Very stressed dark chameleon

N572

New Member
I’m new to owning a Cham I did the wrong thing as many people do and bought a young veiled chance from petco. I brought it home yesterday and my Cham was a little aggressive but not too freaked out he wasn’t going crazy trying to get away or anything but he was trying to bite me when I was trying to put him in his cage. Earlier today I had to remove him and add some extra stuff for him to climb around because The vines I had apparently weren’t secure enough.while Putting my Cham back in the cage he started freaking out an as best as I can describe threw himself off my couch twice witch would be about a 1 foot fall. I’m not sure if he would be able to hurt himself like that or not but he seems to be normal since then. One of the bigger mistakes I made was I went to the pet store for about three days befor buying my Cham an I have never seen him green he has always been somewhat dark or very light grays and browns with white spots an the peak of his back and head are almost always light brown like a bleach stain almost. The pet store was not able to tell me how old my Cham is or what sex. I believe that he is male and is just turning into a juvenile.it hard for me to tell for he’s always darker colors. I know that he will most likely be stressed for a week or two in a new home and after taking a fall. but is anything I’m describing sound like a red flag that maybe something else besides stress could be wrong.
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
Hello.what kind of chameleon do you have. I'm assuming a vieled chameleon. Because they tend to be dark half the time. Can you post a pic of you chameleon. And a shot of the hind feet?
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
It could just be stress because of just arriving to a new environment. But it might be heat or humidity or his/her enclosure. So could you also post pic of you whole setup from lights down, and we shall figure this out
 

Chameleoking

Avid Member
You know what. To prevent a million questions and proving wrong info it would probably be best if you could just fill this husbandry form out. It makes it simpler for us and you will get accurate answers as well Just copy and paste this and fill in your answers



Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
 

N572

New Member
You know what. To prevent a million questions and proving wrong info it would probably be best if you could just fill this husbandry form out. It makes it simpler for us and you will get accurate answers as well Just copy and paste this and fill in your answers



Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
Veiled chemeleon I believe male and not sure about age I have had it for two days

Handling- I have only handled it twice when putting him in his cage and once when rearranging it

Feeding- I feed him about 2 -3 wax worms when I brought it home because the store couldn’t tell me if he was fed or not and today I fed it 2 wax worms and about ten small crickets through out the day I also have a small bowl of green peppers some collard greens and lettuce in bite sized pieces but he hasn’t touch them

Supplements - zoo med repti calcium
And zoo med reptivite I havnt mad a schedule for this yet

Water- I mist every time the leaves of my fake plants start to dry so that they never get completely dry and I must for about two mins and I have never seen him drink in the two days I’ve had him

Feces- I have yet to find any feces at all in his cage and I’m not sure if he has been tested

Housing- I have the medium repti breeze screen cage witch is 16x16x30

Lighting - zoo med tropical uvb and heat light with a 5.0 reprising uvb build and a 40 w zoo med daylight ( it’s supposed to be a 60 w I was sent the wrong one from Amazon ) I use 12 hours on and 12 off

Temperature- right now the basking spot sits just around 84 degrees I know it should be higher and the cage is around 75 I use a small temp gauge that I can place in the spot I want to measure

Humidity- I’m not able to check for the device I have is faulty it’s readings are all over the place I’m picking a new one up in the morning

Plants- all fake beside the moss vine witch I have no clue what kind it is

Placement- he is in the corner of my living room were I spend most of my time when I’m home and the top of the cage is about 5 feet to the floor and about 2 feet from floor to the bottom of the cage

Location - Boston Massachusetts

I’m concerned that something other than stress may be be effecting him


At the moment I can’t take a picture of his back legs he is for the first time hanging right below the heat lights
 

