First time cham mom and I'm a mess, help please?

Kalistina

New Member
Here's the situation, I am in the process of setting up for a panther cham. I have owned reptiles before but never a chameleon. I have done a ton of research for the past 6 months before even going through the process of picking one out. I am extremely paranoid and worried that I won't make a proper chameleon parent.

My problems:
I cannot for the life of me get the humidity to stay in the enclosure. (ReptiBreeze 16X16X20). Since I am learning, I figured I would go with the smaller and purchase something bigger when he starts getting bigger. (He's a little over 2 months and currently staying with the breeder while I get everything in order.) I do not have a misting system yet, I wanted to be able to get the humidity under control and have a little more research on these items before purchasing. (Using a spray bottle with treated water 3X a day. I know not to spray directly on the chameleon, for now I am just trying to get something to work.)

I'm worried also that he'll burn to a crisp with my heat lamp. (40watt red bulb Zoo Med.) I have seen a bunch of different posts about wattage ranging from 25watts to 100watts. I felt comfortable with this but now I am second guessing myself.

As far as his little UVB lamp I went with a 15watt Reptisun 5.0 which seemed to be close to the most preferred lamp. It varied from post to post, I feel comfortable with this except for the fact that I am concerned he might hide under the plants and not get any sun.

I have looked at everyone's setups and recommendations and have tried to copy some, or at least mimic what they have done so I can have the proper enclosure for the newest addition to my family.

I guess all I am asking for is some advice and direct help that pertains to me so that I feel more comfortable. Any help would be great and much appreciated. As soon as everything is set up the way that I like it I will post pictures. I will also post pictures of my new little guy :)

Thank you in advance for any advice you have for me.
 
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VigilantSpearIII

New Member
Cham should be fine with the UVB you have. Do not worry about the cham hiding under a leaf, that is normal. If it needs more light or heat, it should climb up by itself. The problem with screen enclosure is that they don't retain humidity well. There is really no workaround for this. I would up the misting to 4-5 time a day, depending on how dry it is where you are. Cali is pretty dang hot right now. If you are closer to the coast though, humidity is a little higher. Check the gauges for temp/humidity. Don't over think it or stress too much, just meet the basic requirements and you will be fine. Good luck and happy cham-training.


Click here: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/chameleons/
 

AngieL

Avid Member
Here's the situation, I am in the process of setting up for a panther cham. I have owned reptiles before but never a chameleon. I have done a ton of research for the past 6 months before even going through the process of picking one out. I am extremely paranoid and worried that I won't make a proper chameleon parent.
Well done for doing research first! You have come to the right place for good advice hints and tips!

My problems:
I cannot for the life of me get the humidity to stay in the enclosure. (ReptiBreeze 16X16X20). Since I am learning, I figured I would go with the smaller and purchase something bigger when he starts getting bigger. (He's a little over 2 months and currently staying with the breeder while I get everything in order.) I do not have a misting system yet, I wanted to be able to get the humidity under control and have a little more research on these items before purchasing. (Using a spray bottle with treated water 3X a day. I know not to spray directly on the chameleon, for now I am just trying to get something to work.)
humidity can be tricky in mesh cages and some places in the work where it's really dry all the time are even more difficult! You could try covering two sides with a plastic sheet or shower curtain to keep humidity in but still have optimum ventilation. Panthers live in the rain forest so IMO you would need to must him more like 4-5 long sprays a day. Live plants are awesome for helping keep humidity up. Ideally you want your new arrival to be 3 months or older. Baby chameleons are so very fragile. Small husbandry mistakes can cause the babies major problems so make sure your buddy is old enough, strong and alert before taking him home.

I'm worried also that he'll burn to a crisp with my heat lamp. (40watt red bulb Zoo Med.) I have seen a bunch of different posts about wattage ranging from 25watts to 100watts. I felt comfortable with this but now I am second guessing myself.
Red bulbs are not ideal for chameleons. Most of us here use a normal house bulb, I personally have a 74w spot bulb in a dome fixture. To get to your desired temps you can experiment with different wattage bulbs and try moving the light fixture closer for hotter and farther away for cooler. Some people use a thermostat but I personally didn't find it useful at all!

