potential chameleon purchase...opinions please!?

casserole

New Member
Hi everyone, I'm new to here, I'm new to reptiles and so I'm new to chameleons!

I have always wanted a chameleon and I'm doing my research to make sure I'm gonna be a good parent first! Anyway I went to the local reptile shop today to ask more about chams and their care.

It just happened that they have a pair of veileds in the shop. They are a year old and a breeding pair, their owner has had to give them up due to illness. However from what I can gather, isn't it better to keep females separate from males unless there is lots of space? They come with the largest size flexarium...is this enough for a pair? Their colours seemed fine, they did not seem stressed or bothered by each other and presumably they have been living together most of their lives.

Further to this, I obviously was not setting out to get a breeding pair as my first ever reptiles, but I did want to get an older chameleon rather than a baby because I am not experienced. The male climed out onto my arm and seemed happy to be out and about and I gather that kind of personality can be hard to come by, but the shop won't sell them separately - presumably at the previous owner's request.

Animals are my life (literally, I am studying them at uni) so I would not purchase an animal on a whim so before I make any snap decisions having fallen in love with this pair, I need to know a bit more and I hope someone on here can offer advice.

Thanks in advance :)
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
IMHO its not a good idea to keep the two of them in the same cage. It usually will result in one or both of them going down hill. Were they kept together by the previous owner?

Here's some information to start you off.......
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. (Some UVB lights have been known to cause health issues, so the most often recommended one is the long linear fluorescent Repti-sun 5.0 tube 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 and your parents to read...
http://chameleonnews.com/07FebWheelock.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200605020...Vitamin.A.html
http://web.archive.org/web/200604210...d.Calcium.html
http://www.uvguide.co.uk/
http://raisingkittytheveiledchameleon.blogspot.com/
http://web.archive.org/web/200601140...ww.adcham.com/
 

casserole

New Member
IMHO its not a good idea to keep the two of them in the same cage. It usually will result in one or both of them going down hill. Were they kept together by the previous owner?
Thanks for the info. Yes, from what I could gather they were kept together. I think they have been in the reptile shop a little while now too. The shop owner showed me some eggs she laid last week and also said the previous owner still had a batch in her incubator. I wonder if they are a year old too or if that was a rough estimate because looking at some other posts on the forum they would be too young for breeding before now...ideally anyway although I guess not everyone does the right thing.

So if I was to take them on I guess I would need to separate them, which then of course means double the expense!! Need to do some serious thought on this one.....
 

yoshi9

New Member
A lot of people will say that a chameleon is not a good first time reptile to own, but everyone has to start some where and if you can make sure to give it the proper care you should be good:) good luck!
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Since you are new too reptiles. As Kinyonga stated I would seperate the two chams. They might be ok together now. Without watching them and seeing how they interact color wise and how they bask and eat/drink. I cant be certain they are fine together presently. They show subtle signs of stress and if you arent an exp keeper you may not notice those signs until an illness or death is the result. So if you do decide to make the purchase I would buy a second cage for one of them. ;)
 

svinyard

New Member
As you are new to this, I would certainly not get a pair of these animals as a breeding pair. A single male veiled chameleon in a large cage is a decent first animal if you have done all of your homework, have the right supplies and enough of a cash fund for a vet bill etc should the need arise.
 

casserole

New Member
Thanks everyone. As much as I fell in love with the gorgeous male as he climed all over me I guess these aren't the right guys for me!

I'll keep doing my research and keep an eye out for a nice single male which would suit me better. I'm in no real rush, I'd like to get this right.

Another question - as I said, this pair would have come with their flexarium - is that a suitable house for a chameleon? The reptile shop owner was suggesting that they could be housed in a normal viv with some ventilation at the back but I thought that glass wasn't good? Obviously the flexarium is cheaper than a big viv would be anyways and I would probably look at building my own more permanent cage in the future.

Thanks again
 

Texas Panther Man

New Member
Since it sounds like your in the Uk. A combo cage may suit the needs of your cham better than a standard screen cage. Ive seen some keepers in the UK that had combination screen and wood viv's with screen at the bottom of the sides and top screen with plexi doors that looked really nice and held humidity well according to the posters. Look at the enclosures forum and you will find some nice examples of cages like the one Im descrbing.
 

Echoezra

Established Member
flexarium/humidity

What I'm trying is I got a flexarium and the flextray liners for it, one for bottom to catch drips, and one for the back, to catch spray from misting. I figure having the back covered will help hold in the humidity a bit more than all screen, but most of it is still screened. But at least with using the flextrays, it's already fitted, so I don't have to worry about fastening a shower curtain somehow. Now, that back side doesn't have climbable screen now, because I fit it over tubing but under mesh, but that shouldn't be too big of a deal, right?
And the plastic has some sort of shinyish spots, but nothing's really reflective, like enough to make a whole figure, so they shouldn't be stressed by the mystery chameleon in the wall. At most, I can see them thinking maybe there was water on it. And hey, there probably will be. lol.
Anyways, it's kind of another option anyway, a compromise between all screen and glass. I'll let you know how it works out, when I find the right chameleon to put in it. :)
 
Top Bottom