looking for advice


New Member
we have five bearded dragons and are thinking about a chameleon we also learned a lot of hard lessons with are boys so i was wondering what you all recommend 1st what type would you recommend for a first time owner
2nd what do you feel is the most important thing a newbie should know and
3rd whats the hardest part of caring and love one of these awesome critters
I would recommend a male Veiled Chameleon. Veileds are reasonably hardy and forgiving of mistakes, males don't have the "egg baring" problems that come with females.

The most important thing I think you should know is that chameleons are not like "regular" reptiles. They need lower temperatures and higher humidity than you are likely used to.

The hardest part is getting it all right. Temps, humidity, food...it's a lot to work through.

All that said, it's absolutely worth it!
One of the hardest parts is keeping a constant supply of a variety of feeders in my opinion. If you don't breed them, then you have to buy them and it gets costly. Just feeding crickets alone is really not enough as one would think. All the feeders need to be fed. Crickets, dubias roaches, and superworms for example all should be "gutloaded" which means you have to buy either premade gutload along with fresh fruits and vegetables on a regular basis and change out pretty much daily. All thier containers need to be kept constantly clean also . Other popular feeders such as silkworms and hornworms need a special chow to survive on,unless you have access to a Mulberry tree which most of us don't. Also, Chameleons are prone to alot of illnesses if not kept in the right conditions. Lighting, humidity, temps, supplements, hydration, properly gutloaded feeders all play a crucial role.
The consesus for a first chameleon is a Veiled but I don't see anything wrong with getting a panther either. Care is almost the same and if you want the bright reds, blues etc then this is the way to go. Jackson's is not so much more difficult, but less hardier then the previous 2 but it's all doable if you put in the time to learn how to do things.

There is not really one thing more important then another in terms of what you need to know. If you're off on any given thing, you will have problems later down the line anyways. So the most important thing to know is -EVERYTHING-. Ask a lot of questions if something doesn't make sense because that's what these forums are for.

The hardest thing about raising chams is the hit to the wallet you're going to take. I'm like Dr. Hammond from Jurassic Park in that I spare no expense to provide my chams what they need to thrive. Just when you think you have it perfect, you learn something else that would be beneficial to them, or buy another cham!
hey, first off great ides on getting a cham theyr the BEST!!!, i would prob concider a male veiled cham as has been suggested, the panther is also a great choice but the cost savings on the veiled would prob be usefull to help get a better setup and supplies.
i would look around on this forum and do your reasearch. It is also benifichal to have you set up good and ready a few days before you bring your new cham home. i will attach a few quick links one is the " how to ask for help form" that is used on this forum to share husbandry routines with other members to help you better, if there is any area you dont quite understand or are not familiar with i would look into it.
the second is a thread buy another member in which they break down care for a veailed cham very well.

hope this helps and keep us posted

The hardest part Is doing correct research, but if your are into reptiles it should all be fun! Theres nothing hard about it if your into it.

Has for me, the most time consuming aspect is the feeders, keeping a bulk quantity of crickets thriving and clean is quite a task, you will have to ensure that their cage is clean and the food is fresh, they also poo alot. Hornworms have to be cleaned almost every day with fresh food. The better care you give to the insects the better it is for your cham.
The most tedious part for me was misting several times a day, or worrying about how I could not do it as often as I would like. A mist king took care of that!
thanks for all the advice and please keep it coming as for feeders i know all to well about the work that gos into them we have two colony's of roach s going strong right now and are starting a third also have a ready supply of super worms as well and do buy crickets in bulk
Here's some information you might find helpful......
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.

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 before you feed them to the chameleon with a phos.-free calcium powder to help make up for it. (I use Rep-cal phosphorus-free calcium).

If you 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 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...
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