Thinking about getting a Chameleon!

#1
Hi everyone my name is Dan and recently I've started doing LOTS of research on these beautiful little guys! I've always admired chameleons and I'm honestly trying to decide if I want one or not. I've been online this week reading countless forums and watching videos, gathering as much information as I can. I would love to hear what the experienced owners have to say. My first concerns about owning one is where I live. I live in Colorado, the climate is cold and dry most of the year. I'm most concerned with keeping the environment the right temprature and humidity. I have many other questions and would appreciate some feedback.
 
#2
Hi Dan! First of all I live in northern Utah so I feel your pain when it comes to location haha but it can definitely be done. I recommend listening to the chameleon breeder podcast if you haven't been already. You will find loads of good info in there.
 
#4
hello Dan, me and I'm sure the other members are all looking forward to helping you out with husbandry and care issues! as mentioned above the chameleon breeder podcast and a lot of the care sheets and blogs are a great way to start off, I'm off in maryland and have a big glass enclosure for my chameleon maybe that might be something worth looking into! I will soon be upgrading to the exo terra large x tall!! hopefully you find us helpful and good luck cham keeping is more than just keeping a pet, its a hobby with a lot of dedication and money!! just be financially ready and responsible and you will do great!
 
#6
I've owned 2 corn snakes in the past, they were beginner level animals, I had them for a short time, I just didn't feel dedicated enough to them at the time. I was much younger then. Now days I have more disposable income and feel i could take on something more advanced.
 
#7
Hi Dan! First of all I live in northern Utah so I feel your pain when it comes to location haha but it can definitely be done. I recommend listening to the chameleon breeder podcast if you haven't been already. You will find loads of good info in there.
Sandy Utah here, I feel your pain (or at least your lack of humidity)!
 
#8
I'm very curious what everyone has to say about glass vs screen/mesh enclosures. I've read a lot of people say screen ONLY, I definatly need to research what will work best for my location
 
#14
Screen is preferred and often suggested to new chameleon keepers since chameleons are susceptible to respiratory infections which are often due to high sustained humidity and poor ventilation. People read the care sheets and see the recommended humidity for chameleons to be X% but fail to read or retain the info that the humidity needs to drop and allow the enclosure to have some dry periods. It can be difficult getting a glass enclosure to have proper ventilation to allow the humidity to drop compared to a screen cage. Atleast with screen you can use plastic sheeting or a shower curtain to wrap two sides of the enclosure to help retain some humidity but also allow enough ventilation at the same time.

Glass enclosures are often quite expensive when you consider that an adult veiled or panther chameleon needs at least a 2ft x 2ft x 4ft tall enclosure.
 

Beman

Established Member
#15
Hi there and welcome. Here is the link to the Chameleon Breeder Podcast that Bill Strand does. They are amazing and he has over 90 episodes with a ton of information. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/ As far as your question of enclosure for one. I went with the Dragon Strand Clearside enclosure. The top and 1 side panel of these are screen for airflow. They have a drip easy pan you can get to control your water run off as well. By far the best on the market in all my research. Here is the link for these. https://dragonstrand.com/

My 2 cents being new to this. To do it right it is expensive. I did not do proper research before getting my Veiled Chameleon. So I spent a lot of money getting the wrong things that I was told were right. I have since replaced everything bought initially. I have hit easily $2000. You are looking at getting the correct enclosure, lighting, mist system, food, supplements, live plants, and additionally temp gun, Solarmeter if you want to guarantee your UVB lighting levels at basking, humidity, and heat level monitoring devices. Oh and don't forget the Vet. Getting a poop sample run for parasites is important as well. Plus having a Vet that truly does know how to treat Chameleons....

On the plus side they are absolutely amazing and I could not imagine not waking up to Beman each day and seeing his little face. I have a great amount of respect for him and the joy he brings is unmatched by anything :)
 
#16
Hi there and welcome. Here is the link to the Chameleon Breeder Podcast that Bill Strand does. They are amazing and he has over 90 episodes with a ton of information. https://www.chameleonbreeder.com/ As far as your question of enclosure for one. I went with the Dragon Strand Clearside enclosure. The top and 1 side panel of these are screen for airflow. They have a drip easy pan you can get to control your water run off as well. By far the best on the market in all my research. Here is the link for these. https://dragonstrand.com/

My 2 cents being new to this. To do it right it is expensive. I did not do proper research before getting my Veiled Chameleon. So I spent a lot of money getting the wrong things that I was told were right. I have since replaced everything bought initially. I have hit easily $2000. You are looking at getting the correct enclosure, lighting, mist system, food, supplements, live plants, and additionally temp gun, Solarmeter if you want to guarantee your UVB lighting levels at basking, humidity, and heat level monitoring devices. Oh and don't forget the Vet. Getting a poop sample run for parasites is important as well. Plus having a Vet that truly does know how to treat Chameleons....

On the plus side they are absolutely amazing and I could not imagine not waking up to Beman each day and seeing his little face. I have a great amount of respect for him and the joy he brings is unmatched by anything :)
I wish I could like this about 5 more times! Seriously do tons of research before you buy ANYTHING and make sure its the best way/best piece of equipment because I have wasted lots and lots of money from not researching enough before buying. Also another thing to keep in mind is that even if you get your chameleon from the best breeder and give it the absolute best husbandry, it could still hate you lol. Thats the way it is for me haha I'm working on taming right now and he is getting better but I doubt he will ever be very friendly. So if handling is something important to you I recommend getting in touch with the breeder and specifically asking for a friendly chameleon or one with friendly parents or something haha
 

Beman

Established Member
#17
I wish I could like this about 5 more times! Seriously do tons of research before you buy ANYTHING and make sure its the best way/best piece of equipment because I have wasted lots and lots of money from not researching enough before buying. Also another thing to keep in mind is that even if you get your chameleon from the best breeder and give it the absolute best husbandry, it could still hate you lol. Thats the way it is for me haha I'm working on taming right now and he is getting better but I doubt he will ever be very friendly. So if handling is something important to you I recommend getting in touch with the breeder and specifically asking for a friendly chameleon or one with friendly parents or something haha
LOL the pains of doing it backwards. #IScrewedUp lol. I don't have the issue of mine hating me... Actually that is how I ended up getting him. He followed me back and forth across the enclosure he was in and then when the guy opened it up for me to see him he would only come out onto my hand. 3 days later I went back because I couldn't stop thinking about him. And so my life became all about Beman lol.
 
#18
I'm very curious what everyone has to say about glass vs screen/mesh enclosures. I've read a lot of people say screen ONLY, I definatly need to research what will work best for my location
Properly designed glass are no problem. I have 5 Exo Terra's.

Definate no to fish tanks or anything that doesn't allow for good air circulation.

If retaining heat and humidity are going to an issue for you, there is no reason not to use something like the extra wide extra tall or the wide extra tall Exo Terra's. They work great for bioactive setups and you may want to consider this if you haven't already.
 

salty dog

Established Member
#19
If you are using a glass cage you need to be concious of water drainage, "dragonstrand, exo terra & reptibreeze" are made to be able to drain, chams need alot of dripping water, they don't drink sitting water, fyi the best advice I could give you about setting up a cage is get a linear uv 5.0 light the width of the cage and a standard house light bulb, clear for heat, put lights on top of the cage, and when you look at your cage think forest canopy, plants vines, fresh air and dripping water, cheers!!
 
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