New Jackson chameleon owner

redhorse

Avid Member
Not sure where ya live but Jacksons go crazy for small garden snails. Rhino in June 2020 at 10 months.
 

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Mendez

Avid Member
I will also be saving the info on which feeders need to be dusted and which do not need to be bc I had no clue about that. Which what I love about this forum and all of its knowledgeable users such as you all. I do give my crickets calcium supplements but I read somewhere that chameleons do not really take in enough calcium this way? I’m not sure but I do that too just in case it helps.
Check out the pics I attached at the bottom of the page. This is the recommended gutloading and feeders selection charts. If you feed them leafy greens and good veggies like butternut squash, your feeders will benefit. Dusting your feeders with supplements should be enough for calcium. No need to supplement it through the insect's food. The words "gut loading" and "feeding the feeders" are used interchangeably here on the forums. Essentially, you want to feed the insects a good diet so they are nice and healthy. A healthy cricket = a healthy chameleon. The chameleon, from what I understand, doesn't actually use the plant material within the feeder insect. This is why we need our feeders to be in tip top shape, since the feeder is what the chameleon's body actually utilizes. Hopefully that makes some sense. Just worry about feeding your insects good foods (veggies and grains) and supplementing by dusting the feeders. To gutload, you can also use commercial bug foods such as Repashy Bug burger which gives you a nice paste and is easy to prepare.

I also purchased him some giant mealworms and I may try waxworms next.
Mealworms are fine to feed, but they aren't as nutritious as other insect feeders. Feeding them on occasion will be beneficial though. Chameleons can get addicted to feeders such as superworms and mealworms, so I would not feed them every feeding. Maybe like once or twice a week. Waxworms are super fatty insects and should be treated as such, I've only fed my cham two waxworms in his entire three years of existence--some people feed once or twice a month as a treat.

I will be dusting the feeders that need to be dusted everyday now if that can’t hurt bc the calcium powder isn’t that much. Can I just mix in the D3 with the calcium? I’ve only dusted with that once bc I thought I was only supposed to do it once and I don’t remember if it stuck as good by itself.
I wouldn't recommend mixing D3 with calcium as it will probably mess up the calcium to D3 ratio. You can always try other supplements that may stick better--though probably not necessary. If you want, a commonly used D3 supplement for jacksons chameleons is Repashy Calcium Plus LoD. Make sure to get the LoD one since it has less D3 if you end up getting it. But you really don't need much of the suplement to stick to the feeder. You are aiming for a thin coat of suplement around the feeder insect. I'll try using reptivite with D3 tomorrow to see how well it sticks to feeders; I'll take some pics and add them to this thread.

I’ll just go ahead and order the light that was linked up above tonight and try to get that here as soon as I can. While I’m waiting I can take him out for some sun light for a little bit during the day granted it’s warm enough.
Perfect, sounds good! If for some reason you are super busy and can't take him outside for a day, don't stress out about it. They have cloudy days and rainy days in the wild so they are not getting uvb every single day. However, once you do get the proper uvb light, you should have it on every single day for 12 hours.

Also I want to ask,you mentioned my cage looked a little dark. I do agree with this and I was under the impression that chams liked a lot of light. So I went out and got a 75 watt led light bc I read where someone said you could heat with those so that what I got it for (and extra lighting) but it’s seems to not be putting out any heat. I just stuck it in the back with my double deep dome where my uvb compact bulb is for more light. Is this ok to do bc he seems to be a bit more active with a little more light? I will keep and eye on the temps but it doesn’t seem to be moving them up any.
Your 75 watt bulb is probably not 75 watts at all. While I cannot be certain without looking at the box, the bulb is probably a 75 watt replacement. Since it is an LED, which is more efficient in turning electricity to light without creating heat, they can use less watts than a regular incandescent or halogen to create the same amount of light. And if the light isn't creating much heat, while lighting up the cage, I would say that this is a very good light to keep using.
Chameleons do like a lot of light, so whether you continue to use this light, or get another grow light such as a Sansi grow light, proper lighting is most often left out of people's husbandry. We should aim to make their cages as bright as it is outdoors.

