Husbandry Check

Shartnado

New Member
Hello there all,
This is my first post about my first chameleon. I've just recently acquired an ambilobe panther baby and been working hard to get everything right for him. I wanted to come here and double check everything, so I would be greatly appreciative of your assistance!
Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Amilobe Panther, male, very young maybe a week or two old. I've had him for 3 days

Handling - Not handling yet, letting him get comfortable in the enclosure first

Feeding - I'm using vials of fruit flies until I can order micro crickets, which its too cold this week. I'm feeding him 5-6 flies twice a day, once he grows a bit more and can eat larger feeders, I plan on varying his diet more off of crickets and flies. I also have some bee pollen to feed the crickets.

Supplements - I'm dusting all my feeders with zoo med repti calcium without d3, and I have a bottle of zoo med repetitive, what's a good schedule for the vitamin?

Watering - I mist with a spray bottle for 30 secs 2-3 times a day. I also have a dripper system and a room humidifier going.

Fecal Description - Haven't scoured the cage for feces yet, didn't want to stress him out too bad. Where should I be looking? I made a lot of places for him to hide so its going to be difficult

History - Nothing significant in the last 3 days, he used to climb on the cage but I think that was stress related, he doesn't do it much, if at all, anymore

Cage Info:

Cage Type - I have a zoo med reptibreeze (16x16x30) fully mesh.

Lighting - I'm using a 75 watt zoo med basking bulb for heat, and a zoo med reptisun 18" 15 watt T8 for uvb. These stay on from 8:30 am to pm

Temperature - I keep his basking spot at around 81-84, and the lower cage temp is 68-70. I have a digital temperature probe for the basking spot and an IR heat gun for taking temps around the enclosure, plus an analog thermometer/hygrometer combo near the top.

Humidity - this usually keeps the humidity in the cage at around 50-60. Recently its been cold, so with the heater running and the mass condensation on my window, I moved the humidifier closer to the enclosure which seems to have helped. I measure with hygrometer near the top.

Plants - I have a petra croton, I have seen that this can be poisonous to chameleons but I read that the plant has been okayed for chameleon use. https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/

Placement - My cage is located in my room in my apartment, no air directly blowing on the cage and not a very high traffic area. The cage is about three feet off the ground.

Location - Located in south "south" Louisiana, US

please do not hesitate to leave any questions or comments
Thanks!
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome! Could you post a pic (or more) of your cham please? Age changes some husbandry areas. I really hope he/she is older, as panthers should be a minimum or 3 months or older when sold. Where did you purchase him/her from? I’ll also go through your full form and post helpful links and images, too!
 

Shartnado

New Member
Welcome! Could you post a pic (or more) of your cham please? Age changes some husbandry areas. I really hope he/she is older, as panthers should be a minimum or 3 months or older when sold. Where did you purchase him/her from? I’ll also go through your full form and post helpful links and images, too!
Cameron is anywhere from 1 to 3 months old, I ordered him from CB reptile.com out of New Jersey. I appreciate your assistance
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
My feedback and any questions will be in red. Great job on coming here, this forum is full of wonderful and experienced people who are happy to help! Helpful links and images will be at the end:

Hello there all,
This is my first post about my first chameleon. I've just recently acquired an ambilobe panther baby and been working hard to get everything right for him. I wanted to come here and double check everything, so I would be greatly appreciative of your assistance!
Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon - Amilobe Panther, male, very young maybe a week or two old. I've had him for 3 days Could you post some pics of him please (with something to reference his size from, this will help us age him if he isn’t a week or two old)? Are you sure he is actually a he?

