New Cham and Enclosure Review

BugzNelson

New Member
Howdy!

This is my first post, I'm new to chameleons and will be getting a baby male panther chameleon in a week. I've gotten his enclosure set up and just want to put it out for review--make sure I'm not missing something. General specs about the enclosure are as follows:
General Temp: 72F
Basking Temp: 86F
Day Humidity: 50-60
Lighting: 150W Basking bulb (on dimmer to not overheat), Arcadia T5 6% UVB, full spectrum plan grow lights.
Plants: Coleus x3, Rubber Tree Plant, Begonia x2, Golden Pathos, and a dying Jasmine :( All of the moss is real moss.
Upcoming Improvements: I've purchased a fogger to help get my humidity levels higher at night. I'm also going to add a tray for draining. Lastly, I have a few silk plants that I plan to remove once my living plants grow big enough to give my little guy some cover.
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome! All looks great except for a baby cham, I’d keep basking temp lower…more like 80 until he’s around 3-4 months old. Make sure your lights are even just a few inches above the screen top as babies are like little monkeys and hang from the top at times.
 

Mountain Dragon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Except for everything Miss skittles said it looks good but I would put some rocks on the soil of the plants bigger rocks so they don’t fit in his mouth
 

BugzNelson

New Member
Hi and welcome! All looks great except for a baby cham, I’d keep basking temp lower…more like 80 until he’s around 3-4 months old. Make sure your lights are even just a few inches above the screen top as babies are like little monkeys and hang from the top at times.
Cool tip about the little screen climbers, thank you! I'll be getting the little guy at 3 months so I'll aim to keep it around 80F for ~1 month
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi and welcome what type of dimmer do you have a 150watt seems a bit high imo I would put the lowest wattage of bulb in that achieves your basking temp do if your dimmer fails your little guy doesn't get overheated . How are you measuring your temps and humidity? Also what type of plant light is it ?
 

BugzNelson

New Member
Hi and welcome what type of dimmer do you have a 150watt seems a bit high imo I would put the lowest wattage of bulb in that achieves your basking temp do if your dimmer fails your little guy doesn't get overheated . How are you measuring your temps and humidity? Also what type of plant light is it ?
Well the 150W bulb wasn't my first pick. Initially I went with just a normal 100W house bulb, because I remember someone saying there's no need to purchase a basking bulb specifically. However, I had the normal house bulb on for 2 days and couldn't seem to get the basking temp above the low 70s. So I purchased a 75W basking bulb. That bulb got me to 80F initially, but dropped to 77 and I couldn't get it to increase again for 2 days. Maybe I'm just having bad luck with faulty bulbs, but I got the 150W out of frustration, figuring it would definately get hot enough and the dimmer could be used to regulate.
For general temp and humidity I'm using a Govee digital hydrometer/thermometer. For the basking temp I have an Inkbird thermometer with the temp probe attached to the basking branch.
Here's a link to the plant grow lights I'm using.

I get your point about the dimmer failing and my lil dude overheating. Luckily, today I learned that if the Inkbird thermometer measures 90F or above, it will make an exceptionally obnoxious noise alerting me to the problem. If that happens I'll switch back to the 75W and go from there.
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Everyone has there own opinions but personally I like to use arcadia halogen spots or basking floods Also I prefer to use plant lights made by reptile companies not just lights based on plants just not sure on the purle light Only my opinions
 

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Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
Colored lights can really mess with chameleons so it would be better to have a white light emitting plant light. As for heat lights most of us use 60 watt either incandescent bulbs which you might not be able to get any more or halogen. Don’t get any that say LED because they don’t give off much heat at all. I bet that’s what happened with the 100 watt house bulb you had.
 

BugzNelson

New Member
Colored lights can really mess with chameleons so it would be better to have a white light emitting plant light. As for heat lights most of us use 60 watt either incandescent bulbs which you might not be able to get any more or halogen. Don’t get any that say LED because they don’t give off much heat at all. I bet that’s what happened with the 100 watt house bulb you had.
Oh, didn't know that about the colored grow lights. What is it that the colored lights do that messes with the chameleons?
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Congrats on the upcoming addition to your family!! I’d add more branches to his cage as well, especially little ones so he can comfortably grip them. If you could fill out the entire husbandry form, we can check to make sure that is 100%, too!
 

