Feel Good Chameleon Keeping stories

Beman

Social Media Manager
Staff member
With the threads we see here I think we need a pick me up. So I am hoping all of you regulars and newer members that are thriving in this hobby will share your experience. I would also love it if you share pics of your enclosure so that newbies can see what theirs should look like. For a few of us seeing all the sad day after day gets really hard. So I think this is a great way to not only have a feel good thread going but to also educate a little.



So let me start things off. My name is Becca. I have been a member of Chameleon Forums since November of 2018. I started lurking in the forum in October of 2018 when I got my first chameleon from Petco. Impulse buy and my first reptile. I was lucky and found the forum very quickly so I was able to make total husbandry changes within the first week of having Beman. Beman was 4-5 months old when I got him and will be 5 years old this coming June/July. I do not have an exact hatch date since he is a Petco baby. He has been in the same Dragon strand enclosure since January of 2019. Although I have made some modifications to it so that it would be a full hybrid cage. I have spent well over 2k on his total set up over the years. Adding new and better things to improve his overall quality of life.

Details about his home... As I mentioned it is a Dragon Strand enclosure. This one is 30 inches wide 24inches deep and 48 inches tall. This one is no longer a cage that they make which is sad because it is by far my favorite size. I have a herpstat to control the basking temp which dims the fixture up and down. I am running a jungle dawn LED plant light and then 3 T5HO light fixtures. 1 of the T5HO fixtures is used for his 6% arcadia UVB bulb. Then I have 2 6500 daylight bulbs for plants in the other 2 t5ho fixtures. I have a mistking misting system and run 2 misting heads. He is currently getting 6-7 minute mistings 3 times a day. Once in the morning and two in the late afternoon and evening. This keeps my ambient humidity right in the sweet spot of 38-45% daytime which I need since I live in AZ where there is virtually no humidity and provides him with long misting sessions which he loves. I have 5 live plants in his enclosure. 2 hibiscus, 1 pothos, and 2 dracaena. All real branches were used for his enclosure. As I mentioned I modified his walls with PVC sheets to make his enclosure a hybrid. On the door panel I have 20 gauge marine vinyl and then the service door is screen to allow for the chimney air flow effect. I also run a small pc fan on top to help pull air up and out of the enclosure. I have a full throttle feeder cup as well for him. All of his lights are each on govee smart plugs so that the lights turn on slowly in the morning one after the other and then the same gradual lights off into the late afternoon and evening to start cooling down the cage. I also use 2 govee smart sensors so I know what my ambient temps and humidity are at all times. Govee devices are managed from an app on my phone which is super helpful.

What I love about this hobby and these animals is that I never stop learning new things. Beman is by far the most amazing animal I have ever had. With that said this is the most challenging animal I have ever taken care of. I found myself watching him constantly in the beginning trying to learn his behaviors. I think this helped me quite a bit as he matured and over the passed few years to know when something was off. I think anyone can be successful in this hobby if they put in the time and attention to detail. Making sure the chameleon comes first and has everything it needs to thrive. If done right you have less chance of something going wrong. And in this hobby things can go wrong even when everything is done perfectly.

Beman is at an age now where I hold my breath most days when I go to greet him in the morning. Being as he is almost 5 years old I really do not know how long I have left with him. But what I do know is I have given this petco boy an amazing life. I have been able to watch him grow and thrive. I was extremely intimidated getting into this hobby and I was very very overwhelmed at first. Now here I am years later and I am an active member in this forum and I am able to help others. This is very rewarding for me to be able to do.

For all the lurkers and newbies... Thank you for reading my story and learning about my set up. I hope this has been helpful for you. :)

Pic of Beman's enclosure. And some of my favorite pics of him over the years.


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Lets just rip this band-aid off.

Ive been doing this a while. Here is about the min you need to have a happy healthy cham. Here is a 30 tall with a screen top, a vita-lite without reflector, and no live plants. Raised on crickets as as much pinkies he would eat. Supplements sticky tongue farms indoor (very low dose D3) and the sticky tongue vita-mix. The indoor was given every feeder every feeding, and was a great match to the low dose UVB bulb that was probably 1.0 at 3" and .3 at 6" and maybe .1 at 9". Always got good marks from the vet, and lived about 6 years. I had to save up about $300 for him, because i didnt want to buy one of those cheap parsons that were not very hardy :)

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With the threads we see here I think we need a pick me up. So I am hoping all of you regulars and newer members that are thriving in this hobby will share your experience. I would also love it if you share pics of your enclosure so that newbies can see what theirs should look like. For a few of us seeing all the sad day after day gets really hard. So I think this is a great way to not only have a feel good thread going but to also educate a little.



