Sterter Chameleon


New Member
I am going to get a chameleon tomarrow and was wondering what I
should go with. I am willing to pay $300 to start me off including all the
supplies. So give me some ideas. Thanks
For your first cham, I personally would recommend a veiled or panther. Both are hardy and somewhat forgiving for a newbie; but , certainly keep in mind they are chameleons and do need attention.
How big of a chameleon are you wanting? That's way too big if you're buying a smaller baby chameleon.
You better keep it real with a green anole LOL.... A decent setup will push $300 without the chameleon.

Push and keep pushing.. let's see.. it has been a while since I did this.

Cage: $150.00
Florescent fixture: $25.00
Clamp lamp: $10.00
Plants: $25.00
UVB florescent: $20.00
Basking light: $3.00
Dripper: $15.00
Misting bottle: $10.00
Supplements: $20.00
Insect containers: $25.00
Gutload: $10.00
Vines: $30.00
Insects: $25.00
Vet care savings: $200.00

Am I missing anything? Minus the vet care savings, I come up with $368.00. I suppose you could skip the vines and go with well cleaned branches from your yard, but that still only moves it down $30.00. You could start with a smaller, less expensive cage for a young chameleon, but you will eventually have to buy a larger one. I know from personal experience that building one yourself actually ends up being more expensive in the long run. Nothing is cheap about these animals, least of all the vet care. That can easily and quickly exceed the monetary value of the chameleon. If you purchase your chameleon from a reputable breeder (you should) you will spend at least $60.00 for a veiled, and that is if you pick it up at a reptile show. Add in shipping, and that doubles. A panther starts around $250 without shipping and works up.

Not trying to discourage you, just being realistic. This is an expensive hobby. You might want to save a little more cash before jumping in.
Chameleons get to be full size at like 1 year so wont a veiled or
something grow into it. thats the size I am told to have on most
care sheets.
This is what I'm going to get:
flouresent fixture=have it
clamp lamp=have it
creeping fig=10
UVB flouresent=20
Exo-terra 75w neodium bulb=7
digital themometer=15
habba mist=40
Miner-All suppliment=7
vines x2=24
Total cost=$245 not including tax and chameleon
A smaller cage has some advantages especially in the beginning. The enviroment will be smaller these tend to be way easeir to stabilize in the way of temperatures and humidity. In some areas people can have real problems with humidity and temperatures. This time of easier conditions will help develop a plan of attack through research and some trial/error before you go to the bigger cage.

Another thing to consider are the feeders. While in the wild a chameleon would be on its own for finding food it is different in a captive enviroment. The feeders that most people use have poor nutritional values. This is where gut loading comes in and hopefully if they are consumed in a timely fashion the nutrients will pass on to your chameleon. Crickets in particular groom themselves. After dusting you will see them run around for a minute and then they usually go into cleaning the dustings off of themselves. A small chameleon in a big cage could take quite awhile to consume all the food and by the time they do some may not be that healthy for them.

I agree and disagree with some of what is been said already. Say with a veiled chameleon plus the set-up, $300 is not an unrealistic goal. Keep in mind this will not be the entire cost for the chameleon. Plants die, bulbs do to, they out grow their cages, feeders, supplements....etc...the list goes for awhile.
Say with a veiled chameleon plus the set-up, $300 is not an unrealistic goal.
I agree with Jordan when he says this is not entirely unrealistic, especially if you are prepared to DIY some of the items (but bear in mind though that DIY cages often cost more than bought ones).
Like Maganda said, the Habba Mist is probably $40 wasted. It's not a very good mister (I think that is the one that can only mist for 1 or 5 minutes at a time, and it's loud). In the beginning it would be much better to buy a gardening type pump mister and getting into the habit of giving regular, lengthy sprayings. I also find this is a good activity for new owners as it gives them quality time to interact with and observe the behaviour of their cham.

But Heika is also absolutely right when she mentions savings for a vet bill. I've lost count of how many times a new owner has posted to this forum saying "There is something seriously wrong with my new baby cham, but I can't take it to the vet until my next paycheck/someone sponsors me/I win the lottery..." With chams, if something serious does go wrong (and the chances of that happening are quite high especially with baby chams and new owners), you usually have to get it to the vet immediately. So bear in mind those unforseen costs.

And bear in mind the other ongoing costs that Jordan mentioned. It really cannot be understated: chameleon keeping is an expensive hobby.
So we're not trying to discourage you: it can be done, and there are ways to be frugal about it, but be realistic.
Read this too: The costs of chameleon keeping
You could get a whole starter kit from reptile depot like i did. It comes with everything except some supplements and vines for like 139.99 plus shipping and that includes a ficus plant. scroll down on the page and you will see the package.

I think for everything i paid like 200 plus my chameleon.I wouldnt get the habba mist just mist him your self if u can until u can afford a pro-mist misting system.
I like that you will get the larger cage. I had to rebuild and rebuild to keep up with my veiled. Not that I minded... but it did keep costing. I was thinking, that for 10 dollars you could get a ten gallon tank (Petco) and a few dollars in screen from ACE hardware, 1.99 per 36" X 1' and make a cage inside your cage until he or she gets bigger. The benefit of having the tank as the bottom part is that the crickets won't get away and the little git can feel like it's a real hunt, and eat hearty, whenever. Mine used to like to hang like a bat and tag them as they walked by. Just a thought. Sounds like you have been researching this a bit and want to do best for the new member of your family.
Oh yeah... and ACE has paper towel for 50 cents a roll, for the bottom of the tank so you can see and monitor fecal flow and keep all clean. Later, you can use that 10 gallon tank for breeding bugs for your cham. Good luck and enjoy the journey. :} I've been working a third job just to get my cham his equipment.
I am driving down there today and getting a good size veiled so that
it will do ok in the big cage. I will be getting a spray bottle now and
get a pro-misting system in probaly a few weeks.
My Veiled was just over 4 months old when I put him in this size cage(2X2X4). Have fun picking out your cham!
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