New panther chameleon owner! Looking for experienced owners advice!

Jojo2

Member
Hello! New panther chameleon owner here! I have wanted one for so many years and after much research I took the plunge! I just want to make sure I am doing everything to the best of my ability so he lives a long, happy, and healthy life!
I’ll start by filling out the husbandry form I see everywhere.
CHAMELEON INFO
•He is a male panther chameleon. I was told he was “about a year old”. I just brought him home yesterday.
•I have only handled him one time to get him into his enclosure yesterday evening because I don’t want to add any extra stress.
•I offered him 2 dubia roaches, 2 superworms, and 1 horn worm this morning, dusted with calcium no d3, about an hour after lights on. After about 40 mins of no interest I removed and disposed of them. I cup fed in a suspended cup. I will offer a few more this evening.
•I am planning on dusting with ZooMed calcium with no d3 daily. I also have a ZooMed multivitamin for twice a month.
•I have a starter mist king for watering. Also I have the big dripper drip system. I have my mist set to go off for 3 mins 30 mins after lights on. And for 3 min and 30 seconds about an hour and a half before lights off. As soon as he was put into his enclosure yesterday he jumped up and drank from his dripper for a few mins. Since then I have not witnessed him drink, however I have read that isn’t uncommon. When the mist came on this morning I noticed him angle himself to get into the mist.
•I have not witnessed any fecal matter as of yet.
ENCLOSURE INFO
•He is housed in a 24x24x48 Zen Habitat hybrid cage. I live in the north with pretty nasty winters and I felt this was the best option for temp and humidity control. I have a mesh screen top and a section under the door that is also mesh.
•I have a reptisun t5 5.0 HO hood directly on the top of the screen. I also have a 150w ZooMed ceramic infrared heat emitter in a large dome directly on the top of the screen. The heat bulb was recommended instead of a traditional heating bulb by a worker at the pet store. I have it set up to a digital thermostat and set to cut off once the basking point reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the evening I lower the thermostat to cut off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. His lights are to come on at 9am and cut off at 9pm daily.
•I have one probe at his basking point like I mentioned before. To create a basking temp of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I have two other measuring probes in there that is set to read temp and humidity. That one worries me because it is not matching his basking point. I have it on the back wall and I don’t know if my mister may be interfering? After reading today I am under the impression I may need to lower these probes. Any advice is welcome in this area! I want to make sure I have these numbers where they need to be and I want to make sure I’m getting accurate readings.
•As I mentioned before I have one hygrometer probe. When I got up this morning his humidity was only at 10% after his first misting. So I overrode the mist king and misted him a few more times before I went ti work. I was able to get it up to 40% before I left for work. But it worries me because these numbers aren’t where they need to be. Any advice is welcome here!!
•I am using fake foliage at this time. I wanted to find an organic nursery. I did find one today and plan to switch all, or at least most of his plants to real by tomorrow evening. I will be buying a money or umbrella tree for a center piece. And some pothos for trailing pieces throughout for coverage. Any advice on how to mount these in my zen habitat is welcome. I am struggling to come up with ideas as to how.
•The cage is in a relax room in my house. No tv. Some foot traffic. But the least used room in my home. He is next to one heat vent, which I covered for now until I lock down his temps and humidity levels. I don’t want it getting too dry as it could with cold winters and household heat. His enclosure is on a table approximately 2 ft off the ground. From floor to the top of his cage, I would say is maybe 6.5-7 ft.
•I am located in upstate NY


Now some questions. Yesterday when I put him in his cage he went directly to his basking branch and he was holding his nose up. Which freaked me out because of the stories I’ve read on URI. I have not noticed any discharge from nose or mouth. And one time when I opened his cage to feed him he let out a sound and opened his mouth. I’m not sure if it was a hiss from possibly being startled or annoyed, or if it could have been wheezing? The nose in the air happened for quite a while last night even with lights out, he eventually did curl up and sleep though. I made sure to check before I went to bed. Is this something I should worry about?
Next, today before I left for work he climbed up to the screen and was basking under the uvb. Is this something that is cause for concern. I certainly don’t want him burning himself. Should I just keep an eye out that this isn’t happening often? Lastly any advice on controlling humidity and temp, what devices are most reliable, and placement? I am
Hoping once the real foliage is in there tomorrow after rinsing and replanting, I will get that humidity up. But I just can’t get this wrong! I need to keep my little guy happy! I will post
Pics of my current setup, just please keep in mind I plan to add more foliage and coverage. I misjudged the space a little. Any advice on setup changes are welcome too! Also… does he look healthy. Maybe I am a little paranoia, but his colors are seeming a little dull. Is it stress, or maybe because his colors aren’t fully matured? Just looking for expert advice! I look forward to posting more in the future!

