New Juvenile Veiled Chameleon (proper enclosure/care?)

alexcpeters

New Member
A few weeks ago I lost my Chameleon, Frankie. We bought him from a Petco in December and we’re given completely false information on how to care for him. After having him for a few weeks we noticed something was seriously wrong and took him to an emergency vet but it was too late. Despite the corrections we made and the life saving care we gave him, he passed from MBD. I feel 100% responsible for what happened to him because I did not do enough independent research and instead trusted the advice given to me by the store that I purchased him from. This past Sunday, we felt ready enough to purchase another Chameleon. I have done a ton of research over the last few weeks and think I have a way better understanding of these animals and how to care for them. I want to make sure I’m doing everything in my power to give this little guy the life he deserves so any corrections to the care I’m providing would be super super helpful. I would like to note that this is not his permanent enclosure. We close on our house tomorrow and will be building him a large, permanent enclosure to move into once he is a little bit bigger.




Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, Male. Approx 1 month old. I have had him for 2 days.
  • Handling - Currently not at all. Trying to minimize the stress he is probably already under from being moved into a new enclosure/place. The only handling that has been done was to put him into his new home.
  • Feeding - Currently feeding 15-20 small crickets per day. Half in the morning about an hour after he wakes up and half in the afternoon about 2 hours before lights out. I’m gutloading with collards, oranges and carrot shavings.
  • Supplements - The only calcium I could find without D3 was the “thrive” brand so I’ve been dusting his crickets with it for every feeding (ordered the Arcadia earthpro A and will switch to that when it comes in). I plan on using the Reptivite vitamins with D3 twice a month but haven’t given it to him yet since I’m pretty sure they were dusting daily with calcium WITH D3 at the store that I purchased him from so tho out I would hold off on his first dose until the 15th of this month.
  • Watering - I have been misting 3 times per day for about 20-30 seconds each. His enclosure is small and glass so the humidity level rises rather quickly. I mist about 30 mins before he wakes up, once during the middle of the day and then again about an hour before he goes to sleep. He has been drinking the dew drops from the leaves and also tries to drink directly from the nozzle of the spray bottle lol
  • Fecal Description - He has only pooped once since I got him which was yesterday morning. Poop was brownish and solid. Urates we’re white with slight yellow close to the poop. He hasn’t been tested for parasites.
  • History - None.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Thrive 20 gallon vertical terrarium. 16.6 W x 19.1 L x 22.4 H. This is temporary while we build his permanent enclosure.
  • Lighting - I don’t recall the exact brand unfortunately but I know the UVB bulb is a T5 and for heat I am using a ceramic heat bulb that has no light. The brand of the fixture is zoomed and it is a dome. In his permanent enclosure I will switch to the vertical lighting. Currently I turn his light on at 7am and turn it off around 7pm.
  • Temperature - During the day the bottom of his cage is between 72-77 degrees and his basking spot is 85-95 (I feel like these are too high and want to get a mount to hang his lights from to cool off his basking spot a bit) The first night I had him I left his heat source on all night but felt it was too warm when I woke up so last night I cut it off and this morning the temp was at 67. I have a digital thermometer as well as a regular thermometer in his enclosure.
  • Humidity - At night his humidity levels are between 80-100% and during the day they are between 40-55%. I have a digital hygrometer as well as a regular hygrometer in his enclosure.
  • Plants - I am using live plants. A golden pothos and a yellow croton.
  • Placement - His cage is in the kitchen/living room. I keep the living room fan on and open the door to his enclosure a few times a day to create airflow. No vents are nearby and the area is not heavily trafficked since it’s just my boyfriend and I and he works during the day (I work from home). His cage sits on the counter that connects the living room and kitchen and is approximately 3 feet off the floor.
  • Location - 30 mins south of Atlanta, Georgia.

Current Problem - No problem currently. Just want to get any feedback on things I could be doing better to give him the best life possible. What temperature should his basking spot be? Do I keep his heat on at night or let the temp drop to the mid-high 60s? Are his humidity levels okay? Is the water source I’m providing enough? Should I be opening his cage door for airflow a few times a day like I have been or keep it closed? At what age can he move into his permanent enclosure (we plan on it being at least 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide)? And anything else you see/read that needs to be corrected! Thank you!!
 

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you happen to be using the wrong bulb type which can cause mbd i would suggest buying a

@Reptisun T5 Ho Terrarium Hood 24 Inch also add a lot more skinny sticks so his hands can grab all the way around a branch​

 
i would mist 2 times a day once when lights turn on for 3-4 minutes and once when 30 mins after lights turn off for 3-4 mins that is my schedule
 
