Total Beginner

james 3200

New Member
Hi there,

The forum looks like the perfect place to start getting some information on keeping chameleons.

Have always loved the look of them and have decided to setup a home for one towards the end of the month.

From what i have seen the Yemen sp is a good starter, would you reccomend one, if not any others that i should consider?

I also have a number of planted fish tanks, and the idea of growing plants in the vivarium seems attractive, so would like to get some pointers on that too.

Would obviously need a whole setup for one, so could anyone point me in the right direction for what to get, as i have seen complete setups new, but i like to try and get a bargain and could probably piece the equipment together on ebay.

Budget is around £150 including a chameleon or two...?

Sorry if its a few questions, but would like to get as many honest opinions, as well as information from research im doing online.

With a budget of 150 I dont think the chameleon is your animal. I just bought 2 carpet chameleons and I already had most the supplies(enclosures, and lights) that I had extra, and it still cost me over 500 buying new supplies and plants and things. They are very expensive animals, and starting from scratch, a budget of more then 1000 is more like it.
searching is your best bet for info, rather than waiting for enough info being posted in responding.

you will prob need to double your budget, mine was £297 roughly for all the equipment, cham and the calcium + vits etc.

and start off with one first if you are really sure about getting one.
glass is best avoided if you can, may be ok for a baby/first few months, unless its a leaf/pygmy cham. and it needs GOOD ventilation
James, welcome to the forum! there is lots of good info here. I'm not sure what you mean by the Yemen species....a veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) or panther chameleon (Chamaeleo pardalis) are common "starter" chameleons, if there is such a thing. Veileds do live in Yemen.
Here is a cage set-up for $100. I think that you will have to save up a little more in order to properly provide for a cham. Sorry to be intrusive but do you have a job that can supply for another living thing? Are you a licensed driver so you can take him for emergency vet visits? Do you have hours of time to dedicate to a chameleon daily?

Yes, the Veiled chameleon is probably the best starter chameleon out there. But i'm still worried that you may need to save up a little more funds for your chameleon and to properly care for it.

Please, Please, Please do A LOT of research before you decide to bring one of these amazing animals home. Please try to get a Captive bred animal vs. a wild caught animal. I will send you off with that for now.
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BTW jleahl, its FURCIFER Paradalis, not Chameleo Paradalis. Just don't want to confuse any new-comers.
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I believe the answers to all your questions are already here.
Explore the forums and read as many threads as possible. You will get a pretty good idea of what is recommended as many of these things are talked about here over and over and over and over.....
I'll start you off by saying that if you do go ahead with chameleon pursuits you want only one to start with.
They must be housed seperately and one is enough anyway.....for awhile.


p.s. veiled is a good choice.

Thanks for the rapid replies

Ah i see it can be a little more than i thought,same as all my hobbies :D

The reason i went for a figure of £150 is because of this page

I know that ' in the box' solutions are sometimes not the best enviroment for pets, so just trying to get an idea of what id have to get

Anything wrong with one of those?

Doing as much reading as poss over the next week. Any links would be excellent

Sorry for reiterating what others have said but doing so drives the points home.

I suggest a MALE veiled (Yemen) or MALE panther cham – females lay eggs and that can bring on a whole other set of problems – so going with a male is easier for a first cham. I also suggest just one for now.

You will need more money … a good start up cost is 1000 US and keep in mind the maintenance cost of feeders, replacement bulbs, new plants, vet bills. It’s expensive … if it weren’t for my cham hobby I’d be big pimpin’ in a BMW right now.

Lastly check out this site … it should answer most of your initial questions.

I'd rather see an enclosure with at least top and one or two sides screen.
Substrate should go out with the trash.
Chameleon would be better coming from a reputable breeder.

Thanks for the ideas of cost.. luckily i can afford it, and i do have lots of spares around from my aquarium hobby, such as lighting units, metal halides, bogwood and probably a few other useful things, even a spare tank

Chameleons Need higher ventilation than a glass tank can provide in order to prevent respitory sickness. Like Brad said, a cage with 3 or 4 screen side is the way to go.
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