So let me start things off. My name is Becca. I have been a member of Chameleon Forums since November of 2018. I started lurking in the forum in October of 2018 when I got my first chameleon from Petco. Impulse buy and my first reptile. I was lucky and found the forum very quickly so I was able to make total husbandry changes within the first week of having Beman. Beman was 4-5 months old when I got him and will be 5 years old this coming June/July. I do not have an exact hatch date since he is a Petco baby. He has been in the same Dragon strand enclosure since January of 2019. Although I have made some modifications to it so that it would be a full hybrid cage. I have spent well over 2k on his total set up over the years. Adding new and better things to improve his overall quality of life.

Details about his home... As I mentioned it is a Dragon Strand enclosure. This one is 30 inches wide 24inches deep and 48 inches tall. This one is no longer a cage that they make which is sad because it is by far my favorite size. I have a herpstat to control the basking temp which dims the fixture up and down. I am running a jungle dawn LED plant light and then 3 T5HO light fixtures. 1 of the T5HO fixtures is used for his 6% arcadia UVB bulb. Then I have 2 6500 daylight bulbs for plants in the other 2 t5ho fixtures. I have a mistking misting system and run 2 misting heads. He is currently getting 6-7 minute mistings 3 times a day. Once in the morning and two in the late afternoon and evening. This keeps my ambient humidity right in the sweet spot of 38-45% daytime which I need since I live in AZ where there is virtually no humidity and provides him with long misting sessions which he loves. I have 5 live plants in his enclosure. 2 hibiscus, 1 pothos, and 2 dracaena. All real branches were used for his enclosure. As I mentioned I modified his walls with PVC sheets to make his enclosure a hybrid. On the door panel I have 20 gauge marine vinyl and then the service door is screen to allow for the chimney air flow effect. I also run a small pc fan on top to help pull air up and out of the enclosure. I have a full throttle feeder cup as well for him. All of his lights are each on govee smart plugs so that the lights turn on slowly in the morning one after the other and then the same gradual lights off into the late afternoon and evening to start cooling down the cage. I also use 2 govee smart sensors so I know what my ambient temps and humidity are at all times. Govee devices are managed from an app on my phone which is super helpful.

What I love about this hobby and these animals is that I never stop learning new things. Beman is by far the most amazing animal I have ever had. With that said this is the most challenging animal I have ever taken care of. I found myself watching him constantly in the beginning trying to learn his behaviors. I think this helped me quite a bit as he matured and over the passed few years to know when something was off. I think anyone can be successful in this hobby if they put in the time and attention to detail. Making sure the chameleon comes first and has everything it needs to thrive. If done right you have less chance of something going wrong. And in this hobby things can go wrong even when everything is done perfectly.

Beman is at an age now where I hold my breath most days when I go to greet him in the morning. Being as he is almost 5 years old I really do not know how long I have left with him. But what I do know is I have given this petco boy an amazing life. I have been able to watch him grow and thrive. I was extremely intimidated getting into this hobby and I was very very overwhelmed at first. Now here I am years later and I am an active member in this forum and I am able to help others. This is very rewarding for me to be able to do.

For all the lurkers and newbies... Thank you for reading my story and learning about my set up. I hope this has been helpful for you. :)

Pic of Beman's enclosure. And some of my favorite pics of him over the years.


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I love this so much!! Thank you for sharing and for starting this chat!
 
With the threads we see here I think we need a pick me up. So I am hoping all of you regulars and newer members that are thriving in this hobby will share your experience. I would also love it if you share pics of your enclosure so that newbies can see what theirs should look like. For a few of us seeing all the sad day after day gets really hard. So I think this is a great way to not only have a feel good thread going but to also educate a little.



So let me start things off. My name is Becca. I have been a member of Chameleon Forums since November of 2018. I started lurking in the forum in October of 2018 when I got my first chameleon from Petco. Impulse buy and my first reptile. I was lucky and found the forum very quickly so I was able to make total husbandry changes within the first week of having Beman. Beman was 4-5 months old when I got him and will be 5 years old this coming June/July. I do not have an exact hatch date since he is a Petco baby. He has been in the same Dragon strand enclosure since January of 2019. Although I have made some modifications to it so that it would be a full hybrid cage. I have spent well over 2k on his total set up over the years. Adding new and better things to improve his overall quality of life.

