Need set-up advice


New Member
So, I've wanted a cham all of my life and have finally come to purchasing one but first I need a cage setup.

I am a college student and do not have a ton of money to throw around. The cages I've seen at local stores have been like these: They all seem to run $60 just for the enclosure alone. Then adding plants, drip/mist setup, lights, etc. the cost just seems to keep escalating.

I do not want to take on the responsibility of owning a cham if I can not properly provide for it. I was thinking about building a cage but once looking over the costs, it doesn't seem to save much money at all. Do you guys have any ideas for housing a 5 week old veiled cham. that I plan to keep until its death? I've owned a leopard gecko for over 10 years ago and have provided for her excellently but I really want a cham.

well one thing that you must do before even thinking about getting a chameleon is to do a little research to see if you think you can handle it, if you think you can continue your research and read as much as you possible can about chameleons. they are hard to raise if you do not know how to care for it, i myself researched for more than 3 months and when i got my first chameleon, it died just a month after because of the set up. the set up is very important especially for a baby. i dont think you want a 5 week old chameleon, id make sure it was at least 2 to 3 months old, anyways baby chameleons will require a smaller cage at least 16*15*20. you will need to get a second cage after around 5 months so i would look at a good cheap cage for now. during those 2 months you could build a nice cage that will house him until he is an adult which should be at least 24*24*48 but bigger is always better as anyone will tell you. owning a chameleon is not cheap and you may just want to save your money while you are doing your research so you will also save money by knowing what to buy and what not to buy. i think you could get everything for the chameleon for at least 150 and thats being cheap, cage being 40bucks, lights fixtures uvb and heat lamp 40bucks, the lights 30bucks, plants 20bucks, drip system and mist bottle 10bucks, vines 10bucks. but also food 1000 crickets 15bucks so give or take 165bucks without the chameleon. that is on the cheap side as i said and only quick guesses. the funny thing is that you will see things you want and youll get them and your spending will go up. with my new chameleon i think ive spend around 300bucks and thats with everything but the chameleon, lol. mist system was 130bucks which is a pro must pm-50 ,very nice by the way, and a good buy i strongly recommend one, and alot of other crap. anyways chameleons are not that cheap to keep, but are awesome animals. good luck and i hope it can fit in your budget
I got my veiled at 5 weeks old and he lived in a 1/2 gallon screen top plastic enclosure for several weeks.
At that age a large Kritter Keeper would work as well.
You'll have to make some modifications and provide him with UVB light that doesn't shine through plastic or glass.
a cocktail cup with a pinhole in the bottom was my first drip system.
He can move into the exo-terra 12x18x20 screen enclosure after a few weeks and live there till he's 6 months old or so.
This would give you time to save up/ plan for his permanent home.
You need to have some liquid funds in case of a vet trip and enough money to provide him with feeders and supplements....the light, plants, etc.
He won't need a basking light for awhile (in my opinion....they get too hot when they're little)
Make sure you have a good source for week old crickets....I order 1000 at a time from for $10. You'll be surprised how fast he'll go through them.

set up costs

I just bought a baby veiled, and I did some shopping on line and by phone first. I made a list of all the things I would need, and then set out to find the best stuff for the best value.

I did purchase an 18x18x36" screen cage at a reptile store, along with the uvb bulb itself. But the rest of it, I did piece by piece. I found a reflector hood and the clamp lamp for a basking light at a garage sale.(3 bucks for both) I bought a ficus at a local grower, and added river rocks to the top to keep my cham off of the dirt. I bought the uvb light, miner-all supplement at petsmart, using my petsmart card (it happened to be 2 bucks off !) and a small kritter keeper for crickets. By spending that much, I got a $5.00 gift card, and went back, and bought the bio-vines.

Check out the local penny saver paper, and see what you can find. Work on collecting the things you need FIRST though !!!
Top Bottom