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Hi all,

I found this site 2 weeks ago when my husband came home with a juvenile male veiled chameleon. We have received so much helpful information.

Two weeks ago today, my husband found a veiled at Petsmart. He had one in college and has wanted one for years. Despite the fact that I vowed never to own an animal that needs crickets again (we used to have 2 Leopard Geckos) we picked him up later that night. I have to say that I really like him and don't even mind the crickets (that much). $700 later we should have his new cage on Thursday. I am more nervous about this amazing little creature than I was for my own babies. We are a little worried about his coloring from time to time and that his eyes may be a little sunken.

He is currently in a hexagon glass tank with live pothos and grapevine branches. He has a Zilla 15 watt uvb and I am not certain what the basking light is but it is about 80 on the basking branch. It is about 70 at the bottom of the tank (digital thermometers coming soon). Humidity 60%. We have been feeding him small/med crickets and meal worms. The crickets are gut loaded with Flukers wet and dry plus kale and a variety of fruits and veggies. His crickets have been dusted with rep cal calium w vit d daily. I just got the calcium without vit d so starting tomorrow he will be getting that daily. I also just got the multivitamin but he hasn't had it yet. We mist him 3 to 5 times a day with warm water. He hates when we spray the tank and we are uncertain how much he is drinking. We have been experimenting with different feeding cups and have also been letting 10 - 15 crickets free range daily. He is in the corner of a busy room but there is a large cabinet next to him so that door is usually opened and blocking view of his cage. He hasn't been handled that much and only by my husband.

Today his color has been especially dark. We came home this afternoon and he was very dark. My husband went and got him from the cage and his color almost immediately got bright green. He put him on his new plants in the window which are awaiting the new cage (2x2x4 screen with misting system)
and he was happy as could be. This gave us a chance to clean the cage. Tonight again he is looking darker. I am also not sure how old he is. He is about 4 inches long.

Any advise is appeciated. Thanks, Carla in New Hampshire

I'm a bit concerned that he might not have proper ventilation. Is the top screened? Is there ventilation near the bottom of at least one of the sides?

How much longer 'till the new cage arrives?
Hang on! The calvary will come to help :)
You will get all the information you need right here. The experienced will give you all there knowledge. Im just here to support you, im a noob, but I promise everyone here will help.
Is that UVB bulb a tubular bulb? If not you should go out and get a Reptisun 5.0 tubular bulb and fixture. Do you have a drip system? Those hexagon glass enclosures are touch to get proper ventilation but they do keep humidity well. You should only dust the crickets with Vit d3 twice per month and calcium without vit d3 daily. It sounds like you are gutloading your crickets properly. If his eyes are sunken in I would say try to mist more but I would wait until you get your screen enclosure as you don't want to make it too humid in that glass tank he may develop respiratory problems. I wish you the best with this little guy.
Zilla lights are known to be dangerous. I would switch it out for a linear flourescent tube-either a Reptisun 5.0 or a Reptigo 5.0. You need to be very, very sure of your temps in the glass cage, as they can cook your cham.
I know you provided a bunch of info already, but if you could fill this out it will cover all your bases. And welcome to the forums.

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.
Hey there, first off, let me commend you for trying to get advice, so that you can make your little guy happy, and healthy :)

Secondly, I was going to suggest a shower for your little guy. Sounds like he may be dehydrated, sunken eyes are a tell tale sign of dehydration. Sometimes you have to spray an enclosure for quite some time before the cham will begin to drink, and with your guy it really is imperative at this point that you actually witness him drinking.

Instead of standing there hand misting your enclosure for 10+ minutes, just give him a shower. It's good to do every now and again anyhow.

Just take your live plant, put your little man on it, turn on ROOM TEMP water in your shower, and point the shower head toward the wall, so that he is not getting sprayed directly, but misted. Put him and his plant on the shower floor, and let him be in there for 15-20 minutes, but definitely keep an eye on him. Sometimes they can kinda freak out, and drop to the ground, which can be dangerous in a shower for obvious reasons.

Good luck, and hope your cage arrives soon!!
Thanks for the advise. The new cage should be here on Thursday. We can't wait and I am sure he will be happier too. Currently there is no lid on his cage but maybe we can get a little fan for the bottom for now. He does spend most of his time near the top though. I will try the plant in the shower today. I will be grateful for for the new setup!
The uvb is a tubular but we will switch to the reptisun this week. Also tried the shower today, did not see him drink but we will keep trying. He seems happier out of his cage, hope this changes with new setup. Thanks everyone for your advise.

Carla and Erik
We are a little worried about his coloring from time to time and that his eyes may be a little sunken.

Today his color has been especially dark. We came home this afternoon and he was very dark. My husband went and got him from the cage and his color almost immediately got bright green.

As you are finding, chams are little walking mood rings. The trick is learning to "translate". When a cham turns very dark it is either extremely stressed (scared or angry) or too cold. They don't like to be low in the room. The higher they can climb the safer they feel. How high is your tank now? Does he have a lot of foliage to hide in? Young chams feel vulnerable if they are exposed to view all the time. Can he see any other animals or a lot of activity? This can worry and intimidate him. When your cham turned green when picked up, it was a reaction to handling...sort of excitement/moderate stress. Doesn't necessarily mean happy, just more alert and reacting to change. When a veiled turns very light or pale colored it is too hot. Glass can stress out a cham because, depending on the angle of the lighting, the cham sees a reflection of an equally stressed cham.
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