Gutloading and Feeder Selection:
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redhorse

Avid Member
Yes! Feeding can be exhausting, but we have to produce which the wild does naturally.
Rhino's mug shot from a few days ago.. Still has the horn thing going on.. (y)
 

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Mendez

Avid Member
I’ve only dusted with [calcium with D3] once bc I thought I was only supposed to do it once and I don’t remember if it stuck as good by itself.

So I tried the reptivite with D3 for the first time today to see how well it sticks to feeders. I usually use repashy calcium plus lod for D3 and multivitamins, but I thought I might as well give reptivite a try since I had a brand new bottle of it lying unused in my house.

Opinion: Compared to other brands, you do have to put more effort into coating every bug, but all you need is a thin coat. Most people overdo the dusting. You don't want your feeders looking like powdered donuts. Don't let your eyes deceive you into thinking that the dust isn't sticking to the bugs. A few minutes of staring at them and it looks like the dust is gone. But is it? Or has your mind forgotten what the original insect looks like? If you look at the last image, it looks like the dubia roach has zero dust on it. But if you compare it to the original undusted pictures of them, there is a huge difference in color. The roaches were originally a rich dark brown, and after, it looks a lot paler. From what I've heard, this (almost microscopically) thin layer is all you need for a healthy animal. And I'm sure this layer would be harder to see on a cricket who is already pretty pale to begin with. Don't be fooled.

@Beman uses, or has used, this supplement frequently. Maybe she might chime in. But if I have learned anything from the chameleon forums, it's that Beman hates feeders that look like powdered donuts...

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P.S--It will be a miracle if the forums let me upload all these pics first time. I'm tired of looking like a fool when I reference an image that hasn't been uploaded :cautious:

P.S#2--Hopefully the images show this time. Second times the charm right?
 
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Mendez

Avid Member
So I tried the reptivite with D3 for the first time today to see how well it sticks to feeders. I usually use repashy calcium plus lod for D3 and multivitamins, but I thought I might as well give reptivite a try since I had a brand new bottle of it lying unused in my house.

Opinion: Compared to other brands, you do have to put more effort into coating every bug, but all you need is a thin coat. Most people overdo the dusting. You don't want your feeders looking like powdered donuts. Don't let your eyes deceive you into thinking that the dust isn't sticking to the bugs. A few minutes of staring at them and it looks like the dust is gone. But is it? Or has your mind forgotten what the original insect looks like? If you look at the last image, it looks like the dubia roach has zero dust on it. But if you compare it to the original undusted pictures of them, there is a huge difference in color. The roaches were originally a rich dark brown, and after, it looks a lot paler. From what I've heard, this (almost microscopically) thin layer is all you need for a healthy animal. And I'm sure this layer would be harder to see on a cricket who is already pretty pale to begin with. Don't be fooled.

@Beman uses, or has used, this supplement frequently. Maybe she might chime in. But if I have learned anything from the chameleon forums is that Beman hates feeders that look like powdered donuts...

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P.S--It will be a miracle if the forums let me upload all these pics first time. I'm tired of looking like a fool when I reference an image that hasn't been uploaded :cautious:
Finally, the images show up! Took multiple attempts.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yep I use it and have basically used that one for almost the entire time I have had Beman. Maybe 2 years out of the 2 and a half years that I have had him. My other two are on it as well.

It does a very thin coating exactly how you show in your pics. I have never had issues with the boys. Personally I do not like the powdered donut look. Or when people dump the supplements in the feeding container and shake the bugs around in it rather then dusting in a separate container. Too much excess ends up in with the feeders when they do that. I use cricket shakers for each supplement I use. Allows for a nice coating without them wearing sweaters of supplements. And no excess sitting in feeder cups.

I am not sure how often this supplement should be used for a Jackson. @Mendez is it once a month for a montane species for multi with D3?
 

redhorse

Avid Member
Beman---Sorry for asking but I am still learning how to track stuff on here.. Do you have a link with your Jacksons, like your Veiled? Thanks!
 

Mendez

Avid Member
I am not sure how often this supplement should be used for a Jackson. @Mendez is it once a month for a montane species for multi with D3?
Supplementing twice a month should still be fine. The powder is so fine that I wouldn't be too concerned. The coat of d3 using reptivite is even thinner than that of repashy lod. I did the calculations and the difference in volume is insignificant in my opinion (I'll include my calculation down below).
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You are probably getting the same amount of D3 in one dose of reptivite with D3 as you are in Repashy calcium plus lod based on how much sticks to the bug. Since the weight (lb) is in the denominator, we can expect that the levels of d3 increase with additional layers (dust) that stick to the feeder insect. Based on observation, repashy lod has about double (2x is an arbitrary made-up number) the coat that reptivite has. It's honestly very impressive that reptivite made their product so ultrafine.