* I will add More pictures asap to give a better idea of his full enclosure. I just realized part of it is cut off in these photos.
 

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I have a 9 month old Panther and he is my first as well (although I have had two veiled chams before). What a handsome dude you have there! Real plants will increase your humidity by A LOT! My guy is in a full screen cage with one side shower curtained off and one side on the wall, and without even misting I can keep it at 40% (we do have a humidifier on our furnace and we live in Wi, so lots of winter right now). As for the sound, have you heard him exhale like that more than just the one time? I wouldn't jump on anything within the first 24 hours of him being there. Younger chams will for sure explore the roof of their cages. That is totally normal. I have seen my cham drink 2 times in 6 months but his poops and urates always look great. We have struggled with other issues, but not seeing him drink is not one of them. He seems to be doing that just fine on his own. As for food, my guy will NOT eat from a cup at all. I put worms on branches and I use a cricket shooting gallery for crickets and dubias. They are awesome! Keeping the crickets contained both helps me not spray their powders off and helps him to not get bitten. Let me think a bit more whether I can come up with anything else. Neptune and I hope your little dude is settling in well.
 
I’ll be putting my feedback in bold. Also, breaking it into 2 posts for brevity. :)
CHAMELEON INFO
•He is a male panther chameleon. I was told he was “about a year old”. I just brought him home yesterday.
•I have only handled him one time to get him into his enclosure yesterday evening because I don’t want to add any extra stress. Yes, he’ll need some time to settle in and feel safe in his new home. Go slow and be patient. Great blog on building trust. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
•I offered him 2 dubia roaches, 2 superworms, and 1 horn worm this morning, dusted with calcium no d3, about an hour after lights on. After about 40 mins of no interest I removed and disposed of them. He may not feel safe/comfortable enough yet to eat. Keep trying. For his age feeding every other day about 3-4 feeders would be good. Good you’re offering variety. I cup fed in a suspended cup. I will offer a few more this evening.
•I am planning on dusting with ZooMed calcium with no d3 daily. I also have a ZooMed multivitamin for twice a month. Is your multivitamin Reptivite? Does it have D3 in it?
•I have a starter mist king for watering. Also I have the big dripper drip system. I have my mist set to go off for 3 mins 30 mins after lights on. And for 3 min and 30 seconds about an hour and a half before lights off. As soon as he was put into his enclosure yesterday he jumped up and drank from his dripper for a few mins. Since then I have not witnessed him drink, however I have read that isn’t uncommon. When the mist came on this morning I noticed him angle himself to get into the mist. How long do you run the dripper for? Usually you’d want it for only about 20 minutes or so mid day. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking. We go by the color of urates to determine hydration status.
•I have not witnessed any fecal matter as of yet. It’s a good idea to have veterinary wellness checks with fecal check for parasites with all new animals.
ENCLOSURE INFO
•He is housed in a 24x24x48 Zen Habitat hybrid cage. I live in the north with pretty nasty winters and I felt this was the best option for temp and humidity control. I have a mesh screen top and a section under the door that is also mesh. Nice!
•I have a reptisun t5 5.0 HO hood directly on the top of the screen. I also have a 150w ZooMed ceramic infrared heat emitter in a large dome directly on the top of the screen. The heat bulb was recommended instead of a traditional heating bulb by a worker at the pet store. I don’t know of many/any who use heat emitters with their chams for basking. They are attracted to the light as well as the heat, so I’d get a light. I have it set up to a digital thermostat and set to cut off once the basking point reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the evening I lower the thermostat to cut off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The dimming feature is great! I’d still use the heat emitter but just for night time. You could dial night time temps a bit lower though to maybe 65. His lights are to come on at 9am and cut off at 9pm daily.
•I have one probe at his basking point like I mentioned before. To create a basking temp of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I have two other measuring probes in there that is set to read temp and humidity. That one worries me because it is not matching his basking point. I have it on the back wall and I don’t know if my mister may be interfering? After reading today I am under the impression I may need to lower these probes. Any advice is welcome in this area! I want to make sure I have these numbers where they need to be and I want to make sure I’m getting accurate readings. There will and should be some variation of temps in different areas of the enclosure. Sometimes your cham will want to cool off, take shade, find a pocket of humidity, etc. If a probe is getting misted, that will look cooler than one that is not. The probe directly under basking light will be higher as it’s in direct heat source. Many use a temperature gun to spot check temps. It won’t obviously give you air temps, but is good for checking surface temps.
•As I mentioned before I have one hygrometer probe. When I got up this morning his humidity was only at 10% after his first misting. So I overrode the mist king and misted him a few more times before I went ti work. I was able to get it up to 40% before I left for work. But it worries me because these numbers aren’t where they need to be. Any advice is welcome here!! Wow! 10%?! What you can do is simulate the natural hydration cycle of fog at night by running a cool mist humidifier but only if your night temps get below at least 70. No humidifier when temps are any higher than that. I would suggest getting a different type of hygrometer to double check readings. Just avoid the analog gauge ones as they are unreliable. Some keepers use Govee.
•I am using fake foliage at this time. I wanted to find an organic nursery. I did find one today and plan to switch all, or at least most of his plants to real by tomorrow evening. I will be buying a money or umbrella tree for a center piece. And some pothos for trailing pieces throughout for coverage. Live plants will boost your humidity significantly. Do make sure to wash and rinse them well to remove any chemical residue from pesticides/fertilizer. Reporting in fresh organic soil without perlite is also recommended. Any advice on how to mount these in my zen habitat is welcome. I am struggling to come up with ideas as to how. Yes, but it involves drilling some holes in your enclosure walls and frame. Take inspiration from Dragon Ledges and craft some that will work for you. They key is to have the frame support the bulk of the weight. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/
•The cage is in a relax room in my house. No tv. Some foot traffic. But the least used room in my home. He is next to one heat vent, which I covered for now until I lock down his temps and humidity levels. I don’t want it getting too dry as it could with cold winters and household heat. His enclosure is on a table approximately 2 ft off the ground. From floor to the top of his cage, I would say is maybe 6.5-7 ft.
•I am located in upstate NY
 
