Bioactive or Bare Cage Bottom?

pi_and_peg

Member
So, since I've had my chameleons, Iv'e either had paper towels on the bottom of their cages to help with humidity or nothing at all. I've been researching bioactive enclosures for the past couple months, and they look amazing and sound like they'd be amazing for my chameleons, but I want to know if it's a good idea or not? I also was curious, as I have my two female chameleons, if with the substrate down thick enough, would I still need a lay box?
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m not super familiar with bioactive enclosures so I’ll tag someone who is and he may be able to help. @jamest0o0 but I know your going to still need a lay bin in the enclosure they require at least a 12x12x12 sized bin for laying preferably bigger with wet playsand and soil to be able to tunnel.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m still a newb at this lol I know nothing about female care. I’m just going off Jan’s lay bin blog. I thought they need at least 12 inches to dig down?
I go off her blog to but when your in a bioactive set up there is no need for the laying bin inside the cage from my talks with @jamest0o0. The bioactive substrate below would be the laying bin for the females. The isopods will take care of the eggs to so no need to dig them up and dispose of them

From my understanding they don’t need 12” because I’m the wild they dig till they hit rocks or roots from plants. This is what I’ve been told
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
I go off her blog to but when your in a bioactive set up there is no need for the laying bin inside the cage from my talks with @jamest0o0. The bioactive substrate below would be the laying bin for the females. The isopods will take care of the eggs to so no need to dig them up and dispose of them
That’s why I tagged him in this I knew he would have more insight on this than me haha. You helped me learn something new though i guess when you do think about it with a bioactive setup it’s just a forest floor like in the wild so it’s probably more natural than a lay bin.
 

pi_and_peg

Member
I go off her blog to but when your in a bioactive set up there is no need for the laying bin inside the cage from my talks with @jamest0o0. The bioactive substrate below would be the laying bin for the females. The isopods will take care of the eggs to so no need to dig them up and dispose of them

From my understanding they don’t need 12” because I’m the wild they dig till they hit rocks or roots from plants. This is what I’ve been told
That’s why I tagged him in this I knew he would have more insight on this than me haha. You helped me learn something new though i guess when you do think about it with a bioactive setup it’s just a forest floor like in the wild so it’s probably more natural than a lay bin.
Thank you both for this. My question is, how many isopods should I be putting in? I know they'll reproduce and all, but is say, 25 enough in each cage or should I be getting alot more?
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s why I tagged him in this I knew he would have more insight on this than me haha. You helped me learn something new though i guess when you do think about it with a bioactive setup it’s just a forest floor like in the wild so it’s probably more natural than a lay bin.
Yes he’s my favorite person to bug :ROFLMAO: I had the same question when I started to research bioactive for females. I’m sure he will pop up eventually to give more info
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you both for this. My question is, how many isopods should I be putting in? I know they'll reproduce and all, but is say, 25 enough in each cage or should I be getting alot more?
Your going to need way more then 25. I actually bought some isopods from @jamest0o0 im currently growing the colony. I wish I could give you a better number on the amounts you need but I will say you’ll need them in the hundreds maybe? Also idk if you know this but isopods are a great source of calcium
 

Rlc1994

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you both for this. My question is, how many isopods should I be putting in? I know they'll reproduce and all, but is say, 25 enough in each cage or should I be getting alot more?
Yes he’s my favorite person to bug :ROFLMAO: I had the same question when I started to research bioactive for females. I’m sure he will pop up eventually to give more info
Yeah I hear he’s the bug man on here and knows his stuff on bioactive setups. I’ve been thinking about private messaging him on here if he sells certain bugs since he lives close I’d be interested in buying some from him possibly. OP will get all her questions answered from the bug man @jamest0o0 :LOL:
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I hear he’s the bug man on here and knows his stuff on bioactive setups. I’ve been thinking about private messaging him on here if he sells certain bugs since he lives close I’d be interested in buying some from him possibly. OP will get all her questions answered from the bug man @jamest0o0 :LOL:
Definitely hit him up. He loves to share his knowledge. He has a few adds up about roaches he’s selling right now. I think he as hissers and chrome roaches for sale right now and if you need isopods he has giant canyons and they can eat!! They will be an amazing CuC. I actually feed mine a dead pupating hornworm and they hollowed it out in 3 days. @jamest0o0 is the bug lord lol
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Bioactive all the way.... Clarice's cage has a slope to it, so one section gets to about 8" deep, and the rest is 4-6" deep. When she laid her eggs, she didn't dig deep as much as she tunneled underneath diagonally. I found her eggs sort of between a tree root and the side of the cage, and only found them when I removed everything to break her cage down. The eggs were already disintegrated but you could see remnants of the yolk. Isopods would have finished it off eventually.

As for how many isopods to add, add as many as you can afford. If you are buying some, get Giant Canyons from @jamest0o0 to get you started. My guys like to eat them, so the more you can add the better, as they'll get thinned out a bit the first week!

Bioactive is not as hard as people think it is, and the maintenance afterwards is minimum compared to a dirty, smelly paper towel lined cage that needs to be constantly spot cleaned.
 

pi_and_peg

Member
Bioactive all the way.... Clarice's cage has a slope to it, so one section gets to about 8" deep, and the rest is 4-6" deep. When she laid her eggs, she didn't dig deep as much as she tunneled underneath diagonally. I found her eggs sort of between a tree root and the side of the cage, and only found them when I removed everything to break her cage down. The eggs were already disintegrated but you could see remnants of the yolk. Isopods would have finished it off eventually.

As for how many isopods to add, add as many as you can afford. If you are buying some, get Giant Canyons from @jamest0o0 to get you started. My guys like to eat them, so the more you can add the better, as they'll get thinned out a bit the first week!

Bioactive is not as hard as people think it is, and the maintenance afterwards is minimum compared to a dirty, smelly paper towel lined cage that needs to be constantly spot cleaned.
Thank you!!
I was thinking of getting 25 isopods to start, do you think that'd be enough with the springtails? I'll look into @jamest0o0 's Giant Caynons now.
Both of my females haven't laid eggs yet so I'm trying to make sure by the time they do I'll be able to have thier enclosure nice and bioactive. Paige is about 6 months and Pascal is about 4 months. I read about keeping thier temperature slightly lower and cutting back on feeding to reduce the quantity of clutches and sizes so I try to do that. I often give in on the feeding part a but because I just want to ensure they're eating enough to grow.
 

pi_and_peg

Member
Your going to need way more then 25. I actually bought some isopods from @jamest0o0 im currently growing the colony. I wish I could give you a better number on the amounts you need but I will say you’ll need them in the hundreds maybe? Also idk if you know this but isopods are a great source of calcium
Thank you! I was planning on getting the colony at 25 and letting them grow a bit. If I get 50 and let them go on thier own for about a month, would that be enough?
I heard isopods were a great source of calcium so I wanted to make sure I had some in each cage to make sure they ate some every once in awhile. I try really hard to dust with calcium and ensure they have proper UVB after I saw so many pictures of chameleons with MBD.
Is there anything else I should know about bioactive enclosures? I saw a post with a spreadsheet the other day which looked alot neater than my notebook so I made one with the items I was planning on getting. I have it here if you or anyone else sees something I should plan on fixing. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...NnXLIi2M0zOG4XRWD0Rb60Uhoyg/edit?usp=drivesdk
I also would love if you have any clue how much substrate I should be buying? I have two 24"x24"x48" enclosures.
 
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