New Cham Keeper

LVanek

New Member
So let me start this with i am sure someone is going to bash me or i am sure somewhere i got some bad advice from the herp shop. But since i am new to Cham's (not new to reptiles though) i thought i would make a post and see what experience pros have to comment and say.

We have 2 Chams we got in last 2 months. Both Males
1 - 6mo Jackson
1 - 8mo Ambolie Panther

My GF used to have Chams, and wanted me to add some to the collection so we went to our local herp shop and got all we needed or so we thought we needed and set it all up. However her ex used to take care of those. Now i do have several snakes (including Green Tree Python) bearded's, iguana, and Frill Lizard. But i am completely new to Chams.

Jackson Setup
ZooMed Repti Breeze Medium
Lots of climbing room, all artificial plants right now
Basking/UVA Bulb
Reptisun 5.0
Little Dripper that runs all day

Panther Setup
ZooMed Repti Breeze Large
Lots of climbing room, all artificial plants right now
Basking/UVA Bulb
Reptisun 5.0
Little Dripper that runs all day


The hand misting got old real fast, so yesterday my Mist King Ultimate came in and we got it installed last night (one mister per enclosure)
Right now the schedule i have it on is this
Lights On 9:00AM
9:30am - 2min
11:30am - 1min
1:30pm - 30 seconds
3:30pm - 1min
5:30pm - 2min
7:30pm - 3min
Lights Out 9PM

I plan on monitoring this over the next few days to see how humidity holds.

We live in Tampa FL, so our house is consistent 77* and 50% base humidity.


I have been keeping a variaty of insects on hand and gut load them:
Small and Large Crickets
Discoid Roaches
Superworks
Hornworms
Mealworms

For gut loading:
The crickets have been getting Flukes Orange Feed (sure not the best) and the yellow stuff for water
Also toss in some carrots, orange peels, other various greens. We get a co-op so would like to start using more of own gut load

Superworms - carrots, potatoes, oatmeal
Discoid Roaches - carrots, potatoes, oatmeal
Mealworms - carrots then fridge



The Panther seems fine and normal.
He eats anything no problem. probably 8-10 crickets a day, and mixed up with Horn and Super worms.

The Jackson is not doing so hot (had him at the vet last week).
He never was all over crickets like the Panther, he would eat meal worms, but that was about it. Several weeks ago he stopped eating, and one eye went shut. I suspected the eye was from the misting/humidity not being spot on and is what led me to purchase this mist king.
The vet has him on a omnivore powder diet we mix up and hand feed with syringe, also hand administer a bone supplement.


Feeding schedule: (We just started this after some further research)
Monday - 5-7 crickets no dusting
Tuesday - 5 roaches, 3 worms - dust with Calcium Only
Wednesday - 5-7 crickets no dusting
Thursday - 5 roaches, 3 worms, no dusting
Friday - 5-7 crickets w/D3
Saturday - 5 roaches, 3 worms
Sunday - 5-7 crickets - Dust with Multivitamin



Thanks in advance guys! I have been reading posts on this forum for a month now, and this is my first post so thought i would say hiiiiii
 

LVanek

New Member
Wait Herp Hobby Shop? They helped me a bunch so did this site and tons of research :D
Yup! In Oldsmar, the Jackson came from there. The Panther - Manatee Suncoast.

The Jackson was in a cage with another one with his eye closed the day we got him, he was more active when we got him home, but NOTHING like this Panther who is active, hungry, etc.
 

King4Zerg

Member
These are signs of a healthy cham "
  • A healthy chameleon should be active in its environment and be standing up rather than laying on its perch.
  • The chameleon should be able to move about the cage with good balance without falling or stumbling.
  • The eyes should be fully open at all times and actively looking around to monitor its surroundings.
  • The arm and leg bones should all be straight, toes should all be intact and the chameleon should have a strong grip.
  • Skin should have nice vibrant coloration all over the body and all the spines on the back should be present.
  • Patches of shedding skin are normal if present. The skin is shed periodically depending on age and growth rate.
  • The tail should be able to grasp branches and curl up smoothly." You might want to ask the health clinic for the panther poor guy. There are some experienced chameleon helpers there Hope he gets better
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Definitely good advice to stop using mealworms! In addition to being nutritionally useless, they are difficult to digest and can lead to impaction (and sometimes death).

One of the most important parts of chameleon husbandry is how the enclosures are set up, so please post some pictures of their homes when you get a chance!

Are you keeping them in the same room? Jacksons and panthers come from extremely different environments and have significantly different heat/humidity/hydration needs than each other. I would not recommend keeping them the same way, as they will not both likely thrive in the same conditions.

Also, please stop using the Fluker's orange cubes for your chameleons. Their recipe is absolutely full of ingredients which are not at all good for chameleons. Nutrition by way of gutload is much more important for chameleons than many other reptiles like beardies. If you want a pre-made gutload, switch to Cricket Crack - it's fantastic. Flukers cubes do little more than keep your crickets alive. They are not nutritional enough for chameleons. Bear in mind that nothing is better than fresh produce, but not all produce is created equal. Focus on leafy greens like collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, and then consider other options like sweet potato, papaya, escarole, etc. In the "resources" section of the forum, you will find a list of what ingredients are good to use and which to avoid (orange peels, for example, are not a good choice).

Lastly, I want to say that you cannot treat these two species the same in terms of supplementation/feeding! That is a recipe for absolute disaster. Right now, your supplementation schedule is not acceptable for either of your chameleons. Here is what you should be doing instead:

For the panther:
Calcium without D3: every feeding. You should never not dust your feeders with something.
Calcium with D3: once every other week
Multivitamin: once every other week. You are currently using twice as much of both the multivitamin and the D3 as is recommended. Oversupplementation can cause irreversible health problems

Also, for the panther, your cage for him is significantly too small. You need a 24x24x48" screen cage minimum

For the jackson's:
Calcium without D3: twice a week
Calcium with D3: once a month
Multivitamin: once a month. Your are currently at risk of vitamin toxicity for the Jackson's, so make sure to incorporate these changes. They will help you a lot in the future.

The cage is too small for this one, too. Needs to be at minimum 18x18x36
 

LVanek

New Member
We went with the cages, accessories and such that was recommended from the breeders we purchased them from.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
We went with the cages, accessories and such that was recommended from the breeders we purchased them from.
They told you the wrong information. This is not up for debate. It is up to you to decide if you value your animals enough to treat them properly, but these are facts. Do with them what you will. Maybe consider reading the caresheets for them here, too.
 

LVanek

New Member
They told you the wrong information. This is not up for debate. It is up to you to decide if you value your animals enough to treat them properly, but these are facts. Do with them what you will. Maybe consider reading the caresheets for them here, too.
Oh I’m not debating with you, I trust and value the opinion of successful keepers, which is my reasoning for joining the forum and the post. Already ordered larger cages.
 
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