New Jackson chameleon owner

Chey1995

Member
Hell Iam new to this forum and a first time chameleon owner. I’ve been pretty much dependent on this forum since getting my Jackson Cham bc the pet store didn’t give the best advice. I just want to see if there are things I am doing wrong or could do better. I have male Jackson who approximately 6 to 7 months old when purchased almost a month ago. The pet store wasn’t sure. He just got updated to bigger cage that I think is 18x18x36. I had to get him out of the cracker box that the pet store said was ok. I’m not sure what size his enclosure should be but I assumed he would be happier in the bigger one we built. He has a 75 watt basking bulb and 12.0 uvb/uva halogen bulb. Is this proper lighting. The basking area is usually around 80 degrees and the ambient temp is usually a bit higher than the house temp so around 75-74. Tonight it was warm here and his cage had gotten so hot while I was cleaning the house he was gaping his mouth so I had to turn the heat lamp off and leave his halogen on and he went to sleep down in the darker thick planted area of his cage. I do try to provide the best night time temp drop I can by using ice packs and a fogger with purified water for higher humidity. Though it was darker and close to his bed time that has me concerned. He gets dusted with D3 once a month I have done this once but I haven’t had him quite a full month for another dusting of D3. He also gets calcium dusted twice a week. He was eating about 7 to 8 crickets that guy load every other day. A couple of days ago I thought I would treat him to a little extra and let him have about ten which he eat all of them. But now he just wants to eat 2 or three big crickets a day. I went to daily feedings bc I’m just not sure what to do bc I read so many different things and I’m not positive of his age. I do take him outside every so often on my shirt bc I didn’t have an outside cage but I will be getting one when it warms up enough here. Also I mist him with warm water for about two or three minutes in the morning to get him to drink and once more midway through the day. An I also must his drinking leaves every few hours. But I hardly ever see him drink since moving him to his bigger more private enclosure,I try not to hover over him much bc he doesn’t like it. He poops mainly on one of my potted plants and when I take it out to clean every few days he has black poop with white unrated so idk. The sleeping when I turned off the heat light to cool the cage earlier tonight worried me and where he seem to be eating less. An also where I cannot see him drinking all the time bc he isn’t setting out on my dresser anymore. But that’s me,always a worrying first time Cham owner. Please give me any device i my be needing. I can attach pictures if needing though he is sleeping
 

Chey1995

Member
Hell Iam new to this forum and a first time chameleon owner. I’ve been pretty much dependent on this forum since getting my Jackson Cham bc the pet store didn’t give the best advice. I just want to see if there are things I am doing wrong or could do better. I have male Jackson who approximately 6 to 7 months old when purchased almost a month ago. The pet store wasn’t sure. He just got updated to bigger cage that I think is 18x18x36. I had to get him out of the cracker box that the pet store said was ok. I’m not sure what size his enclosure should be but I assumed he would be happier in the bigger one we built. He has a 75 watt basking bulb and 12.0 uvb/uva halogen bulb. Is this proper lighting. The basking area is usually around 80 degrees and the ambient temp is usually a bit higher than the house temp so around 75-74. Tonight it was warm here and his cage had gotten so hot while I was cleaning the house he was gaping his mouth so I had to turn the heat lamp off and leave his halogen on and he went to sleep down in the darker thick planted area of his cage. I do try to provide the best night time temp drop I can by using ice packs and a fogger with purified water for higher humidity. Though it was darker and close to his bed time that has me concerned. He gets dusted with D3 once a month I have done this once but I haven’t had him quite a full month for another dusting of D3. He also gets calcium dusted twice a week. He was eating about 7 to 8 crickets that guy load every other day. A couple of days ago I thought I would treat him to a little extra and let him have about ten which he eat all of them. But now he just wants to eat 2 or three big crickets a day. I went to daily feedings bc I’m just not sure what to do bc I read so many different things and I’m not positive of his age. I do take him outside every so often on my shirt bc I didn’t have an outside cage but I will be getting one when it warms up enough here. Also I mist him with warm water for about two or three minutes in the morning to get him to drink and once more midway through the day. An I also must his drinking leaves every few hours. But I hardly ever see him drink since moving him to his bigger more private enclosure,I try not to hover over him much bc he doesn’t like it. He poops mainly on one of my potted plants and when I take it out to clean every few days he has black poop with white unrated so idk. The sleeping when I turned off the heat light to cool the cage earlier tonight worried me and where he seem to be eating less. An also where I cannot see him drinking all the time bc he isn’t setting out on my dresser anymore. But that’s me,always a worrying first time Cham owner. Please give me any device i my be needing. I can attach pictures if needing though he is sleeping
Omg I meant to say **hello not he’ll. Autocorrect got me there. 😂🤦🏻‍♀️
 

