Want a cham...

ferco

New Member
hi there; i've been reading eveything i can find on chams, book, web blogs, web info, am a member of like 4 forums... now i just want to check that i can actully own a chameleon...
Can i own one after very little reptile experience?
How much time do i need to devote to it every day?
Can i keep a 'low maintenance' cham if i run a busy life...?
Can i keep a cham in an aquairum... if i set it up right; i have seen lots of people doing this...?
how much does a usual setup cost; like with humidifier and stuff...

I would be gratefu lfor any info anyone can give me, thanks for looking.
 

Jordan

New Member
I would first find a species that interest you then look into specifics regarding their requirements.

hi there; i've been reading eveything i can find on chams, book, web blogs, web info, am a member of like 4 forums... now i just want to check that i can actully own a chameleon...
Can i own one after very little reptile experience?

Yes, I would recommend that you start with a veiled. They are hardy because they can handle a wide range of temperatures and humidities. I think they are good for first time chameleon owners because they are aggressive and show the owner chameleons do not like to be handled.

How much time do i need to devote to it every day?

This will really depend on the set-up you have. Automation is a beautiful thing with these animals that will take a lot of the stress off you. If you just want one regardless of the set-up it will not take to much time you just have to be consistent.

Can i keep a 'low maintenance' cham if i run a busy life...?

This will depend on the money you want to spend. I would consider timers on the lights as a "must". If you get a mister and humidifier on timers this would eliminate alot of time a day. The misting system will have to be filled and have a safety of some sort for if it runs dry to override shutting itself down. Cleaning feces can be done daily or every couple of days. Feeding will be daily for the first several months some then go with an every other day schedule.

Can i keep a cham in an aquairum... if i set it up right; i have seen lots of people doing this...?

When young you could do something like that. I personally would not recommend that for anything over 4 months. They are arboreal they only know living in trees. An aquarium only offers side to side not up and down. They do not allow the chameleon to have a good temperature gradient, they dry slow, some species can be stress by reflection, create stagnant air, and are usually bad about bacteria growth. There are screen caging options that are far cheaper then buying a big sized aquarium. Screened cages are better for almost all reptiles.

how much does a usual setup cost; like with humidifier and stuff...

For a 24"x24"x48" screen cage $60-159, flourescent uvB bulb $15-25 (size and brand dependent), ballist for these lights $8-20, dome light reflector $5-10, 4 pack of incandescent light bulbs (basking bulb) $2-6, misting systems $50-200, humidifier $20-45 (dependent on brand and output), hardware for custimizing it to your requirements $10-25, if all of these where to be on timers $30-120, drippers $free-12, plants of interest $8-40 each, vines variable sizes $6-12 a pack, digital thermometer/hydrometer $12-40, calcium supplements $4-and up, vitamin supplements $4-and up, food amount are widely variable and the cost of the chameleon. I would do first pick out a species that interest you. Do research on them. Some of these species may never need something like a humidifier if the place you are staying has alright humidity. The complex misting system may not be needed either. You can go some window shopping online. On the home page links to lllreptile, and big apple herp they have some good prices.


I would be gratefu lfor any info anyone can give me, thanks for looking.
 

Tygerr

Avid Member
Can i own one after very little reptile experience?
Chameleons are challenging animals to keep, but it is possible to keep them with little experience, PROVIDED you have researched their needs thoroughly, are adequately prepared BEFORE you get the animal, and put time and effort into meeting its requirements once you have the animal.

A lot of the work involved with chameleons involves their food: keeping and properly gutloading a variety of insects. Previous experience with insectivores will make this part of chameleon keeping easier.

