Newbie Here - looking for advice

Jammonlee

New Member
After doing a great deal of research on Veiled Chameleons I decided to make a purchase believe I can accommodate all its needs. While I think I've done this quite well, I still believe I could use some improvement, especially on the location of the enclosure. I ask for help/advice. Waldo, my male veiled, has had quite a turn of personality in the 4 days after ownership and I wonder if its normal or something I should be worried about.


Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, Unsure of the age. This is the 4th day I've had him
Handling - Once when introducing him to his cage, I only search for it when I get worried and only insert up to a forearm in the cage to place crickets
Feeding - Small crickets, store bought says 1/4 but some are bigger then others? I put about 5 in at a time, free roaming, when I thought there was no more in the enclosure I put more in the next day before realizing they were hiding. Feed him once in the morning. Gut-loading with Fluker's High Calcium cricket diet. I also have a culture of flightless fruit flies, though i am unsure of how to feed them to him, I tapped the plastic vile to knock them to the bottom and tried to pour a few in the enclosure and they jumped all over the place and out of site.
Supplements - I've only fed twice since the crickets are still in the cage. I dust them with Flukers Calcium powder with vitamin D3?
Watering - I have a Monsoon RS400 set to mist with distilled water every 8 hours for 30 seconds. One nozzle is burried in the fake greenery misting the enclosure and the other nozzle is outside the mesh spraying onto it creating drips above other fake greenery, I've seen him tongue a water dropplet from a nozzle and licking the moisture off of a fake vine
Fecal Description - Never tested for parasites, I have cleaned up some dark to light brown in color fecal matter off of a low lying vine. I do see some white drops in certain areas of the enclosure as well.
History - None

Cage Info:
Cage Type - I have a Mesh enclosure, all sides. it is a 65 gal enclosure, dimensions are 28" x 16.5" x 30"
Lighting - I use an Exo Terra 100W SunGlo bulb for his basking, I use an Exo Terra 18" Repti Glo 5.0 UVB Bulb for his UVB. His basking light is about 10" about his favorite basking spot with greenery near in case he wants to go higher or lower. It is placed on the left side of his cage. His UVB is sitting on the top of the enclosure covering a majority of the middle/right side of his cage. All lights are on a timer, set to turn off at 7pm and on at 7am. At 7pm I sometimes use a 75watt Nite-Glo Moonlight from Exo Terra, but I sometimes also forget to use it. It keeps his basking area at 84 degrees at night.
Temperature - Basking light is on a thermostat to regulate the temperature at 99 degrees, Temperature range from coldest to hottest during the day is 73 degrees F to 99 degrees F. at night, it dips to 63 degrees F.
Humidity - Humidity ranges from 40% to 73% in different parts of his cage, I gauge all temperature and humidty levels using two Thermometer/Hydrometers hidden in the cage. Humidity is maintained with the Monsoon Mister
Plants - No live plants, just fake greenery, some fake vines, and some drift wood
Placement - The cage is not located in an extremely high traffic area, most of the traffic stays a good 6 feet away from the enclosure, but the enclosure is located in the back of a living room with full view of the living room and kitchen. No vents nearby, a ceiling fan but never in use. There is the sound of back surround sound speakers about 3 feet away and above the enclosure the emits a very low volume of noise. I do have three kids who are incredibly curious about him and do approach the cage about 5 times a day, I do my best to tell them to be quiet and stay clear of the cage.
Location - Located in Texas

Current Problem - The first day in his new home Waldo was a bit hesitant and gradually moving in his basking area. He's fed on crickets very well from what I have seen, but its a rare occasion that I catch him doing so. He doesn't hunt beyond his basking area though and most of the crickets tend to go towards the darker area of the UVB light, beneth the greenery where the temperature drops. After 3 days of doing so, he has explored his home a lot more, yesterday (3rd day of ownership) was my first time seeing him go to the UV light. He then hid in the back of the enclosure behind the greenery and out of sight from about 6pm till now, 958am the next day. He is awake, I seen his beady eyeballs moving about when I looked at him, but he refuses to leave the spot. Since typing this report, I notices he has moved around, still staying in the area all night but switching positions. I'm curious if this is a sign of stress? Fright maybe? Should I relocate his cage to a less traffic area, per say my bedroom? It has the least amount of traffic, but there will be some buzzing of alarm clocks in the early morning. how would you move an entire enclosure on an aquarium stand without further stressing him out?





