If you want to get a panther chameleon or if you already have one, you need to know a couple of important things. One of those things is that you need to create a unique world for your panther chameleon in your house...sounds dramatic, right? What does that mean? Well, it means that you have to set up a panther chameleon cage with the right temperatures, lighting that imitates the sun, the right humidity, plants and so on and so forth.
If you just started with panther chameleons this topic might be absolutely confusing to you. I mean, you might have done a little bit of research already and you probably noticed that everyone says something different when it comes to setting up a panther chameleon habitat.
This article will end the confusion. This article will show you exactly which stuff you need, what temperature and humidity you need and what size the enclosure should have to set up the perfect panther chameleon tank.
The Right Panther Chameleon Tank Size
First things first, what kind of enclosure does your panther chameleon need? Panther chameleons need a lot of fresh air, that´s why you should have a great ventilation in the tank... or you just take a screen cage. The good thing about screencages is that they are cheaper and as I already said, provide fresh air all the time.
It is a little bit harder to maintain the right humidity though. Don´t worry though, there are easy ways to get the right humidity in a screen cage as well. So what size should the terrarium have? The answer is, it can´t be big enough for an adult panther chameleon.
I know that you need more specific information, lol. I recommend to get this cage if you want to go with a screen cage. The size is okay. It always depends on how big your chameleon will get in the end.
If you have a baby chameleon and you are on a budget, I recommend to get this cage for a baby chameleon. This cage will be big enough for probably almost a year.
Zoo Med ReptiBreeze
This cage is perfect for housing most adult chameleons at an affordable price.
The Right Panther Chameleon Lighting?
This is very confusing for beginners, but I will make this easy for you and separate this topic into three sections.
UVB Bulbs For Panther Chameleons
Panther chameleons need UVB to produce vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is for processing calcium. Calcium is needed for strong bones and growth. So if you don´t have a UVB bulb your panther chameleon won´t grow as it should, the bones will get soft and eventually it will die. This is called metabolic bone disease.
The sun provides UVB as well and that´s why you can´t put a simple light bulb on the cage and that´s it. Panther chameleons need the sun. Conclusion: you need a good UVB bulb.
This is the best UVB bulb you can find on the market. It is not expensive at all, comes with a fixture and you can choose the size. I recommend to get a UVB bulb that is as wide as your tank (probably 24 inches).
Zoo Med ReptiSun UVB Bulb
The ReptiSun is one of the best, if not the best UVB bulb on the market. Highly recommended!
Panther Chameleon Heating
Panther chameleons are cold-blooded. That means that they need the environment to regulate their body temperature. If they do not have a spot where they can heat up their bodies they won´t be able to move, hunt or digest. You might ask yourself now, "Why do I have to get another bulb if I already need to get the UVB?" That´s because most UVB bulbs do not provide heat.
You Need To Create Temperature Zones
This sounds more complicated than it really is. The panther chameleon cage should be very tall because panther chameleons love to climb and don´t walk a lot on the ground. So if you put a heat bulb on top of the cage it will automatically create temperature zones from the top to the bottom.
Very hot directly below the heat bulb. Warm in the upper section of the cage and a little bit cooler in the lower section of the tank. It is that easy. All you need to know is what temperatures you need in these zones and what wattage the heat bulb should have for that.
The hot spot is the place (a branch that is near the lamp) below the heat bulb. The hottest spot in the tank. This spot is used by chameleons for heating up their body quickly. It should have around 95 °F (35 °C). If you have a bulb with the right wattage you can influence the hot spot´s temperature by changing the distance from hot spot (most probably a branch or log) to heat bulb.
In other words, measure the temperature at the hot spot with a temp gun and if it is too hot, increase the distance from log to bulb until it is okay.
The ambient temperature should be from 83 °F (28 °C) in the upper section of the cage to 72 °F (22 °C) in the lower section of the cage.
I recommend to get this heat bulb. If you don´t reach the right temperatures you need to get a bulb with lower wattage or higher wattage. You also need to get a fixture that allows you to place the heat bulb on top of the cage. I recommend to get this fixture for that.
Plants In The Panther Chameleon Cage
Plants and trees are very important for panther chameleons. They need them to climb, to hide and you need them to maintain the right humidity. So get a ficus (for example) and just place it inside screen cage. No need for a substrate, just place the plant/ tree with the flower pot inside the cage.
Always make sure that you get a tree or plant that is strong enough to carry your panther chameleon´s weight. Further the branches should be thick enough. If you need more stuff for your chameleon to climb on, have a look at this:
Getting The Right Panther Chameleon Humidity
Some people say that panther chameleons need a humidity of 70% to 100%. This is the biggest nonsense I have ever heard. It is totally confusing for beginners, because beginners think then that they have to reach the 100%, which is not possible.
So here is how you do it correctly. Get a lot of plants for your panther chameleon cage and mist them on a regular base. Between all the leaves their will be a micro-climate. That means that it is still moist between the leaves even if your hygrometer shows that you only have a humidity of 50%.
Further make sure that your panther chameleon is well hydrated at all times. This will help your chameleon to shed properly and the shedding really is what matters here. If your chameleon sheds without problems your humidity is on point.
If it has problems to get rid of the old skin, you have to get higher humidity by misting more often. A substrate like this can help to get a higher humidity as well. Besides that you can let your panther chameleon take a shower when you mist the cage. Just don´t use cold water. Most panther chameleons enjoy the shower.
That´s it. I wasn´t that hard, right? So get the right tank size, get the right temperatures, the right humidity and a lot of plants for your chameleon to hide and climb and you have the perfect panther chameleon cage.
If you have any questions, leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.