New veiled Cham; food and lighting

Pistachiochameleon

Established Member
Just got a female cham about a month ago, i have been feeding her 8-12 (small-medium) gut loaded crickets each morning. She did not eat dubias when offered. My question is, is a diet of just crickets ok? I dust them with calcium and vitamins about everyother day.

I am currently using the lighting that came with the reptibreeze kit, and they are keeping the basking spot at about 80 degrees. When Cham is basking, she is pretty dark and doesn't turn light green until night time, is this normal?
Humitiy is good 60-70% almost all live plants.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just got a female cham about a month ago, i have been feeding her 8-12 (small-medium) gut loaded crickets each morning. She did not eat dubias when offered. My question is, is a diet of just crickets ok? I dust them with calcium and vitamins about everyother day.

I am currently using the lighting that came with the reptibreeze kit, and they are keeping the basking spot at about 80 degrees. When Cham is basking, she is pretty dark and doesn't turn light green until night time, is this normal?
Humitiy is good 60-70% almost all live plants.

Hi there and welcome if you could fill out this form and provide additional photos that would really help. Right off you do have a lighting issue. I see you are using a compact uvb bulb. You need to upgrade to a T5 linear fixture and 10.0 bulb asap. Her basking temp is too low. She needs to be at 85 degrees. Her colors could be due to either lighting issue. They tend to stay really dark when they are not warm enough. Depending on her age you may need to be providing a bit more food each day. Just a diet of crickets will not give her the nutritional diversity that she will need. If she is not into Dubia then you can also use Black Soldier Fly Larvae, superworms (size appropriate), Horn worms, and silkworms. Make sure you are properly gutloading as well.
Also are you aware that the females will lay eggs even when not mated? You will need to have a laybin for her when she gets to the right age.
Here is a link to your care sheet with additional info as well https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/
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.

--------------

Please Note:

  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
Hi,

I'm guessing you bought the 'kit' when you got your cham? Unfortunately it's not enough, especially the UVB. The advice given from most pet store chains is complete garbage in most cases.

However, this can be put right and it's better to get right now for the sake of your new little guy/gal, although your wallet may have to take a bit of a hit to correct things.

Edit; @Beman beat me with the form.
 

Char333p

Avid Member
Chameleons usually turn darker when theyre basking so that they absorb more heat. An if shes relaxed she will be less colorful. When theyre really bright theyre stressed and at night when sleeping they turn a pale green... Thats normal.

But yeah youll need better lights soon. But kinda sounded like you were planning on it
 

Pistachiochameleon

Established Member
  • Your Chameleon - Veiled Chameleon, female; I have had her for about a month but she’s no more than 6months old.

  • Handling - I handle her when she lets me... everyday other day. Some days, she hisses when I place my hand in her cage so I let her be.

  • Feeding - 10-12 crickets; every morning, guy loaded with carrots.

  • Supplements - Zoo med Repti-calcium (no D3) and zoo med reptile vitamins. Dust crickets about every other feeding

  • watering- i use a fogger For 10-30mins, 2x a day depending on the levels. And I spray the plants and cage for about 3mins with water about 3 times a day. I have never seen her drink the drips from plants. She does open her mouth and drink when I spray her.

  • Fecal Description - Brown with some white matter. Pretty normal consistency not super dry, not super wet.

  • History - Not too much sometimes she hisses at me

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - Screen cage, 2 sides have black backing to help with humidity.

  • Lighting - Zoo med, 60W daylight bulb. And repto sun 5.0 UVB bulb. Lights are off around 10pm in around

  • Temperature - Basking is at about 80, mid tank is 70 and the floor is about 65. I use a combo of thermometers probe and plastic.

  • Humidity - Humidity is about 60-70. Use a fogger and spray the cage. Have two sides enclosed to help. Tons of live plants.

  • Plants - 2 Medusa air plants, 2 Tillandsia sky plants. 1 Phalenopsis Orchid. 1 Pothos. 1 Spider plant. 1 Chinese money plant. 1Schefflera umbrella tree. Those plants are all live and inside her enclosure. Right outside her enclosure I keep an assortment of Aloes, jade and snake plants.

  • Placement - Next to a window, on a shelf. Her cage does get some natural light. Not a high traffic room. Top of the cage is probably 2 feet taller than me.

  • Location - Washington state, PNW

Current problem- food and lighting!
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Pistachiochameleon

Established Member
Shedding today!
 

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Pistachiochameleon

Established Member
Please fill out the form when you can. I would say just by looking at the enclosure you need more horizontal vines. And the lighting needs to be upgraded asap.

