Panther Chameleon is almost always brown

Lumi

Member
  • Your Chameleon - Panther female, roughly 7 months old. Her name is Poppy.
  • Handling - I handled her a few times when I first got her and once or twice to get her to move under the light because she's always brown when I put her in her new cage (roughly two weeks ago) since then I haven't touched her, am making a a point not to. She will eat from my hand usually when I offer it.
  • Feeding -5-10 dusted large crickets fed commercial gutload supplement (mazuri) everyday, superworms for treats every other day. I also ordered some BSFL and they're on the way. She refuses dubia roaches.
  • Supplements - calcium w/out D3 every feeding, reptivite vitamins twice a month.
  • Watering - Misting twice daily (7:15 am and pm) for two minutes and I also have a fogger that runs for ten minutes every 4 hours to keep the humidity up
  • Fecal Description - Looks like it should according to chameleon academy. Solid, but packaged in that gelatin kind of look, urates are either white or light orange
  • History - got her from petco about a month ago and for the first two weeks her tank was too small before I upgraded her to proper enclosure about a week ago

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Hybrid mostly glass cage, I live in a very dry environment. 2x2x4, the screen is only on the top. Bioactive with leap soil on the bottom for the plants and a drainage layer with ceramic balls. Just got it all put together, isopods and springtails are on the way.
  • Lighting - arcadia 6% forest uvb bulb in a T0H5 mirrored 24" holder
  • Temperature - bottom of the cage is about 70 during the day, top is between 70-75. under her basking light (blue daylight incandescent) i have a probe thermometer and i keep it between 80-85 per the chameleon academy, both lights go off between 7am and 7 pm.
  • Humidity - between 40-60% 24 hours a day
  • Plants -pothos, spider plant, fittonia, schefflera, arrowhead, ruffle fern, and some fake plants to fill in until the pothos get bigger
  • Placement - on a table in my office, the top of her cage is about 6 feet off the ground
  • Location - Montana, US

My concern is that she always hangs out on a vine below the hanging plants and is brown. She lightens up to pink when she eats, and usually in the late afternoon she'll move up to the basking area, but otherwise she doesn't use it at all. I have a probe thermometer so I know it isn't too hot up there. I just don't know what I'm doing wrong and I'm sad she's unhappy.

Pictures: 1: tank set up
2. Where she usually sits and her color (yes I'm aware she's shedding, but she has been doing this since I got her and has only started this shed yesterday)
3: One picture i got of her basking in the basking area, in my experience the dark black lines with the yellow in between are colors when she's frightened. Once in her old cage I was moving vines and she went those colors really bright and popped out her throat and opened her mouth wide (hasn't done it since, but it's how I figured those are upset colors)
4. These are more of what I think are her resting colors, shes a pale pink when she's sleeping, and usually when she eats she gets that color too, or at least close to it.
5. basking area. You can see the probe and I have the other thing in there for the humidity on the top half.
6. position of tank in the room. I'm a writer so I sit at the desk for a lot of the day.
 

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You have two dome lights…is one a plant light? What is the brightest light in your enclosure?
There’s only one dome light and then there’s the long uvb light. They’re right next to each other probably about the same brightness
 
Regarding your husbandry, all looks ok to me but I do have a couple of questions. Does your ReptiVite contain D3? What is the distance between your basking area and lights?
I know you say you live in a dry area, but you really should never fog during the day. Instead I would add an additional 1 minute misting mid day or use a dripper for 15-20 minutes. You could even put a few ice cubes on top of the screen top and let them melt down. The live plants will create little pockets of increased humidity that Poppy can hang out in if she likes. If you can achieve a night time temp drop to below at least 68, you can fog to your heart’s desire at night and boost humidity as high as you can. That simulates the natural hydration obtained thru fog.
I’m not sure what to tell you about Poppy’s colors. I have a 1.5 yo (Nosy Be) panther girl and she keeps me guessing all the time. I see her looking to be hunting her isopods more than I see her basking. Some days she’s got her pretty lavenders, pinks or corals and other days she’s grey.
 
Regarding your husbandry, all looks ok to me but I do have a couple of questions. Does your ReptiVite contain D3? What is the distance between your basking area and lights?
I know you say you live in a dry area, but you really should never fog during the day. Instead I would add an additional 1 minute misting mid day or use a dripper for 15-20 minutes. You could even put a few ice cubes on top of the screen top and let them melt down. The live plants will create little pockets of increased humidity that Poppy can hang out in if she likes. If you can achieve a night time temp drop to below at least 68, you can fog to your heart’s desire at night and boost humidity as high as you can. That simulates the natural hydration obtained thru fog.
I’m not sure what to tell you about Poppy’s colors. I have a 1.5 yo (Nosy Be) panther girl and she keeps me guessing all the time. I see her looking to be hunting her isopods more than I see her basking. Some days she’s got her pretty lavenders, pinks or corals and other days she’s grey.
Yes the reptivite contains D3 and the distance between the basking area and lights is 10 inches. I basically put it where it wouldn't get too hot from the basking bulb, i've gone through like 4 bulbs because they were all too hot. Why don't I want to fog during the day? Thanks!
 
Yes the reptivite contains D3 and the distance between the basking area and lights is 10 inches. I basically put it where it wouldn't get too hot from the basking bulb, i've gone through like 4 bulbs because they were all too hot. Why don't I want to fog during the day? Thanks!
You can/should make the distance a little shorter to 8-9” which will them provide the ideal UVB level of 3.0. You may need to elevate the basking light above the screen if too hot or try a lower wattage.
High heat plus high humidity increases risks for respiratory infection in chameleons. Since your enclosure is glass, this would be even more of a risk. The wild population of chameleons in hot and humid south Florida are ok because being outside, there is limitless ventilation to overcome the heat/humidity.
 
