Bioactive drainage question

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’ve been looking into bioactive lately. I think I understand how it all work except the drainage is still confusing (I’m a visual learner, not a words learner). So for the drainage area, do you need to drill a hole at the bottom to drain the extra water or is there another option on drainage? Thank you and good day
 

SharpShooter

Avid Member
I’ve been looking into bioactive lately. I think I understand how it all work except the drainage is still confusing (I’m a visual learner, not a words learner). So for the drainage area, do you need to drill a hole at the bottom to drain the extra water or is there another option on drainage? Thank you and good day
What sort of base are we talking about? This will affect your options as for example, you don't usually drill glass.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
So, there're two common methods of dealing with draining in bioactive enclosures: installing a bulkhead (which can be risky with glass enclosures if you're not skilled with a drill!), or providing some other form of access to the water table. It didn't take me long to rule out bulkheads for me, so I havent done a lot of research on how to make it work, but I'll share what I plan on doing (yay graveyard shift doodles!! :ROFLMAO:)

20190410_032715.jpg


Essentially, I'm going to take a PVC pipe (or similar), drill some small holes in it that will allow water through but not the hydroballs/drainage material, and place it in one of the corners of my viv. Then I'll build my substrate layers (hydroballs, barrier, soil, leaf litter) around it, and cap it off with something so that feeders and CuC can't get lost in there. That'll allow me to siphon off excess water with a baster or similar if the water table gets too high. A bit of water isn't bad, though, and can be beneficial as it carries a lot of nutrient run off! It's stagnation that can be harmful. I may skip the barrier layer to allow roots to dip right into the "nutrient soup", but haven't made a final decision yet.

Hope that helps! I'm still doing some reading on the matter, but these are my plans so far.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
So, there're two common methods of dealing with draining in bioactive enclosures: installing a bulkhead (which can be risky with glass enclosures if you're not skilled with a drill!), or providing some other form of access to the water table. It didn't take me long to rule out bulkheads for me, so I havent done a lot of research on how to make it work, but I'll share what I plan on doing (yay graveyard shift doodles!! :ROFLMAO:)

View attachment 228406

Essentially, I'm going to take a PVC pipe (or similar), drill some small holes in it that will allow water through but not the hydroballs/drainage material, and place it in one of the corners of my viv. Then I'll build my substrate layers (hydroballs, barrier, soil, leaf litter) around it, and cap it off with something so that feeders and CuC can't get lost in there. That'll allow me to siphon off excess water with a baster or similar if the water table gets too high. A bit of water isn't bad, though, and can be beneficial as it carries a lot of nutrient run off! It's stagnation that can be harmful. I may skip the barrier layer to allow roots to dip right into the "nutrient soup", but haven't made a final decision yet.

Hope that helps! I'm still doing some reading on the matter, but these are my plans so far.

Yup for glass, this is a great way to do it. If you want to get fancy you can add a fountain pump to it too. @GoodKarma19 a good way to let the roots through, but keeping the substrate from falling through is using vinyl screen instead of landscaping cloth. The holes are big enough for the roots to easily creep through.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yup for glass, this is a great way to do it. If you want to get fancy you can add a fountain pump to it too. @GoodKarma19 a good way to let the roots through, but keeping the substrate from falling through is using vinyl screen instead of landscaping cloth. The holes are big enough for the roots to easily creep through.

Ooh, thanks James! I'll take a look around and see if I can find something. Would you be able to link an example?

Also, re: the fountain pump - what's its purpose, to circulate the water, or to attach tubing to for pumping the water out? (If you can also link an example of this, haha)
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ooh, thanks James! I'll take a look around and see if I can find something. Would you be able to link an example?

Also, re: the fountain pump - what's its purpose, to circulate the water, or to attach tubing to for pumping the water out? (If you can also link an example of this, haha)

For screen, something like this https://www.amazon.com/ADFORS-Premi...window+screen&qid=1554899432&s=gateway&sr=8-2
Just make sure it's a material like plastic that won't break down

And then a pump like this does the trick, they're very small.
https://www.amazon.com/Homasy-Subme...=1554899608&s=gateway&sprefix=fountain&sr=8-3
Oh and the pump is to drain the water so you don't have to sit there with a Turkey baster for 20 minutes. Makes it easy to mist heavy if you'd like and still have easy drainage.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Awesome, thanks! I'll definitely pick up something like that screen, and see what I can cook up. I'm a little worried about essentially burying a pump - they definitely don't last forever, and what if it needs maintenance? Could be a bit of a bummer to dig up. It would be awfully convenient and easy to hide the plumbing, though. Hmm... gives me something to ponder!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Awesome, thanks! I'll definitely pick up something like that screen, and see what I can cook up. I'm a little worried about essentially burying a pump - they definitely don't last forever, and what if it needs maintenance? Could be a bit of a bummer to dig up. It would be awfully convenient and easy to hide the plumbing, though. Hmm... gives me something to ponder!