Handling - Not handling yet, letting him get comfortable in the enclosure first

Feeding - I'm using vials of fruit flies until I can order micro crickets, which its too cold this week. I'm feeding him 5-6 flies twice a day, once he grows a bit more and can eat larger feeders, I plan on varying his diet more off of crickets and flies. I also have some bee pollen to feed the crickets. If you are feeding him fruit flies, he is very young and needs to be eating as much as he can multiple times a day! The crickets and any other feeders besides fruit flies, hornworms, silkworms, and/or blue bottle and house flies (horns, silks, and blue bottle and house flies have their own specialized gutloads, these are probably too big for him right now unless you hatch the horns and silks yourself), need to be properly gutloaded 24/7 with a quality and varied gutload or remove all feeders you’re going to be feeding off from their colonies (beside the fruit flies, obviously) either the day before, night before, or a few hours before feeding them off and, feed the separated bugs a quality and varied gutload (still feed the colonies, but you don’t have to use the good gutload). I’ve attached feeder (when he’s bigger) and gutload charts below! Is he big enough for bean beetles, confused rice flower beetles, baby isopods, aphids (probably small enough for him!), or any other type(s) of small alternative feeders? Here is a great link on that:
http://www.chameleonnews.com/14JunCattau.html

Supplements - I'm dusting all my feeders with zoo med repti calcium without d3, and I have a bottle of zoo med repetitive, what's a good schedule for the vitamin? Does the Reptivite have D3 or not? You need to use the calcium without D3 on every bug every feeding right before you feed them off and the Reptivite once every two weeks. You might need another supplement depending on what type of Reptivite you have. This schedule is for a cham older than yours, so the panther breeders on here will have to say if he needs the D3 or anything else or not (I’m thinking he will based on his UVB).

Watering - I mist with a spray bottle for 30 secs 2-3 times a day. I also have a dripper system and a room humidifier going. I have no experiences with a cham that young, and the misting schedule for older chams might drown your baby, so again, a breeder and/or someone who has cared for chams that young will have to help you with this.

Fecal Description - Haven't scoured the cage for feces yet, didn't want to stress him out too bad. Where should I be looking? I made a lot of places for him to hide so its going to be difficult Once you find a fresh one, get it tested for parasites at an experienced chameleon vet’s office! Make sure to drop off at least 2 more fresh fecal samples after that to make sure no parasites were missed.

History - Nothing significant in the last 3 days, he used to climb on the cage but I think that was stress related, he doesn't do it much, if at all, anymore

Cage Info:

Cage Type - I have a zoo med reptibreeze (16x16x30) fully mesh. Once he is older, he’ll need a minimum cage size of 2’ x 2‘ x 4’ tall, but preferably 4’ x 2’ 4’ tall or bigger. Bigger is always better! Your cage does need some work, but I’ll go over that more in the plants section on here. Why is there a giant pot with nothing in it in the middle of his cage?

Lighting - I'm using a 75 watt zoo med basking bulb for heat, and a zoo med reptisun 18" 15 watt T8 for uvb. These stay on from 8:30 am to pm What strength of T8 linear UVB do you have (5.0, 10.0, 6%, 12%, etc)? Is it Arcadia or Zoo Med or another brand? Does the fixture have plastic covering the bulb? How far away is the UVB bulb away from his basking branch? How far away is his heat bulb from where his casque/top of his back is when he’s on his basking branch (which should be the highest up branch in the enclosure)?

Temperature - I keep his basking spot at around 81-84, and the lower cage temp is 68-70. I have a digital temperature probe for the basking spot and an IR heat gun for taking temps around the enclosure, plus an analog thermometer/hygrometer combo near the top. Again, I have no idea for temps for a baby that young, but definitely do not go over 78-80*F max where his casque/top of his back is when he’s on his basking branch! You want the probe on the digital thermometer with a probe placed where his casque/top of his back is when he’s on his basking branch for the most accurate temp readings. Toss the analog thermometer-hygrometer combo and get 3 digital thermometer-hygrometer combos to measure humidity levels and ambient temps. Place one combo near the top of his cage and basking area, one in the middle of his cage, and one at the bottom of his cage. What are his nighttime temps?

