New Member/ New Owner

Chamelio

New Member
Hey, This is my first post and i have to say from being around about a week i have learned a whole lot, this is really a great and helpful site.

I just bought me a Chameleon, I forgot which type. It cost me 200 and has no horns if that helps any. It is a 3/4 full size male. I have him in a 55 gallon tank with the repti rug felt stuff and lots of fake plants and vines and good climbing logs. I have 2 150 watt heat lights on each half of the aqaurium. I was told to give him water is to get a spray bottle and spray water on the side of the tank, and i was told to feed him mealworms at night (4-6). I was wondering if i am off to a good start with it and is there anything i am missing.

I was also told to turn the lamps off during the night and turn them back on around ealry morning to keep stress down. I was wondering which other foods or fruits are good for it?
 

Heika

New Member
Hi.. is this a joke? The care you are describing for your chameleon is comically almost completely against every basic care sheet on the internet.

If it isn't a joke.. you have a lot of work to do. To start, turn off one of the heat lamps so your cham can have a gradient in that aquarium. Another... feed your cham in the morning so it doesn't sit with food in its belly during the night. Lots more there, but I am tired and have to go to bed. Others will chime in. How bout pictures of your cham and your setup?

Here is some light reading to get you started:

http://www.chameleonsdish.com/
http://www.chameleonnews.com/
 

Phoenix

New Member
Hey chamelio,

Good luck with the new cham, think u might want to do a few more hours reading up. ive just recently got my femal veiled, took me a few good late nights reading up before i chose her, shes a tough one ;), but best of luck and welcome to the forum

Jamie
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said..."I have him in a 55 gallon tank with the repti rug felt stuff and lots of fake plants and vines and good climbing logs"...I don't use any substrate with veileds. Any kind of carpet is too hard to keep bacteria free...and many of the barks and chips and soils can cause impaction or carry toxins.

You said..."I have 2 150 watt heat lights on each half of the aqaurium"...the idea is to have a warm/hot/basking side to the cage and other areas that are cooler so the chameleon can move around to adjust its temperature. Its important to have the basking area warm enough that the chameleon can get warm enough to digest its food well but not so hot that it causes it problems. Care should be taken to ensure that the basking light will not burn him. He also needs a light that will provide UVB so that he can produce vitamin D3 so that he can use the calcium in his diet.

You said..."I was told to give him water is to get a spray bottle and spray water on the side of the tank"...its a good idea to mist his cage but its also a good idea to have a dripper running on the cage. You can use a container with a small hole poked in the bottom of it so that the water drips at about the rate of two drips per second.

You said..."i was told to feed him mealworms at night (4-6)...I never use mealworms....and its best to feed the chameleon early in the day so that he has time to digest the food before its time for the lights to go out. You can give him gutloaded crickets, silkworms, butterworms, and once in a while wax worms. There are more feeding options too.

In addition to gutloading the insects, they should be fed a nutritious diet. Its recommended that they be dusted with a phosphorous-free calcium powder before feeding them to the chameleon at most feedings. Most insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phos. so this helps to make up for it.

Vitamins and calcium/D3 can be used lightly a couple of times a month. If your chameleon is in direct sunlight (that does not pass through glass) then the D3 is not likely needed. UVB light should also not pass through glass. I use a vitamin powder that has a beta carotene source of vitamin A because it can't be overdosed...however, there is controversy about whether chameleons can convert beta carotene to vitamin A or not. If the chameleon shows signs of vitamin A deficiency preformed vitamin A may be necessary. Excess preformed vitamin A can build up in the system though and it can also interfere with the D3 doing its job and lead to MBD.

Veiled chameleons can also eat an assortment of greens, veggies and a little fruit.....and will eat the leaves of the plants....so any plants should be non-toxic and well-washed (both sides of the leaves). There have been cases of veileds trying to ingest artificial leaves too...so I never use them with veileds that are old enough to be omnivores.

You said..."I was also told to turn the lamps off during the night and turn them back on around ealry morning to keep stress down"...I have never heard of it being to keep the stress down. Like people chameleons need to be able to sleep at night and they can't sleep well with the lights on. Also...the cooling is supposed to be good for them.

Hopefully this will get you on the right track!
 

Chamelio

New Member
Ok, I have read a good bit through the night and realized how badly my mistakes are. Today i will be getting a few things and i would like to know if anyone of yall could point me in the right direction as to what to get.

Do i need a substrate in the bottom of the cage?
I have a basking light 150w and i was wondering which size uvb do i need?
I really dont have much other than a basking lamp and crickets. What else do i need to pick up today?
 
Substrate should not be used for new keepers. In rarer situations in can be used by experienced keepers, but will always create a potential for serious harm to the lizard. The general consensus is "No, absolutely not".

You may or may not need two types of light bulbs used simultaneously. One for heat one for UV. Or one one that provides both heat and UVB.

Methods of providing UVB are something you are going to have to look into with greater detail. There are several bulb types. Personally, with Veileds I would be using Mercury Vapor Bulbs- which produce heat and UVB in one. Though florescent tubes and compact fluorescents can be utilized with great success.

