Veiled chameleon female teenage years

cadet21345

New Member
I have had Rangosita since last Nov and she was about 6 inches head to tail now she is 12 inches. She used to climb on me all the time then one day she started hiding from me. She has a 30x18x18 cage with at least 60 percent humidity, 82 degrees Fahrenheit, with a 100 watt bulb, uv light, and a basking lamp. I turn off her other lights accept her basking light at about 7. She used to hang out on the brown branch but now she hides in the leaves. I am also wondering if she has any diseases the picture of her is on the thread. I want to know what yall think.
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cadet21345

New Member
I forgot to add she eats 8 crickets per day that eat the flukers cricket water and cricket food. She also has a water fountain that has reptisafe. Her mist also has reptisafe.
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Tonyww93

Established Member
A good tell tell sign that veileds are about ready to lay is by the gravid spotty color patterns and belly structure
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!

You said..."How can you tell"...with the spots/dots and splotches of color, she is sexually mature....and from the amount you are feeding her assuming the crickets are full size, she should be producing eggs. Also, feeding her that much looks like it's also making her overweight. Usually over feeding leads to reproductive issues such as large clutches, egg binding, follicular stasis and often to MBD.

You said..."I turn off her other lights accept her basking light at about 7"...so you leave the basking light on at night? There should be no lights at night.