BugzNelson

New Member
Okie dokes, here's the full husbandry form. Some things are still in progress.
  • Your Chameleon - Male panther chameleon, 3 months old, I'll get him Sept 1st.
  • Handling - Haven't and don't plan to interact with him until 2 weeks after getting him.
  • Feeding - I have superworms and dubia roaches on hand to feed. I plan to gut load them a day before I feed them to him.
  • Supplements - Rep-Cal Calcium (No vit D3), Reptivite (with D3) for once a month vitamins.
  • Watering - I'll have a Mistking setup on an automatic timer, twice a day a for 3 minutes, early morning and late night. However I'm missing 1 bulkhead that won't arrive till this weekend so for the time being I've been using a pressure pump spray bottle to test humidity. Also just got a fogger but I haven't set it up yet. Also dripper on stand-by.
  • Fecal Description - n/a
  • History - I haven't received him yet.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - 2ft x 2ft x 4ft
  • Lighting - Arcadia 6% UVB T5 HO; Zoo Med 75W or 150W basking bulb, both on a dimmer to avoid overheating. (I had trouble with my first 75W bulb not bringing up temp)
  • Temperature
    • Top Day Temp: 80-87F
    • Bottom Day Temp: 68-76F
    • Top Night Temp: 71-73F
    • Bottom Night Temp: 67-75F
    • I read the top temp with an inkbird thermometer and the bottom temp with a Govee Thermometer/hydrometer.
  • Humidity - 50-65 relative humidity during the day. Haven't been able to maintain humidity at night. Will start at 80 but will drop to low 50s by the morning. Hence why I got the fogger.
  • Plants - Coleus x3, Rubber Tree Plant, Begonia x2, Golden Pathos, All of the moss is real moss.
  • Placement - It's a low traffic room without a fan and the vent is closed. Window occasionally open though. The top of the cage stands roughly 6.5ft from the floor (4ft cage+~2.5ft table).
  • Location - Southern California, valley not coastal
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okie dokes, here's the full husbandry form. Some things are still in progress.
  • Your Chameleon - Male panther chameleon, 3 months old, I'll get him Sept 1st.
  • Handling - Haven't and don't plan to interact with him until 2 weeks after getting him. Even after he's adjusted, you want to keep handling to a minimum. For example, only handle him when hand-feeding, taking him to a free-range area, taking him outside, and taking him to the vet/practice getting him out of his cage for when you need to take him to the vet.
  • Feeding - I have superworms and dubia roaches on hand to feed. I plan to gut load them a day before I feed them to him. Superworms should only be used as treats, as they aren't the healthiest. While dubias are great, variety is best, so I'd pick at least 2-3 more healthy staples from the chart below to rotate through, as well! If you want to use even more feeders than that, go for it! All feeders need to be fed so they stay alive for when they get picked out to gutload. What are you going to use to gutload?
  • Supplements - Rep-Cal Calcium (No vit D3), Reptivite (with D3) for once a month vitamins. The calcium without D3 will need to be used at every feeding, except for once every two weeks, when you'll use the Reptivite With D3 (so 2x a month, not 1x).
  • Watering - I'll have a Mistking setup on an automatic timer, twice a day a for 3 minutes, early morning and late night. However I'm missing 1 bulkhead that won't arrive till this weekend so for the time being I've been using a pressure pump spray bottle to test humidity. Also just got a fogger but I haven't set it up yet. Also dripper on stand-by.
  • Fecal Description - n/a
  • History - I haven't received him yet.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - 2ft x 2ft x 4ft More, and smaller, branches will help him be able to comfortably grip branches and provide more pathways and area to chill and climb!
  • Lighting - Arcadia 6% UVB T5 HO; Zoo Med 75W or 150W basking bulb, both on a dimmer to avoid overheating. (I had trouble with my first 75W bulb not bringing up temp) What is the distance from UVB bulb to basking branch? If you can afford it, buy a Solarmeter 6.5 to more accurately measure UVI levels to check distances, bulbs, etc. It's literally a life saver! Make sure the 150 watt is raised far enough away so that if the dimmer brakes, it only raises the temps a couple of degrees instead of baking your cham. What type of plant light do you have?
  • Temperature
    • Top Day Temp: 80-87F
    • Bottom Day Temp: 68-76F
    • Top Night Temp: 71-73F
    • Bottom Night Temp: 67-75F
    • I read the top temp with an inkbird thermometer and the bottom temp with a Govee Thermometer/hydrometer. The highest temp, his basking temp, should be at 80*F right now. You'll need to get a digital thermometer with a probe (unless the Inkbird you have has a probe), with the probe placed where the back of your chameleon's back will be when he's on his basking branch, to accurately measure basking temps. If you could keep your nighttime temps at 67*F or lower (preferably 65*F or lower), it'd be amazing!
  • Humidity - 50-65 relative humidity during the day. Haven't been able to maintain humidity at night. Will start at 80 but will drop to low 50s by the morning. Hence why I got the fogger. Is the fogger cool-mist, and when will you be using it? Make sure to replace the crinkly tubes (if it comes with them) with either PVC pipe or vinyl tubing. Also make sure to properly clean it at least once a week. The output should be at the top of the cage so the fog rolls down.
  • Plants - Coleus x3, Rubber Tree Plant, Begonia x2, Golden Pathos, All of the moss is real moss.
  • Placement - It's a low traffic room without a fan and the vent is closed. Window occasionally open though. The top of the cage stands roughly 6.5ft from the floor (4ft cage+~2.5ft table).
  • Location - Southern California, valley not coastal
Here's some helpful links and images to have on hand!
 

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