New chameleon🦎 owner l👀king for answers

Anach

New Member
Hi everyone! I have recently got a gorgeous panther chameleon. It was love at first sight.

I’m Overloaded with questions though. See below:

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister
  • Plants - plants are fake
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room
  • Location - los angeleS, CA




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights. Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children?
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer?
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ?
  4. Are the real plants better then fake?
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok?
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestions
 

Attachments

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Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi everyone! I have recently got a gorgeous panther chameleon. It was love at first sight.

I’m Overloaded with questions though. See below:

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitaminsYou have a few options for supplement schedules. But using calcium plus at every feeding is too much. Try plain calcium with no d3 at every feeding, and calcium plus twice a month
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. IMiste entire enclosure just before lights on, then just after lights off, then right before you go to bed. Use a fogger at night to maintain humidity near 100%. Daytime humidity can drop significantly.
Hi everyone! I have recently got a gorgeous panther chameleon. It was love at first sight.

I’m Overloaded with questions though. See below:

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36Consider a larger enclosure.
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights I’m guessing g your uvb is the coil type. This is a key aspect of your husbandry. Please plan to upgrade to a linear t5 high output fluorescent bulb and fixture. 5.0 is fine if placed doetextly on the top.
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69 I’m never one to recommend higher temps, but giving him access to low 80’s for his basking area would be better.
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister
  • Plants - plants are fake This is an area you could improve on. There are a multitude of benefits to live plants.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room
  • Location - los angeleS, CA




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, NO LIGHTS WHATSOEVER AT NIGHT. and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights.👍👍👍 Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children? It emits the same uv light that will give you a suntan. But since it points directly dow. Into your cage, and since it’s effective range is less than 2 feet, it is virtually impossible to be a problem that way.
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer? I agree the literature is confusing here. Here’s a nice way to hedge: use a basking bulb to give you ~82 degrees at the basking area from 8-12. That’s four hours of recharge time for your Cham, but he won’t roast.
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ?Amazon, search “cool mist humidifier”. Get one with a hose attachment. Run it all night l.
  4. Are the real plants better then fake?YES
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok?
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestions
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Click to expand, to see my notes. Your cage setup could use some tweaking. Consider a number of horizontal branches throughout the enclosure, starting about 6” from the top and at different heights. Then use live plants to create a dense area of foliage that occupies the middle 20” of the enclosure. Others will post link and pics, I’m sure.
 

Jojo2

Member
New owner here too! With the advice of several people here I changed my enclosure recently. I’ll show the before and after below! I definitely agree real plants and more foliage would boost your enclosure! Good luck.


Before
8B88E3AD-C0D3-40EB-81AB-A0FB324BF4CD.jpeg

After
9141DD23-AB1B-48F4-8B41-35478F1AD210.jpeg
 

DocZ

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello @Anach. Welcome to the Forums
Congratulations on your new chameleon
He’s a good looking guy

There’s several things that you will want to do to keep your new Cham healthy. This is going to seem like a lot, but don’t be discouraged. I’ll try to recommend long term changes you’ll need to make sure this guy is with you for many years and also some things that you can do in the short term to avoid health problems (these are only temporary fixes and long term solutions will be required).

For more in depth info I would recommend going here:
https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/
I would read everything on this site. It is the most up to date and complete resource available