Details about his home... As I mentioned it is a Dragon Strand enclosure. This one is 30 inches wide 24inches deep and 48 inches tall. This one is no longer a cage that they make which is sad because it is by far my favorite size. I have a herpstat to control the basking temp which dims the fixture up and down. I am running a jungle dawn LED plant light and then 3 T5HO light fixtures. 1 of the T5HO fixtures is used for his 6% arcadia UVB bulb. Then I have 2 6500 daylight bulbs for plants in the other 2 t5ho fixtures. I have a mistking misting system and run 2 misting heads. He is currently getting 6-7 minute mistings 3 times a day. Once in the morning and two in the late afternoon and evening. This keeps my ambient humidity right in the sweet spot of 38-45% daytime which I need since I live in AZ where there is virtually no humidity and provides him with long misting sessions which he loves. I have 5 live plants in his enclosure. 2 hibiscus, 1 pothos, and 2 dracaena. All real branches were used for his enclosure. As I mentioned I modified his walls with PVC sheets to make his enclosure a hybrid. On the door panel I have 20 gauge marine vinyl and then the service door is screen to allow for the chimney air flow effect. I also run a small pc fan on top to help pull air up and out of the enclosure. I have a full throttle feeder cup as well for him. All of his lights are each on govee smart plugs so that the lights turn on slowly in the morning one after the other and then the same gradual lights off into the late afternoon and evening to start cooling down the cage. I also use 2 govee smart sensors so I know what my ambient temps and humidity are at all times. Govee devices are managed from an app on my phone which is super helpful.

What I love about this hobby and these animals is that I never stop learning new things. Beman is by far the most amazing animal I have ever had. With that said this is the most challenging animal I have ever taken care of. I found myself watching him constantly in the beginning trying to learn his behaviors. I think this helped me quite a bit as he matured and over the passed few years to know when something was off. I think anyone can be successful in this hobby if they put in the time and attention to detail. Making sure the chameleon comes first and has everything it needs to thrive. If done right you have less chance of something going wrong. And in this hobby things can go wrong even when everything is done perfectly.

Beman is at an age now where I hold my breath most days when I go to greet him in the morning. Being as he is almost 5 years old I really do not know how long I have left with him. But what I do know is I have given this petco boy an amazing life. I have been able to watch him grow and thrive. I was extremely intimidated getting into this hobby and I was very very overwhelmed at first. Now here I am years later and I am an active member in this forum and I am able to help others. This is very rewarding for me to be able to do.

For all the lurkers and newbies... Thank you for reading my story and learning about my set up. I hope this has been helpful for you. :)

Pic of Beman's enclosure. And some of my favorite pics of him over the years.


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He's so cute!! Thank you for sharing your story! I have a dragon strand, I wish it 2qs the bigger one like yours but like you said he has stopped production. This story gave me some insight into somethings you are doing that I want to try. Bemans enclosure is beautiful
With the threads we see here I think we need a pick me up. So I am hoping all of you regulars and newer members that are thriving in this hobby will share your experience. I would also love it if you share pics of your enclosure so that newbies can see what theirs should look like. For a few of us seeing all the sad day after day gets really hard. So I think this is a great way to not only have a feel good thread going but to also educate a little.



So let me start things off. My name is Becca. I have been a member of Chameleon Forums since November of 2018. I started lurking in the forum in October of 2018 when I got my first chameleon from Petco. Impulse buy and my first reptile. I was lucky and found the forum very quickly so I was able to make total husbandry changes within the first week of having Beman. Beman was 4-5 months old when I got him and will be 5 years old this coming June/July. I do not have an exact hatch date since he is a Petco baby. He has been in the same Dragon strand enclosure since January of 2019. Although I have made some modifications to it so that it would be a full hybrid cage. I have spent well over 2k on his total set up over the years. Adding new and better things to improve his overall quality of life.

Details about his home... As I mentioned it is a Dragon Strand enclosure. This one is 30 inches wide 24inches deep and 48 inches tall. This one is no longer a cage that they make which is sad because it is by far my favorite size. I have a herpstat to control the basking temp which dims the fixture up and down. I am running a jungle dawn LED plant light and then 3 T5HO light fixtures. 1 of the T5HO fixtures is used for his 6% arcadia UVB bulb. Then I have 2 6500 daylight bulbs for plants in the other 2 t5ho fixtures. I have a mistking misting system and run 2 misting heads. He is currently getting 6-7 minute mistings 3 times a day. Once in the morning and two in the late afternoon and evening. This keeps my ambient humidity right in the sweet spot of 38-45% daytime which I need since I live in AZ where there is virtually no humidity and provides him with long misting sessions which he loves. I have 5 live plants in his enclosure. 2 hibiscus, 1 pothos, and 2 dracaena. All real branches were used for his enclosure. As I mentioned I modified his walls with PVC sheets to make his enclosure a hybrid. On the door panel I have 20 gauge marine vinyl and then the service door is screen to allow for the chimney air flow effect. I also run a small pc fan on top to help pull air up and out of the enclosure. I have a full throttle feeder cup as well for him. All of his lights are each on govee smart plugs so that the lights turn on slowly in the morning one after the other and then the same gradual lights off into the late afternoon and evening to start cooling down the cage. I also use 2 govee smart sensors so I know what my ambient temps and humidity are at all times. Govee devices are managed from an app on my phone which is super helpful.

