Chameleon Care Sheet
- MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR ADULT PANTHER/YEMEN CHAMELEONS OF AVERAGE SIZE (40/60cm)
- A MININUM OF A 30” x 36” x 18” WOODEN VIVARIUM OR PREFERABLY A 36” x 36” x 24” VIVARIUM
- ALTERNATIVLEY A 90CMX45CMX90CM OR 90CMX45CMX60CM EXO TERRA WOULD WORK PROVIDING TEMPERATURES CAN BE REACHED.
- UV LIGHTING 12%-14% PREFERABLY AN ARCADIA T5 PRO KIT 2/3 LENGTH OF THE VIVARIUMINCANDESCENT HEAT BULB PREFERABLY WITH A DIMMING THERMOSTAT OR CERAMIC
- HEATING WITH PULSE THERMOSTAT FOR LARGER TANKS
- PLENTY OF FOLIAGE AND BRANCHES
- BROAD RANGE VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENT
- SPRAY BOTTLE AND POSSIBLY A MOVING WATER SORCE
All heating should be positioned at the same end of the tank, creating a hot basking end. The opposite end should have no heating, creating a cool end.
We recommend using ceramic heating due to the height and volume of most Chameleon enclosures. If you choose to use incandescent bulbs be sure they are firstly powerful enough to heat the vivarium to the correct temperature.
Place your thermometer and/or thermostat sensor in the middle of your tank, 1/3 of the way up the back. At this point, the thermometer should read 78oF/26oC for Yemen chameleons or 82-84oF/28-29.5oC. The best way to achieve an accurate temperature is with a thermostat. Thermostats must be used with ceramics to avoid them overheating for safety reasons.
UVB lighting is essential for ALL herbivorous and insectivorous reptiles and is required 12-14 hours a day. We recommend using a minimum UVB rating of 10%.
The UV tube should start against the wall at the hot end and span 2/3 the length of the enclosure thus creating a UV gradient much like your heating. For 15-18” high tanks, It is best to use a 12% and position your UV tube on the ceiling of the vivarium. For 10% tubes, position it just below the vents on the back wall of the tank. For vivariums, 2ft and over, a 12%-14% UV with a reflector or an Arcadia T5 pro kit should be used and placed on the ceiling of the vivarium. 14% Arcadia T5 pro kits must be used for tanks higher than 3ft.
Always remember to replace your UV tube every 6 months unless the manufacturer states otherwise. Though the tube will continue to appear to be working as normal, the UVB production will have diminished. As far as we are aware, only the Arcadia 12% T8 and T5 range last 12 months and give a virtually 12% or 14% UVB for the duration of that time. Failure to give your new Chameleon the proper levels and quality of UVB could result in irreversible Metabolic Bone Disease.
Substrate, Cleaning & Décor
Many different feeding routines and diets have been used with varying levels of success the best suited to this set-up will be explained below.
Chameleons are insect feeders. Your Common choices are Crickets, Locust, and Mealworms and Waxworms to a lesser extent. Chameleons should be fed on insects every other day.
LocustThe best way to judge what quantity of jumping insects constitutes as a meal is to place a limited amount, say half a dozen crickets or locust into the tank. If your animal is hungry it will eat them immediately, continue to put a couple of insects in the tank every time your animal finishes what it has, until your chameleon stops feeding or seems barely interested in the prey. If using meal or waxworms, place in a bowl for a day and remove what is left in the evening. Remember never leave excess crickets or mealworms loose in the tank, they can cause injury to your animal!
A good quality vitamin and mineral is very important to the well-being of your animal, always read the packaging carefully. We recommend Nutrobal on 2 of 3 meals. Failure to maintain a good supply of vitamins and minerals can result in serious illness.
Feeding, Hydration & Vitamin Supplements
Many different feeding routines and diets have been used with varying levels of success. Chameleons are insect feeders.
Your Common choices are Crickets, Locust, and Mealworms and Waxworms to a lesser extent. Chameleons should be fed a meal of insects every other day.
Spray your chameleon lightly once a day to provide water droplets on the foliage as one source of drinking water. Contrary to popular belief chameleons do not require excessive humidity. A spray once a day to give light coverage of water on the foliage but not enough to saturate the tank is more than enough. A light spray can be used once in the morning and once in the evening to encourage your chameleon to drink. Spraying too much and can cause issues as stagnant, humid air creates a breeding ground for bacteria. Often an area of moving water can be added as a different drinking source, i.e. a waterfall. This means the chameleon should drink form this and you will then only need a light spray in the morning.
Handling, Health & Additional Notes
Chameleons are very stress-sensitive animals and we recommend keeping any handling to an absolute minimum. Some individuals may take to handling better than others and in some cases, you may be able to occasionally take your chameleon out for short periods.
It is essential that you leave your chameleon for a minimum of four weeks before you attempt any handling. It is important that your chameleon has the opportunity to settle into its new home to keep stress levels to a minimum.
Always use common sense when handling animals. When it comes to your animal’s health if you are ever in doubt go to a specialist veterinarian.
Avoid putting your Chameleon in with any other Chameleon or animal. They are very sensitive to stress. They can only go in with each other for breeding purposes. Please ask a respected dealer for information.
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