New Jackson's parent, first day in habitat! Questions!

Tanneraps

New Member
Hi everyone, new to the forum today and a new parent to a juvenile Jackson's chameleon. It's his first day in his enclosure and I had a few questions:
1. He spent some time today grabbing at the glass (moving to larger mesh when he gets a little bigger), but has since calmed down, is this pretty normal?
2. At the pet store I was told it may be a day or two before he'll eat while he adjusts to the new space. Has anyone else experienced that?
3. He's explored a little but seems to favor a couple spots in the habitat. Is this normal?
 

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Tanneraps

New Member
This video should help put some of your worries to rest. If you post a pic of his enclosure and your care, we can make sure he is good to go.

Very helpful, thank you so much! It's lights out for him for tonight, but I will be sure to post a picture or two of his habitat in the morning.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
It's normal for them to race around a bit in a new enclosure. They may or may not eat for 24-38 hours and avaid eating when being watched until they feel safe.
 

Tanneraps

New Member
It's normal for them to race around a bit in a new enclosure. They may or may not eat for 24-38 hours and avaid eating when being watched until they feel safe.
Cool, all good so far then, thanks! I left 3 small meal worms in a dish for him, just keep an eye on them for a day or two?
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Meal worms aren't very good nutritionally and can be harder to digest. Things like crickets, black soldier fly larva, dubia nymphs or superworms are all better choices.

Do you want to do a husbandry review jut to make sure the pet store sold you the right stuff.
Here are a few questions you can copy and paste into your reply to answer them.

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?

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

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

Tanneraps

New Member
-Jackson's Chameleon, male, age about 4-5 months, took him home only a day and a half ago.
-Avoiding handling altogether until he adjusts to his new space, only handled him maybe twice so far, including when I moved him in.
-At the store I was advised to start with meal worms for a few days while he adjusts, I started with 3 small worms in a cup in his enclosure.
-I have calcium and multivitamin dusters, I plan on alternating between them and dusting feeders every other day.
-I have a mister set up for watering and humidity, and a dripper, both seem to have good spots where droplets are collecting on leaves. Only using filtered, distilled water in both.
-I have not seen him poop yet or found any poop yet.
-I don't have any history, he is from Petco, I did check him out in the store and found no signs of poor health.

-Enclosure is a 12x30x17" glass Zoo Med with mesh lid and double front doors, with air vent along the front under the doors. It's wider than tall for the moment, planning on moving him to 2x2x3' vertical mesh when he gets a little bigger.
-Lighting is an 18" Zilla slimline with tropical fluorescent bulb, on timer 12 hours on 12 hours off.
-Basking spot is a Fluker's mini sun dome with a ceramic infrared heater, also timed for 12 hours daytime, and on for an hour 3 times overnight.
-Humidity is managed mostly with a mister, but I also use a spray bottle and a Zilla tropical humidifying spray as needed. Humidity is a pretty steady 80, with spikes around 90 after misting, lows around maybe 70.
-Humidity and Temp are measured with Imagitarium gauges, 2 each at low and high points. Temp has been steadily 75, 80 closer to the basking spot. I don't have an exact temp at the basking spot, should be about 85-90, I'm going to pick up a laser temperature gun for precise readings.
-The only live plants right now mosses, everything leafy is fake plants from the pet store. I'll be using larger live plants when I upgrade to a larger enclosure.
-The enclosure is in it's own room, no traffic, window available for a draft but I've been keeping it closed. The enclosure is raised about 4 ft. from the floor.
-We live in eastern PA.
 

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JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
-I have calcium and multivitamin dusters, I plan on alternating between them and dusting feeders every other day. That will be too much they don't need as much as other species. Be sure your calcium doesn't have D3 in it.

There are at least three reasonable supplement schedules commonly in use for Jackson's. The one bit of advise I would give for all of them is to not over dust the feeders. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Your feeder insects should never look like powdered doughnuts or that scene from Scarface. I strive to make my feeders only slightly lighter in color from the undusted ones. It should take a side by side comparison to tell one group from the other. Should you over dust feed half the number of insects to cut back the amount of supplement to be ingested. Calcium is the safest of these supplements but even with it too much can slow digestion and cause constipation.

The standard three supplement regiment of a phosphorus free calcium, a calcium with D3 and a multivitamin without D3 has been used successfully for many years. I will quote the version from the resources section of the forum "Feeder insects should be lightly dusted with powdered supplement before being fed to your chameleon. As a montane species (native to higher altitudes) Jackson's have decreased supplementation requirements compared to tropical species due to metabolism differences. Use calcium (without D3 or phosphorus) twice a week, a multivitamin once a month, and calcium with D3 once a month."

I personally use a two supplement regiment of phosphorus and D3 free calcium mixed with powdered bee pollen and Repashy Calcium Plus LoD, the one with the Jackson's on the label. I don't know if the bee pollen is of any value but it seems harmless and probably at least provides dietary fiber. I consider it optional. My schedule is used with a T5 linear fixture with a 5.0 or 6% light. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I dust with phoshorus free calcium mixed with bee pollen 2:1 or 3:1. Twice a month I substitute Repashy Calcium plus LoD for a Monday's calcium. This way they get 2-3 doses of calcium per week and two doses of multi vitamin with a little D3 per month. Clearly the days of the week don't matter as long as they are every other and not more than three per week. When I keep my chameleons outdoors I modify the schedule to only one dose per month of the Repashy LoD and I'm only giving it for the multivitamins it provides.

