HELP: planning on buying a chameleon soon

Hello, I just signed up to the forum today because I am planning on buying a chameleon once I have some money saved up. I looked for a section in the forums for starting out but couldn't find one, so I am posting in hopes of gathering some information. I have never owned a chameleon, but did have a snake for 13 years growing up.

First question I have is, what is the best place to buy a chameleon? I live in the Albany, NY area, and I haven't looked into local options (which I will do this week), but I am open to ordering one online if I can get some good suggestions for sites. I found a few online but it is hard to tell if they are good without peer reviews.

The next thing I wanted to ask about was cage dimensions/specifications. I am planning on building my own cage, and was thinking of something maybe 2' x 2' but 4' or 5' tall as sq footage is a mild concern. Is it okay to use screen or mesh instead of glass? Should I get a live plant for the cage from the native region of chameleon I get? I would like to have a kind of tiered cage, with different levels of temperature at different heights (warmest at the top near the light, colder going down). Was thinking of building some branches and shelf-like things into the cage. Any pics of well built/creative cages would be appreciated, especially taller ones with a smaller base area like I am planning on! Also, is a UV light + a heatlamp all the lighting that is needed? What about putting in some kind of small sprinkler or mister? Or some kind of waterfall with a small pump to recycle? I want this to be a sharp looking, and of course appropriate, habitat.

I am in the process of reading all about the care of chameleons, but any additional links with regard to that aspect would also be appreciated along with personal advice, experience, etc.

I guess those are all my questions for now, although I'm sure many more will come once I actually get one!

Thanks!

matt
 

ryno202

Member
Hello, I just signed up to the forum today because I am planning on buying a chameleon once I have some money saved up. I looked for a section in the forums for starting out but couldn't find one, so I am posting in hopes of gathering some information. I have never owned a chameleon, but did have a snake for 13 years growing up.

First question I have is, what is the best place to buy a chameleon?
all of the breeder sponsors of the forum are highly recommended. check them out
I live in the Albany, NY area, and I haven't looked into local options (which I will do this week), but I am open to ordering one online if I can get some good suggestions for sites. I found a few online but it is hard to tell if they are good without peer reviews.

The next thing I wanted to ask about was cage dimensions/specifications. I am planning on building my own cage, and was thinking of something maybe 2' x 2' but 4' or 5' tall as sq footage is a mild concern. Is it okay to use screen or mesh instead of glass?
you definitely NEED screen instead of glass. not only will it be easier to work with, it is important for chameleons to get the airflow for their lungs.

Should I get a live plant for the cage from the native region of chameleon I get? plants like pothos, ficus, schefflera are all commonly used in enclosures. i dont know about them being native, but they are not poisonous for chams. some chams eat the leaves so you need to be careful what you put in there. FLCHAMS has a giant list of safe plants. (the forum might have one somewhere also)

I would like to have a kind of tiered cage, with different levels of temperature at different heights (warmest at the top near the light, colder going down). Was thinking of building some branches and shelf-like things into the cage.
not sure what you mean with a tiered cage...you should use branches/vines for them to crawl up and down to regulate their heat like you are referring to. to and from the basking spot and what not

Any pics of well built/creative cages would be appreciated, especially taller ones with a smaller base area like I am planning on! Also, is a UV light + a heatlamp all the lighting that is needed?
you need a light for basking and a UVB light for them (linear UVB's are proven and preferred) What about putting in some kind of small sprinkler or mister?

Or some kind of waterfall with a small pump to recycle? I want this to be a sharp looking, and of course appropriate, habitat.
waterfalls are debated and generally frowned upon. but multiple misting systems are available in the market. mistking is a popular brand and site sponsor ;)

I am in the process of reading all about the care of chameleons, but any additional links with regard to that aspect would also be appreciated along with personal advice, experience, etc.

I guess those are all my questions for now, although I'm sure many more will come once I actually get one!

Thanks!

matt
Jann's link is a great one, as is:
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
if you click on the green forums tab above, then on enclosures and supplies you will find tons of old threads with pictures of members sets ups. You just have to weed through them, but you should be able to get alot of great ideas.
 

