My Panther Chams

bhollowell

Member
Hi!
So I just started using this site very recently. I went through my current husbandry and using the advice given to me I am making some changes to my chameleon set-ups!
I am really excited to see these enclosures once I finish them and I'm hoping my chams will like them too haha.
This is intended as a sort of blog- I can't seem to make one IN the blog sections- so I plan on updating it every so often.

Right now I have a female, 4 month old Ambilobe. She is quite spicy and as of now still hasn't taken any food from my hand. I purchased her at discount from Roberson Reptiles. She was a discount baby because she slipped out of one of the enclosures and her lineage is unknown! I'm quite excited to see what morphs she has in her genes since I plan on breeding her when she's over a year old.
I am in the process of getting a male, 3 month old Ambilobe from a member of this site. He is the grandbaby of Bolt the chameleon. His setup is being custom made by a local wood-worker in my town so I am very excited about his eventual set-up.

As of now my female is going to be moved to her permanent home- a 2x2x4 Reptibreeze. I am setting it up with a Schefflera in the center and some Pothos hanging from the side. I will be adding more plants to increase the foliage cover so she can hide to her heart's content. I got some branches from the trees in my backyard and cleaned those a few days ago. They'll be perfect for the setup once I install the dragon strand ledges I have.

I plan on adding the male into the female's old 16x16x30 Reptibreeze until his 2x2x4 custom home is finished. I'm still working on how to disinfect it properly before I add him into it- Any suggestions are very welcome.
The lighting I plan on using are 14" T5ho fixtures- I may need to invest in bigger ones for the 2x2s. I've got two deep-dome basking lights+ 75watt bulbs for the heat aspect.

Thanks!!- Also if I'm doing things incorrectly PLEASE let me know!! I want to make sure their homes are made correctly for them.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum... Read through this husbandry program. It will walk you through every single step https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

You really need the proper UVB lighting on them ASAP. Compact bulbs are dangerous as they lead to MBD. You want a T5HO that runs the width of the cage so you might as well buy 24 inch fixtures with the 22 inch bulb. You want to get a 5.0 or 6% arcadia bulb for the fixture. Then basking would be about 9 inches below the fixture to get the correct UVB level and exposure.
Your temps at basking should be no hotter then 78-80 for them.


Wash the cage down really well. You can use dawn soap and hot water for the initial cleaning then rinse and then soak in a bleach solution if you have a concern about parasite contamination from one to the other. Rinse really well and let it dry out in the sun.
 

bhollowell

Member
Thanks Beman, I believe you assisted me in this thread https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/suggestions-on-husbandry-and-breeding.178864/
It was helpful and I ordered T5HOs for the cages. They were a double pack 14" which I was planning to use for the 2x2 and 16x16. I will probably invest in the 24 inch ones when the custom enclosure gets here so that both cages have the correct size lighting. The bulbs are 5% in the T5ho's.

For the basking placement- how do you determine 9inches below the lamp? My girl is normally 4 inches away from the top and acts as if she wants to be even closer. She also has a habit of hanging from the top of the cage and circling- is that due to the lighting not being fixed yet? The basking bulb I'm using is 75wt Zoo Med Basking Bulb. The max temp I've read at basking is 80 degrees.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks Beman, I believe you assisted me in this thread https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/suggestions-on-husbandry-and-breeding.178864/
It was helpful and I ordered T5HOs for the cages. They were a double pack 14" which I was planning to use for the 2x2 and 16x16. I will probably invest in the 24 inch ones when the custom enclosure gets here so that both cages have the correct size lighting. The bulbs are 5% in the T5ho's.

For the basking placement- how do you determine 9inches below the lamp? My girl is normally 4 inches away from the top and acts as if she wants to be even closer. She also has a habit of hanging from the top of the cage and circling- is that due to the lighting not being fixed yet? The basking bulb I'm using is 75wt Zoo Med Basking Bulb. The max temp I've read at basking is 80 degrees.
Sorry I don't always remember everyone I help since I am active in quite a few threads at once.

So I would suggest you get the 24 inch fixtures. Reason being a 14 inch fixture only has a 12 inch bulb. So you have just reduced their basking area for uvb to one place and then digging further into this the bulb at the last inch of the sides does not produce the same UVI level. So you actually now have maybe 9 inches of bulb that is producing the correct UVB.

If the babies are screen climbing. Then you would want to have the T5 raised up 4 inches off the top of the enclosure and then the basking branch would be 5 inches below the screen top. This gives you a total distance of 9 inches but if she is on the screen top she still is within limits for safe UVB exposure. Then in turn your raising the basking fixture and dropping back bulb wattage to ensure that the screen is not hot. I would not use a basking bulb. These provide focused heat and can be more intense. I would use a regular household incandescent 60 watt bulb. Honestly 80 would be the very max for an adult female. But at her age 75-78 is perfectly fine for babies. In fact when they are younger you do not want intense heat.

They will screen climb naturally when younger. But the issue is she is not getting the right UVB levels. She may be getting closer to get to them. But with a compact bulb if she is right on the screen she will actually be over exposed to uvb. Then 4 inches away and she is getting virtually nothing depending on the compact being used.

Read through this husbandry program.. Specifically on cage set up. It will show you how to do it with a rack system https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/
 

bhollowell

Member
Sorry I don't always remember everyone I help since I am active in quite a few threads at once.

So I would suggest you get the 24 inch fixtures. Reason being a 14 inch fixture only has a 12 inch bulb. So you have just reduced their basking area for uvb to one place and then digging further into this the bulb at the last inch of the sides does not produce the same UVI level. So you actually now have maybe 9 inches of bulb that is producing the correct UVB.