 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
First of all welcome to the forums! There are several things you need to change to ensure the health of your little guy. First of all your basking temp is extremely too high for your young chameleon. Change out your 100 watt bulb for an orndinary white housebulb, about a 40 watt or so to achieve about a 82 degree basking temp. A young chameleon such as yours should be eating about 15-20 1/4 inch crickets a day. 5 is not near enough. You should be dusting your feeder with a plain calcium without d3. Use the calcium with d3 a couple of times a month and also get a multivitamin to use monthly also. Now you also need to change up your gutloading. Fluker's is not the best. Use fresh fruits and vegetables such as Kale, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, carrots, apples, orange, etc. Very important! You are not providing near ENOUGH water. You mister should be going off atleast 3 times a day for 3-5 minutes. Do not have the mister going off at night while he is sleeping. You need to drench your enclsosure for him to have drinking access. Also, would not hurt to get yourself some type of dripping system for hydration also. I also noticed your enclosure has moss all in the bottom. Get rid of that! If your chameleon injests that intentionally or accidentally your chameleon could die or become very ill. Leave the cage bottom bare, it is not only safe but sanitary and less places for the crickets to hide. As far your moving the cage, as long as he has enough places to hide you should be ok. It will take him some getting used to his new environment. He may not be eating much because he is new also, but if your cage temps are too high that can cause them to not want to eat also. Also as far as the sounds of things such as your alarm clock, are you aware that chameleons do not really hear? They pick up vibrations so don't worry too much about the noise issue.
 
Last edited:

azula

New Member
Another small thing i noticed is your night lamp that u said u use sometimes. I wouldn't use any kind of night light because chameleons require pitch blackness while sleeping. If it gets below 60 at night you could purchase a low wattage heat emitter. But he looks like a cute healthy little man so far! Good luck!
 

Dave Bull

New Member
Another small thing i noticed is your night lamp that u said u use sometimes. I wouldn't use any kind of night light because chameleons require pitch blackness while sleeping. If it gets below 60 at night you could purchase a low wattage heat emitter. But he looks like a cute healthy little man so far! Good luck!
I agee here my chameleon is in my main room but at night heating down and i light candles only light is my desk light above here where i sit ;)
 

Jammonlee

New Member
Thank you for the quick reply! Underneath the moss is a type of eco earth carpet material. is that okay to keep? I do not have a drain system in place and what I do have down as substrate doesnt even work to keep the moisture from building up.

other than that, thank you, I'm going to be making these changes ASAP and hitting the grocery store very soon. I've already increased the mister to 2 minutes every 4 hours.
 

kaylie

New Member
Carpet is fine, but it would probably be easier to clean without it. Also, if it stays wet all the time it could get moldy or something
 

DeviousMike

New Member
3 times a day for misting is ok, but you might want to bump up the duration to 2 minutes or so. 30 seconds isn't much water and you want to give your cham a longer opportunity to drink. 30 seconds worth of mist seems like it will dry fast.
 

Jammonlee

New Member
Yeah, didnt feel soaked, just slightly damp. it also did just mist for 2 minutes about 10 minutes before I picked all the moss out. Switching the bulb out now....Poor guy :(, he's been baking. Its no wonder he's chilled in the 73 degree temp all day. Has me looking around saying "Where's Waldo?" which is exactly why i picked the name :D Also found out where my fruit flies went...lol...

so does vacuuming near the cage not bother them?
 

DeviousMike

New Member
Yeah, didnt feel soaked, just slightly damp. it also did just mist for 2 minutes about 10 minutes before I picked all the moss out. Switching the bulb out now....Poor guy :(, he's been baking. Its no wonder he's chilled in the 73 degree temp all day. Has me looking around saying "Where's Waldo?" which is exactly why i picked the name :D Also found out where my fruit flies went...lol...

so does vacuuming near the cage not bother them?
Sound really doesn't bother them. You have to wipe up his feces anyways so vacuuming is probably just as stressful as putting your hand up and picking up poop.
 

Jammonlee

New Member
Okay, I couldn't find a 40 watt bulb but did find a 60 and angled the basking light slightly to drop the temperature to 83.4 degrees, I'll set my thermostat to not go over that. As far as watering goes, being as though the lights and mister are on a timer, I was thinking about changing the timer to shut off at 805pm and turn on at 8am. This way I could set the mister to mist for 2 minutes every 6 hours. Once when the mister turns on at 8am for 2 min. Again at 2pm for 2 min, and then finally at 8pm for 2 minutes before the timer shuts it down at 805pm. Is that last mist too close to "bedtime" to soak the cage?

