New Member introduction.

Chris L

New Member
Hey everyone,

I Joined today finally just to start being part of the group that I have been learning so much from. I am a relatively new Panther Chameleon owner. Picked him up february 23rd. I have been looking for a good candidate for years. I have had most of my setup complete for many years but it has been empty. Part of it was a little concern if I really had everything ready to give the new addition a great home. The rest was the local breeder I used to deal with had some issues some time ago and actually got out of breeding. So it has been hard to find anyone I trusted to get one from. Although I ended up maybe rescuing mine from a local pet store that I felt was not going to do it any favors. I went ahead and typed up all the information from my setup for everyone to give me any advice or constructive criticism. I feel that my setup is atleast above average, and so far Picasso seems to be staying healthy. I just want to make sure I keep him that way. I will post pictures of my setup along with a few of him. I have not as of yet noticed any abnormal issues with him. No signs of dehydration that I can see. Eye turrets look good. Normal feces, Normal urate. Hunting actively, putting himself to sleep every night at almost the same time. But read below at my setup and take a look. Feel free to give me advice if anything is alarming. I have been learning for a long time. But I dont know everything.

Chameleon Info: Pablo Picasso
  • Your Chameleon - Male Panther Chameleon, I believe it to be an Ambilobe. Approximately 9 months old. Has been under my care since February 23rd, 2019

  • Handling - I attempt to hold him maybe once every couple days, but he does not like to leave his habitat. So far he has only sat on my hand inside the terrarium. But has not been outside the cage.

  • Feeding - I feed him gut loaded crickets daily. I have been feeding him around 10 to 15 medium crickets every day and make a solid attempt to remove any uneaten from the cage at night. However most of the time he eats all of them. I feed him in the morning before I leave for work. I am gut loading his crickets with orange and papaya slices, along with mustard green leaves and water pillows inside their cricket keeper. I clean it and change the gut loading supplies every two days. I have attempted to get him to eat hornworms, and waxworms. So far he won't touch either. He loves to hunt and is not interested in anything sitting still.

  • Supplements - I am using all Rep_Cal products for supplementation. Calcium dusted daily with every cricket feeding, Calcium + D3 every other saturday, and Herptivite every other saturday alternating.

  • Watering - I have several watering options in my setup. First, all water that goes into the setup is treated with zoo med reptisafe water conditioner. Primary: Mistking pro200 with digital cycle timer. 2 gallon reservoir in the base cabinet with fish tank heater to keep water at 82 degrees. 20s at 7am to simulate morning dew. 1.5m at 10am, 1m at noon, 1.5m at 3:30pm, and 30s at 6:30pm. The cage and plant always dry between cycles.
  • I have a dripper on top of the cage that drips into the plant leaves. Set to roughly one drip per second every morning . No dripper/ misting of any kind at night.
  • I also have a hand mister that I use to give him extra small amounts periodically. Mostly I use it to help wash and clean feces and other items inside the terrarium.
  • At night I struggle with humidity levels in my house and with an open air cage it really mostly stays the same as ambient. I have a humidifier on the floor next to the cabinet the cage is on. It comes on once all his lighting and all other systems shut down for the evening. I have noticed that it is able to maintain between 48 and 50% humidity by the morning. But by the end of the day before it comes on its back to between 35 and 40%. Which is what my house stays.
  • I also have a custom fabricated drain pan in the bottom of the cage that drains into a 2 gallon reservoir in the bottom of the cabinet.
  • Fecal Description - So far, all of his fecal droppings look absolutely textbook. Formed and dark brown, Urate is white and hard. Sperm plugs have been present several times but not daily by any means. I have not seen any orange/yellow urate at all. And has not had an episode of diarrhea at all. Here's hope that I am doing my part correctly. I have never had any parasite testing done, nor did the place I got him from.