If the babies are screen climbing. Then you would want to have the T5 raised up 4 inches off the top of the enclosure and then the basking branch would be 5 inches below the screen top. This gives you a total distance of 9 inches but if she is on the screen top she still is within limits for safe UVB exposure. Then in turn your raising the basking fixture and dropping back bulb wattage to ensure that the screen is not hot. I would not use a basking bulb. These provide focused heat and can be more intense. I would use a regular household incandescent 60 watt bulb. Honestly 80 would be the very max for an adult female. But at her age 75-78 is perfectly fine for babies. In fact when they are younger you do not want intense heat.

They will screen climb naturally when younger. But the issue is she is not getting the right UVB levels. She may be getting closer to get to them. But with a compact bulb if she is right on the screen she will actually be over exposed to uvb. Then 4 inches away and she is getting virtually nothing depending on the compact being used.

Read through this husbandry program.. Specifically on cage set up. It will show you how to do it with a rack system https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-husbandry-program-getting-started-with-chameleons/

I see now what you mean with the 9 inches. I cannot mount anything from my sealing though... Do you know of any table or off-the cage mounts that would work with 24 inch fixtures? Switching to household incandescent bulbs will be no problem.
Also, should I be concerned if my cham is rubbing her eyes about once a day on branches? Is this normal?

Thanks
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I see now what you mean with the 9 inches. I cannot mount anything from my sealing though... Do you know of any table or off-the cage mounts that would work with 24 inch fixtures? Switching to household incandescent bulbs will be no problem.
Also, should I be concerned if my cham is rubbing her eyes about once a day on branches? Is this normal?

Thanks
So you know the shelving systems that have the wall mounts and then you hook in the brackets? Those sometimes you can find with the shelf being a wire shelf kind of like the rack system. This would allow you to easily set the fixtures on top of the shelf and then you just mount it to the wall.

Rubbing eyes can be from the lack of proper uvb. Can be from a shed coming on. If supplements are off this could contribute. ummmm and if your using bad fake vines like the exo terra jungle vines these have pieces that come off and can get in the eyes. can also be that the humidity is not right or misting sessions are not long enough allowing for her to clean her eyes.
 

bhollowell

Member
Just got my male panther, Glacier, today! His temporary spot is a reptile tank that is turned on its side to be vertical, some disinfected branches and a Parlor Palm that I plan on putting in one of my enclosures. I'll be finishing his home tonight so he won't be in this for long. I'm so excited to see his colors already coming out! He is a male, Nosy Faly from @CNorton.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just got my male panther, Glacier, today! His temporary spot is a reptile tank that is turned on its side to be vertical, some disinfected branches and a Parlor Palm that I plan on putting in one of my enclosures. I'll be finishing his home tonight so he won't be in this for long. I'm so excited to see his colors already coming out! He is a male, Nosy Faly from @CNorton.
You really need to get him out of this asap.. UVB does not go through glass and it will turn into a hot box due to really poor air circulation. Really watch your temps at basking...
 

bhollowell

Member
You really need to get him out of this asap.. UVB does not go through glass and it will turn into a hot box due to really poor air circulation. Really watch your temps at basking...
Thanks for the concern but he's only going to be in there for 5 hours max. The temps are still around 78 and there is a screen side. I needed somewhere better than a cup to keep him in until his enclosure is done.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the concern but he's only going to be in there for 5 hours max. The temps are still around 78 and there is a screen side. I needed somewhere better than a cup to keep him in until his enclosure is done.
Just watch your temps while he is in there. Yes the side is screen... But this will not allow for real air flow because the top is solid. It does not create a chimney effect pulling the air in and out.
 

bhollowell

Member
Mr. Glacier is in his little setup (16x16x30) now until his permanent enclosure is finished later this month. He and my Sally are eating very well as I switched to my small town bait shop for crickets. The crickets that my Petsmart sold never lived very long and were quite sluggish so I decided to give these a try. The bait shop grows the crickets themselves and feeds them veggies like potatoes and carrots. It seems to be working because these crickets are hearty little guys- and large. Sally's new enclosure is not quite done- she needs some more foliage to hide behind, I will probably get to that this weekend.
However, since moving her to her new enclosure she has been much friendlier and even let me handle her a few times! She also ate out of my hands, so I'm loving this new side of her.
Her lighting is a t5ho 14" that I will be replacing with a 24" soon. She has two small incandescent bulbs- one on each side so that she has a general flat amount of heat at the top. My thermometers haven't detected past 75 degrees yet so I may need to switch bulbs.
Any suggestions on other plants to add? Are there any easy to find ones that are vines to drape around?
I've attached pictures of Sally's setup- her sleeping and little Glacier basking himself.
 

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bhollowell

Member
Quick update- my chameleons are showing to be much happier and brighter with the new t5ho's installed. They've also calmed down from screen climbing and I only catch them on their branches now. Little miss is about to shed and Mr. Grumps is becoming much friendlier to me. I am loving this new side of them as they finally seem to be settling in and enjoying their space. I will be adding more plants to my female's enclosure this weekend to fill it out better. Also I find myself with too many extra large hornworms. Any suggestions on how to grow them into moths to feed my guys? Or will the moths be too large as well ? ?
 

bhollowell

Member
Pardon the risque photo- I seemed to have caught my girl in a bit of a compromising position... ?

She did eventually figure her way out of this situation.
 

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bhollowell

Member
Welp- looks likes my girly might be gravid. I've got two potted plants so she has soil to dig in. I have a mix of normal soil and sand in the pots that can hold a tunnel/hole. Normally she is left alone all night in her own room and I feed her at 6am. She's then left alone until 5pm. How long/ how many days should I wait until I should be worried? She is quite plump right now. But I don’t know what else to look for.
 
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