Deciding between which dragonstrand enclosure

CodyJ108

New Member
I'm hoping to get a panther chameleon in the coming future, so I'm getting ready to start building its enclosure. However, I'm having trouble deciding which dragonstrand enclosure to buy; the hybrid version, or the screen version.

The reason why I ask is because ideally, the enclosure will be in my room. However, I usually need a fan on medium speed, otherwise I'll be sweating. I live in central Florida, so it gets pretty humid. That's why I was considering getting the hybrid version, since it has pvc walls and an acrylic door. I would imagine that it makes it easier to control the humidity/temp in the enclosure. However, I also heard that chameleons need a lot of ventilation, and considering I live in Florida where it's already rather humid, maybe having screen sides would benefit.

I'm new to researching about chameleon care, and I want to give it the best life I possibly can, so I'm not worried about the price difference between the two. I'm more interested in which one might be better suited given the circumstances.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Have you checked out Tamura Designs?
Dale builds some awesome enclosures.

01F7444F-53A5-4035-9AE0-1ADD7C079220.jpeg
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I too am in central Fl and have been using all screen enclosures, but I’ve had either shower curtain or faux walls to maintain humidity as I run the ac almost year round. If you run your ac all the time, I’d suggest a hybrid enclosure. Those enclosures @jannb posted look fantastic!
 

Tige21v

Established Member
I would think the hybrid. Esp if you have another Floridian suggesting it.
The enclosure will have an updraft going through it, like a chimney.
Somewhere I saw a graphic showing a hybrid actually has better airflow throughout than a screen enclosure.
You could always put an oscillating fan somewhere in front of it if you wanted or needed .
 

Kamikaze Chameleon

Avid Member
If your somewhere humid you would probably want a screen cage, if you get a hybrid you will just need more airflow. In the end it's your choice, what your goal is, what your budget is, you have to take that all into consideration. Are you going bioactive? Live plants? If you want something cheap I would go zen habitats but there's a lot you need to consider.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sorry for my ignorance but... how does the airflow works on this enclosures?

Talk to Dale and he can explain everything. He is the most awesome keeper. [email protected]
I don’t use cages. I free range all my chameleons so I don’t know all the details. I just know how awesome his place is when I visit and how people are loving these enclosures since he started building them. I do know they are screen and I believe some sides come with a type of glass so you can go back and from to screen or glass as needed if you want to. I’m not sure of the type of ventilation he used in the bottom.
 

DeremensisBlue

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
I'm hoping to get a panther chameleon in the coming future, so I'm getting ready to start building its enclosure. However, I'm having trouble deciding which dragonstrand enclosure to buy; the hybrid version, or the screen version.

The reason why I ask is because ideally, the enclosure will be in my room. However, I usually need a fan on medium speed, otherwise I'll be sweating. I live in central Florida, so it gets pretty humid. That's why I was considering getting the hybrid version, since it has pvc walls and an acrylic door. I would imagine that it makes it easier to control the humidity/temp in the enclosure. However, I also heard that chameleons need a lot of ventilation, and considering I live in Florida where it's already rather humid, maybe having screen sides would benefit.

I'm new to researching about chameleon care, and I want to give it the best life I possibly can, so I'm not worried about the price difference between the two. I'm more interested in which one might be better suited given the circumstances.
The difference between the hybrid cage and the screen cage comes down to how much control over humidity you have. So you take a look at the humidity inside your house and se how different that is compared to the humidity requirements on the care sheet you are following. Generally, we are looking for high humidity during the night and lower humidity during the day. Of course, you want to take into account the humidity inside your house and not outside because your chameleon will be dealing with whatever air conditioning you may be doing. So each case is an individual case.

The hybrid can only hold the humidity that is put inside the cage so there still is a large amount of control you have, even in a humid environment. But filling the cage with live plants will introduce a natural and desired humidity source so it doesn't hurt to budget in 5 to 10% increase from plants. Once again, everyone will experience a different effect depending on ambient conditions.

If you need a fan to be running or else you are sweating I am thinking a screen cage is more appropriate for your situation. The big question is how does this change over the year. There may be time where closing off some of the sides is appropriate. But with a screen cage you have that option. So, with the information given, I am thinking the screen cage is a good direction to look. If you can give me a feel for how your day and nighttime humidities fluctuate over the seasons along with which species you are considering we could do a "annual" answer to the question and narrow down what cage type would suit you best.

Bill
 

CodyJ108

New Member
The difference between the hybrid cage and the screen cage comes down to how much control over humidity you have. So you take a look at the humidity inside your house and se how different that is compared to the humidity requirements on the care sheet you are following. Generally, we are looking for high humidity during the night and lower humidity during the day. Of course, you want to take into account the humidity inside your house and not outside because your chameleon will be dealing with whatever air conditioning you may be doing. So each case is an individual case.

The hybrid can only hold the humidity that is put inside the cage so there still is a large amount of control you have, even in a humid environment. But filling the cage with live plants will introduce a natural and desired humidity source so it doesn't hurt to budget in 5 to 10% increase from plants. Once again, everyone will experience a different effect depending on ambient conditions.

If you need a fan to be running or else you are sweating I am thinking a screen cage is more appropriate for your situation. The big question is how does this change over the year. There may be time where closing off some of the sides is appropriate. But with a screen cage you have that option. So, with the information given, I am thinking the screen cage is a good direction to look. If you can give me a feel for how your day and nighttime humidities fluctuate over the seasons along with which species you are considering we could do a "annual" answer to the question and narrow down what cage type would suit you best.

Bill
Thanks so much for the in-depth reply!

I would need to get a hygrometer to have a better idea of what the humidity in the desired room would be (I’ll move it to being one of the first things I get), but in general it gets pretty humid, I usually need a ceiling fan running at low-medium most days throughout the year, and on the especially hot days I have an extra small fan running at low. This is on top of constant AC all year-round.

I was considering a hybrid cage at first, since I’m 100% getting live plants to go with it, but now I’m considering a screen cage with shower curtains along the sides. I’m not sure that’ll give the same level of control as a hybrid, but maybe it’ll be just enough to work out. I may have to get a hygrometer to make a better decision at this point.

But again, thanks for the reply! This gave me a lot to consider!
 

GrayMadder

Chameleon Enthusiast
I will say, the only thing I don't like about my dragon strand is that it doesn't feel solid. The glass door feels wobbly and the latches used to hold it up feel entirely too weak for how heavy the door is. The door isn't smooth closing either. I have to bend the cage weird in order to make the door fit flush and clamp it shut.

Other than that, it's not a bad choice and it looks great.

I know it's a pretty minor complaint but you're putting over 500 dollars into something, you want it to be top notch!
 

CodyJ108

New Member
I called south FL and the Florida Keys my home for 22 years and never had a problem keeping up the humidity. I have never had to use plastic. I do however have a mist system.
So you use a screen cage then? Do you make any adjustments to the cage throughout the year to keep the humidity right?
 
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