DIY: Large Bio-active Pardalis Enclosure

I recently reached out to another member on this site about my current project, as knowledgable as this person is I thought it would be in my best interest to open up this discussion to more minds.

I plan to keep a juvenile male Furcifer pardalis (either the Ambanja or Sambava locales) purchased from Kammerflage Kreations.



This is what I am planning.

  • The dimensions of my enclosure will be 48" tall, by 48" wide, by 20" deep, which will be siliconed together.
  • The side walls will be made up of two 48" tall by 20" deep 1/4" thick glass panes (taken from 75 gallon fish tanks).
  • The bottom and back will be made up of 1/2" birch plywood coated in Black Pond Armor epoxy.
  • There will be a screen ceiling.
  • The front will have a 10"-12" by 48" strip of 1/4" glass along the width of the bottom, as well as a 8"-10" strip of 1/4" glass along the width of the top (height of these strips is TBD).
  • Between the strips of glass in the front there will be either screen door(s) or sliding 1/8" glass doors (TBD).
  • I will be installing a bulk head into the base with a switch valve underneath to allow me to drain water from the drainage layer if necessary.
  • I will be installing two 40mm 12v (silent) computer case fans directly into the back (1/2" plywood) in order to assist with ventilation by either blowing air in or blowing it out. I have already wired two fans to connect to a 12v wall adapter, they will be set on a timer. They will also be covered by screen mesh (the location of their installment is TBD).
  • I plan to lay 2-3" of a drainage layer on the bottom, with an addition 2-4 inches of bioactive substrate of on top with possible leaf litter as well (the contents of the substrate is TBD).
  • I have not decided as to whether or not I will use the foam method with bromeliads and substrate on the back wall (similar to dart frog vivariums), at this point and time I am leaning against the idea.
  • I am not entirely sure as to which 48" light fixture from arcadia that I will be getting, whether it be a quad with a 12%-6% UVB, or a double with a 12%-6" UVB, these will be on timers as well.
  • The wattage and brand of heat lamp I will be using is TBD.
  • I will be using a Mistking system on a timer with either 2 or 3 nozzles. The amount of water I will be using weekly is TBD, the enclosure has some solid sides so I am going to have to adjust accordingly.
  • I also plan to build a wooden stand out of 2x4's and more birch plywood.
Some plant species I am interested in growing:

-Pillow moss
-Weeping Fig (ficus benjamina)
-Dwarf Banana
-Mahogany fern (Didymochlaena truncatula)
-ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
-Purple Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina)
-Satin pothos (Scindapsus pictus)
-Golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
-Bromeliads (Neoregalia)
-Variegated Umbrella Plant (Schefflera arboricola)
-Baby's tears (Soleirolia soleirolii).

Microfauna:
I would like to add more than just this, but this is what I have so far.

-Tropical white springtails (Collembola sp.)
-Dwarf White Isopods (Trichorhina tomentosa)

Substrate(s):

Drainage layer:
-NEHERP LDL with clay aggregate mixed in
http://www.neherpetoculture.com/substratesvivarium

Soil:
Looking for suggestion on things to keep the soil aerated that will reduce the likelihood of impaction.

-Peat Moss
-Finely ground carbon
-Finely ground coconut fiber
-Ground tree fern (beneath the surface)
-Finely ground Sphagnum moss (worried about impaction)

Leaf litter:
-Oak leaves
-Magnolia leaves
-Catappa leaves

PLEASE, feel free to constructively criticize my ideas, and to share your experiences.

Help with my TBDs?


Pictures will be uploaded throughout my progression.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sounds like everyone that does bios now is doing the same exact build lol, I can give you some info on what I've done and have been doing that's worked so far a little later(I'm on vacation and the gf will not be happy if I'm on cham forums all night ignoring her). A member here pointed out some good advice to me, get a few fecals done over a month before putting your chameleon in the planted enclosure. It'd be terrible to have a coccidia or other parasite outbreak that required ditching everything.
 
Thank you I will definitely look into a vet that does chameleons near me.

This is my first bio, I think I may grow more experimental over time! I think if you check back into this thread that you will find my enclosure differing from others (hopefully, at least a little bit).

But, this is the microfauna, plants, and substrate that is available to me commercially.

I know Kammerflage Kreations is pretty reputable when it comes to parasites.

On a scale of 1-10, how likely do you think it would be for the chameleon to be carrying anything?
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
No I didn't mean to criticize, I just meant a lot of us have similar ideas going on I think it's great personally. Bioactive is the future IMO. Kammerflage is excellent and among the best people to get a panther from. You will most likely not have issues. Chances are he will be %100. But there's always the chance of a feeder introducing something or whatever... It'd just suck to have to trash everything.
 
No I didn't mean to criticize, I just meant a lot of us have similar ideas going on I think it's great personally. Bioactive is the future IMO. Kammerflage is excellent and among the best people to get a panther from. You will most likely not have issues. Chances are he will be %100. But there's always the chance of a feeder introducing something or whatever... It'd just suck to have to trash everything.

UGH, parasites, and pathogenic bacteria... kinda scary... I'm going to do some more research.

I am with my GF now, she read your comment and laughed, then got serious, and told me not to ever do that either.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Haha just saw this. I bet she did, Idk about you, but my girl is about to kill me. In a year I have turned our spare room into a chameleon paradise and any chance I get im reading about animal stuff and bsing with people on here.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nah a reptile room is awesome!! I guess people that just aren't into it and don't understand it, think it is(you know, dull people that aren't worth being around anyway). My gf has been very open to chameleons, she enjoys them and talked me into getting 2 of them, but she just likes them because they're cute and fun to look at. Overall she's not a reptile person; despises snakes, terrified of getting a tegu(my dream lol), and hates bugs. But she's been improving and these days she'll even look at the roaches. I think at this point she's just trying to be stubborn and not admit that she's being desensitized.

Sorry for going off topic!
 

Nursemaia

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok then I propose to start a reptile dating site. Guys can meet women like me and I can find guys that don't think I'm a little strange for having a whole room dedicated to lizards and bugs. Like I never know when to tell a guy I'm dating "Hey btw, I have a room full of chams, a snake, oh and I breed roaches too and have various cups of worms and larvae" "no it doesn't gross me out to touch them, no the roaches don't infest my house"
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's not a bad idea actually lol. Maybe a dating site for animal enthusiasts? I think you just have to look for people in the right places. Also just let people get to know you, anyone that likes you and is worth anything isn't going to cut it off because of a hobby/passion.. hell guys are supposed to be tough, if he can't handle some bugs and lizards do you really even want to be with him hah? If many women out there can handle these things, then there's guys that should be able to as well.

I lucked out only getting into the hobby when I met my girl, she saw it grow and I explained to her the need for each additional bug and whatever as I added them. She shows her friends the roaches too haha. I usually don't tell people about my critters unless they ask though. It gets so annoying being told that I am crazy and better be careful because roaches infest(as if everyone hasn't heard that since day 1 of life). My friends all respect me a lot and never care, but it's the dumb older family members and sheltered cousins that mess with me(mainly because they can get away with it hah)
 
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