping at nothing and his mouth wide open. Nothing in there with him, no one messing with his hab, he’ll just randomly square up with the air…. When I do open his hab for feeding or misting, he comes straight at me. Like he doesn’t hide at all, he comes out and grasps towards my hands, even climbing down under my hand level. Weird right?

I was freaking out last night and there was a post here that allowed me to sleep. His humidity jumped all the way to 100% after the lights went off last night. I was convinced he was gonna suffocate or something in air that humid. Thankfully, from what I read, a night time humidity of 90-100 is normal. Right?

So any advice, tips, tricks etc. that I can implement in his CURRENT hab until I can afford to build his custom one next month would be awesome.

I also intend on getting a T5 HO soon, probably next week. At the moment he has a Thrive 26w UVB and a zoo med 5.0 (?)w UVB bulb (it came with the kit; they are both CF) and a Zoo Med daylight blue for supplemental heat and lighting. He does not have a basking light (as far as a concentrated heat point) as I read to wait until they are a little older before you provide a hot spot up to 89 degrees.

I would like to say, he is VERY active. I don’t think he sits still from the moment the lights come on at 9 am until they go off at 9pm.

How often should I be feeding him and how much a feeding?

—INFO—

My name : Yoshi
My age : 4-6 weeks(?)
My breed : Jackson’s
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    211.8 KB · Views: 79
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    161.6 KB · Views: 82
  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    158.3 KB · Views: 79

AmandaS

Moderator
Staff member
Well, he is very cute. And you came to the right place. Don't freak out too much, we all started somewhere. My first chameleon was an impulse buy and I had no idea what I was doing....you are doing better than I started out already. Welcome to the Chamily!
@JacksJill is our Jackson guru. Lol. She can help set you on the right track. I do think she will tell you that you will never need a basking spot of 89°, that is just so hot.
Also, you can look through the care sheet for Jacksons if you click the 3 lines menu bar in the upper left corner. It will give you loads of helpful information.
 
Last edited:

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I am a father to 5 wonderful children, 2 dogs, and now this fella here…

....

—INFO—

My name : Yoshi
My age : 4-6 weeks(?)
My breed : Jackson’s
A little young (in fact, you may be the youngest member we've had here) but we won't hold that against you. :LOL:

Folks here will get you squared away. Be aware some can get... impassioned/opinionated/zealous (Hey, it's an internet forum! o_O)—don't take it personally. ;)
 

Psychomunky

Member
A little young (in fact, you may be the youngest member we've had here) but we won't hold that against you. :LOL:

Lol, my name is Eric, I am 33 yrs old, and my breed is human. Lol.

The info was Yoshi's info.

Yeah internet forums tend to be hot spots for confrontational opinion sharing and overly adamant enthusiasts. However, they're also the best source of unadulterated information not swayed by corporations or sales. I have read A LOT of the posts here since yesterday, like A LOT. Many changes being implemented, just trying to pace it out. I just got Yoshi and I don't want to stress him out especially since he seems so well adjusted already. He's eating, 3 crickets this morning, and he drank several drops from the leaves this morning during misting. He doesn't show any dark colorations and if you see in the photo he's even shedding well. (I think). I am going to remove that substrate, like I said, but I just feel bad disturbing his home so early when he's just gotten the lay of the land.
 

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
OK so fill out the how to ask for help. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/how-to-ask-for-help.66/
I am glad you are here and mentioned the money thing. It can be expensive but you can keep costs down by making the right purchases. It looks like you are going to need a new UV the coil ones are not enough for a chameleon setup. If that cage is new see if you can return it and just go straight for your adult cage. There is little need for a juvenile cage it is just easier for us. The second issue you may run into is temperature. They are montain species and like it cool. 90 will kill them in short order. The night time is the key. You will want the temp to drop below 65 as a min but closer to 55 is better.

I give you this info quick because I don't want you to have a bad experience. These are a more delicate species, but if you get it set up right they will be very robust.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
We'll do our best to help you with the heat and humidity issues. Hopefully they don't impact his health before you get him into a screen cage. One thing you can do is reduce your misting duration to 15 seconds or less every 6 hours and just hand mist first and last thing to up the amount or run a dripper that drips into a collection cup covered in screen so you don't have as much excess. Drippers can just be a cup with a pin hole filled with ice cubes to slowly drip as they melt. Hand mist less in the morning and more at night. It won't boos humidity as much as a mister.

In our side converstion I told you a small USB computer fan might help with the air circulation hoping you had one on hand. You might find a small toy fan at the dollar store. You don't need it to blast just move things around a bit. Walmart has some from 6-20$.