Part II

Now some questions. Yesterday when I put him in his cage he went directly to his basking branch and he was holding his nose up. Which freaked me out because of the stories I’ve read on URI. I have not noticed any discharge from nose or mouth. And one time when I opened his cage to feed him he let out a sound and opened his mouth. I’m not sure if it was a hiss from possibly being startled or annoyed, or if it could have been wheezing? The nose in the air happened for quite a while last night even with lights out, he eventually did curl up and sleep though. I made sure to check before I went to bed. Is this something I should worry about? Do keep a close eye on him for any further symptoms. It’s always good to research chameleon vets in your area before needing one. If you need help finding one, just ask.
Next, today before I left for work he climbed up to the screen and was basking under the uvb. Is this something that is cause for concern. Yes! He can easily get burned. You’ll want to raise your lights/heat source a few inches above the screen, at least until he’s too big to continue to act like a monkey lizard. I certainly don’t want him burning himself. Should I just keep an eye out that this isn’t happening often? Lastly any advice on controlling humidity and temp, what devices are most reliable, and placement? Already addressed above. I am
Hoping once the real foliage is in there tomorrow after rinsing and replanting, I will get that humidity up. You will. But I just can’t get this wrong! I need to keep my little guy happy! I will post
Pics of my current setup, just please keep in mind I plan to add more foliage and coverage. I misjudged the space a little. Any advice on setup changes are welcome too! Also… does he look healthy. Maybe I am a little paranoia, but his colors are seeming a little dull. Is it stress, or maybe because his colors aren’t fully matured? It’s probably a combination of all. Plus, while I can’t say it’s all panthers that do it (it isn’t really talked about), some few do have some color fade in the winter. He looks good to me. Could maybe gain a couple of grams, but no obvious signs of illness. Just looking for expert advice! I’m not even close to an expert, but do know enough to give you feedback. ;) I look forward to posting more in the future! I sure hope to be seeing you around. Love it when people share their chameleon journeys.

