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Chameleon Husbandry FAQ's
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This is not a good idea because chameleons require good air circulation and the high humidity required can breed harmful bacteria in stagnate air. There are some species of ground dwelling chameleons that may be housed in aquariums, but care should still be taken to keep the air fresh.Want More INFO?
What size should my cage be?
A good formula for calculating this is:
(HBL=snout to vent length)
For arboreal (height loving tree dwellers) species:
short side of bottom = 3 x HBL - long side of bottom = 4 x HBL - height = 6 x HBL
For terrestrial (ground dwellers) species i.e. Brookesia:
short side of bottom = 4 x HBL - long side of bottom = 6 x HBL - height = 4 x HBL
So a Veiled measuring 10 inches HBL would need an enclosure measuring 30" X 40" X 60"
The better cages are constructed from either a poly coated hardware screen or from "Petscreen" which is a poly coated fiberglass. A common design feature is to provide good drainage for accumulation of water from misting.
This is a bad idea for two reasons:
1. Crickets will eat through it and escape.
2. Chameleons can damage their feet in the smaller and more course holes in the screen.
UVB is Ultra violet light generally defined as the wavelength band from 290-320nm. It is needed for its ability to aid in the body's production of vitamin D3 (D3) in the skin. It is healthier for this to be produced by the body rather than through dietary supplements. Healthy amounts of D3 help prevent Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) by aiding the production of calcium.Do I need a basking lamp or heat rock?
A basking lamp is required to help the chameleon regulate their body temperature. Heat rocks as well as black lights or night heat sources are not necessary, and should be avoided. Chameleons need a night temperature drop of 10 - 15 degrees.
Water/HydrationHow much water do chameleons require?
While they may not drink a lot, you should offer it in the form of a dripper, mist sprayer, or automatic sprinkler system several times a day for 3-5 minutes each time. They are very unlikely to drink standing water from a bowl. If it is not moving they are not interested.
The two best methods are by using a dripper and misting with a sprayer. A combination of both is a good idea.
Waterfalls can have a very pleasing aesthetic value for the owner, and your chameleon will probably drink from them, HOWEVER, They must be cleaned frequently. Most people will not take the time to do that, and therefore it is strongly recommended that they not be used. If a rigorous cleaning cycle is not followed, bacteria which breed in them, can be deadly to you chameleon.Want More INFO?
Tap water is fine. Some people prefer to have the tap water to sit out in an open container before using, which allows chlorine to evaporate. You can use distilled water if you choose. Some people go to great lengths to collect rain water because it contains natural minerals.
How do I select the best chameleon for me?
There are a few things to consider when selecting a chameleon:
1. Captive bred or wild caught - if at all possible select a captive bred specimen. They may cost a little more, but they are generally healthier and more parasite free.
2. Species - there are several good species for a first chameleon, each preferred for different reasons. Some of the more readily available and easier to care for species include veileds, panthers, and Jacksons.
3. Where should I get it? The best place to acquire a chameleon is from a breeder.
4. Health - sunken eyes, mucus around the mouth, and day sleeping are all signs of sickness
If you are CERTAIN that they are pesticide free, then many wild caught insects are well received as TREATS by the chameleon.
Crickets are the staple of the chameleon's diet. The crickets should be well fed because they are really only the container for the real food. Silkworms are also very nutritious. Mealworms are usually available as a optional change, and waxworms can be used as a treat.
How do I know if I have a male or female chameleon?
Many chameleon species are sexually dimorphic meaning males and females have different physical characteristics such as horns and spurs.
Breeding chameleons can be very difficult and requires patience and knowledge of your specific breed. Each breed has different needs and habits.