Chameleon staying toward the bottom of the enclosure

Brieb17

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • My Chameleon -Male Ambilobe Panther Chameleon around 4-5 months old I have had him for about 2 months.
  • Handling - Not often I have held him about 5 times total however I did just change him into a bigger enclosure.
  • Feeding - I feed him crickets and hornworms, 10 a day hornworms on occasion. I miss feed him in the morning and I git load them with bee pollen.
  • Supplements - I use repti vita and zoo med I feed the reptivita once a month and the calcium once a week.
  • Watering - I have a hand mister I spray him with warm water AT LEAST 4 times a day I spray until the entire enclosure is soaked. Since I’ve moved him into this new cage with screen I have seen him drink once and only a little amount.
  • Fecal Description - He poops white and occasionally brown although yesterday he had an odd poop I will put a picture at the top. I have not tested my chameleon for parasites.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen cage not sure the size it’s the one from the zoo med chameleon kit
  • Lighting - I have zoo med bulbs one is a long 5w and the other is just a heat lamp (sorry I’m not sure the exact bulbs but the breeder I got him from said that they were correct). The lights are on from 8am-8pm.
  • Temperature - top of the cage is around 90° and bottom is around 70° at night it gets to around 65°. I have 2 zoo med thermometers.
  • Humidity -I am honestly unsure I know I should get a thing to measure but I spray him constantly.
  • Plants - I have fake leaves and a croton plant
  • Placement - my cage is next to a window next to the front door. The top of the cage is about 4 feet off the ground.
  • Location - I am in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Current Problem - My chameleon had been staying toward the bottom of the cage and he had been staying dark instead of his normal bright and colorful self. I know it’s warm enough so it’s not that he's cold. I am unsure what is wrong but he did have an odd poop yesterday after I fed him a horn worm
 

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Brieb17

New Member
Chameleon Info:
  • My Chameleon -Male Ambilobe Panther Chameleon around 4-5 months old I have had him for about 2 months.
  • Handling - Not often I have held him about 5 times total however I did just change him into a bigger enclosure.
  • Feeding - I feed him crickets and hornworms, 10 a day hornworms on occasion. I miss feed him in the morning and I git load them with bee pollen.
  • Supplements - I use repti vita and zoo med I feed the reptivita once a month and the calcium once a week.
  • Watering - I have a hand mister I spray him with warm water AT LEAST 4 times a day I spray until the entire enclosure is soaked. Since I’ve moved him into this new cage with screen I have seen him drink once and only a little amount.
  • Fecal Description - He poops white and occasionally brown although yesterday he had an odd poop I will put a picture at the top. I have not tested my chameleon for parasites.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen cage not sure the size it’s the one from the zoo med chameleon kit
  • Lighting - I have zoo med bulbs one is a long 5w and the other is just a heat lamp (sorry I’m not sure the exact bulbs but the breeder I got him from said that they were correct). The lights are on from 8am-8pm.
  • Temperature - top of the cage is around 90° and bottom is around 70° at night it gets to around 65°. I have 2 zoo med thermometers.
  • Humidity -I am honestly unsure I know I should get a thing to measure but I spray him constantly.
  • Plants - I have fake leaves and a croton plant
  • Placement - my cage is next to a window next to the front door. The top of the cage is about 4 feet off the ground.
  • Location - I am in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Current Problem - My chameleon had been staying toward the bottom of the cage and he had been staying dark instead of his normal bright and colorful self. I know it’s warm enough so it’s not that he's cold. I am unsure what is wrong but he did have an odd poop yesterday after I fed him a horn worm
I know in these pictures he’s not at the bottom but this morning he went to the top to eat a cricket but he normally stays at the bottom and he’s been staying dark
 

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CBee7726

Avid Member
Hi there, welcome to the forum! I've provided a few comments (see bold red below). I'd also recommend reading through this husbandry guide, as well as follow the care sheet for panthers:
https://chameleonacademy.com/
https://chameleonacademy.com/panther-chameleon-care/

