First Enclosure Set Up Suggestions Welcomed

Hi guys! I get my first little guy tomorrow and I’m super excited. I’ve been getting ready for a bit and I would like any tips/suggestions for my enclosure.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male Panther Cham about six months old.
  • Handling - N/A but I will not try to handle him at all for the first 1-2 months
  • Feeding - Dubias are on the way, but in the meantime I have BSFL. I am gut loading right now with dandelion greens and papaya. Feed in the morning 30 minutes after lights on via cup feeding in enclosure.
  • Supplements - RepCal Calcium w/o D3 every 6 days, RepCal w/ D3 once every 14 days, reptivitamin once every 14 days. See below photo
  • Watering - MistKing, two times a day for 3 minutes once at 7:35 (35 minutes after lights on) and then 5:30 (1.5 hours before lights out). Dripper
  • Fecal Description - N/A

  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 screen, but 3 sides have a plastic shower curtain to improve humidity/protect my walls
  • Lighting - T5 UVB 5.0 Reptisun 34 inches. Heat light is a 100w ecosmart non LED bulb. Schedule will be from 7-7. Basking spot is 8.5 inches below the light so his back should be about 6 inches away
  • Temperature - The branch reads 82F floor 68F. I set my heat to 67 so it shouldn’t get colder than that at night. Temp gun.
  • Humidity - Pre-misting 55% and after about 70%. I use a non electric pet store thing (I know not great) and I’m ordering an electric one.
  • Plants - pothos, spider, and umbrella tree
  • Placement - Bedroom, so low traffic and the cage sits 36 inches from the floor. Near a vent, but I have it closed
  • Location - Upstate NY
Things I’m super concerned about:
Heat- my biggest fear is to burn him, but I also am worried the spot isn’t warm enough.
Humidity Levels
Plant Coverage
Water treatment- is the reptisafe really safe


Thank you to anyone who gives me suggestions I really want this to be a good and safe home for my little guy. Thank you!
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi guys! I get my first little guy tomorrow and I’m super excited. I’ve been getting ready for a bit and I would like any tips/suggestions for my enclosure.

Chameleon Info:

Thank you to anyone who gives me suggestions I really want this to be a good and safe home for my little guy. Thank you!

Hi there see my feedback in red bold. :) Congrats on your new guy!
  • Your Chameleon - Male Panther Cham about six months old.
  • Handling - N/A but I will not try to handle him at all for the first 1-2 months... Ehhhh. Give him 2 weeks to settle in. THen work on hand feeding then see how he warms up. Let him tell you if he is interested or not. All at his pace. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
  • Feeding - Dubias are on the way, but in the meantime I have BSFL. I am gut loading right now with dandelion greens and papaya. Add more leafy greens Feed in the morning 30 minutes after lights on via cup feeding in enclosure. You need something besides BSFL that can not be the only feeder. Need a variety. see image.
  • Supplements - RepCal Calcium w/o D3 every 6 days, RepCal w/ D3 once every 14 days, reptivitamin once every 14 days. See below photo Which reptivite did you buy? With D3 or without? Your supplementation is off... But I need to know which one you got.
  • Watering - MistKing, two times a day for 3 minutes once at 7:35 (35 minutes after lights on) and then 5:30 (1.5 hours before lights out). Dripper
  • Fecal Description - N/A

  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 screen, but 3 sides have a plastic shower curtain to improve humidity/protect my walls
  • Lighting - T5 UVB 5.0 Reptisun 34 inches. Heat light is a 100w ecosmart non LED bulb. Schedule will be from 7-7. Basking spot is 8.5 inches below the light so his back should be about 6 inches away... I am concerned about the 100 watt being warmer then you think.
  • Temperature - The branch reads 82F floor 68F. I set my heat to 67 so it shouldn’t get colder than that at night. Temp gun. They need a temp drop at night. So 67 is not really cool to them. They can do temp drops down to 50 without issue. I would try to get the temp down to at least 65 at night. You need a temp guage with a wired probe hooked in at basking. A temp gun will only give you a surface temp. Then take that temp and add 2 or 3 degrees because it is warmer where they rise into the heat.
  • Humidity - Pre-misting 55% and after about 70%. I use a non electric pet store thing (I know not great) and I’m ordering an electric one. Daytime humidity should be between 50-60 so that is good.
  • Plants - pothos, spider, and umbrella tree
  • Placement - Bedroom, so low traffic and the cage sits 36 inches from the floor. Near a vent, but I have it closed
  • Location - Upstate NY
Things I’m super concerned about:
Heat- my biggest fear is to burn him, but I also am worried the spot isn’t warm enough. See what I put above. that would be my concern with a 100 watt bulb.
Humidity Levels. they are good.
Plant Coverage it is ok.
Water treatment- is the reptisafe really safe... No need to use this.