* I will add More pictures asap to give a better idea of his full enclosure. I just realized part of it is cut off in these photos.
General advice…remove the rock ledge and cholla wood. The rock really is only taking up space that something more natural for an arboreal animal could use. The cholla wood can entrap little claws and then they can get ripped out/damaged. Make lots of little cham roads with natural branches, vines (avoid the gritty Exo Terra vines) and be sure to have varied circumferences to exercise the little mitten feet muscles. Add lots of live plants to create areas of shade and for hiding…like a little forest edge. You may want to add a feeding station…is just an option.
Attaching feeder and gutload graphics. It is very important to take as good care of your feeders as you do your cham so that they will be nutritious.
Do ask any other questions you may have. :)
 
Everything @MissSkittles said... And I want to elaborate on this one because it is a thermal burn waiting to happen especially with him screen climbing.

I also have a 150w ZooMed ceramic infrared heat emitter in a large dome directly on the top of the screen. The heat bulb was recommended instead of a traditional heating bulb by a worker at the pet store.

This is a hard pass... Take it back to the store get a 75 watt regular incandescent light bulb. Chameleons go to the light because it signifies heat for them. So if he is trying to find it and is basking on a branch to get warm under a 150 watt heat emitter he could get a very serious thermal burn. If he hangs upside down on the screen under this he will for sure get a severe thermal burn. 85 at the branch would be the hottest you would go. Your looking for a range of 80-85 at the branch then at night you want the temp to drop... Even down to 60 is fine. So try to get a temp drop to at least 65 at night.
 
I’ll be putting my feedback in bold. Also, breaking it into 2 posts for brevity. :)
CHAMELEON INFO
•He is a male panther chameleon. I was told he was “about a year old”. I just brought him home yesterday.
•I have only handled him one time to get him into his enclosu yesterday evening because I don’t want to add any extra stress. Yes, he’ll need some time to settle in and feel safe in his new home. Go slow and be patient. Great blog on building trust. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
•I offered him 2 dubia roaches, 2 superworms, and 1 horn worm this morning, dusted with calcium no d3, about an hour after lights on. After about 40 mins of no interest I removed and disposed of them. He may not feel safe/comfortable enough yet to eat. Keep trying. For his age feeding every other day about 3-4 feeders would be good. Good you’re offering variety. I cup fed in a suspended cup. I will offer a few more this evening.
•I am planning on dusting with ZooMed calcium with no d3 daily. I also have a ZooMed multivitamin for twice a month. Is your multivitamin Reptivite? Does it have D3 in it?
•I have a starter mist king for watering. Also I have the big dripper drip system. I have my mist set to go off for 3 mins 30 mins after lights on. And for 3 min and 30 seconds about an hour and a half before lights off. As soon as he was put into his enclosure yesterday he jumped up and drank from his dripper for a few mins. Since then I have not witnessed him drink, however I have read that isn’t uncommon. When the mist came on this morning I noticed him angle himself to get into the mist. How long do you run the dripper for? Usually you’d want it for only about 20 minutes or so mid day. Many chameleons are secretive about drinking. We go by the color of urates to determine hydration status.
•I have not witnessed any fecal matter as of yet. It’s a good idea to have veterinary wellness checks with fecal check for parasites with all new animals.
ENCLOSURE INFO
•He is housed in a 24x24x48 Zen Habitat hybrid cage. I live in the north with pretty nasty winters and I felt this was the best option for temp and humidity control. I have a mesh screen top and a section under the door that is also mesh. Nice!
•I have a reptisun t5 5.0 HO hood directly on the top of the screen. I also have a 150w ZooMed ceramic infrared heat emitter in a large dome directly on the top of the screen. The heat bulb was recommended instead of a traditional heating bulb by a worker at the pet store. I don’t know of many/any who use heat emitters with their chams for basking. They are attracted to the light as well as the heat, so I’d get a light. I have it set up to a digital thermostat and set to cut off once the basking point reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the evening I lower the thermostat to cut off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The dimming feature is great! I’d still use the heat emitter but just for night time. You could dial night time temps a bit lower though to maybe 65. His lights are to come on at 9am and cut off at 9pm daily.
•I have one probe at his basking point like I mentioned before. To create a basking temp of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I have two other measuring probes in there that is set to read temp and humidity. That one worries me because it is not matching his basking point. I have it on the back wall and I don’t know if my mister may be interfering? After reading today I am under the impression I may need to lower these probes. Any advice is welcome in this area! I want to make sure I have these numbers where they need to be and I want to make sure I’m getting accurate readings. There will and should be some variation of temps in different areas of the enclosure. Sometimes your cham will want to cool off, take shade, find a pocket of humidity, etc. If a probe is getting misted, that will look cooler than one that is not. The probe directly under basking light will be higher as it’s in direct heat source. Many use a temperature gun to spot check temps. It won’t obviously give you air temps, but is good for checking surface temps.
•As I mentioned before I have one hygrometer probe. When I got up this morning his humidity was only at 10% after his first misting. So I overrode the mist king and misted him a few more times before I went ti work. I was able to get it up to 40% before I left for work. But it worries me because these numbers aren’t where they need to be. Any advice is welcome here!! Wow! 10%?! What you can do is simulate the natural hydration cycle of fog at night by running a cool mist humidifier but only if your night temps get below at least 70. No humidifier when temps are any higher than that. I would suggest getting a different type of hygrometer to double check readings. Just avoid the analog gauge ones as they are unreliable. Some keepers use Govee.
•I am using fake foliage at this time. I wanted to find an organic nursery. I did find one today and plan to switch all, or at least most of his plants to real by tomorrow evening. I will be buying a money or umbrella tree for a center piece. And some pothos for trailing pieces throughout for coverage. Live plants will boost your humidity significantly. Do make sure to wash and rinse them well to remove any chemical residue from pesticides/fertilizer. Reporting in fresh organic soil without perlite is also recommended. Any advice on how to mount these in my zen habitat is welcome. I am struggling to come up with ideas as to how. Yes, but it involves drilling some holes in your enclosure walls and frame. Take inspiration from Dragon Ledges and craft some that will work for you. They key is to have the frame support the bulk of the weight. https://dragonstrand.com/dragon-ledges/
•The cage is in a relax room in my house. No tv. Some foot traffic. But the least used room in my home. He is next to one heat vent, which I covered for now until I lock down his temps and humidity levels. I don’t want it getting too dry as it could with cold winters and household heat. His enclosure is on a table approximately 2 ft off the ground. From floor to the top of his cage, I would say is maybe 6.5-7 ft.
•I am located in upstate NY
 
