Cage rebuild

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello everyone!! this winter my project will be rebuilding Apollos cage. now I'm just now deciding this and don't really have a game plan so I'm open to many suggestions. I need 1) ideas for drainage and how to manage poo. 2) food containment ideas because Apollos eye sight has never been great and he needs a container to help him hunt 3) back wall ideas 4) plant holding ideas 5) plants to add 6) types of wood and sticks and placement of that and like always I will be using my 70w white house light and 12% arcadia uvb bulb the heat will be hung from a lamp holder and ive basically just realized ive only figured out the lighting so first thing is first... lets talk about drainage!
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Hello everyone!! this winter my project will be rebuilding Apollos cage. now I'm just now deciding this and don't really have a game plan so I'm open to many suggestions. I need 1) ideas for drainage and how to manage poo. 2) food containment ideas because Apollos eye sight has never been great and he needs a container to help him hunt 3) back wall ideas 4) plant holding ideas 5) plants to add 6) types of wood and sticks and placement of that and like always I will be using my 70w white house light and 12% arcadia uvb bulb the heat will be hung from a lamp holder and ive basically just realized ive only figured out the lighting so first thing is first... lets talk about drainage!
1) Drainage: what I do is quite simple, add a literal drain. A simple hole saw of the appropriate size for your drain (I use bathroom sink drains - 1-3/4") and Bob's your uncle. A decent drill and hole saw WILL go through just about any material. If for some reason you're using something tougher than,say, 1/4" of steel, you may not be able to go this route. Otherwise, a little bit of screen mesh and silicone sealant and you're set. Unless you're going with....
Bioactive will manage poop to a degree. I still grab out bigger clumps, but I know they will poo somewhere i don't see. Adding springtails and isopods is fairly simple and can be combined with either the above drainage method or using a 3/4" PVC pipe with holes for access to the drainage layer and using 1/4" tubing to siphon out excess water. (I did my gecko this way and use an old "monsoon" mister pump to drain it. Almost any pump will do the trick, simply add an air stone to the end of your siphon tubing to prevent grabbing debris!)

2) Food containment: I hand feed most of my guys and gals, that way I know what they eat and when they eat. That being said, I hear good things about "The Shooting Gallery" (Rainbow mealworms sells them online).

3/4) I havent done this myself but I've been gathering the supplies through work and plan to be doing it soon. You can use "Great Stuff" and one of the "egg crate" style light fixtures and add plant pots. Browse the enclosures thread and you can see some AWESOME inspiration! Otherwise, I personally use LOTS of cork Garland mood/sheet moss. I then plant misc plants throughout that are appropriate size for the cage. I also utilize hanging plants like orchids and bromeliads and airplanes.

5) sorta covered above, but I use a money tree or hibiscus as my "feature" tree, flukers fake vines as pathways, pothos, and a myriad of other plants. Just watch for anything spikey, pointed (for eyes), toxic, or has sap.

6) Wood for the cage itself, or decor? I use some stuff off Amazon that's cheap - just read the reviews as much of it is super tiny! Otherwise, I grab stuff from outdoors and soak it then bake it - if necessary. I also use lots of flukers vines as they're super cheap on amazon.

Here's my latest for my little gecko:

20191230_210151.jpg


And here's my first/best of my builds - until the end of January: [dont have any full shots at the moment, but here are some partials]


20191218_190038.jpg


20191231_190713.jpg


The wood he's on is driftwood from the local flea market. Cost me $5 and its shaped sort of in an S. I had to cut it a bit, but was perfect for his cage. It's also grown in a ton since I first built it.

I'll also add that there are MANY ways to do things. Even now I plan to scrap every cage I've built when I move and redo them all with my things I've thought of and learned through posts like these.

Best wises!
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
1) Drainage: what I do is quite simple, add a literal drain. A simple hole saw of the appropriate size for your drain (I use bathroom sink drains - 1-3/4") and Bob's your uncle. A decent drill and hole saw WILL go through just about any material. If for some reason you're using something tougher than,say, 1/4" of steel, you may not be able to go this route. Otherwise, a little bit of screen mesh and silicone sealant and you're set. Unless you're going with....
Bioactive will manage poop to a degree. I still grab out bigger clumps, but I know they will poo somewhere i don't see. Adding springtails and isopods is fairly simple and can be combined with either the above drainage method or using a 3/4" PVC pipe with holes for access to the drainage layer and using 1/4" tubing to siphon out excess water. (I did my gecko this way and use an old "monsoon" mister pump to drain it. Almost any pump will do the trick, simply add an air stone to the end of your siphon tubing to prevent grabbing debris!)

2) Food containment: I hand feed most of my guys and gals, that way I know what they eat and when they eat. That being said, I hear good things about "The Shooting Gallery" (Rainbow mealworms sells them online).

3/4) I havent done this myself but I've been gathering the supplies through work and plan to be doing it soon. You can use "Great Stuff" and one of the "egg crate" style light fixtures and add plant pots. Browse the enclosures thread and you can see some AWESOME inspiration! Otherwise, I personally use LOTS of cork Garland mood/sheet moss. I then plant misc plants throughout that are appropriate size for the cage. I also utilize hanging plants like orchids and bromeliads and airplanes.

5) sorta covered above, but I use a money tree or hibiscus as my "feature" tree, flukers fake vines as pathways, pothos, and a myriad of other plants. Just watch for anything spikey, pointed (for eyes), toxic, or has sap.

6) Wood for the cage itself, or decor? I use some stuff off Amazon that's cheap - just read the reviews as much of it is super tiny! Otherwise, I grab stuff from outdoors and soak it then bake it - if necessary. I also use lots of flukers vines as they're super cheap on amazon.