What I love about this hobby and these animals is that I never stop learning new things. Beman is by far the most amazing animal I have ever had. With that said this is the most challenging animal I have ever taken care of. I found myself watching him constantly in the beginning trying to learn his behaviors. I think this helped me quite a bit as he matured and over the passed few years to know when something was off. I think anyone can be successful in this hobby if they put in the time and attention to detail. Making sure the chameleon comes first and has everything it needs to thrive. If done right you have less chance of something going wrong. And in this hobby things can go wrong even when everything is done perfectly.

Beman is at an age now where I hold my breath most days when I go to greet him in the morning. Being as he is almost 5 years old I really do not know how long I have left with him. But what I do know is I have given this petco boy an amazing life. I have been able to watch him grow and thrive. I was extremely intimidated getting into this hobby and I was very very overwhelmed at first. Now here I am years later and I am an active member in this forum and I am able to help others. This is very rewarding for me to be able to do.

For all the lurkers and newbies... Thank you for reading my story and learning about my set up. I hope this has been helpful for you. :)

Pic of Beman's enclosure. And some of my favorite pics of him over the years.


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He's such a cutie and his enclosure is beautiful! I now have all sorts of inspiration from these pics!
 
I am not an experienced chameleon keeper, but I would love to share as well.

My name is Eliza, I live in Utah and I got my first chameleon on May 20th, 2022 from PetCo. My daughter and I saw this adorable little veiled chameleon in a tiny glass box and we both fell in love right away. We went home and spent hours researching chameleon care before returning the next morning to purchase her along with all of the things she needed aka the 'chameleon kit', per the pet store. We decided to name her Kitty Kat, because my daughter desperately wants a cat but alas, my hubby and I are not cat people. My guess on her age is she is most likely about a year old at this point.

Luckily, within a few weeks of her being in our home, I found the Chameleon Academy (podcast and website) and Neptune the Chameleon (YouTube channel) and did my best to update everything for Kitty Kat to have the proper husbandry, which I will share below:

Enclosure: ExoTerra Large Extra Tall enclosure, its measurements are 38" x 18" x 36". This enclosure costs $235 on Amazon. I have turned this all-screen enclosure into a hybrid by wrapping the 2 sides and back wall with white corrugated plastic ($30), sealed off with clear silicone sealant ($10). For the front screen doors I have used the window insulator kit ($10). The bottom screen flap, and screen top I have left alone to create a chimney effect to allow airflow. This enclosure comes with a substrate tray, I have drilled holes in the bottom to allow water from my misting, dripper, and fogger to fall below to a drain tray I purchased at a plumbing and HVAC supply store ($30). I use a turkey baster ($8) to suck out the water from this drain tray once a week. Because I live in Utah, and it is a dry state, I am able to maintain proper humidity levels for Kitty Kat by making the above-mentioned changes to her screen enclosure. I do plan on getting a hybrid Dragon Strand enclosure hopefully within the next year because they are so awesome. I have all live plants in her enclosure as veiled chameleons tend to eat their plants and live plants will help with humidity levels

Inside the enclosure: I have all live plants that I purchased at Home Depot ($100), the branches in my enclosure are all natural ones I found in my backyard (non sap producing), they were washed with dish soap and then left to dry. I am able to secure all the pots and branches with zip ties ($8) to the corrugated plastic walls and I have melted the ends so there are no sharp edges to hurt her.

Lights: I have two 22" HO T5 UVB lights above her enclosure that are 12" away from the nearest branch. These specific lights give off a higher UVB strength (10%) so I have to be careful to keep the lights further away from her branches so she doesn't get an overload of UVB rays. I purchased both these lights for $70 each on amazon. Her heat lamp was luckily given to me for free, but they usually are about $20. I use a common house light, GE brand, clear 72 w bulb for her heat bulb. All lights I like to keep replacement bulbs in case one goes out for whatever reason.

