Help With New Jackson's Chameleon


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2 years
Hey everyone! It's been so long since I've been on the forum and I'm happy to be here

My boyfriend and I just got a Jackson's Chameleon yesterday, and while we did our research beforehand and truly felt we were prepared, we are very nervous pet parents and apparently missed some of the basics! So, we are hoping to get some feedback from the veterans!

The idea behind the post is that we want to understand our chameleon's coloring and behavior in order to know if we're doing something a bit wrong (a.k.a. to know if he's okay). We read that green means he's happy and brown means he's either cold or stressed, but he's not either of those colors entirely - he's a lovely vibrant green on his head, but his body is alternating between (1) green tummy and brown back, and (2) splotches of brown and green together, all over. Does this mean he's a little stressed? He's in a new environment so I would be, too!

We have given him 5 crickets (dusted with calcium) since picking him up yesterday afternoon, and there's only 1 left. So he's eating, which is obviously a great sign. That said, we haven't at all been able to find the right kinds of plants (been to 6 stores and still can't find a real or fake ficus - gonna order one) so I think maybe he feels a little exposed. He has hiding spots as we do have some fake vines, but I think they may not be enough. I also am concerned he feels he can't get up to the basking area. I thought he was feeling too hot, but now I'm wondering if it's just that he doesn't believe in it. There's a vine leading up there but maybe it's not the vine for him.

We are currently baking some wood from the yard (30 minutes at 350) to try to fill out the tank more.

He is shedding a bit on his head, if that makes a difference. I'd take a picture of him, but he's asleep!

Tank specs:
36" x 18" x 36" fully screen (should we block some sides to make him feel less exposed?)
Daytime temps between 74 and 76 F
Nighttime temps around 68 F
Humidity is around 50 to 55% on its own - we spray it up to 70/80% multiple times a day (maybe 3 or 4)
Humidity drops to around 40% at night, which I don't think is good - not sure the solution for this yet
1 reptile specific heat lamp - we don't keep it on often because I observed him sitting for a brief period with his mouth open (which I understand to mean he was too hot)
1 T5 HO lamp with 2 6700K bulbs - we are getting UVB specific bulbs tomorrow - I thought I had the correct kind here when we picked him up but I was wrong

We welcome any and all feedback! We plan to ask questions at the pet store tomorrow, too, but I always love your advice. Thanks so much to everyone in advance!
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