New veiled chameleon owner

Sharon12

Established Member
I have my first chameleon, a 2-3 month old female from Petco and would appreciate any advice. I currently have cats and birds and fish so understand how important it is to get the husbandry right. I have a medium size reptibreeze cage. No bedding on the bottom. A live ficus from LLReptile which I have seen her eat plus fake plants and reptile vines. I have a reptisun 10 UVB light plus a blue light. This came with the cage in a dual domed light set along with a thermometer. She sits under the blue light which gives her heat mid 80s to low 90s. I gave a mounted Rick but she prefers sitting on her vines I have them on a timer from 8 am to 8 pm. I have a mister that goes on every 2 hours for 1 minute starting at 9 am and ending at 7 pm. I live in the sf Bay area so humidity stays 50 -60 %. She drinks regularly and has normal almost daily poops. I gut load 6 small mealworms and around 20 small crickets each morning to be fed the next day. I gut load with collard greens. Carrots. Sweet potato. Cucumber and zucchini. I dust lightly each feeding with Repashy calcium plus. I feed her in a white mug. She will take the food if I hold the mug up or from a tong as I am working on hand feeding slowly with one bug a day. She eats everything every day. I think she looks for more but I only feed her once a day. She is alert and active and beautifully colored. She does not hide and will eat and drink in front of me. She is in a quiet room. I have a 6ft fake ficus that I am hoping she can free range on. I would like to be able to touch her so she can go to vet etc but do not want to stress her. I plan on going to extra large cage with tube lights when she is bigger. Thank you for any help in advance.
 

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20 crickets is probably a little excessive... Also, mealworms are not a good source of nutrition for chams. You can feed her superworms but they should be more of a treat.
Also, every 2 hours is pretty excessive for misting. You should mist every 6 hours, about 2-3 minutes per misting session.
I'm not as experienced as everyone else on this site but thats just a few things i can point out. Some more experienced owners can give you some better advice.
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome! I know you have given us some great details so far but this format helps us break down the husbandry so we can give advice in a more organized way. Just copy and paste. Also, since you have a female she will need a little extra TLC once she gets to be about 6 months.
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.

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

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
20 crickets is probably a little excessive... Also, mealworms are not a good source of nutrition for chams. You can feed her superworms but they should be more of a treat.
Also, every 2 hours is pretty excessive for misting. You should mist every 6 hours, about 2-3 minutes per misting session.
I'm not as experienced as everyone else on this site but thats just a few things i can point out. Some more experienced owners can give you some better advice.
While I agree the mealworms should be taken out, at her age she should be eating as much as she wants so she will grow. My boy definitely eats around 20 small crickets a day on his hungry days.
And the misting schedule really depends on your environment and the humidity readings you're getting. Here I'm CO if I only misted every 6 hours (so theoretically only 3 times during the 12 hour light cycle) then my humidity would be way way low. It all depends on the specific details of the keepers setup :)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
But add hand mistings every so often....

It depends on your living location
Depending on location we have to be careful carpet statementing on misting. This has so much to do with humidity levels. Their 50-60% level is already higher for daytime. This should really be 30-50%max during the day. Also they have an auto mister running every 2 hours for 1 minute so they do not need to hand mist.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
20 crickets is probably a little excessive... Also, mealworms are not a good source of nutrition for chams. You can feed her superworms but they should be more of a treat.
Also, every 2 hours is pretty excessive for misting. You should mist every 6 hours, about 2-3 minutes per misting session.
I'm not as experienced as everyone else on this site but thats just a few things i can point out. Some more experienced owners can give you some better advice.
So 20 crickets is perfectly fine for a cham of that age. Also misting totally is dependent on a persons natural humidity level where they live. There is a lot that plays into this. So saying to mist for 2-3 minutes every 6 hours may not work for their location.
 

Sharon12

Established Member
Thank you so much. Here are my replies. Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, female, not sure of age. About 3 inch long body maybe 6 with tail. I have had her 3 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Not at all yet. I would like to and have a free range tree for her. I can touch her and she will eat out of a cup I hold for her or off of tweezers. I want to handle her with least stress so she can go to vets etc
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? 6 small mealworms and about 20 quarter inch crickets What amount? What is the schedule? I feed her once in the morning in a cup. How are you gut-loading your feeders? 24 hours with collard greens carrots sweet potato cucumber zucchini and some fluckers diet cubes occasionally. I bought some superworms but they are huge. Afraid to give them to her yet
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I lightly dust daily with repashy calcium plus. I was told it was a complete supplement
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I see her drinking. I use a mister on a timer and mist every 2 hours from 9am to 7pm for 60 sec. I could also hand spray but doesn't seem necessary.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Dark brown feces. About 1.5 inch long with white urates about .5 inch. Don't always see urates. She poops maybe once a day. Solid. No parasite test yet
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. Nothing

