Prepping to get my first chameleon

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
You literally just throw them in and then the crickets wander around on the screen and within the plants? I definitely want to try this, just need to seal up a small gap between the floor and bottom slider door on the the reptibreeze so they cannot sneak out. I'm going to petco this weekend to see if they have small hornworms in stock to give them a try.

Tuesday and today afternoon I saw him wandering around while I was at work, I'm really glad I have that camera on him so I can check on him during the day. When I got home from work I fed him 3 dubia roaches and I saw him take a few droplets of water down. He is loving the umbrella plant, he turned it into his bedroom. Around 5-6pm the last 3 nights he finds a spot and passes out. I hope he's eating enough, after his 3rd dubia roach I attempted to give him mealworms but he refused so I left him alone. He's still understandably skiddish so I'm trying to leave him alone as much as I can, I only go in there attempting to feed him.

A few questions regarding lights:
  • Should I adjust the 12 on 12 off to 14 off 10 on to account for shorter days in the winter, or can I keep it 12/12 year round?
  • Will he be affected if I turn the lights on in the morning for an hour or so while I get ready for work? The last 2 days I've been keeping it completely dark which is a pain when I'm trying to pick out a watch to wear, socks, etc.

He cracks me up, he goes horizontal on a branch trying to hide:
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Feed only in the morning, you can keep the lights at 12/12. Try to keep it pitch black, maybe adjust for the lights to come on an hour earlier? Or pick out what to wear the night before, maybe?
 

RyanBRZ

Established Member
He is sleeping though and its dark still, his lights don't come on until 11am. I leave a cup of mealworms in there, not sure if he's discovered it yet though. Been feeding him after work

The clothes part i can manage in the dark, work clothes are in a closet outside of my bedroom.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can call me Captain Obvious, but light is how chams know it’s time to wake up, keep it as dark as possible. I leave for work at 5:30AM, I toss about a dozen or so crickets in every morning. Keep in mind that nature has designed your cham to be a hunter, sure they will eat from a cup but I’ve got to believe they would prefer to hunt.

The whole only feed them in the morning is more for adults and even then is more of a preference than a requirement. Yes, it gives them more time to bask but if your viv is running properly they will have optimal body temperature throughout the day until bedtime. Your boy is about the same age as my Nosy Be, he should be eating 24/7 right now. If he will accept food, give it to him. The time for restricted his eating habits will come later.

Removing crickets at night... I see no need for this. Yes it is technically possible that a cricket could bite your Cham at night but I have never heard of an actual case of this happening. I believe it to be a myth kept alive by overprotective “helicopter” keepers. Think about it. If you were a cricket trapped in a cage with a monster that has been picking off all your buddies from across the cage all day would you go up to him and bite him? F-no you wouldn’t, you’d be trying to hide under a leaf like all crickets do!
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
Removing crickets at night... I see no need for this. Yes it is technically possible that a cricket could bite your Cham at night but I have never heard of an actual case of this happening. I believe it to be a myth kept alive by overprotective “helicopter” keepers. Think about it. If you were a cricket trapped in a cage with a monster that has been picking off all your buddies from across the cage all day would you go up to him and bite him? F-no you wouldn’t, you’d be trying to hide under a leaf like all crickets do!
First of all @Brodybreaux25 , you are Captain Obvious ;).

On the crickets, I know of a few instances of lizards getting chewed on over the years, but I still agree with you. These were different crickets than are common feeders now in the hobby and the ones we use as feeders are just not known to bite as far as I have seen. I have not seen any recent stories, just warnings. I believe this to be from the old days when it was an issue.
 

RyanBRZ

Established Member
Thanks Captain Obvious. That makes sense, I guess it would be ideal if my living situation was different and he could have his own room where I had more flexibility with the light schedule. Currently he has to be in my room, in the northeast it is light out by 7am, dark by 5-6pm; I do not want to run lights from 7am to 7pm because when I come home from work I sometimes need to use my PC which is right next to his cage. I have it set to 11am-11pm which works perfectly for my schedule, aside from not being able to turn the light on when I roll out of bed.

I am going to seal up the ReptiBreeze this weekend to prevent crickets from getting out so I can start tossing them in and letting him hunt.

Not going to bother removing them, if they can survive insects in the wild I'm sure he'll be fine.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks Captain Obvious. That makes sense, I guess it would be ideal if my living situation was different and he could have his own room where I had more flexibility with the light schedule. Currently he has to be in my room, in the northeast it is light out by 7am, dark by 5-6pm; I do not want to run lights from 7am to 7pm because when I come home from work I sometimes need to use my PC which is right next to his cage. I have it set to 11am-11pm which works perfectly for my schedule, aside from not being able to turn the light on when I roll out of bed.

I am going to seal up the ReptiBreeze this weekend to prevent crickets from getting out so I can start tossing them in and letting him hunt.

Not going to bother removing them, if they can survive insects in the wild I'm sure he'll be fine.
You can also cover the cage at night so when you turn on the lights in the morning, it doesn’t disturb him
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I feel like I’ve heard that chams have some type of “light sensing” organ or gland on top of their head. Is that true or did I just make that up?
 

RyanBRZ

Established Member
Hmm.. if I can pull this off by only covering the 4 sides then this may work. I do not feel like moving the lights on and off the top every day. He sleeps in the umbrella plant which helps block additional light. I wonder how sensitive to light they are.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
The "third eye" is an underdeveloped, photosensitive adaptation on the top of the head which is particularly sensitive to light vs. dark and to movement. In the wild, it is primarily used to detect the presence of flying predators! So if a bird flies overhead, they can sense the danger from the change in light hitting the spot. It also contributes to why chameleons hate it so much if a hand comes from above to grab them. Sets off their "I'm about to get got" senses
 

RyanBRZ

Established Member
Those that free-range feed, do you toss them in the bottom of the cage, or up in the branches? Do you have problems with them hiding at the bottom, or do they typically hang out in the branches/leaves -- did you seal every part of your cage so they cant get out? I reached out to FL Chams and he said he was raised free range eating crickets and silkworms, which is a plus because it is easier than me feeding him by hand every. I'm thinking about leaving dubia roaches in a cup and letting him free range eat crickets, mixing in hornworms/silkworms/mealworms.

I also kind of want to continue hand feeding so he gets used to me and eventually let me pick him up.

Edit: He just ate mealworms off of my hand! In slow motion: https://drive.google.com/open?id=11-3uzyu1Uh88kIIUcYSWdTNj-Buv-4xx

Edit2: I put a few dubia roaches on the screen and he ate went after them. He did pretty well tonight and think he is adjusting well to his new home. He's been out all day and ate probably 6-7 mealworms, 1 cricket, and 3-4 dubia roaches. I need to place an order for more.
 
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Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Doesn’t really matter, they will go where they want anyway. I find crickets tend to hide in the top corners of the cage where the vertical and top screens meet. And yes, your cage defanitly needs to be 100% sealed.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I built most of my vivs so it’s not hard, just focus on one panel at a time. I don’t just staple the screens to the frames, I also put down a 1/4 piece of trim on each seam.

When I say I seal all my vivs I don’t mean 100% sealed so tight an ant can’t get in, more like no gaps larger than 1/8”.
 
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