Hello! I am a new veiled chameleon owner. My little guy's name is Captain. I was reading in the forums and saw someone had another new owner fill out this little questionnaire so I copied and pasted it. I put my answer in blue and would love some feedback from the experts. I am trying to adapt his home into something much healthier for him so he can be the happiest he can.
- Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Boy, Veiled Chameleon, I think about 2 months old. I have had him for five days now. I had wanted a chameleon for a while and did some research (not a full in depth one until I came home with him). For my birthday my sister bought him for me at Petco(I now know isn't the best place to get them).
- Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? I took him out of his cage once a day for about 10-15 minutes at a time. He mostly just crawled to the top of my head and stayed there. I did give him a break yesterday and did not handle him at all because I read he needs time to acclimate to his new home first, so I will start again in a few more days. I also took him out just because I got new stuff for his cage and needed to place them in there.
- Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? Right now I am feeding him crickets and meal worms(I now realize are not good and will be switching those out). He has been eating! I give him about 5 crickets and 5 meal worms in the morning. I just started to gut load. I put collard greens, carrots, oranges and a little bit of the calcium without D3 in the cage with the crickets. I do need suggestions on what to put the crickets in and keep them in when I gut load them so I can separate a few at a time instead of gut loading all at once. Also what do I put in the cage with the other crickets to keep them alive?
- Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Right now I have Repti calcium without D3. I heard that wasn't the best brand so I would love suggestions on better brands because I still need to get him calcium with D3 and a multivitamin. I will be dusting his feeders with the calcium without D3 Mon-Sat. On Sunday I will alternate between the multivitamin and calcium with D3.
- Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? I got him a Neptonian brand fountain dripper. Not sure if this is helpful because I have yet to see/read anyone else with one. I also add some of the calcium into the water. Again not sure if that is okay? Besides that I mist at least twice a day for 3 minutes, morning and night. Occasionally when I am home I do a short 30 second misting in the afternoon. I have not seen him drink at all.
- Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? He pooped about once a day. It was a solid poop with his uriate ( I think is the word) was white or slightly yellow. This was noticed from his first few days. I ended up buying a layer of moss to use ass substrate, which again I found is not the best for them. I will be removing that today and will start daily checking his poop again. What should I be looking out for?
- History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. I have no history on him because he was bought at Petco (I'm sorry)
- Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? He is currently in an all screen cage right now. I bought clear shower curtain fabric that I will be lining the back of his cage with when it gets here. I need his humidity level to rise and I want to prevent water from getting on my wall behind him. He is in a smaller cage at the moment. I did get the unfortunate chameleon kit. I think its about 30 inches in height. I know he will need a bigger cage. About when though will he need the adult size cage. I know the sooner the better, but I am trying to update everything so it is getting fairly pricy. If I can wait a little longer on this it would be helpful.
- Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? I did upgrade his lights from that kit!. He now has a Zilla Slimline Tropical 25 UVB T8 bulb and 75 w basking light. I turn on the UVB at 7:00am and It goes off at 7:00pm. His basking light goes on at 8am and turns off at 6pm. I mist a half hour in-between those times. I would also be interested in getting a timed lighting thing, so please give me suggestions on how to make that happen.
- Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? I try to keep the temperature between 70-75 f. It doesn't go under 60 degrees at night and stays around 65. I measure the temps right now with a digital thermo-hydrometer. I will be buying a temperature gun so I can know the specifics because right now that's about all I know. I don't know how else to measure the range and importantly the basking spot until then.
- Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? right now my humidity levels are low. It stays around 30% which I know needs to be more like 50-60%. I am going to buy some plants (and wash before I put in) today to help increase the humidity level. I also bought clear shower curtain fabric to place on the back outside of the cage. I do measure the humidity with the thermo-hydrometer. So hopefully this will rise soon.
- Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? I sadly open have fake plants in his cage right now. I will be going out today to buy some live ones. I was thinking about pothos and Philodendron. However whatever I get I will be double checking to make sure its on the safe list. Please feel free to give me recommendations on the best plants.
- 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? The cage is on a short table on my room. Right now it is just under my head if I stand directly next to it. I know this is a little to short but when I get the adult cage it will be taller then me in this spot. I do make sure to always bend or go on my knees when I am near the cage. No vans or vents are next to it and I always keep my door shut so no high traffic.
- Location - Where are you geographically located? central valley in California