I cant wait ANY longer!!

TheLetterAfterP(Q)

Avid Member
For soooo long I have been dying to get a chameleon. I have researched all different types of species (jacksons, veild, parsons, etc.) and have came so close to impulse buying a few! :notworthy::cautious: However, I think I'm ready, and I know what I want to do!! :rolleyes:

I have some money saved up, however for this first project I would like to save up a bit more, my total budget will be around $400.

I'm shooting for a naturalistic setup, not to big, but most defidently not to small. (16x16x30) I'm going to fill the cage with lots of live plants and natural sticks for pathways. I have a specific plan for the back wall and pothos and I'm so excited!! (Great Stuff foam FTW!)

I will be buying a mistking as well, so drainage is a must! I'm not 100% sure on how I will achieve this, but I'll mess around with it. (any advice would be great!) For lighting I will have a t5 5.0 ho lightbulb/ fixture, a 6500k pool bulb, and of course a standard baking bulb. As for humidity/temp gauges, the Zilla 2 in 1 with separate probe is what seems to be the best option. (what do you all use?)

Feeding will consist of a variety of different bugs, I have a huge list! Crickets and/or roaches as a staple and as many different variety bugs I can find! Supplementation will be achieved with Calcium, with and without d3, as well as a multivitamin. I will be getting a baby, and I know their eating needs are much more, I plan on leaving some fruit flys in there most of the day, then feeding appropriate sized feeders.

As for the baby chameleon.... :rolleyes::D
...
...
You'll have to wait and see! ;):eek:
(A male for sure!)

If there's anything I missed, please ask, I want to be on top of EVERYTHING!!!!:)
 

Goose502

Chameleon Enthusiast
Depending on the type of chameleon, they may outgrow that cage...quickly. I would never advise anyone to buy a smaller cage first just because the chameleon is young. Setup one enclosure, and do it right. This takes months of conditioning and trial and error. If you can build an enclosure that drains properly, and plants do well for a few months, then it’s time to look into a chameleon. Depending on the type of chameleon you are looking at, $400 will likely not be enough.
 

celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
There are some great drainage ideas here in the enclosures section as a sticky. Also dragon strands has a blog entry about drainage that is good.

You can get a DIY cage in 24x 24 x 48 pretty cheap or build your own with window screen panels if you are handy. Go with a bigger cage, set it up & be done. Also check used enclosures online...just disinfect VERY well.
 

TheLetterAfterP(Q)

Avid Member
Depending on the type of chameleon, they may outgrow that cage...quickly. I would never advise anyone to buy a smaller cage first just because the chameleon is young. Setup one enclosure, and do it right. This takes months of conditioning and trial and error. If you can build an enclosure that drains properly, and plants do well for a few months, then it’s time to look into a chameleon. Depending on the type of chameleon you are looking at, $400 will likely not be enough.
I am completely aware that these beautiful creature grow like weeds, however I also know that there are quite a few pros that go alongside keeping a baby in a smaller enclosure. To be 100% honest , I dont mind forking over the extra cash for them. In the end he will end up with a dragon strand. I will defidently have the enclosure up and running long before the little guy gets here, dont worry about that! Also, the budget is strictly for the setup.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
For soooo long I have been dying to get a chameleon. I have researched all different types of species (jacksons, veild, parsons, etc.) and have came so close to impulse buying a few! :notworthy::cautious: However, I think I'm ready, and I know what I want to do!! :rolleyes:

I have some money saved up, however for this first project I would like to save up a bit more, my total budget will be around $400.

I'm shooting for a naturalistic setup, not to big, but most defidently not to small. (16x16x30) I'm going to fill the cage with lots of live plants and natural sticks for pathways. I have a specific plan for the back wall and pothos and I'm so excited!! (Great Stuff foam FTW!)

I will be buying a mistking as well, so drainage is a must! I'm not 100% sure on how I will achieve this, but I'll mess around with it. (any advice would be great!) For lighting I will have a t5 5.0 ho lightbulb/ fixture, a 6500k pool bulb, and of course a standard baking bulb. As for humidity/temp gauges, the Zilla 2 in 1 with separate probe is what seems to be the best option. (what do you all use?)

Feeding will consist of a variety of different bugs, I have a huge list! Crickets and/or roaches as a staple and as many different variety bugs I can find! Supplementation will be achieved with Calcium, with and without d3, as well as a multivitamin. I will be getting a baby, and I know their eating needs are much more, I plan on leaving some fruit flys in there most of the day, then feeding appropriate sized feeders.

As for the baby chameleon.... :rolleyes::D
...
...
You'll have to wait and see! ;):eek:
(A male for sure!)

