what does open mouth mean?

Paintedlady

New Member
Hi I'm new to this forum, I'm not sure if this question has been asked already before but I've provided information and pictures of my setup in hopes that someone can tell me what it means when my meller's has his mouth open?

I just happen to walk by my meller's tank last night and noticed she had her mouth open, it didn't last very long but I was just curious what it meant, if anyone knows? It's only happened once since I've had her. Here's a bit of info on her setup etc (if that helps)..
-I've had her for about a week now, the store said she is about 6 months old.

-She is in a large exo terra glass tank with a mesh top

-substrate is a mix of dirt (chemical free) and mulch (safe for herps).

-She has a spot light for basking with uv rays ( I think it was a 75 or 100 watt basking light) that we got at petsmart.

-Overall temp of the tank ranges from 77 to 80.5 .

-Humidity ranges between 70 to 85ish, I spray her in the morning and in the evening and before I go to bed at night.

-She eats about 10 crickets a day and I've introduced meal worms to her yesterday, she ate a few, seemed to really like them.

-She also had a drip system that drips on the leaves and into a smaller dish for collection, she also has a "waterfall" with pump on the floor of the tank for extra humidity.

-At night I turn off the bask light and provide her with a infrared bulb for heat.

-She's in a room that is kept warm and away from other pets and high traffic.

Am I doing anything wrong or forgetting anything? I know they are a hard species to care for, I just want to make sure I'm doing everything she needs. She hasn't been trying to get out or paw at the windows ( which I read is a sign they are not being provided something they need).

I've included some pictures so you can see her setup and such ( I've added more plants on the bottom since this pic was taken).

Thanks!

tank.jpg


This is Maggie :)
mag.jpg
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
. if you are using a 100 watt light, there is no way your temps are staying that low. What are you measuring them with? If your chams mouth is open then there could be a couple of things going on. Number one it is too hot and he/she is trying to thermoregulate or could possible have a respiratory infection and is having trouble breathing. That picture ofyour cham with its eyes closed, was that taken in the day or at night? You do not need a light or heat on in the cage at night. How large is that set up? They get big and they need alot of space. That cage is WAY too small, that is the first thing you have to change. You purchased one of the largest chameleons there is. Do you have two lights then or one? Here is a link for you to check out which should answer all of your questions. You are gonna have to make some changes. http://www.melleridiscovery.com/ Click on the husbandry section and it will tell you what you need to do. Also ditch the waterfall and get rid of the dirt and bark in the bottom. If she eats it, it will lead to problems
 
Last edited:

Paintedlady

New Member
if you are using a 100 watt light, there is no way your temps are staying that low. What are you measuring them with? If your chams mouth is open then there could be a couple of things going on. Number one it is too hot and he/she is trying to thermoregulate or could possible have a respiratory infection and is having trouble breathing. That picture ofyour cham with its eyes closed, was that taken in the day or at night? You do not need a light or heat on in the cage at night. I am not sure on the specifics on humidity or temps but I am sure someone that keeps them on here can let you know. How large is that set up? They get big and they need alot of space. That cage is WAY too small Do you have two lights then or one? Here is a link for you to check out which should answer all of your questions. You are gonna have to make some changes. http://www.melleridiscovery.com/

I think it's a 75 watt light, I'll have to check when I get home and let you know. Her normal temps in the cage are usually around 74.6 to 80. I only saw her do it the one time with her mouth open. Whenever I spray her enclosure she will usually take some water from the spray bottle when I gently spray it near her mouth and she had an ongoing drip system too. The picture of her eyes closed was taken at night time ( with my flash on, that's why it looks bright). The tank looks smaller in the picture than what it actually is but I do have a much bigger one though that I can put her in and I was planning on buying a large mesh style cage for her. I use one of those "needle" style measuring hygrometers, 50 is the lowest it's ever measured for humidity ( usually in the afternoon) when I spray her tank it goes up to about 80, I'm not sure how to get it up any higher though. I spray her tank very thouroughly morning evening and a before I go to bed, leaving only the mid afternoon for the cage to dry down a bit because I read that constant humidity or wetness was not good for their feet and could produce bacteria in the cage? At night she only has an infrared bulb on in the corner but since you say she doesn't need extra heat I will turn it off.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think it's a 75 watt light, I'll have to check when I get home and let you know. Her normal temps in the cage are usually around 74.6 to 80. I only saw her do it the one time with her mouth open. Whenever I spray her enclosure she will usually take some water from the spray bottle when I gently spray it near her mouth and she had an ongoing drip system too. The picture of her eyes closed was taken at night time ( with my flash on, that's why it looks bright). The tank looks smaller in the picture than what it actually is but I do have a much bigger one though that I can put her in and I was planning on buying a large mesh style cage for her. I use one of those "needle" style measuring hygrometers, 50 is the lowest it's ever measured for humidity ( usually in the afternoon) when I spray her tank it goes up to about 80, I'm not sure how to get it up any higher though. I spray her tank very thouroughly morning evening and a before I go to bed, leaving only the mid afternoon for the cage to dry down a bit because I read that constant humidity or wetness was not good for their feet and could produce bacteria in the cage? At night she only has an infrared bulb on in the corner but since you say she doesn't need extra heat I will turn it off.
ok, good to hear you have a larger enclosure for her. As I said, they get BIG! Read that link I gave you and it will tell you everything you need to know about Melleri. Good luck with her, she looks like a beauty! You need a UVB light in there, not just a basking?. the website will tell you exactly what you need to raise a healthy chameleon.
 
