building a vivarium

sarahlynne

New Member
Hi, I'm wanting to build a couple of vivariums for some panther chameleons.

I've never built a vivarium before, I'm thinking I do them 60x60x120cm.
If the top and both sides were aluminium mesh, the back and bottom was plywood and the front was a glass door.

I live in the UK so would it get to cold?
How does this sound, and how thick should the plywood be?

Then on the back I stuck styrofoam and built it up making a 3D affect and put in a small plastic pot or two onto the styrofoam and built up around it. i would then paint it, to make it look natural. Then put some pothos into the pots.
I would drill a couple of holes through the styrofoam into the pot so that water could run through it.

I would put in lots of bamboo sticks going from the sides and an umbrella plant in the middle.

How does this sound so far?
 

Owl city

New Member
What are u going to use for supports

I wouldn't suggest any Styrofoam it could cause impactons the crickets would chew at it it's j use a bad idea . Maybe keeping one cage glass or even cover it with plastic or even a towel .
 
if you REALLY want a 3D background use 'great stuff pond and stone' and cover it with silicone and pieces of cork bark or drift wood. Its a pretty common practice with dart frogs and other amphibians, there are plenty of DIY videos on youtube. It will allow you to place small cups for epiphytes and have other interesting live plants if you want to go that route

But honestly, youll always run the risk of your cham potentially eating a bit of the foam (by itself or because a cricket chewed on it). In my opinion simpler is better when it comes to the cage; the chameleon is the main attraction, not the scenery in the cage
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi, I'm wanting to build a couple of vivariums for some panther chameleons.

I've never built a vivarium before, I'm thinking I do them 60x60x120cm.
If the top and both sides were aluminium mesh, the back and bottom was plywood and the front was a glass door.

I live in the UK so would it get to cold?
How does this sound, and how thick should the plywood be?

Then on the back I stuck styrofoam and built it up making a 3D affect and put in a small plastic pot or two onto the styrofoam and built up around it. i would then paint it, to make it look natural. Then put some pothos into the pots.
I would drill a couple of holes through the styrofoam into the pot so that water could run through it.

I would put in lots of bamboo sticks going from the sides and an umbrella plant in the middle.

How does this sound so far?

IMHO I think molded background panels in cham cages are sort of a waste of effort. I'd use every inch of available space for bushy living plants and form a network of branches for climbing routes. If you can find natural bark covered branches instead of bamboo that might be better. Some bamboo is quite slick for them to grip. I know that UK homes tend to be cooler than ours across the pond so some solid sided enclosures work better there, but I'd prefer covering the sides/back of a screen cage with rigid plexiglass, glass, or clear plastic sheeting instead. The plants will appreciate the general lighting, there will a lots of leaf surfaces to hold moisture, provide drinking surfaces, provide visual cover for your cham, and it will be a more natural habitat setup too.
 

bradley

New Member
I am in the uk and screen is so much better for panthers. The humidity is more stable and a better temperature gradient is easily achieved. And enclosed vivarium dries out quickly which is not what you want. Drainage is also a pain and any wood will eventually rot no matter how well it is sealed or painted.
 
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