You said..."She also has a water fountain that has reptisafe"...I don't recommend water fountains...they can be bacteria breeding grounds very I easily.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! :) You’ve been given great advice and hopefully are setting up a lay bin for your pretty girl. I’d like to comment on the things I see in your pics that need some improvement. I hate that I’m going to sound so negative, but I truly want to help you and your cham have many happy and healthy years together. Many of us started where you are (including myself).
Let me start out by just sounding like a jerk and get it over with - you need to make some big improvements in lights, plants, substrate and branches…basically a major upgrade to everything in your enclosure. Now let me return to being helpful.
Your lights - the biggest problem is you are lacking the correct uvb. It appears you have the screw in bulb kind which isn’t able to provide the uvb levels your girl needs any farther away than 2-3”. The standard is a linear T5HO fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then your chameleon will get the ideal uvb level at a basking area about 8-9” below the light and have a nice gradient of levels to choose from. Correct uvb is essential in preventing metabolic bone disease. Although currently sold out, here is the correct light. https://www.pangeareptile.com/colle...r/products/arcadia-prot5-6-uvb-bulb-with-hood or https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX5HXI2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The dome fixture is great for your basking light, which should be probably a 60-75w bulb. In the other side you can put a plant grow light like one of these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BRKG7X1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
You will need to get rid of the red light. All colored lights can be harmful to sensitive chameleon/reptile eyes.
Now about that plant light….Your sweet girl needs safe live plants and a good amount of them. Our veileds love to nibble their plants and really have no clue about plastic or silk vs real leaves. It only takes one nibble of a fake leaf to cause an intestinal blockage, which is usually a serious problem. https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/ will help you to determine which plants are safe and veiled tested. I would suggest getting a tall plant like a schefflera or weeping fig for the center and have pothos around it. Pothos and philodendron are great plants for chameleons. Hanging them is a challenge and many have gotten very creative with garden trellis, crafting little scaffolding, stands, etc. I’m not all that creative so I’ve used these. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ Once you’ve removed and replaced all of those fake plants, you can hang them on the outside of the enclosure to give your girl a sense of more privacy.
You also need to add many more branches and vines for your girl to travel. All of that empty space is wasted space. I use branches I’ve scavenged outside. I give a little scrub with dish soap, rinse very well and dry in the sun.
You’ll want to clean up and get rid of all that you have on the enclosure floor. Unless truly bioactive, it’s best to keep the floor bare…much easier to keep clean and hygienic. There are better ways to deal with excess drainage, like filling up with thirsty plants.
For a lay bin, that is something you’ll want to keep as a permanent part of your enclosure. I use opaque plastic bins that are at least 12” long and wide and also deep. I drill several tiny holes on the bottom for drainage and fill to about 6” deep with washed play sand. Once the bin is set in place, the sand won’t leak out the drain holes. I put at least 2 stable ways to get in/out and try to keep some plant cover in front of it. I keep a light sheet next to my enclosures so when it looks like one of my girls might be nearing laying time, I can easily tack it up to cover the lower half of her enclosure. Privacy is absolutely essential for a cham who is digging and laying eggs.
I’m attaching some pics below to give you some ideas of what I’ve done with setting up an enclosure. The second pic is when I was just learning and in the process of making changes. I’m adding it as it’s the best pic I have to show my lay bin placement and how we evolve. :)
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Now, like I didn’t say enough already….:rolleyes: 😂 Let’s talk about parameters and supplements. I’ll try to be less wordy.
There’s lots of different supplement regimens, however the basic one that I find easiest and good is: phosphorus free calcium without D3 at every feeding except one every other week. One feeding every other week, use either ReptiVite with D3 or Repashy calcium plus LoD. Proper supplements along with correct uvb lighting will not only prevent mbd, but just keep your chameleon healthy in all other ways. It’s especially important for our girls to prevent egg laying problems.
Ideal basking temp is 78-80F. You’ll want gradients of temps throughout your enclosure for your cham to choose to be cooler. At night, no heat unless your temps drop below the 50’s. Preferably you can achieve a temp drop below at least 70 at night.
Ideal daytime humidity is between 30-50%. High humidity + high heat = high risk for respiratory infection. Adding live plants will help maintain humidity. If you can achieve a temp below at least 70 at night, you can use a cool mist fogger/humidifier and boost humidity all the way. This simulates the hydration thru fog that they get in the wild. If you don’t have a fogger, I see you do have a mister. You can add a couple or few brief mistings at night to boost humidity.
Hydration - ideal is to mist for at least 2 minutes twice a day…right before lights go on and off. If desired or felt to be needed, you can add a mid day misting of 1-2 minutes or use a dripper for 15-20 minutes. Many chams are secret drinkers, so we go by the color of urates to determine hydration status. All white or mostly white with a bit of yellow at one end is perfect. Orange is dehydrated or they held their poop is for many days.
Feeding - veileds have bottomless stomachs. Your girl’s casque is puffed out, which is a sign of being overweight. While this is bad for any gender cham, it’s especially bad for a girl. The more you feed her, the more eggs she’ll produce, which can be a cause of becoming eggbound. By reducing how much you feed her, you may be able to reduce not only the number of eggs she produces but the frequency too. This in effect will prolong her life, as laying shortens their life spans. I feed all of my chams 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week (plus occasional treats). One of my veiled girls lays one clutch of eggs once a year. The other hasn’t laid any eggs since Feb 2020. My panther girl is about 1 1/2 years old and hasn’t laid anything yet.
Providing a good variety of well fed and healthy feeders is also important. I don’t gut load. I do keep my bugs well fed with fresh produce and Repashy Bug Burger. Adding graphics for you.
Ok, I think I’ve talked enough for now. Do ask whatever questions you may have. I again apologize if I have seemed overly critical. Just know that I have kindness in my heart and want to help. 💗
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cadet21345