I’ll add my comments and recommendations in bold


Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable This is good give him some time to settle in and only handle him if absolutely required
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount. He’s still growing and can eat as much as he’ll take daily at this point. You’ll want to add more variety of bugs to his diet. Feeder variety and feeder nutrition will form the basis of his nutrition. Attached are recommended feeders as well as foods recommended to feed your feeders before they’re fed to him to ensure they are as nutritious as possible
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins. The recommended supplementation routine is Calcium WITHOUT vitamin D3 every day and a multivitamin with vitamin D3 twice per month. (You’re using a multivitamin with D3 daily right now. There is a risk of D3 toxicity when it’s used every day)
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet. Mist just before lights on and just before lights off. (There’s automatic misters that can help). Fogging at night will help create High humidity and hydration at night
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36. You will want to plan for a larger cage 24x24x48 is a good minimum size for an adult panther
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights. You need to purchase a 24 inch (or larger if your new cage is wider than 24”) linear T5HO 5.0 (reptisun) or 6% (Arcadia) UVB fixture and bulb. This is essential
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69. His basking could be a bit higher, low 80s would be good
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister. Getting a digital hygrometer will help monitor levels to decide what you need to do to keep day/night humidity cycles are sufficient. Goal is 50-60% during the day and 80-100% at night
  • Plants - plants are fake. You’ll want to replace these with live plants. I’ll attach a list of good plants to choose from
    5D65EDBD-9FD8-4A4F-A4A6-D01B1EE086AE.jpeg
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room. Just keep an eye on him. They are sometimes bothered by lots of activity
  • Location - los angeleS, CA. He may be able to enjoy some outdoor caging much of the year in LA. That’s a whole other story, but something to consider in the future




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights. Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children? It won’t be harmful to you the distance the UVB light penetrates will not be a problem. But you need to replace the compact fluorescent with a LINEAR T5HO 5.0 or 6% UVB
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer? I agree this is not very clear. I tend to leave mine all day with a lower basking temp hopefully allowing the chameleon to regulate its temp. But many will recommend a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the afternoon
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ? A cool mist humidifier at night and misting morning and evening as noted make for a good hydration plan (yes, they’re different)
    B76A5337-45FB-4AA2-9329-63B7C880745A.jpeg
  4. Are the real plants better then fake? Definitely
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok? More branches and live plants will be important. Divide you cages into thirds, upper, middle, and lower. Have horizontal branches at each of these areas with branches in between these levels as highways for them to get around. Importantly, with your current UVB bulb you will want to ensure your chameleon can get within about 3 inches of your UVB bulb
    3EC3D46C-A438-4D94-BE96-CCB623064E19.jpeg
    After you replace with the linear UVB, you’ll want more distance from the bulb, about 6 to 8 inches or so
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestions
    762ACEAE-A2B8-4313-BE98-C549B37A6200.jpeg
    9F184AC8-B0CA-41FC-AD49-232EBA3F7497.jpeg
 

Multivitamins

Chameleon Enthusiast
All mentioned above but want to reiterate the following.
When it comes to set ups it's important to remember that what you see at an expo or even in a pet store has a temporary enclosure that is easy to set up clean and rotate new animals and items in and out of they're not forever homes so don't look to duplicate anything that you may have seen at a shop or at the expo it can be a little jarring it certainly a lot of information to take in but the long-term success is worth it when making changes to your existing setup. With that out of the way again welcome to the forums a lot of great information here for you to soak up.

You will need to have a few thermometers to check temps at various areas in the enclosure and hopefully something to monitor humidity an oz of prevention is worth a lb of the cure.
For heat typically you can use a dome fixture with a flood type bulb for wide range heat dispersement. The length of time needed does generally depend on your ambient temps your in l.a. so most the year you'll be just fine I'm in San Diego and run a low wattage bulb to maintain a temp around 80° near the top canopy of the enclosure.. the rest of the cage will be room temp. Misting will raise your humidity but also will lower temp. You may want to keep an eye on this until you find a nice equilibrium.

No lights at night is the way to go. Let them sleep 😴😴😴 if it gets below 65-60 even you can use a ceramic heat emitter to boost temps otherwise I wouldn't worry a night time drop in temp is natural to a certain temp.

For UVB it's fine just a bright light with specific wavelength. Unless your directly next to it (which your chameleon could be so you might want to lift it off the screen) it's nothing stronger than stepping outside. Won't harm you or your children just don't let the kiddos stare at it. The tube style that covers the entire width of the cage is also HIGHLY recommended to provide broad coverage of UVB reducing the risk of mbd.