Filled out form on your original post. For the lighting, I am using a 60w day and a 5.0 repti sun... I am not sure I can get a t5 right away... would swapping my 5.0 with a 10.0 help? what are the benefits of a t5 linear than just the standard dome.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Filled out form on your original post. For the lighting, I am using a 60w day and a 5.0 repti sun... I am not sure I can get a t5 right away... would swapping my 5.0 with a 10.0 help? what are the benefits of a t5 linear than just the standard dome.
Ok let me look through it. Here is a link to watch that explains lighting. Going to a 10.0 compact bulb will not help much but is better then nothing. You really need the linear to push enough light down to him at basking level.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok her basking temp is not high enough it has to be at 85 degrees. You can up your wattage of bulb slightly. I am using a 60 watt household bulb and am getting perfect temps. How many inches away is the top basking area from her lighting? Make sure you are running 12 hour cycles for lights on then off for 12hours. You can get a timer for this. Both light and total darkness are really important for sleeping patterns. See pic for lighting
Food need a variety of feeders. Not gutloading with the best so you will want to change this asap. Will post pic
What color is her urate? the white liquid stuff that comes out when she poops?
Supplements. You need to do a Calcium with D3 2 times a month every other week. Same with the multivitamin. The calcium without D3 can be used at nearly every feed. Lightly dust no powdered donut effect. See pic for supplements.
If she is nearly 6 months you need to start looking into providing a lay bin this is really important. Here is a great link on that https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/egg-laying-and-the-laying-bin.345/

Look through all the images below and they will help you as well.
Supplements pic.jpeg
Gutloading 101.jpeg
UVB lighting pic.jpeg
nonUVB pic.jpeg
Basic Feeder pic.jpeg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
makes sense. This would work?
What size cage do you have? That fixture is for a 48 inch. If you have a 24x24x48 then you want a 24 inch T5 fixture with a 10.0 bulb. Basking should be about 7 inches below the bulb. And the fixture should run the length in the middle of the cage.
 

Pistachiochameleon

Established Member
Cage is 16x16x30 I am planning on upgrading once she gets a bit bigger. So the fixture I want should be a 16”?

The urine is a beige/off white. Not yellow.

The basking spot is 5.5 inches from the fixture.

Side question she tends to bask on a plant I have on the log. She isn’t perched when she does this but is laying on it... is that normal?

I will update the d3 routine and add a Laying box! Thanks for the info I always thought d3 was bad.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage is 16x16x30 I am planning on upgrading once she gets a bit bigger. So the fixture I want should be a 16”?

The urine is a beige/off white. Not yellow.

The basking spot is 5.5 inches from the fixture.

Side question she tends to bask on a plant I have on the log. She isn’t perched when she does this but is laying on it... is that normal?

I will update the d3 routine and add a Laying box! Thanks for the info I always thought d3 was bad.

Ok I would buy the T5 Fixture length for the cage you plan on getting then. It can overhang off the sides without issue. I would do a 24x24x48 cage that way you have plenty of room for a lay bin to be a permanent fixture. They should be at least 12x12x12 so the larger cage will help with accomodating it. I believe she is getting to the age where laying can start happening but not 100% sure so read that link and research it. If you do the larger cage get the 24 inch fixture. with the 10.0 uvb bulb. If it does not come with it then you are looking for a length of 22 inches for the 24 inch fixture.

Yeah she is basking on the plant probably because the log you have is really big in diameter and she can not grip it easily. I would get the exo terra vines and use tiny zip ties to secure them to the screen. She will need many horizontal perches. These are like roads for them to get to any point in their enclosure.
D3 is good when given correctly. only 2 times so every other week then the multivitamin the opposite every other week.
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cage is 16x16x30 I am planning on upgrading once she gets a bit bigger. So the fixture I want should be a 16”?

The urine is a beige/off white. Not yellow.

The basking spot is 5.5 inches from the fixture.

Side question she tends to bask on a plant I have on the log. She isn’t perched when she does this but is laying on it... is that normal?

I will update the d3 routine and add a Laying box! Thanks for the info I always thought d3 was bad.
Just get the 24" you can angle it or it can overhang but it will be perfect for when you upgrade his cage. My cham like to lay on his leaves too when he basks one side at a time.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sweet! Thanks for the good info! Had no idea that she would lay eggs! Crazy the stuff pet stores sell without informing the buyer. (Or maybe I should have done more research!)
Yeah the pet stores do not give anywhere near the right info to buyers. They often die due to people not knowing what they are doing is incorrect. It is really sad but at least you found the forum so you can correct everything before she gets to that point. And she is definitely a she right? If she has a tarsal spur on her back feet then she is a he. They look like this if they are male. If they are female it is smooth without the spur. They are like chickens as far as egg laying. No mating required and they still lay eggs lol. As long as her husbandry is spot on then you should not have issues with egg laying. Just do your research on it. You can use the search function on the forum and look up old threads about laying.

tarsal Spur2.jpgTarsal spur1.jpg
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey man don't feel bad I think a lot of us who found this forum found it after we bought our Chams. The lucky ones are the ones who find this site sooner rather than later. It's usually the people who love animals and love their animals and want to know more and more about them that find this site.
 
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