Very dark brev?


New Member
I changed out the enclosure for my three little brevs. They're about three months old now; the female is 1 3/4", the males are both 1 1/2" long. I had them in a critter keeper, but three days ago I cleaned out my daughter's 2 1/2g guppy tank (a little bowfront) and switched them into it. A little more height, more room for plants to break up line-of-sight. There are paper towels in the bottom. I have a small pothos, a creeping fig, and some kind of succulent thing with largish leaves, several different sized sticks to climb on. They seem OK, but one of the males has turned very dark and stayed that way. He is not hanging out with the other two. He looks really cool, very lichen-y, but he's not lightening up any. Last night I misted him directly to see if that would startle him into changing color, but no go. In the other cage, I would have said he was the dominant male. Does this sound like a problem to anyone?
I'm not overly familiar with the brevs, but if he was doing fine before the change, I would say the change stressed him out. He might just need a few days to adjust. Someone with brev experience could probably tell you better, but my first guess would be he's stressed from the change. Not only that, but a 2 1/2 gal seems awfully small.
I agree that a 2.5 gallon acrylic "tank" is way too small for brevs. Also the proper substrate and plantings for pygmys are most important in successfully keeping them, so the paper towels need to be replaced by a more suitable substrate and they need more substantial foliage.

These excellent, detailed articles on brev habitat and care will help you create a more suitable environment for your little chams so they will be happier and you can enjoy them longer:

Constructing a Stump-Tailed Cham Habitat

Husbandry Techniques of R. brevicaudatus

Please read...and the best of luck in your cham endeavors! :)
Scrappy and Luna,

:D Thanks for replying. You may be right, Scrappy; he might just be stressed. I fed them shortly after posting yesterday, and "Stripe" nabbed two crickets right off the bat, so it's not affecting his appetite! He looks kind of baggy, which is strange. Somebody molted right before I moved them; but he doesn't look like he's molty...I don't know.

Luna, you're right, those are great articles. I read Roo's articles before we got these guys, and I still read them! I don't plan on keeping these guys in this tank very long; they are still babies, and need to eat every day. If I put them in the 10g I have prepared for them they would probably not find the crix for a while, so I'm waiting for a little more growth. I know the substrate isn't ideal, but at this point I'm worried about a cricket or two running around at night, while my babies are asleep, and it's much easier to spot crix on paper towels. I bought the chams from Mike at FLChams and he recommended the paper towels.

I appreciate any input; I'm still a newbie at chams and have a lot to learn!:rolleyes:
Could it be puberty?

Looking at Stripe this morning....I noticed that his hemipenile area at the base of his tail is gowing. The other male does not have this sign of maturity yet....could this explain Stripe's dramatic coloring? Could he become more aggressive toward "Dot" (the other male)?
I bought the chams from Mike at FLChams and he recommended the paper towels.

Probably would have been better had I read a bit more thoroughly! I completely missed their sizes (you posted it, I scanned past it...doh!)

I apologize that I presumed you had WC brevs...Mike knows what he's doing, better you listen to him than me! If I only had a spare tank I would love to have gotten at least a pair of his babies...I have 5 tanks now, all inhabited with rescue mud/musk turts, crabs in another, carnivorous plants in another. :)

Hopefully, Stripe is just developing a bit faster than the other two. Maybe adding a bit more foliage to their enclosure will provide security to the others in the event Stripe should become more dominant??

I posted some pics in the gallery of the babies yesterday. Yeah, I would think Stripe is developing more quickly, but then Heika told me that the only time she witnessed aggression between two male brevs (WC), the one that wa aggressive turned yellow, and the underdog was very dark. Go figure!

So you do carnivorous plants? We really enjoy them, too. I have a tiny bog garden w/some temperate pitchers and flytraps, and some nepenthes inside now. I have a sundew outside, but it doesn't look so hot. What I'd really like is some butterworts and/or bladderworts for my frog and newt tanks, or some dwarf nepenthes that could go in the vivs and not get too big. Ah well, there are lots of things I'd or two of Roo's red brevs, for instance...:rolleyes:
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