Keeping live plants in the enclosure

ChamLover04

Member
Hi, I’m getting a chameleon today and bought these plants. I was told that they are Schefflera arboricola which should be safe for a panther chameleon, but I if anyone could confirm they are indeed Schefflera arboricola that’d be great, because people weren’t really knowledgeable where I bought them. I just know that they are pesticide free which is a big positive.
 

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Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey! Maybe since you are getting your chameleon today (or have already) we could go over your setup to make sure you are going to get off to a good start? It already sounds like you are on the right track, with live plants and all. Im assuming this is your first chameleon?
 

Viralvegan

Member
I would recommend giving it a good wash with soapy water before putting it in the enclosure. I have one of those and have had issues with scale insect infestations. I can't speak to how this would effect your chameleon, but it will cause your plant to drop its leaves and it will spread fast! Wiping it down (leaves and all) with soapy water has worked well for me :)
 

ChamLover04

Member
Hey! Maybe since you are getting your chameleon today (or have already) we could go over your setup to make sure you are going to get off to a good start? It already sounds like you are on the right track, with live plants and all. Im assuming this is your first chameleon?
Hi, sorry for the slow response and yes it is my first chameleon. I got the reptibreeze XL screen cage set up with arcadia ProT5 14% UVB and arcadia 50W solar basking spotlight e27. Got the schefflera as the main plant along with some fake leaves and a fake branch leading up to the basking spot. Also plan to get some more things to male the cage fuller. The chameleon hasn’t eaten much (5 dubia roaches) and I got him yesterday so I’m guessing it’s stress due to moving (he is drinking water pretty well though), but now he has been standing still and became very dark (pictures 2 and 3) as opposed to his normal color (pictures 1 and 4). He is only moving his eyes and I’m starting to get pretty worried. He usually hangs around right under the UVB light and I haven’t really seen him under the basking light. The temperature is 24.5-25.5°C (enclosure) and about 27.5°C (basking spot) during the day and drops to about 22°C during the night. Also I mist 3-4 times and the humidity range goes from 45% to 55% throughout the day. I would appreciate any help.
 

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Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey! Thanks for your reply. Maybe up your basking temps until they are 27.5-28c. If you are talking ambient, thats fine (maybe a tad lower would be fine, too). The fact he ate is good, my boy didn't eat for the first 4 days. If he starts getting really lethargic, not drinking, and loses his interest in food, then worry. It's a new place, it's scary for him. Avoid handling him and leave him be.

You can get some cheap plants at Home Depot. Doesn't matter if they are organic, just wash off the leaves well and then repot with topsoil, and put some 1-2inch rocks over the soil so they don't eat it.

Try and make a schedule for misting. Mist for at least 2-3 minutes at a time. A automatic misting system isn't absolutely needed, but would be best. Some chameleons don't like washing their eyes and drinking in front of their owners.

And if you could fill out the form itself that would be helpful, its hard to put things together when the info is jumbled up lol.
 

ChamLover04

Member
  • Your Chameleon - Panther chameleon, male
  • Handling - Avoiding it atm because he is probably pretty stressed from moving
  • Feeding - Dubia roaches, I also have crickets, but they are pretty big and I’m not sure about giving them my cham yet
  • Supplements - JBL TerraVit
  • Watering - Misting manually 3-4 times a day and he drank water regularly up until now
  • Fecal Description - He pooped in the enclosure where I got him and it seemed normal
  • History - He was doing fine, being active all the time, drinking water and being under the light, but he isn’t eating much and now he has been in place for about an hour and didn’t even move when I misted and he also has a bowl with crickets right under him, but he isn’t interested in anything and that’s really worrying me. Should I just leave him alone for some time?
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - screen, 24”x24”x48”
  • Lighting - Arcadia ProT5 14% UVB, Arcadia 50W solar basking spotlight E27
  • Temperature - Day - cage temp is 24.5-25.5°C and basking temp is around 27.5°, night - around 22.5°C. Measuring it with TerraControl Solar
    Humidity - 45-55%, regularly misting. Measuring it with TerraControl Solar
  • Plants - Schefflera arboricola
  • Location - Croatia (northern part), Europe
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
The main thing that is jumping out at me is your vitamin supplementation. While not familiar with what you are using, it appears to be a multivitamin. There are some supplements that can be used by themselves daily, but I’ve no idea is that qualifies as one. The best regimen is to use phosphorus free calcium at all feedings. One feeding every other week you would use Calcium with D3 and one feeding every other week with a multivitamin. I know @kinyonga can better advise you.
 

ChamLover04

Member
The main thing that is jumping out at me is your vitamin supplementation. While not familiar with what you are using, it appears to be a multivitamin. There are some supplements that can be used by themselves daily, but I’ve no idea is that qualifies as one. The best regimen is to use phosphorus free calcium at all feedings. One feeding every other week you would use Calcium with D3 and one feeding every other week with a multivitamin. I know @kinyonga can better advise you.
The JBL TerraVit is the only supplement he consumed since he ate only once and I dusted the roaches with this supplement, but I also have JBL MicroCalcium and Nekton MSA 40g supplement.
 
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ChamLover04

Member
@Ares05 I’ve read a lot of posts that the dark color indicates that he might be cold ,but that doesn’t make sense because he wouldn’t be standing still in the lower part of the screen cage, but he would go up instead as he did most of the time. So should I maybe leave the lamps on this night just in case he is cold (which I doubt honestly, it’s stable 25.5°C cage temp and 27.5°C basking temp now). If he’s not cold the only thing left is stress which isn’t ideal of course, but I’m really hoping it’s just stress and adapting to a new surrounding.
 

ChamLover04

Member
Update: I turned all the lights of and his color went back to normal and he’a moving now, probably finding a good place to sleep. So not sure what was the cause of going dark and not moving at all, but I’m glade he’s back to normal now. Also I have 1 more question. I’m unfortunately unable to feed him in the morning as school starts at 7:30 and I’m not functioning properly then and before that time (and I’m taking care of a veiled cham atm also) so the optimal time of feeding isn’t possible unfortunately. The timer now for lights is 7 am to 7 pm, but the earliest I can feed them is 3 pm when I come back from school. I would appreciate it if you could tell me the optimal light timer considering the 3 pm feeding time.
 

ChamLover04

Member
Honestly, if having the rest of their day under light and heat helps them digest a lot better and is of great importance I will wake up earlier than I usually do. I just need your opinion on it.
 
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