all natural cham habitats...

chamchamdude

New Member
I have ordered a 24x24x48 cage. with this new setup I would like to attempt a natural plant habitat for my chameleon. I was wondering... what types of "high light" plants have people had success with...
I would LOVE to attempt Passion flowers and Hibiscus trees... all inside using artificial lighting. Has anyone had any luck growing anything other than Pothos and other low light plants.

I was thinking about going with 4x CF grow lights OR LEDs
any thoughts?........
 

vgaines

Member
I have had great success with hibiscus trees. In fact, I just had to take one (I had two in Rebels) out because his walkways were getting crowded. I removed one and added a hanging Pothos with some really long vines. He seems to love it. I do have a CFL 65K light for my plants and the cage in in front of a window. ( window does not get direct sun light so I don't have an issue with over heating):D
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
All "natural" habitats:

The indoor enclosures in the beginning are running a basking lamp, a 5.0 UVB, and two 6500k bulbs per enclosure.

Hibiscus takes quite a bit of light, so the two 6500k are necessary in my experience.

They are all just readily available bulbs at any pet and hardware store, nothing too fancy...
 

juice28

New Member
i too have had great luck with hibiscus, in the picture the big plant is a camellia, there is a hibiscus, an umbrella plant, a jade plant and a star jasmine aka confederate jasmine..the jasmine is growing like a weed.. i have a 2 bulb t-8 with plant lights in it, 1 60 wat full spec. bulb in a large dome for heat and a 10.0 uvb in another large dome. i just added a purple passion and a small ficus tree( bout a foot tall) there is a dracannea in the photo which i replaced with the jade plant ill get some shots of it tomorrow when my lights are on
WP_000687.jpg
 

juice28

New Member
I grow bamboo and avocado trees, ornamental grasses, hosta. It will grow right through the screening if I don't keep it pruned.

All i use is 6500K tubes and LED spots.

What kind of grasses do you use? I would like (in theory) a completely planted enclosure from top to bottom kinda like a viv...but i dont have a viv..and im not planning on spending that much on a 5 foot tall viv..that like....2-3 more chameleons lmao
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
What is wrong with just having pothos or ficus?

You don't really need a tropical beautiful plant to have a "natural" enclosure. They're all plants. They're all natural.

Schefflera (umbrella) plants, ficus, and pothos, while not as pretty as passion flowers and hibiscus are relatively easy to take care of and provide TONS of foliage.

However hibiscus do provide a good advantage because if your chameleon is looking for a snack, there's usually a bright flower available (non toxic and safe too).
 

chamchamdude

New Member
What are the dimensions on your setup? your tank looks really nice!

i too have had great luck with hibiscus, in the picture the big plant is a camellia, there is a hibiscus, an umbrella plant, a jade plant and a star jasmine aka confederate jasmine..the jasmine is growing like a weed.. i have a 2 bulb t-8 with plant lights in it, 1 60 wat full spec. bulb in a large dome for heat and a 10.0 uvb in another large dome. i just added a purple passion and a small ficus tree( bout a foot tall) there is a dracannea in the photo which i replaced with the jade plant ill get some shots of it tomorrow when my lights are on
WP_000687.jpg
 

chamchamdude

New Member
Sweet vid! How big are the enclosures?
When you say 6500k are we talking: NO (normal out put) , HOs ( High out put), VHO (very High Output) or PCs? ( Power Compact) bulbs?

Could I also use grow lights???







All "natural" habitats:

The indoor enclosures in the beginning are running a basking lamp, a 5.0 UVB, and two 6500k bulbs per enclosure.

Hibiscus takes quite a bit of light, so the two 6500k are necessary in my experience.

They are all just readily available bulbs at any pet and hardware store, nothing too fancy...
 

chamchamdude

New Member
So very true! "you don't really need a tropical beautiful plant to have a "natural" enclosure."
But, I've gotten into setting up some really elaborate setups... and want to try growing some really exotic plants. I want that WOW! factor... if you know what i'm talking about.


What is wrong with just having pothos or ficus?

You don't really need a tropical beautiful plant to have a "natural" enclosure. They're all plants. They're all natural.

Schefflera (umbrella) plants, ficus, and pothos, while not as pretty as passion flowers and hibiscus are relatively easy to take care of and provide TONS of foliage.