Food and Supplements: Because Kitty Kat is about a year old, I feed her 3-4 small feeders no bigger than the width space between her eyes every other day. I have a dubia roach colony and a cricket colony, and regularly purchase hornworms, silkworms, BSFL, and super worms. All bugs are gut-loaded with leafy greens, sweet potatoes, carrots, and peppers every other day. All feeders are dusted with a supplement before feeding. I probably spend about $35 - $50 every few months on feeders
My supplement schedule is:
phosphorous-free calcium without vitamin D3 - on every feeding
phosphorus-free calcium with D3 - 2x a month (every other weekend)
Multivitamin - 2x a month (every other weekend)
Total cost for supplements $35

Temps and humidity: I keep Kitty Kat's enclosure at an ambient temp of 72 degrees F. during the day. The day humidity is kept around 50%. The night temperature is usually around 63 degrees F. and the humidity at night is around 90%. Her basking temp is between 80-85 degrees F. I track the temperatures and humidity levels with a hydrometer/thermometer I got at Walmart for $24, and for the basking temp, I use the thermometer with a probe ($15). I keep the humidity high at night with a fog machine for reptiles ($40) with R.O. water. I hand mist her enclosure in the morning before her lights come on and again when the lights turn off with a pump/spray bottle I got at PetCo for $15. The dropper is handmade from a water bottle with a hole poked out of the bottom with a thumb tack (free). On top of misting 2x a day, I use my water bottle dripper 3-4 times a week to ensure she has plenty of drinking opportunities.

All lights and fog machine is kept on a mechanical outlet timer, they are about $5-$8 each at Wal Mart.

She sees an exotic vet with chameleon experience, visits with her are about $65 to start, bloodwork is around $300 and yearly fecal checks for parasites are $85. She will get a vet visit and fecal check every year minimum for checkups and general health.

So far I have spent around $650 on proper husbandry supplies, around $200 on feeders, and around $150 in wellness vet visits. I do plan on purchasing Arcadia jungle lights and a Solarmeter down the road so the amount I spent on my husbandry supplies will go up from what I have shared above.

I have very much enjoyed watching this little one grow, chameleons are fascinating, beautiful creatures. It's been a fun bonding experience for me and my daughter, we both love watching Kitty Kat chill in her enclosure. I love Kitty Kat's personality, she is spunky, and silly and always knows that my hands have a bug in them. I have always had a soft spot for animals that need good homes, so my ultimate goal is to continue to build on my chameleon-caretaking skill set and then take in a few chameleons that need re-homing and give them a good home with my family.
 

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@Beman I like The idea of this thread! It’s nice to have a positive happy thread for once! I can’t believe your chameleon is that old already!

@elizaann2 I see your female is exhibiting her adult colours and. Oils be producing eggs. Does she have an egg laying bin in her cage? She’s very pretty!
Hello! The photo with her receptive colors was taken when she laid her first clutch in September (31 eggs in total). She recently laid her second clutch on 1/29 (24 eggs in total). Right now I don’t have her laying bin in her enclosure because she recently pooped in it and I’m replacing the dirt/play sand mixture and sanitizing the bin. 🤣🤣🤣
 
@Beman I like The idea of this thread! It’s nice to have a positive happy thread for once! I can’t believe your chameleon is that old already!

@elizaann2 I see your female is exhibiting her adult colours and. Oils be producing eggs. Does she have an egg laying bin in her cage? She’s very pretty!
And thank you! I think she is very pretty too. Especially when she is showing her receptive colors. Such bright colors! I love it!
 
Hello! The photo with her receptive colors was taken when she laid her first clutch in September (31 eggs in total). She recently laid her second clutch on 1/29 (24 eggs in total). Right now I don’t have her laying bin in her enclosure because she recently pooped in it and I’m replacing the dirt/play sand mixture and sanitizing the bin. 🤣🤣🤣
I remember now! Sometimes there’s so much going on on the forum that I can lose track! That’s what happens when your old!
 
