BIG Cages

Lancelot117

New Member
I was thinking about building a 4 x 2 x 4 foot cage. (btw would i just need one reptisun 10.0 48 inch light for that? Or would i need two?).

Thats an awefully big cage, twice as big as some haha, but i thought it would be cool :)

Whats the biggest cage anyone else has ever used? Are there any problems with these big cages? How big is too big?
 

KingJulian

New Member
We have a 2x2x4 foot cage for our panther...and we use a reptisun 5.0 uvb bulb...I'm pretty sure the 10.0 is too much for a cham. The only downside I could see to having a huge cage is them getting frustrated with hunting...Even in my cage, the crickets escape pretty quickly and my cham gets frustrated. We make sure to help him out during feeding time, to ensure he's eating. But other than that, he loves the space. He climbs around all day :)
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was thinking about building a 4 x 2 x 4 foot cage. (btw would i just need one reptisun 10.0 48 inch light for that? Or would i need two?).

Thats an awefully big cage, twice as big as some haha, but i thought it would be cool :)

Whats the biggest cage anyone else has ever used? Are there any problems with these big cages? How big is too big?
I'm a big fan of big cages! Bigger spaces gives more options for really great bushy live plants that you don't have to prune all the time. And, all that foliage helps stabilize humidity.There's more space for everything...for more lights on the top, internal foggers, multi-point drippers or sprayers, or the fogger pipe attachments through the mesh, multiple basking spots at different temps or running at different times of day, larger feeder bins to encourage the chams to hunt more naturally, etc. Larger cages provide more microclimates the cham can choose when it wants. The chams have a lot more territory and most tend to use it more actively. The only species that didn't seem to respond to a larger cage was my deremensis (but then he was a cranky recluse who didn't like changes or to roam much at all). The largest cage I've built was 6'x6'x8' for melleri. None of my cages are smaller than 3'x4'x3' and I've used them for jax, veiled, fischeri, deremensis, and verrucosus. The melleri were eventually free ranged.

I've always used double tube fluorescent fixtures, length depends on the cage top width. More light coverage is better for cham and plants IMHO, so if you don't have a double fixture two lights would be better.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
That would be an awsome cage! I've also made some pretty enormous cages for some of my guys.

Just one 10.0 would be fine, and then if you wanted to add a second light for the sake of the plants you can add just a normal 48" daylight fluorescent from Home Depot/Lowe's (either 5000k or 6500k intensity) and that will do a lot to add brightness to the cage. The plants usually thank you for it!
 

Lancelot117

New Member
I am a little confused about the contradicting reports on the lights. I thought at first I'd need the stronger lights or more of them cause its a big cage... but why? its still only 2 feet deep right? just get a 48 inch tube. so what if I got a shop light, put one reptisun 5.0 in one side, and just some soft light tube with nothing special on the other side for brightness? Does that sound good? or should I do the reptisun 10.0 instead? Im confused!

I am going to build the cage out of old barn wood. So it will hopefully have this "rustic" look to it. The wood is paint and chemical free and what not. Or I might build it out of juniper pine logs with the bark stripped off to give it a log look. It's gonna be sweet though :) Ill post some pictures when its done!
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
The light penetration is about 18" or 2 feet depending on which UV tube you use (5.0 vs 10.0). I'd use the 10.0 if your cage is much deeper than it is wide. If you have a cage that's bigger horizontally, and if you don't use a long enough bulb, more of the cage will be dark and your cham can end up spending more of its time out of range of the UV as it moves around. I use one "new" UV tube and one "old" UV tube together. The old tube can still provide general light just fine until it quits for good.

Be careful with the barn wood. If it was ever painted or stained in the past it could have some unstable oil based residues in the wood. A worn surface will also be more prone to rot and mold because it probably absorbed stuff from its time on the barn. I'd coat it with Polyurethane waterproof sealer just to be safe.

CAREFUL with the juniper. If it is an aromatic type it could cause respiratory problems...similar to cedar or fresh pine. Cure it and seal it.
 
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Lancelot117

New Member
The light penetration is about 18" or 2 feet depending on which UV tube you use (5.0 vs 10.0). I'd use the 10.0 if your cage is much deeper than it is wide. If you have a cage that's bigger horizontally, and if you don't use a long enough bulb, more of the cage will be dark and your cham can end up spending more of its time out of range of the UV as it moves around. I use one "new" UV tube and one "old" UV tube together. The old tube can still provide general light just fine until it quits for good.

Be careful with the barn wood. If it was ever painted or stained in the past it could have some unstable oil based residues in the wood. A worn surface will also be more prone to rot and mold because it probably absorbed stuff from its time on the barn. I'd coat it with Polyurethane waterproof sealer just to be safe.

CAREFUL with the juniper. If it is an aromatic type it could cause respiratory problems...similar to cedar or fresh pine. Cure it and seal it.
If the juniper is cured and sealed, which is what i planned to do anyways, it would be okay right?
 

z0mbies fear me

New Member
I was thinking about building a 4 x 2 x 4 foot cage. (btw would i just need one reptisun 10.0 48 inch light for that? Or would i need two?).

Thats an awefully big cage, twice as big as some haha, but i thought it would be cool :)

Whats the biggest cage anyone else has ever used? Are there any problems with these big cages? How big is too big?
I built a 4'x30"x6'01" for my male Jacksons and I'm just using one 48" UV bulb and it seems like plenty to me. Just my .02¢
 

steppedinds

New Member
i have a 2 x 2 x 7. i've got a peach hibiscus that is about 3ft tall and a weeping willow that goes all the way to the top. also on the back i've got some trellice with confederate jasmine growing on the back. i've got a work light set up right above the hibiscus so it gets enough light. you dont want the light to be much further than 2 ft from the top of the plant or it will start to lose foilage and probably not flower properly. if your tank is only 4 ft tall you shouldnt have a problem
 
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