Big boy cage build advice

Hannah04

New Member
My boyfriend has decided he is going to make sully's big boy cage! Which we will be needing very soon! He found a look that we decided we both like on here. So he will be building similar :) the spot sully's cage is in now is perfect location he doesn't seem to mind where he is at at all. The build will be custom built to this spot!

The stand will be 24" high with cage on top. The cage will be 4'6" high, 2'10" wide, and 1'10" deep. I have tried to convince him that 2' deep is minimum, but he wants it to fit perfectly!

Does anyone think this will cause a problem since we are adding height and width to the cage?

Also any advice on anything we should add or watch out for along the way?

Paint, stain, sealants, mesh, anything really. All advice is welcome!
 

Hannah04

New Member
Only suggestion I have is aluminum screen. Crickets will chew through mesh.

He is going to love all the room!

Great thanks! And I hope so! He is starting to explore more and more in his cage now so I want something nice and big with lots of room for him! :)
 

Hannah04

New Member
Plan for drainage - especially if you plan to use misting systems.

Thanks! Drainage planning is already in the works, I forgot to add that in there! Will probably be the same as his cage now only on a big scale :)


Wow! That's great! It looks fantastic! My drainage system is actually very similar, I'll definitely be taking a closer look at everything there :) thanks!
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I always recommend shooting for 3' of width if possible, as chameleons actually like horizontal space more than we allow for. In a tall, narrow cage a cham can only go down, but with width he can stay up high and patrol left to right. But if it can't be done then that's ok. You could even add a foot of height too, if you can.

Building your own cages lets you give them as much space as possible, so take advantage of it! :)
 

Hannah04

New Member
I always recommend shooting for 3' of width if possible, as chameleons actually like horizontal space more than we allow for. In a tall, narrow cage a cham can only go down, but with width he can stay up high and patrol left to right. But if it can't be done then that's ok. You could even add a foot of height too, if you can.

Building your own cages lets you give them as much space as possible, so take advantage of it! :)

Thanks! I am still trying to convince a bit wider and a bit deeper! So hopefully!

:)
 

NorCalAnthony

Avid Member
Does anyone know how to make and keep the screen tight?

Easiest way I've found is to staple one side down and pull it tight while you staple the other sides, starting closest to the already stapled down side. If you don't like the appearance of the staples you can then screw in a thin trim piece over the top to dress up the appearance. Also, fiberglass screen is a little easier to work with and you don't have to worry about sharp edges where you cut it. I know some people say you have to use aluminum to keep the feeders in but I've never had any last long enough inside the cage to even attempt to chew through the screen. Using a feeder cup will also prevent any possible issues with feeders chewing their way out of the cage and will also save you from having to completely seal up all of the cracks.

Here are a couple of my build threads in case you'd like some more ideas:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/my-first-cage-build-84441/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/diy-chameleon-mansion-build-102657/
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
I also stapled the screen in place with a staple every three inches or so. I used aluminum screen. I thought aluminum was much easier to work with than fiberglass since it is more rigid and you don't have to pull it as tight to avoid wrinkles. The staples also give you some error correction since they are easy to pull out without damaging the screen.

If you use charcoal finish aluminum screen, lay something soft down like a canvas painter's drop cloth. Scratches on the finish are really noticeable.

I measured it out to 1 inch larger than the size needed and double rolled the edges by 1/2 inch to create a safety edge. Use a metal ruler to make a nice straight crease and flatten three rolled edge really well. I worked from the top down, let gravity help.

Be careful not to over tighten the screen as you staple it in place. You can warp the frame and have to redo the screen (voice of experience, hehe).

Working with the aluminum did tear up my hands, but it looks really nice.
 

Veiledtsgnm

New Member
I would use a staple gun that seems to work for me as I'm in the process of building a cage as well... And yes always use the aluminum screen and when you have it on make sure that there are no gaps, or else your crickets will escape... Hope all works out
 

Hannah04

New Member
Easiest way I've found is to staple one side down and pull it tight while you staple the other sides, starting closest to the already stapled down side. If you don't like the appearance of the staples you can then screw in a thin trim piece over the top to dress up the appearance. Also, fiberglass screen is a little easier to work with and you don't have to worry about sharp edges where you cut it. I know some people say you have to use aluminum to keep the feeders in but I've never had any last long enough inside the cage to even attempt to chew through the screen. Using a feeder cup will also prevent any possible issues with feeders chewing their way out of the cage and will also save you from having to completely seal up all of the cracks.

Here are a couple of my build threads in case you'd like some more ideas:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/my-first-cage-build-84441/
https://www.chameleonforums.com/diy-chameleon-mansion-build-102657/

Actually your cages, especially the chameleon mansion, are major influences on our decision to make a cage! So thank you!!

I also stapled the screen in place with a staple every three inches or so. I used aluminum screen. I thought aluminum was much easier to work with than fiberglass since it is more rigid and you don't have to pull it as tight to avoid wrinkles. The staples also give you some error correction since they are easy to pull out without damaging the screen.

If you use charcoal finish aluminum screen, lay something soft down like a canvas painter's drop cloth. Scratches on the finish are really noticeable.

I measured it out to 1 inch larger than the size needed and double rolled the edges by 1/2 inch to create a safety edge. Use a metal ruler to make a nice straight crease and flatten three rolled edge really well. I worked from the top down, let gravity help.

Be careful not to over tighten the screen as you staple it in place. You can warp the frame and have to redo the screen (voice of experience, hehe).

Working with the aluminum did tear up my hands, but it looks really nice.

Thank you! Does the three rolled edge go really flat?

I would use a staple gun that seems to work for me as I'm in the process of building a cage as well... And yes always use the aluminum screen and when you have it on make sure that there are no gaps, or else your crickets will escape... Hope all works out

Thanks! I'm finding crickets in my apartment so I hope i can make it secure!
 

Lathis

Chameleon Enthusiast
That was a typo, just double roll the edge so no sharp screen bits are exposed. If you use something stiff and flat like a board and tap it with a hammer or rubber mallet, you can get the rolled edge very flat. It also gives the screen a little more stiffness, which makes it easier to work with.

Staple guns are awesome, definitely get yourself one. I use mine all the time.

Put extra staple in the corner as needed to cricket-proof any gaps. I'm hoping that now that my new enclosure is done, I won't be finding anymore cricket surprises :)
 
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