  • History - I have been looking for a panther chameleon for several years now. I had a local breeder that stopped after some unfortunate events. I got wind that a local chain pet store “Petco” had ordered a Panther to stock in the store. I immediately went there to see what they were thinking. I was terrified to see the setup they had waiting for his arrival. Not anything a panther needs was inside this setup. It was a reclaimed snake tank. Glass, Water bowl, One vine, 94 degrees ambient and about 85% humidity. I asked what they were getting and they had no idea. They told me the “supplier” just sends a panther. No idea if male, female, locale, or any details. I told them it didn't matter what they got I had been looking for a healthy panther for years and I would take it. I put my name in and told them to hold it. The day he came in he was just finishing a shed cycle. But was just sitting on the bottom in the wood chips not moving. I took him home immediately.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - 18x18x36 open air screen cage, Custom floor pan drainage system. Elevated plant stand to keep bottom empty and cleanable. Multiple vines, and sandblasted grape vines. Live Ficus tree planted in ceramic pot with fully draining bottom.

  • Lighting - Zilla 20 inch lighting hood. Completely gutted and rebuilt with dimmable t5 ho ballast, Repti Sun 5.0 18” t5 UVB, and 2 50 watt gu10 mini halogen basking lamps. The lighting is automated to simulate natural cycles as best as possible. UVB comes on at 8am, first basking light comes on at 10am, second basking light comes on at noon. Then they subsequently turn off in reverse order.

  • Temperature - Cage floor stays between 65 and 70 degrees all day and night, top of cage ranges from 65 in the mornings and 85 degrees in the hottest part of the afternoon. Basking spot is monitored by its own temp probe and ranges from 70 to 90 degrees at the hottest part of the day. I measure temps and humidities with one top and bottom mounted temp/hygrometer , and have a temp meter with remote sensor that is mounted on the main basking spot.

  • Humidity - My humidity is unfortunately lower than I want it to be. It likes to stay ambient to my house 90% of the time. Which is between 35 and 40%. At night I run an auxiliary humidifier on the floor and it brings it closer to 50%. I have lots of watering options trying to combat this but still struggle to overcome the houses low relative humidity.

  • Plants - Yes, Live ficus tree inside in ceramic pot. The pot has many drain holes in the bottom, and has been potted in artificial ceramic media with a small bed of activated charcoal to filter any contaminants that come from the plant to the bottom of the cage.

  • Placement - The cage is in the corner of my main living room. Next to an outside window. It is near a vent thats blocked off, and not near any fans. Its outside of the normal traffic path for the room. The cabinet is 30” tall and the cage is 36” tall. Putting the top of the cage 66” from the floor.
Location - I am located in Marietta Georgia, USA. Right outside of Atlanta.
 

Attachments

Goose502

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good start, more live plants, more horizontal branches. Eventually you will need to get a larger enclosure, sooner better than later. Should be an easy transition to a larger enclosure based on the way you’ve equipped the one you’ve got now. Nice to see you looking for suggestions before there’s a problem.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum. Congrats on your new little man! So this will be a good reference tool for you. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

So you will need a larger enclosure for him. If you are having issues with humidity there are a few ways to deal with this. Buy a clearside Dragon Strand cage or get a 24x24x48 screen cage and wrap the back and two sides with a vinyl shower curtain. I would up your misting times as well to 2 minute sessions for the 10am and 3:30pm then the noon session I would do a 3 minute. Are you using distilled or RO water for your mistking? if not you can eventually have issues with the nozzles working properly.
So basking should be at a consistent 85-90 degrees. It is fine if you want to stagger your lighting sequence... Just make sure one of the basking lamps comes on with the uvb in the morning. I have mine shut off about 30 minutes prior to UVB lights going off at night to start the cool down. This gives them plenty of time to digest their food.
I am going to give you my sheet for what I think are must haves or just awesome. Just ignore the stuff you have already gotten. But I am really partial to the thermostat for the basking light :) And here are some additional graphics that are handy. :)

