Temps - How to keep them down

balmybaldwin

New Member
Over here in the UK we are about to have the hottest weekend of the year so far (not very hot 22C ish) and I've noticed that over the last few days the spot lights on my vivs are being dimmed a lot more than they were... so I'm about to move to lower wattage3 bulbs for the summer.

The problem is, what do I do about temps later in the year when we will have temps up to 38C outside?

I'm guessing a lot of folk in the US have Aircon at home, but int he UK we tend not to do this as it's only needed for about 4 days a year!

Felix does have an outdoor cage, but by July it is likely to be too hot outside for a Panther...

What strategies do you use to keep temps down in the summer?
 

Hugh Wahl

New Member
I usually just suspend the light from the ceiling at the optimum height to acquire the right temps.
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
If it is literally 4 days per year, I'd just turn out my lights on those days and draw the curtains closed and close the door to the room the night before to keep the heat out of the room the next day and give them a dark, cloudy, stormy day simulation.

Here, I keep all my lizards outdoors all summer from the first of may until the first of october, and in my location last summer most of the day temps were above 32 (90), and many above 35 (95).

I provide misters for the chameleons (panthers, veileds, melleri, jacksons) and shade and kept the misters on most of the afternoon into the early evening when temps were up. Chams were free to choose to be moist or dry in the shade or bask in the sun when they wanted, and they did great.

Panthers are probably in pretty hot conditions in summer in madagascar.
 
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balmybaldwin

New Member
Probably wasn't clear, only 4 days that I feel that I need Aircon!

But aren't panthers meant to have basking spot of max 85F?

My Worry is that if Ambient temps are over 85 then how do I get a cooler spot/temp gradient...

If they are OK up to higher then OK, and certainly misting will help bring the temps down

Never had this problem with my other reps as they all like it Very Hot!
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
Panthers come from relatively low altitude, high sun exposure areas of madagascar.

I just checked the weather for ambilobe where my panthers come from and at this moment (5:58pm madagascar time), for example, ambient temperature is 34.6 (94).

The main point is just provide your chameleon with options. My misters provide options through evaporative cooling in the summer, so not only is the shade cooler where the mist directly hits the lizard, but it is also cooler away from the mister because of the evaporative cooling effect. The shade and plantings also give them thermoregulatory options

But I've had panthers do great in my building in springs and falls when background temps were 29 (85) during the day and hotter under the basking lamps.

I saw my panthers out basking even when temps were very hot in the afternoon last summer- not for long periods but definately saw them out there basking regularlly during the hottest part of the day.
 
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Cainschams

New Member
I give my montane species a basking site of 85 which they need cooler temps than panthers. When I kept panthers I would house them outside all summer and it can get hot in my area! I would leave them out up until 95 degrees. They had plenty of shade to retreat to. They were under a tree plus the enclosures were well planted. They got plenty of drink ops too. I would use the hose to water them. The cool water definitely helps keep the temps down in that situation.
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
Panthers come from relatively low altitude, high sun exposure areas of madagascar.

I just checked the weather for ambilobe where my panthers come from and at this moment (5:58pm madagascar time), for example, ambient temperature is 34.6 (94).

34.6C or 94F temps taken at the closest city (if you want to call it a city), is NOT the same as temps taken in the deep forest.
you'll find that the temps taken in the low land forests to be a lot cooler bellow the tree cover.

in the deep shade of trees, the temps can be as much as 20 degrees cooler.

too much heat will keep the matabilisim high in panthers and shorten it's life for sure.
nothing wrong with a few ultra hot days inside your home or outside. but too much for too long is no good.
the original poster should look into using the Aircon for the days or weeks that it is too hot...I mean, if you feel it is too hot in your home for yourself, then it is too hot for your animal.
truly how hot is it in your home? what do you do in the summer, walk around in your undies? turn the Aircon on, you'll breath easyer and feel better too...plus you can put your nickers back on. :p

Harry
 

Aminah Undone

New Member
I may be misunderstanding this, but I don't think AC is an option for the OP.

