Very Worried


New Member
Hi, I have already posted about my carpet chameleon who is now 4 - 5 months old but now the "problem" has carried on. I have taken some pictures of the environment he is in and the setup the pet shop said was ok. After looking closely at him I can see a brown patch under his back legs. I have taken a few pictures:

I have still not seen him eat but the crickets have been "dissapearing" and I have yet to see him drink either. I am willing to change the setup completely to make him happy, all advice will be EXTREMELY helpful and I will be very grateful.

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Id like to see a better pic of the brown spot to give you a better guess of what it might be but you might want to send him to a vet...

Well first of all your setup is not really chamelon friendly at all and I can point out why.

Usually chameleons are kept in bigger screen enclosures so they get proper ventilation. Secondly its usually a good idea to have around 75% of his enclosure be plants and vines for him to hide and climb. You have lamps shining on his cage but I highly doubt they give him any real chance to bask(get his body temperature up) since they are pointed on the plastic side of the cage as opposed to the top. I also doubt you are using heating lamps as they would probably melt the plastic of the cage. Im not sure what neon you are using but you might also want to change it. His cage is also pretty small. If you serious about you chameleons health you ll want to invest in a better setup really soon.

Here is a link on lamps and neon bulbs. Theres a lot of info on chameleon care on this site, look around:

Here are mine(the big one is 3 X 2 X 1 feet):



Hope this all helps you out
You should also go see whoever told you this was an adequate setup and tell him/her that they dont have a clue what they are talking about. This is a setup for feeder insects, NOT an exotic reptile:(

To ensure they stop circulating false info
Thankyou very much, it was a young guy telling me about them and he was saying that he would be fine in a setup like this untill he is about 6 months which I wasnt sure about but I didnt want to go wrong and he sounded like he knew what he was talking about but after reading much further into it I can see that he did not. I will go out today and buy this kind of setup.

Thankyou very much again
Yes as Jonathan said, that setup is very small. The light should be on top, but I don't think that would do any difference probally. You need a UVB light as well as a heating light as Jonathan said again. It also looks like there is a heating pad underneath, which is not needed.

I think once you get him in a nice screened enlcoure with plants and vines and everything else, he will be fine. Good Luck! :D
Hi.. I am so glad you are investigating better housing for your cham. Unfortunately, pet stores aren't usually the best source of information on keeping an animal. The particular chameleon you have, the carpet chameleon, is considered to be one of the harder chameleons to keep.

Part of the reason that an enclosure like the one you have isn't effective is because it doesn't offer a heat gradient. The plastic container is probably all the same temperature, because there is really no place for gathered heat to go to. Chameleons require UVB also, and by looking at your pictures, I can't tell if you have one. A good light is a Reptisun 5.0 made by Zoomed. Without a source of UVB light, your cham will develop metabolic bone disease. It happens pretty quickly, too.

You said you aren't sure if your cham is drinking. Are you offering just a dripper for him? Sometimes chams are a bit picky about how they drink, and won't use a dripper. You might want to try misting him for long periods of time with a clean spray bottle. You can buy a garden sprayer at your local hardware store that works well too, then you can just pump it up and spray. Anyhow, try not to mist the cham directly, but very close to him. Mist for about 15 minutes three times a day. That will usually generate a drinking response. Because of the large amount of water you will be dumping into the cage, you will need to consider drainage with your new cage as well.

Humidity requirements for carpets is really high, too. They aren't considered an easy chameleon to keep and are prone to mouth infections and upper respiratory infections. AdCham has a really good write up on them:

thankyou all for your responses, I went to a different pet store and spoke to someone else, I explained my situation and they sorted me out with a heat lamp set and a "flexarium" but the only problem i can see is it being too big.
The dimensions are 30" x 16.5" x 30" (65 gallon) Can anyone confirm if this would be too big? Also the bulb for the heat lamp he gave me was not one that gives out light but just heat, is this also ok?

here is a picture of the framework of the "flexarium" without the mesh on

Thanks again.
I dont think that would be to big, thats a pretty nice size. Now just get some plants and vines in there and he will be happy hehe. I'm not sure about the light that just gives off heat, and not light. He might get burned, but again I never used one and am not to sure. Did you get a flourescent UVB light too?

For my basking light, I just use 2 aluminum dome relfectors with a 60 watt bulb in each one, and sometimes I have to use a third one to get the heat up to around 93 degrees on the basking side.

Hope this helps! :D
Yea, your setup is coming along very nicely. He will be a happy Cham! Hmm, about the dripper setup, I would suggest maybe putting it somewhere near where he will be basking. Kinda like having the water drip onto a leave, then having a container at the bottom to collect the water that is dripping off the leaves.
Yeah you guys have been really helpful, hopefully Marley will grow big and take 2 crickets in 1 shot.

Thanks alot Drake... been a real help.
No problem! Now just put some pics whenever your finished setting everything up! :D

Im sure Marely will love his new home, and you'll probally see a big change in his personality. :D :D

I would get rid of the ceramic heater and go with a standard light bulb. Also, you may want to consider putting the florescent strip on top of the cage. It may be a bit hard to mist your cage properly with it in there.

Did you buy humidity guages? Remember that your chameleon prefers humidity ranges from 70-100%.

What type of supplements are you using?

I did think it was tricky to place the florescent strip, will it be fine just laying on top then? I cant seem to find a good shop where they actually know what they are on about around here, whats the easiest way to get the humidity up? Also how many plants should i get in there?

That looks 100% better then your old setup. Your cham will definitly be way happier. You can try placing the cup somewhere, maybe closer to the middle of the cage, in the center of some plants so the cup is not tilted and the crickets wont escape. Do you have a thermometer and humidty gauge to make sure the temps are correct?
I have been told about a good pet store with a guy that knows alot about chameleons near me, so im going there tommorow to pick up the humidity gauge and anything he thinks suitable. The cup I have there is a bit too big I think, and im finding it hard to attach it somewhere else hehe. Is it worth getting some of the worms aswell, they dont look like they could escape as easily as the crickets.

Here he is, does he look ok? bad quality picture I think its worth you seeing him.

Thanks again.
Your cage does look a lot better. Did you make sure you cleaned your plants very well? Most plants have pesticides on them, and you want to make sure they are cleaned off and rinsed well. Same with the dirt. I replace the dirt completely when I buy a new plant and use no-fertilizer dirt.

It is hard to tell from the picture whether Marley is ok or not. Can you take a clearer one?

After finding out what your temps and humidity settings are, your next big step is to find a misting and drainage solution. There are lots of options for this, ranging from a large plastic container under the cage to fancier ones. Misting needs to be done for at least 10 minutes at a time 2 to 3 times a day. Longer is better, especially for the breed of chameleon you have. You may also need to look into getting a cool mist humidifier. Here is an article that will help with misting and drainage:


I will take a better picture tommorow, its night time here so I dont really want to wake him up. I have this plastic covering that connects to the bottom of the cage, it catches all of the water from misting and anything that drops down. I am going to try and find one of those humidifiers tommorow.

Thanks again.
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