Blueprints for cage????

jleahl

New Member
rocagasto, I've done some backgrounds like you're talking about. You need to have a solid back and/or sides to your enclosure, then plan what you want on the background (driftwood sticking out? Plants planted in it? How many? what kind?). If you want driftwood or sticks, you have to secure them in the position you want them to stay in before doing anything else. Put pots of appropriate sizes where you want plants, angled properly. Best way to do this is with the enclosure resting on the back side.

You need an expanding foam product like Great Stuff (available at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc). Spray the foam around the driftwood, pots, rocks, whatever you already have planned for the background of the enclosure. You will want to put some over the front sides of pots, too, to cover them up. This stuff expands A LOT, so don't put too much. However, if you do, it's easy to carve off, once it cures in 24-48 hours.

Let the stuff cure until it is hard, sounds hollow when you tap on it. Shape the background however you like (carve off lumps, make hollows, smooth it out). Use a small knife to do this; you can sand it beautifully, but it makes a phenomenal mess. On Black Jungle, they put black silicone caulk (PURE silicone, not latex and not with mildew repellant) on top of the foam, then stuck cocoa fiber or peat moss to the silicone. I personally have not found it easy to find black silicone caulk. If you do this, you have to let the silicone cure for at least several days, just because of fumes. Don't do it in your house...not good for a marriage! I have also used a mixture of a glue called Weldbond, peat, cocoa fiber and water to cover the foam. Works fine, aren't as many fumes, but it cracks as it dries, and then you have to patch the cracks. Also Weldbond isn't that easy to find, either.

I know Jordan and Kinyonga have some good pics of this process, better than my pics, so I won't post mine. They can probably add something to my descriptions, too. But it's really fun when you get the enclosure up, with plants in it and tillandsias on it; it looks so cool! Have fun!
 

rcagosto

New Member
Thanks that's really helpful. You think I could get a list of things I'm going to need to buy. And I would like to add plants and drift wood. Advice on plants to use. Maybe about 3. Money aint a issue ill get everything so can I please get a list. Thanks.
 

Jordan

New Member
List:

"Great Stuff" expandable foam (look for one that says 3x, can get in black or white)

GE II black silicone (should say bioseal, generally used for chaulking doors/windows)

Chaulk gun (to apply the silicone you will need one because of the container the silicone comes in)

Disposable gloves (latex or rubber)

Peat moss (not spgahnum, could use but I have heard some complaints with it before)

Coco fiber (optional, was not used in the picture you saw of my reptarium)

The first four you should be able to find in a store like Wal Mart. All these products will probably be close proximity to each other. Peat moss obviously in a lawn and garden type section. Coco fiber is used for substrate for reptiles. Comes in bricks at the pet store.

Now sticks and flower pots should be collected and layed out the way you want them on the back board. For a back board you can use wood, glass or plastic. When you have your lay out ready, follow directions on the foam and apply. When you get around the sticks and pots you may want to hold them with your hand so they do not shift on you. The foam continues to expand for 10-20 minutes after it is applied. Let this dry for 24 hours. Now if you used glass or plastic this foam does shrink some times. This can sometimes pull off of the original desired location. If so you can apply foam back to these areas (say like on one of your flower pots) and you will have to let this sit for another 24 hours. Once you have passed this stage you can move on. I mix my coco and peat moss together first. Put on your gloves and apply the silicone. You can get the silicone on every where with the chaulk gun but to get into the tight areas you will have to use your hand. I like to lay a line with the gun and smear it around with my hand this way you do not waste the silicone or get to thick of a coat. Take off your gloves and apply the mix. I like to put a generous amount on and kind of pack it lightly with my hands on to the foam. After this dries for 10-20 minutes you can knock off the excess mix. Now look for spots where it did not stick apply silicone and mix again. May have to do this a couple of times to get every thing covered well.

For plants on a wall like this I like Pothos and Spider plants. Make sure you use descent sized pots. You do not want to have and back track with bigger pots later on with one of these walls. Pothos is a good cage plant, grows like ivy, and is good for filling in blank spots. Also you can kind of munipulate it to do what you want. Spider plants are not bad. Keeps a smaller size. I would angle the top part of the pot away form the wall if you plan on using one of these. They do grow in all directions and this allows them to do so.

Sorry for the long post and lack of pictures. I had basically a step-by-step when I did the other wall. I think I erased it because my computer memory was low.
 

rcagosto

New Member
This is way good enough Jordan. Lol oh and any specific plans you did to build your cage? I want to build a 2x2x4 if that's good enough for a female veiled chameleon. I looked at some but didn't like that much. I would also want to have a draining system, how would I do something like that with the cage. Thanks.
 
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