So confused about lighting

llroberts43

New Member
Hello,

We recently bought a chameleon, I think it's a veiled chameleon and we were told it was male. We do not know how old he is, we bought him at Petco. We have had him about a week and as far as I can tell from all the research I've been doing, Petco knows nothing about Chameleons. I think pretty much everything they told us was wrong. Anyway, I've provided as much info as I know below:

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - We think it's a veiled chameleon, we were told it is male and we do not know how old he is but I've provided a photo of him that might help. We have had him for 1 week.

    Rocky.jpg
  • Handling - My husband tries to handle him for a few minutes each day but he just wants to be left alone. We were told that if we handle him 15 min each day, he will get used to us and want to interact. From what I've read, that's not really the case.
  • Feeding - We feed him crickets and superworms. He eats about 3-4 crickets a day and the worms he isn't really interested in them anymore. The crickets are gut loaded with Flukers Orange Cube Complete Cricket Diet.
  • Supplements - We haven't introduced any supplements as of yet.
  • Watering - We are using the "Little Dripper", it's a terrible device if you ask me. We are looking for better alternatives. We mist currently 3-5 times a day for 10 -15 min at a time. We have not personally witnessed him drinking.
  • Fecal Description - Color: light brown and dark brown. Solid and sticky. Has not been tested for anything to the best of our knowledge.
  • History - No history. We've only had for 1 week.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - The enclosure is glass with a screen top and vents in the front. The dimensions are 12x12x18.

    Rocky's Home.jpg
  • Lighting - Currently, we are using the little lamp that came with the cage. This was purchased as a "complete kit". What a joke!
  • Temperature - We have 1 temp gauge that came with the cage, the temp hovers around 80 during the day and down to about 70 at night.
  • Humidity - Humidity is kept between 50-70%. We just bought the Repti Zoo Digital Timing Humidifier. We use the gauge that came with the kit. Measures both temperature and humidity.
  • Plants - No live plants. Petco did not inform us that it is better to use live plants, so we loaded up on the fake ones they sell there.
  • Placement - The cage is located in our living room near the window. There is a vent above but we have closed it off so nothing comes out of it. The height from the floor is about 3-4 ft. off the floor.
  • Location - We are located in the Pacific Northwest, State of Oregon.

Current Problem - So here is one of what I realize are many issues. The lighting. We are trying to improve this little guys living conditions as we learn more about his needs. I read that he needs UVA/UVB lighting and a basking light. My problem is that I can't tell the difference in the bulbs. They aren't really labeled UVA or UVB. We just bought this dual dome light that came with 2 light bulbs, neither of which is marked in anyway. I guess my question is, would one of these provide the UVA/UVB rays that he needs and the other would provide the heat? Each one is 75 watts. I probably sound like a complete idiot but I just don't understand what we are doing, but I'm trying to learn as quickly as possible.

New Lighting.jpg


Let me just wrap this up by saying that when we went to the pet store, this was something we were looking into doing. I wanted to find out what we needed and then go home and do some research on what we were getting ourselves into. Petco did such a high pressure sales job on my husband that he completely abandon our plan and bought everything right on the spot when they offered him a 20% discount on everything. And he fell in love with the chameleon, even though we went in to look at the bearded dragons or leopard geckos. Anyway, now we have him and we really want to do right by him but I feel completely overwhelmed, like we are doing everything wrong.

Thank you for your help.

Laura
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Laura and welcome! Yes unfortunately petco doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I’m not a veiled Cham person but I’ll try tagging in some people who are and can help. He does look like a veiled Cham and as far as his sex all I know is if he has bumps on the back of his feet then he’s a male but I’m unsure how old they have to be to be able to tell. Hang on and I’ll see if I can get someone. @Beman, @MissSkittles , @kinyonga
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello,

We recently bought a chameleon, I think it's a veiled chameleon and we were told it was male. We do not know how old he is, we bought him at Petco. We have had him about a week and as far as I can tell from all the research I've been doing, Petco knows nothing about Chameleons. I think pretty much everything they told us was wrong. Anyway, I've provided as much info as I know below:

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - We think it's a veiled chameleon, we were told it is male and we do not know how old he is but I've provided a photo of him that might help. We have had him for 1 week.

