Building a drainage system! What do you think!?!

sensation

New Member
Hey guys!

I purchased my Mistking hoping I would not need a drainage system but it is clear I need one soon!

I've actually been thinking about this idea for a while (few months since I bought my cage). I have a glass bottom so I knew it would not be easy. I've decided to break the glass and replace it with something to allow drainage but also be strong enough to hold heavy plants. I need ideas on what to use! Chicken wire? I heard it can bend so I'm not big on that. The plants will tear through the screen so if you can help with ideas I would appreciate it.

I drew my 2 options on Paint. I didn't spend much time doing this and it does the job so dont hate! I'm going to build a shelve to house EITHER a tub or a pan where the water would run into a pipe and down to a bucket. They both have pros and cons.

First option would be the shelve. I would have the water run pass the bottom and down to a tub that would have holes poked in to contain the water.

The second option would be having the water land on a pan and run into pipe down to a drainage bucket. I am very intrigued by this because I could possible send the water back to my Home Depot Painters Bucket which houses the water for my MistKing. I could somehow send the water down the pipe and to a filter and back in the bucket. I wonder how hard that would be. I dont know how I feel about water running off waste and back into a bucket to be reused. It would be awesome to reuse water but I just dont want my chameleon to get sick drinking water that touched his "poop."

Let me know your ideas and what you think about this and please do not post "You're wasting your money, just buy a screen cage and sell the one you have."
 

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Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
i would not reuse the water, and just a thought before you smash out the bottom there are drill bits out there that can drill through glass, also depending on the type of cham you have most glass enclosures are not big enought for a adult, therefore you may need a bigger screen unit, so you may want to keep your smaller glass unit in good shape to use for youngsters in the future.
jmo hoj
 

Seeco

New Member
Breaking the glass on the bottom will make the whole cage weak. A special glass cutting tool may work to put a small hole. Do not reuse the water.
 

sensation

New Member
Very interesting guys. Thanks for the quick responses. Wouldn't cutting holes in the glass weaken the bottom glass anyways? I'm not rejecting your ideas just stating an observation.

If I were to cut holes in the glass, how would I go about slanting the glass so puddles won't form. I do have a glass company near my house who have been doing work for me for years so I'm sure they can do this.

Any other suggestions?
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
ok, i would still try drilling some holes in the bottom wost case senario you break the bottom and your back to your origonal plan. you should be able to find the drill bit at your local hardware store for around $10 they are used for drilling into tiles and ceramics, i have used them on glass before.
 

daveo

Established Member
a hole in a surface only weakens the surface that is at a twice the diameter of the hole. So if you put a 1/2 inch hole in the glass the surface will only be waeker at a distance of 1 inch away from the hole. Sorry that is the engineer in me;)
 

randomryan007

New Member
drilling the glass if it is not tempered glass is cake. no it does not take away from the ingeratity of the glass unless your glass i was to thin to begin with. I have drilled several tanks for salt water aquariums and its the same concept. Now if I where you witch I am not. I would use acrylic. easy to use. great for the DIY typer person easy to drill just an all around easy product to work with. you can use aquarium silicone on it or an acrylic bonding agent. easy to forum. best of luck what ever route you use. by the way the glass whole saw needs to be a diamond whole saw.
 

sensation

New Member
drilling the glass if it is not tempered glass is cake. no it does not take away from the ingeratity of the glass unless your glass i was to thin to begin with. I have drilled several tanks for salt water aquariums and its the same concept. Now if I where you witch I am not. I would use acrylic. easy to use. great for the DIY typer person easy to drill just an all around easy product to work with. you can use aquarium silicone on it or an acrylic bonding agent. easy to forum. best of luck what ever route you use. by the way the glass whole saw needs to be a diamond whole saw.
Thanks guys! This is exactly why I come here.

The glass is tempered glass but your post gave me an idea. I could replace the glass with plexiglass. Drilling holes in that would be easy and it would be strong enough to hold up the plants. I would put screen over the holes (just in case my Carpet fell one day, I don't want him heading down pipe and to a water bucket of doom.)

Has anyone had any experience with replacing the glass with plexiglass?
 

Lingling

New Member
This sounds like quite a big project when you could just spend $30-$40 to buy a brand new screen cage and put a plastic drawer underneath...
Good luck drilling tempered glass. And as far as tilting the glass while still having a floor that's sturdy enough to hold your plants, well that sounds rather illogical at best.
Why bother with it when it's so cheap to do it the easy way?
 

