New to Chams..started with hatchlings

I recently purchased two hatchling Veiled Chams from a local breeder. I realize now, this is not ideal. But I'm dedicated to researching and providing the best possible care I can as a completely clueless newb. The two are only 1.5 weeks old.

I have a couple questions.

Housing: I am housing them in a reptile aquarium, day temps are about 77 and night about 70. That is my first question...I can't find much info on temp drops for hatchlings. So I've been leery of them getting too cold. I am doing a 12/12 cycle on their UVB and day heat lamp. Night time, I'm using a black heat lamp so they have darkness. Is this appropriate?

Feeding and supplements: Right now they are on fruit flies, with pinheads being shipped. I dusted the container of fruit flies with Rep-Cal calcium without D. I have Cal with D and multivitamins on order. Do I need to start the rotation of once a week D/multis now...or wait until they're older?

Once I get the pinheads, do I dust every day for hatchlings?

Handling: Both seem to love us. They reach for my hand when I'm feeding or adjusting something in their enclosure. I've read on how handling stresses them, so I've been cautious...but they seem very trusting of me. Should I continue to allow them to climb on me? Are they trusting because they're young and will likely regress as they age?

Anything else you might want to throw at me for dealing with hatchlings vs babies...that would be great!
 
Hi and welcome do you have any pictures of your full enclosure?
Thank you so much.

Here are a few shots. The living tree is a Money Tree. Organic soil and covered in 1-2inch river rock washed and sanitized by the sun for days. The other green is fake. The branches are a manzanita I've had and a grapevine from our yard. No fertilizer on any of it.

I have a compact uvb 5.0 on one side and the other is a day heat lamp. My night heat lamp is in another base that I swap out each evening.

I have a flukers dripper over the money tree, but I hand mist four times a day...increasing at night. Humidity stays between 40-70% depending on if it's day or night. I increase the humidity at night.
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
soooooooo lots of changes need to be made.... See feedback in bold.

I recently purchased two hatchling Veiled Chams from a local breeder. I realize now, this is not ideal. But I'm dedicated to researching and providing the best possible care I can as a completely clueless newb. The two are only 1.5 weeks old. WAYYYYYY too young. This is less then ideal with no experience. They will not be able to be housed together once they hit 2-3 months old.

I have a couple questions.

Housing: I am housing them in a reptile aquarium, day temps are about 77 and night about 70. That is my first question...I can't find much info on temp drops for hatchlings. So I've been leery of them getting too cold. I am doing a 12/12 cycle on their UVB and day heat lamp. Night time, I'm using a black heat lamp so they have darkness. Is this appropriate? So this really is not ideal due to not having air flow. Get a screen enclosure. It can be a small/medium size since they are so tiny. No heat lamp at all right now. and you need a T5HO fixture with a 5.o linear uvb bulb. Compact is no good and they will die under it. You want to raise it 4 inches off the top of the enclosure then from the screen down you want 4-5 inches to the closest branches below. This will give you a total distance of 8-9 inches and if babies screen climb will keep them from reaching too high of UVB exposure levels. No heat lamp at all at night. Cool down is good for them.

Feeding and supplements: Right now they are on fruit flies, with pinheads being shipped. I dusted the container of fruit flies with Rep-Cal calcium without D. I have Cal with D and multivitamins on order. Do I need to start the rotation of once a week D/multis now...or wait until they're older? Right now you will dust everything every feeding calcium without D3. I need to know what Multivitamin you ordered to tell you how to rotate this in.

Once I get the pinheads, do I dust every day for hatchlings? Yep... See above.

Handling: Both seem to love us. They reach for my hand when I'm feeding or adjusting something in their enclosure. I've read on how handling stresses them, so I've been cautious...but they seem very trusting of me. Should I continue to allow them to climb on me? Are they trusting because they're young and will likely regress as they age? They are reaching because they are trying to get as high as possible. This makes them feel safer. Also the enclosure is very exposed. And they are not getting the UVB they need. Try to handle very little right now. They are fragile at this age. And since you are not familiar with chams and their colors or behavior you will not know what indicates stress or illness.