For a heat lamp, be it one that provides UVB or not, the correct wattage of the bulb will determine what temperatures it will heat to. additionally, the bulbs can be lifted up and down off the cage, to change the temperatures as well. Keep in mind that most brands of mercury vapor bulbs should be raised up about 5" off the cage top anyways, as closer than this would produce too much UV for chameleons. For MALE Veileds (not females though) you want to provide the absolute hottest point where the chameleon sits on a sloping branch below the bulb, to reach a temperature of about 103-ish Fahrenheit.

The far side of the cage from the bulb should sit in the low 80s. At night, in the low 70s.

What should you buy? A new cage (the type of cage would depend where you live though), a dripper, supplies for a D.I.Y Garden Sprayer misting system, Live plants (Hibiscus, Pothos, dwarf shefflera), a vitamin supplement (with beta-carotene as a Vitamin A), a calcium supplement (without phosphorus and without Vitamin D3), a calcium supplement (with Vitamin D3 added without phosphorus though), a household room cool air humidifier.
 

Jordan

New Member
lllreptile.com

The should have a couple of bulbs to choose from. They have quite a bit of stuff in general. Fair prices on most of it. I order my supplements from them. The lights you are talking about are called mercury vapor.
 
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Chamelio

New Member
So i need to place the repti-glo 5.0 on one side of the cage and the heat lamp on the other?

Do I need to buy a humidifier from wal-mart and place near the cage?

Does Petsmart and store like that sell misting systems or do i have to order those strickly online or make one?

Sorry to ask to many questions i just want to make sure everything is right.
 

Jordan

New Member
I would check out this link. Shows some basic information. Has pictures to which help or at least for me I am a visual person.

chameleondish.com

I would not worry about the humidifier...yet. You may or may not need one depending on your topgraphical location. I would just worry about the basics. Getting him in a good enviroment, proper lighting, water and food.

This is a picture of something I like and you will probably find very useful.
diggie.gif
Now it does not have to be this exact one. You can find ones similar at walmart, home depot...etc. Range in price from $14 and up. What you will see with the one in the picture is that is capable of reading temeratures in two areas. It reads the temperature where the unit is and has a probe to read the other temperature. Where the unit is located is also where it will read humidity. I put my unit (that sounds dirty for some reason) on the opposite side of the cage from the basking bulb. The probe I placed on the primary basking branch. This will give you the ambient temperature, basking area temperature and the humidity of the cage.

Now for a veiled and this being your first one I would recommend that the basking area be in the 90-100*F range. You will not want your veiled getting directly under the bulb or at least not until it has enough distance between the bulb and him to cool substainally. They can get burns on their casque (big head) and do not seem to feel that area to well. The ambient should be 70's+. Humidity ranging in the 50-75% range.

Now ultimately you could have to add a humdifier if you have really low humdity. Veileds are pretty forgiving as long as the humidity stays close to their range. Say you set-up the cage and you are getting a reading of 43% humidity when the cage is dry. That is what I would call close enough. Now if you keep checking the cage day after day and see that it is 30% or something like that then you may need other means to stabilize it better.

Will mentioned something about a garden mister. These can be found at walmart, home depot...etc. Run you $9-20 depending on the brand and resivour sizes. I converted one into a manual misting system that worked quite well for as cheap as it was. Here is a link.

Ghetto Mister
I am sure you will have way more questions so feel free to ask. Better know the answer with alot of this or at least get some different opinions on the topic then to just guess.
 

Chamelio

New Member
I live in the southeast and it gets pretty humid here so we will se how it goes, thanks a lot for everyones help I really appreciare it
 

Jordan

New Member
Where at?

I live in Tennesse. I do not really have to mess with humidity. It seems like I have two low months (three this year) for humidity. I just add extra misting to pick it back up.
 

Heika

New Member
I live in mississippi
Humidity should be fine there. I am really glad you are taking the care of your cham seriously. You will do well with him. Sorry for the abrupt reply at the beginning of this thread.. I really did think you were someone here to have us all on.

Heika
 

Chamelio

New Member
I had an albino tiger oscar for 5 years it was about foot long and came home one day and my dog knocked over my dvd case and busted a hole in the tank and I came home to 55 gallons of water on the floor and my dead oscar. I have a love for all animals. I am buying materials now to be able to house my cham in the home it needs, one question though.
About the uvb and heat lamps, do I place the basking lamp in one area and the uvb bulb in another?
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I am buying materials now to be able to house my cham in the home it needs, one question though.
About the uvb and heat lamps, do I place the basking lamp in one area and the uvb bulb in another?
I bought a florescent fixture to house my uvb bulb. The fixture should be the full length of the cage. Then you can put the basking lamp pointed towards the highest branch in the cage. What you want to do is achieve different temperatures in the cage from low, medium, and high. The basking spot being the highest around 85-90*F. The UVB florescent light shouldn't give off much heat and wouldn't make a difference in temp.
 
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