N572

New Member
These are the best picture I can get at the moment
 

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N572

New Member
This is the whole setup
 

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Chameleoking

Avid Member
OK. There is a whole lots of issues going on here. You do have a male veiled. You need to fill the cage in with live plants. If you can get just one umbrella plant for now or something similar that will give him hiding places and I think that is what is stressing him. Also 82, 83 basking temp is good. You don't want anything much higher. I personally wouldn't go any higher. Also all you need for basking bulb is a 70-75 watt. Then your basking branch should be about 9 inches or so away from light. You do need to get something to measure your heat too, basking spot around 82ish. Middle of cage about 76 and bottom about 72ish. Nighttime you need at least a 10 degree drop. About 65ish is good. No lights at all at night. Your humidity should only be 30 to 50% in daytime and 70 to 100% at night. I can't guess age to good from that pic. That's just for starters. Oh and make a dripper for now till you can get a better one. Use a empty milk gallon and poke hole in bottom so that it drips like every 2 to 3 seconds. You also want to get better lighting for uva/uvb light.
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the help I’m picking up a every thing I need for him tomorrow hopefully he he stops stressing out thanks again

Take your time and send us pics as you're buying stuff if you're unsure which types or brands to buy. Or save receipts and double check with us. We're here to help.

Most importantly you need a linear T5 UVB bulb. Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. Those are the only options. Not T8. Not 7%. Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. I cannot stress enough how crucial that is. The screw in one you haven't doesn't give sufficient UVB rays which, in the long term, causes Metabolic Bone Disease and death in chameleons. It's unfortunate but a lot of pet stores give the wrong information and even sell a chameleon kit with all the wrong equipment.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Putting my feedback in bold. You have a lot of changes to make and I don’t want you to get overwhelmed.

Veiled chemeleon I believe male and not sure about age I have had it for two days Hard to tell age from your pics, but I’m going to guess maybe about 4-5 months old.

Handling- I have only handled it twice when putting him in his cage and once when rearranging it

Feeding- I feed him about 2 -3 wax worms when I brought it home because the store couldn’t tell me if he was fed or not and today I fed it 2 wax worms and about ten small crickets through out the day I also have a small bowl of green peppers some collard greens and lettuce in bite sized pieces but he hasn’t touch them All he needs is live bugs. He should be getting fed once in the morning, about 10-12 feeders for what appears his current age. Quantity decreases as they get older. Give the peppers and collards to your crickets. Crickets are ok, wax worms are for treats only. Like us, they do like variety and you need to have a few staple feeders, like roaches, bsfl, silkworms etc along with the crickets. Then, you need to keep your bugs healthy and well fed so that they’ll be more nutritious. Attaching feeder and gutloading graphics for you.

Supplements - zoo med repti calcium You’ll want to use this lightly dusted at every feeding.
And zoo med reptivite I havnt mad a schedule for this yet Does it have D3 in it? If it came with the chameleon kit, it should. That’s a great supplement to use as it is not only a combination multivitamin/vitamin D3, but it has preformed vitamin A which is good for eye health. You’ll want to use that for one feeding every other week.

Water- I mist every time the leaves of my fake plants start to dry so that they never get completely dry and I must for about two mins and I have never seen him drink in the two days I’ve had him Misting for 2 minutes is perfect, but you need to let the enclosure dry out. Is better to mist early in the AM just before lights go on and in the evening just before lights off. For mid day you can either add another misting or use a dripper for about 20-30 minutes. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking and it’s not uncommon to never see one drink.

Feces- I have yet to find any feces at all in his cage and I’m not sure if he has been tested Since the pet store you got him from couldn’t even keep track of if he’d been fed that day, I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s never been tested. For any new animal, it’s always a good idea to have a veterinary wellness visit with a fresh fecal for parasites.

Housing- I have the medium repti breeze screen cage witch is 16x16x30 This is much too small. While now it may be ok, very quickly he’ll outgrow it. The minimum he’ll need is a 2x2x4’ enclosure.

Lighting - zoo med tropical uvb and heat light with a 5.0 reprising uvb build and a 40 w zoo med daylight ( it’s supposed to be a 60 w I was sent the wrong one from Amazon ) I use 12 hours on and 12 off The screw in uvb bulbs aren’t able to provide adequate uvb levels any farther than 2-3”. The standard is a linear T5 fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. As he’ll be needing a larger enclosure, it’s ok to get the 24” light and have it be too long. Basking area will need to be 8-9” away from your lights. As the enclosure is small, I’d suggest elevating your lights a few inches to give him more space. You’ll want to elevate the basking light anyhow to prevent burns. I recently set up a baby enclosure and got some little wire baskets which are perfect for resting my lights on top of.

