New Owner Questions and Worries

dthomas

New Member
Hello.

Here is the questionnaire and some photos. I am probably worrying too much but you never know.

thanks for any and all help and advise.


Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - A week ago (Sept 23rd, 2021) we got a male Panther. I do not know exactly how old he is but I assume he is no more than 6-7 months old.
  • Handling - Benny has been handled twice. When we first blacked the box he was shipped in and yesterday to place him back in his cage after he climbed out and on top and was heading for lights. I held out my hand flat palm in front and gently brushed his tail.
  • Feeding - I feed him med to largish crickets. He has also had a couple butter worms. For crickets he has been eating anywhere between 8-12 crickets. Has had two days where he has not really wanted to eat. One was about 3-4 days ago and now today. Crickets are gut loaded with carrots, calcium crickets food and greens from salads. To gut load move feeders for day to another critter cage with variety of stuff. Have food in main critter cage as well.
  • Supplements - Brand is exo terra. Multivitamin once per month, calcium & d3 twice per month and calcium every other day.
  • Watering - Hand mist a few times a day based on humidity gauge. Have a fogger at night that runs all night on a low setting. I have covered the cage the past two nights till all lights are out so as not yo disturb sleep. This causes higher humidity. I saw him drinking quite a bit the first 3-4 days. But have not seen him drinking much the last couple of days.
  • Fecal Description - Stools have been moist but solid. Saw one cricket leg in one on one day so adjusted basking spot. His urate was pearly white and now for the past couple of days starts white and at end is somewhat orange making me think he is not drinking enough. He was bred in captivity by an experienced breeder so no testing of parasites.
  • History - Nothing I can point out.


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - I have a 16x16x24 Reptibreeze Screen cage. I have one side and back covered and other side half covered. Trying to get humidity right without having puddles everywhere.
  • Lighting - Basking - Zoo Med 8.5” Clamp with 75w bulb top front half/corner. UVB - ZooMed Reptisun LED UVB 14” hood along top back. Daylight - Arcadia 13w Jungle Dawn LED in Exo Terra Compact hood. Top right and hood partially sitting on other hood.
  • Temperature - 68.5 deg bottom to 85 deg basking spot. There are basking spots kind of under other lights too and these range in temps of 75-82. Lowest overnight temps is 21 deg C/ 69.8 F. All temps are measure by manual gauge for quick checks and Inkbird plus temp gun.
  • Humidity - I have been trying to keep humidity at 50-60 during day. Measured by Exo Terra manual hygometer. Placement of meter might be bad as is close to basking spot. At night I shoot to get as high as I can as I live in a dry climate. The last two nights when I cover cage with fogger on low I got to 90. When not covered I have fogger on medium. During day it is manual misting and I must when meter shows levels below 50. This is keeping bottom cage quite wet. Have one manual gauge and need to set up a digital meter with probe closer to where Benny sleeping.
  • Plants - I am using both at moment while I wait for live plants to grow. I have a Neon Pothos in a 6” pot and a 3” Umbrella Plant.
  • Placement - cage is in corner of living room. Which was only place we could put it. No vents or fans nearby. Living Room has traffic but not really close to cage consistently. Lighter traffic when kids in school. Top of cage is just over 5 feet from floor.
  • Location - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada


Current Problem - As I am new I am concerned about dehydration and the fact he hasn’t really moved the past couple of days. Well since I placed him back in his cage. He moved to this spot after I placed him back in - changed to colour in photo and stayed their till bed time. Then he went to his sleep spot earlier than usual. He was lighter then but in morning was quite dark. He climbed back to same spot and has not moved in 5 hours other than to be a leaf in wind when I mist. This spot is under UVB.



I have not seen him drink, I am misting the cage but with lights and how dry things are here humidity level on gauge seems to drop so fast and now I have puddles of water on stand because there is so much misting. I know my cage design could be better and that is plan for when he moves to bigger cage.
 

