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How Hard Really Is Chameleon Care???

Discussion in 'Chameleons' started by SebastiansExotics, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. SebastiansExotics

    SebastiansExotics Elite Member

    I have ALWAYS been fascinated by these guys... Everyone always tells me they are so hard to care for and I am steered away... I have what I think would be a perfect setup... A 18x30x48 screen enclosure.

    What special care do these guys have as opposed to other reptiles?

    What is the easiest species to care for?
    I have heard veiled but just want to be sure...
  2. CourtneyAnn

    CourtneyAnn Elite Member

    I would suggest starting with veileds, they do get a bit on the larger side, but they are a bit more forgiving than others (at least as far as chams are concerned). I am still relatively new to them, but my 2 seem to be thriving (they are kept in separate enclosures, mind you). Just keep in mind the males and females have (slightly) different basking temp requirements.
  3. jeffk31

    jeffk31 Member

    Veileds, I think everyone would agree that those are a better species to start off with.

    There is nothing inherently difficult about keeping any chameleon, that is as long as you do your research and understand their care requirements before you go out and buy one, of course.

    Only thing someone might say about them is they are less forgiving then the more commonly kept lizards when it comes to things like temps and humidity levels. But like I said, just make sure you have a solid idea of what you're doing and have a good setup, and I don't see you running into any issues.
  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    Yes, from everything I've head too, veileds are the easiest. The main problems I hear of people running into is trying to keep enough humidity without losing too much ventilation. Chams do need a lot more air than the typical herp, however screen cages are the absolute worst for trying to keep a stable environment. If you do decide to get one, set the cage up way ahead, and get all your parameters set and stable before you bring one home. It doesn't take long at all for their health to suffer, and you won't have time to dial things in while it's in the cage.
  5. IWantReptiles

    IWantReptiles Well-Known Member

    I also have always wanted one. I looked into them but they looked a little TOO difficult.

    1st off, a Veiled Chameleon would be a good starter chameleon.

    2nd. Its a lot of care and management for a chameleon.

    For one, these guys DO need a screen cage, which is hard to find in IL without ordering off the internet. They always need running water, like a waterfall, because they won't detect still water. (I do not know how true this is though) Also, a lot of big plants are needed for climbing. They also need a specific light. (Again, don't know how true...)

    So basically you need:

    A Screen Cage (NO GLASS)
    Big Dripper (It holds water and drips into the cage to give water.)
    Plants (A LOT)
    Lighting (I do not know how much.)
    Waterfall (Not Needed, I think.)

    Also, chameleons do not like to be handled.

    So, I think it is a little too much, but if you can meet those requirements, go ahead and care for a cham!
  6. Darkbird

    Darkbird Moderator Staff Member

    I don't want to get into a big debate here, but screen cages only became popular because thats what breeders with climate controlled herp rooms were having success with. Then a couple of the major manufacturers figured out that a large screen cage could be built and shipped cheaply since they could be shipped flat and assembled buy the purchaser. A solid cage with a screen door or other significant venting area will work just fine, and be much easier to control conditions in. Glass however does cause issues, as they are somewhat territorial and being able to see their reflection is like having another cham around they can't get away from.
  7. Mandolihn

    Mandolihn Member

    I had always wanted a chameleon as well and started with two different kinds of geckos. After getting comfortable with reptile care, I started researching chams and found its not much more work than any other reptile.
    After research is done to know their exact parameters, it's a matter of daily feeding, providing either a dropper, a mister, or hand misting the enclosure for a couple of minutes twice a day, and knowing the personality of your Cham to know if it wants to be handled/receive attention, or just be left alone. I have had my veiled for two years now and love her dearly!
  8. buzz1ightyear

    buzz1ightyear New Member

    a veiled chameleon was my first pet reptile and i think would be a good first chameleon. my tips are use live plants not fake to help with humidity. also do your research to make sure they are safe as they do take bites out of the plants. mine did at first then stopped eating the plants soon after i got her. learn how to tell if you have a male or female its easy with veiled's and you will want a male. the get bigger and tend to have better coloration but most importantly the dont lay eggs. if you do get a female you will have to to have a lay box if you dont she will die. if you are wanting a pet the you can hold and carry around on your shoulder i would look for something different. chameleons are usually described as display animals and handling them will stress them out and lots of stress will cause health problems. chameleons are awesome pets and i dont think they are hard to to care for as long as you do your research they are a lot of fun to watch eat and see there behavior. good luck and enjoy what ever you decide to get.
  9. buzz1ightyear

    buzz1ightyear New Member

    i just looked at the dates and saw that this was an older thread. hopefully others can use this information to there advantage.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2016

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