First Chameleon

Boxer1229

New Member
Hi,
I was looking for some advice to better set up my system. We recently purchased a chameleon for my son from Petco and bought their starter kit. I posted a picture of the kit we bought. Here are my concerns:

* We live upstate NY so any pointers to keep the environment warm at night would be helpful

* The heat lamps provided aren’t that great. The temp mid height is about 74 degrees. Is there a better alternative?

* I’d like to buy a mister to keep things automated. I’ve read that mistking is one of the best but is there a mid level mister that would be effective?

Sorry for my ignorance but I’m completely new to this and would like to give the best that I can and I’m not convinced that the kit I bought was the right move.

Thanks in advance
 

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KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are a lot of research outlets. This is one of them. Get the mistking. Trust me, if you bought this for son, you bought this for you. If your son can take care of it completely that's awesome, but I wouldn't rely on that. Chameleons are on the 10 scale of difficulty when compared to other reptiles. Get live plants.

1. Get the mistking
2. Live plants, (I prefer bioactive setups. Look up the bio dude.) Personally fake plants dont cut it.
3. Buy rep cal, rep with vit D and herptivite. Dust your feeders with rep cal every time you feed. Herptivite and repcal with vit D dust once every two weeks.
4. Make sure you have the correct wattage of bulbs so you dont over heat your cham.
5. Keep the humidity up.
6. Chameleons dont see standing water as a viable water source, i.e mistking and dripper.
7. Chams need a temp drop at night to thermo regulate and digest their food.
8. Chams need a varied diet of food. Just buying crickets at Petco wont cut it.
9. Gutload is very very important.
10. I have a deep dome for my heat lamp and uvb bulb(you need both a uvb and heat source ) most use linear uvb bulbs because they're a better option for even levels then they pair that with a heat lamp fixture. (This is incredibly important MBD is a serious problem and common with owners who dont know what they're doing.)
11. If you are not going the bioactive route, do not use substrate. The risk of impaction isnt worth it.
12. Do some more research. There's always new things to learn and know, this forum is a good place for that, but doesnt substitute for researching on your own. Congrats on the chameleon, they're amazing pets. I've had my chameleon for a week. But I did about 4 months of research then I spent another 2 setting up a bioactive cage that would be ready for Koba when I brought him home and it still wasnt perfect.
 
Last edited:

Chameleon Mike

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are a lot of research outlets. This is one of them. Get the mistking. Trust me, if you bought this for son, you bought this for you. If your son can take care of it completely that's awesome, but I wouldn't rely on that. Chameleons are on the 10 scale of difficulty when compared to other reptiles. Get live plants.

1. Get the mistking
2. Live plants, (I prefer bioactive setups. Look up the bio dude.) Personally fake plants dont cut it.
3. Buy rep cal, rep with vit D and herptivite. Dust your feeders with rep cal every time you feed. Herptivite and repcal with vit D dust once every two weeks.
4. Make sure you have the correct wattage of bulbs so you dont over heat your cham.
5. Keep the humidity up.
6. Chameleons dont see standing water as a viable water source, i.e mistking and dripper.
7. Chams need a temp drop at night to thermo regulate and digest their food.
8. Chams need a varied diet of food. Just buying crickets at Petco wont cut it.
9. Gutload is very very important.
10. I have a deep dome for my heat lamp and uvb bulb(you need both of these) others use linear uvb bulbs with a heat lamp fixture.
11. If you are not going the bioactive route, do not use substrate. The risk of impaction isnt worth it.
12. Do some more research. There's always new things to learn and know, this forum is a good place for that, but doesnt substitute for researching on your own. Congrats on the chameleon, they're amazing pets. I've had my chameleon for a week. But I did about 4 months of research then I spent another 2 setting up a bioactive cage that would be ready for Koba when I brought him home and it still wasnt perfect.

Lots of good points. I only disagree with the dome fixture. I have switched all my enclosures to bioactive and linear fixtures with a combo UVB and plant bulb in it. I think my plants and chameleons are happier for it.
There are plenty of people that have the dome fixture and are doing fine because of getting natural UVB as well but if you're going new from scratch I think linear is the way to go.
For what it's worth.
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
Another ZooMed Chameleon Kit strikes again. I'm sorry to tell you, especially as a fellow parent, that the chameleon kit is not much of a chameleon kit at all. It doesn't provide all the things a chameleon needs to thrive. If you can return it and purchase everything separately you'd be much happier and better off.
I gotta agree. I'm still correcting all the wrong equipment that came in my kit. Mainly, the UVB fixture (I went to a linear to provide the required amt. of UVB for calcium absorbtion, cuz MBD is to be avoided at all cost$) and the medium enclosure isn't big enough for more than a few months. Chams are complicated....but worth the investment of energy, time, and money. Welcome to the forum :)
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lots of good points. I only disagree with the dome fixture. I have switched all my enclosures to bioactive and linear fixtures with a combo UVB and plant bulb in it. I think my plants and chameleons are happier for it.
There are plenty of people that have the dome fixture and are doing fine because of getting natural UVB as well but if you're going new from scratch I think linear is the way to go.
For what it's worth.

Completely agree, only reason I'm using the dome is because hes climbing on the top and I dont have the ability to hang things yet, and I dont want him to burn. I use a solar meter and a uv index meter though, so I'm not a good example of a regular dome user. I also use a linear plant bulb but he doesnt climb near that.
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lots of good points. I only disagree with the dome fixture. I have switched all my enclosures to bioactive and linear fixtures with a combo UVB and plant bulb in it. I think my plants and chameleons are happier for it.
There are plenty of people that have the dome fixture and are doing fine because of getting natural UVB as well but if you're going new from scratch I think linear is the way to go.
For what it's worth.

I edited that to make it much more clear
 
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