Last edited:

Paintedlady

New Member
ok, good to hear you have a larger enclosure for her. As I said, they get BIG! Read that link I gave you and it will tell you everything you need to know about Melleri. Good luck with her, she looks like a beauty!

Thank you so much for your help :) I'm reading up on it right now! I only found out after she was purchased that they are one of the harder species to keep :S But I'm doing my best to make sure she doesn't need for anything! :)
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you so much for your help :) I'm reading up on it right now! I only found out after she was purchased that they are one of the harder species to keep :S But I'm doing my best to make sure she doesn't need for anything! :)

Unfortunately pet shops will tell you and sell you everything that is wrong. We see it on here every single day. It is not your fault. But you came to a great place to get it right! There are Melleri keepers on here that will be able to help you out. They are probably all sleeping right now as I should be!! lol!! Glad to help! That is what we are here for!!
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
Welcome painted lady, nice to have you join us. Carol is correct that meller's get big. As you may have noticed they are also beautiful. I would love a meller's some day.

Most of the people I know who keep mellers either free range them or have them in a modified free range. When your meller's get to full size you will need a cage at least 4" tall and 4" wide. That is why I don't have one. I am not sure what the recommended size cage is, I am just telling you what meller owners have told me. Mellers also need more spraying and drinking water than most chams. A large dripper going into a plant works well. Meller grow fairly slow so you have some time to get everything worked out for her (meller's are not able to be sexed except by surgery). I would get her out of the tank and into a screen cage as soon as you can. A lot of live plants in the cage will greatly help with humidity, a large dripper, as I said before. and misting about as often as you can, 4 to 5 times a day is good, but very few of us can do that. You may find you have to purchase a misting system just for her.

The mouth open does often mean they are overheated. And in a glass enclosure that will be a big issue with the size cham you have chosen.

All I can say is read the melleri discovery link, and if you want to care for her needs, go for it. She will only get better with time, and they seem a very mild mannered cham that is tolerant of we humans. Congratulations.

We are here to help, so ask away.
 

Paintedlady

New Member
Welcome painted lady, nice to have you join us. Carol is correct that meller's get big. As you may have noticed they are also beautiful. I would love a meller's some day.

Most of the people I know who keep mellers either free range them or have them in a modified free range. When your meller's get to full size you will need a cage at least 4" tall and 4" wide. That is why I don't have one. I am not sure what the recommended size cage is, I am just telling you what meller owners have told me. Mellers also need more spraying and drinking water than most chams. A large dripper going into a plant works well. Meller grow fairly slow so you have some time to get everything worked out for her (meller's are not able to be sexed except by surgery). I would get her out of the tank and into a screen cage as soon as you can. A lot of live plants in the cage will greatly help with humidity, a large dripper, as I said before. and misting about as often as you can, 4 to 5 times a day is good, but very few of us can do that. You may find you have to purchase a misting system just for her.

The mouth open does often mean they are overheated. And in a glass enclosure that will be a big issue with the size cham you have chosen.

All I can say is read the melleri discovery link, and if you want to care for her needs, go for it. She will only get better with time, and they seem a very mild mannered cham that is tolerant of we humans. Congratulations.

We are here to help, so ask away.

Thank you :) I feel a bit better knowing I have other people I can talk to about making sure I have everything I need for her. Most pet stores just try to shove off extra products you don't need just to make a sale.

