New member fresh cage setup

Turtlecham

Member
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Hello everyone new member first time posting. I've been on this forum everyday for hours apon hours the last couple months. Many sun rises have been seen on accident scrolling through comments. Ive been slowly purchasing items as I researched and have now finally set up my cage and would like feed back on things I could improve. First off I'm purchasing a 4 month old nosey be Panther chameleon from underground chameleons we have been in touch through out the months he's waiting till he's big enough to come home with me.(should be two more weeks)
For my cage I have a large repti breeze 18x36"
For uvb lighting I have a 18" reptisun 5.0 t8 tube in a repti sun hood
I also threw in a 18" 6500k fluorescent tube in a Zilla slimeline for my plants and extra lumens
His basking bulb is in a Flukers dome 75w incandescent bulb with his highest basking spot directly under the light being 87 degrees to the left or right on the same stick its between 82-85 degrees
Next basking spot is about 80
After that it drops to mid 70s with he lowest being 72 degrees. In the picture you will see a black light that is NOT used as a heat source at night I know chams do well with a temp drop. The light you see is sorta a test I read that you can have a black light on for 15-30 minutes before all lights go out to give your Cham time to adjust and find a sleep spot. So that means let's say 6:45 my uvb and my heat buld go out the black light comes on for 15 then shuts off. ( just a test if seems pointless comment)
I have a zoo med digital thermometer for ***** and giggles but I mainly test with a infrared thermometer gun (love using it)
I also have a hygrometer in the middle might add one more to compare.
For my plants I have umbrella tree and a pothos
Both have been washed down with dish soap and re planted with organic fertilizer. Umbrella has large river stones so my Cham can't mess with the soil. (Don't have any in the pothos if you think I should I can add)
I have read and saved many forums on nutritional factors of feeders and home made gut loads.
I also have my supplements and supplement schedule planned out ( calcium w/o d3 every other day, calcium with d3 twice a month and reptivite once or twice a month any opinions please comment)
I know panthers like it humid but I don't have the money just yet to get a mist king but it's on my list. For misting I have a mister bottle and couple of jugs of distilled water I plan to mist 4-5 times a day; I also have a big dripper just in case.

I feel like I'm missing something if I did miss something please remind me.

Now to my few concerns and questions

1: my uvb tube I feel like doesn't really give a good spread sense it's in the back and I don't have anything set up directly under the uvb (dowel can be added)
So my concern would be him not getting enough uvb.

2: the umbrella plant came with a odd water residue on the plant after it dried when i washed it and scrubbed it with dish soap the residue stains came back.
Should I be worried for my Cham should I wash it again or will it go away when I mist with the distilled water. If I have to replace I have another pothos washed and fertilized that I was gonna use to start a free range setup.

3: I think this might be my last question light cycle what would do you guys like best 10 hour 12 or 14 cycles

Sorry if the post is a bit long but like I said the little guy should be ready soon and I want to be sure I have a proper set up. Any comments,concerns, opinions or suggestions are welcome. Pictures were taken today if more are needed I can add. Not gonna lie with trimming cleaning fertilizing and decorating it took me 5 hours :| but don't hold back this is for the Cham not me! Good day or night to you all thank you.
 

jpowell86

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the Forums!

I applaud you for doing your research prior to taking the plunge. That's the way it should be handled. I am glad to see that you offered a variety of perching opportunities for your chameleon. That is so important for their ability to thermoregulate. I am also glad to see you using live plants. Good choices as well.

The residue on your plant could be white powdery mildew...but I would bet it is just hard water marks from watering.

Your temps look good to me. You will definitely want to invest in the mistking when you are able. Misting is a vital part of chameleon husbandry. Not only for hydrating but for acts like eye cleaning. Not saying you can't get away with not having one. You can always shower your chameleon, but once you have w mistking you will not want to go without one!

Ask as many questions as you need. Everyone here is always willing to help and give you the best advice possible. Always triple check what you hear before implementing though!
 

KLowery88

Avid Member
Definitely looks like a good set up! I would second getting the Mistking as soon as you can. It really makes life so much easier, and better, for your chameleon.

1. If you're too worried about the UVB reaching far enough, you could switch it with the front light where there are perches.

2. I agree with jpowell86, it's likely hard water staining and won't hurt your chameleon. If you don't like the look, you could rub the leaves down with vinegar or a cut lemon, but it isn't a big deal.

3. I keep my guy on a 12 hour light schedule.

As for the black light, I doubt you need it. My guy searches out his sleeping spot about an hour before lights out. As they get settled into the cage and learn your lighting schedule, they'll know what to do.
 

Turtlecham

Member
Amazing thank you guys for the feed back!

You know what I think I am gonna flip the uvb to the front just in case. And lemon cuts to scub the leaves sounds better to me than vinegar can't stand the smell lol.
 

niels99

Member
Wow thats one hell of a cage. Looks really nice. When i saw it i compared it tl my first setup. No worries. Your cham is gonna be reallh happy. What are you planning on feeding him?
 