You know, I did extensive reading on websites and through a few books at reptile stores and I'm leading to believe a lot of the information given was more for adult or older chameleons rather then babies.
 

Jammonlee

New Member
Sound really doesn't bother them. You have to wipe up his feces anyways so vacuuming is probably just as stressful as putting your hand up and picking up poop.
Good, I may need to suck up some of these escaped convicts (crickets) that broke loose when I was cleaning the moss out of the cage
 

pennington

New Member
I have a panther Chameleon not Veiled.
I don't use crickets at all, I can't bare the thought of them getting out and breeding in my home!
I use locusts.

As a added extra you could if you so wish add another UV bulb 2.0%. This will illuminate your exhibit and add an extra bit of UV. I use two UV bulbs 5.0% and 2.0%.

Just a thought.
 

DeviousMike

New Member
That's the bad thing about the monsoon. You can only do intervals and not exact times. You can mist at night if you wish. I have a couple of short sessions when the lights are out. It might not be necessary but I feel it doesn't hurt either. It does rain at night in the wild hehe
 

javsto

New Member
After doing a great deal of research on Veiled Chameleons I decided to make a purchase believe I can accommodate all its needs. While I think I've done this quite well, I still believe I could use some improvement, especially on the location of the enclosure. I ask for help/advice. Waldo, my male veiled, has had quite a turn of personality in the 4 days after ownership and I wonder if its normal or something I should be worried about.


Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Veiled, Male, Unsure of the age. This is the 4th day I've had him
Handling - Once when introducing him to his cage, I only search for it when I get worried and only insert up to a forearm in the cage to place crickets
Feeding - Small crickets, store bought says 1/4 but some are bigger then others? I put about 5 in at a time, free roaming, when I thought there was no more in the enclosure I put more in the next day before realizing they were hiding. Feed him once in the morning. Gut-loading with Fluker's High Calcium cricket diet. I also have a culture of flightless fruit flies, though i am unsure of how to feed them to him, I tapped the plastic vile to knock them to the bottom and tried to pour a few in the enclosure and they jumped all over the place and out of site.
Supplements - I've only fed twice since the crickets are still in the cage. I dust them with Flukers Calcium powder with vitamin D3?
Watering - I have a Monsoon RS400 set to mist with distilled water every 8 hours for 30 seconds. One nozzle is burried in the fake greenery misting the enclosure and the other nozzle is outside the mesh spraying onto it creating drips above other fake greenery, I've seen him tongue a water dropplet from a nozzle and licking the moisture off of a fake vine
Fecal Description - Never tested for parasites, I have cleaned up some dark to light brown in color fecal matter off of a low lying vine. I do see some white drops in certain areas of the enclosure as well.
History - None

Cage Info:
Cage Type - I have a Mesh enclosure, all sides. it is a 65 gal enclosure, dimensions are 28" x 16.5" x 30"
Lighting - I use an Exo Terra 100W SunGlo bulb for his basking, I use an Exo Terra 18" Repti Glo 5.0 UVB Bulb for his UVB. His basking light is about 10" about his favorite basking spot with greenery near in case he wants to go higher or lower. It is placed on the left side of his cage. His UVB is sitting on the top of the enclosure covering a majority of the middle/right side of his cage. All lights are on a timer, set to turn off at 7pm and on at 7am. At 7pm I sometimes use a 75watt Nite-Glo Moonlight from Exo Terra, but I sometimes also forget to use it. It keeps his basking area at 84 degrees at night.
Temperature - Basking light is on a thermostat to regulate the temperature at 99 degrees, Temperature range from coldest to hottest during the day is 73 degrees F to 99 degrees F. at night, it dips to 63 degrees F.
Humidity - Humidity ranges from 40% to 73% in different parts of his cage, I gauge all temperature and humidty levels using two Thermometer/Hydrometers hidden in the cage. Humidity is maintained with the Monsoon Mister
Plants - No live plants, just fake greenery, some fake vines, and some drift wood
Placement - The cage is not located in an extremely high traffic area, most of the traffic stays a good 6 feet away from the enclosure, but the enclosure is located in the back of a living room with full view of the living room and kitchen. No vents nearby, a ceiling fan but never in use. There is the sound of back surround sound speakers about 3 feet away and above the enclosure the emits a very low volume of noise. I do have three kids who are incredibly curious about him and do approach the cage about 5 times a day, I do my best to tell them to be quiet and stay clear of the cage.
Location - Located in Texas

