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Posted by charm_paradise on May 05, 2003 at 22:01:15:
In Reply to: New To Lizards posted by TheNakedCowboy1 on May 05, 2003 at 21:16:21:
5 Most Common Asked Questions
What chameleon is best
for the new guy?
The chameleon recommended
for the new guy would be a Veiled or panther chameleon. They are very hearty for
a chameleon but not a walk in the park. Both can handle swings in temperature
and humidity for a short period of time. Veiled chameleons are the most widely
available chameleon and the cheapest. The panther chameleons cost a lot more but
give you a much more colorful chameleon and a lot more colors to choose from.
Veileds come from Yemen, and Saudi Arabia which is in a desert sub
tropical environment. They require a higher temperature (100F basking area) and
lower (60%) humidity. Panthers come from Madagascar which is a tropical region
and like a slightly lower temperature (80-90 basking area) and much higher
humidity (80+%). Both are available as CB (captive breed) and the panthers are
available as WC (wild caught). You want to get CB chameleon, as they are raised
in captivity and adapt much easier and less problems to worry about.
What kind of cage do
I need for a chameleon?
Chameleons need to be
housed in an all screen cage. Do not keep chameleons in all glass aquariums.
Glass tanks cause many problems for chameleon. Since they are made of glass
which is reflective, and the chameleon can see its reflection, this causes
stress. The glass also doesn’t allow for airflow, this causes stagnant air and
high heat and humidity which leads to URI (upper respiratory infection). The
glass also causes burns from the heat lamp warming the tank. Also the glass
grows bad bacteria and all these problems cause constant stress and disease
which leads to the death in no time at all. You will need in an all screen cage
that is at least 24in. L x 24in.W x 48in. H ( L.= length, W.= width, H.= height
) for a full grown of adult veiled or panther chameleon.
What type of lighting
and heating do I need?
There are two different
ways of lighting and heating a chameleon cage. The first way is the older proven
way, which is with a UVB fluorescent bulb and a 100w or less basking bulb. This
way you will need a Zoomed Repti-Sun 5.0 fluorescent UVB bulb and a fluorescent
fixture to fit the bulb. Then you will also need a 100w or less basking bulb
(you can use a bulb that puts off visible light or a ceramic bulb that does not
put off visible light. The difference is the visible light doesn’t last very
long and will need to be replaced about every three to four months and costs
less. The ceramic bulb which last over one year, cost more, but lasts longer. )
and one, 8.5 inch dome reflector with a ceramic socket. The second way is with
a 100w mercury vapor bulb which combines both UVB & UVA and heat in one bulb.
(I use the mercury vapor bulbs on all my cages.) You would use a Zoomed Power
Sun or Big Apple Capture The Sun bulb (U.S. only). I do not recommend the T-rex
Active UV bulbs because they don’t last long. The mercury vapor bulbs have a one
year warranty and produce a much better UVB light that can penetrate up to 6ft.
These bulbs are a newer way of lighting and heating a cage, and so far have
worked great for me. You will save money by combining the two in one, and on
the light fixtures. You only need one 10in. dome reflector with a porcelain
What do I feed my
chameleon and how do I give it water?
Chameleons eat insects as
their main diet, some will eat plant matter (Veileds). The most widely
available insects are crickets, meal worms, wax worms, and super worms. The
only one of those that is good for a staple diet would be crickets; all the
others are good only as treats. Another insect that is good as a staple diet is
the silk worms. They are the best staple diet, but require special food and
needs so most people don’t use them until they are in season ( available at your
local pet shop ). You can buy them year round online at
www.ebay.com. Before feeding insects to
your chameleon you need to gut load, and crickets are easily gut loaded with
commercially available foods like Fluker’s cricket feed. You will also need to
get the vitamin/calcium supplements (dust) to dust the insects you feed to your
chameleon. Depending on the age of the chameleon depends on how often you dust
the insects; follow the directions on the bottle. For water, chameleons do not
drink from bowls; they lick water droplets from leaves. You will need a dripper
or an automatic mister. The drippers are a plastic jug that has a control valve
that allows you to control the number of drops released. The dripper will need
to be refilled every day with new water, and a small bowl will need to be placed
on the bottom of the cage to collect access water from the dripper. The dripper
should be placed so it drips on the leaves of the plants in the cage. The
automatic mister is a complete misting set up and runs off a programmable
timer. There is a 5gal. reservoir that the pump connects to and turns on by the
timer settings. You can hook multiple cages up to a misting system. You will
also need a hand spray bottle if you use a dripper and will need to mist the
cage at least three times per day.
What do I put inside
You will want to use a
combination of live plants and vines. The plants that are nontoxic to reptiles
can be found on my
website. The most common plants used are
Ficus trees, Ploth plants which are more like a vine, and Umbrella trees. Just
make sure the plants you buy are on the nontoxic plant list. Bio Vines by Exo-Terra
are good for making walking places from tree to tree or from side to side in the
cage. I like to use them in the top of the cage to allow the chameleon to get
right under his or her basking lamp. You can use small black plastic UV
resistant zip ties to secure the vines to the screen on the cage. The Bio Vines
come in three different sizes (thickness) and in 6ft. sections.
Hope this helps, visit my website for links to good websites with lots of info on just chameleons, just click on the link below!