Should I?

kidzwithchamz

New Member
[March 11, 2019---7:37--Hayley B--kidzwithchamz]

I was pondering about adopting a chameleon for a long time. I've always wanted a panther or veiled chameleon, but never knew what to do.
I was hoping you all could create a list of things I need to buy (with the general pricing overall), with the things I need to know about chameleon care.
--
Like a bullet point list. \/
-------------------------------
~Cham Stuff (link)
~Cage (link)
~Foods (link)
~Care Knowledge (link)
~Other Stuff (link)
-------------------------------
--
I was walking around my local Pet Smart to look for beautiful chams, and realized there was a lot more I needed to know before I adopted. I don't want to harm a baby cham because of my horrible lack of care due to knowledge (lack of).
--
The chameleons price (at Pet Smart) are about 60-70 dollars for one. I haven't looked at any cages at all, or anything needed. Please leave links with the stuff you listed below as well, and thank you.
 

Darthroastcoffee

Avid Member
Asking for help is why these forums are here! I have to leave for work but if nobody cares to chime in I’ll send you a list by the end of the day that can get you on the right path. Till then just read as much as possible.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Soooo welcome!

The absolute basics you will need... This gets expensive and adds up quickly lol.

Cage 24x24x48 like this https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiBreeze-Screen-48-Inches/dp/B001PHABI8/ref=sr_1_11?crid=750TXFPLI11X&keywords=extra+large+reptibreeze&qid=1552311072&s=gateway&sprefix=extra+large+reptibre,aps,204&sr=8-11
Drip tray you can buy for these is like a hotwater heater pan... I think lol.
or you can spend more and get a better quality with drip tray for the water to collect like so in screen or clearside. The dragon ledges help attach potted plants higher in the cage. But he builds in a schedule so you have to pre order and wait to get your cham. or you can buy the drip tray from dragon strand and the ledges and get the reptibreeze cage.
https://dragonstrand.com/screen-cages-2/

FYI You will want to wrap at least the back and one side panel if not both of the cage in clear plastic like a shower curtain and attach with magnets so the water does not spray out.

Lighting for UVB and plant growth is dual or quad T5 HO fixture. You can look on lightyourreptiles.com These need to be the 24 inch fixture. UVB bulb you get will depend on the species of cham you get.
Heat lamp I would recommend a: https://www.amazon.com/Flukers-Repta-Clamp-8-5-Inch-Ceramic-Dimmable/dp/B003H200QC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=8HVMEZI2QMV3&keywords=flukers+dimmable+heat+lamp&qid=1552311478&s=gateway&sprefix=fukers+dimm,aps,208&sr=8-1
bulb for it is your preference but I am partial to zilla brand day light white: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SRUU32/ref=twister_B07C8WY1XN?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

May need timers for different fixtures as well. 12 hour on and off for lights on chams.

Automatic mister a must have in my opinion. https://www.amazon.com/MistKing-22251-Starter-Misting-System/dp/B012IAK4SC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HEHG6S2ENP0I&keywords=mistking+starter+misting+system&qid=1552311288&s=gateway&sprefix=mistking+stra,aps,206&sr=8-1

hydrometer and thermometer to measure heat and humidity you want a few to get different levels. Most use a wired thermometer at basking level then a non wired other area : https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-drt-1-Digital-Reptile-Thermometer/dp/B079HDYPQH/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=temperature+measure+for+reptiles&qid=1552311763&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2
and https://www.amazon.com/Alfie-Pet-Petoga-Couture-Thermometer/dp/B06XW9TVQS/ref=sr_1_18?keywords=temperature+measure+for+reptiles&qid=1552311838&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-18

Live plants like Pothos or dwarf umbrella plants. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/
If you get a veiled you have to put large 1inch or bigger river rock in the top so they don't eat the soil. :)

Vines and branches for horizontal pathways in different sizes for grip: https://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Jungle-Vine-Large/dp/B003PB4VSS/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=exo+terra+vines&qid=1552311902&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1&th=1

And then you need a multivitamin to give 2 times a month every other week, Calcium with D3 to give 2 times a month the opposite every other week, and then a calcium without D3 used nearly every feeding. See image below.