You can/should make the distance a little shorter to 8-9” which will them provide the ideal UVB level of 3.0. You may need to elevate the basking light above the screen if too hot or try a lower wattage.
High heat plus high humidity increases risks for respiratory infection in chameleons. Since your enclosure is glass, this would be even more of a risk. The wild population of chameleons in hot and humid south Florida are ok because being outside, there is limitless ventilation to overcome the heat/humidity.
OK i'll work on the lights. thank you! Regarding the humidity, I should stop fogging even if the humidity doesn't go over 60%? The fogger comes on during the day, but usually my humidity meters don't get much over 50 even with it coming on every four hours.
 
OK i'll work on the lights. thank you! Regarding the humidity, I should stop fogging even if the humidity doesn't go over 60%? The fogger comes on during the day, but usually my humidity meters don't get much over 50 even with it coming on every four hours.
Yes, definitely stop fogging during the day. The ideal range for panthers during the day is between 50-70%. I have to admit to having my veileds and panthers in the same room, which is usually a compromised 40%. My panthers have been ok.
 
Yes, definitely stop fogging during the day. The ideal range for panthers during the day is between 50-70%. I have to admit to having my veileds and panthers in the same room, which is usually a compromised 40%. My panthers have been ok.
Is this because when the fogger is on for those ten minutes she's breathing a lot of humidity? I guess I'm confused why it's a problem when the humidity is in the right range (chameleon academy says 40-60%) sorry if it's a dumb question I'm new here lol
 
Is this because when the fogger is on for those ten minutes she's breathing a lot of humidity? I guess I'm confused why it's a problem when the humidity is in the right range (chameleon academy says 40-60%) sorry if it's a dumb question I'm new here lol
Not at all a dumb question. That’s actually an awesome question and I realize that I don’t really have an easy answer, or at least one that I can articulate well. I’ll try, but will probably sound like an idiot. 🤷‍♀️ 😂
Hot humid air is thick and more difficult to breathe, and the air movement is slowed and almost like being stagnant. Cooler air moves more and even if humid, is easier to breathe deeply in and out. I can’t explain the mechanism of how exactly chams get respiratory infection but their lungs are like tissue paper. I know how humans get pneumonia, and one of the ways is not being able to fully expand their lungs while breathing - the natural secretions build up, sit stagnant and grow bacteria.
Hope I made some sense. A small glimpse into how my thought processes work can sometimes be strange or frightening. ;)
 
Is this because when the fogger is on for those ten minutes she's breathing a lot of humidity? I guess I'm confused why it's a problem when the humidity is in the right range (chameleon academy says 40-60%) sorry if it's a dumb question I'm new here lol
Hi again. LOL i have a new issue. The last week, Poppy finally settled in. She's pink pretty much all the time, she found her basking area, everything seems great. Then all of a sudden yesterday she's climbing like crazy. All over the tank, on the top, on the sides, and she's doing it again today. All of my husbandry is exactly the same. I'm wondering, do females go on a prowl for boys? She's probably about 7-8 months.
 
Not at all a dumb question. That’s actually an awesome question and I realize that I don’t really have an easy answer, or at least one that I can articulate well. I’ll try, but will probably sound like an idiot. 🤷‍♀️ 😂
Hot humid air is thick and more difficult to breathe, and the air movement is slowed and almost like being stagnant. Cooler air moves more and even if humid, is easier to breathe deeply in and out. I can’t explain the mechanism of how exactly chams get respiratory infection but their lungs are like tissue paper. I know how humans get pneumonia, and one of the ways is not being able to fully expand their lungs while breathing - the natural secretions build up, sit stagnant and grow bacteria.
Hope I made some sense. A small glimpse into how my thought processes work can sometimes be strange or frightening. ;)
Hi again. LOL i have a new issue. The last week, Poppy finally settled in. She's pink pretty much all the time, she found her basking area, everything seems great. Then all of a sudden yesterday she's climbing like crazy. All over the tank, on the top, on the sides, and she's doing it again today. All of my husbandry is exactly the same. I'm wondering, do females go on a prowl for boys? She's probably about 7-8 months.
 
Hi again. LOL i have a new issue. The last week, Poppy finally settled in. She's pink pretty much all the time, she found her basking area, everything seems great. Then all of a sudden yesterday she's climbing like crazy. All over the tank, on the top, on the sides, and she's doing it again today. All of my husbandry is exactly the same. I'm wondering, do females go on a prowl for boys? She's probably about 7-8 months.
Where’s the pics? Some of us absolutely love the lady panthers and think they are stunning.
Yes, they do get very restless and search for boys. It’s their receptive phase, which comes before producing and laying eggs. My little panther princess seems to very active all of the time, but hasn’t yet laid eggs. She’ll be 2 in June. Like my others, she gets fed 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week plus treats. I suspect she hunts her isopods though.
 
Where’s the pics? Some of us absolutely love the lady panthers and think they are stunning.
Yes, they do get very restless and search for boys. It’s their receptive phase, which comes before producing and laying eggs. My little panther princess seems to very active all of the time, but hasn’t yet laid eggs. She’ll be 2 in June. Like my others, she gets fed 3-4 feeders, 3 days a week plus treats. I suspect she hunts her isopods though.
Ok thank goodness I was like no everything was good lol!! Here’s some pics!
 

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Aww…what a beautiful little lady. 🤗 🥰 Looks like she’s an isopod hunter too. Beautiful enclosure too.
Is this dehydrated? There’s some orange but the academy says that’s ok. I’m paranoid lol.
 

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