Attachments

  • 84A8C150-3BD0-4172-BD16-C8E2FB35D91F.jpeg
    84A8C150-3BD0-4172-BD16-C8E2FB35D91F.jpeg
    120.7 KB · Views: 33
  • 948C1591-E0CF-46CA-BBA7-B9277C387600.jpeg
    948C1591-E0CF-46CA-BBA7-B9277C387600.jpeg
    139.9 KB · Views: 32
  • 05827CB3-3210-466E-A86C-E91EB718BA9D.jpeg
    05827CB3-3210-466E-A86C-E91EB718BA9D.jpeg
    284.4 KB · Views: 33
  • 1F9EDFB3-2492-459A-A078-9D1E8F36006F.jpeg
    1F9EDFB3-2492-459A-A078-9D1E8F36006F.jpeg
    277.3 KB · Views: 35
  • A02CB345-CB8F-428C-A283-3750EA701760.jpeg
    A02CB345-CB8F-428C-A283-3750EA701760.jpeg
    145.5 KB · Views: 32

ElliotG

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello.

Here is the questionnaire and some photos. I am probably worrying too much but you never know.

thanks for any and all help and advise.


Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - A week ago (Sept 23rd, 2021) we got a male Panther. I do not know exactly how old he is but I assume he is no more than 6-7 months old.
  • Handling - Benny has been handled twice. When we first blacked the box he was shipped in and yesterday to place him back in his cage after he climbed out and on top and was heading for lights. I held out my hand flat palm in front and gently brushed his tail.
  • Feeding - I feed him med to largish crickets. He has also had a couple butter worms. For crickets he has been eating anywhere between 8-12 crickets. Has had two days where he has not really wanted to eat. One was about 3-4 days ago and now today. Crickets are gut loaded with carrots, calcium crickets food and greens from salads. To gut load move feeders for day to another critter cage with variety of stuff. Have food in main critter cage as well.
  • Supplements - Brand is exo terra. Multivitamin once per month, calcium & d3 twice per month and calcium every other day.
  • Watering - Hand mist a few times a day based on humidity gauge. Have a fogger at night that runs all night on a low setting. I have covered the cage the past two nights till all lights are out so as not yo disturb sleep. This causes higher humidity. I saw him drinking quite a bit the first 3-4 days. But have not seen him drinking much the last couple of days.
  • Fecal Description - Stools have been moist but solid. Saw one cricket leg in one on one day so adjusted basking spot. His urate was pearly white and now for the past couple of days starts white and at end is somewhat orange making me think he is not drinking enough. He was bred in captivity by an experienced breeder so no testing of parasites.
  • History - Nothing I can point out.


Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - I have a 16x16x24 Reptibreeze Screen cage. I have one side and back covered and other side half covered. Trying to get humidity right without having puddles everywhere.
  • Lighting - Basking - Zoo Med 8.5” Clamp with 75w bulb top front half/corner. UVB - ZooMed Reptisun LED UVB 14” hood along top back. Daylight - Arcadia 13w Jungle Dawn LED in Exo Terra Compact hood. Top right and hood partially sitting on other hood.
  • Temperature - 68.5 deg bottom to 85 deg basking spot. There are basking spots kind of under other lights too and these range in temps of 75-82. Lowest overnight temps is 21 deg C/ 69.8 F. All temps are measure by manual gauge for quick checks and Inkbird plus temp gun.
  • Humidity - I have been trying to keep humidity at 50-60 during day. Measured by Exo Terra manual hygometer. Placement of meter might be bad as is close to basking spot. At night I shoot to get as high as I can as I live in a dry climate. The last two nights when I cover cage with fogger on low I got to 90. When not covered I have fogger on medium. During day it is manual misting and I must when meter shows levels below 50. This is keeping bottom cage quite wet. Have one manual gauge and need to set up a digital meter with probe closer to where Benny sleeping.
  • Plants - I am using both at moment while I wait for live plants to grow. I have a Neon Pothos in a 6” pot and a 3” Umbrella Plant.
  • Placement - cage is in corner of living room. Which was only place we could put it. No vents or fans nearby. Living Room has traffic but not really close to cage consistently. Lighter traffic when kids in school. Top of cage is just over 5 feet from floor.
  • Location - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada


