Wanting To Get A Chameleon:

addisyn

New Member
Hello :)

I'm new to all this chameleon talk and I recently have become really interested in getting a chameleon for Christmas! I'm 14 and live in the Midwest and I'm wondering how I should care for my chameleon if I do end up getting one! Some questions I have are:

- What type of terrarium should I get and where should I place it in my room?
- What UV lights and types of plants should I put in the cage?
- Where do I keep their food and how often do I need to clean their cage?
- If I hold my chameleon, is it really stressful on them or am I able to do it?
- What's it like to own a chameleon? Pros and Cons!

If anyone is able to give me some tips on how to care for a chameleon properly and also persuade my parents into letting me get one, I would really appreciate it, haha! Thanks and have a great rest of your day!

- addi :)
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi welcome to the forum! It is so exciting to get a chameleon. Here are some important things to answer your questions

Lighting- linear UVB Reptisun T5 5.0, and a basking bulb aka a heat bulb. You can use a regular incandecent house bulb with no LED

Terrariums- I suggest going big in the beginning so you won't have to upgrade later. A reptibreze XL will be great!

Food- Crickets, Black soldier fly larvae, superworms, dubia roaches. (When your Chameleon is small, order small bugs)

Supplementation- this is a traditional method
1) every feeding use calcium without d3 ( except the days you use the others)
2) Twice a month use a calcium with d3
3) twice a month use a multivitamin without d3.

You will need to gutload your bugs before feeding them to your Chameleon. You can use sweet potatoes, collard greens, carrots, mustard greens. (There are more, I can attach a chart)

Some great plants to use are- pothos plants, umbrella plants, spider plants. (I can send a sheet for that also)

Make sure your cage is full with plants, and your chameleon has UVB and basking spots.

Here are some links:
https://www.googleadservices.com/pa...099YWv0VCSMIhjnFribVoSEOE462OYRs3q85-wzSU5r7E
UVB (Get a 24" with the reptibreze XL)
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
Owning a chameleon takes commitment. Getting the correct info in the beginning is important. Chamelons aren't always going to enjoy being held, but you can still do it. ??? Some bugs need to be kept in the fridge, some in the dark. I suggest putting your cage where there is lots of natural lighting. My chamelon LOVES the light that comes through the window. Though UVB can not penetrate through windows, it's still great to see them enjoy it! ☀️ Clean the poop out of the cage once it is dry. There is a cleaner you can use to clean the bottom that Id safe to use. I will have to find it.

????
 

addisyn

New Member
This is so helpful! Thanks.

I also was wondering if I have to be an "experienced owner" to actually have a chameleon. I have read some online websites and most of those sites say you must be an advanced owner. I'm not really sure!

On the other hand, what website should I get my cage? Is it available on Amazon or a local pet store? Thanks again for all the help. This really motivates me and now I'm not as scared!
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
When I got a chameleon, I was not super experienced with reptiles. I had had anoles a couple of years back. As long as you have the right information and setup, it will go well. There may be times when your chameleon needs to go to the vet, so consider vet bills as well.

For the cage, The reptibreze XL can be bought on Amazon.

But, another great place to get other cages is on dragonstrand.com. There are sets that have perfect size cages. Bioactive enclosures are preferred, so dragon strand ledges that are used in bioactive enclosures come in those sets. Those ledges help put the sticks diagonally. ? ?(y)
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Lots more to learn...best to learn as much as possible before you get the chameleon.

I wouldn't buy one under 3 months of age for your first time.

If you get a veiled chameleon, the males are usually feistier but you don't have to worry about reproductive issues with them. The females will usually lay eggs every 120 or so days once they get their adult colors (mustardy yellow brownish splotches and blue dots) so you need to learn about that....and provide a place for her to lay them....and don't overfeed her or keep her too warm once she gets her big girl colors. You can ask more about that if you end up with a female.

Panther males are easier going usually but more expensive....females can have the same reproductive issues as the veiled females. Panthers are more expensive.

It's best to have real plants since veileds will eat leaves and other plant parts. You don't want them chewing on a fake one.

Many substrates can cause problems if ingested...proper bioactive seems to be ok though. They may try to eat pot soil too.