I don't have AC in my place either. I strategically use fans and frozen water bottles to maintain a temp gradient for my animals.
 

Picasso123

New Member
On the chameleons side they aren't stupid and he should just find a summer basking spot in the cooler shade. If you wanted you could put the basking on 1 timer and the light on another or remove the basking all together.
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
34.6C or 94F temps taken at the closest city (if you want to call it a city), is NOT the same as temps taken in the deep forest.
you'll find that the temps taken in the low land forests to be a lot cooler bellow the tree cover.

Panthers are more common in clearings and cleared areas and around cities and towns- not the deep forest.

too much heat will keep the matabilisim high in panthers and shorten it's life for sure.

Well, yeah- 200 degrees will probably shorten it pretty fast. The question is, how much is reasonable and how much is too much? If basking temps in nature are in the 90s and if my chameleons in captivity are basking off and on when temperatures outside are in the 90s, I tend to believe nature and my lizards are functioning normally.

in the deep shade of trees, the temps can be as much as 20 degrees cooler.

Well again, yeah, but again, these aren't a deep shade species. This is a sun-loving species that is found mostly in growth 6' or so off the ground- the kind of growth that does not occur in a deep forest but only in clearings.
 
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Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
On the chameleons side they aren't stupid and he should just find a summer basking spot in the cooler shade. If you wanted you could put the basking on 1 timer and the light on another or remove the basking all together.

It isn't a matter of intelligence...a cham can get burned under a focused heat spot (as opposed to the broadly dispersed heat from the sun outdoors) not because it is too stupid to move, but because they have few heat/pain sensors in their skin. By the time the sensor nerve endings register "too hot" skin damage has already occurred...resulting in a thermal burn.

When you are expecting a hot day just turn your basking bulb off for a few hours. Either do it manually or set a timer to control the light. Let it come on in the morning so the cham can warm up initially, have it switch off during the warmest part of the day. Possibly come on again in mid afternoon so the cham can warm up if it wants to so any food in its stomach can be digested properly. No cham is going to suffer from missing a basking session over a day or two.
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
Panthers are more common in clearings and cleared areas and around cities and towns- not the deep forest.



Well, yeah- 200 degrees will probably shorten it pretty fast. The question is, how much is reasonable and how much is too much? If basking temps in nature are in the 90s and if my chameleons in captivity are basking off and on when temperatures outside are in the 90s, I tend to believe nature and my lizards are functioning normally.



Well again, yeah, but again, these aren't a deep shade species. This is a sun-loving species that is found mostly in growth 6' or so off the ground- the kind of growth that does not occur in a deep forest but only in clearings.

let me be a bit more spicific.

yes, they can be found around towns and citys. but that is mostly because man has been incroching on it's habitat.
clearings? that means no trees to me, such as the trees have been cleared away...so I'm sure you don't mean that. (nor do they mostly live in parts that are tropical savanas (at least not this panther)...or trees that are more spaced apart and have limited shrubs)

most panthers are found around the coastal areas that do indeed have plenty of trees and shrubs. yet they can also be found on electrical wires and palm trees. most of witch are above 6 feet tall. at least in my lame knowladge.
some of the rain forests is now off limits to tree cutting, and parks are being made to insure that the wild animals have a chance to not disapear....panthers as well.

I would not call any animal that does not stay in the sun for much more time then to warm up and/or help get some UVB rays a "sun loving" or "sun worshiping" animal too. if it spends a great deal of time in the shade, then it would be a shade loving animal IMHO...but this again is just symantics.
why again don't we use UVB 10.0 bulbs for the most part indoors again?

my point is not to argue. just to make things clear. when we get temp readings it is from an extreem sunny area or clearing (mostly from a rooftop of a building that will collect information on weather...you know, no trees.
panthers on the other hand live in the shade of the trees and don't live totaly in the sun but "bask" from time to time like your animals do.

now, if this persons home is in the mid to high 80s inside, then where do they go to excape the heat?
I mean, there's a vast differance between 72F-75F (24C) room temps and 90F outside. with no extra mistings to help cool off the chameleon, yes, it will shorten it's life if it is for ultra long periods of time. a few off and on days as discribed from the OP, no. no harm should be done.

heck, my panthers never liked being in the sun for more then 30 or 40 mins. they always ran for the shade. even in the low 80s outside.

just my 2 cents based on film and info collected in many books including from Petr Necas.

