Updated Supply List

#1
Here is an updated list of supplies for you guys to dissect and correct! Stuff that is in brackets is probably something that I am unsure about. :)
- Dragon Strand 24", 24", 48" clear side enclosure kit w/ floor panels and dragon strands.
- Dragon Strand drainage tray (Not sure if I would want a standard, heavy-duty or drip-easy because I am not sure how much of the chameleons climbing area will come from the ground up and how much will be secured by dragon strands.)
- Mist King (I have heard from the owner of Dragon Strand that misting at the night to simulate nighttime fog is a good alternative to misting during the day. Is this true?)
- Dripper? (Would this be a good supply of drinking water, or would a MistKing supply both humidity AND drinking water?)
- Arcadia D3 UVB linear light tube (maybe another brand, whatever is cheapest and best)
- Heat light
- Two domes to contain bulbs
- Crickets
- Silkworms
- Hornworms
- Butterworms
- Superworms
- Black soldier fly larvae
- More worms? What do you guys recommend? (Also, would it be possible to catch local, safe insects to supplement his diet?)
- Gutload supplies
- Calcium powder
- Decorations, vines and sticks for climbing surfaces
- Artificial plant or plants, maybe live (how much more difficult are live plants to maintain and will I need a grow light or will a UVB bulb be enough?)
- Hygrometer
- Thermometer placed at basking branch and one near the bottom (if not handheld)
- P.V.C. pipe to set up simple gravity drain system
Setup would include a basking area, cooler spots, lots of horizontal sticks, vines and plants and all of the stuff that I mentioned above.
Routines: Thoroughly hand spray in morning and night, leave drippers on throughout the day and afternoon, turn lights on in the morning and off at night, feed and dust feeders (maybe breed them. How should I go about doing that?), gut-load feeders, feed to chameleon, let out in backyard for sunlight, introduce to handling early-on, clean floor panels.
Other questions: 1) If chameleons are arboreal, what is the purpose of floor panels? Why not let their waste fall into the drainage area of the enclosure and clean that every once in a while instead? 2) Are panther chameleons much more friendly than veiled chameleons or is it subtle? 2a) Does the friendliness of panther chameleons make their higher price tag and finickiness worth it? 3) Would a young chameleon be a good option or too difficult? (I like the idea of a young chameleon so that I can maximize my time with them, watch them develop and introduce them to me as well as to being handled early on) 4) Should I set everything up and experiment with it for a while to get it just right before introducing a chameleon or is this not worth it? 5) Are bites from insects a big deal or just a nuisance? 6) Why do some veileds appear blue and red in certain pictures or videos like in this example?
Capture.PNG
Aaand that's all! Input is always great! (y)
 
#2
@ChamQuestions I don't have experience with Dragon Strand and a few other things, but hopefully I can answer some of your questions. Just an FYI, a lot of the stuff you're mentioning is top of the line, if you're just starting out, this is your first reptile, and/or you aren't filthy rich you might want to do some research on what's on the market, and what is the best for the money. You can find a lot of alternatives that are just as good as other products, and even DIY a few things. Just do your research, unless you're ready to drop $500-1000 for a fully decked out and automated cage.

A MistKing will definitely be enough for both humidity and water, just aim it at leaves and your chameleon has drinking water. It's basically just an automated pressure sprayer though. (Handheld pressure sprayers are ~$10)

Two domes I guess just depend on the size of the cage, and the wattage of the bulb. I'm using the Zoo Med Dual Dome with 2 60W bulbs and getting a 5-15°F temperature boost compared to the outside temp across a 30" radius

Don't catch bugs yourself, it's not very practical, and they could have parasites. The extent of "bug catching" that I would do is plant tomatoes to attract hornworms, or plant a Mulberry tree to attract silkworms.

Most houseplants are nontoxic, and aren't difficult to keep as long as they aren't in a dark room all day. I don't think UVB will help plants grow at all, but if it makes you feel better, incandescent bulbs all give off heat, so just get an incandescent grow light as a heating bulb (you can get them at Home Depot, or most hardware stores for ~$5-10). Hibiscus and Ficus plants are a chameleon's best friend, and can grow quite large. Here's some links from the site for safe plants: http://www.anapsid.org/resources/edible.html https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/plants/

I use an Infrared laser thermometer, and it's amazing. It's shaped somewhat like a gun, and you just point it at what you want to take the temperature of, pull the trigger, and bam! Instant temperature readings.