Hopefully @Beman and @MissSkittles can give you links to some sites to read and to the gutloading chart.

You will need to provide water though misting and the use of a dripper.

Supplements are important....and you have to be careful with the D3 and prEformed vitamin A. (Vitamin A has two sources/those prOformed (carotenes) and prEformed (retinol, retinyl, etc). The prOformed sources are safe. The prEformed sources can build up in the system and lead to health problems. D3 from supplements can build up too...but D3 produced from the UVB from the light shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it when it wants to.

No lights at night...no coloured lights during the day either.

Don't put the cage by the window if you live in a cold (in winter) area or if the sun will shine directly on it if you get a glass cage...it may overheat during the day and be crafty at night. Remember, the chameleon is "trapped" and can't move out of the cage if it gets too hot or drafty.

I know this is a lot to absorb. (I've likely missed things! )Read it a few times and ask if you her any questions! You are smart to ask and learn before you get chameleon! Good on you!
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is so helpful! Thanks.

I also was wondering if I have to be an "experienced owner" to actually have a chameleon. I have read some online websites and most of those sites say you must be an advanced owner. I'm not really sure!

On the other hand, what website should I get my cage? Is it available on Amazon or a local pet store? Thanks again for all the help. This really motivates me and now I'm not as scared!
Absolutely! ????
 

CBee7726

Avid Member
Hey there and welcome to the forum! :)

I have found this website to be a really helpful place to get started: https://chameleonacademy.com/
I highly recommend reading through the entire husbandry program, as well as the species profile for the one you decide to get. It might seem like drinking from a firehose at first, but we're here to help you out too.

I'm going to echo what others have said already: the lighting requirements, cage requirements, diet & supplementation requirements are all super important to ensuring you have a happy and healthy chameleon. There is a reason for the recommendations made by some of our enthusiasts, and the cheaper products out there are often insufficient. Chameleons aren't cheap pets by any means, and you want to set yourself up for success as much as possible. I would also consider setting up the cage ahead of time prior to your cham's arrival, so that you're ready to go! I found that choosing & arranging live plants within the cage is a fun part of the hobby.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Academy is a great site for detailed information & learning.
That said, I'm not sure it's the first place I would go or send a first-timer.

First, I would go to Clint's Reptiles to help decide if a chameleon is the best pet for you.
That should be enough to get to the hard part: How to Convince Your Family That You Should Get a Reptile

My next recommendation would be to peruse a few articles on costs of owning a chameleon.
There will be a range of opinions (which is good). To be completely honest, I would be prepared for the most expensive estimates, and hope for the least. Unless your parents are fairly well off, reality will likely be somewhere between the high and low estimates, but there are always contingencies and unforeseen expenses.

If that step works out, I would watch Which Chameleon Should I Get? which describes the 3 most common chameleons kept as pets, Pros & Cons, and IMO the best choices for first-timers.

Pay particular attention to lifespans of the various species & sexes. Keeping an exotic animal is a commitment for the lifetime of that animal.

If at that point you can decide which species you'd like to care for, I'd read everything in the
Resources section of this site.

Then I would move on to Chameleon Academy to make sure you're fully informed and prepared for this adventure.

Best Wishes, and Good Luck! :)
 
Last edited:

addisyn

New Member
Hey there and welcome to the forum! :)

I have found this website to be a really helpful place to get started: https://chameleonacademy.com/
I highly recommend reading through the entire husbandry program, as well as the species profile for the one you decide to get. It might seem like drinking from a firehose at first, but we're here to help you out too.

I'm going to echo what others have said already: the lighting requirements, cage requirements, diet & supplementation requirements are all super important to ensuring you have a happy and healthy chameleon. There is a reason for the recommendations made by some of our enthusiasts, and the cheaper products out there are often insufficient. Chameleons aren't cheap pets by any means, and you want to set yourself up for success as much as possible. I would also consider setting up the cage ahead of time prior to your cham's arrival, so that you're ready to go! I found that choosing & arranging live plants within the cage is a fun part of the hobby.
Okay! This is all very helpful to me! Thanks so much.
 

addisyn

New Member
Chameleon Academy is a great site for detailed information & learning.
That said, I'm not sure it's the first place I would go or send a first-timer.