Harry
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
yes, they can be found around towns and citys. but that is mostly because man has been incroching on it's habitat.

Not according to anything I have read. Clear the forest put in a garden and some bushes and shrubs and you get more panthers and carpets and the forest loving species dissappear. One reason panthers and carpets are still allowed for export. From what I have read panthers actually do better in disturbed habitat. So do carpets and veileds- so they aren't unique in this regard. In the case of panthers it is because they prefer clearings (and no I'm not talking dirt I'm talking lack of upper canopy, allowing sunlight to reach the ground and smaller bushes and trees to grow). Again panthers are not unique in this regard- in my own area eastern fence lizards share this trait and a kid at our local university was able to study a large population by moving them into a large clearing in the national forest because they would not disperse and leave the clearing.

yet they can also be found on electrical wires and palm trees. most of witch are above 6 feet tall. at least in my lame knowladge.

Of course they can, but they prefer to spend most of their time about 6' off the ground. Again this is well published by people who look for them in the wild. You will find individuals higher and lower than this, but the majority spend their time about that high off the ground.

now, if this persons home is in the mid to high 80s inside, then where do they go to excape the heat?

They could follow my example and move the chameleon outside and put a mister over part of the enclosure and provide shade and shelter.

I would not call any animal that does not stay in the sun for much more time then to warm up and/or help get some UVB rays a "sun loving" or "sun worshiping" animal too. if it spends a great deal of time in the shade, then it would be a shade loving animal IMHO...but this again is just symantics.

You just described most diurnal lizards IMO. They move in and out of the shade and sun all day if they are healthy. I've watched thousands over the years at my place in cages in my yard. I know what they do and I've watched panthers outdoors in cages for 20 years and know what they do as well. My iguanas and bearded dragons and day geckos, etc also will behave as you describe when day temps are only in the low 80s. Are you going to next try and next tell me that these are shade loving animals as well? Lizards can store thermal energy much like a brick and will reach optimal body temperature even at low ambient temps. It's part of their magic. I've seen my bearded dragons breeding when temperature outside was in the 60s. Doesn't mean that's the right temp for them indoors...


heck, my panthers never liked being in the sun for more then 30 or 40 mins. they always ran for the shade. even in the low 80s outside.

Mine move in and out of the sun and shade all day all summer temps from low 80s to high 90s.

Back to the real point here-

If it is too hot indoors, and you cannot do anything about that because you do not have central air and do not want to invest in an air conditioner, try moving outdoors, providing shade and sun and plant cover and use a mister over part of the shady part of the enclosure during the heat of the day so the lizard can escape the heat or warm up as it wants.
 
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melric

Avid Member
Is AC really not an option? Can't you buy a window AC unit? In the US, Ca specifically I can get one for $100 at walmart. Trust me your chams won't be the only benefactor. I must have AC all summer. :p
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
Not according to anything I have read. Clear the forest put in a garden and some bushes and shrubs and you get more panthers and carpets and the forest loving species dissappear. One reason panthers and carpets are still allowed for export. From what I have read panthers actually do better in disturbed habitat. So do carpets and veileds- so they aren't unique in this regard. In the case of panthers it is because they prefer clearings (and no I'm not talking dirt I'm talking lack of upper canopy, allowing sunlight to reach the ground and smaller bushes and trees to grow). Again panthers are not unique in this regard- in my own area eastern fence lizards share this trait and a kid at our local university was able to study a large population by moving them into a large clearing in the national forest because they would not disperse and leave the clearing.



Of course they can, but they prefer to spend most of their time about 6' off the ground. Again this is well published by people who look for them in the wild. You will find individuals higher and lower than this, but the majority spend their time about that high off the ground.