Current Problem - The first day in his new home Waldo was a bit hesitant and gradually moving in his basking area. He's fed on crickets very well from what I have seen, but its a rare occasion that I catch him doing so. He doesn't hunt beyond his basking area though and most of the crickets tend to go towards the darker area of the UVB light, beneth the greenery where the temperature drops. After 3 days of doing so, he has explored his home a lot more, yesterday (3rd day of ownership) was my first time seeing him go to the UV light. He then hid in the back of the enclosure behind the greenery and out of sight from about 6pm till now, 958am the next day. He is awake, I seen his beady eyeballs moving about when I looked at him, but he refuses to leave the spot. Since typing this report, I notices he has moved around, still staying in the area all night but switching positions. I'm curious if this is a sign of stress? Fright maybe? Should I relocate his cage to a less traffic area, per say my bedroom? It has the least amount of traffic, but there will be some buzzing of alarm clocks in the early morning. how would you move an entire enclosure on an aquarium stand without further stressing him out?






hi, is this the type of enclosure that you are using, just curious
http://www.bigappleherp.com/65-Gallon-Reptarium-Complete-Startup-Kit
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mike, you are right about the wild, but atleast in the wild they are not confined to a 2ft x 2ft x 4ft area if they want to go somewhere dry. I just think it is better to have the cage nice and dry and night without a bunch of standing water sitting around. Just my opinion. Not saying it right or wrong. I know if I was getting ready for bed, I would not appreciate being soaked, but then I am not a reptile either! lol!!!
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jammonlee, so glad to hear you are removing the moss! I know it looks cooler to have it, but you are doing the right thing! You have come to the right place to get everything the way you need it to be.:D
 

javsto

New Member
Looks to be the exact same. I bought my package through LLLreptile.com. 169$ for the reptarium, bulbs/fixtures, few greenery, moss, and the cham.
that cloth mesh doesnt break to easily as im thinking it would or have you noticed any holes made by the crickets trying to eat themselves out? also is that a live venus flytrap in the pic or just a plastic one? Ive thought about that in order to keep the loose insect population to a minimum so long as the little guy doesnt accidentally get chomped on himself. how are you controlling the excess water from the misting on the bottom of the cage, just paper towels or do you use some type of drainage? Sorry if im bombarding you with too many questions, just taking notes.
 

Jammonlee

New Member
that cloth mesh doesnt break to easily as im thinking it would or have you noticed any holes made by the crickets trying to eat themselves out? also is that a live venus flytrap in the pic or just a plastic one? Ive thought about that in order to keep the loose insect population to a minimum so long as the little guy doesnt accidentally get chomped on himself. how are you controlling the excess water from the misting on the bottom of the cage, just paper towels or do you use some type of drainage? Sorry if im bombarding you with too many questions, just taking notes.
Its a plastic fly trap...just decoration. I was a little overboard on the buying and excessive decorating but I think once Waldo is comfortable in his new home he will eventually learn to love it all.

I havent noticed any holes in it yet, I have had a few escapees though. I was afraid to put a hole for the mist nozzles and thermometer chords to go through, in fear that the hole will expand and instead left the zippers final closing mark at the bottom right of the enclosure which is blocked from exit now. I havent been able to control the moisture buildup on the bottom of the cage, I purchased a brand new aquarium stand and it has warped within the first day of using the enclosure. Since then I've been looking at drainage types for purchase and will definitely invest in one very soon. Its more of a problem trying to figure out how I can lift the enclosure up enough to slip it under there. Right now its the eco earth type flooring that I have down. 2 layers of it, it has done a good job so far of keep the moisture inside, as well as a towel laid underneath the enclosure on top of the table which will be moved when a drainage system is purchased/made.

@carol - you know, i like the look without the moss now that its not in there. It looks cleaner. And I've actually realized how many crickets I have put in the cage for Waldo to eat, and how many he has not yet eaten because I had built the perfect hiding spot for them! Thanks for all yours, and everyone elses advice
 

Jammonlee

New Member
I'm happy to respond that Waldo has now left his hiding ground and is moving towards the bottom of his moss-less cage probably to catch himself an early dinner! Now that he can actually see the critters hoping around down there.

Never been so overwhelmed with joy...you wouldnt believe how worried I was the night before when I could spot him
 
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