    View attachment 305798
  • Handling - My husband tries to handle him for a few minutes each day but he just wants to be left alone. We were told that if we handle him 15 min each day, he will get used to us and want to interact. From what I've read, that's not really the case.
  • Feeding - We feed him crickets and superworms. He eats about 3-4 crickets a day and the worms he isn't really interested in them anymore. The crickets are gut loaded with Flukers Orange Cube Complete Cricket Diet.
  • Supplements - We haven't introduced any supplements as of yet.
  • Watering - We are using the "Little Dripper", it's a terrible device if you ask me. We are looking for better alternatives. We mist currently 3-5 times a day for 10 -15 min at a time. We have not personally witnessed him drinking.
  • Fecal Description - Color: light brown and dark brown. Solid and sticky. Has not been tested for anything to the best of our knowledge.
  • History - No history. We've only had for 1 week.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - The enclosure is glass with a screen top and vents in the front. The dimensions are 12x12x18.

    View attachment 305800
  • Lighting - Currently, we are using the little lamp that came with the cage. This was purchased as a "complete kit". What a joke!
  • Temperature - We have 1 temp gauge that came with the cage, the temp hovers around 80 during the day and down to about 70 at night.
  • Humidity - Humidity is kept between 50-70%. We just bought the Repti Zoo Digital Timing Humidifier. We use the gauge that came with the kit. Measures both temperature and humidity.
  • Plants - No live plants. Petco did not inform us that it is better to use live plants, so we loaded up on the fake ones they sell there.
  • Placement - The cage is located in our living room near the window. There is a vent above but we have closed it off so nothing comes out of it. The height from the floor is about 3-4 ft. off the floor.
  • Location - We are located in the Pacific Northwest, State of Oregon.

Current Problem - So here is one of what I realize are many issues. The lighting. We are trying to improve this little guys living conditions as we learn more about his needs. I read that he needs UVA/UVB lighting and a basking light. My problem is that I can't tell the difference in the bulbs. They aren't really labeled UVA or UVB. We just bought this dual dome light that came with 2 light bulbs, neither of which is marked in anyway. I guess my question is, would one of these provide the UVA/UVB rays that he needs and the other would provide the heat? Each one is 75 watts. I probably sound like a complete idiot but I just don't understand what we are doing, but I'm trying to learn as quickly as possible.

View attachment 305801

Let me just wrap this up by saying that when we went to the pet store, this was something we were looking into doing. I wanted to find out what we needed and then go home and do some research on what we were getting ourselves into. Petco did such a high pressure sales job on my husband that he completely abandon our plan and bought everything right on the spot when they offered him a 20% discount on everything. And he fell in love with the chameleon, even though we went in to look at the bearded dragons or leopard geckos. Anyway, now we have him and we really want to do right by him but I feel completely overwhelmed, like we are doing everything wrong.

Thank you for your help.

Laura
They gave you the wrong stuff. Don't worry they did it to me too. Save your receipts and boxes. everything that is incorrect can be returned.

Everything they gave you is incorrect. Read every single module in this husbandry program. Call it a crash course https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

I could go through your form but I would only end up making you cry because literally everything is incorrect. So read the link above and come back here with your questions.

Tell your husband no more handling the baby. This is very stressful for them. Until baby is in a correct enclosure and is eating the right amounts no added stress should be imposed or it can cause health issues and those can then lead to death.

Baby looks to be about 2-3 months at most. and I need pics of the back of the feet to tell gender.

