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panther Chameleons husbandry tips
Setup and Caging
Even though I think all about husbandry tips have been said- written and having in mind google is now days the most powerful research tool, I see a need to support our follower and dear customers with a section for general husbandry tips based on my own experience. Some of the tips here have been also taken from different sources and experienced breeders. If you see I’m missing anything or have any questions, please feel free to email me.
Pick a place for your chameleons cage with low traffic, out of other pets sight(dogs or cats) and a well illuminated and ventilated area, I have observed that if you place your chameleon in a dark room (with proper lighting inside the cage obviously) but if the outside of the cage is dark, the chameleon might stay dark as well. If you place your cage in a well lighted room, chameleons tent to display lighter and brighter colours. Avoid air drafts and cold places.
Chameleons now days are very easy to keep (IMO) as long as you are a good observer. Your chameleons behavior will tell you what he needs, things to look for:
Things that might be telling you something is wrong:
Sleeping during the day, dark colouration most of the time, runny-watery feces, sunken eyes. These might be signs your chameleons is needing something to be changed.
I recommend an Exoterra 18x18x18 all glass terrarium(minimum) for babies and up to 6 months. (See my “raising baby chameleons” article in this section). AVOID fish tanks for Panther chameleons. I would buy one used from Kijiji, I’ve bought some in the past for $50-60ca
After 6 months old you can go with a 16x16x24″ all screen cage for females or 18x18x36″ for males. (We use Zoomed’s Repti breeze cages). I cover 3 sides of my cages with white corrugated plastic, to better keep humidity and to avoid splashing the back and the sides of the cages with water when misting.
If you want to go inexpensive, branches from your back yard will do the trick. Just make sure you wash them with water only before putting them in the cage, make sure you get them from a clean place (no chemicals, pesticides,etc) You can use natural plants like pothos to decorate. If can also use plastic plants and fake branches, available at may pet stores, specially designed for reptiles.
For baby terrariums, see the raising baby chameleons guide referred above. For screen cages, I don’t use anything, it helps when it comes to cleaning.
Heat and Light
I recommend a 5.0 linear UVB light (Zoo-med) but I have also been using with success 5.0, 26w Exo-Terra UVB coiled bulbs.
Beside the UVB source your chameleon will benefit from a basking light, a 25 regular bulb will work well.
Give your chameleon a cycle of 8-10 hrs of day light and the rest can be night time.
My chameleon room is at a constant of 24-25C (72.5F-77F), and I drop it to 23C (73.4F) during night. Please note this is my whole house temperature all year around, so I can say I keep my chameleons at room temperature.
No night light is necessary if your temperatures are on this range.
I strongly recommend an automated misting system if you have a busy life style. Or you can hand mist your chameleon using a hand misting bottle available at any home depot or dollar store.
Mist enough water so you leave water drops on the leaves, chameleons DO NOT drink water from cups, bowls or waterfalls. Usually misting 3 times a day for 1 minute or two should be enough. (Morning, afternoon and evening)
Offer enough food as your chameleon can consume per day. I feed my chameleons 5-10 insects a day. You can offer crickets, super worms, silk works and tomato worms, the more variety, the better. Its advisable to feed your insects with nice veggies before feeding them to your chameleons so they pass the benefits to it, this is also known as gut loading. I gut load my insects with apple, carrots and Mazuri cricket chow. AVOID goat loading with dog or cat food.
You will find many guides when it comes to supplements. My personal choice and recommendation is simple. Use Repashy Calcium Plus on every feed or at least once a day and you are done. This product has everything your chameleons needs, calcium, vitamins, minerals, D3, A, etc. I switched two years ago and the results have been great.
Set Up and Caging
Heat and Light
Water, Food and Supplements
Get In Touch
At Chamleons Canada, we are always looking forward to hear from you. Please feel free to get in touch with your questions or special orders.
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