Screen Hugger!

Julirs

New Member
Leon the Veiled Chameleon at 15 weeks has a propensity to hang on the screens in his basking lamps. I have rearranged his plants so that they hang in the basking areas but he manages to squeeze his body in between the plants to hang on the screen still--looks mighty uncomfortable. I am worried about toenails. Any suggestions? He is in a Reptarium. I have a great thermometer so the basking temps are good.
 
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roo_71

New Member
This is most likely due to the basking temp being too low. It’s basically trying to get as close as possible to the heat source (which is the screen) because the basking perch is too far and/or the wattage of the basking bulb is too low. What temp is the basking area? You should use a digital thermometer with an external probe to accurately take the reading.

-roo
 

Julirs

New Member
roo-thanks! I do have a digital thermometer with a probe and I regulate the basking temps. On one side it is 95 degrees and on the other it is around 90. He is only 4 months old so I don't want to go much higher yet.
 

Jewel

New Member
Leon the Veiled Chameleon at 15 months has a propensity to hang on the screens in his basking lamps. I have rearranged his plants so that they hang in the basking areas but he manages to squeeze his body in between the plants to hang on the screen still--looks mighty uncomfortable. I am worried about toenails. Any suggestions? He is in a Reptarium. I have a great thermometer so the basking temps are good.
roo-thanks! I do have a digital thermometer with a probe and I regulate the basking temps. On one side it is 95 degrees and on the other it is around 90. He is only 4 months old so I don't want to go much higher yet.
Is he 15 months or is he 4 months?
 

roo_71

New Member
Leon the Veiled Chameleon at 15 months
He is only 4 months old
:confused: Which is it?

You either need to adjust the distance of the heat bulb or get a higher wattage bulb. A 4 month old veiled should probably start off with 90-95F and I am guessing would settle for 95F in the end … just a guess. Pay attention to how long (or little) he/she basks. If it only basks for a short time it may be too warm or if it’s basking all the time and continues to hug the screen then either get a higher wattage bulb or decrease the distance the bulb is from the screen.

Another thing to watch for with too high temps is skin blanching (skin will turn almost white) – this indicates the temp is too warm and the skin is turning white to reflect the excess heat/light. You need to watch for this because the next step is a burn and you want to avoid that for obvious reasons. Mouth gaping in the basking spot is also and indication that temps are too warm.

I am personally not a fan of putting the basking dome directly on the cage screen; I really think that eventually, given time, a burn will occur. So go with a slightly higher wattage bulb as apposed to moving the heat dome too close.

Lastly, when adjusting basking temps its best to be home to monitor everything … at least for a good while so that nothing goes wrong (burn) and you can observe the changes in its basking habits with the change in the basking temps.

Sorry kind of a ramble … but I think the info will help you determine what you need. I can’t give you specifics, its something you need to figure out on your own since it can be very “critter specific”. What wattage bulb are you and how is the basking light positioned? At the top or off to the side?

-roo
 

Julirs

New Member
Geez-sorry about that he is 15 WEEKS old. The clamp lamps do not touch the cage in any way. Right now the temp reads 94.6 degrees.
 

roo_71

New Member
Geez-sorry

You dont have to be sorry.

So is the lamp positioned at the top and the cham is hanging under it on the screen? If so, you are risking a fall and/or a loss of some nails. Try and up the wattage of the bulb a bit and maybe get temps closer to 98-100F. Depending on the ambient temps, a 65w Philips Duramax (Spot bulb not Flood) would be something worth trying out. I use them on my carpet cages – they are cheap and last a long time.

-roo
 

Cherron

New Member
What wattage bulb are you and how is the basking light positioned? At the top or off to the side?
-roo
Sorry to be off topic but:

I read somewhere, and can't remember exactly where now but will look, that putting the basking bulb on the side of the cage confuses the cham because they are used to overhead sunlight and the UVA triggers their sleep scheudles. It said that when you side mount the basking light the chameleon's sleep cycle and activity levels are disturbed. I am in no means saying that side mounting is incorrect, i was just wondering if perhaps anyone else had heard anything about this
 

roo_71

New Member
I read somewhere, and can't remember exactly where now but will look, that putting the basking bulb on the side of the cage confuses the cham because they are used to overhead sunlight and the UVA triggers their sleep scheudles. It said that when you side mount the basking light the chameleon's sleep cycle and activity levels are disturbed. I am in no means saying that side mounting is incorrect, i was just wondering if perhaps anyone else had heard anything about this
A good question. I side mount the heat bulbs on my veileds cage and see no issue with his sleeping. I think it could be a bit confusing for a wild caught cham in captivity but I think it could adjust. I guess the confusion could be from the fact that the bulb doesn’t move like the sun does throughout the day but someone correct me if I’m wrong on this … doesn’t the sun spend the least amount of time directly above? So do you think side mounting confuses them into thinking its morning or late afternoon all the time? Either way if you find the source of why its bad then post back with it.

