Uh Hi New Cham mom here.

Calcifer

New Member
So.. I’m new to the whole reptile community and I saw a little veiled chameleon at Pet-smart touching the glass when ever I just watched him (I was there taking my dogs to get a check up) the little guy walked over and kept digging up dirt to try and get closer I guess? Well I bought him and have had him for over two weeks now.. I don’t know if I’ll be a great Cham mom but I want to learn how to be a good one. I named him calcifer. He’s probably only a few months old really small but just went through shedding.

He was an impulse buy due to me being a sucker for animals but I do enjoy him and love him dearly I want him to live his best life. So I have a few questions.

Feeding - He is eating well for the most part he does eat crickets small ones since he isn’t big enough to eat the larger ones . Can they eat fruit? Somewhere it said they can eat bananas but like only ever once in a while. Do I give him 3-5 crickets? And how many meals a day? Like does he eat twice in a day three times maybe more

another thing what can I put the crickets in to keep them alive longer. I don’t have a car and a pet smart isn’t really close to me so I try to get a lot at once.

Misting - With misting I have one of those cages where he can climbs the walls and chill out. Are those okay for misting? My friend told me I want a glass cage to keep the water in but I don’t know . But I do have a misting machine how long do I leave that on for? Misting every 3,6,12 hours for how many second on mins? He gets a bit frightened by the water when it’s misting time how do I get him use to is?

Sleeping- they sleep for 12 hours I do understand that but I have to work early and usually forget to set an alarm to turn off his light at an early time so he can get those 12 hours he usually gets 9-10 hours is that okay? Probably not I’ll work on that.

Enclosures - For how small he right now do I need a bigger enclosure the one I got was a Chameleon kit from Reptibreeze is that okay for him? What real plants are okay for me to get and put inside the enclosure? He only has fake plants right now and a few branches. I would like to buy him some real plants to get that planty/outside smell.

Bath- Does he need a bath? Like a little tub of water at the bottom of his cage someone told me he does and I was like “I’m pretty sure he won’t go in it” they argued that he will and that misting isn’t enough for him. So I put a tiny thing at the bottom of his cage (it’s filtered water)

Skin/Color- recently I’ll come home and see that he has stressed himself out in someway he will have really dark stripes on him but they usually go away after misting. He’s been hanging around the bottom of his cage and I don’t get why. Is that normal? Is it also normal for him to have cracks on his sides? Well not his side side but like near his arms that are black? After shedding he’s become a lighter green he was a bit dark when I first got him I was scared that I was already killing him .

sorry I know it’s a lot of question any help is appreciated tremendously. I want to spoil this baby and let him live a really good life . Thank you and hope you enjoy the rest of your day
 

ElliotG

Chameleon Enthusiast
So you ask if you can feed fruit. Fruit is a very rare treat. They don’t have the body to digest fruit too well, so you want to stick with feeders. Since he’s younger you’ll really want to feed him a lot of insects. More than 3-5. You will want to feed at least once a day and it should be in the morning so he can digest his food. They need heat to digest so feeding them when their lights are about to go out or are out isn’t the best.

You can actually order crickets online if you want! Come right to your doorstep. You can keep them in a critter keeper with some leafy greens so that they can gutload. Gutloading is super important as that’s where your Cham gets nutrients.

You will want to mist at least twice a day for 2 or more minutes. I must every 8 hours for 2 minutes. Once at 8 am, 4pm, and 12 am. You want you humidity to be 30-50% throughout the day, live plants can help with this and are recommended. Veils like to eat plants and can choke/get impacted on fake ones. As for hydration, drippers can help as well as being paired with mistings.

your chameleon will sleep or head to sleep when lights are out. Mine usually start to go to bed right as the lights are out. You can get a power strip with a timer on it and set it for 12 hours on 12 hours off. I turn mine in at 7 am and off at 7pm. 12 hours light is necessary for being healthy, as they will soak in the needed UVB throughout the day.

So you got the chameleon kit, which is pretty bad when it comes to lighting so you’ll definitely want to change that. The dual bulbs are terrible at UVB output. You’ll want to replace that with a UVB strip and a White light heat bulb soon as possible. If you need suggestions on UVB strips I can give you some. I’ll list off the plants I have and leave a link for you. There’s tons of variety and is super fun to design a cage. You’ll want to replace the fake plants at some point.

You’ll want to upgrade him to a 2x2x4 soon. Screen caging or hybrid is recommended. Chameleons need airflow or they can develop respiratory issues. So your friend was wrong about that. They don’t need a lot of humidity and 30-50% isn’t hard to maintain in a screen cage, especially with live plants as plants help keep humidity up.

Baths are a big no no. They do not understand the concept of still water. They only drink running water. You should remove the bath. They don’t need baths either, causes them immense stress. They don’t get super dirty either. Only time I gave my Cham a “bath” was when I first got him and he smelt like cigarettes from his old home. Put him under a faucet of lukewarm water and washed him quickly and dabbed him dry. Got rid of the cigarette smell/residue but caused immense stress. I felt as if it was needed though. But chameleons are very clean animals, cleaner than dogs in my opinion.

Chameleons can get dark under their lights to soak up more heat. Also an indicator of stress. Their colors will change throughout the day. You will learn when they’re stressed and not.

I bet I’ve missed a few things. But please, show us your enclosure and little guy. You’ve made a good first step coming here. Welcome to the forum :).
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
While there’s lots of information out there on keeping chameleons, it’s difficult to know which is correct. Unfortunately, the majority of pet store employees know little about the correct care of all of the animals they sell and too frequently give very bad info. Besides the personalized advice we can give to help you get everything set up perfectly for your baby, the best resources for learning how to keep a chameleon is
https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/
https://caskabove.com/
Neptune the chameleon on YouTube

If you provide us with some pics of your entire enclosure, including lights and baby, it’ll speak volumes about where to start in helping you.
 
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