Several questions

Thorbjorne

New Member
Hi everyone, I am fairly new to this forum and I have a few questions regarding my soon to be panther chameleon. He will be arriving in 4 days and I want to make sure everything is ready for his arrival.

1. where should I get his food? I'm not a huge fan of Petsmart or Petco and online seems like it would take too long to arrive.

2. Why do I need to change the soil? If I put rocks and screen over the bottom of the plant, shouldn't that keep my chameleon from accidentally ingesting it?

3. Is there a specific brand of polyurethane I should get to coat the cage? Preferably waterproof so that it can protect the wood from the constant misting.

4. Is it possible to keep a tropical hibiscus alive indoors? I ordered one from Florida because they are great plants but I've read that hardy is the way to go since they don't require as much care.

5. How full of plants should the cage be for his arrival? He's only a month old so I just got him some small-medium sized plants. Is that too little?

Thank you for any responses!
 

JDumire

Member
Welcome to the forum!

The best place to order the largest variety of feeders will be online it will take a couple days to receive depending on where you live and how far away the source is located...of course you can always have it overnights. Depending on how long it take you may have to go to a local pets hop for crickets and I would get them a day or so before your chameleons arrival to be sure they are properly gut loaded.

Changing the soil is important just on the off chance your chameleon consumes the soil sometimes there might be a small gap in between the rocks so its kind of like a back up. Plus it's just better for the plants to provide fresh soil.

I have kept my hibiscus alive indoors for a month and so far it is looking great I am using a high output UVB so not sure if that is making a difference but it is continuing to bloom. Not sure where you live but some member recommend having a few and rotating them outside if you live in a warm climate.

As far as plants go I would at least have 2 but really as many as you need to help with humidity and also the more you have the more dense it will be and it makes your Cham feel less vulnerable because he will have more places to hide..

Hope this helps!
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
First of all, welcome to the forum!

Regarding your questions, you will receive some varying answers, and most of your questions are not highly critical in which ever path you choose.

1) As far as crickets and super worms, it is ok to get them from Pet Smart or Petco, just feed them fresh fruits and vegetables, and if you want a super dry gut load, order from SSimsswiSS, or make your own, see SandraChameleon's blogs on ingredients. Petco sells pre-packaged crickets, they die quickly, have them bag them up from the big bin. If you get mediums, they live longer, and will probably be better sized for a younger cham.
Horn worms, silks, and butterworms and Phoenix Worms are best bought online through the "View our Sponsors" button in the top right corner. Mulberry Farms in California has all of them.

2) The repotting of the soil is to get rid of any fertilizers, and the washing of the leaves to get rid of any sprays. I have never repotted plants, but this is an issue for many keepers. Before you put the rocks on top of the plants soil, add about 1 inch of sand, this will reduce gnats which will come to live in your plant...

3) I have used several brands, for me the key is to let it air out before you introduce the cham, I use the scientific test of: if I can't smell the coating, we are good to go. Sandrachameleon has built all wood style cages, she might recommend certain Paints/water proofing, she will probably add to this post.

4) If in addition to your basking light and your fluorescent UVB light you have a 6500k plant light the Hibiscus will do well. Todd from Light Your Reptiles has fixtures that hold the UVB and plant fluorescent bulbs. Or you can buy the fixture and 6500k plant light at Home Depot/Lowes.

5) Pathos is a plant that can take constant misting, and can be hung mid height to be intertwined around the horizontal walking branches. Scheffelera and Ficus are the most common plants used, but with constant wet roots can begin to loose their leaves. You want your foliage in the top 1/2 of the cage, so a trick with smaller plants is to invert a flower pot, small bucket, or small garbage can under the plant which will raise it up to get it above the 1/2 way mark. When the plant is larger, put it back on the floor. Your cham is going to stay mostly under the basking light and in the forest in the top 1/2. Without a 6500k grow light, you will buy a LOT of plants.....;)

If you go to your profile, you can add where you are located, which will help with future questions.

Someone will post a form for you to fill out that will help you determine if your husbandry needs any tweaking.

Again, welcome to the Forum. If you have any questions, you can email me at [email protected].:D

Nick
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
2. Why do I need to change the soil? If I put rocks and screen over the bottom of the plant, shouldn't that keep my chameleon from accidentally ingesting it?

correct, that will keep the cham from ingesting the soil. If the soil doesn't have insecticides or funguscides in it, its likely fine. But if it comes from a nursery, how will you know what's in the soil that will be drawn up into the leaves? some people worry about fertilizers, but you plant does need nutrients :)
its more important to wash the leaves (both sides) of new plants, as they spray on ferts and insecticides .


3. Is there a specific brand of polyurethane I should get to coat the cage? Preferably waterproof so that it can protect the wood from the constant misting.

I just paint my wood cages with zero voc latex acrylic, but I also don't leave water sitting in pools for long periods of time. If you go with polyurethane, you will want to let it dry and outgass for a week or two before putting the chameleon into the cage.

4. Is it possible to keep a tropical hibiscus alive indoors? I ordered one from Florida because they are great plants but I've read that hardy is the way to go since they don't require as much care.

yes, just provide enough light and watch the watering. pothos is a way easier plant.

5. How full of plants should the cage be for his arrival? He's only a month old so I just got him some small-medium sized plants. Is that too little?

half the cage, top to bottom, should be FULL of plants so much that he can totally hide at whatever temp gradient he prefers. the other side of the cage can be more open, but still with branches.
 

Tyaeda

Member
I actually like petsmart for feeders. They're one of few places I know of that actually count each and every one. They're a little pricey, but I find that they usually have both large and small, while other places may run out of one or the other.

Online is a good option too if you can wait the couple days it takes for them to arrive.
 
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