Thank you to anyone who gives me suggestions I really want this to be a good and safe home for my little guy. Thank you!

Might consider fixing your ledges... You did not utilize them to their full potential see this link. https://dragonstrand.com/getting-the-most-from-your-dragon-strand-dragon-ledges/

chameleon-food(1).jpg
chameleon-gutload.jpg
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
I don’t handle my panther and he’s very much ok with that, but you may need to at some point. Hand feeding definitely will help build trust

Your plants look good. I would definitely add more branches. Shoot for horizontal areas he can hang out on in the upper area for basking, the middle, and the lower third. Then add branches that he can use to access each level. Also make sure there’s a good spot for him to hang out that he’s not easily visible for his security when he wants it.

feeder variety and gut-loading variety are important for proper nutrition. I like BSFL and my guys get those once every week. You can’t really have too much variety. I’m feeding 10-12 different types of feeders, and my gut loads have 10+ ingredients

Your worry about burns is understandable. I use dimming thermostats on all of my heat sources precisely for this reason. The temp will vary at the basking spot depending on ambient temps, air flow, misting, etc, and the thermostat will adjust with the conditions. Definitely something to consider shopping
 
Hi there see my feedback in red bold. :) Congrats on your new guy!
  • Your Chameleon - Male Panther Cham about six months old.
  • Handling - N/A but I will not try to handle him at all for the first 1-2 months... Ehhhh. Give him 2 weeks to settle in. THen work on hand feeding then see how he warms up. Let him tell you if he is interested or not. All at his pace. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
  • Feeding - Dubias are on the way, but in the meantime I have BSFL. I am gut loading right now with dandelion greens and papaya. Add more leafy greens Feed in the morning 30 minutes after lights on via cup feeding in enclosure. You need something besides BSFL that can not be the only feeder. Need a variety. see image.
  • Supplements - RepCal Calcium w/o D3 every 6 days, RepCal w/ D3 once every 14 days, reptivitamin once every 14 days. See below photo Which reptivite did you buy? With D3 or without? Your supplementation is off... But I need to know which one you got.
  • Watering - MistKing, two times a day for 3 minutes once at 7:35 (35 minutes after lights on) and then 5:30 (1.5 hours before lights out). Dripper
  • Fecal Description - N/A

  • Cage Type - 2x2x4 screen, but 3 sides have a plastic shower curtain to improve humidity/protect my walls
  • Lighting - T5 UVB 5.0 Reptisun 34 inches. Heat light is a 100w ecosmart non LED bulb. Schedule will be from 7-7. Basking spot is 8.5 inches below the light so his back should be about 6 inches away... I am concerned about the 100 watt being warmer then you think.
  • Temperature - The branch reads 82F floor 68F. I set my heat to 67 so it shouldn’t get colder than that at night. Temp gun. They need a temp drop at night. So 67 is not really cool to them. They can do temp drops down to 50 without issue. I would try to get the temp down to at least 65 at night. You need a temp guage with a wired probe hooked in at basking. A temp gun will only give you a surface temp. Then take that temp and add 2 or 3 degrees because it is warmer where they rise into the heat.
  • Humidity - Pre-misting 55% and after about 70%. I use a non electric pet store thing (I know not great) and I’m ordering an electric one. Daytime humidity should be between 50-60 so that is good.
  • Plants - pothos, spider, and umbrella tree
  • Placement - Bedroom, so low traffic and the cage sits 36 inches from the floor. Near a vent, but I have it closed
  • Location - Upstate NY
Things I’m super concerned about:
Heat- my biggest fear is to burn him, but I also am worried the spot isn’t warm enough. See what I put above. that would be my concern with a 100 watt bulb.
Humidity Levels. they are good.
Plant Coverage it is ok.
Water treatment- is the reptisafe really safe... No need to use this.

Thank you to anyone who gives me suggestions I really want this to be a good and safe home for my little guy. Thank you!

Might consider fixing your ledges... You did not utilize them to their full potential see this link. https://dragonstrand.com/getting-the-most-from-your-dragon-strand-dragon-ledges/

View attachment 286917View attachment 286918

okay thanks! I can easily change the night temperature to be in a substantial drop like 60 for example.

For the heat light I also have a 60w as well. I can easily pick up more bulbs, for the correct wattage. I saw Neptune the Chameleon’s owner aka Gingero recommend them in her lighting video, but I will switch to the best one.

The repti vitamin does have D3, I may have explained the schedule wrong, but it would be Calcium w/o D3 Sunday-Friday and then every Saturday switch between the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin.
The BSFL are only the main one until a shipment comes in Wednesday morning with Dubias and crickets. What additional feeders do you suggest I add in? For gutload I can grab more leafy greens from the store. I currently do have carrots and spinach so I can throw that in now too.
I’m adding a temperature probe to my list now.
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
okay thanks! I can easily change the night temperature to be in a substantial drop like 60 for example.