I will go out and buy her a mesh cage this morning and a misting machine, the only one I can see is from petsmart called habba mist? I'll give that a try, I do spray her a lot to make sure she has the humidity. I think I'll remove the dirt as well and just put green carpeting for herps,easier cleanup :D Looks like I have my work cut out for me today lol. My only concern is that she is drinking enough, I noticed a bit of yellowish tinged in her urine ( sorry not sure what the proper term is yet :eek:) but I read that it's a sign of mild dehydration so I will up her drinking from a spray nozzle a bit more to make sure she is getting enough. She does have a healthy appetite though, I have no problems feeding her crickets :)
 

allencg101

Member
Thank you so much for your help :) I'm reading up on it right now! I only found out after she was purchased that they are one of the harder species to keep :S But I'm doing my best to make sure she doesn't need for anything! :)

not to yourself painted in the future don't ever go back to that pet store. try and find a reptile store for future refrences. A good owner that loves his store will go way out of his way to give you all the info that you need on his reptiles. she looks beautiful and yes they get big I got a baby oust and want a mellers bad. buy yeah at night you can turn off the basking lights the big boys can handle if the temp gets down in the 60's but that glass cage gots to gooooooo. welcome to the site. whats your chams name???
 

allencg101

Member
p.s. go to zoobecks.com the got thier 2'*2'*4' zoo med mesh screen cages for only 69.99 you won't find a better deal she can handle that glass enclosure till then. and that cage will do untill you make her a bigger cage
 

Paintedlady

New Member
not to yourself painted in the future don't ever go back to that pet store. try and find a reptile store for future refrences. A good owner that loves his store will go way out of his way to give you all the info that you need on his reptiles. she looks beautiful and yes they get big I got a baby oust and want a mellers bad. buy yeah at night you can turn off the basking lights the big boys can handle if the temp gets down in the 60's but that glass cage gots to gooooooo. welcome to the site. whats your chams name???

Thanks :)
Yeah I should know better, it is where I got my three toed box turtle though and he's thriving :) I had wanted a cham for a while, I'm guilty I admit it was an impulse buy ( but I knew I had all the equipment at home for her) which is the only reason I would ever buy on "impulse" and I have experience with other reptiles as well, just new to chameleons though. I know now that the glass tank has to go so it's going this morning when I get home ( I work overnights, gotta love a job where you can surf the net to your heart's content :D). We named her Maggie, without thinking, has a nice ring to it, Maggie the meller's :)
 

Paintedlady

New Member
p.s. go to zoobecks.com the got thier 2'*2'*4' zoo med mesh screen cages for only 69.99 you won't find a better deal she can handle that glass enclosure till then. and that cage will do untill you make her a bigger cage

I was going to pick up the 24x24x48 this morning, will that do for a while?
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
My personal opinion is don't wast your money on a habba mister, they just don't perform. Start saving money and get a real misting system. Most people here buy the mistking or the aqua zamp. Mist king is in Canada and aqua zamp is in the us.
 

Paintedlady

New Member
My personal opinion is don't wast your money on a habba mister, they just don't perform. Start saving money and get a real misting system. Most people here buy the mistking or the aqua zamp. Mist king is in Canada and aqua zamp is in the us.

Yeah I was reading reviews and saw videos on youtube about both habba mister and mistking and I would much rather order mistking, so I'll be purchasing that in a day or so. I'm just trying to figure out how I'm going to fix it so that the water collects somewhere for easy cleanup and not have water leaking everywhere if I use one of those mesh cages.
 

Paintedlady

New Member
yes it will. how big is your place so we can give you some advice on how big to make the big cage

I have a small room in the house, that's where she is set up in right now, away from high traffic and the other pets. So I can manage to make room for that cage, thanks for the link btw, I managed to order it this morning :) I tried going to the local pet stores and I can't find any anywhere! Now if only I could find a local cricket breeder I'd be in business, it's so expensive over here, they charge me almost 8 dollars for 50 crickets!:eek:
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I have a small room in the house, that's where she is set up in right now, away from high traffic and the other pets. So I can manage to make room for that cage, thanks for the link btw, I managed to order it this morning :) I tried going to the local pet stores and I can't find any anywhere! Now if only I could find a local cricket breeder I'd be in business, it's so expensive over here, they charge me almost 8 dollars for 50 crickets!:eek:

That is awful, even with shipping I don't pay much more that that for 1,000.
 
Top Bottom