Temperature- right now the basking spot sits just around 84 degrees I know it should be higher and the cage is around 75 I use a small temp gauge that I can place in the spot I want to measure Noo! You actually don’t want the temp any higher! I keep my adult males at 82-84f. As he is still young, I’d put his temp at 80-82 and no higher. If you are using an analog thermometer, those are notoriously inaccurate. Digital is better.

Humidity- I’m not able to check for the device I have is faulty it’s readings are all over the place I’m picking a new one up in the morning Again, go digital.

Plants- all fake beside the moss vine witch I have no clue what kind it is You need to get all of the fake plants, moss and all of that stuff out and replace with live safe plants. elides nibble their plants and it only takes one bite of a fake leaf to get impacted. Pothos is the workhorse of chameleon enclosures as it’s just perfect. As has been said, get a nice big schefflera for the middle and a pothos or two and the small cage is all set for plants. I’ll attach plant graphic. I’ll separately post the small enclosure I recently set up, so you can see what/how I did. I attach my fake plants to the outside of my enclosures to give my chams extra privacy. You can use branches from outside from non-sappy trees. Wash with dish soap, blast with a hose and air or sun dry and they’re good to go.

Placement- he is in the corner of my living room were I spend most of my time when I’m home and the top of the cage is about 5 feet to the floor and about 2 feet from floor to the bottom of the cage Higher is always better as it makes them feel safer, but 5’ isn’t too bad.

Location - Boston Massachusetts

I’m concerned that something other than stress may be be effecting him Well, I’m not being snarky, but yes, everything is effecting him and he is stressed...very stressed. The sooner you get everything corrected, the sooner he’ll be happy and stay healthy. While everything is super important, it is a process of getting there. Tend to the lights first and go from there. Btw, nothing needs to be on the floor…no reptile carpet, no soil, sand or bark…just keep it bare. More hygienic and easier to keep clean.


At the moment I can’t take a picture of his back legs he is for the first time hanging right below the heat lights
39DF440F-A68C-4071-ABD5-81AC62EBAED4.jpeg
A2F09FC4-1D89-405F-B8C1-D849FE18D1AA.jpeg
4854917A-FFBE-4B4C-A173-3BCC2966C0BD.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I very recently set up for a baby chameleon the same size enclosure that you currently have. In my full sized enclosures I’ve got Dragon ledges or faux backgrounds to attach things to. In the small enclosure, I had to find other ways.
I attached branches to the frame corners with thin wire. At the front so the branches wouldn’t interfere with the door, I used branches that bend away from the door opening.
4136D22D-69C9-4AB2-B59B-054C37B33A1A.jpeg

With my main branch supports in place, I put in my center plant - a schefflera.
DEFE0EBC-90F3-41EE-8D22-EBF845C3D002.jpeg

Then I added a pothos. I wanted it to have some height as it does vine down, so I inverted several old pots and used those as a stand.
94573318-6D94-4A9A-83A7-05CCE65EDED0.jpeg

Only able to add one more plant to fill things out to my liking.
C183C51E-7999-4A8D-9353-9F754153375D.jpeg

Once I had my plants where I wanted, I then added lots of branch networks, secured to the support branches with zip ties. I didn’t take pics of that and baby is asleep, so I can’t get any right now. I have my lights elevated with dollar store wire baskets the appropriate distance for ideal UV index (8-9”) and temperature (80f) Her basking branches are a bit above the top of the schefflera and do give her the ability to choose how much heat and uvb she gets by going lower or hiding in the plants. She can screen climb the top all she wants and I don’t need to fear that she’ll get burned. Although, so far she’s just happy on her basking branch, soaking up the heat and uvb.
 

N572

New Member
Take your time and send us pics as you're buying stuff if you're unsure which types or brands to buy. Or save receipts and double check with us. We're here to help.