Anything else you might want to throw at me for dealing with hatchlings vs babies...that would be great! LOTS and lots of food. multiple times a day. Feed them as much as they want.

Start reading though this husbandry program it is extremely good and will walk you through a ton of info. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 
soooooooo lots of changes need to be made.... See feedback in bold.

I recently purchased two hatchling Veiled Chams from a local breeder. I realize now, this is not ideal. But I'm dedicated to researching and providing the best possible care I can as a completely clueless newb. The two are only 1.5 weeks old. WAYYYYYY too young. This is less then ideal with no experience. They will not be able to be housed together once they hit 2-3 months old.

I have a couple questions.

Housing: I am housing them in a reptile aquarium, day temps are about 77 and night about 70. That is my first question...I can't find much info on temp drops for hatchlings. So I've been leery of them getting too cold. I am doing a 12/12 cycle on their UVB and day heat lamp. Night time, I'm using a black heat lamp so they have darkness. Is this appropriate? So this really is not ideal due to not having air flow. Get a screen enclosure. It can be a small/medium size since they are so tiny. No heat lamp at all right now. and you need a T5HO fixture with a 5.o linear uvb bulb. Compact is no good and they will die under it. You want to raise it 4 inches off the top of the enclosure then from the screen down you want 4-5 inches to the closest branches below. This will give you a total distance of 8-9 inches and if babies screen climb will keep them from reaching too high of UVB exposure levels. No heat lamp at all at night. Cool down is good for them.

Feeding and supplements: Right now they are on fruit flies, with pinheads being shipped. I dusted the container of fruit flies with Rep-Cal calcium without D. I have Cal with D and multivitamins on order. Do I need to start the rotation of once a week D/multis now...or wait until they're older? Right now you will dust everything every feeding calcium without D3. I need to know what Multivitamin you ordered to tell you how to rotate this in.

Once I get the pinheads, do I dust every day for hatchlings? Yep... See above.

Handling: Both seem to love us. They reach for my hand when I'm feeding or adjusting something in their enclosure. I've read on how handling stresses them, so I've been cautious...but they seem very trusting of me. Should I continue to allow them to climb on me? Are they trusting because they're young and will likely regress as they age? They are reaching because they are trying to get as high as possible. This makes them feel safer. Also the enclosure is very exposed. And they are not getting the UVB they need. Try to handle very little right now. They are fragile at this age. And since you are not familiar with chams and their colors or behavior you will not know what indicates stress or illness.

Anything else you might want to throw at me for dealing with hatchlings vs babies...that would be great! LOTS and lots of food. multiple times a day. Feed them as much as they want.

Start reading though this husbandry program it is extremely good and will walk you through a ton of info. https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
I already have two Cham cages waiting for them to mature. I figured out quickly that they would need separate cages. Breeder told me no...I'm a researcher and have done nothing but read for hours on end.

Onto your housing and lighting advice...I've read on here so much and have seen breeder after breeder using compact bulbs and talking about the high output ones causing overexposure. And they're raising them in plastic totes. Can you help that make sense in my head? And why no heat lamp? Our house is dang cold my husband is hot natured and it stays 70 in here. The smallest one turns dark brown often. When she does...she goes high on the stick and basks under the heat lamp. So I'm confused.

I know I have to retrain my brain. I have geckos and desert torts...so I'm so accustomed to raising desert dwellers.
 

redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
Congrats on your new little ones.
Can you share some pics of the babies and tortoises too? (y)
Since the babies are so small, let the forum know if you notice any odd behavior.

Example: eyes staying close, not eating, shaking, very important at this age because 1 day can make a difference (not to scare ya but babies are a little different). Glad your here to learn and experience the joy of babies.
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi so what size and type are your new enclosures? First things first baby steps but you need to get things moving. Lighting, supplements. Are very important also are enough branches for climbing and plants not only for humidity levels air quality but also to provide coverage to make your babies to feel safe and provide cover from heat and uvb when they don't want it .
 
Congrats on your new little ones.
Can you share some pics of the babies and tortoises too? (y)
Since the babies are so small, let the forum know if you notice any odd behavior.