Feeders: Need to offer variety. See image below. can buy feeders from a site sponsor or rainbowmealworms.com

Feeder containers: I have bought my own as well as converted plastic tubs to hold them. I like these but the large size only if I buy one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073KOGOG/ref=twister_B06X9LKF3Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Feeder food: something like Repashy Bug burger, cricket crack, or insect fuel from Arcadia brand if you want a predone instead of fresh veg and fruit everyday. see image below for feeder food

Buying your cham.... do your research and do not buy from petco, petsmart, chain stores, etc. They can have health issues and cost you quite a bit to repair the damage done. We have site sponsors and some wonderful forum members as well such as @Matt Vanilla Gorilla (breeds panthers multiple locales)

Link to panther care sheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/
Link to veiled care sheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/



Supplements pic.jpeg
Gutloading 101.jpeg
UVB lighting pic.jpeg
nonUVB pic.jpeg
Basic Feeder pic.jpeg
 

Zilla23

Established Member
Since I just got my cham a little over a month ago, I can definitely give you ball park on how much you are looking at spending at a minimum. So far I am in for about $1000 on the cage, lighting, plants, mister, thermometer, hygrometer vines and climbing things. I would HIGHLY recommend you get your cage, lighting and some type of automatic mister set up well in advance of getting your cham. The last thing you want to do is not have a place to put him once you get him home, they get super stressed being moved, shipped etc and they really need to go right into their enclosure and be given time to calm down so it is very important to have everything ready to go. I had my set up done about two weeks in advance so that I could get the temperature right and get the humidity levels correct. Use the search bar in the upper right corner of this forum and you can find advice on anything and everything you need to know. Research, research, research!!! Also keep in mind that you will need to get feeder insects as well, good idea to already have those set up and ready to go before you cham comes home too. This is not a cheap hobby and you cannot really cut corners or your pet will suffer. In the last month with the set up, my cham, feeder insects, supplements, vet visit ect. I am in well over $2000. So be prepared. Of course the initial expense is great and it will taper off but you will still have to buy feeders and food to gut load your feeders and any vet visits you need. Hopefully this has been helpful. I would also highly suggest getting your cham from a reputable breeder, there are a few on this forum, and NOT from a pet store. That way you know what you are getting, and they can answer questions about the particular cham you are interested in.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
It's already been said multiple times, but I'd like to personally emphasize the importance of getting a well started baby from a reputable breeder, and only after you have your enclosure set up!

I can tell you all about the struggles of having a sick baby originally from a chain pet store, and believe me you really don't want to go through that. I've been nursing Karma for over two months now, and I firmly believe the only reasons he's still alive are my veterinary experience, easy access to vets, and this forum!

Research, research, research, and ask us any questions you come across. Lots of great starting points in this thread!
 

MSPINAZ1

Established Member
i agree with all the comments above. i set up and "ran" my set up for two weeks prior to getting my cham. I will add this make sure you have a reputable vet nearby that can handle exotics. specifically chameleons. to many people come on here with issues stating they dont have a vet of they arent nearby and the animal suffers. some people on here have excellent care sheets and info but i think this tip should be added everywhere!!!!!!! good luck they are amazing creatures and are awesome to observe and care for.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
i agree with all the comments above. i set up and "ran" my set up for two weeks prior to getting my cham. I will add this make sure you have a reputable vet nearby that can handle exotics. specifically chameleons. to many people come on here with issues stating they dont have a vet of they arent nearby and the animal suffers. some people on here have excellent care sheets and info but i think this tip should be added everywhere!!!!!!! good luck they are amazing creatures and are awesome to observe and care for.
yessssssss reputable reptile vet is soooooo important. Otherwise you have someone that does not know their tail from their eyes!
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
Soooo welcome!

The absolute basics you will need... This gets expensive and adds up quickly lol.

Cage 24x24x48 like this https://www.amazon.com/Zoo-Med-ReptiBreeze-Screen-48-Inches/dp/B001PHABI8/ref=sr_1_11?crid=750TXFPLI11X&keywords=extra+large+reptibreeze&qid=1552311072&s=gateway&sprefix=extra+large+reptibre,aps,204&sr=8-11
Drip tray you can buy for these is like a hotwater heater pan... I think lol.
or you can spend more and get a better quality with drip tray for the water to collect like so in screen or clearside. The dragon ledges help attach potted plants higher in the cage. But he builds in a schedule so you have to pre order and wait to get your cham. or you can buy the drip tray from dragon strand and the ledges and get the reptibreeze cage.
https://dragonstrand.com/screen-cages-2/

FYI You will want to wrap at least the back and one side panel if not both of the cage in clear plastic like a shower curtain and attach with magnets so the water does not spray out.