Most importantly you need a linear T5 UVB bulb. Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. Those are the only options. Not T8. Not 7%. Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. I cannot stress enough how crucial that is. The screw in one you haven't doesn't give sufficient UVB rays which, in the long term, causes Metabolic Bone Disease and death in chameleons. It's unfortunate but a lot of pet stores give the wrong information and even sell a chameleon kit with all the wrong equipment
Putting my feedback in bold. You have a lot of changes to make and I don’t want you to get overwhelmed.

Veiled chemeleon I believe male and not sure about age I have had it for two days Hard to tell age from your pics, but I’m going to guess maybe about 4-5 months old.

Handling- I have only handled it twice when putting him in his cage and once when rearranging it

Feeding- I feed him about 2 -3 wax worms when I brought it home because the store couldn’t tell me if he was fed or not and today I fed it 2 wax worms and about ten small crickets through out the day I also have a small bowl of green peppers some collard greens and lettuce in bite sized pieces but he hasn’t touch them All he needs is live bugs. He should be getting fed once in the morning, about 10-12 feeders for what appears his current age. Quantity decreases as they get older. Give the peppers and collards to your crickets. Crickets are ok, wax worms are for treats only. Like us, they do like variety and you need to have a few staple feeders, like roaches, bsfl, silkworms etc along with the crickets. Then, you need to keep your bugs healthy and well fed so that they’ll be more nutritious. Attaching feeder and gutloading graphics for you.

Supplements - zoo med repti calcium You’ll want to use this lightly dusted at every feeding.
And zoo med reptivite I havnt mad a schedule for this yet Does it have D3 in it? If it came with the chameleon kit, it should. That’s a great supplement to use as it is not only a combination multivitamin/vitamin D3, but it has preformed vitamin A which is good for eye health. You’ll want to use that for one feeding every other week.

Water- I mist every time the leaves of my fake plants start to dry so that they never get completely dry and I must for about two mins and I have never seen him drink in the two days I’ve had him Misting for 2 minutes is perfect, but you need to let the enclosure dry out. Is better to mist early in the AM just before lights go on and in the evening just before lights off. For mid day you can either add another misting or use a dripper for about 20-30 minutes. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking and it’s not uncommon to never see one drink.

Feces- I have yet to find any feces at all in his cage and I’m not sure if he has been tested Since the pet store you got him from couldn’t even keep track of if he’d been fed that day, I think it’s pretty safe to say he’s never been tested. For any new animal, it’s always a good idea to have a veterinary wellness visit with a fresh fecal for parasites.

Housing- I have the medium repti breeze screen cage witch is 16x16x30 This is much too small. While now it may be ok, very quickly he’ll outgrow it. The minimum he’ll need is a 2x2x4’ enclosure.

Lighting - zoo med tropical uvb and heat light with a 5.0 reprising uvb build and a 40 w zoo med daylight ( it’s supposed to be a 60 w I was sent the wrong one from Amazon ) I use 12 hours on and 12 off The screw in uvb bulbs aren’t able to provide adequate uvb levels any farther than 2-3”. The standard is a linear T5 fixture with either ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. As he’ll be needing a larger enclosure, it’s ok to get the 24” light and have it be too long. Basking area will need to be 8-9” away from your lights. As the enclosure is small, I’d suggest elevating your lights a few inches to give him more space. You’ll want to elevate the basking light anyhow to prevent burns. I recently set up a baby enclosure and got some little wire baskets which are perfect for resting my lights on top of.

Temperature- right now the basking spot sits just around 84 degrees I know it should be higher and the cage is around 75 I use a small temp gauge that I can place in the spot I want to measure Noo! You actually don’t want the temp any higher! I keep my adult males at 82-84f. As he is still young, I’d put his temp at 80-82 and no higher. If you are using an analog thermometer, those are notoriously inaccurate. Digital is better.

Humidity- I’m not able to check for the device I have is faulty it’s readings are all over the place I’m picking a new one up in the morning Again, go digital.

Plants- all fake beside the moss vine witch I have no clue what kind it is You need to get all of the fake plants, moss and all of that stuff out and replace with live safe plants. elides nibble their plants and it only takes one bite of a fake leaf to get impacted. Pothos is the workhorse of chameleon enclosures as it’s just perfect. As has been said, get a nice big schefflera for the middle and a pothos or two and the small cage is all set for plants. I’ll attach plant graphic. I’ll separately post the small enclosure I recently set up, so you can see what/how I did. I attach my fake plants to the outside of my enclosures to give my chams extra privacy. You can use branches from outside from non-sappy trees. Wash with dish soap, blast with a hose and air or sun dry and they’re good to go.