LoyaltyNECO

New Member
I can specifically vouch for Screameleons.com. I bought my Ambilobe Panther from them and have had him for 2 weeks as of today. I took him to the vet and he got a 100% clean bill of health. When dealing with Vince and Farah they were both very quick at answering emails and even called me to ensure I was fully prepared for Snipers delivery.
 

DeviousMike

New Member
The sponsors are good and there are also the breeders that post in the classifieds section that's an alternative. I have a cham from one of the breeders from the classifieds and (because I'm personally biased) I can honestly say that there is no better looking chameleon out there. See for yourself! click me
 

Texas Ranger

Avid Member
I can specifically vouch for Screameleons.com. I bought my Ambilobe Panther from them and have had him for 2 weeks as of today. I took him to the vet and he got a 100% clean bill of health. When dealing with Vince and Farah they were both very quick at answering emails and even called me to ensure I was fully prepared for Snipers delivery.
I as well can highly recommend Screameleons. I have 2 Ambanja's from them. They are great breeders. They have very high quility panthers. Check out their Learn section http://www.screameleons.com/portal/alias__Screameleons/lang__en-US/tabID__3406/DesktopDefault.aspx. It will answer most if not all your questions. Also I can recommend Chameleons Northwest. They are very nice people. They will answer all your questions. I just put in a order for a faly from them. And they have been very helpful with all my questions.

Hope this helps:)
 
The shows that may be closest to you are in white plains new york and long island. I am about an hour and a half south of you. the drive to white plains would probably be around 2 and half hours for you.

Screameleons is always at the white plains and long island shows so you could see some of his breeders first hand.

I also have 2 chams from Vince. I am still a beginner . I found vince most helpful in asking questions and getting advice.

Mel
 

jerseyrugby21

New Member
i bought mine from flchams in fl and i live in northern jersey.
my little guy showed up in great health and was sleeping when he arrived.
and they have a great slection.
just thought i would throw in my two cents.
-Matt
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum and the world of chameleons!

Very smart of you to learn before you get one!

Here is some information you might be interested in...
Exposure to proper UVB, appropriate temperatures, supplements, a supply of well-fed/gutloaded insects, water and an appropriate cage set-up are all important for the well-being of your chameleon.

Appropriate cage temperatures aid in digestion and thus play a part indirectly in nutrient absorption. Temperatures needed can vary with the species.

Exposure to UVB from either direct sunlight or a proper UVB light allows the chameleon to produce D3 so that it can use the calcium in its system to make/keep the bones strong and be used in other systems in the chameleon as well. The UVB should not pass through glass or plastic no matter whether its from the sun or the UVB light. The most often recommended UVB light is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube light. Some of the compacts, spirals and tube lights have caused health issues, but so far there have been no bad reports against this one.

Since many of the feeder insects have a poor ratio of calcium to phosphorus in them, its important to dust the insects just before you feed them to the chameleon at most feedings with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you also dust twice a month with a phos.-free calcium/D3 powder it will ensure that your chameleon gets some D3 without overdoing it. It leaves the chameleon to produce the rest of what it needs through its exposure to the UVB light. D3 from supplements can build up in the system but D3 produced from exposure to UVB shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it. (I use Rep-cal phos.-free calcium/D3).

Dusting twice a month as well with a vitamin powder that contains a beta carotene (prOformed) source of vitamin A will ensure that the chameleon gets some vitamins without the danger of overdosing the vitamin A. PrEformed sources of vitamin A can build up in the system and may prevent the D3 from doing its job and push the chameleon towards MBD. However, there is controversy as to whether all/any chameleons can convert the beta carotene and so some people give some prEformed vitamin A once in a while. (I use herptivite.)

Gutloading/feeding the insects well helps to provide what the chameleon needs. I gutload crickets, roaches, locusts, superworms, etc. with an assortment of greens (dandelions, kale, collards, endive, escarole, mustard greens, etc.) and veggies (carrots, squash, sweet potato, sweet red pepper, zucchini, etc.)

Calcium, phos., D3 and vitamin A are important players in bone health and other systems in the chameleon (muscles, etc.) and they need to be in balance. When trying to balance them, you need to look at the supplements, what you feed the insects and what you feed the chameleon.

Here are some good sites for you to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200406080...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
If the sites that have the word "archive" in don't work, you should be able to get to them by using the WayBackMachine.
 
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