They could follow my example and move the chameleon outside and put a mister over part of the enclosure and provide shade and shelter.



You just described most diurnal lizards IMO. They move in and out of the shade and sun all day if they are healthy. I've watched thousands over the years at my place in cages in my yard. I know what they do and I've watched panthers outdoors in cages for 20 years and know what they do as well. My iguanas and bearded dragons and day geckos, etc also will behave as you describe when day temps are only in the low 80s. Are you going to next try and next tell me that these are shade loving animals as well? Lizards can store thermal energy much like a brick and will reach optimal body temperature even at low ambient temps. It's part of their magic. I've seen my bearded dragons breeding when temperature outside was in the 60s. Doesn't mean that's the right temp for them indoors...




Mine move in and out of the sun and shade all day all summer temps from low 80s to high 90s.

Back to the real point here-

If it is too hot indoors, and you cannot do anything about that because you do not have central air and do not want to invest in an air conditioner, try moving outdoors, providing shade and sun and plant cover and use a mister over part of the shady part of the enclosure during the heat of the day so the lizard can escape the heat or warm up as it wants.

so if they like disturbed habbitat so much, and they prefer clearings, why don't you mimic this and move your cages out from under the shade? why not just leave them out in the clear full sun? why offer any shade at all? after all, you say they do better in the clearings, the FULL SUN. why do things differently from what you are reading? why are you even telling this person to offer shade?

I'm so totally confused, and the reason why is because you can't have it both ways. if there is an animal that requires shade for both thermal regulation and a chance to get out of the heat so they don't over absorb UVB rays, then you can't say they prefer to live in a clearing.
now do they need a chance to go in a clearing to bask? sure. they also can be found in the deep rain forest as well, anyone who has walked in a rain forest can tell you.

now if you said that they prefer to live at the edge of a clearing, or in spots that offer some sun to bask, then I would be in full agreement.

as for your advice on what to do, I agree fully with it. if they have a back yard to do so, that is.

but someone who may not wish to buy an AC because it's too expencive for them, or because they would only need it for 3 or 4 days out of the year, making it not practical, might not have such an option.
but they do have other options that they can do and was described in this thread. just my 2 cents on the real matter at hand.

Harry
 

fluxlizard

Avid Member
so if they like disturbed habbitat so much, and they prefer clearings, why don't you mimic this and move your cages out from under the shade?

I don't keep my cages in the shade, and never said I did. I said I make sure they have shade and full sun as well during the day. The cages are in the middle of the yard with plenty of sun. I provide some form of sun shield on top of the cages as well- usually old boards or plastic storage tub lids and locate this shield over the top of the south side of the cage. This means that if the lizards move up and to the north side of the cages they have shade, if they move south and down they have full sun. They also have some shade shelter from the plants in the cages.

after all, you say they do better in the clearings, the FULL SUN. why do things differently from what you are reading?

I am repeating what those who actually study them and/or visit them and/or collect them say. This isn't an idea original to me.

Surely you don't believe that sun loving lizards spend all their time in the sun and do not need to thermoregulate? Thermoregulation requires shade as well as sun.
Surely you don't believe clearings means no plant growth or shade opportunities?
Come on quite trying so hard to distort what I am saying.

why are you even telling this person to offer shade? I'm so totally confused, and the reason why is because you can't have it both ways.

No, the reason you are totally confused because you do not understand sun loving lizards and do not understand thermoregulation and do not understand that sunloving lizards still must have shade to thermoregulate.

Your confusion has nothing to do with me. I'm warm blooded and don't have to have it both ways.

