|A male nosy be panther chamelon|
An Average Day For My Chameleons And Me
This is an example of what I do and how much time I might spend on my chameleons on a fairly average day*, to provide new keepers with a very general idea of what their days could look like as chameleon owners. Most of my set-up is automatic. I will also include some of my personal preferences and opinions on why I do what I do.
*Keep in mind, I am a college student with frequent daily breaks. A working person’s schedule may vary considerably. Also, I live in Florida; Things like misting times/frequencies will depend on your individual hydration and humidity needs.
7:00 AM - We all wake up. I get up for classes and my light timers turn on. I turn my timers on according to when the sun rises, so they don’t turn on while it’s still dark outside. As the days get shorter, my chameleons’ light cycles will also get shorter to match.
- If I did not do so last night, I will add another bucket (2.5 gal) or two into the Mistking reservoir (my automatic misting system) just so there is enough water in it for the day.
- I take this time to check that all the bulbs are still on and working correctly and check the readings on the temp/humidity gauge.
(Time taken: ~5 minutes)
7:30 AM - The Mistking goes off for 15 minutes. I believe that misting sessions should be showers, not just quick sprits. Mine will often sit under the water the entire time it is going off, either drinking, washing out their eyes, or just enjoying the mist with their eyes closed.
1:00 PM - The Mistking goes off again for 5 minutes.
- I am back from classes now, so I may feed everyone. Mine are adults and may not get fed every day, but I usually give them at least one-two insects a day. I hand feed as well, so I will supplement them and hold the insects for everyone to shoot at.
(Time taken: ~5 minutes)
- I check on the insect bins. I have:
1. Roach bin with 3 species (P. Nivea, B. Discoids, and B. Lateralis)- I may also have hornworm cups and containers of butter worms to check on as well. The butter worms don’t require any care, I just remove any dead ones, and empty the poop from the hornworm cups. The chores I do with my insect bins usually consist of removing old wet food (fruits, veggies, or pre-made commercial food like Rapashy’s Bug Burger), adding a handful of my own home-made dry gut load, Bug Burger, and/or fruits and veggies, and picking out at least some of the dead insects.
2. Cricket bin (with about 300 in it)
3. Superworm bin (with a couple hundred in it)
- I try to keep my bins clean, and this usually consists of removing the dead insects and passing a moist paper towel across as much of the bin as I can, removing as much of the insect poop as is possible. The roaches live in a dirt substrate, so this is harder. But I will change up the substrate every so often.
- I also check the temp/humidity gauges again, since this is the warmest part of the day. I make sure that the room isn't getting too warm and affecting the basking temps, making them way hotter than they should be.
(Time taken: 10-30 minutes)
- If it is a day of the week I do cleaning of the chameleon cages, I will take paper towels and remove all the dry leaves and poop from the cage floors and wipe them down with some pet-safe product or just normal dish soap. I will also empty out the water that drains through the cages from misting, which collects in 5 gal buckets under each cage. I might have to drain these out once a week.
(Time taken: 5-30 minutes)
5:00 PM - The Mistking goes off for 20 minutes.
- In the afternoon I check in on the chameleons again, making sure that they’re all good. I might take out each chameleon for a little while of sunshine now.
(Time taken: 5 minutes - 1 hour)
- I will usually take this time to do any other chores I might have to do before their lights go out. This might be anything like cleaning off my cham “work station” table, with all my supplements, any tongs or tweezers that I used for cleaning up old insect food will be disinfected, and I’ll throw out the trash bin in the cham room that might have dead leaves, insect shipping boxes, and other rubbish in it.
(Time taken: 5-15 minutes)
5:45 PM - Automatic lights turn off. The chameleons settle down for the night while the sun finishes setting and I close their room door for the night. I prefer not to disturb them once their lights go out.
Rough Estimate of How Much Time is Spent on Chameleons and Their Chores: 35 minutes to 1.5 hours +
This figure depends on day and what I have to do. But on an average day I spend less than an hour total time on what I'd call chameleon chores. This does not include the time I might take them out to interact with.