Check out my idea for a cage design!

kenya

Avid Member
I do not want to buy another screen cage but I would like to upgrade my chams as the whole drainage situation is getting to be a big pain now that I have four enclosures.

So this is my idea! Any questions? I tried to explain it as best as I could.

Also, I think contact paper would work best for coating the piece of screen on the bottom rather than covering it with plastic....maybe a combination of the two? Plastic on top and contact paper sealing the sides of the screen?

Please give me feedback! I would like to build this soon! The pic of hardware are the shelves that will hold it all up.


 

Sporkthedork

New Member
Is the bottom like a bird's cage which can be pulled out from the bottom with out disturbing anything else inside the cage?
 

kenya

Avid Member
Confusion. kthxbai. :eek:
Confused about what? I thought I explained it pretty well :(

Is the bottom like a bird's cage which can be pulled out from the bottom with out disturbing anything else inside the cage?
On the bottom resting directly on the bare brackets is this,
, to keep everything up and give the bottom support, next is this
possibly covered with a bit of plastic with a hole in the center to funnel water into a bucket below the unit and next is this
which all of my potted plants will be sitting in.

Having the plants in the basket will make it easy to just lift the enclosure off, move the basket of plants, and shake/wipe off the bottom racks. Does that make more sense? I could leave the screen off and just put plastic in the bottom of the initial rack to funnel water to the right spot, but I would like it to be uniform and the mesh screen would be slanted enough to facilitate proper drainage and hopefully get rid of standing water.
 

kenya

Avid Member
Is the bottom like a bird's cage which can be pulled out from the bottom with out disturbing anything else inside the cage?
Also, I bet it would be easy to work this into the design...I may even try it but my goal for this is to be able to lift the whole (light) enclosure off, have the plants already separated and be able to clean it quickly without disturbing my chams. As it is, I just move their whole enclosures outside to sun them or into the shower stall for heavy mistings. Drainage has been a problem and I haven't been able to build anything quite right to fix it so this is my solution- drainage and ease of use along with new larger cages- 3 benefits!
 

kenya

Avid Member
I should clarify that in the first post, the photo is just to show the BRACKET- the little metal rack will go right on that and there will not be a shelf. This is so water can go through and so it will look like a big floating cham cage. I thought it would be neat that the bottom and support would be inconspicuous. This also allows me to put the cage at whatever height I like.
 

Sporkthedork

New Member
Also, I bet it would be easy to work this into the design...I may even try it but my goal for this is to be able to lift the whole (light) enclosure off, have the plants already separated and be able to clean it quickly without disturbing my chams. As it is, I just move their whole enclosures outside to sun them or into the shower stall for heavy mistings. Drainage has been a problem and I haven't been able to build anything quite right to fix it so this is my solution- drainage and ease of use along with new larger cages- 3 benefits!
Oh ok. Personally I would rather have your design for the bottom be a pull out tray. It just seems when I clean out my cages it's just the bottom board panel that needs to cleaned (or the bulk of the cleaning). I just jet spray with a hose everything else. I like the basket idea though.
 

opihiman

New Member
have you thought of usig hardware cloth to give the cage more supportive structure? the method of attachment and connections would still be the same. but may be something stronger like telephone wire.

Nice well thought out cage though.

OPI
 

kenya

Avid Member
have you thought of usig hardware cloth to give the cage more supportive structure? the method of attachment and connections would still be the same. but may be something stronger like telephone wire.

Nice well thought out cage though.

OPI
What is hardware cloth? Also, where would I get telephone wire?

For support (if needed-probable) I was thinking some thin PVC or some appropriate sized metal stakes being run up the sides and wired in place. You can "sew" with wire- it is how I attach decorations and vines in my current enclosures. I think it would give ample support- my goal is just to keep it light.

Thanks for the input! Any other suggestions?
 

kenya

Avid Member
Oh ok. Personally I would rather have your design for the bottom be a pull out tray. It just seems when I clean out my cages it's just the bottom board panel that needs to cleaned (or the bulk of the cleaning). I just jet spray with a hose everything else. I like the basket idea though.
Since the bottom will be a covered piece of screen with a basket of plants sitting on top, my goal is to just be able to lift the cage off of the bottom, remove the basket of plants and wipe it all down. If I made a sliding bottom, that would defeat the purpose of my plant basket along with rolling poos around and making a general mess. It is a good idea that could be put to use but I think that I will stick with my original bottom design because it serves my personal purpose better.
 

SoCaliSon

New Member
Only a couple of things I see that may be an issue...

You say you want to be able to lift it off... Which would mean you would not be able to hang anything in the cage from the ceiling like you mentioned.

Biggest thing that stands out to me would be that you are placing a cylindrical cage area on top of a square base(the wire basket). That is trying to fit a circle foot print of the cage into a square hole. Wouldn't that leave areas for escape below?

I would keep planning like you are before you start construction... I always find things I didn't think of pop up to ruin my plans when I am half way through making something like this. I think simplicity is really the Key when trying a diy.