Current Problem - As I am new I am concerned about dehydration and the fact he hasn’t really moved the past couple of days. Well since I placed him back in his cage. He moved to this spot after I placed him back in - changed to colour in photo and stayed their till bed time. Then he went to his sleep spot earlier than usual. He was lighter then but in morning was quite dark. He climbed back to same spot and has not moved in 5 hours other than to be a leaf in wind when I mist. This spot is under UVB.



I have not seen him drink, I am misting the cage but with lights and how dry things are here humidity level on gauge seems to drop so fast and now I have puddles of water on stand because there is so much misting. I know my cage design could be better and that is plan for when he moves to bigger cage.
I will say you will definitely want to upgrade that cage size soon.

Those brown exoterra vines are notorious for causing eye problems as well, they like to fall apart and get into chameleons eyes.

Ill tag a few people to also help.
@kinyonga @MissSkittles

I will also say there’s a bit wrong with your lighting, he might not be getting adequate UVB and the heat bulb should be off the top of your enclosure.

Basking temp is okay, I would strive for 80-82.

You’re getting there! You made the right choice by coming on here and asking!
 

dthomas

New Member
I will say you will definitely want to upgrade that cage size soon.

Those brown exoterra vines are notorious for causing eye problems as well, they like to fall apart and get into chameleons eyes.

Ill tag a few people to also help.
@kinyonga @MissSkittles

I will also say there’s a bit wrong with your lighting, he might not be getting adequate UVB and the heat bulb should be off the top of your enclosure.

Basking temp is okay, I would strive for 80-82.

You’re getting there! You made the right choice by coming on here and asking!
Thanks. Working on a design and hoping to have it done within the month.

Here is another pic
 

Attachments

  • 602135C9-2C71-4613-9E96-C0F6B3DD42AF.jpeg
    602135C9-2C71-4613-9E96-C0F6B3DD42AF.jpeg
    280 KB · Views: 26

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ll be putting my feedback in red.
Chameleon Info:

  • Your Chameleon - A week ago (Sept 23rd, 2021) we got a male Panther. I do not know exactly how old he is but I assume he is no more than 6-7 months old. I’m not good with aging panthers, so will use that age.
  • Handling - Benny has been handled twice. When we first blacked the box he was shipped in and yesterday to place him back in his cage after he climbed out and on top and was heading for lights. I held out my hand flat palm in front and gently brushed his tail.
  • Feeding - I feed him med to largish crickets. He has also had a couple butter worms. For crickets he has been eating anywhere between 8-12 crickets. Has had two days where he has not really wanted to eat. One was about 3-4 days ago and now today. Crickets are gut loaded with carrots, calcium crickets food and greens from salads. To gut load move feeders for day to another critter cage with variety of stuff. Have food in main critter cage as well. Butter worms are not recommended. There are are several other feeders you can use though. It is important that whichever you give that they not be any larger than the space between his eyes. Your gutload isn’t bad, but there’s always room for improvement. ;) I’ll attach feeder and gutload graphics below for you.
  • Supplements - Brand is exo terra. Multivitamin once per month, calcium & d3 twice per month and calcium every other day. Close to correct. You’ll want to give the calcium without D3 at every feeding except one weekly. That one weekly feeding you’ll alternate between using the calcium with D3 and the multivitamin. I’d also suggest using a different multivitamin. I believe the Exo Terra has only pro-formed vitamin A and you really need a preformed one. There are a few good ones, but I like and use Reptivite. Reptivite does come both with and without D3, so you really have to read the label. If you get the one with D3, you would use that for one feeding every other week and it would replace both the calcium with D3 and multivitamin.
  • Watering - Hand mist a few times a day based on humidity gauge. Have a fogger at night that runs all night on a low setting. I have covered the cage the past two nights till all lights are out so as not yo disturb sleep. This causes higher humidity. I saw him drinking quite a bit the first 3-4 days. But have not seen him drinking much the last couple of days. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking. It’s best to go by urate to determine hydration.
  • Fecal Description - Stools have been moist but solid. Saw one cricket leg in one on one day so adjusted basking spot. His urate was pearly white and now for the past couple of days starts white and at end is somewhat orange making me think he is not drinking enough. A little bit of orange on the end is ok and can be normal. If the entire urate is orange, then your chameleon is dehydrated. He was bred in captivity by an experienced breeder so no testing of parasites. Even the very best breeders can have a parasite problem. I’m a firm believer in veterinary wellness checks and fecal test for all new animals.
  • History - Nothing I can point out.