Thank you all so much for the detailed replies! I want to say I appreciate you taking time to help!

Yes his multi has d3 in it. I planned to give that to him bi-monthly.

I turned his dripper on for a few minutes after his Mist this morning. Shut it off when I went to work. Ran home before my appointment and ran it for 10 more mins and shut it off before I got left. I did see what seemed like fecal matter on a leaf before I left but I was running late for an appointment. I plan to check that as soon as I’m home and will update.

Should I get a separate light and dome for his basking light then? And just have them set on two separate timers? And may I ask what wattage you recommend for his basking light?

I have the probe zip tied to his basking branch and that’s showing 85 degrees. Is that a sufficient way to measure accuratly?

I have looked at dragon strand mounts. But I want to hopefully get the plants (definitely washing them throughly first!) in there asap to increase the humidity and they said they ship weekly. I’m worried that’s too long with the low humidity levels I’m getting.

Are my misting times ok? Could changing that help with the humidity?

I will absolutely keep an eye on those symptoms. And I did already find and contact a vet today in the event I need to make an emergency appointment. The only reptile vet near me said they’re booking out until end of feb for wellness checks. Maybe I should get on that now to check his fecal matter and what not.

I was looking at metal stands to place on the top of enclosures today to lift his lights. Will I need to change my ubv strength since I’m raising it? Or will the one I have currently still suffice?

The rock ledge is a magnetic cup I used for feeding. Should I still remove it? Do it a different way? And I placed that wood at the bottom intentional since I know he shouldn’t really go that low. I used it to create height but I will go on the hunt for other options. That was recommended at the pet store. Ugh! Another peice of not so good advice I guess.

I am gutloading my feeders. The roaches at least. The super worms they said I shouldn’t add anything? Can I just add the same veggies I am the roaches?
 