GrayMadder

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello, and sorry this was missed. There is a lot of info in here.. Can you fill this out so we can go over your husbandry with you. And add pics! 😊

I tagged someone who has more knowledge w Jacksons! ❤

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.

--------------

Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.



@JacksJill
 

Chey1995

Member
MY CHAMELEON: He is a Yellow crested Jackson chameleon he was estimated to be six to seven months old at the pet store. I’ve had him for almost a month now but not quite. HANDLING: I try to give him as much of his space and privacy as possible,unless I’m cleaning the cage or taking him outside on my person to get some sunlight. FEEDING: I feed him crickets only right now. I was offering him 6 to 8 every other day and a few days ago I offered him a treat of about ten crickets. But now he will only eat two or three a day but they are bigger crickets bc I got the wrong ones at the pet store. I went to every day bc I’m just not sure which method to use? I git load every couple days with apples and potatoes and they also eat the calcium food from the pet store. LIGHTING: I use a fluckers 75 watt basking bulb for heat. I also use a 12.0 watt halogen uva/uvb bulb. Both of these lights stay on for twelve hours daily unless it’s to hot and I turn off the basking bulb only. All lights are turned off at bedtime. TEMPURATURE: it keeps the basking spot at 80-85 and the ambient temp on my cool side is 73 to 75. Bottom of the cage is reading at 73 degrees right now. I do try to provide the best night time temp drop I can with a fan and ice packs,along with a fogger. It’s drops to around the lower to upper fifties and at times it has been at 60. With summer coming near iam trying out different portables air conditioners. I know I shouldn’t have gotten a Jackson without being able to drop the night time temp properly but the pet store didn’t tell me this info and I didn’t read it anywhere before while researching. (Still My fault though) I’m not sure of the accuracy of my temp gum so I’m going to try to purchase something better though I do not think it’s to far off. The higher temps are if the house temp goes about the set 73 degrees. Like what happened last night when I had to turn the basking bulb off and he went to sleep bc the cage was darker. That is what prompted me to making a post. SUPPLEMENTS: he gets dusted with calcium twice a week and dusted with D3 once a month. WATERING: I use a hand mister twice daily. Warm water. I must about two to three minutes first thing in the morning to stimulate drinking and then the same thing again midway through the day. I also mist his drinking plants every couple hours. I don’t see him drink often so that’s concerning. FECAL DESCRIPTION: his poop is always black with white unrated. So I’m assuming he is staying hydrated even though I can’t always catch him drinking. HUMIDITY: My humidity does stay over 50 most of the time and I keep it up during the day by hand misting twice a day and then when I lost his drinking leaves.I have two hygrometers in different elevations of his cage the analog says almost fifty and the digital says sixty nine. Also I just now put the analog in so it may have not gotten an accurate reading yet. LIVE PLANTS: yes iam using a vine that I purchased from Walmart,a tres and an Orchid. I cannot remember exact names of the tree and vine but I did a lot of researching to make sure they were safe plants. CAGE: his cage is in my closet to provide him his privacy. It is not around any drafts or air vents or anything like that. Though I do run a fan at night not pointed at his cage for temp drops. LOCATION: iam located in the United States,Kentucky is out state. MY QUESTIONS AND CONCERNS: I just want to give a good drum down of my husbandry and care to experienced keepers couch as yourselves to see what I can do better or if my care is sufficient for my Cham’s health. What am I doing wrong and what can I do better. I will attach all of the necessary pictures below. Thank you so much for responding!
 