This is what the cage should look like.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi! :) Petco strikes again! grumble grumble curse
Unfortunately, you aren’t alone, but…you are here and we can help you get everything set up perfectly for your little cutie. You ask about correct uvb lighting, so let’s start there. You need a linear T5HO fixture with either a 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb. This is a great one. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/arcadia-prot5-uvb-kit.html
Most of the correct stuff you’ll be needing they don’t even sell at chain pet stores.
You and your hubby can ‘buddy up’ and learn together. Read thru what @Beman has suggested. It’s the site of the most accurate and up to date info on the web. You can also check out Neptune the chameleon on YouTube for informative videos. Then come on back and we’ll help you further to get everything set up beautifully.
 

yoshimoto0

Member
this terrarium should be fine for now.. i recommend changing it in the future. later you will want a larger tank, that is either a hybrid, or a mesh screen tank. open flooring works best, and no more handling. handling at this age can be extremely stressful, and especially if they are showing signs of not liking it.

as someone else said, “think of this as a crash course.” i agree with that.

you need to start using supplements. you can try researching it, but always come back here if you need advice.

if you could post a picture of the back of the feet, we could tell you male or female. if there are spurs on the back of the feet, that indicates a male. they are looking 2-4 months old.

you can turn the heat lamp off at night. the temperate can drop down to 50 during the night.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
They do not need to be that low. Most can not achieve those temps. Max of 65 at night for these guys.
I understand what your saying but I've been dropping my temps to 55 for 6 yes and my veiled is thriving. Hopefully I can get another year out of him. Thank you for your advice. You know I do think your one of the best on this forum. Keep on keepin on
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
I understand what your saying but I've been dropping my temps to 55 for 6 yes and my veiled is thriving. Hopefully I can get another year out of him. Thank you for your advice. You know I do think your one of the best on this forum. Keep on keepin on
You are 100% right though. Temps should stay around 65 at night.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Got this word for word out of reptile magazine.com Veiled chameleons do well with a nighttime temperature drop, so no additional heat source is needed at night as long as the enclosure temps are above the mid to high 40s and the chameleons are able to bask beneath the heat bulb in the morning.

What's the opinions on this??
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I understand what your saying but I've been dropping my temps to 55 for 6 yes and my veiled is thriving. Hopefully I can get another year out of him. Thank you for your advice. You know I do think your one of the best on this forum. Keep on keepin on
I absolutely agree with you that dropping to low 50's is healthier for them. However most keepers do not have the ability to get them that low in their home. The night time range for a Veiled would be 50-65. 60-65 Seems to be the range most can actually achieve. Even running a window unit air conditioner on high in my room with the door closed, I am unable to get any lower then 62-65 in the enclosure. Daytime highs outside getting to 97, I just can not get it any cooler with all the heat build up in the attic and house.

So unfortunately it really is not doable unless someone has their home set up specifically for reptiles. Most do not. This can be rather intimidating for a Newbie throwing out a night time temp of 50. I prefer to use the range Bill Strand says of 50-65. Less OH MY GOD Shock value lol. :)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for your help. @Beman, you have given me lots of homework and I appreciate it. Here is the best I could get of his back feet. I hope it's enough to be helpful to you.
View attachment 305805
You have a little boy. He is a cutie. Ok hopefully yall were doing homework last night. I am going to go through your form now.


Hello,

We recently bought a chameleon, I think it's a veiled chameleon and we were told it was male. We do not know how old he is, we bought him at Petco. We have had him about a week and as far as I can tell from all the research I've been doing, Petco knows nothing about Chameleons. I think pretty much everything they told us was wrong. Yep lol your not the first person though. Anyway, I've provided as much info as I know below:

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - We think it's a veiled chameleon, we were told it is male and we do not know how old he is but I've provided a photo of him that might help. We have had him for 1 week. Male about 2-3 months at most