Cage 24x24x48 like this https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-Rept...&sprefix=extra+large+reptibre,aps,204&sr=8-11

Drip tray you can buy for these is like a hotwater heater pan...

or you can spend more and get a better quality with drip tray for the water to collect like so in screen or clearside. The dragon ledges help attach potted plants higher in the cage. But he builds in a schedule so you have to pre order and wait to get your cham. or you can buy the drip tray from dragon strand and the ledges and get the reptibreeze cage.

https://dragonstrand.com/screen-cages-2/

FYI You will want to wrap at least the back and one side panel if not both of the cage in clear plastic like a shower curtain and attach with magnets so the water does not spray out.

Lighting for UVB and plant growth is dual or quad T5 HO fixture. You can look on lightyourreptiles.com These need to be the 24 inch fixture. UVB bulb you get will depend on the species of cham you get.

Heat lamp I would recommend a: https://www.amazon.com/Flukers-Rept...&s=gateway&sprefix=fukers+dimm,aps,208&sr=8-1

bulb for it is your preference but I am partial to zilla brand day light white: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SRUU32/ref=twister_B07C8WY1XN?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

May need timers for different fixtures as well. 12 hour on and off for lights on chams.

Dimming Thermostat for Heat lamp can be used with any dome light and ensures you will not bake your cham as it will keep your bulb at the exact temp you need it at basking. Please ensure that you are getting a dimming thermostat. Herpstat and Vivarium Electronics both make dimming thermostats.

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/vivarium-electronics-ve-200-thermostat.html

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/vivarium-electronics-ve-300-thermostat.html

https://www.pangeareptile.com/store...MIw4mU17-b4QIVENvACh0Y8g1MEAYYASABEgLusPD_BwE

Automatic mister a must have in my opinion. https://www.amazon.com/MistKing-222...=gateway&sprefix=mistking+stra,aps,206&sr=8-1

hydrometer and thermometer to measure heat and humidity you want a few to get different levels. Most use a wired thermometer at basking level then a non wired other area : https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-drt-1...reptiles&qid=1552311763&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2

and https://www.amazon.com/Alfie-Pet-Pe...eptiles&qid=1552311838&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-18

Live plants like Pothos or dwarf umbrella plants. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/

If you get a veiled you have to put large 1inch or bigger river rock in the top so they don't eat the soil. :)

Vines and branches for horizontal pathways in different sizes for grip: https://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Ju...nes&qid=1552311902&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1&th=1

And then you need a multivitamin to give 2 times a month every other week, Calcium with D3 to give 2 times a month the opposite every other week, and then a calcium without D3 used nearly every feeding. See image below.

Feeders: Need to offer variety. See image below. can buy feeders from a site sponsor or rainbowmealworms.com

Feeder containers: I have bought my own as well as converted plastic tubs to hold them. I like these but the large size only if I buy one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073KOGOG/ref=twister_B06X9LKF3Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Feeder food: something like Repashy Bug burger, cricket crack, or insect fuel from Arcadia brand if you want a predone instead of fresh veg and fruit everyday. see image below for feeder food

Gutloading 101.jpeg
Basic Feeder pic.jpeg
 

Chris L

New Member
Soo couple things I noticed from reading.. the temp at top should be around 75-80.. and regular calcium nearly every feeding, multivitamin once every two weeks, and D3 once every two weeks, but don’t use D3 and multivitamin in the same week. Here’s a care sheet on panthers too :)
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

The temps at the top of my cage are between 75 and about 81-82 during the day when everything is running. At night when everything is shut down it eventually acclimates to my house temperature. And ends up between 65 and 69 depending on if my heat or air conditioning runs.

As for the suppliments. I am doing calcium only every feeding. And 1st Saturday C+D3, 2nd Saturday Multivitamin, 3rd Saturday C+D3, 4th Saturday Multivitamin.

I think the way I typed it didnt make sense.
 

