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Posted by charm_paradise on April 20, 2003 at 12:06:13:
In Reply to: Beginner Chameleon posted by shyguy4217 on April 20, 2003 at 00:08:35:
5 Most Common Asked
What chameleon is best for the new guy?
The chameleon recommended for the new guy would
be a Veild 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. Veild 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. Veilds come from Yemen,
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.
What kind of cage do I need for a
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
doesnít 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 cage. 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
veild or panther chameleon.
What type of lighting and heating do I
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 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 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 doesnít 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 donít 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 socket.
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 (Veilds). 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 donít use them until
they are in season ( available at your local pet shop ). You can buy them year
round online at
feeding insects to your chameleon you need to gut load, and crickets are easily
gut loaded with commercially available foods like Flukerís 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 the cage?
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.
: I am interested in chameleons and would like to know more about them. I would appreciate it if you can answer these questions or provide me with a good website that answers them.
:What is a good first chameleon?
:What is the cage size/temp/humidity needed?
:Can you handle them?
:How big do they get and how do they live?
:Do you know of any reliable breeders where I can buy one?