Example: eyes staying close, not eating, shaking, very important at this age because 1 day can make a difference (not to scare ya but babies are a little different). Glad your here to learn and experience the joy of babies.
Here are the pics...so far no odd behavior. I've had them an exhausting but fun four days lol
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Hi so what size and type are your new enclosures? First things first baby steps but you need to get things moving. Lighting, supplements. Are very important also are enough branches for climbing and plants not only for humidity levels air quality but also to provide coverage to make your babies to feel safe and provide cover from heat and uvb when they don't want it .
The new cages, for when they mature, are 2x2x4. My lighting is a compact UVB 5.0. I'm so conflicted. I know those are definitely not ideal for older Chams. But can be problematic for screen climbers. I've arranged the cage so many ways. But they keep finding their way up there. So I'm so afraid of using the higher UVB stick and having overexposure

Oh and @Beman the vitamins I have on order are Rep-Cal calcium, Cal with D and the Multivitamin. I only ever used that brand for our geckos so I came to trust them.
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
The compact uvb are not ideal full stop imo . Are you planning on putting your 2 new enclosures side by side if so buy a 4ft t5ho fixture or price 2 t5ho fixtures ( I don't know what budget you have ) work this out now and implement it . On your current enclosure .
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
To be honest your chams can go into what you call mature enclosures anytime imo . If their uvb ,heat source, water supply be it a mister or dripper and feeder run are located in a similar area there should be no issues. Hey when born in a jungle all these things would not be as readily available as what you can provide 😉
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

You said....."I recently purchased two hatchling Veiled Chams from a local breeder. I realize now, this is not ideal. But I'm dedicated to researching and providing the best possible care I can as a completely clueless newb. The two are only 1.5 weeks old"...they're a little young for a first time chameleon kept to start out with...but hopefully they will be ok. Make or female...tarsal Spurs on the heels or not?
https://www.adcham.com/html/husbandry/glossary/tarsalspur.html

You said..."I am housing them in a reptile aquarium"...if you're going to keep them in there for a few days while you set up something else, make sure you create a chimney effect by placing the lights to one side or corner of the cage. TH will have to be separated in a couple of months.

You said..."day temps are about 77 and night about 70. That is my first question...I can't find much info on temp drops for hatchlings"... You don't need a heat light for the babies if the daytime temperature is close to 80F. Night time temperatures can be down to 70F at night. Babies can overheat easily due to their small body size so you want to be careful.

You said..." I am doing a 12/12 cycle on their UVB and day heat lamp. Night time, I'm using a black heat lamp so they have darkness. Is this appropriate?"...drop the black light...no lights at all at night.

You said..."Feeding and supplements: Right now they are on fruit flies, with pinheads being shipped. I dusted the container of fruit flies with Rep-Cal calcium without D. I have Cal with D and multivitamins on order. Do I need to start the rotation of once a week D/multis now...or wait until they're older?"...I always started the rotation right from the beginning with my veiled babies.

You said..."Once I get the pinheads, do I dust every day for hatchlings?"...yes...the insects always have a poor ratio of calcium to phos so why wouldn't we supplement to correct that always?

You said..."Handling: Both seem to love us. They reach for my hand when I'm feeding or adjusting something in their enclosure. I've read on how handling stresses them, so I've been cautious...but they seem very trusting of me. Should I continue to allow them to climb on me? Are they trusting because they're young and will likely regress as they age?".... @jannb can answer this better than I can...she handles hers all the time from the beginning.

You said..."Anything else you might want to throw at me for dealing with hatchlings vs babies...that would be great!"... How are you providing water? Be careful not to let it pool on the floor of the cage so thy won't try to drink it and possibly "drown" in it.
There is a natural die off of hatchlings which is why we always recommend not buying them before they are about three months old. Hopefully you'll be lucky and they will be ok.
Don't spray water directly on them and I don't use drippers until they are a couple of months old.

