What I need for a Panther Chameleon Setup

Everyone,

Hello! I am new to reptiles but have been keeping animals for all of my life. I have lived on a farm for 6 years and have 10 aquariums, along with other animals. I have always been interested in reptiles and am planning to get a panther chameleon. I had a few questions about what I would need. So far this is what I think that I'll need,

- 24x24x48 mesh cage
- Reptisun T5 Ho Terrarium Hood
- Mistking 5th generation
- Panther Chameleon bioactive kit from the Biodude
- Climbing / plants
- Clean up crew
- Chameleon and clean up crew food

Here are my questions:
- I was wondering what kind of heat lamp do I need?
- I am planning to do a bioactive setup, what cultures do I need?
- What do I feed the cultures?
- Do you recommend a glass or mesh cage. I live in California where we don't get any extreme temperatures but not sure if a mesh would be too difficult with not hot outdoor temps.
- Looking at my UVB options, do you recommend a bulb (there is a 2 in one with UVB and heat) or do you recommend a long UVB, similar to an aquarium light?
- I don't live in 80F temps like Chameleon prefer so how do I best keep temps to their preference?
- Can't I just buy a large terrarium first rather than buying a smaller one at the beginning to save money?
- How do I keep the terrarium warm and misty regularly with an Est 65f room?
- Do bioactive enclosures smell poorly?
- Is there anything else that I am not considering or need to get?
Thanks in advance!

Respectfully,
Patrick
 
Last edited:

Pickle-cham

Avid Member
Hi Patrick, i too come from an Aquarium background too the arboreal Reptile world.
Mistking is a great purchase, a t5ho uvb is preferred (aquarium like bulb😁) over the two in one bulbs (mercury vapours).
Im no expert in Bioactive but cultures normally but isn't all inclusive list; springtails, tropical woodlice (arthropods), millipedes & worms. The idea is that they deal with some of the chameleon waste supplement to this leaf litter but think you still have to pick up up some of the feces & believe all the urates, there's more experience bio members on here to advise on this personally I'm running a bare floor and fully planted & chemical cleaning regularly.
Other equipment you haven't listed but would recommend is a dimming thermostat, plant light (jungle dawn or equivalent) and a decent drainage plan.
If you have a water ro or hma filter for your aquaria this can be useful for your misting water👍
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Everyone,

Hello! I am new to reptiles but have been keeping animals for all of my life. I have lived on a farm for 6 years and have 10 aquariums, along with other animals. I have always been interested in reptiles and am planning to get a panther chameleon. I had a few questions about what I would need. So far this is what I think that I'll need,

- 24x24x48 mesh cage Unless you live in a year-round humid climate, you might consider a hybrid enclosure, which are somewhat easier to achieve & maintain humidity.
- Reptisun T5 Ho Terrarium Hood A "generic" T5 fixyure with reflector will be less expensive, and do the job. Most (under several brand names) are made by the same company in China. IDK who has the best deal at the moment.
- Mistking 5th generation
- Panther Chameleon bioactive kit from the Biodude I just read & rsponded to your other thread.
- Climbing / plants Please use live plants only. Live plants help increase and maintain humidity.
- Clean up crew
- Chameleon and clean up crew food Variety is best for both. See: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/images/

Here are my questions:
- I was wondering what kind of heat lamp do I need? Old-fashioned household incandescent (not LED) Alternatives are incandescent flood (not spot) or halogen flood.
- I am planning to do a bioactive setup, what cultures do I need?
- What do I feed the cultures?
- Do you recommend a glass or mesh cage. I live in California where we don't get any extreme temperatures but not sure if a mesh would be too difficult with not hot outdoor temps. As above, I suggest hybrid—solid back & sides, screen top and partial screened front to create chimney effect for ventilation.
- Looking at my UVB options, do you recommend a bulb (there is a 2 in one with UVB and heat) or do you recommend a long UVB, similar to an aquarium light? No question; linear T5 HO UVB, either Reptisun 5.0 or Arcadia 6%.
- I don't live in 80F temps like Chameleon prefer so how do I best keep temps to their preference? Panthers actually prefer temps in the 70s; they like it even cooler at night. Higher temps for basking are provided by the basking lamp.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/

- Can't I just buy a large terrarium first rather than buying a smaller one at the beginning to save money? Yes. There's really no reason to start out with a small enclosure.
- How do I keep the terrarium warm and misty regularly with an Est 65f room? Mister during the day; fogger (if needed) during the night. Add'l warmth from basking bulb. Note: With live plants, you'll likely also need LED plant lights. They don't put out a lot of heat like basking, but some.
- Do bioactive enclosures smell poorly? I suppose that depends on individual definition ans how well it's kept.
- Is there anything else that I am not considering or need to get? Instrumentation. Digital hygrometer/thermometers w/ probes, possibly an IR temp gun, and recommended a Solarmeter 6.5x (they're expensive, but there are DIY versions if you're handy with electronics)
Thanks in advance!

No problem.

Respectfully,
Patrick
There's a really good husbandry program at https://chameleonacademy.com/
A member here—Gingero—has a video series called Neptune the Chameleon that's also very good.
And the Resources section on this site.
 
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