    Rocky.jpg
  • Handling - My husband tries to handle him for a few minutes each day but he just wants to be left alone. We were told that if we handle him 15 min each day, he will get used to us and want to interact. From what I've read, that's not really the case. No handling at all right now. If you have to take him out be very very cautious about baby jumping. They will fling themselves off your hands to the floor. This can cause a ton of damage. So take out to put into a box while your reworking the cage. If you have to handle at all take out and sit on the floor so your not as high in case lil man decides to be Tarzan and jump.
  • Feeding - We feed him crickets and superworms. He eats about 3-4 crickets a day and the worms he isn't really interested in them anymore. The crickets are gut loaded with Flukers Orange Cube Complete Cricket Diet. Not enough food. at this age they are eating machines. Can eat easily up to 25 feeders a day. Crickets should be no larger then the 1/4 size. Unless the superworms are very small you should not use them. Gutload is a horrible brand. Actually it only provides moisture. See images below for feeders and gutload options.
  • Supplements - We haven't introduced any supplements as of yet. Did you guys buy any? You want a calcium without D3 and a multivitamin with D3. Repashy calcium plus Lod or Reptivite with D3 are great multivitamins with D3. Pick one of them use it 2 times a month say the 1st and the 15th then you will use the calcium without D3 at every other feeding. Supplements are lightly dusted on all feeders given right before you give them to lil man. Look up Cricket Shakers and buy two they make this process much easier. You want to pour the feeders into a plastic cup so they are not biting baby when he sleeps. Shallow about 2-3 inches deep with a vine crossing above it so baby can shoot into it.
  • Watering - We are using the "Little Dripper", it's a terrible device if you ask me. We are looking for better alternatives. We mist currently 3-5 times a day for 10 -15 min at a time. We have not personally witnessed him drinking.Misting too much. 2-5 minutes max Morning and evening before and after temps are cooling. Take back the little dripper. Get a solo plastic disposable cup. Poke tiny tiny holes into the bottom of it. Put ice cubes in it and it will provide a slow drip.
  • Fecal Description - Color: light brown and dark brown. Solid and sticky. Has not been tested for anything to the best of our knowledge. This is a really good idea to get done when you get a good sized fecal and he has been eating.
  • History - No history. We've only had for 1 week.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - The enclosure is glass with a screen top and vents in the front. The dimensions are 12x12x18. Ok while this cage is less then optimal you can make it work but I do not suggest it. See if petco has any screen cages currently. This cage is so small that he really has already outgrown it. However if you want to make it work ALL moss has to go. All fake plants have to go. Bare bottom and you will add live plants. See link for Veiled tested and choose those. Put 1 inch or larger stones on top of the pots to keep baby out of them. https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Chameleon-Plants-061321.pdf

    Rocky's Home.jpg
  • Lighting - Currently, we are using the little lamp that came with the cage. This was purchased as a "complete kit". What a joke! Ok so I doubt that lamp is producing much at all for heat. I know exactly which kit you got. Baby is not getting any UVB right now. Typically we want you to buy a 5.0 linear T5HO bulb and a T5HO fixture for it. HOWEVER distance to branch below needs to be 8-9 inches. So on this cage you would have to lift the fixture off the top. I buy mine from Pangea reptile. You can check your local stores though.
  • Temperature - We have 1 temp gauge that came with the cage, the temp hovers around 80 during the day and down to about 70 at night. Its an analog gauge so it wont be very accurate.
  • Humidity - Humidity is kept between 50-70%. We just bought the Repti Zoo Digital Timing Humidifier. We use the gauge that came with the kit. Measures both temperature and humidity. 30-50% is really where you want to be on humidity.
  • Plants - No live plants. Petco did not inform us that it is better to use live plants, so we loaded up on the fake ones they sell there. See link for Veiled tested and choose those. Put 1 inch or larger stones on top of the pots to keep baby out of them. https://chameleonacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Chameleon-Plants-061321.pdf
  • Placement - The cage is located in our living room near the window. There is a vent above but we have closed it off so nothing comes out of it. The height from the floor is about 3-4 ft. off the floor.Make sure there is no direct sun coming through. It will create a hot box. Indirect light is fine and will only effect the ambient temp slightly.
  • Location - We are located in the Pacific Northwest, State of Oregon. With you being in Oregon are you on the coast with higher humidity? I was in Eureka. If your on the cost. I would go with a screen enclosure over hybrid for more air circulation and lower humidity. Your natural humidity there will be much higher. I prefer Dragon strand enclosures. Check out the Tall Screen one https://dragonstrand.com/ Shipping on these would be end of August though. So you would have to buy a temp screen cage It could be the 16x16x30 size.
 
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