Enclosure, age and crickets questions

Hi everyone,
This is Mengui, I had her for 2 weeks now.
When I bought her at Petco, they couldn’t tell me how old she is, one employee told me 3 months and another about a year (ridiculous, I know). How old do you think she is? She is about 5” long, from head to legs (without the tail). Should I feed her every day or every other day?
Also, that is my setup, I bought a DIY cage 30x30x60, has two pothos plants, a ficus an an hibiscus and a laying bin. I’ll add more rocks to cover the (organic) dirt. It has a dripper (I’ll add another one shortly), a Monsoon misting system, and a reptisun T5 HO 5.0., a normal house 60w incandescent bulb and drainage system at the bottom. I also sticked some ductape on the top on the inside so she can’t climb the screen cage and get upside down, because she once climbed near the light and fell (just one feet, to the plant in the corner) Comments-suggestions?
When I bought her I bought a chameleon kit cage that I used until I had this one finished, and on the smaller enclosure I’d leave 7-9 crickets in the morning and in the afternoon they’d be all gone (eaten), now the problem is that the enclosure seems to be too big and some crickets survive a whole day hiding, and others even escape through the cracks of the plant containers, through the draining holes and then fall into the water and die drowned. I found a tall cup ( see picture ) where crickets can’t jump off, but I did like the idea of excitement for her to hunt her pray every day, should I seal the cracks somehow and leave the crickets free? Or use the cup?
Thank you for reading!
 

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Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cup feeding will allow you to monitor her food intake better. I prefer to cup feed crickets because they love to jump to the bottom of the enclosure and just hide in/under the plant. Free ranging insects makes for great exercise and enrichment, though, so whatI would suggest is to cup feed crickets and then offer other types of feeders freerange. Hornworms, silkworms, superworms, and black soldier flies all make for great hunting.

The biggest problem I see with your setup is just that you're not using top 1/4 of the cage at all. Which is the most important part, and which should have several different branches/vines/walkways of your preference in that area. Chams are arboreal and want to be as high up as possible, so if you're going to leave space unused, then it should not be that top part. Specifically, that one little piece of driftwood she has is not nearly close enough to the basking light or UVB for her to really benefit from the heat and UV. Your top priority should be to either shift everything you have up or add a bunch more horizontal perches in the top part of the enclosure. She doesn't have very many options for lateral movement besides the vine, which is not enough.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi everyone,
This is Mengui, I had her for 2 weeks now.
When I bought her at Petco, they couldn’t tell me how old she is, one employee told me 3 months and another about a year (ridiculous, I know). How old do you think she is? She is about 5” long, from head to legs (without the tail). Should I feed her every day or every other day?
Also, that is my setup, I bought a DIY cage 30x30x60, has two pothos plants, a ficus an an hibiscus and a laying bin. I’ll add more rocks to cover the (organic) dirt. It has a dripper (I’ll add another one shortly), a Monsoon misting system, and a reptisun T5 HO 5.0., a normal house 60w incandescent bulb and drainage system at the bottom. I also sticked some ductape on the top on the inside so she can’t climb the screen cage and get upside down, because she once climbed near the light and fell (just one feet, to the plant in the corner) Comments-suggestions?
When I bought her I bought a chameleon kit cage that I used until I had this one finished, and on the smaller enclosure I’d leave 7-9 crickets in the morning and in the afternoon they’d be all gone (eaten), now the problem is that the enclosure seems to be too big and some crickets survive a whole day hiding, and others even escape through the cracks of the plant containers, through the draining holes and then fall into the water and die drowned. I found a tall cup ( see picture ) where crickets can’t jump off, but I did like the idea of excitement for her to hunt her pray every day, should I seal the cracks somehow and leave the crickets free? Or use the cup?
Thank you for reading!
Add more vines and branches, mostly horizontal, everywhere. Don’t forget to measure the basking temps in the new spot so she doesn’t get burned. Could you fill out this form, please?
https://www.chameleonforums.com/how-ask-help-66/
It’ll organize your info better
 
Cup feeding will allow you to monitor her food intake better. I prefer to cup feed crickets because they love to jump to the bottom of the enclosure and just hide in/under the plant. Free ranging insects makes for great exercise and enrichment, though, so whatI would suggest is to cup feed crickets and then offer other types of feeders freerange. Hornworms, silkworms, superworms, and black soldier flies all make for great hunting.