Turtlecham

Member
A staple diet crickets dusted on my schedule and gut loaded the night before not sure what size yet I'm going to ask the breeder what he has him on.
My Local reptile shops which we don't have many of in the valley don't have silkworms which saddens me they say it's hard to get.
What is available is super and meal worms which I will also dust as treats.
I can get a hold of Dubai roaches will gut load before feeding.
I'm at the moment trying to find fruit flies to be able to give to him.
 

Turtlecham

Member
Fruit flies too small good to know I'll search around for something else. I read that hissing roaches might be to big for him to eat right now?
 

alphakenc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Fruit flies too small good to know I'll search around for something else. I read that hissing roaches might be to big for him to eat right now?
Depending on how old n what type is that hissing roach,the general thumb of the rules is judging by ur cham's head width in between ,the softer feeder like silkworm can be an exception of the rule since the cham will slowly chewing the silkworm in their mouth n take it in as long the silkworm are not too big to start with.
 
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alphakenc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes I will agree with the above poster,variety is the key,Gutload all the feeders are the important rule for ur cham health talk to @nick barta he will know his feeder stuff more than anyone in this forum!!
 

Turtlecham

Member
Thank you so much for the forum link it's amazing. I do want to give him a variety of feeders I felt so bad that the stores lack any variety and the online stores I saw basically had the same selection, but now I can go here.
 

KLowery88

Avid Member
Variety is certainly the spice of life. :D I'd also highly recommend Green Banana Roaches. They tend to be smaller than dubia or hissers. They're a bit more care intensive since they can climb, but there are some storage tubs out there with sealed lids that you can modify.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Variety is certainly the spice of life. :D I'd also highly recommend Green Banana Roaches. They tend to be smaller than dubia or hissers. They're a bit more care intensive since they can climb, but there are some storage tubs out there with sealed lids that you can modify.

Sorry to derail but how small are those babies? And how would you get the babies out the soil? I kept seeing those and wondering that. For babie chams of course.

Red Runners infest here in AZ so I dont want to go with them.
 

KLowery88

Avid Member
Sorry to derail but how small are those babies? And how would you get the babies out the soil? I kept seeing those and wondering that. For babie chams of course. Red Runners infest here in AZ so I dont want to go with them.

Half pinky nail size maybe? Here's a video that sort of gives you an idea of what a colony would look like:


For getting them out of the dirt, maybe laying egg crate or TP tubes on top and seeing if they crawl, or even getting something like a small strainer to sift them from the dirt.

I don't currently have them, but I'm hoping to get them soon. I'm going to try and sell off some of my exploding discoid colony before I take on more feeders. I'm just glad they're legal in Florida. Usually it's a pain to get some of the more exotic feeders here.
 

Turtlecham

Member
So the Cham I'm getting is still pretty tiny but he's coming home tomorrow, should be almost 4 months old in a week. I've been monitoring the temps in the cage through out different times of the day that the basking buld will be on. The highest I've seen it get was 91 degrees directly under the bulb and lowest I've seen was 84 but today when I checked a couple minutes ago the temps are reaching as high as 98 degrees with the same 75 watt bulb I have had in there. I've already gone out and picked up 50,60 and 80 watt bulbs to switch out if temps start going up or down like they are. So my question is what is the hottest his basking spot can get for this little guy before it's dangerous; I know 98 is way to high for his age. Again it's a male nosey be about to hit 4 months of age.
 

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cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
So the Cham I'm getting is still pretty tiny but he's coming home tomorrow, should be almost 4 months old in a week. I've been monitoring the temps in the cage through out different times of the day that the basking buld will be on. The highest I've seen it get was 91 degrees directly under the bulb and lowest I've seen was 84 but today when I checked a couple minutes ago the temps are reaching as high as 98 degrees with the same 75 watt bulb I have had in there. I've already gone out and picked up 50,60 and 80 watt bulbs to switch out if temps start going up or down like they are. So my question is what is the hottest his basking spot can get for this little guy before it's dangerous; I know 98 is way to high for his age. Again it's a male nosey be about to hit 4 months of age.

Like I said before he needs to be in the low 80s, 85 is the highest i would let it go, 91 he may get burned, and even more likely he will get dehydrated. He can handle high temps with 100% humidity, which you are not going to achieve. Look at his temps in the wild, it gets into the 90s in Madagascar sometimes even the 100s, however what you have to remember is when it is that hot, its also pouring rain all day long.

What is the current bulb you are using?

Of course there is factors, but to give you an idea I use a 60w and it is 9 inches from the basking spot. If it was a 50, I would lower it some.

If you are going to set the bulb directly on the screen I would use the 50w or a 40w, if you can raise it up a bit then a 60w should be fine. Going lower than 80 is better than getting to 90. It doesnt need to be 82-83 all day just when he basks, if its 78-80 half of the day and 82-83 the other half and an hour of 85 that is fine.

Also that cham is not 4 months old not even close. My 10 week old is bigger than that. I would guess that guy is a month old.
 
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