Thank you all so much for the detailed replies! I want to say I appreciate you taking time to help!

Yes his multi has d3 in it. I planned to give that to him bi-monthly. Perfect!

I turned his dripper on for a few minutes after his Mist this morning. Shut it off when I went to work. Ran home before my appointment and ran it for 10 more mins and shut it off before I got left. I did see what seemed like fecal matter on a leaf before I left but I was running late for an appointment. I plan to check that as soon as I’m home and will update.

Should I get a separate light and dome for his basking light then? And just have them set on two separate timers? And may I ask what wattage you recommend for his basking light? @Beman covered this above. I would get a separate dome as you’ll only need to use the heat emitter if your house gets below around 60 ish.

I have the probe zip tied to his basking branch and that’s showing 85 degrees. Is that a sufficient way to measure accuratly? Yes

I have looked at dragon strand mounts. But I want to hopefully get the plants (definitely washing them throughly first!) in there asap to increase the humidity and they said they ship weekly. I’m worried that’s too long with the low humidity levels I’m getting. Have you checked the big box home improvement stores, nurseries or even flower shops for some plants? Most do have some inside.

Are my misting times ok? Yes. Misting for at least 2+ minutes helps trigger their drinking response and provides them time to clean/refresh their eyes if they choose. Could changing that help with the humidity? I’m not able to get a substantial temp drop at night so don’t use a humidifier. Instead, I have just a couple of 15 second mistings during the night to boost humidity a little. I use (modified) screen enclosures with good air flow.

I will absolutely keep an eye on those symptoms. And I did already find and contact a vet today in the event I need to make an emergency appointment. The only reptile vet near me said they’re booking out until end of feb for wellness checks. Maybe I should get on that now to check his fecal matter and what not. Yes. Make the appointment. I find it saves so much time to write/print out all of my husbandry going by the questions you answered above and hand it to the vet. The fecal sample will need to be as fresh as possible for testing…like within 24 hours.

I was looking at metal stands to place on the top of enclosures today to lift his lights. Will I need to change my ubv strength since I’m raising it? Or will the one I have currently still suffice? I just use little metal bins I found at the dollar store to raise my lights. Your uvb strength will stay the same and basking area will need to be about 8-9” down from it.

The rock ledge is a magnetic cup I used for feeding. Should I still remove it? Whatever works for you. :) I thought it was just decor. Do it a different way? And I placed that wood at the bottom intentional since I know he shouldn’t really go that low. He will! Even though we may not always see them do it, chams do explore every inch of their space and males regularly patrol looking for food, mates and rivals. I used it to create height but I will go on the hunt for other options. That was recommended at the pet store. Ugh! Another peice of not so good advice I guess. Yeah…most pet stores haven’t many clues and just sell you what they have. We’ve all fallen victim to it at one time or another.

I am gutloading my feeders. The roaches at least. The super worms they said I shouldn’t add anything? Can I just add the same veggies I am the roaches? I feed my supers some of the drier veggies, like shaved carrot, squashes, bell pepper and thin slivers of Bug Burger…just small amounts that I know they’ll eat completely before it spoils. I’ve tried greens and they weren’t fans. I feed all of my feeders, including bsfl (although not that often for bsfl). Bed pollen is also excellent to add to your gutload.
 
Awesome! Thank you for your help. I am going to the pet store and local nursery tomorrow and will make some of the modifications suggested today! Thank you so much everyone!
 