The biggest problem I see with your setup is just that you're not using top 1/4 of the cage at all. Which is the most important part, and which should have several different branches/vines/walkways of your preference in that area. Chams are arboreal and want to be as high up as possible, so if you're going to leave space unused, then it should not be that top part. Specifically, that one little piece of driftwood she has is not nearly close enough to the basking light or UVB for her to really benefit from the heat and UV. Your top priority should be to either shift everything you have up or add a bunch more horizontal perches in the top part of the enclosure. She doesn't have very many options for lateral movement besides the vine, which is not enough.
Wonderful, thank you. How many inches do you think I should leave empty at the top? I guess I'd just move the plants up, add more vines and maybe add another pothos at the bottom.
Do worms stay at the bottom or climb up to the leafs? I feed her superworms in a cup also, all with calcium/no D3
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wonderful, thank you. How many inches do you think I should leave empty at the top? I guess I'd just move the plants up, add more vines and maybe add another pothos at the bottom.
Do worms stay at the bottom or climb up to the leafs? I feed her superworms in a cup also, all with calcium/no D3
~8, it depends on the height of your cham and the basking temp
 
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Female Panther. Age unknown (thanks Petco) Had her for two weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Twice a week when I take her to a plant outside on the weekends
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? So far, 7-8 crickets a day and 4-5 superworms every couple of days. I give the crickets some fruit and vegetables and water.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Repticalcium-no D3 every day, with D3 every two weeks
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Monsoon misting system, every hour for two minutes (I live in Anaheim CA so its very dry weather in here). One dripper, another one to be added this weekend. Yes, she licks the wet leafs
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? No parasites test yet (as soon as I recover from spending all this much on the enclosure!). Her poop looks normal (based on "Poop 101 forum"), she pooped 3 times since I got her two weeks ago.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She was in a very shitty and small glass terrarium at Petco, apparently for several months. They fed her crickets and superworms, her humidity and temperature seemed fine but she had nowhere to climb on. I hate Petco, we bought her because of the terrible conditions she was on, I know it will be replaced with another poor chameleon but at least I know I'll give this one a good life

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? All screen 30" x 30" x "60
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Reptisun 5.0 T5 HO 22" linear tube, 60 watts incandescent bulb, lights on at 7 am and lights off at 8 pm
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ambient 75, basking 85, lowest overnight 60. Digital dual zoo med hygrometer
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity around 60%, by misting every hour for two minutes, a dripper and 4 live plants
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? 2 Pothos, 1 Hibiscus and 1 Ficus
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? Next to a glass door that is always closed, some traffic, no fans and 5 feet tall.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Anaheim CA
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care? Female Panther. Age unknown (thanks Petco) Had her for two weeks
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon? Twice a week when I take her to a plant outside on the weekends
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders? So far, 7-8 crickets a day and 4-5 superworms every couple of days. I give the crickets some fruit and vegetables and water.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule? Repticalcium-no D3 every day, with D3 every two weeks
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking? Monsoon misting system, every hour for two minutes (I live in Anaheim CA so its very dry weather in here). One dripper, another one to be added this weekend. Yes, she licks the wet leafs
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites? No parasites test yet (as soon as I recover from spending all this much on the enclosure!). Her poop looks normal (based on "Poop 101 forum"), she pooped 3 times since I got her two weeks ago.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you. She was in a very shitty and small glass terrarium at Petco, apparently for several months. They fed her crickets and superworms, her humidity and temperature seemed fine but she had nowhere to climb on. I hate Petco, we bought her because of the terrible conditions she was on, I know it will be replaced with another poor chameleon but at least I know I'll give this one a good life

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions? All screen 30" x 30" x "60
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule? Reptisun 5.0 T5 HO 22" linear tube, 60 watts incandescent bulb, lights on at 7 am and lights off at 8 pm
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps? Ambient 75, basking 85, lowest overnight 60. Digital dual zoo med hygrometer
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity? Humidity around 60%, by misting every hour for two minutes, a dripper and 4 live plants
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind? 2 Pothos, 1 Hibiscus and 1 Ficus
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor? Next to a glass door that is always closed, some traffic, no fans and 5 feet tall.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located? Anaheim CA
All feeders should be gutloaded! You could take her to the vet to get an age approximation. The panther care sheet here has appropriate amounts of food per age, along with temps per age, too. Superworms should be given as occasional variety or as a treat. Silkworms, roaches, bsfl, and snails are super healthy! Butterworms, hornworms, blue bottle flies and spikes, pupated bsfl, stick insects, mantids, painted ladies, etc are all great feeders, the more variety the better! Supplements should be phosphorous free calcium without D3 at every feeding, phosphorous free calcium with D3 twice monthly, and a multivitamin twice monthly. Set the lights for 12 hrs of basking and uvb and 12 hrs of complete darkness.
 
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