Few questions from a hopefully soon to be owner


Established Member
Hi! Hubby and I have been tossing around the idea of a chameleon. We've always wanted one, and are now finally able (financially) to get one. We went to the local reptile store, and one employee was telling us about a four horned chameleon, saying that it has cooler temperature requirements. She asked us the normal house temps, and I told her around 70ish. I did some research and have decided on this cage


which is 24x24x48. Does this sound like a good cage? I do know that they require a UVB light, but don't know how to get started deciding on which one is the best (Reptisun 2.0, Reptisun 5.0, Repti-Glo, Super UV Daylight 3%, I dunno). Do you find a strip light or spot light is best? Does anyone have experience with the four horned chameleon? I have no chameleon experiance, but we've always had reptiles (two full grown ball pythons, and now we're thinking of adding a dumeril). Thank you for your help!
Hi, and welcome to the world of chameleon addiction! LOL

Although I hate to dissuade you from your decision, you might consider a captive-bred (CB) Veiled or Panther chameleon for your first. Most 4-horned chams (Quadricornis) that you find for sale will be wild caught. They may well carry parasites and have difficulty acclimating to a captive environment. They are generally not recommended for a novice keeper. Before you actually make the purchase you might ask the employee how long they've had it, where they got it, how old they think it is, wild-caught or captive-bred, male or female, etc. Find out what it's current diet and supplementation schedule is, if it's been treated for parasites. Look at it's current housing, look closely at the cham. Are his/her eyes nice and clear and full? Is it awake? Does it have a nice bright green color? No scars, blemishes, missing toes, toenails or spines? Most pet stores cannot meet the hydration requirements of chams, let alone a Quad which requires 85-100% humdity and low temps of 55-75F daytime and 60-65F at night. When my Quad was young he was also way more skittish than my other chams at a young age. My others never did this, but when he was young and if startled or feeling threatened, he would literally drop from the foliage at the top of his cage right to the bottom. It was unnerving for both of us! Thankfully, he's mellowed with age.
The cage you have picked out looks good and most keepers recommend ReptiSun 5.0 or 7.0. I prefer strip lights for maximum UVB exposure. You will also need a basking light (cheap clamp lamp and regular household bulb will do), a dripper for the cham to drink from, a humidifier or other suitable misting system, lots of foliage and vines, calcium and multi-vitamin supplements and gutload food for your feeder insects.
All that said, you have good taste in chams and hope it works out well for you!

Edit: As an avid follower/reader of Chameleons! Online E-zine, I hope you might find this excellent article helpful. It just came out today, and I read it after I had already posted the above. Check out this site in it's entirety as well! :)
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I was planning on ordering it from LLLreptile, does anyone have experience with them? I just emailed them to ask if it was WC or CB. I did read that the panthers and the veils were more beginner friendly. But I just find the four horns so striking to look at. But I'd rather have a healthy pet than a fancy one. There is a reptile show coming up in St Louis on June 13th that we are going to check out. The thing I don't like about ordering on line is that you don't get a chance to look at the animal (we used to order a lot of fish online when we had saltwater tanks). Hubby was looking at this set up from LLL


but then on the same website, it says : Adults require a 2' x 2' x 4' size enclosure if kept in captivity and are best kept alone. I was hoping to have it set up by the reptile show, but if I can't, then I'll just wait for the reptile show in August, no sense rushing it.

If the quads end up being WC, then I think I'll pass. Do you guys have a preference to the veils or the panthers? Male or female?

jenfur427 said:
If the quads end up being WC, then I think I'll pass. Do you guys have a preference to the veils or the panthers? Male or female?
Get a male.

Male panthers have colour and are larger, females don't.

Female veileds need to lay eggs (even if not mated) every few months.
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Hi chameleon-owner-to-be... hehehe

I do not have a chameleon YET... but I have been making a LOT of research. You should read as much as you can before purchasing a cham. That site www.chameleonnews.com has a lots of very useful information... read it all...hehehe. As far as I know, panthers are more colorful than veilds, and male more than females. And again, as far as I know, its better to purchase a chameleon on-line from a good breeder than in a petstore.

Remember... I don't have a chameleon yet, but I know it's not easy, they need a very special care to be happy and healthy.
I agree with Will...get a male, no matter what species of cham you get. If the reptile show isn't until August, then you have plenty of time to put together a suitable environment, research the different cham species and make a decision. The set-up from LLL is just okay..the cage is too small for an adult, you don't need moss (NO substrate except maybe paper towels or something in a cham cage), and a temp gun is way better than a thermometer.
I've never ordered anything from LLL so can't help you there. I think I'd stick to reputable cham breeders for the animal, though.
I just ordered a ambanja panther baby from LLL, and got it last thursday, he is completely healthy and active.
Welcome to the chameleon forums!

I agree with the others that you should either get a veiled or panther chameleon as your first chameleon. They are two of the most hardy chameleons as far as looking at chameleons as a whole.

You have definitely come to the right place to get great advice and answers to any questions you have about obtaining a proper set up.

If you are wondering about what equipment and housing you have to purchase in order to have the right habitat, you can take a look at my website http://www.prismchameleons.com and click on the Care and Equipment button. It is still under construction, however, it will tell you what it takes to own a veiled and/or panther chameleon. My site is primarily towards panther chameleons, but the same set up applies to both species.

If I can help you in any way, let me know and welcome to the chameleon lovers world! :)
Thank you for your help guys. I think I'll keep an eye out for the panthers. LLL hasn't emailed me back yet if the quads are WC or CB. I think I'll keep an eye out at the reptile show and see what's selling. I think I know what to look for: straight limbs, open eyes that are not sunken in, good color, no bruises, check the mouth for mouth rot, excess saliva, uneven jaws... that's all I can think of. Am I missing anything? I just don't want the cham to suffer for my inexperience or because I didn't ask a question.
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