Chris L

New Member
Good start, more live plants, more horizontal branches. Eventually you will need to get a larger enclosure, sooner better than later. Should be an easy transition to a larger enclosure based on the way you’ve equipped the one you’ve got now. Nice to see you looking for suggestions before there’s a problem.
Thank you,

I am looking into a larger enclosure, trying to decide how i want to set it up. I will start working on it soon though. What live plants would you recommend since I dont have a ton of room left in the current enclosure? I am also looking for more wood branches. The vines that I have in there are a real pain to clean and Im trying to eliminate all of that type of stuff. Everything needs to be fairly easy to clean and maintain.
 

Chris L

New Member
Welcome to the forum. Congrats on your new little man! So this will be a good reference tool for you. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

So you will need a larger enclosure for him. If you are having issues with humidity there are a few ways to deal with this. Buy a clearside Dragon Strand cage or get a 24x24x48 screen cage and wrap the back and two sides with a vinyl shower curtain. I would up your misting times as well to 2 minute sessions for the 10am and 3:30pm then the noon session I would do a 3 minute. Are you using distilled or RO water for your mistking? if not you can eventually have issues with the nozzles working properly.
So basking should be at a consistent 85-90 degrees. It is fine if you want to stagger your lighting sequence... Just make sure one of the basking lamps comes on with the uvb in the morning. I have mine shut off about 30 minutes prior to UVB lights going off at night to start the cool down. This gives them plenty of time to digest their food.
I am going to give you my sheet for what I think are must haves or just awesome. Just ignore the stuff you have already gotten. But I am really partial to the thermostat for the basking light :) And here are some additional graphics that are handy. :)

Cage 24x24x48 like this https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiBreeze-Screen-48-Inches/dp/B001PHABI8/ref=sr_1_11?crid=750TXFPLI11X&keywords=extra+large+reptibreeze&qid=1552311072&s=gateway&sprefix=extra+large+reptibre,aps,204&sr=8-11

Drip tray you can buy for these is like a hotwater heater pan...

or you can spend more and get a better quality with drip tray for the water to collect like so in screen or clearside. The dragon ledges help attach potted plants higher in the cage. But he builds in a schedule so you have to pre order and wait to get your cham. or you can buy the drip tray from dragon strand and the ledges and get the reptibreeze cage.

https://dragonstrand.com/screen-cages-2/

FYI You will want to wrap at least the back and one side panel if not both of the cage in clear plastic like a shower curtain and attach with magnets so the water does not spray out.

Lighting for UVB and plant growth is dual or quad T5 HO fixture. You can look on lightyourreptiles.com These need to be the 24 inch fixture. UVB bulb you get will depend on the species of cham you get.

Heat lamp I would recommend a: https://www.amazon.com/Flukers-Repta-Clamp-8-5-Inch-Ceramic-Dimmable/dp/B003H200QC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=8HVMEZI2QMV3&keywords=flukers+dimmable+heat+lamp&qid=1552311478&s=gateway&sprefix=fukers+dimm,aps,208&sr=8-1

bulb for it is your preference but I am partial to zilla brand day light white: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SRUU32/ref=twister_B07C8WY1XN?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

May need timers for different fixtures as well. 12 hour on and off for lights on chams.

Dimming Thermostat for Heat lamp can be used with any dome light and ensures you will not bake your cham as it will keep your bulb at the exact temp you need it at basking. Please ensure that you are getting a dimming thermostat. Herpstat and Vivarium Electronics both make dimming thermostats.

