Semi DIY panther chameleon enclosure help

Hello! Semi new to the forum, mostly just been doing research (thanks a ton by the way). I grew up in Uganda and had chameleons as pets all the time. When we had them we would just keep them in a tree or bush outside and they could just leave when they wanted to, and most were friendly enough to let us carry them around and they would eat flies and such that we pointed them to.

All that to say, I’ve handled them a lot, but I no longer live in their native habitat. This is my first real attempt attempt to building a Cham a home so I was looking for some feedback.

I purchased some things before I did enough research so I know I will have to replace the UVB light I currently have(T8 10.0) with a T5 5.0. I also need to upgrade to a longer fixture now that I have the 2x4x2. I currently have a monsoon misting system but I have not tested it. I am running a 60w incandescent bulb for heat, and the cheap reptile thermometer reads 90 after it’s been on for a few hours. Is that a little too warm?

There are cups for the live plants , as well as drainage in each cup and at the bottom of the enclosure. Green cup is feeding.

Are there any other issues you see?

I do not currently have my eyes on a Cham but I’ll be on the market for a panther soon!
 

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. To me 90f is a bit warm. I keep my boys (panther and veiled) around 82-84f. I’m a bit confused which light you have and which you’ll be using. The standard is a T5 with either a ReptiSun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%. Basking area should be about 8-9” down from the light for ideal uv index. Will you be filling all of that empty space with lots of plants? Having a taller center plant like a schefflera or weeping fig is always nice. Once you get your plants in, I’d suggest filling the remaining spaces with more branches. What will you be using for dietary supplements?
 
I currently have the Reptisun T8 fixture and a Reptisun T8 10.0, and I plan on switching to a T5 fixture with a t5 5.0 bulb. The fixture I have is too small from what I’ve read so I plan on getting a T5 that is 24”.

I do plan on adding a bunch of live plants and my thought process was to put a large one in the middle as well. I haven’t purchased any of them yet, but I plan on getting pathos, probably another vine of some sort, and a couple more for some more cover.

Currently the basking spot is 7” from the screen, where the heat lamp is sitting, would it be okay to simply raise the heat lamp a little or would that cause a significant loss in heat?

As for the dietary supplements, from what I’ve read I’m supposed to use calcium powder without d3 every time, calcium powder with d3 2 times per month, as well as a multi vitamin alternating weeks with the d3 calcium, is that correct?
 
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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I currently have the Reptisun T8 fixture and a Reptisun T8 10.0, and I plan on switching to a T5 fixture with a t5 5.0 bulb. The fixture I have is too small from what I’ve read so I plan on getting a T5 that is 24”.

I do plan on adding a bunch of live plants and my thought process was to put a large one in the middle as well. I haven’t purchased any of them yet, but I plan on getting pathos, probably another vine of some sort, and a couple more for some more cover.

Currently the basking spot is 7” from the screen, where the heat lamp is sitting, would it be okay to simply raise the heat lamp a little or would that cause a significant loss in heat?
Raising the light is fine and if you’ll be getting a baby or very young chameleon, you’d be needing to do that anyhow. Babies like to climb the top screen and can easily get burned if the light is sitting on the screen.
 

barneythecham

New Member
I currently have the Reptisun T8 fixture and a Reptisun T8 10.0, and I plan on switching to a T5 fixture with a t5 5.0 bulb. The fixture I have is too small from what I’ve read so I plan on getting a T5 that is 24”.

I do plan on adding a bunch of live plants and my thought process was to put a large one in the middle as well. I haven’t purchased any of them yet, but I plan on getting pathos, probably another vine of some sort, and a couple more for some more cover.

Currently the basking spot is 7” from the screen, where the heat lamp is sitting, would it be okay to simply raise the heat lamp a little or would that cause a significant loss in heat?

As for the dietary supplements, from what I’ve read I’m supposed to use calcium powder without d3 every time, calcium powder with d3 2 times per month, as well as a multi vitamin alternating weeks with the d3 calcium, is that correct?
Please, please upgrade to a Reptisun T5HO. The output of UVB is so much more spot relevant and gets every corner and crease in it.

—————————————————————

That being said, T5HO UVB bulbs are so much more sufficient for chameleons. T8 doesn’t put nearly as much UVB out as T5.
 
Here’s an update!

I am going to pick up a 3 month old panther tomorrow!

The T5 5.0 should be coming in the mail today, in the photos is still the T8

I raised the heating lamp so now the basking spot is 80-83. I also added a small grow light.

Added live plants, including pothos, areca palm, a small umbrella tree, and at the bottom is a money tree and dracena.
I know the palm won’t support much weight but while the Cham is small I figured it would be okay, and it gives the umbrella tree a chance to grow to eventually replace the palm.
 

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