Not eating enough, on the ground

fluxanimator

New Member
I may just be overly worried but here's the rundown on my problem. I bought a baby veiled about 2 weeks ago. He's about 2 months old. I have him for now in a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen top, UVB 5.0 and heat light (at about 90 degrees during the day), mist at least twice a day and I live in Houston Texas so it's pretty humid. There is some pothos and ivy for him to crawl on and he likes it. For the first week and a half he's been great. I've been feeding him crickets from a small dish and has been eating anywhere from 1 - 6 a day. Also has no problem drinking after misting. He's even pretty personable and likes to hang out on my finger.

Anyway about 3 or 4 days ago he starting venturing to the bottom of the aquarium. Once down there he rubs his nose on the glass like he wants out. When I walk over and he sees me he climbs back up. I have heard that chams should not be on the bottom. He has also stopped eating I think. He's not lathargic, and doesn't really look skinny. He has also started climbing on the top screen upsidedown. He just seems kinda restless. He does not sleep during the day. He's up around sun-up and knocks out about 7:30 or 8pm.

Should I be worried? Thanks ahead of time. I normally just lurk here but I am getting worried.
 

lele

Avid Member
I have him for now in a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen top, UVB 5.0 and heat light (at about 90 degrees during the day), mist at least twice a day and I live in Houston Texas so it's pretty humid.

it's also pretty hot. glass tanks can heat up very quickly and babies are much more prone to overheating than adults. What are you using to check temps? those stick on things are useless, you really should have a digital therm/hygrometer (measure humidity). He may very well be trying to find a cooler spot, he may also be looking for more food. 1-6 appropriate sized cricket for a 2 month old is not much. Feel free to feed him more for now, also a variety of feeders is recommended.

Just b/c it is humid in your environment does not mean it is sufficient in his tank, though in this case the glass is a plus - but you don't want it to be too humid either. You can get a digi thermometer/hygrometer at home depot for about $17. Personally I would not be without a temp gun. Best $25 I ever spent. You can get accurate temps of numerous places - including your cham's skin! here's a link tempgun

OK, now some questions - what are you using for UVB light? what are you gutloading your feeder insects with, how often and what brand supplements are you using?

here are some specific questions you can answer to help give us an idea of what's going on. Can you post pics of your set up?

If your chameleon is having problems and you want input from other chameleon owners, be sure to include as much information as possible:

1. Cage type: What size and type of cage (screen, glass, etc.)?

2. Temperatures: What is the basking temperature? How do you measure the temperature in your setup? What is the temperature in the warmest spot? The coolest spot? At night? During the day? You should measure the temperature of the chameleons' skin or the surface of its current branch to get a more accurate reading. Do you leave any heat on at night? What is the temperature in the room at night?

3. Lighting: What brand is your UVB light? How long have you been using it? How long are your lights on each day? Do you leave any lights on at night? Where are the lights? on top?

4. Humidity: Do you have a humidity gauge? What is the range of relative humidity (RH) from lowest to highest? How long does it take to go from high to low? Do you use a humidifier? Do you live in the north or south (or other)?

5. Water: Have you observed your chameleon drinking? How often do you mist? Do you have a dripper?

6. Food: Have you observed your chameleon eating? What is the chameleon's diet? Where do you get your live feeder prey? What are you feeding the feeders? Fresh veggies? Gut load? If you use a commercial gut load what is the brand? If you make your own what are the ingredients?

7. Supplements: What type of supplement(s) do you use? Brand name(s)? How often do you use supplements?

8. Plants & branches:
What plants do you have? Are your plants alive or fake? Do the plants provide lots of coverage where the chameleon will feel safe? Can you see your chameleon most of the time or can it hide from your view?

9. Chameleon facts: How old is the chameleon? Do you know if it is wild caught or captive born? Did you get the chameleon at a show? Breeder?

10. Handling: Do you handle your chameleon? How often and how long? What is its reaction to you? Is the cage in a quiet part of the house or is it in a busy or noisy area? Any big stereo speakers near the cage? Is your chameleon alone in the cage? Can your chameleon see any other herps or pets from the cage?

11. Veterinarians: Do you have a veterinarian who KNOWS chameleons?

One last thing: As great as everyone is here (and they are), if there is a medical problem there is no substitute for a trip to the veterinarian.
 

fluxanimator

New Member
What are you using to check temps?
I've got an analog temp/humidity gauge. I though that maybe the problem also but he goes to the bottom even if I turn off the heat light.

what are you using for UVB light?
Reptisun 18" 5.0 UVB

what are you gutloading your feeder insects with, how often and what brand supplements are you using?
Gutloading with store bought gutload. Also dusting with reptical.