If you have a female....she will need to have an appropriate diet once she is approaching sexual maturity and also you will have to control the temperatures more than you do wi a male to stop her from developing reproductive issues. Female veileds lay eggs even if not mated.
 

redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nice! It looks as if at least one of the baby chameleon has some translucent (little foot area). The Sulcatas are nice too, are you ready for some heavy weight tortoises? haa haa Just kidding!
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I allow my babies to crawl on me for a very short period of time. I’m afraid they might fall off so I carefully hold my hand over the baby bin. They are very fragile at that age and I don’t want to do anything that might cause them stress or cause them to stop eating. Once a little older I allow them to crawl on me for a bit longer.
 
Welcome to the forum!

You said....."I recently purchased two hatchling Veiled Chams from a local breeder. I realize now, this is not ideal. But I'm dedicated to researching and providing the best possible care I can as a completely clueless newb. The two are only 1.5 weeks old"...they're a little young for a first time chameleon kept to start out with...but hopefully they will be ok. Make or female...tarsal Spurs on the heels or not?
https://www.adcham.com/html/husbandry/glossary/tarsalspur.html

You said..."I am housing them in a reptile aquarium"...if you're going to keep them in there for a few days while you set up something else, make sure you create a chimney effect by placing the lights to one side or corner of the cage. TH will have to be separated in a couple of months.

You said..."day temps are about 77 and night about 70. That is my first question...I can't find much info on temp drops for hatchlings"... You don't need a heat light for the babies if the daytime temperature is close to 80F. Night time temperatures can be down to 70F at night. Babies can overheat easily due to their small body size so you want to be careful.

You said..." I am doing a 12/12 cycle on their UVB and day heat lamp. Night time, I'm using a black heat lamp so they have darkness. Is this appropriate?"...drop the black light...no lights at all at night.

You said..."Feeding and supplements: Right now they are on fruit flies, with pinheads being shipped. I dusted the container of fruit flies with Rep-Cal calcium without D. I have Cal with D and multivitamins on order. Do I need to start the rotation of once a week D/multis now...or wait until they're older?"...I always started the rotation right from the beginning with my veiled babies.

You said..."Once I get the pinheads, do I dust every day for hatchlings?"...yes...the insects always have a poor ratio of calcium to phos so why wouldn't we supplement to correct that always?

You said..."Handling: Both seem to love us. They reach for my hand when I'm feeding or adjusting something in their enclosure. I've read on how handling stresses them, so I've been cautious...but they seem very trusting of me. Should I continue to allow them to climb on me? Are they trusting because they're young and will likely regress as they age?".... @jannb can answer this better than I can...she handles hers all the time from the beginning.

You said..."Anything else you might want to throw at me for dealing with hatchlings vs babies...that would be great!"... How are you providing water? Be careful not to let it pool on the floor of the cage so thy won't try to drink it and possibly "drown" in it.
There is a natural die off of hatchlings which is why we always recommend not buying them before they are about three months old. Hopefully you'll be lucky and they will be ok.
Don't spray water directly on them and I don't use drippers until they are a couple of months old.

If you have a female....she will need to have an appropriate diet once she is approaching sexual maturity and also you will have to control the temperatures more than you do wi a male to stop her from developing reproductive issues. Female veileds lay eggs even if not mated.
I don't know how to do the quotes ..so I'll try and remember what you said lol

Gender...no clue. I have had to handle them twice today for enclosure issues. So I will wait to look the next time I must. I really try and handle them very little. I'm so afraid I'll stress them. I watch for the T Rex arm cues and color change. So far they seem to handle me well. The breeder was selling them on Facebook...had a good 20 of them. I'm positive my two have a far better chance than other greenbacks. I'm dedicated to learn as fast as possible to provide them the best environment. Hence why I've lived here in these forums for days...I need to change my mailing address LOL

If you look above, I have pictures. Their lights are off to the corner and side. So they have heat and light escape. Always had to do this for my other reptiles. Just habit. Is this what you mean? I'll go ahead and post the same pic below.

Also...if you look, you'll see the dripper. It is dripping onto a Money Tree, into the organic soil that is topped with 1-2 inch river rocks from my yard. They're clean and sanitized. It drips about every 5-10 seconds. Very slowly...but I hand mist 3 to 4 times a day. And I always avoid spraying them. Zero standing water.

