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nathe89

Member
My wife is a vet tech and an avid lover of animals and I grew up with geckos and multiple aquariums of my own when I was younger. I was wanting to get back into aquariums until we both joked around about getting a chameleon after seeing them in a pet store months back and several months later we adopted a chameleon. Until then we had only talked about it and not done extensive research. This left us a little unprepared right out of the gate but in the past month I am confident our girl, Margee, is living a much happier life. I figured I’d post one of those care sheets for you more experienced chameleon to review and give me feedback.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Our chameleon is a Veiled Chameleon and I would have to guess she is in the 5-8 month range. She has been our care a little over a month.
  • Handling - 2-4 times a week. Only when she isn’t putting up a fuss with me. Any fuss and I stop.
  • Feeding - The staple of her diet was crickets which I immediately started breeding since we were keeping them for other insects as well. Since then she has started to eat Dubia Roaches, super worms and black soldier fly larvae and I plan to keep her on that diet while adding hornworms when she gets a little larger since the hornworms get large so fast and seem to be very expensive locally. She gets crickets and dubias daily with superworms and soldier fly larvae mixed in every other day. She will only get a 2-5 treats every other day and is eating 25 or so crickets/dubia’s a day. She seems to have quite the appetite. All feeders are being gut loaded with various diets. The dubias are getting Dubia Diet as well as potatoe, apples, carrots and collard greens and the crickets are receiving the same with Fluker’s cricket foods instead of Dubia Diet. She hunts for her food 95% of the time except for when I get the urge to hand feed her because it is so awesome.
  • Supplements - She is getting repti-calcium without D3 every day and vitamins and D3 every 10 days. I am only dusting the crickets which is a majority of her diet, probably 20 a day.
  • Watering - She has a drip system that runs all day when I am at work as well as a Mist King with the Hygrostat. I set the humidity to turn on at 41% and cycle up to 56% both day and night although it seems to stay more humid at night. It varies how many times it mists throughout the day depending on the humidity in the area but it’s at least twice if not many more depending on the day. No more than 5-6 though I’d say. I have only seen her drink twice. I also have a hand sprayer for our pet bugs.
  • Fecal Description - Poops look very healthy for her size and she is pooping very consistently, every day at least. She is almost always down to eat something and I think it’s reflected in her poops. She has white urate and the poops are dark brown and come out moist but turn into nice looking droppings as they dry out. She will be getting a fecal float this week as I just mentioned it to my wife and she was super excited about it! Hadn’t even crossed my mind because she has been seeming to do so well but lurking on here made me realize that I should do it regardless just for piece of mind.
  • History - She was under weight when she came into our care and was showing ribs at all times. Since then she has not slowed down on the eating which is a concern of mine but as she is still young I figure I should feed her as much as she wants to eat. I try not to overdo it with the calcium since she eats so much but maybe I am wrong in this thought? Her previous owner kept her under a compact fluorescent 5.0 bulb which I have ditched and gone to a linear fluorescent T8 ballast I had laying around with a reptisun 10.0 bulb.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - The enclosure is a medium reptibreeze for now. I’m currently building a 6’ wide by 2’ 5” deep by 4’ 6” tall enclosure that I may split into two 3’ wide enclosures and wait to adopt another chameleon to house beside her. They will not be visible to one another if this becomes my outcome. It will have a drainage system that I’m assembling similar to a shower pan.
  • Lighting - Her lighting at the moment is an 18” T8 fixture with a 10.0 bulb in it. I don’t know the brand of the fixture because I’m a mechanic by trade and light ballast brands don’t matter to me as I have plenty of quality ones that are not reptile brands laying around. She will be upgraded to two 48” T5 HO ballasts in her new enclosure. Her basking lights consist of a 100W blue glass incandescent bulb for daytime and she has a 100W ceramic heat emitter from repti zoo that I got on amazon. I will probably created multiple basking spots in her large enclosure until/if she gets a roommate who will be housed separately with no line of sight to one another.
  • Temperature - She basks in a few different spots that range from 82 to about 90 degrees on my infrared heat gun and drops to about 70-72 at the bottom of the cage in the shade during the day. The temp drops to about 66 at night.
  • Humidity - I use the Mist King with the Hygrostat to maintain humidity in between 40-60% for her.
  • Plants - Currently I have 2 different types of Pothos in there that I rotate so the roots don’t rot and some bamboo that stays in there all the time. Her larger enclosure will probably get the addition of ficus trees and I will allow even more Pothos to vine from the upper portion to the bottom. She has a pretty god awful artificial thing in there too that I’m pretty sure came with her “kit” from her previous owner.
  • Placement - The top of the cage is about 6 feet in the air at the moment in our spare bedroom. She is not near any vents but has a fan centrally located in the room. Our spare bedroom always has the door closed so our 8 cats cannot get in there. We also house my wifes insects in that room. It is very low traffic. She will end up in our basement which is finished and doesn’t receive much traffic either. The top of her cage will be slightly higher down there but will be a utterly massive enclosure that will house all feeders and possibly 2 chameleons in the future.
  • Location - Asheville, N.C.
Current Problem - No problem really but wanted to open myself up to suggestions from more experienced keepers. Also, do keepers of females only provide the egg laying bin when the time comes or at all times? I can’t seem to find a straight answer on this. The other thing I’m curious about is how much she is eating, I’ve read plenty of forums on here and have came across few people who state there chameleons eat as much as Margee does. She is a lot healthier looking now but I can’t believe how much she eats. She is getting a fecal test this week so I can make sure it is not parasite related but all her excrements look great and she is hydrated as well. Also, is there any downside to housing one chameleon in such a large enclosure by themselves?

