New to Chameleons

lilblack94gt

New Member
I have wanted a chameleon for a while now, but have always heard they were hard to care for. So, I never tried my hand at them. Well, a couple months back, a lady on a facebook reptile forum I am on, posted her Veiled female laid a fertilized clutch of eggs and was taking reservations for babies when they hatched.

This got me interested again and I started doing loads of research. Well, last week, I was looking at some animals for free/sale sites in my local area and came across an ad for a 5 month old male veiled cham for free with cage.

I contacted the owner and arranged to pick up the chameleon. I am now the proud owner of a veiled. And so far, I have found their husbandry to be quite easy.

Pascal, as I have named it, seems to be adjusting to the move quite well. I got rid of the bark mulch bedding she was using, and replaced it with a paper towel and added a parsley plant and a begonia plant to his tank along with his vines. I also replaced the heat bulb she was using because it was keeping the viv far too warm and added an 18" Reptisun 5.0 UV Bulb.

I have been pricing mesh cages for him and found one that I like. Its a zoomed from petco.com that is 24x24x48, for $99. Would that size be too much for a 5 month old veiled? He is about an inch shorter than a dollar bill.

I also am not sure Pascal is a "he." I have looked up sexing veileds and have looked for the spur on his rear feet, but am not seeing one. Ill try to get a good picture of his hind feet tomorrow. His lights have shut off already. I have them on a timer for 12 hours on/12 hours off.

Anywho, I am pretty excited to be a cham owner! I have many other herps. (a 7 year old male beardie, 2 green tree frogs, and a male and female cobalt tinc dart frog pair.) And I always seem to be adding to my collection of herps! they are an addiction! :D
 

Chamoman

New Member
Hi lilblack, welcome to the forums!
To answer your question regarding the size of your screen cage, I feel a 24x24x48 is perfect for a six to seven month old veiled. Chameleons are considered to be advanced because their care can be quiet tedious... From offering a variety of gutloaded feeders, to proper hydration and humidity.

By six months you should be able to sex your Cham. Along with checking for the spurs on the hind legs, you can also try looking under the tail for a "bulge". If you have any problems with your Cham don't hesitate to ask. Good luck!
 

Blueberry2223

New Member
You can sex them like 2 weeks after birth so if you post a pic of the start of the tail a lot of people on here can tell you if it is a male or female. :D
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
I will definately try to get a good picture of the hind feet and the base of the tail tomorrow.

Also, is there a way to tell approximately how old my veiled is? (Like length?)
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
Can anyone tell from these pictures what the sex of my veiled is? Thanks!

svt6.jpg


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wtc4.jpg
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
He wasn't to pleased to be photographed with my phone camera earlier lol. I think he is still traumatized by me trying to hand feed him a wax worm today. He has no problem with me getting him out of the enclossure or holding him, but he def didnt like me trying to offer him a waxworm. I am not sure if it had to do with him never having had a waxworm before or not.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Welcome to the forum!

From your photos it looks like you have a little girl. She looks small to be 5 months old, but not all chameleons grow at the same rate so she could be around there. Certainly not older, though.

Because she's a she, I'm going to give you links to egg-laying info. As you may or may not know, female veileds will lay eggs regardless of being mated (like chickens) starting at about 6-7 months, so it's prudent to get a laying bin in the cage as a permanent feature, just in case.

This is the best info on how to keep a female (and possibly reduce or eliminate eggs): http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html
And a great video on how to set up a laying bin: https://www.chameleonforums.com/laying-bin-set-up-educational-video-77225/
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
Thats what I was thinking that Pascal is a girl. I have a 24x24x48 mesh cage on order, just waiting for it to come in the mail. what I have read about lay bins, they say to mix soil and sand. But they dont say what % the mixture should be. Also, what soil is safe to use? I am going to have to buy some since people around my house spray their yards. Also, how deep should the lay box be? and how wide?