I was going to say, make the pump removeable. Could do the PVC idea like you would with the baster, but keep the pump inside of it. Put a cap on the pvc, maybe drill a hole in it for the tubing and wire to come through. If the pump ever needs replace just take the cap off, pull the pump out, and replace with a new one. Just some ideas, doesn't have to be done that way of course.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was going to say, make the pump removeable. Could do the PVC idea like you would with the baster, but keep the pump inside of it. Put a cap on the pvc, maybe drill a hole in it for the tubing and wire to come through. If the pump ever needs replace just take the cap off, pull the pump out, and replace with a new one. Just some ideas, doesn't have to be done that way of course.

Good idea! I'll definitely give it some thought. The crazy, rebellious side of me really, really wants to have the hypothetical pump circulate through a little waterfall to keep the water moving. If I keep it low enough to the ground, it could be great for water loving species such as moss! I'm incredibly attentive and excellent at maintaining cleanliness, so I really do think with some engineering i could make a waterfall work. I doubt I'll do it, but I might look into it just to satisfy my curiosity.

I appreciate the help! I'm just so completely fascinated by this whole concept. I'm definitely going to go big or go home!
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
So, there're two common methods of dealing with draining in bioactive enclosures: installing a bulkhead (which can be risky with glass enclosures if you're not skilled with a drill!), or providing some other form of access to the water table. It didn't take me long to rule out bulkheads for me, so I havent done a lot of research on how to make it work, but I'll share what I plan on doing (yay graveyard shift doodles!! :ROFLMAO:)

View attachment 228406

Essentially, I'm going to take a PVC pipe (or similar), drill some small holes in it that will allow water through but not the hydroballs/drainage material, and place it in one of the corners of my viv. Then I'll build my substrate layers (hydroballs, barrier, soil, leaf litter) around it, and cap it off with something so that feeders and CuC can't get lost in there. That'll allow me to siphon off excess water with a baster or similar if the water table gets too high. A bit of water isn't bad, though, and can be beneficial as it carries a lot of nutrient run off! It's stagnation that can be harmful. I may skip the barrier layer to allow roots to dip right into the "nutrient soup", but haven't made a final decision yet.

Hope that helps! I'm still doing some reading on the matter, but these are my plans so far.
Omg thank you!! That’s exactly what I needed I’m planning on using a planter box for the bottom made of wood. Wasn’t 100% sure where to drill the holes but your sketch helped so much. Is it ok if I pm you in the future if I have more questions
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Omg thank you!! That’s exactly what I needed I’m planning on using a planter box for the bottom made of wood. Wasn’t 100% sure where to drill the holes but your sketch helped so much. Is it ok if I pm you in the future if I have more questions

Absolutely! I'm happy to share what I've learned, though I'm very far from an expert! I'm just an avid learner. :)

I'm afraid I havent looked much into laying bins as they relate to bioactive enclosures, at least not yet. My incidental reading suggests that you add some extra sand until the substrate can comfortably hold a tunnel, and make it deeper than you might otherwise (I.e. 10" + as opposed to 4"+), but don't take that as fact. I'm just speculating! Maybe @dshuld, @Brodybreaux25 @Goose502 might know?
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Would the laying bin be on top of the substrate?

The substrate can be the laying bin. And you can leave the infertile eggs for the cuc to eat. Chameleons actually don't look for depth as much as they look for roots/rocks to lay eggs. So I had some plants growing out, a corner with some large rocks buried/partially buried, another area with some cork bark and moss. Some open areas... just give her plenty of options and you'll be good. If you're looking for fertile eggs, I'd hesitate to use isopods as they munch on calcium sources often and I wouldn't trust with eggs.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've had like 10 different bio enclosures and free ranges. Plenty of experience with what works and doesn't(through screwing up, A LOT haha)

I hope I didn't offend! I assure you, im not doubting your knowledge in the slightest. You've been nothing but helpful to me! I just figured I'd tag more people into the discussion, since I made the assumption that you were already auto following the thread. I'm greedy for perspectives, haha! I fully expect to have a bioactive enclosure for a female some day.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I hope I didn't offend! I assure you, im not doubting your knowledge in the slightest. You've been nothing but helpful to me! I just figured I'd tag more people into the discussion, since I made the assumption that you were already auto following the thread. I'm greedy for perspectives, haha! I fully expect to have a bioactive enclosure for a female some day.


Haha No! I didn't mean it that way at all. Didn't even see your post until after. I just meant it so you guys didn't think I was randomly spouting off nonsense without any experience with it. Bio was just always a huge interest of mine coming from marine aquariums.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha No! I didn't mean it that way at all. Didn't even see your post until after. I just meant it so you guys didn't think I was randomly spouting off nonsense without any experience with it. Bio was just always a huge interest of mine coming from marine aquariums.
No James not at all your very respected in my eyes and when I have questions more then happy to see you pop up and give advice. You made me fall in love with parsons as well.
 
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