Arcadia makes the third supplement combo. I have never used it and can not give you any real insight. There was a time when it was more difficult to source in the US but it seems that has been resolved.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Jackson's Chameleon, male, age about 4-5 months, took him home only a day and a half ago. Good
-Avoiding handling altogether until he adjusts to his new space, only handled him maybe twice so far, including when I moved him in. Good
-At the store I was advised to start with meal worms for a few days while he adjusts, I started with 3 small worms in a cup in his enclosure. OK but you don't need to buy anymore. Space out feeding the ones you have. You should move on to crickets, dubia nymphs, silk and horn worms and Black soldier fly larva. Some places sell variety packs of feeders.
-I have calcium and multivitamin dusters, I plan on alternating between them and dusting feeders every other day. See post above
-I have a mister set up for watering and humidity, and a dripper, both seem to have good spots where droplets are collecting on leaves. Only using filtered, distilled water in both. Good
-I have not seen him poop yet or found any poop yet. Do get a fecal to your vet in the next few weeks. Big pet stores have a dubious reputation. I avoid buying feeders from store that carry reptiles as they could be contaminated.
-I don't have any history, he is from Petco, I did check him out in the store and found no signs of poor health.

-Enclosure is a 12x30x17" glass Zoo Med with mesh lid and double front doors, with air vent along the front under the doors. It's wider than tall for the moment, planning on moving him to 2x2x3' vertical mesh when he gets a little bigger. Good
-Lighting is an 18" Zilla slimline with tropical fluorescent bulb, on timer 12 hours on 12 hours off. The hours are good but when you move into the taller cage I would get a T5 HO 5.0 or 6% with a 24 inch fixture.
-Basking spot is a Fluker's mini sun dome with a ceramic infrared heater, also timed for 12 hours daytime, and on for an hour 3 times overnight. You need cooler temperatures over night and no heat and you don't need heat all day especially in a glass cage. They don't bask all day long in the wild. My basking is on for a few hours in the morning and comes on briefly a couple times in the afternoon.
-Humidity is managed mostly with a mister, but I also use a spray bottle and a Zilla tropical humidifying spray as needed. Humidity is a pretty steady 80, with spikes around 90 after misting, lows around maybe 70. Day time humidity can be around 40-50% and 80-90 overnight. That high in the day would be too swampy and could lead to infections. You don't need the Zilla spray save your money
-Humidity and Temp are measured with Imagitarium gauges, 2 each at low and high points. Temp has been steadily 75, 80 closer to the basking spot. I don't have an exact temp at the basking spot, should be about 85-90, I'm going to pick up a laser temperature gun for precise readings. You don't want the basking spot to go over 82 F. 85 max when he is over a year old.
-The only live plants right now mosses, everything leafy is fake plants from the pet store. I'll be using larger live plants when I upgrade to a larger enclosure. Good on the up grade.
-The enclosure is in it's own room, no traffic, window available for a draft but I've been keeping it closed. The enclosure is raised about 4 ft. from the floor. Good
-We live in eastern PA. Good you should be able to get the overnights into the 60 F range that they like.
 

Tanneraps

New Member
Jackson's Chameleon, male, age about 4-5 months, took him home only a day and a half ago. Good
-Avoiding handling altogether until he adjusts to his new space, only handled him maybe twice so far, including when I moved him in. Good
-At the store I was advised to start with meal worms for a few days while he adjusts, I started with 3 small worms in a cup in his enclosure. OK but you don't need to buy anymore. Space out feeding the ones you have. You should move on to crickets, dubia nymphs, silk and horn worms and Black soldier fly larva. Some places sell variety packs of feeders.
-I have calcium and multivitamin dusters, I plan on alternating between them and dusting feeders every other day. See post above
-I have a mister set up for watering and humidity, and a dripper, both seem to have good spots where droplets are collecting on leaves. Only using filtered, distilled water in both. Good
-I have not seen him poop yet or found any poop yet. Do get a fecal to your vet in the next few weeks. Big pet stores have a dubious reputation. I avoid buying feeders from store that carry reptiles as they could be contaminated.
-I don't have any history, he is from Petco, I did check him out in the store and found no signs of poor health.

-Enclosure is a 12x30x17" glass Zoo Med with mesh lid and double front doors, with air vent along the front under the doors. It's wider than tall for the moment, planning on moving him to 2x2x3' vertical mesh when he gets a little bigger. Good
-Lighting is an 18" Zilla slimline with tropical fluorescent bulb, on timer 12 hours on 12 hours off. The hours are good but when you move into the taller cage I would get a T5 HO 5.0 or 6% with a 24 inch fixture.
-Basking spot is a Fluker's mini sun dome with a ceramic infrared heater, also timed for 12 hours daytime, and on for an hour 3 times overnight. You need cooler temperatures over night and no heat and you don't need heat all day especially in a glass cage. They don't bask all day long in the wild. My basking is on for a few hours in the morning and comes on briefly a couple times in the afternoon.
-Humidity is managed mostly with a mister, but I also use a spray bottle and a Zilla tropical humidifying spray as needed. Humidity is a pretty steady 80, with spikes around 90 after misting, lows around maybe 70. Day time humidity can be around 40-50% and 80-90 overnight. That high in the day would be too swampy and could lead to infections. You don't need the Zilla spray save your money
-Humidity and Temp are measured with Imagitarium gauges, 2 each at low and high points. Temp has been steadily 75, 80 closer to the basking spot. I don't have an exact temp at the basking spot, should be about 85-90, I'm going to pick up a laser temperature gun for precise readings. You don't want the basking spot to go over 82 F. 85 max when he is over a year old.
-The only live plants right now mosses, everything leafy is fake plants from the pet store. I'll be using larger live plants when I upgrade to a larger enclosure. Good on the up grade.
-The enclosure is in it's own room, no traffic, window available for a draft but I've been keeping it closed. The enclosure is raised about 4 ft. from the floor. Good
-We live in eastern PA. Good you should be able to get the overnights into the 60 F range that they like.
Thank you so much for the feedback, I'll make a couple adjustments.
 
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