New Member
Hi and welcome! :) You’ve been given great advice and hopefully are setting up a lay bin for your pretty girl. I’d like to comment on the things I see in your pics that need some improvement. I hate that I’m going to sound so negative, but I truly want to help you and your cham have many happy and healthy years together. Many of us started where you are (including myself).
Let me start out by just sounding like a jerk and get it over with - you need to make some big improvements in lights, plants, substrate and branches…basically a major upgrade to everything in your enclosure. Now let me return to being helpful.
Your lights - the biggest problem is you are lacking the correct uvb. It appears you have the screw in bulb kind which isn’t able to provide the uvb levels your girl needs any farther away than 2-3”. The standard is a linear T5HO fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. Then your chameleon will get the ideal uvb level at a basking area about 8-9” below the light and have a nice gradient of levels to choose from. Correct uvb is essential in preventing metabolic bone disease. Although currently sold out, here is the correct light. https://www.pangeareptile.com/colle...r/products/arcadia-prot5-6-uvb-bulb-with-hood or https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CX5HXI2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The dome fixture is great for your basking light, which should be probably a 60-75w bulb. In the other side you can put a plant grow light like one of these. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BRKG7X1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
You will need to get rid of the red light. All colored lights can be harmful to sensitive chameleon/reptile eyes.
Now about that plant light….Your sweet girl needs safe live plants and a good amount of them. Our veileds love to nibble their plants and really have no clue about plastic or silk vs real leaves. It only takes one nibble of a fake leaf to cause an intestinal blockage, which is usually a serious problem. https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/ will help you to determine which plants are safe and veiled tested. I would suggest getting a tall plant like a schefflera or weeping fig for the center and have pothos around it. Pothos and philodendron are great plants for chameleons. Hanging them is a challenge and many have gotten very creative with garden trellis, crafting little scaffolding, stands, etc. I’m not all that creative so I’ve used these. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/ Once you’ve removed and replaced all of those fake plants, you can hang them on the outside of the enclosure to give your girl a sense of more privacy.
You also need to add many more branches and vines for your girl to travel. All of that empty space is wasted space. I use branches I’ve scavenged outside. I give a little scrub with dish soap, rinse very well and dry in the sun.
You’ll want to clean up and get rid of all that you have on the enclosure floor. Unless truly bioactive, it’s best to keep the floor bare…much easier to keep clean and hygienic. There are better ways to deal with excess drainage, like filling up with thirsty plants.
For a lay bin, that is something you’ll want to keep as a permanent part of your enclosure. I use opaque plastic bins that are at least 12” long and wide and also deep. I drill several tiny holes on the bottom for drainage and fill to about 6” deep with washed play sand. Once the bin is set in place, the sand won’t leak out the drain holes. I put at least 2 stable ways to get in/out and try to keep some plant cover in front of it. I keep a light sheet next to my enclosures so when it looks like one of my girls might be nearing laying time, I can easily tack it up to cover the lower half of her enclosure. Privacy is absolutely essential for a cham who is digging and laying eggs.
I’m attaching some pics below to give you some ideas of what I’ve done with setting up an enclosure. The second pic is when I was just learning and in the process of making changes. I’m adding it as it’s the best pic I have to show my lay bin placement and how we evolve. :)
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Is it okay if I get a couple hanging golden pothos plants for my chameleon? I'm also asking my dad to upgrade to a 2x2x4 cage since mine is small. I'm also swapping crickets and probably getting dubia roaches and gut loading them with papaya and stuff like that ( I saw a video on it.) I'm fixing one of those automatic misters with my dad it just broke randomly a little bit ago.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Is it okay if I get a couple hanging golden pothos plants for my chameleon? I'm also asking my dad to upgrade to a 2x2x4 cage since mine is small. I'm also swapping crickets and probably getting dubia roaches and gut loading them with papaya and stuff like that ( I saw a video on it.) I'm fixing one of those automatic misters with my dad it just broke randomly a little bit ago.
Yes! Pothos is a staple plant for chameleons…big beautiful leaves to collect drinking water and provide shade and hiding spots and tasty little veiled snacks, plus long vines to add more little travel paths. Just make sure to wash the leaves of any plant that you get and rinse very well. I’d also repot into fresh organic soil if able. Many have pesticides or fertilizers that we need to eliminate.
Yes! The 2x2x4’ is perfect and is the minimum size for an adult. Sometimes you can find a gently used enclosure on Facebook marketplace or Craig’s List. It would need to be sterilized before using though.
Yes! Roaches are healthy feeders and a good addition to your staples. They are also very easy to breed if you are interested.
It’s great that your dad is involved and helping with everything. 🤗
 

cadet21345

New Member
Yes! Pothos is a staple plant for chameleons…big beautiful leaves to collect drinking water and provide shade and hiding spots and tasty little veiled snacks, plus long vines to add more little travel paths. Just make sure to wash the leaves of any plant that you get and rinse very well. I’d also repot into fresh organic soil if able. Many have pesticides or fertilizers that we need to eliminate.
Yes! The 2x2x4’ is perfect and is the minimum size for an adult. Sometimes you can find a gently used enclosure on Facebook marketplace or Craig’s List. It would need to be sterilized before using though.
Yes! Roaches are healthy feeders and a good addition to your staples. They are also very easy to breed if you are interested.
It’s great that your dad is involved and helping with everything. 🤗
Thank you
 
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