Questions:
1) Floor panels are to keep whatever you have in the cage, in the cage (plants, dirt, poop, dead leaves, etc.), and keep your chameleon out of the drain. Unless you plan on setting all your stuff into the drain?
2) Veiled chameleons are almost notoriously mean and/or solitary, but it really depends. Talk to breeders, and people that have owned multiple chameleons though. I don't speak for every chameleon out there, ask around what the temperaments of different species are like.
2a) I guess that's just a decision you have to make. I decided to get a Jackson's because Veileds are too big and can get mean, and Panthers are too expensive. It all depends on what you're looking for. Is it vibrant colors, is it beautiful patterns, is it horns or other exotic features? Is it friendliness, is it just a pet you can watch all day, is it something you can show off? How much does price matter to you, how much does size matter, how much effort are you willing to put in, how much does the lineage matter to you, how much does buying it in person/online matter, how much does buying from a responsible and caring seller matter? You have to figure out what's the most important to you on all these questions.
3) Depends on how young, and where you plan on buying it. The rule of thumb is to only get one 3 months or older, anything younger and the seller is irresponsible, and it's more likely to die on you. But, if you're buying from a local breeder and you're both comfortable with it, that's different. I get how you feel though.
4) Step 1, Start accumulating plants ASAP, and get used to taking care of them so they don't die in the cage. Step 2, get your cage, vines, driftwood, etc. and set the interior of the cage all up in a way that you think makes sense. Keep in mind, your chameleon has to be able to reach each branch, so don't space them out too far. Step 3, get your lighting and however you're doing your water/humidity figured out and set up. Step 4, figure out & buy whatever vitamins and other supplements you need (ask other owners of the same species what they use, and how often). Step 5, buy enough feeders to last about a week. Step 6, buy chameleon. Step 7, establish a feeder colony if you think it's more cost effective.
Start Step 1 ASAP, buying the occasional houseplant here and there, but make sure you have Steps 2-4 finished at least a week before buying a cham, and Step 5 a day or so before you plan on getting a chameleon, then double check to make sure that you're ready, and go for it.
5) For a chameleon, or you? lol Just avoid keeping feeders (especially crickets) in the cage when your cham isn't feeding. Use a cup, tweezers, or something to make sure they aren't roaming around, it's actually makes your life easier because you don't have to clean up dead ones, or have to worry about crickets jumping out when you open the door, or worry about them biting your cham, ...
6) Chameleons come in many different colors, that one just has a lot of red and blue in him and probably doesn't get very green. There isn't specific colors that mean certain things, however, color changes do mean something. For example, if your chameleon has a normal range of greens and then it has a very distinct color change (turns very dark, becomes very pale, or displays much brighter colors than normal) it could be stressed, sick, or otherwise attempting to communicate a mood. Any specific colors they display just has to due with their genetics.
 

absolutbill

Chameleon Enthusiast
#3
It looks like you have thought things out pretty well, and are on a good start. I have 3 Dragonstrand Large Clear Atriums and love them. I have the standard drainage tray and I like it because I can use papertowels to suck up the excess water on the floor and then squeeze that into the plants in the enclosure. I use primarily pothos, with some ivy and some spider plants in my cage, all are live. I don't have an additional grow light in there, and they do just fine . You don't have to have a Mistking (what I have), or other automated misting system, but it sure does make your life a lot easier. I have 2 adult veileds and can go away for the weekend, confident that they have their lights and misting systems on timers and will be just fine.

I would avoid butterworms, as a lot of us keepers do. They have been known to cause a blackening on a chameleon's face, and are irradiated to be sold here in the US. There are plenty of other feeders to avoid this one, in my opinion.

As for the notion that veileds are mean, it mostly stems from 2 things: 1. that they get cage aggressive, meaning that their cage is their home and they feel they need to defend it. and 2. that when keepers reach in to take them out they don't take the cage aggressiveness into consideration, so they get scared and don't take their chameleon out. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy if you don't take your chameleon out because it's mean, so it stays in it's cage and gets cage aggressive. I'm not saying that I take my chameleon out to play with it, only to put them on our lanai for free-range time outside, or to take them to vet or clean their cage.

Go for a temperature gun, instead of the thermometers - this way if/when you get multiple chameleons you can just point and shoot the temperatures in any cage (plus it helps check the temperature of your a/c coming out of your vents if you are having an issue!). Good luck!
 
#4
All very useful! Thanks so much, the both of you!
One thing regarding the price of panther chameleons that I have heard of is that crosses between locales (I don't intend to breed, don't worry) are cheaper. Is this true and if so is it all that much? Because, honestly, I don't really care at all if my chameleon is a purebred or not, as long as they are pretty and happy, and crosses seem to tick both of those boxes.
 
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