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/vivarium-electronics-ve-200-thermostat.html

https://www.joshsfrogs.com/vivarium-electronics-ve-300-thermostat.html

https://www.pangeareptile.com/store...MIw4mU17-b4QIVENvACh0Y8g1MEAYYASABEgLusPD_BwE

Automatic mister a must have in my opinion. https://www.amazon.com/MistKing-22251-Starter-Misting-System/dp/B012IAK4SC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HEHG6S2ENP0I&keywords=mistking+starter+misting+system&qid=1552311288&s=gateway&sprefix=mistking+stra,aps,206&sr=8-1

hydrometer and thermometer to measure heat and humidity you want a few to get different levels. Most use a wired thermometer at basking level then a non wired other area : https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-drt-1...reptiles&qid=1552311763&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2

and https://www.amazon.com/Alfie-Pet-Pe...eptiles&qid=1552311838&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-18

Live plants like Pothos or dwarf umbrella plants. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/

If you get a veiled you have to put large 1inch or bigger river rock in the top so they don't eat the soil. :)

Vines and branches for horizontal pathways in different sizes for grip: https://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Jungle-Vine-Large/dp/B003PB4VSS/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=exo+terra+vines&qid=1552311902&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1&th=1

And then you need a multivitamin to give 2 times a month every other week, Calcium with D3 to give 2 times a month the opposite every other week, and then a calcium without D3 used nearly every feeding. See image below.

Feeders: Need to offer variety. See image below. can buy feeders from a site sponsor or rainbowmealworms.com

Feeder containers: I have bought my own as well as converted plastic tubs to hold them. I like these but the large size only if I buy one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073KOGOG/ref=twister_B06X9LKF3Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Feeder food: something like Repashy Bug burger, cricket crack, or insect fuel from Arcadia brand if you want a predone instead of fresh veg and fruit everyday. see image below for feeder food

View attachment 226867View attachment 226868

Thanks for all the info. I have already been through all the caresheets and am working towards getting all that in order. I have also been reading over all the gutloading. I have been using carrots, oranges, mango, and mustard greens so far. I am having trouble finding places to buy some of the other items. As for feeding so far he has only eaten crickets. He doesnt seem to go for any worms. Tried hornworms and way worms so far. He just leaves them alone. Any thoughts on that?

As far as humidity goes, I am working on that and am willing to make any changes necessary. But I find all kinds of different information on what the target humidity should really be in a 24 hour cycle.

I will be buying one or two of the dimming basking thermostats very soon. I have also been looking into building a rasb pi or arduino based setup on my own to program all the automation myself. I am an electronics technician. So this is more up my alley anyway. If I build the setup I will just use dimming relays to control everything. And standard stuff for misting etc... Plus I can incorporate temp and humidity control into anything the way I want.

Most likely I will start building a larger enclosure very soon and incorporate a full automation setup into it. Then I can check and make corrections with my phone, computer, or tablet from anywhere. It seems that 24x24x48 is the standard go to.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So your looking for a humidity level between 50-70%. It can spike above after misting but you want a steady in between that range. I think your best bet is going to be to try to cover the back and both sides with a vinyl shower curtain and see what that does for your humidity level. It is one of those battles of humidity and air flow. You will be good with covering 2-3 of the sides though.
As far as gutloading if your doing fresh just keep switching up which ones you use week to week. You can add in things like cricket crack or insectfuel by Arcadia as well.

I don't know if I gave you this link but I think you might enjoy it. chameleonbreeder.com He has a wonderful podcast full of fantastic info. :)
 

Chris L

New Member
So your looking for a humidity level between 50-70%. It can spike above after misting but you want a steady in between that range. I think your best bet is going to be to try to cover the back and both sides with a vinyl shower curtain and see what that does for your humidity level. It is one of those battles of humidity and air flow. You will be good with covering 2-3 of the sides though.
As far as gutloading if your doing fresh just keep switching up which ones you use week to week. You can add in things like cricket crack or insectfuel by Arcadia as well.

I don't know if I gave you this link but I think you might enjoy it. chameleonbreeder.com He has a wonderful podcast full of fantastic info. :)
So I just ordered a Herpstat 4, and a large fogger that I am going to try to use to get humidity up. I will cover 2 or 3 sides of the cage and see if I can get it under control.