As far as his little UVB lamp I went with a 15watt Reptisun 5.0 which seemed to be close to the most preferred lamp. It varied from post to post, I feel comfortable with this except for the fact that I am concerned he might hide under the plants and not get any sun.
Thats a good strength of uv and for a baby you will def want cover for him to help protect his little dainty eyes. Is it the linear tube light of the compact? The compacts are not as good as the linear tubes and have caused problems to other members in the past.

I have looked at everyone's setups and recommendations and have tried to copy some, or at least mimic what they have done so I can have the proper enclosure for the newest addition to my family.

I guess all I am asking for is some advice and direct help that pertains to me so that I feel more comfortable. Any help would be great and much appreciated. As soon as everything is set up the way that I like it I will post pictures. I will also post pictures of my new little guy :)

Thank you in advance for any advice you have for me.

Also check out this great blog https://www.chameleonforums.com/blo...-keepers-young-veiled-panther-chameleons.html and of course our forums care resources https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/
 

Raphael1047

Established Member
hey Kalistina glad you decided to become a member, people on this forum are so helpful. With your setup I would only change the red heat bulb to a regular white incandescent bulb, you get more light like that. Looks like you got everything else in order. Also with misting make sure you let the cage dry out between misting sessions.
 

Kalistina

New Member
Thank you both for your advice and links! I'm going to check them out now.

AngieL I would quote and reply but I am not sure exactly how to do it just to your post. (I'm learning how to get around the forum still lol.)

I definitely love the idea of a shower curtain on two sides. That would help with the overspray that I am getting just from trying to keep the inside nice and humid.

I do not plan to bring him home until after the 12th of this month and until I feel comfortable enough to have him here. He will be three months old then. Luckily the breeder I am getting him from is someone who isn't in it for the money. He is very helpful and answers questions I have pretty quickly. I feel bad asking him things constantly so I decided to try here.

I will also go tomorrow to get a different bulb. For some reason I thought it was something special that he needed to have. It makes it easier to have different watts to play around with. I am guessing that is why I saw so many ranges. It would depend on the type of cham and the size of the enclosure. (Makes sense now, I'm a little slow today!!)

I have the linear tube. It is not aesthetically pleasing to my eye, considering the two separate light fixtures I am using makes everything asymmetrical. As long as it does the job that is all that matters to me!! I am glad that I am on the right track. It's a learning process... a very slow and costly one. haha
 

Kalistina

New Member
hey Kalistina glad you decided to become a member, people on this forum are so helpful. With your setup I would only change the red heat bulb to a regular white incandescent bulb, you get more light like that. Looks like you got everything else in order. Also with misting make sure you let the cage dry out between misting sessions.

Thank you Raphael! I am going to work on that light bulb issue tomorrow, I promise!! haha I knew you guys would help :)

I am going to ask a very lame question here though. Why do I want to make sure the cage dries out? Don't I want the humidity to be constant? I am sure it is a very simple important reason but, I don't understand at all.
 

Raphael1047

Established Member
Thank you Raphael! I am going to work on that light bulb issue tomorrow, I promise!! haha I knew you guys would help :)

I am going to ask a very lame question here though. Why do I want to make sure the cage dries out? Don't I want the humidity to be constant? I am sure it is a very simple important reason but, I don't understand at all.

The reason you want it to dry out is so the cage is not always wet (that was not a very good answer) This lowers the chance of respiratory infections and other infections.
 

Kalistina

New Member
The reason you want it to dry out is so the cage is not always wet (that was not a very good answer) This lowers the chance of respiratory infections and other infections.

That's a very good answer and helpful. I learned about the respiratory infections when reading about glass enclosures and how you need to have an enclosure with constant air flow to help reduce these issues.

Your answer makes complete sense. :) Thank you again!
 

AngieL

Avid Member
You are welcome :) We all like to help the little chammies around the world to get the very best of care and quality of life!

Yes it is a good answer from Raphael about letting things dry between each misting and also important to let it dry before lights out. My last mist is about an hour before bed time.

I hear ya on the "not pleasing to the eye" thing! My stuff is stacked on planks on top of the reptibreeze as I like to have it all outside the cage! I prop the dome light up on bits of wood to get it farther or closer to the basking spot but once you get your temps then you won't have to fiddle with it again. You can just make inside the cage extra nice looking and nobody will notice what's on top lol!