How much time do i need to devote to it every day?
Can i keep a 'low maintenance' cham if i run a busy life...?
I don't think there is any chameleon that is more 'low maintenance' than any of the others. There are some that are hardier and more tolerant of sub-optimal conditions (e.g. Veiled and Panther chameleons), but all of them require regular maintenance.
You will need to feed your cham daily, mist/spray its cage at least twice daily, fill up drippers daily, clean its cage of droppings and other plant debris often (if not daily), and then feed and clean your chameleon's food daily.
You will need to devote at least 30mins before work, and 30mins after work every day. But of course I'd recommend that you set aside a lot more time than that if you want the best for your cham.

Can i keep a cham in an aquairum... if i set it up right; i have seen lots of people doing this...?
It is possible, and many people use aquariums for younger or smaller chams. However, it is not recommended for most chams because there isn't always adequate ventilation (chams need good airflow - like they would get up in a tree out in the wild), and also the glass poses problems for chams. Sometimes they can't see it, and get frustrated when they walk into it and can't get through it. Sometimes they can see their own reflection in the glass and this stresses them out because they perceive the reflection as an invading cham in their territory.
I think kinyonga has used aquariums successfully before. He might be able to give you more info.

how much does a usual setup cost; like with humidifier and stuff...
I can't help you with that. I am in South Africa, and prices will be different (I know that chams and reptile equipment are generally more expensive here than the US).
But try these links for more info:
The Costs of Keeping Chameleons
Before Buying a Veiled Chameleon
 
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ferco

New Member
cool thanks you guys; looks as if i wouldn't have enough time to look after a cham- and im certainly not going to get one if i can't spend enough time, it wouldn't be fair. I'm still going to read up on them and everything, it may turn out that i get one after leaving college... i have had experience with feeding insects and preparing them for well being fed lol;
For a whilr i kept Archer fish, the proper Brackish ones
Some of my videos can be seen here
They were a lot of fun a dead intersting but unfortunately i had to sell them on as i could no longer care for them... someone told me about pygmy chams and THEY said they required less attention coz they are so small and are there for easier to keep- this dosn't sound right to me but i thought i'd ask just in case...
i was thinking of something like a panther cham as i have read they are the 'best' for beginners... so it depends... i may hold of for a few years 'till i have plenty of time to spend with it
thanks for all your help
 

Lunatic913

New Member
make sure you have some money saved up on the side just incase you have to take your cham to the vet and need to pay for any medications, because this alone can be a lil expensive.
 

Jordan

New Member
Archer fish are awesome. They spit water, can jump and mate in the air. What else is there in a cool fish.
 

jleahl

New Member
I'm still a newbie, and I have three pygmy chams right now. They are not "easier" necessarily....you still have to mist them, feed them, clean their cage. They ARE easier to keep in a tank, because they need higher humidity than some of the larger chameleons, and are more adapted to living closer to the ground. Compared with some pets, I think chameleons aren't a lot of trouble....but I've had lots of kinds of animals. The biggest pain is just taking care of the crickets, but since we have frogs, too, we were already doing that. It might be a little harder to find the very small crix pygmys require...

My son (who "owns" the chams, a newt, two frogs and a nano reef tank) wants to someday own archer fish, too. :rolleyes:
 

Hempa

New Member
Why keep them in a aquarium when you simply can build a terrarium from your aquarium. You can give them good ventilation that way. And you get a higher tank.

I keep my cham in a glassterr with no problem. Just keep it clean just like mentioned here earlier. The reflectionproblem can be solved in different ways with paint, silicone etc. I solved with a plastic that usually used in bathroom to make windows frosty (so noone can see you when taking a shower =)).

But I live in the cold sweden so a netcage is probably better if you live i a warmer climate.
 

chrisandpugs

New Member
Hi!
Regarding expense, I think a big consideration is the live insect expense especially starting off and buying a baby C.! To buy extra small silkworms and crickets appropriate to the size of the C., it will mean mail-ordering insects because pet stores don't carry silkworms and only pin head size crickets. It is an expense to consider because there is usually a minimun order and the extra cost of shipping.
Again, it's all part of the overall expense. Just trying to be honest. Not cheap even if you own one C.

Christine
 
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