looking into getting a cham. many Q's


I have by no means made up my mind yet.I am going to an expo in March.I know I want a lizard of some kind.Im a snake person up to now.I would like something more challenging and a bit more responsive.Yet I dont need something I can "play" with either, a nice display animal is fine.
Ive looked into ackies and collared lizards thinking I may want a desert species but they are hard to find.

Ive come back to chameleons a few time but the different species have me confused and the fact that many are wild caught also puts me off.
So I can barely keep a pothos alive and am afraid of doing something wrong in the case of something so delicate.

What does your daily care schedule look like?
Would a vieled be cared for the same as a panther or jacksons?

I keep my snake room at 78-80 is that too hot for a cham?
My living room runs around 65-70 but is very dry, is there still a way to keep one here?
How much traffic is too much in a room?
What is the main health problem with these little guys?
Sorry I have till march to figure all this out and Im cramming my research here because I want to make an informed decision.
What does your daily care schedule look like?
Let see, I get up at 6AM for lights on and do my feedings for my 3 guys. I have a mistking so that takes away a big part of the schedule since it is automated. You want to mist constantly. Maybe a little spot clean every other day. Then it's lights out at 6:30PM. You don't have to feed so early. I just do because its the time I might be leaving for work that day.

Would a vieled be cared for the same as a panther or jacksons?

A panther's care is close to a veiled. I supplement them the same myself. A jackson's is different. Less supplementation, more humidity, cooler temps. I myself keep all 3 species in the same room so I try to shoot for the jackson's husbandry. The other two don't mind the extra mistings for humidity at all.

I keep my snake room at 78-80 is that too hot for a cham?
Should be ok, but it depends on the species. Some like a cooler ambient temperature, like the jackson's.

My living room runs around 65-70 but is very dry, is there still a way to keep one here?
Yes. My house in general is very dry. I provide five 5-minute misting sessions during the day and a couple of short burst at night to keep up humidity as well as give them plenty of drinking opportunities. A cool air humidifier that cost about $20-30 could help you too.

How much traffic is too much in a room?
Some people keep their chams right next to them as they work on their computer all day and they seem to do fine. I believe that if you provide them with plenty of hiding places, it will offset "high traffic". I would think that high traffic isn't really an issue unless a number of people are stopping to stare at the chams constantly.

What is the main health problem with these little guys?
I would say that improper supplementation leading to MBD (metabolic bone disease) due to a lack of calcium is one of the most common.
Thanks so much.That answers the main ones.Ive read the basic care sheets.If I decide to get a cham it will be a panther or veiled.They seem the easiest of these hard to care for lizards.Im still torn between these and a trio of collared lizards.I know they are complete opposites in the care department.But I do have like 500 dollars set aside for this so I can get all the stuff I need when the time comes.

What about insects.Now since Ive not had anything that eats bugs in a long time I need to think about this.My son is getting a beardie soon so I will need to deal with this soon enough. I was thinking of starting a dubia roach colony and maybe silkworms and mealies.

Can I get an idea of how many bugs a week you go through with one adult vieled? And also what kind of insects? Thanks so much.
Here's some information that might help.......
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 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...

Hope this helps!

BTW...beardies are prone to MBD too.
An adult veiled can be fed every other day and about 6-8 feeders consisting of crickets, dubias roaches, locusts(if you can get them) silkworms, hornworms, waxworms, superworms, mealworms, phoenix worms, which are most of the common feeders. It is important to have atleast one feeder such as a cricket, dubia or superworm which can be gutloaded. Gutloaded meaning you feed the feeder a good varied diet of fruits and vegetables which your chameleon will end up benefiting from. A baby or juvenile will need to be fed everyday and they will eat a much larger quantity. The feeders will be smaller but you feed more. The main thing with keeping a chameleon is keeping a varied diet of insects which will end up costing you quite a bit if you do not decided to breed your own. Most of the feeders I mentioned can be bought in bulk so the prices may be cheaper but you end up paying for shipping costs. Remember all the insects need to be fed and their containers maintained. That is constant work. You want their habitats to be clean.
Yet I dont need something I can "play" with either, a nice display animal is fine.

In terms of lizards, I have found Chameleons to be the most challenging as they are very sensitive to their environment. If you provide the right environment, they are pretty easy to care for but it requires a pretty significant up front investment.

What does your daily care schedule look like?

I have a MistKing system with a home made drain system. I have 5 galloon buckets as the reservoir and drainage tank. Depending on the weather, I need to fill and empty about once a week.

I use screen cages and leave the floor bare which means I can pull the bottom out and clean it pretty easily. I clean the bottom about once a week.

At this point, I feed every other day.

I have the lights on a timer and I have a dripper system that I fill every day.

Would a vieled be cared for the same as a panther or jacksons?

Veiled and Jacksons are a bit more hardy than Panthers.

I keep my snake room at 78-80 is that too hot for a cham?

Chams need full spectrum lightning to provide hot spots so it really depends on how large the room is and what types of lightning you use.

My living room runs around 65-70 but is very dry, is there still a way to keep one here?

Depends on how often you mist. If you don't have an automatic mister, it can be a tremendous amount of work. Ambient humidity is not as important as frequent, long duration misting. A lot of chams will not drink immediately when misted and will not drink standing water droplets.

How much traffic is too much in a room?

I keep mine in my office which has almost no foot traffic so I can't comment.

What is the main health problem with these little guys?

Compared to other lizards, dehydration. Female panthers are very susceptible to calcium crash after laying eggs and egg binding. Consistent supplementation is really important.

Given the right setup and consistent care, they will do quite well and not require a lot of daily attention. I really can't stress how important it is to put time into the setup. If you're not going to mist very frequently for long durations, get an automatic mister. Otherwise, you won't have much success.
Some problems are metabolic bone disease, if not supplemented correctly or lighting is incorrect, eye infections, gular edema, gout, and proplapses. Look up all the definitions of the above and it will give you an idea of what these conditions involve. Also as mentioned with the females, it is critical to have a laying bin as they can lay eggs from about 6 months on even though they have not been mated. They are many problems that can arise with a pregnant female.
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