I have some questions about the gut loading things you suggested. Are these a total substitute for doing fresh all together? Or are these just a supplemental source in addition to fresh? And of the three you have mentioned, Which do you recommend the highest? Bug Burger, Circket Crack, or Insectfuel?

Thanks for the help
Chris
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I just ordered a Herpstat 4, and a large fogger that I am going to try to use to get humidity up. I will cover 2 or 3 sides of the cage and see if I can get it under control.

I have some questions about the gut loading things you suggested. Are these a total substitute for doing fresh all together? Or are these just a supplemental source in addition to fresh? And of the three you have mentioned, Which do you recommend the highest? Bug Burger, Circket Crack, or Insectfuel?

Thanks for the help
Chris
Hi Chris :) Awesome you went for the fancy one! Good for you. I just got mine today and set it up. I am pretty thrilled with it. ok so with the fogger just make sure you are only running this at night. 12-4am. We don't typically run foggers during the day due to a high risk of respiratory infection. Heat and fog are not a good combo. I use one at night and it is fantastic. It also helps with hydration for your cham. With covering the sides if you get small magnets this will keep the vinyl in place and easy removal for clean off.

So gutloading .... You can do fresh alternating what your using or use one of the commercially available one. I use both bug burger and insectfuel. I like the insectfuel because I can toss it in dry with superworms. Crickets and dubia will eat it as well. It is very similar to the cricket crack from my understanding. But you have to have a secondary water source for your crickets and dubia with it. The repashy bug burger is a mix you do with water.. Creates more of a gel food water combo. It really depends on what you prefer. I use the commercial because I have other feeders like silkworms and hornworms. They require more daily cleaning and feeding their own specific food. So since I have those to take care for time purposes I use the other rather then veg and fruit.
But to make it short I am partial to Arcadia everything lol.
 
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Chris L

New Member
Hi Chris :) Awesome you went for the fancy one! Good for you. I just got mine today and set it up. I am pretty thrilled with it. ok so with the fogger just make sure you are only running this at night. 12-4am. We don't typically run foggers during the day due to a high risk of respiratory infection. Heat and fog are not a good combo. I use one at night and it is fantastic. It also helps with hydration for your cham. With covering the sides if you get small magnets this will keep the vinyl in place and easy removal for clean off.

So gutloading .... You can do fresh alternating what your using or use one of the commercially available one. I use both bug burger and insectfuel. I like the insectfuel because I can toss it in dry with superworms. Crickets and dubia will eat it as well. It is very similar to the cricket crack from my understanding. But you have to have a secondary water source for your crickets and dubia with it. The repashy bug burger is a mix you do with water.. Creates more of a gel food water combo. It really depends on what you prefer. I use the commercial because I have other feeders like silkworms and hornworms. They require more daily cleaning and feeding their own specific food. So since I have those to take care for time purposes I use the other rather then veg and fruit.
But to make it short I am partial to Arcadia everything lol.
My plan for the fogger was just to bump the humidity up since im at 42 to 48% rh. I was going to control it with the herpstat and rh sensor. Set it at like 55 or 60%. I dont think it will run very much to get that. Do you still think thats a problem during the daytime?

If so i guess i will look at other options. But my plan was never to run it full time. Just use it to bump up low rh conditions..
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
My plan for the fogger was just to bump the humidity up since im at 42 to 48% rh. I was going to control it with the herpstat and rh sensor. Set it at like 55 or 60%. I dont think it will run very much to get that. Do you still think thats a problem during the daytime?

If so i guess i will look at other options. But my plan was never to run it full time. Just use it to bump up low rh conditions..
I think it depends on how much your running it but I don’t use mine this way so my knowledge is limited. @jamest0o0 @Brodybreaux25 thoughts on using a fogger during the day on a thermostat to keep humidity levels stable?
 
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Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
remember that chams also need a heighten and drop in humidity to fight uri's so i would use it for mainly night time purposes, when you dont mist.
 
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