New Panther Owner

HighAlpine

New Member
Hi Everyone,

I recently got a new panther chameleon and am trying to ensure I am doing things correctly for him. I live in a high altitude area that is pretty arid so I built an enclosure using a glass exoterra XL Tall to keep humidity up.

Here is some other info. I would appreciate any and all input.

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
As stated he is a panther chameleon, I was told by the breeder he is around 3 months old. I've had him for just over a week.
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
He has been a bit stressed so I have yet to handle him but have hand fed a bit which he is receptive to.
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
Right now, 8-10 crickets and 4-5 dubai roaches a day. Occasionally giving him a hornworm. He is being fed in the morning maybe 30 mins after he wakes up. All are being gut-loaded with repashy bug burger.
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
lightly dusting feeders with Repashy Supercal NoD at every feeding and am going to use Rapashy Calcium Plus LoD twice per month (have given once since getting him).
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
Using a MistKing system 2 mins at 7am (wake up), 1min at Noon, 2 mins at 7pm. 45-50 seconds every 3 hours during sleep. I have seen him drinking once but not since. I have also started using a dripper for a few minutes a couple of times per day.
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
Dark brown with mostly white urates, initially there was a bit of yellow/orange tinge to urates after receiving him but that has resolved.
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Only had him for one week so not much to go on here.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
Exo Terra XL tall glass palludarium 36 x 18 x 36. Using a computer fan on the screen up top to ensure better airflow. Enclosure is bioactive.
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
Repti Zoo 39W Reptile t5 HO UVB, Repti Zoo 8.5" Reptile light w/ 65W incandescent basking bulb. Sansi LED grow light.
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
Temp ranges from 70F at floor to around 82-85F max at basking spot. Lowest overnight temp being around 62F. Measuring with a digital probe.
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
Day time humidity sits around 50-65% most of the day spiking to 70-90% for an hour or so after misting. Night time is generally in the 75-100% range depending on whether the fan is going.
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
Yes all live plants. Pothos, Lipstick plant, schefflera amate, polkadot plant, bromeliad, rabbit foot fern.
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
Cage is in my office, I am typically the only traffic in the area (sitting at my desk), my kids do come in to look at the chameleon a few times a day. Top of cage is at about 60" from floor possibly slightly higher.
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Located in high altitude Colorado.

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

No specific concerns as of now, would just like some input on things in general. If anyone has concerns I would like to know so that I can address any potential shortcomings.
 

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Welcome to the forum!
Looks like you have most of the things right in the husbandry.

Feeding/gutloading insects...I would add some fresh greens (dandelion greens, kale, collards, endive, escarole, etc.) and veggies (Susan, zucchini, sweet potatoes, sweet red pepper, Ted) and a very little bit of fruit (berries, apple, pear).

I would also move the basking light more to the corner of the cage to help create a chimney effect.

I'm sure others will chime in to mention things I've missed.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome on here, you're off to an amazing start! Your husbandry is almost perfect, I LOVE it! 😍 Just a few minor notes (a lot of writing but not a lot of adjustments, don't worry!), at his age, you can feed him as much as he will eat! What is the UVB bulb strength and distance from it to his basking branch, along with the distance between his heat bulb and basking branch? The main and recommended UVB brands are Zoo Med and Arcadia, so I'll be no help for ReptiZoo quality or distances, since I can have no experience with them. Do you happen to have a Solarmeter 6.5? Some more vines and branches would really elevate your set up and provide more pathways for him to explore and bask under different UVI and temperature levels. If you can, add or move a plant closer to the front to provide him some extra privacy (unless the pic is showing the depth of plants incorrectly). Also, those Exo Terra vines need to be replaced, as their debris can cause eye issues.

You're doing awesome, let us know if you have any questions or need clarifications, want links to more info, and/or to give you some feeder and gutload charts, we're here to help!
 