Sun-loving lizards *do have to have it both ways* (sun and shade). This is basic to lizards! Any lizard in the world with only a couple of possible exceptions that is a sun-loving species *MUST* be able to escape the sun after warming up to prevent over-heating.

a chance to get out of the heat so they don't over absorb UVB rays
The huge level of UVB in natural sunlight probably means that moving in and out of the sun has much more to do with thermoregulation and hardly anything at all to do with UVB regulation. A few minutes of sunlight is far stronger and going to give far more UVB exposure than indoors all day under your fake -sun tubes. In a labratory setting- yes they will move in and out to control UVB exposure, but in real sunlight when they are thermoregulating to control body temperature total basking time throughout the day is far more than it would take to get the needed amount of UVB exposure and it is impossible to get too much d3 from the UVB in the sunlight anyway. And that is if you don't account for the reflective UVB present in the shade, which is significant compared to fluorescent tubes and adds yet more exposure to UVB for natural animals.

So I really doubt they are trying not to get too much UVB by moving into the shade- they are controlling temperature.

they also can be found in the deep rain forest as well, anyone who has walked in a rain forest can tell you.

Of course they can- they are animals and move about, but those same people will tell you that if you want to find them in numbers, you don't go into heavy forest to look for them because they aren't there.

The fact that they are most common in disturbed land and clearings and along roadways, etc where the sunlight penetrates is so basic to all that I have read on these animals that I really don't recall exact sources or where to point you, and I'm too lazy to dig and find it for you- but you might check the CIN article on them, the AVS book on them, Ferguson panther chameleon book on them, old magazine articles on them, masters of disguise, natures jewels, etc. The info on their natural habitat preferences is in there somewhere, and repeatedly. It isn't the deep forest. Madagascar has other species of chameleon that specialize in that.

now if you said that they prefer to live at the edge of a clearing, or in spots that offer some sun to bask, then I would be in full agreement.

Really? You would agree with me? Because a post or two back you were talking about how they lived deep in the forest where temperatures were 20 degrees cooler, and that's not the same as living at the edge of clearings where it is warmer and there is more sunlight.

I'm thinking you are just looking for a good debate and being knit-picky. Edges of clearings provides full sun and shade, which is exactly what sun-loving lizards require and exactly what I am saying. Bushes small trees tall weeds and the like also provide cover further into the clearings. You are implying ridiculous stuff that I never claimed like they enjoy living on twigs in the sun over bare dirt without any way to get out of the sun or the heat or something.

but they do have other options that they can do and was described in this thread.

And which is that?

Your advice to turn on an aircon that the OP said in the original post they don't own?
 
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Cainschams

New Member
If it is too hot indoors, and you cannot do anything about that because you do not have central air and do not want to invest in an air conditioner, try moving outdoors, providing shade and sun and plant cover and use a mister over part of the shady part of the enclosure during the heat of the day so the lizard can escape the heat or warm up as it wants.

This is what I would do also. Inside and outside heat is very different. Inside it gets very stuffy and stagnant when it is hot. Outside you have cool breezes and no stagnant air. In my cham room I dont let it get over 80 ambient but when outside I will let them experience higher temps. Of course with plenty of shade and water if its reaching those higher temps. Remember, I have all montane species that need lower temps than panthers. I saw one time heat stress from one of my panthers. The temps were definitely over 95 and with heat index it was even hotter. After a nice long cool shower he was back to normal.
 

warpdrive

Avid Member
Flux,

personally, I think we are in total agreement. we just speak it differently, or with different words. the problem is that to the novice, it sounds like they live in a totally different environment then you originally discribe.

I don't dissagree with where you will find the most panthers or about thermal regulation. but I do disagree with why. I also totaly disagree that in the deeper parts of the forest that you wont find them. it's just far harder, and thus, they are missed a lot as compared to the disturbed areas that they have no choice but to habituate due to the declining habitat that they are left with.

but regardless, there are plenty of things that can be done indoors if placing them outside is not an option.
keeping windows closed, shades or blinds closed, increase misting to help cool off the enclosure, lower the heat by turning of the basking lights or dimming them, are just a few things that can be done.

oh, and yeah, I've read plenty from what you asked me to do. it's how I got most of my answers as to where and how they live.
maybe we are just comming to different conclusions from what we are reading. regardless, you're all cool in my book, and mean no disrespect.

Harry
 
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