Humidity - this usually keeps the humidity in the cage at around 50-60. Recently its been cold, so with the heater running and the mass condensation on my window, I moved the humidifier closer to the enclosure which seems to have helped. I measure with hygrometer near the top. Is the humidifier a cool-mist humidifier? Is it a cage humidifier or a whole room one? If it is a cage one, do not run a cage humidifier during the day, only at night from a few hours after lights off to a few hours before lights on and when the cage is 68*F or lower! High heat and humidity, along with bad airflow, can cause respiratory infections! If it is a whole room humidifier, try wrapping the back and sides of the cage (and possibly the big swinging door-keep the lower service door completely free of any obstructions if you cover the main door for it to have a chimney effect), adding more live plants, and (if safe) longer misting sessions first before using the whole room humidifier! You can use shower curtains, marine vinyl, PVC sheets, window sealing wrap, and more to wrap the cage with! The whole room humidifier should be the last resort to keep humidity levels correct during the day (and NEVER use it during the day if it is a cage one)! How often do it clean it, its tubes (if it has them), and any other accessories used? Definitely move the cage away from the window if the window isn’t energy efficient! The daytime humidity levels are perfect at 50-60%. If you have enough airflow, try to get the humidity to 75-100% at night for natural hydration.

Plants - I have a petra croton, I have seen that this can be poisonous to chameleons but I read that the plant has been okayed for chameleon use. https://chameleonacademy.com/plants/ Have you read through anything else from The Chameleon Academy? It is the best source of and has the most accurate and up-to-date info chameleon info! All live plants need to be properly cleaned before putting them in the enclosure, as well as having rocks too big for him (or an adult panther) to eat covering the soil in all of the pots. The giant pot needs to come out, along with the stick bridge over it. He needs more live plants, vines (preferably real but fake ones that aren’t moss or Exo Terra will work, too), and multiple species and diameters of branches (no soft woods or branches from toxic or sap-producing trees and no dowels covered in moss either; make sure all branches are rough enough for him to grip, so sanding smooth dowels or slick bamboo branches, etc, with course sandpaper until it has a grippable texture will be needed) covering his entire enclosure. There are two great cage set-up links and two great plant charts to start on below!

Placement - My cage is located in my room in my apartment, no air directly blowing on the cage and not a very high traffic area. The cage is about three feet off the ground.

Location - Located in south "south" Louisiana, US

please do not hesitate to leave any questions or comments
Thanks!

Here are the helpful links and care images (make sure to read every module and the panther species profile, as well as listen to as many podcasts as possible, from The Chameleon Academy, as again, they have the most accurate and up-to-date info!)
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/external-resources/
https://chameleonacademy.com/panther-chameleon-care/
https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
https://www.madcham.de/en/
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/
https://chameleonacademy.com/setting-up-a-chameleon-cage/
http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Cameron is anywhere from 1 to 3 months old, I ordered him from CB reptile.com out of New Jersey. I appreciate your assistance
Happy to help (at least as much as I can anyway)! So definitely get his fecals checked for parasites since he’s from CB Reptiles! Sadly, they are a horrible place to buy chams from; they sell them way too young, usually not the correct sex, and the chams are usually unhealthy and sick with parasites and more! I suck at guessing cham ages, so someone else will have to tell you his age, but could you get a pic of him on something we can reference for size, please? Also, if you get a pic of him from the side view with his tail straight out behind him, we can tell you his actual sex! Here is a great link on that, too: http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2013/04/male-or-female-how-to-sex-baby-panther.html
 

Shartnado

New Member
Once again thanks for all the information, I'll be sure to use it.
Now to answer your questions

I've attached pictures of him for aging and sexing.

I use repticalcuim without phosphorus and d3 on every feeder. I will attach photos of both the multivitamin and the calcium.

I didn't have a ruler to make sure, but I used the 8 1/2" side of a piece of paper to make sure none of the plants went higher than that. I also have used a wire coat hanger to suspend the heat lamp an additional two inches or so. I'll attach pictures of the boxes the bulbs came in. His nighttime temps don't get below 67 anywhere in the enclosure.