Nice to meet you all and I look forward to constructive criticism
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
looks like you're doing a great job!!! I would mist for at least 2 mins if you're not already because maybe that's y ur not seeing her drink, do you have a lay bin?
 

nathe89

Member
looks like you're doing a great job!!! I would mist for at least 2 mins if you're not already because maybe that's y ur not seeing her drink, do you have a lay bin?
I do have a lay bin ready to go. I forget the exact dimension but I want to say it is 10” high by 12” wide and 12” deep, it is also filled with play sand. The mister goes off for close to 2 minutes multiple times a day. Sometimes more than 2 times a day but always at least twice, if I have any doubt I run it or spray it manually.
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
I usually like to get in a shower once a month too, for lay bins I would make it a permanent part of her enclosure but you can always have it separate, if she is 6 months or older then she'll need it. the dimensions for a lay bin should be around 12x12x12
 

Kiraral

Member
I keep my lay bin in with my female at all times. This eliminates any guess work about timing and I don’t have to mess with her enclosure and disturb her near lay time. After my females first clutch I cut down on her food intake significantly to reduce clutch size, and thus reduce the stress on her body; her first clutch was quite large.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Very little to pick at here, you’ve done your homework!

I do however have one minor suggestion. At least one misting session should be at least 5 minutes for two different reasons.

1- drinking response- for whatever reason some Chams have a bit of a delayed response to drinking, 5min sessions compensate for this.
2- cleaning their eyes - Chams need rain to keep their eyes clean, a daily 5min session gives them time to do this while drinking

I prefer to do this early in the morning.

If you want to do the monthly shower that’s fine but since you have a MistKing use that instead. We usually reserve the showers in our bathrooms for Chams that are sick or already somewhat dehydrated. Doing the showers in her viv eliminates all the stress of being handed and moved to a foreign environment where they feel exposed.

Overall your on your game, welcome to the forums!
 

nathe89

Member
ED854FF6-C28F-44B6-8C37-D5FE4DC91105.jpeg

Here is a photo of her that I had on my phone from a week or so ago. I’ll try to get more once I’m home from work.
 

nathe89

Member
I keep my lay bin in with my female at all times. This eliminates any guess work about timing and I don’t have to mess with her enclosure and disturb her near lay time. After my females first clutch I cut down on her food intake significantly to reduce clutch size, and thus reduce the stress on her body; her first clutch was quite large.
Good to know! Maybe this is why she seems to have such a huge appetite!
 

nathe89

Member
Very little to pick at here, you’ve done your homework!

I do however have one minor suggestion. At least one misting session should be at least 5 minutes for two different reasons.

1- drinking response- for whatever reason some Chams have a bit of a delayed response to drinking, 5min sessions compensate for this.
2- cleaning their eyes - Chams need rain to keep their eyes clean, a daily 5min session gives them time to do this while drinking

I prefer to do this early in the morning.

If you want to do the monthly shower that’s fine but since you have a MistKing use that instead. We usually reserve the showers in our bathrooms for Chams that are sick or already somewhat dehydrated. Doing the showers in her viv eliminates all the stress of being handed and moved to a foreign environment where they feel exposed.

Overall your on your game, welcome to the forums!
I will try this, thanks for the suggestion
 
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