Here's my latest for my little gecko:

View attachment 255040

And here's my first/best of my builds - until the end of January: [dont have any full shots at the moment, but here are some partials]


View attachment 255041

View attachment 255042

The wood he's on is driftwood from the local flea market. Cost me $5 and its shaped sort of in an S. I had to cut it a bit, but was perfect for his cage. It's also grown in a ton since I first built it.

I'll also add that there are MANY ways to do things. Even now I plan to scrap every cage I've built when I move and redo them all with my things I've thought of and learned through posts like these.

Best wises!
thank you!!! this is very very helpful!!!! I will do the hand feeding from now on and take the suggestions into great consideration!! I think I plan to drill a hole in a plastic table around an inch in diameter and have a 5 gallon bucket under it then connect the cage to the table, I will collect any feces and urates in the bucket with the water.
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
1) Drainage: what I do is quite simple, add a literal drain. A simple hole saw of the appropriate size for your drain (I use bathroom sink drains - 1-3/4") and Bob's your uncle. A decent drill and hole saw WILL go through just about any material. If for some reason you're using something tougher than,say, 1/4" of steel, you may not be able to go this route. Otherwise, a little bit of screen mesh and silicone sealant and you're set. Unless you're going with....
Bioactive will manage poop to a degree. I still grab out bigger clumps, but I know they will poo somewhere i don't see. Adding springtails and isopods is fairly simple and can be combined with either the above drainage method or using a 3/4" PVC pipe with holes for access to the drainage layer and using 1/4" tubing to siphon out excess water. (I did my gecko this way and use an old "monsoon" mister pump to drain it. Almost any pump will do the trick, simply add an air stone to the end of your siphon tubing to prevent grabbing debris!)

2) Food containment: I hand feed most of my guys and gals, that way I know what they eat and when they eat. That being said, I hear good things about "The Shooting Gallery" (Rainbow mealworms sells them online).

3/4) I havent done this myself but I've been gathering the supplies through work and plan to be doing it soon. You can use "Great Stuff" and one of the "egg crate" style light fixtures and add plant pots. Browse the enclosures thread and you can see some AWESOME inspiration! Otherwise, I personally use LOTS of cork Garland mood/sheet moss. I then plant misc plants throughout that are appropriate size for the cage. I also utilize hanging plants like orchids and bromeliads and airplanes.

5) sorta covered above, but I use a money tree or hibiscus as my "feature" tree, flukers fake vines as pathways, pothos, and a myriad of other plants. Just watch for anything spikey, pointed (for eyes), toxic, or has sap.

6) Wood for the cage itself, or decor? I use some stuff off Amazon that's cheap - just read the reviews as much of it is super tiny! Otherwise, I grab stuff from outdoors and soak it then bake it - if necessary. I also use lots of flukers vines as they're super cheap on amazon.

Here's my latest for my little gecko:

View attachment 255040

And here's my first/best of my builds - until the end of January: [dont have any full shots at the moment, but here are some partials]


View attachment 255041

View attachment 255042

The wood he's on is driftwood from the local flea market. Cost me $5 and its shaped sort of in an S. I had to cut it a bit, but was perfect for his cage. It's also grown in a ton since I first built it.

I'll also add that there are MANY ways to do things. Even now I plan to scrap every cage I've built when I move and redo them all with my things I've thought of and learned through posts like these.

Best wises!
I just want to add that both your enclosures look absolutely stunning!!!
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I just want to add that both your enclosures look absolutely stunning!!!
Thanks, I appreciate it. Unfortunately, my hutch just didn't hold up over time. But it's for the best as I've learned so much since making it that I want to redo it!!

Here it was a few months ago (the hutch wasn't bio active) :
20191217_140606.jpg


It sits about 6'-6" or so, the top is 6ftx4ft with a solid divider between. I turned it into 2 cages. Unfortunately, as you can see if you look close enough, the bottom became bowed and disconnected from the top. I wasn't impressed with the flex seal and it surely wasn't cheap. For the sides and top though, flex seal was awesome. I'd definitely suggest an epoxy or urethane for the bottom layer - I'm actually thinking of using some stainless steel I scraped from a bar remodel... but we'll see!

Being a builder by trade, I come across materials and inspiration on a daily basis. Then I see other folks cages and find even more ideas! My porch is covered in plants - from orchids of all kinds and colors, bromeliads, palms, hibiscus.. well anyway... I'm always swapping plants around. Cham keeping is a gateway hobby!!
 

Thehippie

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks, I appreciate it. Unfortunately, my hutch just didn't hold up over time. But it's for the best as I've learned so much since making it that I want to redo it!!

Here it was a few months ago (the hutch wasn't bio active) :View attachment 255059

It sits about 6'-6" or so, the top is 6ftx4ft with a solid divider between. I turned it into 2 cages. Unfortunately, as you can see if you look close enough, the bottom became bowed and disconnected from the top. I wasn't impressed with the flex seal and it surely wasn't cheap. For the sides and top though, flex seal was awesome. I'd definitely suggest an epoxy or urethane for the bottom layer - I'm actually thinking of using some stainless steel I scraped from a bar remodel... but we'll see!

Being a builder by trade, I come across materials and inspiration on a daily basis. Then I see other folks cages and find even more ideas! My porch is covered in plants - from orchids of all kinds and colors, bromeliads, palms, hibiscus.. well anyway... I'm always swapping plants around. Cham keeping is a gateway hobby!!
that is absolutely amazing!! I still live with my parents so I cant start any projects like that yet but I recently decided remodeling would be a great idea!! and yeah, plants are abundant in my household now because of me lol
 
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