I guess I’ll go. I’m Vikki. :)
I have a problem with talking wayyy too much so I’m going to do my best to keep this short and sweet. I started with my sweet Grumpy in 2019. I knew nothing about chams and only took her to save her from an uncertain fate with my stepdaughter. Poor Grumpy - was in a small enclosure with only one small vine, 2 small plastic plants and her only light was red and I kept it on all night. To make it all worse, I thought she needed things hot and steamy and I was feeding her dozens of crickets every week without supplements. No idea how she survived my ignorance. Thankfully not long after getting her I found the forum and thru lurking I learned a lot. Once I got brave enough to start asking questions, I learned even more. As I developed some confidence, I started getting more chameleons. After 3 I said no more, but stuff happened (you know who you are!) and I now have 5 chams - 3 veiled and 2 panther. I adore them and their individual personalities and quirks - whether my ‘feral’ Stella is trying to bite the crap out of me or the petite princess Kali has decided to climb my shirt while I water her plants - they leave me in awe and give me so very much joy.
I hate to imagine how much I’ve spent on them, so let’s just say it’s a lot. I have my girls each in their own XL diy screen enclosure and my boys are each in their own 2 XL ReptiBreezes joined together. All of my enclosures are bioactive. I’m always thinking of things that I want to improve on, but not always able to do them.
It’s all been a journey of not just learning about chameleons and other reptiles, but of personal growth and self discovery too. Along the way, I’ve met some amazing and awesome people here and hope I’ve improved the lives of some chameleons and their keepers and helped make the forum a welcoming place. 💗
I‘ve had Little One since she was maybe about 4-5 weeks old. She was a feral and lost her mom somehow. She’s now 16 and has bad kidneys. This is an old pic - it’s hard to take pics of all black animals. ECC41924-994B-465C-B1E7-9E1332D381CC.jpeg
Tabby may as well be a dog with the way she acts at times. She is a total love bug but hates being held. Got her as an adult cat and only know she was a kid’s cat. Learned she is terrified of kids. She is at least 12 or so.
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Beast is just beast. As he’s getting older, he’s getting into more and more. Total food thief! Ex brought him home when he was just a tiny pup. He’ll be 7 next month.
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My sweet Grumpy one. Love that evil smile. Mwah ha ha! Although she does live up to her name, she is also trusting of me and I just love my little green bean. Hatch date unknown but she’s 4 this year. She hasn’t laid eggs in 3 years now and has pretty much lost much of her adult colors.
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I got Stella from a Petco where she was digging in the mud. Thought she was sick - thankfully she wasn’t. She has become quite a character. When she isn’t acting totally feral and trying to hurt or eat me, she’s making me laugh with her silly antics. She too will be 4.
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Hammlet showing his stuff for his forbidden love, Stella. Usually he’s very shy and is so sweet. He is the son of @jannb Hammy and Ivy and I’m truly blessed to have him. His 3rd hatch day is coming up next month.
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My friendly Ambilobe panther Jack, on his way to climb my hand. He is so sweet and gentle and for whatever reason just enjoys sitting on my arm. He was rehomed to me and had some mild health issues. He is probably as old as Grumpy.
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The petite princess, Kalidora (Kali for short). Another beautiful blessing from @jannb from her Nosy Bes, Hank and Emma. She is so sweet and cute and beautiful and smart and I just adore her.
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Can only post so many pics per post, so here’s the rest of my menagerie.
The ever lovely Tandy. She and Handsome were a pair that I got from Craig’sList. They may/may not be siblings. I separated them and thankfully no eggs were laid. Tandy is so curious and likes to explore, even asking me at times to come out of her enclosure. She’s about 5 from what I was told. Of course she came with missing toes.
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Handsome has decided he wants to be a wild leopard gecko ever since getting a bioactive tank. I try to respect his wishes, but handle him enough to keep him sweet and tolerant. He’s a good sized fella at 80 Gms. He has all of his toes, which is odd since he and Tandy were together for a couple of years.
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My gentle and special Kirby - another from Craig’sList. Poor guy was in rough shape with being underweight, mbd, stuck shed, missing toes and massive sperm plugs. He has problems grabbing his food, so I help. I suspect some vision problems too. He is about 4-5 years old I think.
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I wasn’t looking for another leopard gecko, but Otis was said to be a biter when held and not good as a pet. I can accept that. He was a bit thin, but otherwise in excellent shape and even has all of his toes! Put him in a front opening enclosure and what do ya know - he doesn’t bite. He’s also around 5 years old.
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I had thought long and hard about getting a beardie. Another moment of weakness while at a Petco and a little guy who wasn’t as active as all of the others and Spike got himself a home. The first week I wasn’t sure he’s make it, but he did and now he’s my massive honey. He just turned 3.
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Another from Craig’sList and got her the same day as Otis. She too was underweight and although well loved, was kept in insufficient conditions. She pooped sand for about a week. Surprisingly she doesn’t have mbd. Probably because she was taken outside when being loved. She is a sweet lady who loves her salads and needs to stop pooping on her hammocks. I think she too is about 3 years old.
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Hello! I’m Jann. I have been busy with moving so haven’t been on the forums much lately. I free range my chameleons, iguana and Tokay Gecko. The chameleons and iguana go outside everyday for water and natural UVB. I laid eyes on my first chameleon in the summer of 2004 when my daughter came home from college for the summer with one. At first I thought what does she want with that thing????? Then I quickly fell in love with her. By the next summer she came home with several and the summer after so many they wouldn’t all fit in the house. My daughter traveled allot with her boyfriend so I was always the cham-sitter. She had mostly panthers and Melleri, Bearded dragons, a Leopard Gecko, a Chinchilla and more recently two cats.