Can you post pics of your set up?
Unfortunately I don't have a camera but will try to borrow a friend's.

1. Cage type: What size and type of cage (screen, glass, etc.)?
10 gallon glass aquarium with screen top. I already bought and assemble a 24" x 24" x 48" screen enclosure but it is way to big for the little guy right now.

2. Temperatures: What is the basking temperature?
about 90 - 95 degrees

How do you measure the temperature in your setup?
analog temp/humidity gauge

What is the temperature in the warmest spot?
90 - 95 degrees

The coolest spot?
80 during the day

At night?
75

Do you leave any heat on at night?
No

What is the temperature in the room at night?
75

3. Lighting: What brand is your UVB light? How long have you been using it? How long are your lights on each day? Do you leave any lights on at night? Where are the lights? on top?
Reptisun 18" 5.0 UVB, using it about 2 weeks, on for about 12 hours, no lights on at night, lights on top

4. Humidity: Do you have a humidity gauge? What is the range of relative humidity (RH) from lowest to highest? How long does it take to go from high to low? Do you use a humidifier? Do you live in the north or south (or other)?
yes, 50 - 90, no humidifier just hand misting

5. Water: Have you observed your chameleon drinking? How often do you mist? Do you have a dripper?
Yes, mist 2 - 3 times a day, no dripper

6. Food: Have you observed your chameleon eating? What is the chameleon's diet? Where do you get your live feeder prey? What are you feeding the feeders? Fresh veggies? Gut load? If you use a commercial gut load what is the brand? If you make your own what are the ingredients?
Yes I have observed eating. Eats crickets that eat store bought gut load. Can't remember the name right now, I'm at work :)

7. Supplements: What type of supplement(s) do you use? Brand name(s)? How often do you use supplements?
Dusting crickets with reptical

8. Plants & branches: What plants do you have? Are your plants alive or fake? Do the plants provide lots of coverage where the chameleon will feel safe? Can you see your chameleon most of the time or can it hide from your view?
Pothos and Ivy, both live. He has plenty of hiding places.

9. Chameleon facts: How old is the chameleon? Do you know if it is wild caught or captive born? Did you get the chameleon at a show? Breeder?
Bought from breeder, he's 2 months old.

10. Handling: Do you handle your chameleon? How often and how long? What is its reaction to you? Is the cage in a quiet part of the house or is it in a busy or noisy area? Any big stereo speakers near the cage? Is your chameleon alone in the cage? Can your chameleon see any other herps or pets from the cage?
I handle him very minimally, may a couple times a week. No loud noises around him and he is not near any other pets. He is alone.

11. Veterinarians: Do you have a veterinarian who KNOWS chameleons?
No, but know of some in my area.


THANKS!
 

Cam

New Member
Personally I would not be without a temp gun. Best $25 I ever spent. You can get accurate temps of numerous places - including your cham's skin! he

WE have a temp gun but it measures surface temps not ambient air temps. So how do you know? What temp. should the Cham's skin be?
 

Cam

New Member
Some questions to think about...

Does your Cham's colors change when he goes to the floor?
Is he getting ready to shed?
Does he close his eyes at all once he's on the ground?
Does he always go to the same spot on the ground?...ie more covered, can he see his reflection in the glass in that area?
Is he defecating?
any signs of a URI?

To you veteran owners...
Is there a way to look at the Chams gums to see if it is dehydrated like for other reptiles?
 

stevereecy

New Member
I may just be overly worried but here's the rundown on my problem. I bought a baby veiled about 2 weeks ago. He's about 2 months old. I have him for now in a 10 gallon aquarium with a screen top, UVB 5.0 and heat light (at about 90 degrees during the day), mist at least twice a day and I live in Houston Texas so it's pretty humid. There is some pothos and ivy for him to crawl on and he likes it. For the first week and a half he's been great. I've been feeding him crickets from a small dish and has been eating anywhere from 1 - 6 a day. Also has no problem drinking after misting. He's even pretty personable and likes to hang out on my finger.

Anyway about 3 or 4 days ago he starting venturing to the bottom of the aquarium. Once down there he rubs his nose on the glass like he wants out. When I walk over and he sees me he climbs back up. I have heard that chams should not be on the bottom. He has also stopped eating I think. He's not lathargic, and doesn't really look skinny. He has also started climbing on the top screen upsidedown. He just seems kinda restless. He does not sleep during the day. He's up around sun-up and knocks out about 7:30 or 8pm.

Should I be worried? Thanks ahead of time. I normally just lurk here but I am getting worried.

