Husbandry review, baby panther...please n thank you!

Arpretty

Avid Member
Hey there, anxious baby mama here. Thought it would be a good idea to do a husbandry check for our guy.

Chameleon Info:

Your Chameleon
– Male ambilobe panther chameleon (named Nikko); just turned 3 months. We received him last Wednesday, so basically in our care one week.
  • Handling – Three times. Once when unboxing to put in enclosure, twice to soak cloaca and apply lube last Friday. He did NOT like this at all! Super, super stressful day for him.
  • Feeding – I’ve offered small crickets, dubias, green bottle spikes, bsfl, tons of bean beetles, small superworms, and a couple of wax worms. I feed in the morning and take out what is remaining in the evening. I put a variety of 15+ feeders in at one time. He has a feeder run for crickets and dubias, and a small cup for worms/grubs. Gut loading with Repashy bug burger, watercress, mango, cricket crack, hemp seeds, red bell pepper, butternut squash, etc.
  • *I have a journal to track what he eats. It's varied and some feeders escape the run/cup, so he may hunt more than I know. He's been eating on average 8 feeders per day that I can count, and tends to eat around the later part of the day.
  • Supplements – Repashy supercal NoD 6x per week and Repashy calcium plus LoD 1x per week. Dust with each feeding.
  • Watering – 2.5 minutes right before lights on, 1 minute at 3:45 p.m., 2.5 minutes right before lights out, 1 minute at 1 a.m. as fogger kicks on through 5:30 a.m. I have not seen him drink, but I have also tried to avoid looking at him much. His eyes are very alert and urates are very white.
  • Fecal Description – We’ve had two poops that I know of. Both were semi-moist, on the dryer side though. Urates are very white.
  • History – Other than what’s already been stated, last week his hemipenis was slightly sticking out – which is why the soak/lube took place. 3 minute mist that same day (Friday) produced a large poop.

Cage Info:


  • Cage Type – 24x24x48 hybrid
  • Lighting – UVB: ZooMed Reptisun 5% T5 HO, raised 2” above the top with basking branch on an angle to 7” below. Basking bulb: 100W incandescent in dimming fixture (never on at max strength). Basking fixture is raised about 1” above the top. Basking branch is on a slope, highest point is ~6” from top of cage. Jungle Dawn LED strip for daylight/plants, raised 2” above the top.
  • Temperature – This is driving me crazy. Temperatures here fluctuate SO much. DE is a freakshow with weather. In general, bottom of cage is approximately ~67F, midpoint of cage ~72F, basking max of 84F. I have two temperature gauges in the cage (basking and midpoint) and a temp gun as well. Night time temp is about 65-68F.
  • Humidity – During the day, ~50% - 65%, with a spike around 80% after morning mist. Humidity is achieved through misting schedule and overnight fogging. I have a hygrometer for spot checking and a ZooMed digital combo meter inside the cage. Night time is around 80% after lights out mist, and 65% prior to me going to bed (10 p.m.) but I try to bump it close to 100% overnight with the 1 a.m. mist and fogging.
  • Plants – Yes. 1 Pothos, 1 bromeliad, 2 nerve plants, 1 coffee plant, 1 money tree, 1 polka dot plant, 3 air plants, 1 spider plant/pothos hybrid.
  • Placement – Located in my living room. Not near any fans or vents. The only people here are my boyfriend and myself. I WFH so he sees me more. I have just started to take the curtain off the front of the cage during the day now. Place it back on at night to block light. The stand is 27” high and the top of the cage is 74” from the ground.
  • Location – Delaware
Concern: *Fluctuating temperatures!!!! Am I in the right ballpark?
*Minimal poops and inconsistent eating. I realize it’s only been just about a week, just checking in to see how we are doing. He is very shy. Wondering if placing his green feeding cup higher up would be a good idea?
 

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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
It all looks very good to me. (y)

I don't know that the jungle dawn needs to be raised at all, but it's not a big deal.

Raise one or both of the feeder cups if you want to. I mounted mine close to the height where he hangs out the most; it only took a day or three for him to figure out that's where the FOOD is. Once he's figured that out, you can move the cup just about anywhere. ;)
I feed everything out of the one feeder run cup. If it doesn't climb the fabric, he vultches over the cup and zaps it out of the bottom.

As far as temps, I don't see any problems either. IMO, you're well within the ball park, and kudos on the gradients. They're your back-up/insurance; he'll seek out where he wants to be. To save a little typing...
https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/heating-humidity-juvenile-panther.181903/#post-1656927

Mine was very shy at that age, and still is 3 mo. later. It's going to take a while for him to figure out you're not going to EAT him. Hand feeding something he really likes may help, but there's no rush—he's barely had time to unpack his little chammy bags. :LOL:
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was just thinking about your little boy earlier today and wondering how he’s doing. Any more problems with the hemipenes? All looks good to me except I’m not sure about using the LoD weekly. I may be wrong but I think it’s used every other week.
 

Mendez

Avid Member
Cage looks spectacular! Well done!

I personally don't own a panther, so take this with a grain of salt. But based on my readings here on the forums, a baby/juvenile panther should have a basking temperature of about 80F flat. Of course, if you are struggling with temp fluctuations, that may fluctuate to about 82 degrees, but I wouldn't go any higher than that. Is there any way you can raise the basking bulb up higher or lower the basking branch a little lower? For example, if you have a basking range of about 79-84F (difference=5 degrees), you could raise the bulb or lower the branch, to get a range of about 77-82F (difference=5 degrees).

I also agree with @MissSkittles about the D3.

Feel free to correct me if you think I'm wrong. I'm 100% open to criticism.

To combat temp fluctuations, I use climate control options such as a heater during the winter and an AC unit during the summer. These tools can help stabilize room temperatures. However, in your case, you probably just need to raise your basking bulb up about half an inch.
 

Arpretty

Avid Member
@Klyde O'Scope @Mendez @MissSkittles thank you all so much for your replies!!
We do not have the blessing of a digital thermostat at our current place so setting heat & air has proven to be quite a science lol.
I discovered some hidden poops this evening so it looks like he’s gone more than I thought. I do notice his hemipenis occasionally protruding slightly, but not nearly as prominent as last week and I’ve seen it mostly retracted as well. I can’t shake the feeling that his little digestive system is adjusting and possibly still needs some extra hydration. I increased his misting for tomorrow and ordered some (edit) reptaboost just in case. Misting tomorrow is 3 min at lights on, 1.5 min at 3:00, and 2.5 min at lights off. Please let me know if this sounds nuts!
 
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Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Klyde O'Scope @Mendez @MissSkittles thank you all so much for your replies!!
We do not have the blessing of a digital thermostat at our current place so setting heat & air has proven to be quite a science lol.
Easy enough to remedy; digital thermometers w/probes are cheap. Use them to adjust/tune your thermostat. ;)

Misting tomorrow is 3 min at lights on, 1.5 min at 3:00, and 2.5 min at lights off. Please let me know if this sounds nuts!
Not nuts... just different. I mist at lights on & off too, and once halfway between—at noon.
If your way works, stay with it.
 
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