I didn’t get my very own chameleon until 2007 when my husband surprised me with my veiled Luie. I got my female veiled Camille a year later in 2008. I have 5 generations of off spring from Luie and Camille. I’ve have kept 6 different species of chameleons but veileds continue to be my favorite.

I’ll attach a photo of the two that started my love for veileds and one of my free ranges.

Luie

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Camille
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Free range

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Lets just rip this band-aid off.

Ive been doing this a while. Here is about the min you need to have a happy healthy cham. Here is a 30 tall with a screen top, a vita-lite without reflector, and no live plants. Raised on crickets as as much pinkies he would eat. Supplements sticky tongue farms indoor (very low dose D3) and the sticky tongue vita-mix. The indoor was given every feeder every feeding, and was a great match to the low dose UVB bulb that was probably 1.0 at 3" and .3 at 6" and maybe .1 at 9". Always got good marks from the vet, and lived about 6 years. I had to save up about $300 for him, because i didnt want to buy one of those cheap parsons that were not very hardy :)

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You had to know that someone would have to ask you about all of this. I’m not sure if you’re being serious or joking, but then I look at the date of the pics and it was 1995/1996. I’ll assume those were the days when proper lighting and enclosures weren’t yet created and keepers had to make do with what was available. While I’m certain it must have been no easy feat to have your chameleon live for so long under those conditions, I’m afraid a new keeper will see this as justification for keeping their chameleon similarly, which for the vast majority will be a death sentence. We have greatly improved our knowledge and available supplies for chameleons in the past 27 years and need to promote the current standards of husbandry. We all work very hard at helping new keepers achieve correct husbandry and your lack of a disclaimer and to say that, “is the min you need to have a happy healthy cham” is irresponsible.
 
Hi everyone!

I'm Mark the Dutchie over here. As I owned reptiles in the past (snakes, iguana's, phelsuma's, etc.) I never owned a chameleon, always wanted to but was afraid of the stories of them being difficult to keep. In December 2020 during COVID and semi lockdowns, it made me eager for wanting a new companion at home and started searching for keeping a chameleon. As many of us we got the wrong information and I was ignorant in just picking up the information that suited me best, in terms of minimum in stead of the best size enclosure. Then just before my Christmas leave, I pulled the trigger and bought everything needed to build the enclosure for my first chameleon, of course all wrong, wrong, wrong!! Coil UVB, water fountain, fakes plants, ExoTerra coated vines, bark on the bottom, spend $600,00 for all the wrong stuff. Eventually Bella came and when she started to grow I felt sorry for her that I putted her in such small enclosure. That's when things started, bought her the 24"x24"x48" enclosure and started with real plants and eventually bioactive. In meantime I found CF and that's when things started to accelerate and where I thought the enclosure was still too small and I started to investigate free range and naturalistic keeping. This is when I came with following idea https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/free-range-inspiration.2464/ and it even got successful https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/first-successful-free-range-bioactive-egg-laying.182715/

Our Bella in the meantime

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In the meantime things started the same as many, coming in pet stores for necessities and food, feeling sorry for a chameleon sitting there in bad conditions and the first needed to be rescued came, Ranjo the Kinyongia Boehmeii, because we had a small enclosure for him in spare.

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And we continued and another beautiful one was needed to be rescued from his horrible conditions and Sonny the Jackson Xanth came into our life https://www.chameleonforums.com/thr...-the-trioceros-jacksonii-xantholophus.183794/ he soon got adapted very quickly as you can see :cool:

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Then can Cher, rest her soul 🙏

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And then finally came my dream chameleon Neo the Parsons https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/morpheus-would-say-“neo-is-the-one”.186391/

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All our chameleons live free range with the exception of the parsons. She lives in a large special build enclosure. I can only say I own a lot this forums and love to make part of it. So please share your stories with us, so it ain't just a problem solving platform and also a platform for sharing beautiful stories and pictures of this special and amazing creatures.
 
