Setup review - criticism welcome

Ongo

Member
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - Male Panther cham ~10-11mo old. I've had him since Nov 2018
  • Weight 140g, length 15.5in nose to tail
  • Handling - 2-3 times a week I let him come out to his free range.
  • Feeding - Staples - crickets (60%) locusts(30%) and calci worms(10%). He gets the odd super once or twice a week. Crickets and locusts gutloaded with whatever I've been eating that's suitable - sweet potato, squash, spinach, peppers, apple etc.
  • He is fed every other day, approx 10-12 bugs in the proportions as above
  • Supplements - calcium without d3 on every cricket. The weekend feed alternates between miner-all indoor (CA w/d3) and herptivite multivitamin every other week.
  • Watering - Automatic dripper on top of cage - topped up 3x daily (from mistking pump which he HATED) so drips go for about 4h/day total. Also humidifier keeps the humidity at 100% overnight. He has a drinking glass which I change out daily which he also drinks from regularly.
  • Fecal Description - Every other day, long dark brown well formed poops. White urates. Occasional undigested pheonix worm in there.
  • History - tiny burn on his side which has healed over with a scab. See previous posts for initial discoloration.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - DIY from an old cupboard. 2 panels wood, 2 panels screen. Ever so slightly on the small side at 21*21*43.
  • Lighting - Arcadia forest 6.0 uvb bulb 18w. Dimmer thermostat on incandescent 60w bulb.
  • Temperature - 23-24 ambient temps. 29 basking spot. Measured and controlled constantly using monitoring (see pics).
  • Use heat may (green thing at bottom of cage) to keep the ambient up as it get cold in Scotland.
  • Humidity - sits at ~50 throughout the day with a spike to 80 in the afternoon and 100 overnight using humidifier.
  • Plants - main is Fatsia Japonica, with a small pothos under the dripper to let him drink.
  • Placement - on a table in the living room. Facing a huge window. He gets a blackout curtain hung over the cage at night.
  • Location - Edinburgh, Scotland.

Current Problem - I just wanted a whole setup review as it's been a while since anyone's really seen how I take care of him and I've made some changes.

In particular I'm starting to get concerned that the cage might be too small? It's marginally below the 2x2x4 guidelines at 21x21x43". Does this concern anyone? Recently he has been trying to get out more and more often, climbing on the screen or straight to my arm when feeding.

I'm aware I am not using the space very efficiently - a whole foot at the bottom where I never see him, and all the plant at the back he never goes on.

I'm planning a full cage overhaul soon, I was ping to do something like this - https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/melons-new-cage-build.167642/ - by building some panels with planters I can screw to the back wall.

That would let me take the pot off the floor for easier cleaning, and let me use the full space available in the cage for vines and sticks. Obviously it would be a lot of effort and cost so I don't want to do all that if I'm going to have to buy a bigger cage anyway - what do people think? Retrofit, or new build?

Anything else wrong with my husbandry? Tear me to shreds, forum goers!
 

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SharpShooter

Avid Member
I've only just glanced but apart from the heat matt it seems fine. It's cold in Manchester too but unless your ambient house temp plummets drastically? Also remember you need a heat gradient so colder low down.

Also your fogger should be running overnight when the temps are low. Don't run it in the day.

Are you not using the mist king at all? If not are you manually misting?

Make the most of your guy being friendly and wanting to come out. My male is like yours, my female is more typical and likes to be left alone.

What's the app and how does it link to, and what sensors are used? (Might need one of these, no, I must have one of these lol.)
 

Ongo

Member
It doesn't 'plummet' in the house but it's far from the 23/24 ambient thats recommended on the care sheets. He doesn't sit on the mat obviously...it's just to warm the air in the enclosure. You think it's no good? Better to let it be 18 at the bottom/away from the lamp?

Not using the mist king at all no, like I said he hated it! He drinks from the glass and the dripper. The pump just runs to top up the dripper throughout the day.

You don't think he wants to come out because the cage is too small? quite worried he doesn't have the room he needs.

It's called blynk, it's an interface for web enabled micro processors. I have an Arduino by the cage with standard temp + humidity sensors (dht22) at the top and bottom of the cage. It also has 2 relays which control the heat mat and a pump (for the homemade mist king), and a dimmer switch which controls the basking temp. I can monitor and control the hardware from anywhere with an internet connection!
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
It doesn't 'plummet' in the house but it's far from the 23/24 ambient thats recommended on the care sheets. He doesn't sit on the mat obviously...it's just to warm the air in the enclosure. You think it's no good? Better to let it be 18 at the bottom/away from the lamp?

