A "Cham-Interested" Snake Keeper's Venture

TLC

New Member
I was inspired to start a blog, with pictures, about my venture into keeping chameleons. This will be a three part act. Act 1: Pre-ownership Knowledge Acquisition; Act 2: Cage Set Up; and Act 3: Chameleon Reception and Introduction. As stated in a previous post (and in this Subject Line), I keep snakes-27 snakes to be exact. I have 13 Ball Pythons, four Amazon Tree Boas, three Green Tree Pythons, two Emerald Tree Boas, two Boa Constrictors, two Carpet Pythons, and one Reticulated Python. (13+4+3+2+2+2+1 yeah that equals 27). Being in the snake game for so long, (20 plus years) one can't help but to learn about and to appreciate other reptiles. There have been times when I had a passing curiosity about owning an green iguana, but that idea was quickly nixed due to the space they require. My girlfriend has shown interest in Leopard geckos and I really like Cresties. However, in a chance encounter, about two weeks ago, at the local pet shop where I buy my rodents for the few snakes I have that only eat live prey, Tammy was engaged in conversation with a lady that keeps Veiled Chams and she was singing their praises. The ladies enthusiasm piqued Tammy's interest. There just happened to be Zoo Med poster with the picture of a Panther Chameleon near where this conversation took place, and that was all she wrote.

So if my Baby Girl wants a Panther chameleon, then Baby Girl will get a Panther Chameleon. And that started me on something I love doing, which is researching and learning how to take proper care of reptiles. I will admit, I had a rather cocky attitude about my ability to keep a cham. Besides, I have a thorough understanding about captive environment requirements for reptiles. I understand how to properly administer a thermal gradient, maintain humidity, properly house and keep feeder prey, etc. I have temp guns, probed thermometers and thermostats; dome fixtures for lights, humidifiers, hand misters, pump misters, automatic misters, and humidifiers. Perhaps, I should rephrase and say that I am confident, instead of cocky, in my abilities. This assurance is based on related experience and plus being able to satisfy the needs for arboreal snake species, who's care has to be more dialed in and exact than my terrestrial species. Tree boas and pythons are less forgiving and have higher humidity needs than most other species. And, once I owned a Caiman. Yes, I know chameleons are not snakes (or Caimans). So that keeps me grounded. Just because I kept other reptiles and read a few (well, every one I could find actually) care sheet on Panthers, I still don't know everything and, more importantly, I do not have the most important thing which is the benefit of cham-keeping experience. As with my snakes, I will always be willing and receptive to learning as much as possible about them. By the way, I am loving Chameleon Forums.

But I digressed a bit because Tammy came in here and was showing me something on her phone and distracted me. I want this blog/post to be about my journey and I will update as we go. Originally, we were going to go with a 24"x24"x48" Reptibreeze screen enclosure, but after more research we found more recommendations for Reptarium, DIY Cages, and LLL Reptile cages. Reptarium was axed because there was too many complaints about the zipper getting caught and crickets eating through the mesh. (Ouch, Tammy just hit me after reading the first sentence of this paragraph). We chose LLL over DIY for two reasons. I liked that I can buy a drainage pan for it and an expansion kit. I ordered the cage and drain pan last night and my order will be delivered in 5-8 days by FedEx. Also, we brought and repotted a Yucca Cane plant and an Umbrella tree yesterday. Here in Fort Smith, Arkansas, we couldn't find any store carrying Pothos or Ficus trees at this time of year, but we are going to order a hanging Pothos. For horizontal highways, I plan to cut crepe myrtle branches but did buy some bamboo since it was so freaking cheap. I use crepe myrtle for my GTPs and yes I know to wash and bake them before installing in the cage. Please enjoy the photos and anxiously wait for Act 2 when the cage arrives and is set up.

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FlChamMom

Avid Member
We ladies love us some chams...;) I have a DIY and a Reptibreeze- can't go wrong with either. I have the LLL Reptile drainage pans- awesome. One thing I would say is go with a holdback from a small breeder. Even if you understand that a cham isn't a bearded dragon you want one that won't bite your hand off either. My chams came from breeders on the forums and both are "friendly". You are a good boyfriend in my book!
 

TLC

New Member
FlChamMom thank you. Jim Flaherty/The Chameleon Company is holding an Ambilobe for us. He has been great with responding to our emails. I understand the chams are more display/hands-off pets. That's the same reputation that my arboreal snakes have.
 
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