Beginner...Help Needed


New Member
Hi everyone,
I just joined this forum last night, and it really looks like an exceptional place to learn about chameleons!

I have always been intriqued by reptiles, although I have never really gotten into keeping them. I have been doing reef tanks, actually, for some time, and someone actually turned me onto leaopard geckos. Long story short, with a little curiosity, I was able to find this forum, and now I am hooked on chameleons!!

Since I am totally new to reptiles, I thought that maybe I could get some advice from the experts who have experience with chams. I may not have experience yet, but I understand the importance of researching and preparing. That is why I am in the planning stages right now, in the hopes of getting a Panther Nosy be when I move down to Florida in June.

Ok, now on to the learning part! :)

I have already talked to Grae in the chat room, and I have come to the concluesion that I will need a 2'x2'x4' cage as a bare minimum for the single Nosy be I plan ok keeping. Grae directed to a few sites, and I will easily be able to obtain a cage this size.

The part that is most hazy to me is the lighting. I understand that chams need a UV-A bulb, and a UV-B bulb. My main concern is that these lights emit UV, and I am wondering if they could potentially be harmful to my family or myself? What is the best UV-A, and UV-B lighting scheme on the market? Where could I possibly get these?

I also don't know how the temperature is supposed to be controlled. I have read that Nosy be chams like the day temp. to be arond 85F-90F. Is this achieved with just a fleurescent lamp, which acts as a heater? Also, how am I supposed to cool down the cage to around 70F at night?

One very important aspect, that I almost fully understand is giving chams water. I believe that I could easily design an automated misting system, no problem. What is the prefered method though? Is utilizing a drip method more effective, and easier on the cham?

The feeding seems fairly easy, just tedious. I will need to obtain a variety of bugs, weekly, and dust 'gut-load' them, and dust them with important vitamins. What do you recommend for supplements, and vitamins?

My last question for now is, where is a reputalbe dealer that would be able to ship to Florida?

Please bare with me, I am just starting, and I want to ensure that my future chameleon will have a good home. :)

Thank you very much!
lighting: I recommend reptisun 5.0 or 10.0 bulbs. This will provide the lighting your chameleon needs. It is still recommended to expose your cham to direct sunlight when possible.

temps: It is important to create a temperature gradient within your cage. This allows your cham to move to different areas and adjust it's body temperature. I assume you are going to keep the chameleon indoors. What temperature do you keep your room(s) at?
Thank you both for the replies.

I don't currently live in Florida, but in June, I am making the move to Orlando.

Thank you, I will look into these lights. I will give the cham as much sunlight outdoors, but I fear it may be too warm for Nosy Bes in Florida.
My house will have air-conditioning, of course, so the room will probably be around 70F-75F. What is the best way to create a temperature gradient inside the cage?
Welcome to the Chameleon Forums!

I'm in Jacksonville, Florida and have a new Nosy Be Panther Chameleon I got just after Christmas from a reptile store here in town.

We use a Habba Mist system in Blue's cage and it's been working really well for him. You just need to get the time and length of misting down for your set-up to maintain humidity. Also, it's good to have some vine/leaves for the water to drip off of for your chameleon to take a drink.

The experts here at the forum should have some good suggestions of great chameleon breeders for you to check out.

Good luck on selecting your new chameleon. It's great you are doing all the research beforehand.
Hi Shelby,

Thanks for the welcome! It's good to know that there are other hobbyists in Florida! I am glad to hear that your mist system is working for you Nosy Be. I will try to put together an automated system in the future. :) Planning seems to be essential, so that is what I am trying to accomplish right now.
what type of chameleon are you looking for i breed veiled and have eggs that should hatch by june. i also know some dealers in fl that i recommend it all depend on what you are looking for
I am looking for panthers. Preferably Nosy be, or Ambilobes.

If you could hook me up with a breeder in Florida, that would be awesome!
i wish i was able to afford to get a panther whole sale on them is $200 but my veiled work out just fine now i'm looking for jackson because i don't have to worry about incubating eggs when i breed them
I am not really into breeding chams right now. Yes, they are expensive, so I'm saving up enough money now. :D
When you are ready for your cham, Jim Flaherty at the Chameleon Company in Tampa Bay is absolutely your best bet.
As has already been pointed out, research and preparation before acquiring the animal are essential in successful cham keeping.
Good luck and welcome to the addiction! :)
Haha, definetly an addiction. :D

Thanks so much for the advice. Tampa is only about an hour and a half from where I will be living, so this will be much easier than shipping the cham.
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