Not using the mist king at all no, like I said he hated it! He drinks from the glass and the dripper. The pump just runs to top up the dripper throughout the day.

You don't think he wants to come out because the cage is too small? quite worried he doesn't have the room he needs.

It's called blynk, it's an interface for web enabled micro processors. I have an Arduino by the cage with standard temp + humidity sensors (dht22) at the top and bottom of the cage. It also has 2 relays which control the heat mat and a pump (for the homemade mist king), and a dimmer switch which controls the basking temp. I can monitor and control the hardware from anywhere with an internet connection!
You can be quite happy at night time with temps at 20 and even a little less. They need the night time drop in temps and it's when it's low like this the fogger should be on. The ambient temps in the care sheets refer to a fictional mid point, away from the basking area during lights on.

It is really important to mist. It's not just about hydration but eye health as well. Most of them react like they have just been sprayed with acid but do calm down and start to clean eyes. They don't get other indicators that it's going to rain such as temp drop, wind, pressure drop that would get in the wild. If you got squirted out of the blue, you'd probably be the same.

You said you were looking at a new, larger setup anyway. Each cham has a different character. Bob wants to come out when he sees me. Not my wife or daughter, me. He will literally move across the room from his free range to my shoulder and go back when he wants. It's not 'normal' cham behaviour but he is a strange character. If I try to put him on his free range or back in and he wants to be on me he simply turns and refuses. Believe this or not, when he wants to go back in, he goes to one spot on his free range and virtually waves at me. He strolls back into his viv every time after this. He's never been forced to interact, it's always on his terms. Rose will very, very occasionally come onto an arm but 99% of the time just wants to be left alone, which is fine and far more 'normal' behaviour.

Bugger... it's not an off the shelf system. I thought that would be the case but had to ask, credit card at the ready lol.
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
Toss the drinking glass.
In this case the cham is seen using it. Under normal circumstances I would agree with you but with no misting (already mentioned this), and the cham is drinking, if it's kept clean, then why not? Misting really needs to be restarted asap if for nothing else but eye health.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
As part of the sticky tongue farms indoor master race, ill put in my 2 cents. I think you are giving out a bit too much calcium. While "indoor" can be used without the need for a non D3 calcium (at least for me since the 1990's), the cham is a bit old to need calcium every feeder every feeding. Crickets and other small feeders have a huge surface area. So you might want to back the dusting down to "a" feeder. Maybe every cricket or every locust.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
In this case the cham is seen using it. Under normal circumstances I would agree with you but with no misting (already mentioned this), and the cham is drinking, if it's kept clean, then why not? Misting really needs to be restarted asap if for nothing else but eye health.
Because they are never kept clean and in this case he’s using it in place of misting. I understand the Cham doesn’t appreciate the misting but that’s too bad, it’s for his own good. He will get use to it.
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
More plants!!
Idk how Panthers “work” lol, but I’m sure they’ll appreciate more plants.... Dope set up tho. And I also dig that Aralia..
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Because they are never kept clean and in this case he’s using it in place of misting. I understand the Cham doesn’t appreciate the misting but that’s too bad, it’s for his own good. He will get use to it.
I agree, OP your cham will definitely get used to the misting so I would start that back up immediately. My kids hate broccoli, I make them eat it anyhow, same idea. Misting is for his own good. He's beautiful BTW!
 

Ongo

Member
Okay guys, getting the message loud and clear that restarting the misting over drinking glass is the way to go. Sorry ongo.

Any suggestions on misting schedule? IE how long for, and how many times per day?

Thanks for the other suggestions about supplementation and heat as well! All taken on board with immediate effect
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
Everyone is slightly different. I have a fogger 0200-0600 and then a 1.5 min mist 0800 before lights on. 2.5 mins at 1300 and 1 min at 1800.

Some will say longer sessions but I watch them and know they are cleaning their eyes.
 

Zevil

Avid Member
I have two misting sessions. First one start 30 mins after lights on and another one at 5.30pm. Both sessions last for 5 mins, I find that my cham usually takes a while to start cleaning his eyes and drinking so he needs the longer sessions.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’d suggest you start with:

2min session before lights on
2min session at 1pm
2min session at 6pm
Run fogger from 12am to 2am

Now this isn’t set in stone, it’s going to be up to you to monitor and understand how these changes affect the way your viv runs.

What are you using to measure temp and humidity?
 
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