About to build my first Cage. For my first Cham.

Discussion in 'Enclosures And Supplies' started by Salty, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Salty

    Salty New Member

    I have never had a cham but I do have a saltwater reef tank. I reciently discovered chameleons about 2 weeks ago while trying to find a lizard for my son. He wound up with Geckos. I on the other hand, am going to get a sub adult male panther cham!!!
    So, I am searching for ideas for my cage project. I do not know anyone with a cham and this is my first post on this site. I thought I'd run by you guys what I have so far and see what you think, if you don't mind... I am going to try attaching a pic that is the general shape and size of what I think would be good. But with some differances...

    The actual cage portion is going to be about 4 and a half feet tall, 2 feet deep and 2 and a half or 3 feet wide.

    1. Instead of wood, I think PVC 1x4's would be easier to keep clean and they should hold up better against the moisture.

    2. To keep the humidity level I am thinking 2 foggers on timers will be good, I think 2 of them should run 4 nozzels at differant levels to get high, middle and bottom.

    Was wondering if you thought that would be good and if so... what brand and size...

    3. Also going to put a mister on a timer.... any preferance on mister brand and size??

    4. I'll get 2 of the 4 foot lights. 65 K. One for each side of the cage. I do not know what kind of lights to put on top, for the live tree or the cham.

    5. I am going to use black aluminum screen.

    6. The back wall is not going to be screen. It is going to be FRP Board. (Plastic sheet used for the wall in a shower) The reason for this is to keep moisture off my house wall that it will be sitting against. Excess moisture will fall into the collecting trey that will be mentioned in a second.

    7. The bottom will also be screen so that moisture and waste can fall through.

    8. Under the screen floor will be a compartment made of FRP board with a removeable plastic trey to easily remove the water and waste that fell.

    9. Under that compartment will be another compartment where I will keep the mister and the foggers.

    10. I will use one live tree in a pot in the center of the cage and a lot of fake vegitation and fake vines. I figure this will be easier to maintain and still have some of the benifits of live vegitation.

    11. I am also thinking about adding a waterfall, not sure at what level to put it... high, middle or lower....

    12. I will also have 3 or four sets of temp and humidity gauges in differant places so I can moniter and adjust differant areas for optimal climate control.

    13. Just for fun I am thinking about adding a small black light to set off some of the fake flowers and It will probably make the cham look cool too.

    14. I am also thinking about hanging a fake vine and vegitation from the celing above the cage. One end will be long enough to put into the cage when the door is open. This will give the cham kind of an expansion and he can hang out up by the celing some times.

    15. I figure aquarium safe silicone should be good for finishing touches and cealing any cracks.

    Are all of these ideas good ones? Is there anything you would do differantly or something that you would add to make it cooler?? Any input would be great.

    I appriciate all constructive criticism and ideas. What would you do if you were building the cage you want.

    Attached Files:

  2. mychamtini112012

    mychamtini112012 New Member

    I have a post about the cage I'm building, I'll attach it soon. I hope this helped you a bit. :D
  3. mychamtini112012

    mychamtini112012 New Member

  4. Salty

    Salty New Member

    You say waterfalls are bad and chams won't drink standing water? I figured that the moving water from the waterfall would help keep it from gathering bacteria...Not sure where I read that waterfalls were a good idea.. OH!!! and throw me an idea on what els you think I should add to make my cage super kick ash :) I must have forgotten something, or be unawhere of something that people always think... I wish my cage had..........
  5. Salty

    Salty New Member

    I am thinking about buying this little guy, what do you think?? I think he is six months old..

    Attached Files:

  6. Salty

    Salty New Member

    and what do you mean plant the tree in a differant... Do you mean differant from the fake vegitation?
  7. reptoman

    reptoman Avid Member

  8. mychamtini112012

    mychamtini112012 New Member

    Nope nope. Waterfalls are a big no no. Everyone wants a mistking. They are amazing. A variety of different plants. Ummm...I'm just putting a planters box on the bottom so I don't have to mess with the drainage and anything. Like put the plant in a different pot, a clean one that hasn't been touched with any of the pesticides or other chemicals that could of been in the other soil.

    He looks good. I'm wanting to put a nosy faly in my cage for the first cham inside it. :)
  9. reptoman

    reptoman Avid Member

    If you are running enough volume of water often enough to make sure your cham is hydrated you are going to over water the plants in the planter. You really need a drainage plan for the extra water. JMO
  10. mychamtini112012

    mychamtini112012 New Member

    Hmmm...you're the first person to say anything about that possibility. Everyone else said its a good idea. How do think would be the best way to drain a planters box.?
  11. Solid Snake

    Solid Snake Avid Member

    This is the best pic I have of the light I mentioned.
    View attachment 48241
    I think you will do well. You seem to have thought this out thoroughly. Do as much research as you can before, and after you get the chameleon.
    Keep the questions coming, and update us when you start your build. ;)
    #11 Solid Snake, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2012
  12. Davonat

    Davonat New Member

    Nice cham... Looks good. As for your cage ...if you want to go wood and look sharp you can paint with exterior paint or like me use Oak and spar varnish finish. no problems with moisture. use aluminium screen for the sides and 1/4" square hardware cloth for the top, this will let in ALOT more UVB! You can also run strips of packaging tape around the edges of the top if you think crickets can get to it...this will stop them from escapeing. Im going to build a new super cage soon.... I will post pics of the build.... I am a custom cabinet Maker by trade... been doing it since 1975. You will get lots of info here! You came to the rite place... look up a general Panther care sheet and be prepaired to buy stuff!;) Looking forward to your cage... got any build questions dont be afraid to ask me. Dave

    I will be useing a Zoo Med Slider Hood....It comes in a 36" length & Has all the rite stuff...but not cheap
  13. reptoman

    reptoman Avid Member

    You could setup some kind of drip pan or build your own drain table like I use. Its a pretty simple idea but it works great for me. I have 11 cages going on the same drip system and go through about 1 1/2 gallons of water a day. I empty the litter buckets once a week and it works out really well. The plants that I have under the dripper are setup so they drain really well. When I've had them where they retained too much water the plants died after about a month. Make sure you have rocks in the bottom or the planter to keep the soil intact but it lets water run through keeping it watered but not drowning.
  14. Solid Snake

    Solid Snake Avid Member

  15. Salty

    Salty New Member

    I use RODI water for my saltwater reef aquarium. Was wondering if it would be good to use the same water for everything envolving my cham??
  16. Solid Snake

    Solid Snake Avid Member

    What does the DI stand for? Im assuming RO is reverse osmossis. RO is great to use for the chameleon.
  17. Salty

    Salty New Member

    DI stands for De Ionized
  18. Solid Snake

    Solid Snake Avid Member

    ;)Got it! Yes use that!
  19. Salty

    Salty New Member

    Sweet :) I have 50 Gallons on hand all the time next to my water heater. I love it when things just work out :)
  20. Salty

    Salty New Member

    I'm a little confused about the lighting.
    So, I'll go to home depot and get the T8 light fixture that holds 2 bulbs. One bulb will be the 65K bulb and the other will be Reptisun 5.0 UVB.
    Is that all the lighting that is required or do I need another bulb for heating?

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