The difference is about 2,000 IU/lb. or about a 20% difference. This means that the reptivite coat needs to be about 20% less than repashy to have the same volumes of d3--which I think is accurate to what happens in reality.

But to error on the side of safety, I'll also include anecdotal evidence. Repticalcium with D3 and Reptivite with D3 both have the same levels of D3. I used repticalcium with D3 for about the whole first year of keeping Grommet. The dose of D3 is much higher since repticalcium really clumps onto the insects. While I didn't dust twice a month, the dose of D3 must have been astronomical compared to repashy lod or reptivite d3. There were no signs of overdose. I feel confident in saying that the thin coating of reptivite with d3 can be used twice a month. If reptivite clumped on like other supplements, I would 100% say once a month.

Reptivite with d3 and repashy lod probably give very similar doses due to the stickiness of the supplement.

If my logic seems faulty, definitely let me know. My brain is running on empty. Also sorry for rambling, I think I repeated the same thing three times over :oops:
 
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Chey1995

Member
Once again I apologize for my late response. My new light set up will be here on Monday and I will update with pictures. But about the cage being to dark I think I may start setting him in front of the cage by the window and keeping an eye on the temps. Bc I feel it’s just too dark in his cage even with all of the lights. I’m just not sure how to solve this problem? Also I do agree that I’m having trouble with my feeders looking like powdered donuts. 😂 I do powder them separate from the container that I feed him put of. I think the key is less dust from now on. 😂 It’s almost time for his next dose of D3 since I got him. Should I just dust one or two crickets in D3 and the other in calcium or do a whole feeding with the feeders just dusted in D3? Bc I planned on just dusting them all in D3 for that feeding.
 

Chey1995

Member
Also I just wanted to say I love all of the beautiful pictures of your Chams. They look so different than mine. I suppose your may be a different subspecies. Also will my Jackson be getting any bigger bc he looks so small compared to others I’ve seen online. 😂
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Once again I apologize for my late response. My new light set up will be here on Monday and I will update with pictures. But about the cage being to dark I think I may start setting him in front of the cage by the window and keeping an eye on the temps. Bc I feel it’s just too dark in his cage even with all of the lights. I’m just not sure how to solve this problem?
If your cage is still dark, you might want to look into Sansi growlights. IMO, Sansi has the best grow lights out there--they really penetrate through the foliage and to the bottom of the cage. Currently, I use two 36 watt sansi bulbs to light up my cage, but I actually just ordered the 70 watt sansi grow light to try it out. From what I've heard, the 70 watt light works like a charm--ask @Klyde O'Scope for his opinion on Sansi. Currently only $59 on Amazon! Plus, you don't have to purchase a fixture for it; it is an all-inclusive package. Highly recommend you check it out.

Here's the link for the 70-watt Sansi fixture: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TKKG8Q3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (You only need one and you don't need a light fixture for it)

Here's the link for the 36-watt Sansi bulbs: https://www.amazon.com/SANSI-Daylig...ansi+36+grow+light&qid=1616273373&s=hi&sr=1-3 (You will need two bulbs for one cage and then you will also have to buy two fixtures which, in total, ends up costing close to double the cost of the 70-watt fixture).

Also I do agree that I’m having trouble with my feeders looking like powdered donuts. 😂 I do powder them separate from the container that I feed him put of. I think the key is less dust from now on. 😂
Yes :ROFLMAO: , less dust can go a long way!

It’s almost time for his next dose of D3 since I got him. Should I just dust one or two crickets in D3 and the other in calcium or do a whole feeding with the feeders just dusted in D3? Bc I planned on just dusting all in D3 for that feeding.
Yes, make sure to dust them all. Just don't overfeed him insects--especially on D3 days. If you have appropriately sized crickets or dubias, all you need to dust is three of them and he should be good for the day. Of course, if your feeders are on the smaller side, then feel free to dust a couple more.