Cage Info:

  • Cage Type - I have a 16x16x24 Reptibreeze Screen cage. I have one side and back covered and other side half covered. Trying to get humidity right without having puddles everywhere. I saw that you corrected the size. However, he will still be needing larger. The minimum is a 2x2x4’. I have each of my boys in double sized and they use each and every inch.
  • Lighting - Basking - Zoo Med 8.5” Clamp with 75w bulb top front half/corner. UVB - ZooMed Reptisun LED UVB 14” hood along top back. Daylight - Arcadia 13w Jungle Dawn LED in Exo Terra Compact hood. Top right and hood partially sitting on other hood. I’m not sure about your uvb. The standard is a T5 fixture with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6% uvb bulb. The fixture needs to span the width of your enclosure. Then basking area needs to be around 8-9” down from this to put your cham in ideal uvb index. ReptiSun bulbs need to be changed every 6 months and Arcadia is good for a year…unless you have a solarmeter 6.5 to check uvb output. What is your lighting schedule? Should be on/off on a 12 hour schedule and absolutely no lights at night.
  • Temperature - 68.5 deg bottom to 85 deg basking spot. There are basking spots kind of under other lights too and these range in temps of 75-82. Lowest overnight temps is 21 deg C/ 69.8 F. All temps are measure by manual gauge for quick checks and Inkbird plus temp gun. The gauges I see in your pics generally aren’t terribly accurate. Digital with probes are much better. But your temps are pretty good. Just don’t go any higher than 85. I keep my boys between 82-84.
  • Humidity - I have been trying to keep humidity at 50-60 during day. Measured by Exo Terra manual hygometer. Get a digital hygrometer with a probe…much more accurate. To help maintain humidity, more live plants will help. Many use window film to cover the back and sides to keep humidity in. Placement of meter might be bad as is close to basking spot. At night I shoot to get as high as I can as I live in a dry climate. The last two nights when I cover cage with fogger on low I got to 90. When not covered I have fogger on medium. Be careful if covering his enclosure. Adequate air movement is essential. During day it is manual misting and I must when meter shows levels below 50. This is keeping bottom cage quite wet. Have one manual gauge and need to set up a digital meter with probe closer to where Benny sleeping. You may want to think about getting a special reptile flogger for night time. Something like this. https://www.amazon.com/PETSPIONEER-...d=1633033132&sprefix=Reptile+f,aps,216&sr=8-9 You may also want to think about investing in a Mist King system.
  • Plants - I am using both at moment while I wait for live plants to grow. I have a Neon Pothos in a 6” pot and a 3” Umbrella Plant. More! Bigger! :ROFLMAO: It’s always super nice to have one large center plant and then have the smaller surrounding it. Then you can use the artificial on the outside to provide extra privacy if you like.
  • Placement - cage is in corner of living room. Which was only place we could put it. No vents or fans nearby. Living Room has traffic but not really close to cage consistently. Lighter traffic when kids in school. Top of cage is just over 5 feet from floor. The higher your chameleon is, the safer he will feel. When you upgrade him to a larger enclosure, try to get him as high as possible. If you can get his enclosure higher now, that would be great. I wonder about any room lights at night which may be disturbing his sleep.
  • Location - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Current Problem - As I am new I am concerned about dehydration and the fact he hasn’t really moved the past couple of days. Well since I placed him back in his cage. He moved to this spot after I placed him back in - changed to colour in photo and stayed their till bed time. Then he went to his sleep spot earlier than usual. He was lighter then but in morning was quite dark. He climbed back to same spot and has not moved in 5 hours other than to be a leaf in wind when I mist. This spot is under UVB. I think once you make the changes I’ve suggested, he’ll be more active and more colorful. The sooner you can make the changes, the better. Right now, priority is on correct supplementation and uvb lighting.