Real plants are preferred by most for a few reasons but plenty use fake. The hobby has embraced a naturalistic approach. For many the looks and added humidity are a real score. but they can be tricky to keep you will need a lot of light to keep them alive and do your best not to over water root rot sucks.
I would consider adding more branches for the chameleon to climb on leave them options to regulate their temps and move to or away from the heat source aka your lights.

I have a 3 y/o panther male is San Diego I have a customized 2*2*4 with automated mister and lots of live plants. I still hand mist using a garden style pump mister it helps you can adjust the stream and I can create drinking options without misting the entire cage or water my plants as needed. It's nice to have a sturdy plant or small tree (ficus or schefflera most common) to allow you chameleon outside the cage should you need to clean it or if he's comfortable being out getting some real sunshine.

You can find a lot of in depth info in previous posts using the search feature for information on gut loading your feeders supplement schedule and live plants generally you will use a calcium without D3 on daily feeders (variety is good if you can get other items than crickets) the multivitamins and D3 can be used on a basic 1st and 15th schedule and is generally accepted by most keepers as effective. Under and over dose on vitamins will cause health issue and without adequate UVB / D3 supplement you will see metabolic bone disease.

The site has sponsors that can ship you bugs and feeders if you have trouble finding more.

Black soldier fly larvae work well for me personally in addition to silk worms then I add super worms horn worms and when I can store them crickets it's important to feed your chameleons food otherwise it's just getting empty intake.


Best of luck if anything specific comes up @ me and I'll be happy to help if at all possible.
 
Last edited:

MzLaurie11

Established Member
Hi everyone! I have recently got a gorgeous panther chameleon. It was love at first sight.

I’m Overloaded with questions though. See below:

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister
  • Plants - plants are fake
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room
  • Location - los angeleS, CA




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights. Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children?
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer?
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ?
  4. Are the real plants better then fake?
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok?
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestions
Looks like everything has been covered already. But, but…I have to add something! ;)
Great sources to learn so very much more are https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/ and Neptune the chameleon on YouTube. Really explore Chameleon Academy and do check the podcasts…so much incredible info, not just on what to do, but why to do it.

r Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister
  • Plants - plants are fake
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room
  • Location - los angeleS, CA




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights. Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children?
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer?
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ?
  4. Are the real plants better then fake?
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok?
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestions

Hi everyone! I have recently got a gorgeous panther chameleon. It was love at first sight.

I’m Overloaded with questions though. See below:

Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister
  • Plants - plants are fake
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room
  • Location - los angeleS, CA




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights. Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children?
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer?
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ?
  4. Are the real plants better then fake?
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok?
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestions
 

MzLaurie11

Established Member
I see you are in my neck of the woods so i am going to share with you an important contact for a wonderful vet. Dr Jamsine Flanagan of Culver Palms Vet Clinic 1-310-398-7256. Remember chameleons conceal ailments so once you notice something off it is usualy well underway. Go to chameleon academy and start reading. Get source of info. I see everyone here is giving you good advice. Also uvb isnit harmful to humans and gives off little heat. The bulb should be HO (high output) 10.0. HO 5 only goes down 13 inches. no lights at night and dont let temp in room get below 50 at night. If you get a fogger, i use hand mister and fogger, if you leave it on throughout the night make sure its not over a perching branch. Mine sat under one and got a URI upper respitory infection. Good luck with your new addition to the family.
 

Anach

New Member
Click to expand, to see my notes. Your cage setup could use some tweaking. Consider a number of horizontal branches throughout the enclosure, starting about 6” from the top and at different heights. Then use live plants to create a dense area of foliage that occupies the middle 20” of the enclosure. Others will post link and pics, I’m sure.
Where do I get the branches? Special store, nursery, pet shop or backyard?
 

Anach

New Member
Hello @Anach. Welcome to the Forums
Congratulations on your new chameleon
He’s a good looking guy

There’s several things that you will want to do to keep your new Cham healthy. This is going to seem like a lot, but don’t be discouraged. I’ll try to recommend long term changes you’ll need to make sure this guy is with you for many years and also some things that you can do in the short term to avoid health problems (these are only temporary fixes and long term solutions will be required).