If there's anything I missed, please ask, I want to be on top of EVERYTHING!!!!:)
For temp and humidity, I use a temp gun for basking and a thermometer/hygrometer combo for ambient temp and humidity, it’s easier than the probes, for me at least. For cages, it depends on the type of cham, but bigger is better, get the minimum size for adults cage first. If you go Dragon Strand, buy the drainage system with it. If you don’t, or build your own, either drill a hole, or holes, in the bottom to drain into a bucket below or plumb it to a bucket, or buy a substrate tray (rabbit cage pans from Tractor Supply work great, too), layer up egg crate/lighting diffuser or make a frame/shelf out of it-not worth it to me, not as sturdy if you have anything sitting on it and a pain in a** to assemble it-, put a moss mat over it for aesthetics, and siphon out the water when it gets to the moss mat, or plumb the bottom of the tray with a bulkhead and tubing that leads to a bucket

Edit: the hygrometer/thermometer combo is a digital one from the hardware store for like $5, not a reptile one with probes
 
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celeste_knitter

Chameleon Enthusiast
For temp and humidity, I use a temp gun for basking and a thermometer/hygrometer combo for ambient temp and humidity, it’s easier than the probes, for me at least. For cages, it depends on the type of cham, but bigger is better, get the minimum size for adults cage first. If you go Dragon Strand, buy the drainage system with it. If you don’t, or build your own, either drill a hole, or holes, in the bottom to drain into a bucket below or plumb it to a bucket... plumb the bottom of the tray with a bulkhead and tubing that leads to a bucket

Edit: the hygrometer/thermometer combo is a digital one from the hardware store for like $5, not a reptile one with probes
Temp guns are a must & can be bought for $15 or less on amazon. I use non-reptile hygrometer/themometer combos with probes so I can place them exactly where I want them - 2 packs for $10 on amazon work great. Zip tie or twist tie the probe in basking spot and in lower/cooler area for approximation of temp - spot check frequently with temp gun. The humidity is usually very accurate.

Drainage - in my temp cage I am using a bulkhead with tubing to a bucket. Don't forget the weight of water in the bucket for emptying!
 

TheLetterAfterP(Q)

Avid Member
Temp guns are a must & can be bought for $15 or less on amazon. I use non-reptile hygrometer/themometer combos with probes so I can place them exactly where I want them - 2 packs for $10 on amazon work great. Zip tie or twist tie the probe in basking spot and in lower/cooler area for approximation of temp - spot check frequently with temp gun. The humidity is usually very accurate.

Drainage - in my temp cage I am using a bulkhead with tubing to a bucket. Don't forget the weight of water in the bucket for emptying!
Of course, how could I forget about the temp gun lol, I will defidently be getting one of them as well. Thank you for the tips!
 

TheLetterAfterP(Q)

Avid Member
The issue in a smaller enclosure when done right is that the usable space is filled with lots of foliage and could feel cramped. It can be done, but I would likely make it wider if I couldn't make it taller.
I get that, nice and full, but not cluttered. I think I could pull it off!
Another reason I'm so interested in doing a smaller temp cage is simply to learn a little more before going all out and trying to make a huge cage!
 

dshuld

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree with go bigger on the cage first time around, at least an 18x18x36 if not the xl. Use what you plan on saving on top of the $400 for your plants/ living wall. There really isn't much price difference (~$50 from the reptibreeze M to XL, ~$16 from reptibreeze M to L) and your cham will definitely thank you for the extra space lol. Hopefully this jumble makes sense.....

pangea reptiles - ~$203 shipped
reptibreeze xl
three zoo med 5.5" domes
24" "sun blaster" fixture
22" arcadia 6% t5ho

Amazon - $196.67 shipped
gaea non contact temp gun
two led pool bulb
mistking

plus what ever the combo temp/ hyrgo celeste links to.

Hobby lobby - $30/ 40 should get you enough contorted willow branches for a decent amount of pathways, especially during a 50% off sale like they are having right now :D.

Total $439.67+ temp/ hygro (going with $40 hobby lobby cost)

or....

pangea reptiles - ~80 shipped
two zoo med 5.5" domes
24" "sun blaster" fixture
22" arcadia 6% t5ho


climist - $76 shipped
reptibreeze L


Amazon - $167.98 shipped
gaea non contact temp gun
led pool bulb
mistking

plus what ever the combo temp/ hyrgo celeste links to.
Hobby lobby - $30/ 40 should get you enough contorted willow branches for a decent amount of pathways, especially during a 50% off sale like they are having right now :D.

Total $363 + temp/ hygo (going with $40 hobby lobby cost)


Lol, figures not currently available :rolleyes:
 
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