-roo
 

Julirs

New Member
roo--the clamp lamps are aiming at the side and somewhat downward. I will try the Duramax bulbs. At this time I am using regular bulbs-one is 40W and the other is 75W. Maybe the spot bulbs will concentrate the heat a little better. I was testing the thermometer probe inside and out and the black Reptarium mesh soaks up quite a bit of heat.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
I guess the confusion could be from the fact that the bulb doesn’t move like the sun does throughout the day but someone correct me if I’m wrong on this … doesn’t the sun spend the least amount of time directly above? So do you think side mounting confuses them into thinking its morning or late afternoon all the time?
I've never really thought of it as confusing them about what time of day it is, but I've worried about what effect it would have on their sensitive eyes if you're shining a light in their face all day. Even when the sun is low on the horizon, it's not as up close and in your eyes as what a light is on the side of the cage.
Wouldn't that be irritating?

Having said that, I've noticed my Veiled climbing upside down on the top of the cage - even trying to chase a fly outside the cage once - where the lights must have been in his eyes, and it doesn't seem to phase him.

What do you think, Roo?
 

Julirs

New Member
I think it could be irritating for we creatures that have vision out of the front of our heads, but for many lizards and birds with their nearly 360 degree vision, I am not sure it bothers them too much where the light is coming from. Just a thought! :)
 

roo_71

New Member
Maybe the spot bulbs will concentrate the heat a little better
I think they most definately will. The duramax 65w spot will work for now but when it gets older you may need to get something higher and I cant seem to find duramax higher then 65w.

What do you think, Roo?
I dont have much to go on other then what I see in my veiled. It just seems more comfortable for him to bask with the side mounted bulbs. You would hope that if it bothered them then they wouldnt look directly at it. My veiled turned three this month and he has side mounted bulbs most of it his life and he seems perfectly fine when it comes to his eyes.

-roo
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
You would hope that if it bothered them then they wouldnt look directly at it. My veiled turned three this month and he has side mounted bulbs most of it his life and he seems perfectly fine when it comes to his eyes.
Does that apply to both basking and flourescent bulbs? What I'd really like to do is mount non-UV flourescent bulbs lower down the side of the cage to help my plants grow. I've just always worried about it being a problem for the cham.
 

roo_71

New Member
I use a powersun 100 for UV on my veileds cage but I have to mount that on the top or it will supposedly ruin the bulb. I have seen people side mount UV/non UV fluorescents to light up the bottom of the cage/help with plants but I haven’t heard of any problems with that. Obviously you would need to be mindful of them when misting. I know if I did that with any of my true cham cages the fixtures would get really wet from the mist system. I have come to terms with replacing plants on a regular basis ... my main issue is plant parasites ... eventually they get bad and the lack of light does make the pants top heavy with leaves. So I just toss and get news one for around $20 at Lowes or Home Depot.

-roo
 

Julirs

New Member
roo-you mentioned skin blanching. Would you look at my thread that says colors after shedding and tell me what you think? I do notice that today he is alternating basking on the plants with hanging on the screen-maybe he is trying to break the habit?
 

FaunaBgirl

New Member
I tried the side way mounting of the basking light (beam horizontal) and Fractal did not like it. He was uncomfortable and leaned into it funny. There were other ways I knew it was disturbing to him and I wondered about the direction of the light into his eyes. I had it like for a few days and then put it back up top where I could tell he was happier with it.
 

roo_71

New Member
roo-you mentioned skin blanching. Would you look at my thread that says colors after shedding and tell me what you think?
My head hurts and I cant find your thread at the moment. Post a link to it here. Skin blanching is a temporary reaction when a cham is too warm and really has nothing to do with shedding.

I do notice that today he is alternating basking on the plants with hanging on the screen-maybe he is trying to break the habit?
Maybe, did you try a different bulb?


-roo
 

Julirs

New Member
Sorry about your head roo, here is the pic from the thread. I noticed that after he shed this last time his casque and head are a bit lightish so I wondered about the blanching.
 
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