I actually bought a 2x2x4 mesh enclosure when I bought this one, so I'll probably transfer him in 6-7 months.

I'm using a 10.0 uvb bulb.

For humidity, it's been hard to keep it at a suitable level, it's been a constant 40% for the last day cause of the heater. (there's snow outside rn and I'm less than 50 miles from the gulf of mexico 😑) I keep the room humidifier away from the enclosure, but it is running constantly. I haven't cleaned the humidifier yet but it's been in my apartment for only a week. I do not have a cage humidifier. I caught him pawing up at where the dripper drips from, which it had run out of water right before I woke up this morning. I filled it and sprayed the enclosure.

The pot in the middle of the enclosure is only about an inch bigger in diameter than the pot that the plant is in. I drilled a hole in the bottom to let the plant drain (in a controlled fashion) from my dripper system. Should I still remove it? It takes up not that much more space than the plant pot. Also made sure to clean the plant, pot and change the soil before putting Cameron in the enclosure.
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Once again thanks for all the information, I'll be sure to use it.
Now to answer your questions

I've attached pictures of him for aging and sexing.

I use repticalcuim without phosphorus and d3 on every feeder. I will attach photos of both the multivitamin and the calcium.

I didn't have a ruler to make sure, but I used the 8 1/2" side of a piece of paper to make sure none of the plants went higher than that. I also have used a wire coat hanger to suspend the heat lamp an additional two inches or so. I'll attach pictures of the boxes the bulbs came in. His nighttime temps don't get below 67 anywhere in the enclosure.

I actually bought a 2x2x4 mesh enclosure when I bought this one, so I'll probably transfer him in 6-7 months.

I'm using a 10.0 uvb bulb.

For humidity, it's been hard to keep it at a suitable level, it's been a constant 40% for the last day cause of the heater. (there's snow outside rn and I'm less than 50 miles from the gulf of mexico 😑) I keep the room humidifier away from the enclosure, but it is running constantly. I haven't cleaned the humidifier yet but it's been in my apartment for only a week. I do not have a cage humidifier. I caught him pawing up at where the dripper drips from, which it had run out of water right before I woke up this morning. I filled it and sprayed the enclosure.

The pot in the middle of the enclosure is only about an inch bigger in diameter than the pot that the plant is in. I drilled a hole in the bottom to let the plant drain (in a controlled fashion) from my dripper system. Should I still remove it? It takes up not that much more space than the plant pot. Also made sure to clean the plant, pot and change the soil before putting Cameron in the enclosure.
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I can‘t help with the aging or sexing (I can’t see his tail base clear enough on that pic, but someone else probably can!). So with those supplements, you’ll use the calcium w/out D3 on every feeding and the Reptivite w/D3 once every two weeks. His UVB bulb needs to be 5 inches away from where his casque/top of his back is when he’s on his basking branch. Make sure to replace his T8 10.0 Zoo Med linear UVB bulb every six months (if you don’t have a Solarmeter 6.5). I would definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5 if you can afford it! It’ll give you precise UVI readings (tell you where to actually place his basking branch), let you know if an UVB bulb is defective, and tell you when you actually need to replace the bulb (when the readings are cut in half)! With those overnight temperatures, make sure it doesn’t go above 68*F, and 67*F is on the high end. You can wrap your cage back and sides, along with adding more live plants, to help raise and stabilize humidity levels! Could you get a shorter pot for the plant? He can move into his bigger cage earlier than 6-7 months from now. For his bigger cage, make sure to get a T5 High Output linear light fixture either 24” or 36” long, with either an Arcadia 6% or Zoo Med 5.0 linear UVB to go in it. Here are some great panther breeders who will definitely be more help than me: @Dridrop12 @Randers88 @salty dog
 

Dridrop12

Established Member
Site Sponsor
Lots of good advice above already - looks like a 2-4 week old male to me, but you can stunt them with poor husbandry so it's really impossible to tell.
 
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