HighAlpine

New Member
Welcome on here, you're off to an amazing start! Your husbandry is almost perfect, I LOVE it! 😍 Just a few minor notes (a lot of writing but not a lot of adjustments, don't worry!), at his age, you can feed him as much as he will eat! What is the UVB bulb strength and distance from it to his basking branch, along with the distance between his heat bulb and basking branch? The main and recommended UVB brands are Zoo Med and Arcadia, so I'll be no help for ReptiZoo quality or distances, since I can have no experience with them. Do you happen to have a Solarmeter 6.5? Some more vines and branches would really elevate your set up and provide more pathways for him to explore and bask under different UVI and temperature levels. If you can, add or move a plant closer to the front to provide him some extra privacy (unless the pic is showing the depth of plants incorrectly). Also, those Exo Terra vines need to be replaced, as their debris can cause eye issues.

You're doing awesome, let us know if you have any questions or need clarifications, want links to more info, and/or to give you some feeder and gutload charts, we're here to help!
Thank you both for the quick replies. His UVB is a 5.0 and I believe the bulb itself is made by arcadia but came as a bundle with the ballast that came from ReptiZoo, if anyone advises that this isn't a good brand or setup I would definitely switch it out for one of the more recommended ones. Distance from the bulb to basking branch is between 7.5" - 9". His basking bulb distance is probably about 9" or 10" away from the branch now.

Some of the plants are touching the glass doors in front but one of my concerns was that I could use more depth./ I was considering removing both the fern and the polkadot plant and replacing them with a dracaena/corn plant that I have that would fit fairly well to add a bit more depth. I'll also try to figure out how I can remove some of these vines as I have read they can cause irritation. Luckily my yard is full of aspen trees so it's easy for me to cut and place new branches with a bit of creativity in regard to attaching them since it can get tricky with the glass enclosure.

I'll also try to incorporate a bit more veggies and fruit for gut-loading his bugs. Can also try to figure out relocating the basking bulb to create more of a temp gradient and cause that chimney effect.
 
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
So Arcadia goes in percentages (6%, 12%, 14%) and Zoo Med ReptiSun UVB bulbs go in decimal points (5.0, 10.0). You can look on the bulb itself to figure out its brand! For Arcadia 6% and Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 bulbs, the distance from it to the basking branch should be 8-9" apart, if you aren't using a Solarmeter 6.5, to get a basking UVI level of 3. Depending on the UVB bulb brand also changes the timeline of when to replace them, again, it's if you aren't using a Solarmeter. Arcadia bulbs need to be replaced yearly and Zoo Med needs to be every 6 months. Here's great gutload and feeder charts, along with plant ones (Chameleon Academy's website list in the plant module section has more options, too)!
 

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HighAlpine

New Member
So Arcadia goes in percentages (6%, 12%, 14%) and Zoo Med ReptiSun UVB bulbs go in decimal points (5.0, 10.0). You can look on the bulb itself to figure out its brand! For Arcadia 6% and Zoo Med ReptiSun 5.0 bulbs, the distance from it to the basking branch should be 8-9" apart, if you aren't using a Solarmeter 6.5, to get a basking UVI level of 3. Depending on the UVB bulb brand also changes the timeline of when to replace them, again, it's if you aren't using a Solarmeter. Arcadia bulbs need to be replaced yearly and Zoo Med needs to be every 6 months. Here's great gutload and feeder charts, along with plant ones (Chameleon Academy's website list in the plant module section has more options, too)!

Makes sense, so it's probably safe to assume I would need to replace it every 6 months since it's labeled as a 5.0? I can't see the branding without taking the bulb out. I'll probably replace it with an arcadia soon then. Sounds like distance wise I should be about on the mark for the correct UVI level but I will look into a Solarmeter to ensure that's the case. Thank you for all the info! I've been reading on here for months planning but know that I have tweaks to make. My guy just started shedding today and he seems a bit off because of it so I may leave him be until that finishes and then start making adjustments in his enclosure etc.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
No, thank you, it's so amazing when someone comes on here committed, with correct husbandry, and willing to learn more and improve, you're doing awesome! Also make sure to spam us with cham pics, too! 😄
 
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