PS- it's ok to use glass or wood enclosures but only if you have adequate ventilation. Many members have kept chams in these with no issues. Just an FYI :)
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Honestly, if you have live plants in your cage that will greatly help with maintaining the humidity. Also, do yourself and your hand a favor and invest in a mister of some sort. You can put it on a timer and let it go.

The other members are correct in letting the cage dry out in between mistings, but also make sure it's dry when your little guy goes to sleep. I have my lights (also on a timer) set on a 7-7 schedule, and I vary that slightly during the year. My mister goes off 3 times a day, for 10 minutes each time. I mist at 10AM, 2PM, and 4PM.

You are absolutely doing the right thing by searching on here and asking questions - welcome to the wonderful world of chams, and don't hesitate in asking any questions you may have. :D
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
You've gotten great advice and links, so all I have left to add is just a welcome to the forum!

And we demand photos as soon as you get the little guy, we're photo-loving people.
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
Honestly, if you have live plants in your cage that will greatly help with maintaining the humidity. Also, do yourself and your hand a favor and invest in a mister of some sort. You can put it on a timer and let it go.
:D

Welcome to the forum!

I will second all that AbsolutBill has said.

I have plastic sheeting on the sides of my screen cages.
I cut the plastic a couple of inches short of the bottom just to help ensure good airflow.
An inexpensive hot glue gun is what I attach it with.

There is plenty of reliable info about various aspects of successful chamkeeping here:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/chameleons/

There are some who prefer to use a spray bottle for misting, but especially where A/C or heat are in use, or in generally arid areas, it is often a tremendous labor saver to use an automatic misting system.
Add to this, the fact that you can go away for a day or 2 without worry when you know your cham is going to be misted automatically.

The MistKing and AquaZamp misting systems are both very highly regarded on this and other forums for good reason.
They will cost a few dollars more than the systems found in many stores--but they are very reliable and the Mistking kits even come with a digital timer that can be set to go on and off multiple times per day.
For MistKing
http://lllreptile.com/
http://www.pangeareptile.com/store/
http://www.mistking.com/
For AquaZamp
http://www.tikitikireptiles.com/
http://www.aquazamp.com/store_front/
 

Kalistina

New Member
Best forum on the interwebs

Thank you again everyone for your help!! I have so far corrected a few issues and everything is moving along smoothly.

-- Incandescent blub 40watts with plenty of foliage around for him to choose where he would like most for his heat source.

--Replaced 2 money tree plants with a ficus and pathos (sp?)

--Removed decorative moss from bottom and replaced with repti bed liner. Non toxic and will not break up, leaving no chance for him to get any bits into his mouth as a choking hazard. (This is a purely cosmetic thing for me, also I sure it would be a little softer if heaven forbid he fall.) Easier clean up and covers the white tray bottom.

--Added a rain forest motif plastic cling to two sides of the habitat (the outside parts of course.) Attached with tape for now until I can find a suitable replacement. I read about the hot glue gun but I will need to find a different material before I can attach. I am worried about it melting. It is also placed a little down from the top so that the lamp doesn't melt it either. (This will also be adjusted according to air flow.)

So far since the changes the temperature has stayed around 82 % F and the humidity is fluctuating from 52 - 55% (which is a lot better than the 35-40% it's been steady at.)

I know I have a few more adjustments to make before he tries out his new home but I really wanted to thank everyone for their time and advice. I have a ton of reading to do now :eek: but by the time he's here I am sure he will be HAPPY!! :eek: This is all thanks to all of you!!
 

Lovereps

Avid Member
I know I have a few more adjustments to make before he tries out his new home but I really wanted to thank everyone for their time and advice. I have a ton of reading to do now :eek: but by the time he's here I am sure he will be HAPPY!! :eek: This is all thanks to all of you!!

The fact that you are concerned and wise enough to be asking questions and setting things up in advance, tells me that he will likely do very well in your care.
Keep up the good work! :D
 

Kalistina

New Member
I want to thank everyone again for the help :) I have a few pictures to show everyone.

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This is him sleeping. (I turned the lights on briefly to take a picture.)

IMAG0066_zps734f8171.jpg

One of the many different colorings he has. This one suits his name.

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Drinking water. (Because it's adorable.)

IMAG0104_zps361e6fd7.jpg

Hiding from me. lol
 

Raphael1047

Established Member
I like the photo of Camo drinking. I will miss the little guy, but I am glad he found a great home!
Keep me and the forum updated on Camo's progession :D
 
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