Also I just wanted to say I love all of the beautiful pictures of your Chams. They look so different than mine. I suppose your may be a different subspecies. Also will my Jackson be getting any bigger bc he looks so small compared to others I’ve seen online. 😂
The Jacksonii xantholophus that we keep in captivity here in the U.S are supplied from Hawaii since it is cheaper to get them from Hawaii than from Kenya. The Hawaiian population started from only a few individuals who escaped captivity and ended up breeding and surviving in Hawaii. Due to inbreeding, Hawaiian xanths are much smaller than their kenyan counterparts and vary greatly in appearance. Some Hawaiian xanths will have a golden spinal ridge while others will have a browner spinal ridge. Horn growth can also be an issue, but it seems like your guy has very straight horns (which is good!). My guy is the same subspecies as yours, but you can check out JacksJills media on here to see images of jacksonii jacksonii.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Also I just wanted to say I love all of the beautiful pictures of your Chams. They look so different than mine. I suppose your may be a different subspecies. Also will my Jackson be getting any bigger bc he looks so small compared to others I’ve seen online. 😂
And yes, he may still be growing. Based on pictures, it's anyone's guess how old they are once their horns grow past a certain point and have their green coloration. Do you have any pics such as him being on your hand or holding a reference object next to him. If he is still super small, it's possible he could be still growing, or he may just be a small one due to be from Hawaiian bloodlines--it happens and I still find them just as adorable. But regardless of whether he is still growing or not, it looks like he is approaching/approached the point where growth slows and then stops. So I wouldn't feed him additional feeders to help him grow--this will just translate into obesity. A second picture to help determine size would be helpful if you have one on you. If you don't have a pic where he is on your hand, try to get a pic with your hand below the branch he is currently sitting on.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
If your cage is still dark, you might want to look into Sansi growlights. IMO, Sansi has the best grow lights out there--they really penetrate through the foliage and to the bottom of the cage.
Yes, I concur. We have several "flavors" between the Missus & myself. I have a double-wide enclosure (48x24x48H) with 2 of the 70W "pads". My Missus has 2 of the 36W floods on individual large potted plants, and a couple of these "helicopter blade" lights over her plant table.
https://www.sansiled.com/60w-led-grow-light-full-spectrum.html

Also, there are usually a lot of coupons available for Sansis. IDK if Amazon accepts them, so it may be a matter of balancing the coupon vs. shipping.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=sansi+coupons

Also I do agree that I’m having trouble with my feeders looking like powdered donuts. 😂 I do powder them separate from the container that I feed him put of. I think the key is less dust from now on. 😂
I found some really tiny... refrigerator dishes(?) at a dollar store—a whole stack of them for $1.
Alternatively, I have some old feeder containers around the same size.
I use one for vitamins; the other for calcium.

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Chey1995

Member
If your cage is still dark, you might want to look into Sansi growlights. IMO, Sansi has the best grow lights out there--they really penetrate through the foliage and to the bottom of the cage. Currently, I use two 36 watt sansi bulbs to light up my cage, but I actually just ordered the 70 watt sansi grow light to try it out. From what I've heard, the 70 watt light works like a charm--ask @Klyde O'Scope for his opinion on Sansi. Currently only $59 on Amazon! Plus, you don't have to purchase a fixture for it; it is an all-inclusive package. Highly recommend you check it out.

Here's the link for the 70-watt Sansi fixture: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TKKG8Q3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 (You only need one and you don't need a light fixture for it)

Here's the link for the 36-watt Sansi bulbs: https://www.amazon.com/SANSI-Daylig...ansi+36+grow+light&qid=1616273373&s=hi&sr=1-3 (You will need two bulbs for one cage and then you will also have to buy two fixtures which, in total, ends up costing close to double the cost of the 70-watt fixture).


Yes :ROFLMAO: , less dust can go a long way!


Yes, make sure to dust them all. Just don't overfeed him insects--especially on D3 days. If you have appropriately sized crickets or dubias, all you need to dust is three of them and he should be good for the day. Of course, if your feeders are on the smaller side, then feel free to dust a couple more.