I don't use any additional heat for Jacksons under 4 months beyond what the fluorescent provide. He looks older to me but it's hard to judge without something to provide scale. Either way he has a lot of horn. @Mendez, @Kaizen and @leedragon what age do you think he is? I'd guess 4-6 months? You also won't need the basking light on all day unless your house is frigid. Mine come on an hour after the UVB and then for a couple hours and then occasionally for 30 minutes thru the afternoon. They like to bask more than they need to.

One more thing for now. Don't give him calcium with D3 more than once a month. Here are schedules you should check out. My Jackson's Supplement Schedule
 

Psychomunky

Member
From head to tail he is about 6 inches, so you're probably right. I was parroting what the pet store told me.

I am getting a fan today when I run to the store, and after I type this I'm removing that substrate. I also have a T5 fixture located, it will be picked up tomorrow. So here are a few pictures to show my set up a little better....

Ok so, the UVB lights are about 3 inches from the top of the mesh, while that blue bulb is about 8-9 inches up.
197356411_848305399226109_2970941331362825343_n.jpg195072021_1437501293255606_7423553105475935261_n.jpg

This is the temperature at the bottom of the tank, 2 inches above the substrate...

197189620_274719787674411_4770768170156596041_n.jpg

and this is the temperature at the top, taken right where the device is :
196232836_1194065087689852_7986160473956013317_n.jpg

Right beside that you can see one of two mist heads, here you can see both :
196499487_146784977392441_4390904206582387720_n.jpg
hooked up to this :
195588031_910318156367456_4969310418453083232_n.jpg

And in the back of the photo before the last one, you saw this humidity and temp gauge:
195622294_189723736387305_5120738874603576097_n.jpg

The bottom is all wasted space, nothing intriguing about it for anything but prey :
196562788_823680668546754_3342633137883300909_n.jpg

And as for how large he is, I took this for comparison,
196117494_526887278677276_257195338627312398_n.jpg
he is pressed right up to the glass there and so the lighter is just on the other side of the glass.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
He's a few months old for sure. I would like to see his temps drop to 72 F below and to 80 F max above. My be raise the basking a couple more inches. This will all be different in a screen cage.
 

Psychomunky

Member
Alright, the ambient temp at night without any lights or heat is 74... Maybe once I put the fan on and move some air around in there (ever so slightly) the ambient will drop a few degrees. I also have a window unit AC right next to where his tank is, so I could turn that on at night and set it to like 65, keeping his area pretty cool at night. Would that do it you think?

(Edit) Also, once I put the fan on, I may not need to reposition that light, right? It will suck some of the ambient heat out of the tank with it blowing up and slightly over the top mesh?
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have located a reptile vet,

....

I have 200 bucks set aside in case a vet visit is needed (I’m not sure how much it will cost, but I’m doing the best I can).
Call or email the vet and ask them. I did that with my local herp vet, and he was very candid about disclosing fees for various services, tests, etc. I also asked him how much I should budget annually for vet costs, and he gave me a figure and broke it down. I've been lucky (so far 🤞) and all it's cost me is a couple (I have 2 lizards) of fecal exams for parasites. I forwent the "wellness checks" but both my guys were from reputable breeders, and were doing so well I took the chance.

When I do open his hab for feeding or misting, he comes straight at me. Like he doesn’t hide at all, he comes out and grasps towards my hands, even climbing down under my hand level. Weird right?
Unusual. My panther cham (8 months) still gapes & hisses at me if I intrude upon his space. I have some physical limitations, so I have not spent any significant time "taming".

So any advice, tips, tricks etc. that I can implement in his CURRENT hab until I can afford to build his custom one next month would be awesome.
I'm sure you'll be inundated with advice & suggestions for the current hab.

For the custom, I would spend some serious time looking at photos & blogs of DIY enclosures, and collect ideas & info. Some questions you might be thinking about early...
  • Indoor, outdoor, or both?
  • Scratch-built or conversion (from a cabinet, etc.)?
  • All-screen or hybrid (solid back, sides & part of front)?
  • Standard (bare floor) or bioactive?
  • Material(s)? Frame—wood, aluminum, other?
  • Misting & Drainage systems?
  • Size? For a Jackson's 24 x 24 x 48H is the recommended minimum, but some mfrs. are moving to 48W x 24D x 48H.
  • Swinging door(s) or sliding?
 

Mrjamwin

Chameleon Enthusiast
Alright here is my 2 cents well maybe 1.5 cents but anyway. When you get your screened enclosure the next step is to get corrugated plastic sheeting and cut it to size and cover the sides and the back with it. You can also use a shower curtain which is a little more economical. Covering the sides and the back of your screened enclosure will help maintain the humidity, also a ton of live plants. Just a heads up, those Reptirains have a tendency not to be very reliable if you're going to continue to use it I would suggest using distilled water to help keep it clean and from getting clogged up. Again, welcome to the world of Cham ownership.
 

