Some enclosure questions...

Lunatuck

Established Member
My plan is to purchase a juvenile Panther Chameleon. I've been reading about enclosures, and it seems like most people start with a medium enclosure for a juvi and eventually move on to a larger one for an adult. The Zoo Med kit seems a bit small(16x16x30), though with the dual lights it seems like a good value. Is the kit discouraged for any of those reasons?

My current thoughts if I go piecemeal are to do the Zoo Med Reptibreeze Large (18"x18"x36") or maybe Exo Terra (24” x 18” x 36” )with the intent of upgrading as he grows, but maybe concerned these are too big? I've read that you shouldn't go too large for juvi's because they'll have trouble hunting. So that's why most people upgrade as they grow.

For lighting/heat. Individual heat lamp and UVB tube light over combo like the kit has? I've heard the fluorescent tubes are better for UVB, is that true? Maybe tubes for more coverage?

Also, does a misting setup replace a dripping setup, or supplement it?

I"m sure I'll come up with a few other questions, but open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
 
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Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
IMO it's best to just start them off in their adult-sized enclosures. Starting with smaller cages is just going to waste your money and inconvenience you in the future when you have to upgrade (in just a couple months). Think about it - in the wild, they are born into the entire world around them and they hunt successfully with no problem. They have no trouble at all in a 2x2x4' box whatsoever. Chameleons would always prefer a bigger enclosure to roam around in, anyways! It'll give them more room to get their cardio in ;)

If you're concerned about hunting, all you have to do is use a feeder cup (which is a good idea anyways because you will want to monitor exactly how much he is eating). Put it within eyesight of the basking spot (where he will spend a lot of time) and he will know exactly where to go for food
 

RJChamers

Member
Welcome, I started with our lil guy Zilla when he was 1.5 months in a 18x18x36. I used the kit light for heat ( incandencent lamps ) and a 2 ft T5 ho uv lamp. I had more horizantal sticks and a small vine then what the pic looks. Also use a feeder cup if needed. I used fruit flies and they crawled eveywhere so there wasnt a problem with hunting for them. After joining this GREAT group of Cham Carers, most use the adult size with out a problem, but I aready had the smaller one.
image.jpeg
 

RJChamers

Member
I would suggest mister system and dripper for juvies. The dripper will excite them to drink. When older I just use the mister. Live plants also make a big difference in my opinion.
 

Kiraral

Member
I’d skip the kit. Honestly I wish they’d stop selling them. You want linear uvb lighting and are better off going bigger on the cage, as people have mentioned. I use both the mister and a dripper with no problems.
 

Lunatuck

Established Member
Thanks all for the quick replies. I have a list of things I need. Gonna pull the trigger soon.

Are the LED UVB lights effective? How about LED life? They seem to have taken over reefkeeping, and that's my only frame of reference.
 

Lunatuck

Established Member
Thanks! How about the heat bulbs? Do I want one that puts out light, or just heat only? Like a ceramic one?

It's all in my shopping cart! Almost at the point of no return!
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
i would just do a regular white one from what i read colors are bad, house bulbs work well too. CHE's are only used for night time since the dont produce light, only if night temps drop below 60 degrees
 

Lunatuck

Established Member
If I turn the regular bulb off at night, won't the enclosure get too cold? That's why I'm thinking ceramic.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
If I turn the regular bulb off at night, won't the enclosure get too cold? That's why I'm thinking ceramic.
So you want a temp drop at night. This is something they actually need. They can safely do a drop down to 50 degrees. So if your house is 69 your good. If your house is below 50 then you can get a space heater for the room to warm it up a bit. :) here is a link to your specific care sheet https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/
 
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