At his age, he's still young enough to be in an aquarium, but you need to start thinking about a screened enclosure. It sounds like you're doing most everything right, and I wouldn't worry about him walking upside down...thats a sign of vigor. There isn't a lot to go on here, information-wise, so I'm just guessing that he's going through a shed. Another possibility is he's looking for new prey items because he's bored with his food.

As for dehydration, you can tell they are dehydrated mostly from slightly looser skin, but mostly from sunken eyes. Be sure and spray him for water...not just a drip cup. That will also facilitate the shed.

Steve
 

fluxanimator

New Member
Well yesterday evening I thought maybe he didn't like the feeding bowl and would prefer to hunt more. I put a bunch of crickets in so they would climb on the plants and within 15 minutes he spotted one on a plant and got it. It was getting late and afterwards he went to sleep. But maybe that's all he needed. I will keep you updated. Again, thank you for your help.

Does your Cham's colors change when he goes to the floor?
He usually gets darker when at the bottom. And when he gets dark I think it means he's kinda pissed.

Is he getting ready to shed?
I don't know. I have not had him long so he has not shed yet and I don't know what to look for.

Does he close his eyes at all once he's on the ground?
No

Does he always go to the same spot on the ground?...ie more covered, can he see his reflection in the glass in that area?
Yes, he seems to frequent the same ground area.

Is he defecating?
Yes

any signs of a URI?
What is that?
 

lele

Avid Member
Personally I would not be without a temp gun. Best $25 I ever spent. You can get accurate temps of numerous places - including your cham's skin! he

WE have a temp gun but it measures surface temps not ambient air temps. So how do you know? What temp. should the Cham's skin be?

I was half joking about reading skin temp. When I first got mine I was checking everything - just for fun. And yes, I realize it cannot read ambient temps (that's what I have my digi temp/hygro for which also gives a daily min max which is quite helpful) and didn't mean to imply that it did, but could be helpful for checking basking areas compared to where this cham is going to on the floor.
 

Cam

New Member
:) I hear ya. We literally checked every square inch of our enclosures and our reptiles and our 3 boys used it to make sure the crickets, worms etc. were at the proper temps:) I was just wondering if there was a way to check the air temp by averaging a certain number of readings or something. Thanks for your reply. We got ours from the local reptile specialty shop for $25.
 

Cam

New Member
Well yesterday evening I thought maybe he didn't like the feeding bowl and would prefer to hunt more. I put a bunch of crickets in so they would climb on the plants and within 15 minutes he spotted one on a plant and got it. It was getting late and afterwards he went to sleep. But maybe that's all he needed. I will keep you updated. Again, thank you for your help.

Does your Cham's colors change when he goes to the floor?
He usually gets darker when at the bottom. And when he gets dark I think it means he's kinda pissed.

Is he getting ready to shed?
I don't know. I have not had him long so he has not shed yet and I don't know what to look for.

Does he close his eyes at all once he's on the ground?
No

Does he always go to the same spot on the ground?...ie more covered, can he see his reflection in the glass in that area?
Yes, he seems to frequent the same ground area.

Is he defecating?
Yes

any signs of a URI?
What is that?
If I am right the darker coloration can also mean stressed in general.
Maybe someone can comment on how to tell when a Cham is readying to shed.
In our other reptiles they begin to not eat as much for a couple days and their skin looks dull and then almost takes on a white sheen just prior to the skin shedding. They also rub up against different surfaces to assist in the shedding. And seek out extra moisture.
Can you tell why he likes the same spot? Is is cooler, more covered, warmer, darker, where you mist him, where his food usually is placed etc?
Upper Respiratory Infection =URI. In our other reptiles they can have the same symptims as humans do with a head cold...but it is quite serious for a reptile...they will have dull eyes, runny nose, and can actually sneeze and or appear to have a more difficult time breathing, and/or anunclean vent (if there are stomach issues).
 

fluxanimator

New Member
I think he was getting too hot. I have completely turned off the heat lamp. The one I had has a dimmer and it was very low but I underestimated how warm it gets in that aquarium. Seems fine with just the UVB flourecent. I do turn the heat lamp on in the morning to warm him up but turn it off when I leave for work.
 

fluxanimator

New Member
Also I think I found a fix for him not eating enough. I think he likes to hunt down his food more than get it out of a dish. The problem was getting the crickets up off the bottom of the aquarium and into the plants. Well I found a simple solution.

You will have to visualize; I don't have any pictures. I cut out 2 pieces of cardboard the width and almost the height of the ends of the aquarium. Then I covered them with screen and placed them in each end. Now the crickets can climb up the sides and onto the plants and so can my cham. Now they aren't just all over the bottom. So far seems to be working great.

Thanks everyone for your help!
 
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