I personally think that maybe fabricating or buying a used square style cage for cheap and making any mods to it would save you some headache in the long run. I like the idea of mounting the l- bracket on the wall.

Kevin, (Summoner12) got me hooked on shower curtains. For drainage Imagine pinning a shower curtain to the wall, and installing the Brackets on top of the curtain, and allowing enough curtain to hang below the bracket so that under the cage you could pull towards you away from the wall and pin it to the front bottom egae of the cage/shelf. So that once the cage is up on the shelf, behind the cage is all curtain, and under the cage is all curtain. With the curtain, it catches any water easily that shoots behingd the cage, or leaks out the bottom, and makes it easy to channel to some kind of recepticle.

Isn't it fun planning this kind of stuff!:)

Good Luck,
Joe
 

kenya

Avid Member
Only a couple of things I see that may be an issue...

You say you want to be able to lift it off... Which would mean you would not be able to hang anything in the cage from the ceiling like you mentioned.

Biggest thing that stands out to me would be that you are placing a cylindrical cage area on top of a square base(the wire basket). That is trying to fit a circle foot print of the cage into a square hole. Wouldn't that leave areas for escape below?

I would keep planning like you are before you start construction... I always find things I didn't think of pop up to ruin my plans when I am half way through making something like this. I think simplicity is really the Key when trying a diy.

I personally think that maybe fabricating or buying a used square style cage for cheap and making any mods to it would save you some headache in the long run. I like the idea of mounting the l- bracket on the wall.

Kevin, (Summoner12) got me hooked on shower curtains. For drainage Imagine pinning a shower curtain to the wall, and installing the Brackets on top of the curtain, and allowing enough curtain to hang below the bracket so that under the cage you could pull towards you away from the wall and pin it to the front bottom egae of the cage/shelf. So that once the cage is up on the shelf, behind the cage is all curtain, and under the cage is all curtain. With the curtain, it catches any water easily that shoots behingd the cage, or leaks out the bottom, and makes it easy to channel to some kind of recepticle.

Isn't it fun planning this kind of stuff!:)

Good Luck,
Joe
Okay, for the bottom bit, I was going to use a bigger square than the circle- it would be about 1/2 foot longer than the total diameter of the cage so it would fit fine. For drainage, I also use shower curtains but instead of on the wall, I put them over the back part of the cage (less than half-probably about a1/3 so that there is still a lot of airflow) so that I can spray directly on them and it makes the water go down into the drainage hole that is also coated with plastic. It is all angled ever so slightly that it guides the water into the center hole. I may also put a few inches of plastic around the bottom of the cylinder to make sure there is no spillover from a lot of water. As for the hanging pothos, I scratched that and decided to put it on an overturned pot in the plant basket. Its vines would still hang down but it would be easy to remove. Nothing would be sitting on top of the cage- I would use another set of brackets to mount the lights right above it. This makes for easy moving of the cage.
 

kenya

Avid Member
Biggest thing that stands out to me would be that you are placing a cylindrical cage area on top of a square base(the wire basket). That is trying to fit a circle foot print of the cage into a square hole. Wouldn't that leave areas for escape below?
I see what you are saying here- the bottom is not supported by the basket- the basket is just there for the plants and is inside the cage. I may get a round basket rather than square or rectangular- it just depends on if I can find one. The real support is the flat metal rack that is on the bottom of it all. It sits directly on the brackets and is the skeleton of the bottom.
 

SoCaliSon

New Member
Sounds like you got it thought out pretty nice! It is a unique idea that sounds like it would work... I'll be excited to see pics once you get it going.
 

opihiman

New Member
What is hardware cloth? Also, where would I get telephone wire?
Hardware cloth

http://www.twpinc.com/twpinc/contro...ssionid=495CA5C75A3B0D3E623D42AC34B4285A.jvm1


In the telephone cord is 4 individual wires you would need to strip the wire out. then use the individual wires to stitch pieces together.

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...langId=-1&catalogId=10053&productId=100534527

A large planter for the base

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs...00923&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&langId=-1

Hope that helps

OPI
 

TonyRockyHorror

New Member
I too recommend Hardware Cloth. It's pretty cheap and way easier to deal with than window screen. It's very sturdy and you can make an entire cage out of it and it'll support itself, unlike the window screen. (I use it a lot). It's available at any hardware store (ACE, OSH, Home Depot...) It comes in just galvanized steel or with a Vinyl coating. I recommend that PVC/vinyl coated hardware cloth which adds a soft, rubberized layer that is easy on your chameleons feet. You can use either the 1/2"x1/2" or 1"x1/2" mesh. Both will work fine. They come in rolls. It usually comes in green, but you can find it in black if you're lucky. You can even use 4" zip ties to hold it all together and make a door for it. You just need a good pair of wire cutters and some work gloves.

I'd seriously check it out before you get that screening. It's way less of a headache. Good luck :)

Edit: Also, it's easier to hang things from the sides. For the back panel of my cage I hang pothos by it by drilling a 2 holes in the lip/rim of the plastic pot and just zip tie it to the mesh and let the vines hang down - some of the vines can even weave through the mesh which looks awesome!
 
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