I want to make sure I am doing everything right by her. Also, where can I buy just calcium powder that doesnt have d3 in it? I have calcium with d3 powder and liquid calcium for my beardie. But from what I have read, I should only be dusting her bugs 2x a month with calcium with d3.

How often should I be dusting and with what for a female? I know they say to dust more often when you think they may be gravid, but I have never had a female before and am not sure what to look for to identify gravid.

I feel like such a noob even though I have other herps. (7 year old beardie, 2 green tree frogs, and 2 cobalt tinc poison dart frogs.)
 

Scoots

New Member
He wasn't to pleased to be photographed with my phone camera earlier lol. I think he is still traumatized by me trying to hand feed him a wax worm today. He has no problem with me getting him out of the enclossure or holding him, but he def didnt like me trying to offer him a waxworm. I am not sure if it had to do with him never having had a waxworm before or not.

They will eat wax worms but not so often as they will a gut loaded cricket or mill worm so it could have had something to do with that.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Thats what I was thinking that Pascal is a girl. I have a 24x24x48 mesh cage on order, just waiting for it to come in the mail. what I have read about lay bins, they say to mix soil and sand. But they dont say what % the mixture should be. Also, what soil is safe to use? I am going to have to buy some since people around my house spray their yards. Also, how deep should the lay box be? and how wide?

Perfect, I love it when people get big cages for females as well. The laying bins take up so much space otherwise! The mix is up to you. You could do 100% soil, 100% sand, or any mix in between. I usually just do all soil, and use organic top soil (you want something without fertilizers, perlite balls, or pesticides) or you can use play sand, both found at any Home Depot/Lowe's for like $3.

You want the soil/sand to be at least 12" deep and 8-12" wide. If you watch the video you see that she uses all sorts of containers, as long as the depth is there. Because they'll dig that entire way down!

I want to make sure I am doing everything right by her. Also, where can I buy just calcium powder that doesnt have d3 in it? I have calcium with d3 powder and liquid calcium for my beardie. But from what I have read, I should only be dusting her bugs 2x a month with calcium with d3.

How often should I be dusting and with what for a female? I know they say to dust more often when you think they may be gravid, but I have never had a female before and am not sure what to look for to identify gravid.

I feel like such a noob even though I have other herps. (7 year old beardie, 2 green tree frogs, and 2 cobalt tinc poison dart frogs.)

Ha! Don't worry, we all started somewhere. And I know that it gets confusing, because the things you would do for your beardie, for example, isn't what works for a chameleon. Like the supplements, as you know.

The easiest thing to do is to order plain calcium online, either from something like Amazon or a pet supply website. I love the Repashy brand calcium, personally, I feel that it sticks super well. You just want plain calcium (no phosphorous and no vitamin D3) for every feeding. And yes, the D3 twice a month. What I do with my girls is that I dust a little more heavily than for my boys. So instead of a fine powdery later, it might be a little more moderate. Not so the crickets are fluffy and caked, but whiter than for the boys. It's very difficult to over-do it on plain calcium.

And I order feeders that have a better calcium levels naturally, so things like butterworms, hornworms, pheonix worms, etc. I also prefer feeding roaches to crickets, because crickets have a really terrible calcium content, but I understand that roaches are not for everyone.

It can be really tough to tell when your female is gravid the first time, but you will typically see that her middle (especially towards her back legs) is wider than it really should be, she may be pacing the cage a lot more, and if you palpate her abdomen you may even feel the little hard shapes. That's why we like having a laying bin in the cage permanently, so it removes the guesswork. Just so she has a place to lay even if you missed the signs!
 

bigeaters101

New Member
i also just got a baby female veiled! and am in the same boat of being a noob to chams but comfortable with herps. I was given a great list of links to refer to in my first post-

https://www.chameleonforums.com/noob-113511/

Regarding the egg bin, I have been doing a lot of reading on that and according to this article we may not need one?!

http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/2007/12/keeping-female-veiled.html

Hope it helps. And thxs to sandrachameleon for sending me all those helpful links.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I attached that link too. It's always a good idea to have one just in case, because you (as a new female keeper) may not recognize the signs that your girl is ready to lay. My first veiled definitely caught me a bit off guard the first time! Especially if she's gravid with a small number of eggs, she may not get that wide.