Hello! New panther chameleon owner here! I have wanted one for so many years and after much research I took the plunge! I just want to make sure I am doing everything to the best of my ability so he lives a long, happy, and healthy life!
I’ll start by filling out the husbandry form I see everywhere.
CHAMELEON INFO
•He is a male panther chameleon. I was told he was “about a year old”. I just brought him home yesterday.
•I have only handled him one time to get him into his enclosure yesterday evening because I don’t want to add any extra stress. Good! Let him settle in, no handling for a while.
•I offered him 2 dubia roaches, 2 superworms, and 1 horn worm this morning, dusted with calcium no d3, about an hour after lights on. After about 40 mins of no interest I removed and disposed of them. I cup fed in a suspended cup. I will offer a few more this evening.You’ll hear lots of folks recommending that food shouldn’t be offered late in the day. This may be true, but there’s no harm in feeding in the early afternoon. I’ve found that many of my chams want to wake up, and warm up before they’ll eat. And honesty, I doubt wild chameleons check their watch before tagging a bug: they’re opportunists.
•I am planning on dusting with ZooMed calcium with no d3 daily. I also have a ZooMed multivitamin for twice a month. Does this multivitamin have d3?
•I have a starter mist king for watering. Also I have the big dripper drip system. I have my mist set to go off for 3 mins 30 mins after lights on. And for 3 min and 30 seconds about an hour and a half before lights off. As soon as he was put into his enclosure yesterday he jumped up and drank from his dripper for a few mins. Since then I have not witnessed him drink, however I have read that isn’t uncommon. When the mist came on this morning I noticed him angle himself to get into the mist.Try misting just before lights on, and just after lights off—with an occasional overnight misting, until you get your fogger. Run the dripper for several hours in the afternoon.
•I have not witnessed any fecal matter as of yet.
ENCLOSURE INFO
•He is housed in a 24x24x48 Zen Habitat hybrid cage. I live in the north with pretty nasty winters and I felt this was the best option for temp and humidity control. I have a mesh screen top and a section under the door that is also mesh. That is a great enclosure setup for your situation: props!
•I have a reptisun t5 5.0 HO hood directly on the top of the screen. I also have a 150w ZooMed ceramic infrared heat emitter in a large dome directly on the top of the screen. The heat bulb was recommended instead of a traditional heating bulb by a worker at the pet store. I have it set up to a digital thermostat and set to cut off once the basking point reaches 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In the evening I lower the thermostat to cut off at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Good work on using a thermostat! Note that you don’t need any heat at night, unless the room drops into the 50s. His lights are to come on at 9am and cut off at 9pm daily.
•I have one probe at his basking point like I mentioned before. To create a basking temp of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. I have two other measuring probes in there that is set to read temp and humidity. That one worries me because it is not matching his basking point. I have it on the back wall and I don’t know if my mister may be interfering? After reading today I am under the impression I may need to lower these probes. Any advice is welcome in this area! I want to make sure I have these numbers where they need to be and I want to make sure I’m getting accurate readings.Here’s perfect numbers: basking spot no higher than 85, ambient temps 75-77. Put one probe on the basking branch, and one halfway down the enclosure. Try protecting this latter probe from mist, or else record temps in the afternoon when it’s dry.
•As I mentioned before I have one hygrometer probe. When I got up this morning his humidity was only at 10% after his first mistingYou’re hygrometer probe is not working. I live in Canada where central heating dries the hell out of the air in the winter. But 10% is constant nosebleed zone. . So I overrode the mist king and misted him a few more times before I went ti work. I was able to get it up to 40% before I left for work. But it worries me because these numbers aren’t where they need to be. Any advice is welcome here!! Don’t sweat the daytime humidity; work on getting and maintaining your nightime humidity to 100%. Use a fogger, mist overnight frequently for just a few seconds (you should have 10 periods on your mistking, so you’ll have 8 left after the two I recommended). Try 8 misting a for 3-5 seconds, spaced at equal intervals all night.
•I am using fake foliage at this timeLive plants will go a long way in helping your humidity issues. . I wanted to find an organic nursery. I did find one today and plan to switch all, or at least most of his plants to real by tomorrow evening. I will be buying a money or umbrella tree for a center piece. And some pothos for trailing pieces throughout for coverage. Any advice on how to mount these in my zen habitat is welcome. I am struggling to come up with ideas as to how. I don’t know the specific habitat you have. Are the sides hard plastic, or glass?
•The cage is in a relax room in my house. No tv. Some foot traffic. But the least used room in my home. He is next to one heat vent, which I covered for now until I lock down his temps and humidity levels. I don’t want it getting too dry as it could with cold winters and household heat. His enclosure is on a table approximately 2 ft off the ground. From floor to the top of his cage, I would say is maybe 6.5-7 ft.
•I am located in upstate NY