However hibiscus do provide a good advantage because if your chameleon is looking for a snack, there's usually a bright flower available (non toxic and safe too).
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
So very true! "you don't really need a tropical beautiful plant to have a "natural" enclosure."
But, I've gotten into setting up some really elaborate setups... and want to try growing some really exotic plants. I want that WOW! factor... if you know what i'm talking about.

I would suggest taking this route: http://muchadoaboutchameleons.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html

Don't those enclosures look so neat? They're like designer brand for chameleons.

And they use live, safe plants. I would hang them the way she has them and then hide the pot like in the pictures. I suggest hibiscus and yes, passion flowers, and some other safe, flowering plants.

I assume you just want it to look attractive.
 

juice28

New Member
What is wrong with just having pothos or ficus?

You don't really need a tropical beautiful plant to have a "natural" enclosure. They're all plants. They're all natural.

Schefflera (umbrella) plants, ficus, and pothos, while not as pretty as passion flowers and hibiscus are relatively easy to take care of and provide TONS of foliage.

However hibiscus do provide a good advantage because if your chameleon is looking for a snack, there's usually a bright flower available (non toxic and safe too).

very very true you are
my baby panther has an umbrella and a jasmine vine but my 2 veiled chams are pretty big plant munchers especially my female veiled....she loves her plants...and pothos are toxic in high amounts thats why i have so many hibiscus but i still wanted real vines so i went with the jasmine, nothing special bout that.. get it from wal mart for like 6 bucks and they can eat the flowers off them as well.. the camellia was on the safe list but she doesnt eat it but it was very branchy and tall, has big stiff leaves you can fold um under so theyre like little bowls for water..nothing exotic about that one either...pretty common at home depot or lowes the passion was a pick up i got for a dollar lol i was like..well..cant pass up a plant for a buck lol and its on the safe list so i tossed it in a cage too

lol i do have small umbrellas and a ficus as well but umbrellas can be toxic in high quantities as well as the ficus so i based all my plants on an "edible" factor and functionality factor, jade is edible and in the succulent family fancy word for cactus and its full of water..nothing exotic about a jade plant either.. 4-5 bucks at lowes the hibiscus was the most expensive plant i bought now that i think about it at 14 bucks...but i like the exotic look and the flowering plants and various colors (just me personally) i have just as much fun with the plants as i do with the cham living in them..

ironically i dont have any exotic plants..other than the little purple passion which i might get more of if i can find um.. they dont do well being watered on BUT.. the like to absorb water from the ground which makes them good for absorption same as ferns or spider plants.. this is just something in testing out..but i figure if i can add small low light moderate water plants to the bottom of my cage and in the pots with some on my bigger plants.. theyll live longer and be healthier because they will absorb the excess water that drains down in them from my drippers and mistings
 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
Pothos are actually not toxic. Totally edible.

If anything, ficus and jasmine are the most "dangerous" plants because of the soupy white "blood" (phloem and xylem I think?) that comes out when the chameleon decides to eat the plant. It can cause harm and irritation to their eyes.

It sounds like you go through a lot of plants or just have a lot of them. Live plants work wonders whether they're tropical or not.

Tropical plants usually are just the plants you see in madagascar or hawaii. It's what you think of when you say the word "tropical". What comes to mind is hibiscus, passion flower, mangoes, palm trees etc. It's the cosmetic effects of the plant that get people.

Although both tropical and "normal" plants (boring ones) like umbrella plants, pothos, and ficus have the same benefits, people just want the cage to look pretty.

Honestly you can achieve the same attractiveness with a ficus as you can with a hibiscus. You just have to trim it nicely. Same with umbrella plants. People just shove a newly bought plant straight into the enclosure and don't repot it, don't trim it, and don't put any branches in because there are enough in the plant.

That makes for a slightly unattractive enclosure when you could have open space for the chameleon to roam while maintaining a healthy plant, chameleon, and still have dense enough foliage WHILE KEEPING IT NICE LOOKING.

:) The key is not the type of plant, just the work you put into it.
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
Sweet vid! How big are the enclosures?
When you say 6500k are we talking: NO (normal out put) , HOs ( High out put), VHO (very High Output) or PCs? ( Power Compact) bulbs?

Could I also use grow lights???

2x2x4 Penn-Plax's.

NO linear florescent.

6500k is a grow light, Im not the most educated in lights, but I believe that all grow lights provide that spectrum of light.
 
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