Low budget enclosure setup

As I´ve seen many builds here, I´m still surprised how many people don´t use the enclosure space to it´s fullest, just saying every inch of space you use, is an inch more space for your chameleon. Building an enclosure with Dragon Strand is the easiest way, especially with the Dragon Ledges. Unfortunately, (after personal contact), I wasn´t able to get my hands on such beautiful enclosure, due the high shipping prizes getting it to Europe. That left me with the only alternative, a Zoo Med ReptiBreeze X-Large.

So how did I manage to create instead of this....

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This.......!


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First of all, commercial manbo chambo is way too expensive and most of the items aren´t chameleon proof. This is one reason why builders probably are withheld from fully fill-up an enclosure.
I just wanna share this with you, that it isn´t so expensive with little creativity or help, however resulting in something benefical for your chameleon. My last build was pure with natural products for a minimum of costs. So what did I use for the full setup as bioactive enclosure, on which the bioactive part can be left aside. And off-course you´re freely to choice your hardware (left that part out), it´s only recommended to use a plant led light. They´re cheap these days and are extremely beneficial for your plants grow nicely and it brings extra light in your enclosure.

So what´s inside? And what tools are needed?
Basically you only need allot of zip-ties, a driller with several diameters of metal drills and cutter for shortening the zip-ties.

First I drilled holes in the frame (aluminium) with 1" distance between each other, big enough to get small zip-tie through. Put zip-tie through it, tighten it up and leave on the a gap in the inside. This will be your anchor point for fixating your branches.

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Also I ordered 2 Forex (plastic) plates 24"x48" with a forest print on it. The print isn´t directly needed, if money would be an issue, however it will give you a great effect. You can all kind of thin plastic plates. I ordered also a smaller plate for lower part as extra privacy (for egg laying) and stability for mounting branches and plant pots.

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The Forex plates I mounted on the outside of the enclosure using the hole pattern of the ReptiBreeze, drilled the holes, and used the original screws. The other plastic plate I also placed on the outside, drilled holes through it, big enough for zip-ties and zip-tied it. The loops on the inside you use as fixation points.

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Next I mounted the plant pots, just drilled holes through the Forex / plastic plates and zip-tied them up. Used the the 2 opposite top corners of the back wall and the 2 lower corners in the front and mounted them on the sides walls. From that start point, I´ve started putting in branches, used real branches from my garden, and started connecting all plant pots with branches. Keeping in mind, that I wanted to hang a pot in the middle, in my case the Schefflera. In front I used the Spider and Paper plant, because they grow upwards and fill the front, in the top back I used the Pothos and Lipstick plant, they grow all the way down. Somewhere in the middle I´ve placed the Silver Sword and Bromelia, just to fill-up space. The Madagascar Jasmine I placed all through the enclosure, creating small walkable branches.

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All together the complete build-up cost me $130.00 (without the bioactive part) and that was already $60.00 for the printed plates. Using 4 Exo Terra vines and a fake plant or two, would cost the same amount of money, and I see a big difference in the first and second pictured enclosure, imagine how your chameleon would see this.

The misting nozzles I placed through the Forex plates, and such manner they mist all plants. The leaves will hold the water for drinking and due dense foliage water runs from leave to leave watering the soil of the plants. This my top screen is kept clean for the light fixtures.

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This just in short, how I build my enclosure and please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like any help with your build.

If you want to use a fogger for this setup, here are you some modifications I made to maximum usage of your fogger.
- Hobby Hygro System (https://www.dohse-terraristik.com/en/p/37249/Hygro-System ) modified conform following (https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/fogger-tube-modification.181357/ )

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