Regarding temps...if I remove the heat light, it drops to 70 degrees in their cage. Should I keep a heat lamp or no? I'm buying a small Nano Breeze. Will I need a heat lamp for that some it will likely be even colder?
Zoo Med Labs Nano Breeze Alumuninum Screen Cage https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3BCHW...abc_P22Q677F9M6VNRSYHJBV?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

When do you typically see natural hatchling die off?
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Nice! It looks as if at least one of the baby chameleon has some translucent (little foot area). The Sulcatas are nice too, are you ready for some heavy weight tortoises? haa haa Just kidding!
They're actually Mohave Desert Torts. We have raised desert torts for decades. We have two babies and one five yo outside. At one time we were a rescue. We did have a couple sulcata...they are escape artists lol
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."I don't know how to do the quotes ..so I'll try and remember what you said lol"...I just cut the part of a person's post I want to reply to and paste it into my reply...then add quote marks around each part as I reply.

You said..."Gender...no clue"... Check for tarsal Spurs next time you handle them.

You said..."I'm positive my two have a far better chance than other greenbacks. I'm dedicated to learn as fast as possible to provide them the best environment. Hence why I've lived here in these forums for days...I need to change my mailing address LOL"...I'm sure you'll do fine!

You said..."If you look above, I have pictures. Their lights are off to the corner and side. So they have heat and light escape. Always had to do this for my other reptiles. Just habit. Is this what you mean? I'll go ahead and post the same pic below."...that's what I meant. You do need a better UVB light though. Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% long linear tube lights are the most often recommended.

The die off usually happens in the first couple of months.

You said..."Also...if you look, you'll see the dripper. It is dripping onto a Money Tree, into the organic soil that is topped with 1-2 inch river rocks from my yard. They're clean and sanitized. It drips about every 5-10 seconds. Very slowly...but I hand mist 3 to 4 times a day. And I always avoid spraying them. Zero standing water."...see ...I told you you'd do ok! That's all good!

You said..."Regarding temps...if I remove the heat light, it drops to 70 degrees in their cage. Should I keep a heat lamp or no?"...you will likely have to have a small wattage heat light...a white household 40 watt incandescent light bulb should work.

You said..."I'm buying a small Nano Breeze. Will I need a heat lamp for that"...where do you live?
 

redhorse

Chameleon Enthusiast
WOW! The colors are light.. Here is Rascal CA Desert--I am thinking the same but different local...
re-post pic :)
She is 5 years old and licensed.. Whoo Whoo
 

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CasqueAbove

Chameleon Enthusiast
I already have two Cham cages waiting for them to mature. I figured out quickly that they would need separate cages. Breeder told me no...I'm a researcher and have done nothing but read for hours on end.

.I've read on here so much and have seen breeder after breeder using compact bulbs and talking about the high output ones causing overexposure. And they're raising them in plastic totes. Can you help that make sense in my head? And why no heat lamp? Our house is dang cold my husband is hot natured and it stays 70 in here. The smallest one turns dark brown often. When she does...she goes high on the stick and basks under the heat lamp. So I'm confused.

I know I have to retrain my brain. I have geckos and desert torts...so I'm so accustomed to raising desert dwellers.
As far as the UV lights. They are ok if set up right, but at best can only pernitrate 6 inches. So basically they become obsolete very quickly. On temp. Don't cook your cham. My babies did not see 78 till they were 5 months old with ambient in low 70. BUT why was your question. If we look at the area of Yemen they come from we see that the highest measured temps get into the 90s. So for years people have gone on this. But they do not stay out when it is that hot. Even large males go for shade. Babies, especially that young will be in bushes close to the ground with lots of cover. They will also live in the cooler wadis (dry valleys) not in the hottest part. So they can handle 90 but it is not where they would hang out. They would head for cover. t is bizarrely predictable. I twice had one get up into a bush/tree where I could not get her. But I knew when it got hot 90+ she would head to the cooler underside of the tree. Shure enough that is exactly what happened. From all my observations over 7 chams is 74 ambient and 80 max basking. An advantage of this is that my 3 1 year old females have not laid eggs, though the heat of the summer may be changing that. but still far less.
 
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