Custom enclosure help

livehappy08

New Member
Baby Kiwi is about 12 weeks old and weighs 7 grams. I suspect that she is actually younger than 12 weeks, but the person at the local pet store (which I will not be returning to) said "eh...8 or 9 weeks" when I picked her up. She is currently housed in a small Reptibreeze that I bought on clearance for $28 at Petco. It is woefully inadequate but is working for now. She currently has a 5.0 Retisun light and a 40W basking bulb. Temps are all in the correct range... 80-85 for basking, 65-75 at the bottom opposite corner of the cage.

Before getting a chameleon I did a lot of research on dart frogs and became fascinated with naturalistic/bio-active terrarium setups. Ultimately, I decided against frogs for the time being, but I acquired Kiwi with plans to upgrade her enclosure as soon as possible. In doing research regarding chameleon husbandry I discovered that there aren't a lot of naturalistic setups in the community. Or maybe I just don't know where to look. I saw one post by Bill Strand over at Dragon Strand using Great Stuff foam to anchor plant pots to the side of the enclosure as to leave the floor clear for easy cleaning- awesome! So today I went to my local ReStore and purchased a giant $10 corner melamine shelf in hopes of transforming it into naturalistic chameleon heaven!

My intention is to use Great Stuff foam on the interior and cover it with silicone and tree fern fiber/moss. Ideally I would like to keep the bottom clear for easy management. I will probably use the foam to make a slight incline and cut a hole in the bottom which will drain into a container below. The top of the enclosure will also be cut to accomodate lights- thinking the quad setup from lightyourreptiles.com. Speaking of which, I called the number on the website to inquire about exact measurements and Todd was SUPER helpful and easy to talk to. Super impressed. Now...trying to decide if I should cut more 'windows' and put screen to cover them for better viewing? The entire front will be screened so I'm not terribly worried about ventilation, but I'm open to thoughts about that. Mist King starter system will be ordered shortly...one nozzle? two? Will also need to use clear silicone to seal up the holes and seams so that the melamine doesn't rot over time.

Looking forward to documenting the entire process here! Please let me know your thoughts and know that constructive feedback is SO welcome. Thank you!
 

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