Bio active enclosure

emilhayek

Established Member
Long time no see everyone!

i’m about to move into a apartment and wanted to upgrade orion’s cage and turn it bioactive.

Here’s what i have so far

two parts jungle mix

two parts coconut coir

1 1/2 parts of reptibark

one part worm castings

one part sand

one part organic top soil

My plan was to set up a tarp around the edge of the cage 1 foot high and put the plants and soil in that tarp. Wire it tightly together and call it done. Was thinking about putting in a Hibiscus tree, Maybe a dracaena tree or umbrella tree and lots of pothos including fake tree branches :)

Does anyone have any suggestions about going bioactive?
 

emilhayek

Established Member
I use root pouches, which have some ventilation thru them and have had very good success so far. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Root-Po...Pots-with-Handles-Planter-BB900-45H/306677187
I’ve used lava rock as I couldn’t find clay balls and it’s worked fine. Actually haven’t had any problems with excess drainage and need to water the plants that are planted in about once a week.
that actually seems like a great idea, did you use lava rock, screen and your mix of soil? have any pictures?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I haven’t any pictures of the layers...didn’t think about taking any when I put it all together. I have the lava rock layer on bottom, think I used landscape fabric instead of screen. Then added all my substrates together, including some horticultural charcoal. Added my plants, clean up crew and a healthy layer of leaf litter. I recently had to undo one of my enclosures and after close to a year, the bag was almost in pristine condition (just dirty) and the landscape fabric had stayed in place. I will be needing to undo and then redo my enclosures sometime in the next month and will use eggcrate and screen on top of the clay balls (finally found some). I have 2 females so they’ll need a more solid bottom when they dig to lay eggs.
 

emilhayek

Established Member
I haven’t any pictures of the layers...didn’t think about taking any when I put it all together. I have the lava rock layer on bottom, think I used landscape fabric instead of screen. Then added all my substrates together, including some horticultural charcoal. Added my plants, clean up crew and a healthy layer of leaf litter. I recently had to undo one of my enclosures and after close to a year, the bag was almost in pristine condition (just dirty) and the landscape fabric had stayed in place. I will be needing to undo and then redo my enclosures sometime in the next month and will use eggcrate and screen on top of the clay balls (finally found some). I have 2 females so they’ll need a more solid bottom when they dig to lay eggs.
what size bag did you use?
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I first ordered from the Bio Dude, but his bags are too small and leave big gaps. At the time I couldn’t find the right size so I went way too big and just tucked and folded. Finally I found the 45 gal ones and those look like they should work perfectly. The bags are round, so they need to be a bit larger to squeeze into the corners nicely.
 

emilhayek

Established Member
I first ordered from the Bio Dude, but his bags are too small and leave big gaps. At the time I couldn’t find the right size so I went way too big and just tucked and folded. Finally I found the 45 gal ones and those look like they should work perfectly. The bags are round, so they need to be a bit larger to squeeze into the corners nicely.
good point, i’m debating going through with this because i can’t find any weeping figs or umbrella plants near me. The best i could find are some hibiscus trees but my first one died with an old fixture i was using. I’m now using 2 6500k bulbs
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I use these and they are strong enough to keep hibiscus alive and thriving. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TKKG8Q3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I won’t be using hibiscus inside again though as I had some pest problems that I attribute to them. I guess they are more susceptible to pests than other plants. I had trouble finding a weeping fig...looked for almost 2 years. Finally found one a few months ago at Walmart. I’ll be trying to get a money tree from Lowe’s. They always had a ton when I didn’t want one. Of course when I went to buy one, zero. I’m also buying smaller and harder to find plants off Etsy. Check landscaper places for umbrella trees and Walmart. I’m in Florida and Walmart is loaded with them of all sizes and variations.
 

emilhayek

Established Member
I use these and they are strong enough to keep hibiscus alive and thriving. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TKKG8Q3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I won’t be using hibiscus inside again though as I had some pest problems that I attribute to them. I guess they are more susceptible to pests than other plants. I had trouble finding a weeping fig...looked for almost 2 years. Finally found one a few months ago at Walmart. I’ll be trying to get a money tree from Lowe’s. They always had a ton when I didn’t want one. Of course when I went to buy one, zero. I’m also buying smaller and harder to find plants off Etsy. Check landscaper places for umbrella trees and Walmart. I’m in Florida and Walmart is loaded with them of all sizes and variations.
I’m gunna try my 2 6500k bulbs! the cage will also be right next to the window. I would literally pay you to ship me a plant 😭😭😭
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have used dracanae marginata for tall centerpiece plants and those do very well. Here’s my little overgrown cham jungles with them. I’ve actually had to lop the tops off. 19FADC28-40D9-4676-B919-9A0230A49B8A.jpeg2CF6A74D-EB3A-41BD-8BA1-8E5EC93B3B09.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve been looking for some for a long time with no luck. Things as simple as wandering Jew and spider plant took me a long time to find. It’s crazy! I was tempted to steal some clippings from houses I visited for my job. :ROFLMAO:
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
How will you be managing any drainage?
I love this blog! It really makes it easy to understand. https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/intro-to-bio-activity.2429/
Absolutely agree with @MissSkittles the blog is very useful. The key for success is a good drainage and good plants light(s). In both my blogs (links are in my signature) I wrote something about bioactive and last I made another enclosure, it’s bit smaller 18”x18”x40”, and used a plastic box as substrate tray. The enclosure sits on a bed of hydroballs, used the screen as separation layer and buildup the bioactive layer from there.

43F2284B-2538-40C5-8BC0-731796107844.jpeg
 

emilhayek

Established Member
I’ve been looking for some for a long time with no luck. Things as simple as wandering Jew and spider plant took me a long time to find. It’s crazy! I was tempted to steal some clippings from houses I visited for my job. :ROFLMAO:
Was able to score a china doll for $40! from a local nursery! Girlfriend picked up a string of dolphins as well
 

Attachments

  • image.jpg
    image.jpg
    224.2 KB · Views: 15
Top Bottom