Sorry to hear about the loss of your chameleon. See my feedback


  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, Male. Approx 1 month old. I have had him for 2 days. Looks older than a month. More like a 3 month old.
  • Handling - Currently not at all. Trying to minimize the stress he is probably already under from being moved into a new enclosure/place. The only handling that has been done was to put him into his new home. Good
  • Feeding - Currently feeding 15-20 small crickets per day. Half in the morning about an hour after he wakes up and half in the afternoon about 2 hours before lights out. I’m gutloading with collards, oranges and carrot shavings. So you want to feed all in the morning or if you are going to split feedings then feed earlier in the day. They need time to bask and digest the food so it does not just sit in their stomach all night. Your gutload should be expanded on. No citrus. See image below.
  • Supplements - The only calcium I could find without D3 was the “thrive” brand so I’ve been dusting his crickets with it for every feeding (ordered the Arcadia earthpro A and will switch to that when it comes in). I plan on using the Reptivite vitamins with D3 twice a month but haven’t given it to him yet since I’m pretty sure they were dusting daily with calcium WITH D3 at the store that I purchased him from so tho out I would hold off on his first dose until the 15th of this month. This is fine. Just make sure your not using any additional bee pollen, EPA already has it in it.
  • Watering - I have been misting 3 times per day for about 20-30 seconds each. His enclosure is small and glass so the humidity level rises rather quickly. I mist about 30 mins before he wakes up, once during the middle of the day and then again about an hour before he goes to sleep. He has been drinking the dew drops from the leaves and also tries to drink directly from the nozzle of the spray bottle lol... With that cage you will not have airflow. There are no bottom vents to create a chimney effect. This is a really bad cage for a chameleon because of that. So since you can not provide long mistings with this cage due to humidity going through the roof you need to still provide a water source especially if it is so desperate to drink that it is coming to the misting bottle for it. So plastic solo cup with tiny pin holes in the bottom. Add ice cubes to the cup and set it on the screen top over the plant leaves. This will provide a slower drip rate. I personally with this cage would then do away with the mid day misting. You do not want hot moist air that the cham is then breathing in this can create the environment for him to develop a respiratory infection due to no air movement from the cage type.
  • Fecal Description - He has only pooped once since I got him which was yesterday morning. Poop was brownish and solid. Urates we’re white with slight yellow close to the poop. He hasn’t been tested for parasites.
  • History - None.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Thrive 20 gallon vertical terrarium. 16.6 W x 19.1 L x 22.4 H. This is temporary while we build his permanent enclosure. Build the permanent enclosure quickly you do not want to leave him in this type of cage they are really bad for them. Make sure if your using wood you seal it with something like flex seal. Make sure you let it gas off and that the cham is no where near you using this product.
  • Lighting - I don’t recall the exact brand unfortunately but I know the UVB bulb is a T5 and for heat I am using a ceramic heat bulb that has no light. The brand of the fixture is zoomed and it is a dome. In his permanent enclosure I will switch to the vertical lighting. Currently I turn his light on at 7am and turn it off around 7pm. So your UVB is actually a coil bulb. This is totally different from a T5HO linear fixture. You have to get a T5HO fixture with a 5.0 linear bulb and distance to the branch below it would be 8-9 inches for the correct UVB level. Without this your new cham can develop MBD. I do not like the ceramic heat bulbs. They tend to put out far too much heat and are very dangerous. Use a regular household incandecent bulb 40 watt may be perfectly fine for that small glass enclosure.
  • Temperature - During the day the bottom of his cage is between 72-77 degrees and his basking spot is 85-95 (I feel like these are too high and want to get a mount to hang his lights from to cool off his basking spot a bit) The first night I had him I left his heat source on all night but felt it was too warm when I woke up so last night I cut it off and this morning the temp was at 67. I have a digital thermometer as well as a regular thermometer in his enclosure. Wayyyyyy too hot. Basking should be no hotter then 80. You will dehydrate this baby under those temps. At this age this can kill them. No heat at night at all. They need the cool down. See info above on heat bulb recommendation.
  • Humidity - At night his humidity levels are between 80-100% and during the day they are between 40-55%. I have a digital hygrometer as well as a regular hygrometer in his enclosure. This is fine... I would not let humidity get higher then that during the day. Watch night time humidity and make sure you have a cool down. SInce this cage has no air flow again risk of an RI.
  • Plants - I am using live plants. A golden pothos and a yellow croton. good. Make sure you have 1 inch or larger river rock on top of the soil so he does not eat the soil.
  • Placement - His cage is in the kitchen/living room. I keep the living room fan on and open the door to his enclosure a few times a day to create airflow. No vents are nearby and the area is not heavily trafficked since it’s just my boyfriend and I and he works during the day (I work from home). His cage sits on the counter that connects the living room and kitchen and is approximately 3 feet off the floor.
  • Location - 30 mins south of Atlanta, Georgia.

Current Problem - No problem currently. Just want to get any feedback on things I could be doing better to give him the best life possible. What temperature should his basking spot be? Do I keep his heat on at night or let the temp drop to the mid-high 60s? Are his humidity levels okay? Is the water source I’m providing enough? Should I be opening his cage door for airflow a few times a day like I have been or keep it closed? At what age can he move into his permanent enclosure (we plan on it being at least 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide)? And anything else you see/read that needs to be corrected! Thank you!!

Ok so good start but you have some quick corrections needed. Pull out the hammock add another one of those tiny bendy vines. He will not be able to easily grip those larger perches.


I would open the door multiple times a day. Heck if you can modify it and put screen on that door it would be better. Like velcrow all around the outside door frame and then hook screen to it. Just an idea but it would give baby the air flow it really needs.

If a cage is set up properly then yes a baby could go straight into it without issue. you will want a proper feeder run for it so it knows where the food is though.

Start reading everything here. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/


chameleon-gutload.jpg
chameleon-food(1).jpg
 
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