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen. 16 x 16 x 30. I plan on upsizing as she grows
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Reptisun. On 12 hours 8 am to 8 pm. uVA 10 bulb and blue light bulb for heat in a domed light fixture. They sit on the screen roof. They came with the cage. When I uosize I plan to change to a tube. She is often under the blue light
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I have a thermometer. It is down to 65 sometimes at night. Bottom of cage during day around 72. Up to 85 under the light. I also have a red nocturnal heat lamp but do not use it.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I have a hygrometer in the cage. Lowest has been 40%. Generally is between 50-60%. Use the mister as per above.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a live ficus in the center of the cage and the rest are fake including reptile vines
  • 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? Cage sits on a table in the corner of a little trafficked office. Table is 36 inches high so top of cage at around 66inches above the floor. Not near vents or anything.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? San Francisco Bay area

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Want to know best husbandry techniques. Would like to know how old she likely is and how to raise her for little to no egg production.
 

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Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much. Here are my replies. Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Veiled chameleon, female, not sure of age. About 3 inch long body maybe 6 with tail. I have had her 3 weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Not at all yet. I would like to and have a free range tree for her. I can touch her and she will eat out of a cup I hold for her or off of tweezers. I want to handle her with least stress so she can go to vets etc
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? 6 small mealworms and about 20 quarter inch crickets What amount? What is the schedule? I feed her once in the morning in a cup. How are you gut-loading your feeders? 24 hours with collard greens carrots sweet potato cucumber zucchini and some fluckers diet cubes occasionally. I bought some superworms but they are huge. Afraid to give them to her yet
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? I lightly dust daily with repashy calcium plus. I was told it was a complete supplement
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I see her drinking. I use a mister on a timer and mist every 2 hours from 9am to 7pm for 60 sec. I could also hand spray but doesn't seem necessary.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? Dark brown feces. About 1.5 inch long with white urates about .5 inch. Don't always see urates. She poops maybe once a day. Solid. No parasite test yet
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. Nothing

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? Screen. 16 x 16 x 30. I plan on upsizing as she grows
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Reptisun. On 12 hours 8 am to 8 pm. uVA 10 bulb and blue light bulb for heat in a domed light fixture. They sit on the screen roof. They came with the cage. When I uosize I plan to change to a tube. She is often under the blue light
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I have a thermometer. It is down to 65 sometimes at night. Bottom of cage during day around 72. Up to 85 under the light. I also have a red nocturnal heat lamp but do not use it.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? I have a hygrometer in the cage. Lowest has been 40%. Generally is between 50-60%. Use the mister as per above.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I have a live ficus in the center of the cage and the rest are fake including reptile vines
  • 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? Cage sits on a table in the corner of a little trafficked office. Table is 36 inches high so top of cage at around 66inches above the floor. Not near vents or anything.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? San Francisco Bay area

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about. Want to know best husbandry techniques. Would like to know how old she likely is and how to raise her for little to no egg production.
You're going to need to upgrade your lighting as soon as possible, not when you upgrade your cage which should probably be sooner rather than later anyway. But the lighting is priority #1. The coil/compact UVB doesnt provide enough for your cham and will cause health issues if not addressed. The blue bulb also needs to go, it is known to cause eye issues. You can replace it with just a regular incandescent house bulb. Just make sure it's not LED.
 

Sharon12

Established Member
You're going to need to upgrade your lighting as soon as possible, not when you upgrade your cage which should probably be sooner rather than later anyway. But the lighting is priority #1. The coil/compact UVB doesnt provide enough for your cham and will cause health issues if not addressed. The blue bulb also needs to go, it is known to cause eye issues. You can replace it with just a regular incandescent house bulb. Just make sure it's not LED.
I will get an incandescent bulb. Thank you. For the other upgrade all I see are 24 inch tube lights but this cage is only 16 inches wide. Do people know of a smaller recommended tube setup? If so what is recommended.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
20 crickets is probably a little excessive... Also, mealworms are not a good source of nutrition for chams. You can feed her superworms but they should be more of a treat.
Also, every 2 hours is pretty excessive for misting. You should mist every 6 hours, about 2-3 minutes per misting session.
I'm not as experienced as everyone else on this site but thats just a few things i can point out. Some more experienced owners can give you some better advice.
They can eat as much as they want at this age, but your right on the money with everything else!
 
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