SarahChamlove

New Member
if you are going to put plant into the bottom of the glass then this is what you should do:

i do not know the formal name of this product, buts it a porous clay ball thing, and it soaks up water. put that at the bottom then a thin piece of soft foam. then apply organic soil on top of that foam. you can now plant whatever you want. You would only have to drill one hole at the bottom. what ever the plant wont absorb the clay balls will, what ever the plants and the balls wont abosrb it wil drain out.

i can show you pictures of what i have. works well for me
 

Lingling

New Member
if you are going to put plant into the bottom of the glass then this is what you should do:

i do not know the formal name of this product, buts it a porous clay ball thing, and it soaks up water. put that at the bottom then a thin piece of soft foam. then apply organic soil on top of that foam. you can now plant whatever you want. You would only have to drill one hole at the bottom. what ever the plant wont absorb the clay balls will, what ever the plants and the balls wont abosrb it wil drain out.

i can show you pictures of what i have. works well for me
They clay balls are hydroton. They're excellent drainage for terrarium or vivs for pygmies (I use them in my pygmy viv), but most of us try to use bare bottoms for our bigger chams. The clean-up is easier, and there's nothing that the chams could ingest. Excellent choice for pygmy enclosures though.
 

sensation

New Member
ok ok IF I were to sale my cage and buy a new one, I think I would actually be making a profit lol. I've never had an all screen cage and dont know about drainage systems for them.

I found this. Remember my Carpet is very small. Probably 4 inches with tail and I doubt he gets much bigger. The cage can't be too big.

http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog...ges/-/24-x-24-x-36-inch-aluminum-screen-cage/

Anyone who bought this can you answer me a question about what the bottom is made of and what they did about drainage?

Oh can anyone tell me how they hang branches/vines in a screen cage?
 

Lingling

New Member
These are what I use for my guys. They're excellent. The bottom is a piece of 1/4" styrene (I think) which is basically like thick plastic, although a little sturdier (won't crack). It's easy to drill and the whole piece is easily removed and replaced. Vines and branches are easy. For branches, you can cut them the width of the cage and use thumbtacks through the screen. I used fishing line or dark green craft wire to attach some branches and my vines/plants. Many people hang potted pothos inside or use a small ficus or schefflera. Better ventilation with these cages and easy drainage, plus they are more adaptable. Easier to clean, as well.

And you can get those WAY cheaper than $89. They're especially cheap if you go to expos or shows. Shop around before you buy, that seems pretty high to me. Reptariums are okay too. They have zippered doors, which isn't quite as nice as the hinged ones in my opinion, but they're cheaper.

http://www.joshsfrogs.com/caging/reptariums/reptarium-65-gallon.html
 

SarahChamlove

New Member
that is the cage that i have.

i use a storage bin right in the cage. usually you can find a good size one at walmart. i fill the storage bin about an inch and a half with the clay balls and then on top thin layer of foam. on top of the foam i use organic soil and plant my plants. the plant and soil will also absorb a lot of the water. the water will filter thru everything and collect on the bottom. so after a week, my storage bin will be half full. I then open the cage and use a siphon ( like the one you would use for a fish tank) and vaccum the collected water.

so your chameleon will never be in contact with this water, it will be settled under the plants. after about a couple of months (and depends on what plants you use), you will noticed that the plants have grew their roots down to the bottom and collect a small portion of that water that is collected.

now as far as putting your branches and leafs up, i use wire ties. like the one you get on your packaged bread. I tend to get green and black ones because you can not notice them. I hope this helps you. I wish i could post pictures for you but it will not allow me to :(

Good luck. let me know how it goes!
 

wsidepinoy

New Member
hey !

i have a same "type" of cage, the bottom is pvc i believe and this is what i did !

http://lllreptile.com/store/catalog/reptile-supplies/reptile-cages-and-vivariums/screen-reptile-cages/-/16-x-15-x-20-screen-cage-water-tray/

I have ^^ the drip tray above, and punched a couple small drain holes in it.

Then on one side of the drip trays i punched a hole into it and fit a small threaded drain nozzle sealed with a silicone caulking.

From that nozzle, a tube that attached to it and then ran under my stand and into a 1gal water jug ! (gonna get a 5gal bucket soon).





the stand is off at an angle a bit so it naturally tilts the water to the drain, but im sure you could rig up something to get the water flowing one way towards the drain !
 
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