For more in depth info I would recommend going here:
https://chameleonacademy.com/chameleon-basics/
I would read everything on this site. It is the most up to date and complete resource available

I’ll add my comments and recommendations in bold


Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - 8 month old panther male, 2 days in my care
  • Handling - I’m still waiting for him to get comfortable This is good give him some time to settle in and only handle him if absolutely required
  • Feeding - crickets 🦗 still figuring out the amount. He’s still growing and can eat as much as he’ll take daily at this point. You’ll want to add more variety of bugs to his diet. Feeder variety and feeder nutrition will form the basis of his nutrition. Attached are recommended feeders as well as foods recommended to feed your feeders before they’re fed to him to ensure they are as nutritious as possible
  • Supplements - repashi superfoods calcium plus vitamins. The recommended supplementation routine is Calcium WITHOUT vitamin D3 every day and a multivitamin with vitamin D3 twice per month. (You’re using a multivitamin with D3 daily right now. There is a risk of D3 toxicity when it’s used every day)
  • Watering - 3 times a day I mist his crate. I add few drops of reptisafe conditioner. I haven’t seen him drink yet. Mist just before lights on and just before lights off. (There’s automatic misters that can help). Fogging at night will help create High humidity and hydration at night
  • Fecal Description - haven’t seen any yet
  • History- I got him at the reptile expo


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - screen cage 18x18x36. You will want to plan for a larger cage 24x24x48 is a good minimum size for an adult panther
  • Lighting - reptisun 5.0 uvb and moonlight reptile bulb 60w, 12h on/12h off both lights. You need to purchase a 24 inch (or larger if your new cage is wider than 24”) linear T5HO 5.0 (reptisun) or 6% (Arcadia) UVB fixture and bulb. This is essential
  • Temperature - the thermometer shows 78 at bask,day temp 72, temp at night- 68-69. His basking could be a bit higher, low 80s would be good
  • Humidity - I only use the manual mister. Getting a digital hygrometer will help monitor levels to decide what you need to do to keep day/night humidity cycles are sufficient. Goal is 50-60% during the day and 80-100% at night
  • Plants - plants are fake. You’ll want to replace these with live plants. I’ll attach a list of good plants to choose fromView attachment 318978
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Cage is on the 20”high stand. It’s in the play room. Just keep an eye on him. They are sometimes bothered by lots of activity
  • Location - los angeleS, CA. He may be able to enjoy some outdoor caging much of the year in LA. That’s a whole other story, but something to consider in the future




I have a couple questions:

1. Lights. Im confused because the guy at pet store convinced I should use 24 h moonlight, and my research shows that ALL lights should be off for the night and there should be no colored lights. Can someone please recommend the exact lights?
  1. The uvb light. Is it harmful for humans, specially little children? It won’t be harmful to you the distance the UVB light penetrates will not be a problem. But you need to replace the compact fluorescent with a LINEAR T5HO 5.0 or 6% UVB
  2. Basking light. Some sources say it should be on 1 h twice a day. Some say all 12hours. What is the answer? I agree this is not very clear. I tend to leave mine all day with a lower basking temp hopefully allowing the chameleon to regulate its temp. But many will recommend a couple of hours in the morning and a couple in the afternoon
  3. What humidifier should I get? Which one is the best one? Is it the same as mister ? A cool mist humidifier at night and misting morning and evening as noted make for a good hydration plan (yes, they’re different)View attachment 318980
  4. Are the real plants better then fake? Definitely
  5. Cage setup. Does it look ok? More branches and live plants will be important. Divide you cages into thirds, upper, middle, and lower. Have horizontal branches at each of these areas with branches in between these levels as highways for them to get around. Importantly, with your current UVB bulb you will want to ensure your chameleon can get within about 3 inches of your UVB bulbView attachment 318983After you replace with the linear UVB, you’ll want more distance from the bulb, about 6 to 8 inches or so
  6. I’ll take Any other suggestionsView attachment 318975View attachment 318976
This is so detailed and helpful, thank you so so much
 
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