The Jacksonii xantholophus that we keep in captivity here in the U.S are supplied from Hawaii since it is cheaper to get them from Hawaii than from Kenya. The Hawaiian population started from only a few individuals who escaped captivity and ended up breeding and surviving in Hawaii. Due to inbreeding, Hawaiian xanths are much smaller than their kenyan counterparts and vary greatly in appearance. Some Hawaiian xanths will have a golden spinal ridge while others will have a browner spinal ridge. Horn growth can also be an issue, but it seems like your guy has very straight horns (which is good!). My guy is the same subspecies as yours, but you can check out JacksJills media on here to see images of jacksonii jacksonii.
Oh I didn’t even think about about the inbreeding. I have noticed that he looked so different than others I’ve seen. In the future I think I will be ordering my chameleons from a breeder instead of a pet store. I thinks it’s bad to buy from pet stores anyways bc that encourages them to sell reptiles and house then under poor conditions. My Jackson does have the brown spine ridge. He also just looks so small to me. Maybe he could get bigger though.
 

Chey1995

Member
And yes, he may still be growing. Based on pictures, it's anyone's guess how old they are once their horns grow past a certain point and have their green coloration. Do you have any pics such as him being on your hand or holding a reference object next to him. If he is still super small, it's possible he could be still growing, or he may just be a small one due to be from Hawaiian bloodlines--it happens and I still find them just as adorable. But regardless of whether he is still growing or not, it looks like he is approaching/approached the point where growth slows and then stops. So I wouldn't feed him additional feeders to help him grow--this will just translate into obesity. A second picture to help determine size would be helpful if you have one on you. If you don't have a pic where he is on your hand, try to get a pic with your hand below the branch he is currently sitting on.
 

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Chey1995

Member
These are from about two days ago. I have a lot more but they are pretty much just multiples of the same shots. I just take a lot of pictures on the very rare occasion that I have him out of his cage. He I very very shy. Just walking by his cage or looking at him seems to be stressful to him. My husband doesn’t like it bc he says I never hold him and he is afraid he may begin to start biting.
 

Chey1995

Member
Yes, I concur. We have several "flavors" between the Missus & myself. I have a double-wide enclosure (48x24x48H) with 2 of the 70W "pads". My Missus has 2 of the 36W floods on individual large potted plants, and a couple of these "helicopter blade" lights over her plant table.
https://www.sansiled.com/60w-led-grow-light-full-spectrum.html

Also, there are usually a lot of coupons available for Sansis. IDK if Amazon accepts them, so it may be a matter of balancing the coupon vs. shipping.
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=sansi+coupons


I found some really tiny... refrigerator dishes(?) at a dollar store—a whole stack of them for $1.
Alternatively, I have some old feeder containers around the same size.
I use one for vitamins; the other for calcium.

I use one similar to the one beside the quarter for dusting. I use a separate container to feed from and another to dust from. I have been using a bag now but it didn’t seem to help. I was putting waaay to much powder in the bag and they could barley move. 😅😅 I can’t wait until I have more experience like you all and I stop making all the rookie mistakes.
 

Chey1995

Member
I use one similar to the one beside the quarter for dusting. I use a separate container to feed from and another to dust from. I have been using a bag now but it didn’t seem to help. I was putting waaay to much powder in the bag and they could barley move. 😅😅 I can’t wait until I have more experience like you all and I stop making all the rookie mistakes.
I will look into the grow light I found some that had about five lights and it was called a sun blaster grow light. Has anyone heard of these?
 

Mendez

Avid Member
These are from about two days ago. I have a lot more but they are pretty much just multiples of the same shots. I just take a lot of pictures on the very rare occasion that I have him out of his cage. He I very very shy. Just walking by his cage or looking at him seems to be stressful to him. My husband doesn’t like it bc he says I never hold him and he is afraid he may begin to start biting.
Those pics are amazing!! Very cute! Yeah I'd say he's close to full grown, if not full grown. They are shy but will learn to tolerate you more and more. They won't bite--like at all. They aren't that brave lol. Just never grab him. Let him hold on to you.

As for the sun blaster lights, I think @Klyde O'Scope would be better equipped to answer.

And yeah, I'm actually thinking about getting a captive bred Kenyan xanth myself sometime in the near future. Will be cool to compare the two.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will look into the grow light I found some that had about five lights and it was called a sun blaster grow light. Has anyone heard of these?
Have you got a link or a pic? AFAIK (and I just double-checked) the only Sunblaster lights I find are fluorescents or LEDs that fit into a fluorescent fixture.
 
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