Lighting for UVB and plant growth is dual or quad T5 HO fixture. You can look on lightyourreptiles.com These need to be the 24 inch fixture. UVB bulb you get will depend on the species of cham you get.
Heat lamp I would recommend a: https://www.amazon.com/Flukers-Repta-Clamp-8-5-Inch-Ceramic-Dimmable/dp/B003H200QC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=8HVMEZI2QMV3&keywords=flukers+dimmable+heat+lamp&qid=1552311478&s=gateway&sprefix=fukers+dimm,aps,208&sr=8-1
bulb for it is your preference but I am partial to zilla brand day light white: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005SRUU32/ref=twister_B07C8WY1XN?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

May need timers for different fixtures as well. 12 hour on and off for lights on chams.

Automatic mister a must have in my opinion. https://www.amazon.com/MistKing-22251-Starter-Misting-System/dp/B012IAK4SC/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3HEHG6S2ENP0I&keywords=mistking+starter+misting+system&qid=1552311288&s=gateway&sprefix=mistking+stra,aps,206&sr=8-1

hydrometer and thermometer to measure heat and humidity you want a few to get different levels. Most use a wired thermometer at basking level then a non wired other area : https://www.amazon.com/Pangea-drt-1-Digital-Reptile-Thermometer/dp/B079HDYPQH/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=temperature+measure+for+reptiles&qid=1552311763&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-2
and https://www.amazon.com/Alfie-Pet-Petoga-Couture-Thermometer/dp/B06XW9TVQS/ref=sr_1_18?keywords=temperature+measure+for+reptiles&qid=1552311838&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-18

Live plants like Pothos or dwarf umbrella plants. https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/
If you get a veiled you have to put large 1inch or bigger river rock in the top so they don't eat the soil. :)

Vines and branches for horizontal pathways in different sizes for grip: https://www.amazon.com/Exo-Terra-Jungle-Vine-Large/dp/B003PB4VSS/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=exo+terra+vines&qid=1552311902&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1&th=1

And then you need a multivitamin to give 2 times a month every other week, Calcium with D3 to give 2 times a month the opposite every other week, and then a calcium without D3 used nearly every feeding. See image below.

Feeders: Need to offer variety. See image below. can buy feeders from a site sponsor or rainbowmealworms.com

Feeder containers: I have bought my own as well as converted plastic tubs to hold them. I like these but the large size only if I buy one https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073KOGOG/ref=twister_B06X9LKF3Z?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Feeder food: something like Repashy Bug burger, cricket crack, or insect fuel from Arcadia brand if you want a predone instead of fresh veg and fruit everyday. see image below for feeder food

Buying your cham.... do your research and do not buy from petco, petsmart, chain stores, etc. They can have health issues and cost you quite a bit to repair the damage done. We have site sponsors and some wonderful forum members as well such as @Matt Vanilla Gorilla (breeds panthers multiple locales)

Link to panther care sheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/panther/
Link to veiled care sheet: https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/



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Great info Becca!!!

OP, if you get into this hobby be prepared to spend a LOT of money, reputable vets and breeders are extremely important. my food bill alone is $30 a week and my set up is ever changing costing so far $1500
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
also remember that chameleons are a look but don't touch me hobby. Just to give you a heads up :)
Not necessarily, many Panthers do very well and even enjoy crawling onto people. I do think it's good to go into it with the mindset that your chameleon may never want to be bothered by you though.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great info Becca!!!

OP, if you get into this hobby be prepared to spend a LOT of money, reputable vets and breeders are extremely important. my food bill alone is $30 a week and my set up is ever changing costing so far $1500
$30/ week? What are you buying? Even with 5 chameleons I didn't spend that. Get some colonies going and you'll have free food. I buy BSFL for like 15 dollars once every month or two and then some horns/silks/fly spikes/etc even less often as treats. I have my own roach, snail, isopod, and superworm colonies that reproduce with very little work needed. Just a bag of carrots once a week and some heat.
 
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