New keeper!

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello all,

I am new to the forums and wanted to thank everyone in advance for their help. I've been reading through the forums for awhile as I prepare myself for owning a chameleon, but now as the time grows near that I will actually be getting one I thought I should seek out any advice you may be able to provide me.
I've been gathering supplies for my enclosure for close to a year now, so I dont have a picture of the full set up just yet as it is still in pieces, but I will be sure to add some pictures as soon as I have everything up and running!
The cham: I will be getting an abibole panther male, roughly 3-4 months old.
The enclosure: I have an 18x18x36 screen enclosure. Because I am in Colorado I know I have the humidity issue to fight against, because of this I did get plexiglas sheets fitted for the enclosure which I have attached with velcro, so on particularly warm and more humid days I can remove them to get some good air flow in the enclosure. I also have a mist king automated mister which I will set up to mist twice a day with additional manual misting as needed. I have a small pothos plant which I have been growing to hang in the enclosure to provide humidity and a hiding space, and i plan to also get a tall schefflera plant as well. I have several perches and branches to place across the enclosure to provide several different levels of basking spots and will also have some artificial plants in there to provide plenty of hiding places.
The lighting: this is the one thing I have not purchased yet as I know it is the most important and I want to do it right! I have read around that a linear bulb is the best way to go, and I was wondering what everyone's preferences are? Will the zoomed lights and hoods be sufficient for now until I upgrade to a larger enclosure when he gets a bit bigger? And what sizes should I get for my size enclosure? And for a heat bulb, what type of bulb should I get?
The feeding: I've read that at his age they will be eating anywhere from 10-15 1/4' crickets per day, but to pretty much let them eat as much as they want as they are growing fast. I was planning on cup feeding for now until he is big enough to be able to wander the entire enclosure efficiently enough to hunt. Of course I will be sure to gut load my feeders a variety of foods before feeding as well!

I think I have covered most everything. I will be sure to attach a picture of my enclosure fully built soon! Please if anyone has anything to add that I should be doing that I missed I would love some feedback. I want to make sure I am completely educated and ready for my new baby before he gets here!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome, sounds like you're off to a good start.

So the basking bulb depends, most people use a regular 60ish watt incandescent. For a young panther I would measure the basking spot around 80-82. Be careful that there is no areas where he can get burnt, young chams will often climb the screen and hang underneath the bulbs. Having a lot of vines and branches helps cut down on this.

For the uvb, a lot of us use Arcadia t5ho, but there are several options. The main thing you'll want to pay attention is either a 6% or 5.0 (t5/t8) bulb. Long enough to cover the top of the enclosure.

I know you have the enclosure already, but I would have just started off in the permanent home. That way you could easily use the same lights without upgrading. It's a myth talked about often that a small chameleon should have a smaller cage. Of course it doesn't hurt, and can be useful for you to keep an eye on him, but it's not necessary for the chameleon's sake. Even a small cham will have no problem seeing feeders running all over the place. Their eye sight is amazing.
 

alphakenc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also some natual sun rays...it will always beat the indoor lighting..1 hours unfilter sun bask in the suitable chameleon outdoor tempature will be more beneficial than the regular 12 hours commercial uvb bulb
Be sure u have plenty of time with all eyes on the baby...they can easily disapear in the outdoor with ur blink of eyes.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome, sounds like you're off to a good start.

So the basking bulb depends, most people use a regular 60ish watt incandescent. For a young panther I would measure the basking spot around 80-82. Be careful that there is no areas where he can get burnt, young chams will often climb the screen and hang underneath the bulbs. Having a lot of vines and branches helps cut down on this.

For the uvb, a lot of us use Arcadia t5ho, but there are several options. The main thing you'll want to pay attention is either a 6% or 5.0 (t5/t8) bulb. Long enough to cover the top of the enclosure.

I know you have the enclosure already, but I would have just started off in the permanent home. That way you could easily use the same lights without upgrading. It's a myth talked about often that a small chameleon should have a smaller cage. Of course it doesn't hurt, and can be useful for you to keep an eye on him, but it's not necessary for the chameleon's sake. Even a small cham will have no problem seeing feeders running all over the place. Their eye sight is amazing.


Thank you! I mostly got a smaller cage because I am still in a smaller apartment. I plan to move in to a larger space by the time my cham is bigger and will then have all the room to make him a huge home!
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
My setup so far! I still have a pothos plant that I am going to hang and a few more perches to set up, but it's coming along nicely! I have just under 2 weeks until I can go pick up my baby boy, I'm so excited!!
My light fixture is the T5 Quad 24inch from Odyssea. It already ordered 4 22in HO T5 6.4k Daylight bulbs from LYR, but this one did come with what appears to be 2 T5 24W 10000k(?) Daylight bulbs. I'm no electrician so idk what any of that means, but can I use these bulbs that I got with the fixture, or should I just use all the bulbs that I already ordered from LYR?
 

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timw1

Chameleon Enthusiast
The daylight bulbs are just for lighting the enclosure. You need a T5 22" UVB bulb (6%) for your 24" fixture.
 
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