  • My Chameleon -Male Ambilobe Panther Chameleon around 4-5 months old I have had him for about 2 months.
  • Handling - Not often I have held him about 5 times total however I did just change him into a bigger enclosure.
  • Feeding - I feed him crickets and hornworms, 10 a day hornworms on occasion. I miss feed him in the morning and I git load them with bee pollen.
  • Supplements - I use repti vita and zoo med I feed the reptivita once a month and the calcium once a week. Does the calcium contain D3? This is important
  • Watering - I have a hand mister I spray him with warm water AT LEAST 4 times a day I spray until the entire enclosure is soaked. Since I’ve moved him into this new cage with screen I have seen him drink once and only a little amount. You should be using room temperature water, not warm water. Water that is warm to us could be scalding hot to a cham. Also, when spraying the cage, be sure not to spray him directly (most chams don't like it). Be sure that each misting session is at least 2+ minutes long, to ensure enough time for him to start drinking.
  • Fecal Description - He poops white and occasionally brown although yesterday he had an odd poop I will put a picture at the top. I have not tested my chameleon for parasites. The white part is called urate. As long as it is mostly white, he is considered well hydrated (a little yellow or orange is ok, but it should still be mostly white). The brown part is his poop. Most people recommend getting a fecal analysis done by a vet to rule out parasites in a new cham.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen cage not sure the size it’s the one from the zoo med chameleon kit Unfortunately this is too small for a panther chameleon, especially as he reaches adulthood. The minimum recommended size is 2x2x4'. Unfortunately, please know that most things sold in the chameleon kit are actually not good for chams, and will need to be replaced.
  • Lighting - I have zoo med bulbs one is a long 5w and the other is just a heat lamp (sorry I’m not sure the exact bulbs but the breeder I got him from said that they were correct). The lights are on from 8am-8pm.xSo this is really important: the UVB light sold in the chameleon kit will not provide enough UVB to your cham, and will eventually lead to MBD if not upgraded. The recommendation is a linear T5HO fixture with either a Reptisun 5.0 or an Arcadia 6% bulb.
  • Temperature - top of the cage is around 90° and bottom is around 70° at night it gets to around 65°. I have 2 zoo med thermometers.'x 90F is too hot, this should be lowered to ~80F. Are the thermometers digital or analog? Digital ones are more accurate. For a basking light, most people use a regular house incandescent bulb, you might have to try a few different wattages to get the desired temps in the basking area (or raise the fixture up a bit). Most people using anything from 40w-75w.
  • Humidity -I am honestly unsure I know I should get a thing to measure but I spray him constantly. A hygrometer is an important thing to have in a cham's enclosure, as proper humidity levels are very important to the cham's health. Again, refer to the panther care sheet on the website above as a guide. You can either buy a digital hygrometer probe made specifically for reptile enclosures, or you could use one from a hardware store (some people on this site might have recommendations for that, I have a zoo med one that I would verify with a weather station probe that I have).
  • Plants - I have fake leaves and a croton plantChams like to have lots of coverage, as this provides pockets of humidity, places to hide, and shady spots in the enclosure. Live plants are also preferred. I'd recommend a pothos to start, since they grow like crazy and are easy to take care of. Chameleon academy goes over live plants and placement as well.
  • Placement - my cage is next to a window next to the front door. The top of the cage is about 4 feet off the ground. Is there a lot of activity around his enclosure? Chams can get stressed if there is too much happening around them. Chameleons also like to be high up and looking down on us- that is where they feel safest. Once he's in a larger cage he'll have the option to go higher up.
  • Location - I am in Myrtle Beach South Carolina

Current Problem - My chameleon had been staying toward the bottom of the cage and he had been staying dark instead of his normal bright and colorful self. I know it’s warm enough so it’s not that he's cold. I am unsure what is wrong but he did have an odd poop yesterday after I fed him a horn worm

So there are a few basic husbandry errors that are very common when people are first starting out that I've noticed and will need to be corrected. However, I think the main reason he's hanging out at the bottom of the cage is because he's probably too hot. A chameleon can be dark in color for a number of reasons: illness, stress, or he feels cold. My best guess is he's stressed.
 

Brieb17

New Member
It does not contain d3
I will switch to room temp water
I am not using the chameleon kit lights I have a T5 bulb and a heat bulb sorry I didn’t know that before I just looked
I will be changing his cage to that my breeder said he need two months in this and then to the big cage
There is also not a lot of foot traffic
And my breeder said 90° was the proper temp and 80° was actually too low but I will lift the light to see if that makes a difference thank you I really appreciate it
 

CBee7726

Avid Member
It does not contain d3
I will switch to room temp water
I am not using the chameleon kit lights I have a T5 bulb and a heat bulb sorry I didn’t know that before I just looked
I will be changing his cage to that my breeder said he need two months in this and then to the big cage
There is also not a lot of foot traffic
And my breeder said 90° was the proper temp and 80° was actually too low but I will lift the light to see if that makes a difference thank you I really appreciate it
@Beman @nightanole would either of you be able to comment on the basking temp? I want to make sure they get the correct info.
 

Bush baby

Avid Member
Just to add, in my experience those smooth type branches can be problematic because they are much harder to grip, and I've noticed when I used such sticks in the past, my Chams would slip, loose their grip, etc. Those large exo terra jungle vines - which are textured - seems to be much better. Just something to think about.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just to add, in my experience those smooth type branches can be problematic because they are much harder to grip, and I've noticed when I used such sticks in the past, my Chams would slip, loose their grip, etc. Those large exo terra jungle vines - which are textured - seems to be much better. Just something to think about.

the Exo Terra jungle vines aren’t recommended. The black stuff flakes off and can be eaten or get in their eyes.
 
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