A newbie seeks for help..

raydeon

New Member
Hello there folks. My name is Ray and I am living in the bay area of California. I used to have a bearded dragon and he just recently died due to an unknown reason, some sort of internal diseases perhaps, coz the vets werent able to do anything after taken away from me more than $500.

long story short, I am very much interested in getting a chameleon as my new pet but I dont have much of knowledge about it.

I do have a automated mister than has timer on it and adjustable duration of each mist. I guess chamelleons like to get wet. I also have the following items from my old bearded dragon friend:

a 24"x24"x18" enclosure with a mesh top.
75w basking lamp from zoomed.
a UV light with external ballast from www.reptileUV.com (I heard that it was the best).
a night heat emitter from zoomed.
couple of rocks that my bearded dragon used to bask himself on.
some trays for foods and water.

now here comes my questions:

what else do I have to purchse ?
can I put two chameleons in the same enclosure? (one M and one F that is).

thank you very much !!
 
Last edited:

Jordan

New Member
I would recommend getting a veiled for any one who is a first time chameleon owner. They are really the hardiest chameleon you can get and probably the second most colorful behind a panther, although, some could argue that.

I would suggest a male regardless of the species. Females usually have more special needs.

I would not put two chameleons together just as a general rule of thumb. They can become aggressive towards each other. For the most part these are solitary animals and this means your actual interactions with them should be limited as well, although, if you get a veiled most will make you respect their space as they can become aggressive.

The aquarium could be used for awhile assuming the chameleon was of a young age when he/she was in it. Glass tends not to be a good option. It increases drying times due to the lack of air flow in turn promoting bacterial growth. I would suggest some sort of screen/mesh cage that is vertically oriented.

Chameleons need good stable humidity and real plants are a good way to start. Some chameleons such as a veiled will actually eat the leaves and such so using real plants will give them some safe food to eat. Some people have reported veileds trying to eat fake plants which could have a number of different outcomes.

What kind of automister is it that you have? Some like say a Habba mister really do not put out enough water for it to be worth your time. If this is what you have might as well leave it out. You do not have to have an automatic mister you can do this buy hand if you do not want to throw the money on it right away.

The basking light could probably be reused down the line. If you do purchase a small chameleon off the bat they usually do better with minimual heat. So maybe not that high of wattage bulb if you use one at all to start off with.

UVb bulbs (flourescent) do deteriate over time. If yours is still fairly new then yes you can reuse it. Most manufactures recommend changing them every six months. THe only way to know for sure is to have a UVb meter to see how it has deteriated. If you do not have one and the bulb is over six months just replace it. A chameleon in most cases will need one of these bulbs that puts out 5% UVb or better.

You will need plenty of vines/branches for them to navigate their cage on. Store vines can be bought. YOu can also collect branches outside, wash, and then use. I mix and match the two.

It will probably be better to have a digital thermometer/hydrometer so you can set-up the cage properly. This will also help you to moniter the cage quickly on a daily basis and make adjustments. Should your chameleon get sick or you are worried that he/she is this will help so that other people can try and help you make corrections to your husbandry if they are needed.

Chameleons do not spend much time on the ground so the rock will do them no good. Some people do use dishes to hold their insects but these usually have to be some what customized to the cage, sometimes not.

Sorry some of these are vague but it really is such a big question to answer all at once.

Almost forgot to say welcome to the forums Ray.:)
 

raydeon

New Member
forgot to ask...what are the best staples for chameleons ? besides silkworms and crix coz silkworms drive me crazy as crix do the same thing to my girlfriend.
 

Maganda

New Member
Hi, is the cage you have all glass? If so, you need a screen type enclosure.

That basking lamp can be used again.

The UV light you got is very good BUT if you have this "Mega-Ray® EB 60 Watt Lamp Kit" , then it is too much UV for a chameleon. You would need this "Mega-Ray® Low UV EB 60 Watt Lamp Kit". I have one on Order right now so I cant tell ya much about it right now.

The mister you Definantly need. Chams need humidity and depending on what kind of chameleon you want is going to depend on how much humidity you need to create.

You are also going to need plants (non-toxic of course). Live plants will help with your humidity also. You also need a Temperature and Humidity gauge to monitor the climate. Look here for safe plants https://www.chameleonforums.com/live-plant-database-2632/
and also
http://www.bluebeastreptile.com/plantlist.htm

Here is my set-up for my panther.





The Plant is an Umbrella tree. I have a pothos as well but I took it out in place of the bigger umbrella tree. I also have a humidifier that I rigged up using swimming pool hose and PVC to keep humidity up. Also I still use a dripper as well.

You don't need the rocks or the water tray. Chams will drink from water that is collected on the leaves from the misting and or dripper.

I do know that there are some types of chameleons that you are able to house together if it is a big enough enclosure but panthers, you can't house together. You will need to basically figure out first what kind of chameleon you want then set up the enclosure for that specific cham.

Good Luck!!
Jun
 
If one has difficulty keeping a bearded dragon healthy on the long term, I would highly advise against keeping chameleons at this time.

If you hate silks and your girl hates crickets I hope you guys dig roaches!

24x24x18 is really not large enough for much but pygmies which seem to do better for those who keep them in glass terraria.

Please relegate the heat rock to warming your coffee mug in the mornings, and the food and water dishes will do great in the roach bin, no water please they are crappy swimmers.
 

jleahl

New Member
You should seriously consider pygmies...they are much more suited to the kind of setup you already own. You would want to plant the tank, rather than the drier environment your beardie was used to, and as Zerah said, the feeding dishes etc. aren't needed. They don't need as much heat as the true chameleons or bearded dragons; room temp is fine. Here are some links on pygmy chameleon care:

http://www.chameleonnews.com/stumphabitat.html

http://www.chameleonnews.com/brevcare.html

One thing to keep in mind is that chameleons are not people-friendly like bearded dragons! If you want an animal that responds to you and interacts, don't get a chameleon. They are living art, to be watched only!:D
 
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