First, I would go to Clint's Reptiles to help decide if a chameleon is the best pet for you.
That should be enough to get to the hard part: How to Convince Your Family That You Should Get a Reptile

My next recommendation would be to peruse a few articles on costs of owning a chameleon.
There will be a range of opinions (which is good). To be completely honest, I would be prepared for the most expensive estimates, and hope for the least. Unless your parents are fairly well off, reality will likely be somewhere between the high and low estimates, but there are always contingencies and unforeseen expenses.

If that step works out, I would watch Which Chameleon Should I Get? which describes the 3 most common chameleons kept as pets, Pros & Cons, and IMO the best choices for first-timers.

Pay particular attention to lifespans of the various species & sexes. Keeping an exotic animal is a commitment for the lifetime of that animal.

If at that point you can decide which species you'd like to care for, I'd read everything in the
Resources section of this site.

Then I would move on to Chameleon Academy to make sure you're fully informed and prepared for this adventure.

Best Wishes, and Good Luck! :)
Reading this was great too! Y'all are very kind and I really appreciate all of the websites and tips I have been given. Thank you for this message as well. I liked this one by means of different websites and links. Have a good one!
 

addisyn

New Member
Lots more to learn...best to learn as much as possible before you get the chameleon.

I wouldn't buy one under 3 months of age for your first time.

If you get a veiled chameleon, the males are usually feistier but you don't have to worry about reproductive issues with them. The females will usually lay eggs every 120 or so days once they get their adult colors (mustardy yellow brownish splotches and blue dots) so you need to learn about that....and provide a place for her to lay them....and don't overfeed her or keep her too warm once she gets her big girl colors. You can ask more about that if you end up with a female.

Panther males are easier going usually but more expensive....females can have the same reproductive issues as the veiled females. Panthers are more expensive.

It's best to have real plants since veileds will eat leaves and other plant parts. You don't want them chewing on a fake one.

Many substrates can cause problems if ingested...proper bioactive seems to be ok though. They may try to eat pot soil too.

Hopefully @Beman and @MissSkittles can give you links to some sites to read and to the gutloading chart.

You will need to provide water though misting and the use of a dripper.

Supplements are important....and you have to be careful with the D3 and prEformed vitamin A. (Vitamin A has two sources/those prOformed (carotenes) and prEformed (retinol, retinyl, etc). The prOformed sources are safe. The prEformed sources can build up in the system and lead to health problems. D3 from supplements can build up too...but D3 produced from the UVB from the light shouldn't as long as the chameleon can move in and out of it when it wants to.

No lights at night...no coloured lights during the day either.

Don't put the cage by the window if you live in a cold (in winter) area or if the sun will shine directly on it if you get a glass cage...it may overheat during the day and be crafty at night. Remember, the chameleon is "trapped" and can't move out of the cage if it gets too hot or drafty.

I know this is a lot to absorb. (I've likely missed things! )Read it a few times and ask if you her any questions! You are smart to ask and learn before you get chameleon! Good on you!
OK! I do have one question-

i am wanting to get a cage but not a glass one, one with like mesh I suppose! In the summer, am I able to put the cage near my window to let my chameleon get natural sunlight or should I still let it be somewhere in like an open area?

My room is huge, it's in the basement and I have a lot of space, along with wall space. Can you hang your cage on a wall or should it be on like a ledge or a dresser? Thanks again for helping me out. I think I want to invest in a male chameleon because I think all the tiny babies would stress me out a little more, although females seem amazing. Thank you again, very much appreciated!
 

addisyn

New Member
ALSO-

If I'm not here or inactive while the chat is responding with great stuff, you can always contact me on Instagram about any information that you have: @addimusser.

Thanks again!
 

Fchamel

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would suggest putting your cage in a place where it is not too hot and not too cold. You can manage the humidity and temp levels easier. Put the cage on a table, probably the same length of a countertop to the floor or more. Chameleons feel safer when up high since they are tree dwellers. Female chameleon lay infertile eggs, so they would not be fertile unless a male chameleon fertilizes them.
 
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