Psychomunky

Member
The ReptiRain system will be replaced. Essentially EVERYTHING I have is going to be replaced.

UPDATE -- I just cleaned out his cage and got all the substrate off the bottom. I replaced it with a layer of paper towels maybe 5 thick? I rearranged his plants the best I could so that they run off into a collector I patched together using the lid to a pitcher and a fryer net thing. I will share some pics later... I cleaned probably half a liter of standing water that was hidden by the substrate out of the bottom. I set the fan up on top, and now I have a basking area temp of 78 and a lower ambient temp of 71. Humidity is around 70% and he is chilling on his new horizontal basking branch I set up for him.

I found 3 crickets that had gotten away which brings me to an important question -- I am getting very diverse information on feeding schedule for this guy. Some suggest 10 small crickets a day until he's grown, some reading says 10-15 a week, others still say 5 crickets every other day.

Follow up - Some say to bowl feed to build trust and husbandry to associate your presence with good things like water or food, others say let them hunt. I decided I'll do both, since worms like to stay in bowls and crickets like to hop out. How important is it that I get every cricket every night out of there? Like can 1 or 2 escape me and he be Ok? Those little buggers are really good at hiding, folks.

Let's talk falls. He has fallen like 4 times so far from branches to the bottom, from branches onto leaves, from branches to other branches. Are falls very dangerous to them? I'd like to say them being arboreal means they've grown accustomed to falling from time to time, but with bone density issues being in their nature, I also can see how a fall would be detrimental. So should I worry every time he falls?

Also, he does a lot of glass grasping, pawing at his enclosures walls. Is this a product of reflection aggression or seeking a safer area?
 

leedragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh hawaii xanthos are impossible for me to judge. They are dwarves sized alot of times compared to mainland ones and their horns don´t develop symmetrical to their age compared to mainland ones. Can you post pictures in profil? were do you live-? you may not need a screen cage. I had jacksons and quadricornis in exo terras. Like full tops screen and a fron lid of screen. To me honestly I still don´t get the screen cage and covering like 3 sides and the bottom but people would avoid glass terrariums, which provide air circulation due the chimeny effect. But it doesn´t really matter. I suppouse plastic covered works too.

So here is the latest info. mist on the night and let it dry during the day. like have the heavy humidity during the night and maybe spray once or twice a day, like hand mist. Constant humididty + the heat of the lights can cause respiratory infection. Which is my next point, arching it self and opening it´s mounth could be a sympton that is struggeling to breath. You may want to check it out with the vet. and lower day humididty.

Also easy with d3. use it like twice a month tops, and some dropps of oil form vitamin a once a month too.

Read on bio active setups. I haven´t use them myself but I have a friend who had succes with his hoehnellis with those. keep several generations in those.
 

Psychomunky

Member
Alright,

So I live on the eastern shore of Maryland.

Here are some more pictures, as requested...
 

Attachments

  • 195346888_3213506352209694_6275520069111951399_n (1).jpg
    195346888_3213506352209694_6275520069111951399_n (1).jpg
    211.7 KB · Views: 33
  • 195100619_214867883820157_4191796295615195_n (1).jpg
    195100619_214867883820157_4191796295615195_n (1).jpg
    211.3 KB · Views: 33
  • 196232839_778896379444658_8651147205717134575_n.jpg
    196232839_778896379444658_8651147205717134575_n.jpg
    156.3 KB · Views: 36
  • 195306363_488714685669085_2008955274996127617_n.jpg
    195306363_488714685669085_2008955274996127617_n.jpg
    159 KB · Views: 36
  • 196548696_162526395851621_476231664941871117_n.jpg
    196548696_162526395851621_476231664941871117_n.jpg
    169.4 KB · Views: 37
  • 196802141_391355458804208_2548520359267718651_n.jpg
    196802141_391355458804208_2548520359267718651_n.jpg
    166.8 KB · Views: 35
  • 196190860_489062232420558_7272257299789943531_n.jpg
    196190860_489062232420558_7272257299789943531_n.jpg
    169.9 KB · Views: 34
  • 196284832_967383324014011_8716506506847444077_n.jpg
    196284832_967383324014011_8716506506847444077_n.jpg
    135.1 KB · Views: 33
  • 192802089_533716704289209_2203212172553039368_n.jpg
    192802089_533716704289209_2203212172553039368_n.jpg
    135.5 KB · Views: 33
  • 197035268_515578876247061_4076436881533885457_n.jpg
    197035268_515578876247061_4076436881533885457_n.jpg
    124.2 KB · Views: 32

CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
He should not be falling. You are making necessary changes so that will help correct any issues. Falling, not jumping to escape, is a sign of possibility early MBD, gout or over supplementation. I would keep a close eye on him. I don’t know Jackson’s but I know they need lower doses.
 
Top Bottom