Now some questions. Yesterday when I put him in his cage he went directly to his basking branch and he was holding his nose up. Which freaked me out because of the stories I’ve read on URI. Don’t freak out about anything yet. I have not noticed any discharge from nose or mouth. And one time when I opened his cage to feed him he let out a sound and opened his mouth.If he hissed at you and puffed up, that’s just him being a Cham. I’m not sure if it was a hiss from possibly being startled or annoyed, or if it could have been wheezing? The nose in the air happened for quite a while last night even with lights out, he eventually did curl up and sleep though. I made sure to check before I went to bed. Is this something I should worry about?
Next, today before I left for work he climbed up to the screen and was basking under the uvb. Is this something that is cause for concern. I certainly don’t want him burning himself Consider getting a solar meter. It will help you get your uvb perfect. . Should I just keep an eye out that this isn’t happening often? Lastly any advice on controlling humidity and temp, what devices are most reliable, and placement? I am
Hoping once the real foliage is in there tomorrow after rinsing and replanting, I will get that humidity up. But I just can’t get this wrong! I need to keep my little guy happy! I will post
Pics of my current setup, just please keep in mind I plan to add more foliage and coverage. I misjudged the space a little. Any advice on setup changes are welcome too! Also… does he look healthy. Maybe I am a little paranoia, but his colors are seeming a little dull. Is it stress, or maybe because his colors aren’t fully matured? Just looking for expert advice! I look forward to posting more in the future!

* I will add More pictures asap to give a better idea of his full enclosure. I just realized part of it is cut off in these photos. Ok, so you’re clearly dedicated and on the right track. I’ll post some links below. Don’t panic about anything yet, but certajnly make an appointment for a wellness check with your vet over the next couple weeks. It’s good to establish that relationship now. Continue to monitor behavior, and don’t hesitate to ask, or take action if you see more red flags.
 
For your morning misting I’d recommend misting 30 minutes before lights on so once he wakes up he can drink the dew droplets off the leaves like in the wild. I personally like to run the mister 2 hours after lights off so it keeps the cage wet and humid all night. Then during the day you want it to dry out completely! Hot and humid environment will cause URI. You want cool and humid like nightime humidity is good for him.
 
For your morning misting I’d recommend misting 30 minutes before lights on so once he wakes up he can drink the dew droplets off the leaves like in the wild. I personally like to run the mister 2 hours after lights off so it keeps the cage wet and humid all night. Then during the day you want it to dry out completely! Hot and humid environment will cause URI. You want cool and humid like nightime humidity is good for him.
I totally get that! I was just worried when his humidity is dropping to like 20% by day. And even lower in the evening. I just purchased two house humidifiers to use because NY winters cause for a lot of dry air. I am hoping that will help get it up in his cage too. I can’t quite get his temps lower than 69-71 at night so I was worried about running a digger at those temps and risking a URI. But I definitely plan on making adjustments to my misting to try and get those levels up, and I am leaving as we speak to get live plants and more hygrometers. Thank you for your suggestions! I appreciate all the help!
 
I totally get that! I was just worried when his humidity is dropping to like 20% by day. And even lower in the evening. I just purchased two house humidifiers to use because NY winters cause for a lot of dry air. I am hoping that will help get it up in his cage too. I can’t quite get his temps lower than 69-71 at night so I was worried about running a digger at those temps and risking a URI. But I definitely plan on making adjustments to my misting to try and get those levels up, and I am leaving as we speak to get live plants and more hygrometers. Thank you for your suggestions! I appreciate all the help!
Not a digger 🤦🏼‍♀️ Lol a fogger*
 
I totally get that! I was just worried when his humidity is dropping to like 20% by day. And even lower in the evening. I just purchased two house humidifiers to use because NY winters cause for a lot of dry air. I am hoping that will help get it up in his cage too. I can’t quite get his temps lower than 69-71 at night so I was worried about running a digger at those temps and risking a URI. But I definitely plan on making adjustments to my misting to try and get those levels up, and I am leaving as we speak to get live plants and more hygrometers. Thank you for your suggestions! I appreciate all the help!
If you can not get your temps at night lower than what you have I would not run a fogger directly into the cage. Run it into the room just to get ambient levels up. The point behind fogging at night is doing this with colder temps allows for another form of hydration. It should never be utilized as the only form of hydration though. This is the main reason why we fog at night.

Now if your having issues with humidity in the cage there are a few things you can do to help this.... Duct window film on the back and two sides of the out side of the cage will help contain humidity in the cage while still allowing for airflow. Also lots of live plants will help pull up ambient levels.
 
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