Chey1995

Member
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Chey1995

Member
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Chey1995

Member
I apologize if I sent multiple or bad quality attachments but it was saying they failed and I kept resending them. Any other pictures or anything that I left out of my post that is needed just let me know. Thank you all so much and I hope I get answers to the question of my chameleon care. I just want to know if I’m giving him the best I can bc I cannot answers these questions with what little experience I have at the present time.
 

Chey1995

Member
Ok well thank you for tagging them. I hope they will see the tag and respond. Like I said I just want to make sure I’m not doing anything I shouldn’t be doing. Or there may be something I need to be doing that I am not. I’m new to this complicated but fascinating world of chameleons.
 

PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I cant help with all of this as I'm not experienced with Jacksons but it does look like you have the wrong uvb. You need a linear bulb, either arcadia or reptisun. I'm not sure where you are but I was only able to find a reptisun uvb bulb. I'm not 100% sure on the exact measurements for how far it is supposed to be from his highest branch but I recommend a t5 5.0 if you dont have a solar meter
 

Chey1995

Member
Ok,I have the reprising zoo med 10.0 uvb 13 watt halogen bulb but it does say it’s a desert bulb. Could you explain what is wrong with that one and what damage it can do. I do have my lights hung up over the cage not on top like that pictures.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
I'm sorry I can't go thru the whole thing right now bur you would do better with a linear T5 fixture and a 5.0 or 6% bulb. Your basking ligh probably doesn't need to be on all day but just a few hours in the morning and then on and off as needed the rest of the day so he doesn't get to gaping and dehydrating.
 

Chey1995

Member
Ok so my uvb light is to strong even higher up above the cage? I guess keeping the basking light on is what caused his gaping last night and I did turn it off. But the problem I’m having is when I turn that one off he tried to go to sleep with just the uvb light on. I do keep the actual light in the ceiling on in his area but he still tried going to sleep. So I just moved the lights up higher. What kind of light could I get to keep his cage just bright enough that he doesn’t think it’s lights out. Is the stronger light going to hurt him until I can get the other one?
 

Chey1995

Member
Also I’m getting concerned bc last night and tonight he has been going to sleep about an hour or two before his 12 hour day cycle. He just started doing this last night and tonight at 11 hours into his day cycle. Is this caused by something I’m doing wrong??
 

PoseidonTheChameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so my uvb light is to strong even higher up above the cage? I guess keeping the basking light on is what caused his gaping last night and I did turn it off. But the problem I’m having is when I turn that one off he tried to go to sleep with just the uvb light on. I do keep the actual light in the ceiling on in his area but he still tried going to sleep. So I just moved the lights up higher. What kind of light could I get to keep his cage just bright enough that he doesn’t think it’s lights out. Is the stronger light going to hurt him until I can get the other one?
Ok so your uvb isnt strong enough, not too strong. You have a compact bulb, you need to look up a linear uvb bulb and it will pop up. You should have his uvb AND heat lamp on for 12 hours.
 

Chey1995

Member
Ohh ok I though the 10.0 was stronger. I did google the recommended light set up and I will be buying one as soon as possible. I didn’t even know that other light set up was better than the regular dome lights. Is my current uvb bulb going to cause to much damage until I can purchase the recommended ones? I do keep both lights on during the day for 12 hours. I have also moved them up higher to prevent the tighter beam and to keep the cage cooler bc it had been getting to hot. I feel terrible for getting the wrong light set up for him. The pet store told me the dome lights would be fine that they used them but they also had him in a tiny cage with one little tree to climb on so I should have know to do better research.
 

redhorse

Avid Member
Nice looking Jax... If you don't mind and you can share. 1. What shop, how much and if they told you where they got him?
Thanks!
 

Chey1995

Member
Thank you. I got him at ace hardware/pet world in Jackson Kentucky. Unfortunately I do not know where they got him from. They was not even sure of his he either so I didn’t even think to ask where he came from. They had a few other Chams there as well. There was two other besides him. But he was very very bright green when I seen him at the pet store but he isn’t as bright now unless he is sleeping so idk if he was supposed to be that color or not. They also told me that get females every once in a while of the yellow crested Jackson’s too.
 
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