You had to know that someone would have to ask you about all of this. I’m not sure if you’re being serious or joking, but then I look at the date of the pics and it was 1995/1996. I’ll assume those were the days when proper lighting and enclosures weren’t yet created and keepers had to make do with what was available. While I’m certain it must have been no easy feat to have your chameleon live for so long under those conditions, I’m afraid a new keeper will see this as justification for keeping their chameleon similarly, which for the vast majority will be a death sentence. We have greatly improved our knowledge and available supplies for chameleons in the past 27 years and need to promote the current standards of husbandry. We all work very hard at helping new keepers achieve correct husbandry and your lack of a disclaimer and to say that, “is the min you need to have a happy healthy cham” is irresponsible.

Uhh should i edit my post? I mean the proof is in the pudding. Yearly blood work was great, x-rays were great. No kidney issues, no edema, no closed eyes, no tongue issues, no MBD, no URI, no burns.

I was hoping to spark some discussion on how much things have changed. now we are back to the "your killing your chameleon if you dont do it exactly like the academy says"


Just take a look at my setup. The lightning/supplement was correct for the tank height. Yes i had plastic plants, but they were thick and impossible to eat, ididnt have fake moss etc. I did have news paper for easy spot cleanup. I did not have "media" to mold or have dead crickets in. And while the tank is short, it was at least 2 full chameleon lengths long.



What else could i have improved other than added live plants and maybe cut back on the pinkies? Misting systems didnt even show up till about 10 years ago, along with the T5HO's. And the reptibreeze XL has only been out for 15 years. If we just go back 2-3 chameleon generations in time, well...
 
Uhh should i edit my post? I mean the proof is in the pudding. Yearly blood work was great, x-rays were great. No kidney issues, no edema, no closed eyes, no tongue issues, no MBD, no URI, no burns.

I was hoping to spark some discussion on how much things have changed. now we are back to the "your killing your chameleon if you dont do it exactly like the academy says"


Just take a look at my setup. The lightning/supplement was correct for the tank height. Yes i had plastic plants, but they were thick and impossible to eat, ididnt have fake moss etc. I did have news paper for easy spot cleanup. I did not have "media" to mold or have dead crickets in. And while the tank is short, it was at least 2 full chameleon lengths long.



What else could i have improved other than added live plants and maybe cut back on the pinkies? Misting systems didnt even show up till about 10 years ago, along with the T5HO's. And the reptibreeze XL has only been out for 15 years. If we just go back 2-3 chameleon generations in time, well...
I don’t want to derail this positive thread with us arguing back and forth.
It is amazing that your chameleon did so very well for you and speaks for your dedication and care to give him the best life possible in the late 1990’s. I will be the first in line to give you massive kudos. We can absolutely have a discussion about how much has changed since then. Just don’t imply that what you did back in the day is all anyone needs to do now and their chameleon will have a long happy life. You read the same posts that the rest of us do - newer keepers who haven’t followed the current standards and now their poor chameleons are on their way to that big tree in the sky. We do say, “you’re killing your chameleon if you don’t do it exactly as the academy says” because that has unfortunately been proven out time and time again. We have come such a very long way since the 90’s and have so many great tools and supplies now. Let’s use them and teach the standards and then if keepers want to mess around with stuff or experiment with alternate ways of keeping, they can.
 
I don’t want to derail this positive thread with us arguing back and forth.
It is amazing that your chameleon did so very well for you and speaks for your dedication and care to give him the best life possible in the late 1990’s. I will be the first in line to give you massive kudos. We can absolutely have a discussion about how much has changed since then. Just don’t imply that what you did back in the day is all anyone needs to do now and their chameleon will have a long happy life. You read the same posts that the rest of us do - newer keepers who haven’t followed the current standards and now their poor chameleons are on their way to that big tree in the sky. We do say, “you’re killing your chameleon if you don’t do it exactly as the academy says” because that has unfortunately been proven out time and time again. We have come such a very long way since the 90’s and have so many great tools and supplies now. Let’s use them and teach the standards and then if keepers want to mess around with stuff or experiment with alternate ways of keeping, they can.


Im sorry i can not edit the post to say this is how it was in the 90's. We have come a long way. Still even in 2010 this forum was recommending not getting T8 10.0 and sticking with T8 5.0. And i feel we still had healthy chams back then.

I still cant nail down how beginners get it so wrong. Its not a very hard recipe, but still we get MBD posts when that would have been cured with just about any calcium with D3 reguardless of lighting. We still get URI posts but i got by 20 years without a mister, we have only had hobby misters for about the last 10 years, with a wee bit of diy kits before that uses RO pumps.

I guess the newest is just edema, and distance issues with the new high power lights. And correctly cleaning the mister/humidifier. We didnt have those issues 10+ years ago.
 
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