I have not seen him drink, I am misting the cage but with lights and how dry things are here humidity level on gauge seems to drop so fast and now I have puddles of water on stand because there is so much misting. I know my cage design could be better and that is plan for when he moves to bigger cage. You’ll have to devise a drainage system. The only limit to that is your creativity. You can buy ReptiStands which allow for you to drill some holes in the floor and have a bucket below, fill the floor up with plants that don’t mind being wet, buy or improvise a drain pan/tray.
I hope I’ve been of some help to you. Feel free to ask as many questions as you need. :)

3F773388-3A15-4B68-A703-D1E5C9AF0D53.jpeg
333F113D-E1D9-4F13-B928-3DF3F6052A63.jpeg
 

dthomas

New Member
Awesome. Thank-you very much. I was planning on getting different gut load so this is really helpful.

For plants I have been trying to find larger ones but the Pothos was the largest I could find at either GreenHouse so kind of need it to grow. Same with the Umbrella plant.

I will definitely try to modify basking spot for UVB right now it is too close.” And make sure all basking spots are optimal. I have found he likes to get as close to UVB as he can.

How do you keep digital meters from reading 99% all the time?

I am working on plan for new bigger cage. This will have built in drainage and proper setup for attaching branches etc. It will also sit higher.

As for covering I only have done that for a 3-4 hours the past few nights until all lights are off. I wish I had a spot I could place him I could keep is totally dark once his lights are off. I have been wondering about mounting a dowel and then using one of those light blocking curtains and curtain his area off.
 

Lindasjackson

Chameleon Enthusiast
When using thermometer/ hygrometer with the wired attached probe, just make sure you put the probe where it won’t get wet, like make sure it’s not in the path of your fogger or your mister. It’s nice to have one where the probe is mounted at the basking branch so you know what his basking temp is, then one with probe mounted in the middle of the cage and then one mounted near the bottom. This way you can see temp and humidity in all three layers of the cage. Govee makes a great one that can pair with your phone so you can keep track of it. They’re on Amazon and run around 12.00 I think.
 

dthomas

New Member
Mind if I ask one other question. I got better temp and humidity sensors and have them set at basking zone, mid and lower where Benny sleeps.

When it says 50-60% humidity during day, does this mean in the basking zone. I can get it there when I mist but then it drops to 40s and upper 30s.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Mind if I ask one other question. I got better temp and humidity sensors and have them set at basking zone, mid and lower where Benny sleeps.

When it says 50-60% humidity during day, does this mean in the basking zone. I can get it there when I mist but then it drops to 40s and upper 30s.
You can ask as many questions as you need. :)
The humidity levels are in general. Usually there’s a variant in different spots of the enclosure, which is what we try to create. Live plants will add little humidity pockets that offer your chameleon a choice for higher humidity. Adding more live plants will increase general humidity too. Wrapping 3 sides of your enclosure in something like the insulating window film (pic below) will help keep humidity in.
E2199995-3E04-4896-B166-013D4DE60CBF.jpeg
 
Top Bottom