Placement- he is in the corner of my living room were I spend most of my time when I’m home and the top of the cage is about 5 feet to the floor and about 2 feet from floor to the bottom of the cage Higher is always better as it makes them feel safer, but 5’ isn’t too bad.

Location - Boston Massachusetts

I’m concerned that something other than stress may be be effecting him Well, I’m not being snarky, but yes, everything is effecting him and he is stressed...very stressed. The sooner you get everything corrected, the sooner he’ll be happy and stay healthy. While everything is super important, it is a process of getting there. Tend to the lights first and go from there. Btw, nothing needs to be on the floor…no reptile carpet, no soil, sand or bark…just keep it bare. More hygienic and easier to keep clean.


At the moment I can’t take a picture of his back legs he is for the first time hanging right below the heat lights
View attachment 315487View attachment 315488View attachment 315489
Ok one quick question befor I finish reading all the post here i was talking to a employee at a reptile based store near me they own three of there own chams (obviously you guys would know more about them) but while talking to them they told me not to feed him crickets for they are not that nutritious for them is that correct
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok one quick question befor I finish reading all the post here i was talking to a employee at a reptile based store near me they own three of there own chams (obviously you guys would know more about them) but while talking to them they told me not to feed him crickets for they are not that nutritious for them is that correct
Crickets aren’t able to hold a gutload for as long as roaches and some other feeders, but they aren’t bad. Using a variety of feeders is key. My staple feeders are roaches, silkworms and crickets. For treats I give superworms, pupated bsfl (flying snacks), the rare hornworm and even rarer wax worm. The biggest problem with crickets (besides being smelly and just nasty) is depending on where you get them, they may carry parasites. I buy all of my crickets on line (usually https://www.ghann.com/) and haven’t had any problems.
 

N572

New Member
So earlier today I got a new light and bulb wich put his basking spot almost directly at 80-81 degrees he is no longer hanging from the top of the cage and is definitely less stressed because hes actually turning green an other bright colors now. I also bought the t8 uvb light wich I will return tommorow and get the t5 I also bought a grow light wich I haven’t put on his cage yet I’m not sure if I should. I also bought a cheap dripper but once I put it in he keeps shooting his tounge at the cage when the water is in free fall I’m not sure why because I had a plastic bottle dripping in the exact same spot he would go right up to the top of the cage and drink it through the screen wich I know isn’t good but now he just climbs to the dripper and won’t go near it. Both drips are in the same exact spot landing on leaves and branches.
 

N572

New Member
This is the grow light I bought and do you have any suggestions on wether I should keep the dripper or get a misting system?
 

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Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
I very recently set up for a baby chameleon the same size enclosure that you currently have. In my full sized enclosures I’ve got Dragon ledges or faux backgrounds to attach things to. In the small enclosure, I had to find other ways.
I attached branches to the frame corners with thin wire. At the front so the branches wouldn’t interfere with the door, I used branches that bend away from the door opening.
View attachment 315491
With my main branch supports in place, I put in my center plant - a schefflera.
View attachment 315492
Then I added a pothos. I wanted it to have some height as it does vine down, so I inverted several old pots and used those as a stand.
View attachment 315493
Only able to add one more plant to fill things out to my liking.
View attachment 315494
Once I had my plants where I wanted, I then added lots of branch networks, secured to the support branches with zip ties. I didn’t take pics of that and baby is asleep, so I can’t get any right now. I have my lights elevated with dollar store wire baskets the appropriate distance for ideal UV index (8-9”) and temperature (80f) Her basking branches are a bit above the top of the schefflera and do give her the ability to choose how much heat and uvb she gets by going lower or hiding in the plants. She can screen climb the top all she wants and I don’t need to fear that she’ll get burned. Although, so far she’s just happy on her basking branch, soaking up the heat and uvb.
Great job 😍😍👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻 (Sorry for the off-topic response)
 
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