For the heat light I also have a 60w as well. I can easily pick up more bulbs, for the correct wattage. I saw Neptune the Chameleon’s owner aka Gingero recommend them in her lighting video, but I will switch to the best one.

The repti vitamin does have D3, I may have explained the schedule wrong, but it would be Calcium w/o D3 Sunday-Friday and then every Saturday switch between the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin.
The BSFL are only the main one until a shipment comes in Wednesday morning with Dubias and crickets. What additional feeders do you suggest I add in? For gutload I can grab more leafy greens from the store. I currently do have carrots and spinach so I can throw that in now too.
I’m adding a temperature probe to my list now.
For feeder variety, I use Dubia, discoid, and red runner roaches (there’s lots of roaches out there), brown and banded crickets, BSFL, and silkworms (these are my personal favorite and the Chams love them too). Also occasional superworms, waxworms, and yes I use mealworms every couple of weeks (not recommended by many, I’m a rule breaker, but I would definitely not give them regularly). BSFL can be allowed to pupate into flies in the enclosure as well and your Cham will love chasing them down. I’m using green bottle flies this way as well

There’s many options. My goal is the greatest variety I can manage
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
okay thanks! I can easily change the night temperature to be in a substantial drop like 60 for example.

For the heat light I also have a 60w as well. I can easily pick up more bulbs, for the correct wattage. I saw Neptune the Chameleon’s owner aka Gingero recommend them in her lighting video, but I will switch to the best one.

The repti vitamin does have D3, I may have explained the schedule wrong, but it would be Calcium w/o D3 Sunday-Friday and then every Saturday switch between the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin.
The BSFL are only the main one until a shipment comes in Wednesday morning with Dubias and crickets. What additional feeders do you suggest I add in? For gutload I can grab more leafy greens from the store. I currently do have carrots and spinach so I can throw that in now too.
I’m adding a temperature probe to my list now.
I think the important thing to remember when you are watching videos or even taking advice is that it is not a one size fits all approach with certain things like wattage strength. It is all about your house and your environment that things like bulb wattage, fogging, misting, and even temps and humidity levels all combine. These things have to be based on the individuals set up rather then what someone else may say because it works for them. Personally I have seen a lot of thermal burns here. I do not believe that a 100 watt is necessary to get the 80-82 basking temp. Also temp guns only give you the surface temp. I do not like them for testing basking temps and have found them to be very inaccurate.

So with your supplements because the reptivite has D3 you want to use this one 2 times a month say on the 1st and the 15th. Then all other feedings would be the calcium without D3. You will not use the calcium with D3 at all because it is in the Reptivite already.

Oh you should be fine if you have dubia and crickets coming in. Once he settles into the enclosure and you can tell how responsive he is to hand feeding you can add in hornworms.

No spinach for gutloading. It is actually calcium binding. So remove that if you have added it. Use veg from this list. You want heavy on the veg variety.



chameleon-gutload.jpg
 
I know a kitchen probe isn’t the best for temp, (I have another one coming in tomorrow), but this was the basking spot after about 15 minutes this am. I can change out the bulb for a 60w to be safer.

For diet, I talked to the breeder and he was eating 2-4 super worms as treats a week so I’ll grab a few of those. I reached out to a couple sponsors to inquire more on silkworms, but I really would like them with my next order too.

I am going to improve my dragon ledges like the website showed. I have to find more sticks, sanitize them, and get more zip ties. I’ll probably wait 2 weeks before doing this after the Cham, Yoshi, gets settled in.

Yoshi arrived safe today and has been seen drinking and eating this morning too. Thank you for all the help improving his home
B1907A3F-FD11-4D6E-A6AE-A6CEBF7B1BC1.jpeg
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know a kitchen probe isn’t the best for temp, (I have another one coming in tomorrow), but this was the basking spot after about 15 minutes this am. I can change out the bulb for a 60w to be safer.

For diet, I talked to the breeder and he was eating 2-4 super worms as treats a week so I’ll grab a few of those. I reached out to a couple sponsors to inquire more on silkworms, but I really would like them with my next order too.

I am going to improve my dragon ledges like the website showed. I have to find more sticks, sanitize them, and get more zip ties. I’ll probably wait 2 weeks before doing this after the Cham, Yoshi, gets settled in.

Yoshi arrived safe today and has been seen drinking and eating this morning too. Thank you for all the help improving his homeView attachment 286974
He is beautiful. Where did you get him from?

Get a temp gauge with a probe tie it in at the basking branch sitting on top of it. This will give you a more accurate temp.
 
Strohl’s Herptiles aka Acham here. I read posts saying other got from him with good reviews and I saw he recently posted that he had two male ambilobe left so I reached out to him. He’s also been super helpful with everything.
I have an exotic vet in the area so I’m still going to set up a check up just to be responsible though.
 
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