It's great to restrict her diet and lower her temps to keep egg production low or on pause, but it's still a good idea to provide a bin juuuust in case. But the tips on that blog definitely help. I have not been able to halt egg production in my panther female but she's only laying clutches of 8-10 eggs, so that's really much milder than 30+!
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
Thanks for all the advice and help! I really appreciate it! I love watching her do her "halt" walk. lol i am really enjoying having her and am already planning "upgrades" for her bigger cage lol.
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
Thanks Pumpkin! I think she is a cutie too.

I have one more question/concern. With her new mesh cage, how do I keep the temps/humidity when they need to be? and would it hurt to mount a few UV lights in the cage at different heights to make sure she and the plants are getting the proper UV?

I also think that since the cage is mesh, that I am going to get some PVC pipe and cut it into lengths to place under the cage in a rubbermaid tote. that way the bottom of the cage stays out of the water and the plants have the drainage that they need and I am able to keep the water contained. I would like to cut a hole in the bottom of the tote and in the table so I can place a 5 gallon bucket underneath so I can drain the water.

Does this seem like a good idea? The table I plan to use to hold the new mesh cage is a metal side table that used to have slate tile pieces in it. I plant to get a piece of butcher block board and cut it to fit the table.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I have one more question/concern. With her new mesh cage, how do I keep the temps/humidity when they need to be? and would it hurt to mount a few UV lights in the cage at different heights to make sure she and the plants are getting the proper UV?

It's ok if the humidity fluctuates, it's ok if the cage dries out between mistings as this will keep mold and stagnant dirty air at bay. So it's fine if your humidity is not a perfect 70% all day long, in my opinion, as long as you're getting good spikes and getting everything nice and wet at misting time. But to help, you can cover up 2-3 sides of the cage with something like a shower curtain, and this will still allow for air flow but will keep everything a little more stable.

And I wouldn't do that, having a light shining in your eye sideways is really irritating. If you want more light, go to any home improvement store and pick up a couple bright, daylight bulbs (like 5,000k or 6,500k daylight fluorescent bulbs) as these will brighten up the cage tremendously, put out minimal heat, and help your plants. They're very inexpensive, I think it's like $4 or less for a 2 pack of 18" bulbs.

As far as your drainage, yea, that sounds great for now. You can also run a search on the forum and get ideas from people's attempts at drainage tables and systems, each one is custom to you can get lots of ideas for your own projects. This Blog is the history of my attempts at drainage, from mediocre ones to ones I've loved, so they might give you ideas (or tips to avoid!)
 

lancaster0861

New Member
You look like u have some pretty good ideas and are doing your research well! The only thing I would stress is that it would be a good idea to get a lay bin going as soon as possible, even if she is a little on the young side, it seems like a handful of folks have been getting caught off guard with youngsters needing to lay at a young age! Welcome and good luck!
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
You look like u have some pretty good ideas and are doing your research well! The only thing I would stress is that it would be a good idea to get a lay bin going as soon as possible, even if she is a little on the young side, it seems like a handful of folks have been getting caught off guard with youngsters needing to lay at a young age! Welcome and good luck!

I am going today to get supplies for a lay bin. The cage she is in now is fairly small, so I am not sure I will have room for it. the good news is, if I dont get a lay bin in, she has the pots that the potted plants are in to lay in if she needs to. So far she is staying away from the bottom of the cage unless she is hunting.

I am hoping her new cage comes sometime next week. So I can get everything setup for her.
 

lilblack94gt

New Member
Also, what types of vines are safe to use? I have read that Mandela? vines aren't safe to use, but that's mostly what I see in the local pet stores around here for vines. Something about the sap being poisonous? Can I use grape vines? like what you see in craft stores if I wash them really well?
 
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