Donnie's Free range

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Edit: Just realized you mentioned shower curtains in your original post!

Everything you have done looks great except for one thing, the black plastic backdrop. Not trying to be a dick but I think you already know that.

You obviously enjoy and care about your cham so why sell yourself and cham short? I build custom enclosures on the side in southern Louisiana and about three years ago a client asked me to incorporate a screen printed shower curtain into her background. I was skeptical at first but for the $20 bucks it cost it can’t be beat. Since then the demand for them has exploded amongst my clients.

They are waterproof, lightweight, easy to clean, and are easily removed during a re-model. I don’t know about you but I get bored with any layout after about a year!

If you search “Jungle shower curtain” on Amazon you will get thousands of options!
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
@Brodybreaux25

i agree, but i don't think the cham cares about what it looks like lol. It is only temporary, the whole table is going to be replaced by one a large substrate bin planted bioactive, with a foam mountain in the middle(maybe back, idk yet...) and i'm either going to ditch the shower curtain altogether or put something up that looks a little cleaner. I rushed through that to get it done. I'm in the middle of full time classes, with a pregnant gf, and 4 demanding animals lol. When summer comes i'll have more time to clean everything up.
 
While I understand the difficulty of this undertaking, have you considered making a 3-D background, all you'd need is some Styrofoam, special cement, sanding tools, and paint? I really love your setup though, I'm going to have to make one now, and I don't even have the chameleon yet, but I do have a cockatiel, and I'm sure he will appreciate having somewhere new to poop on. My plan for my free range is to use a 2 inch PVC stand and a lipped piece of wood at the bottom for catching the water. I can probably even do a mister or humidifier on a timer but my fondest idea would be to suspend an aforementioned 3-D background chunk in the shape of a big rock. The water would start at the top, trickle down the side and go into a bowl, leak into a return pump and start again, it would run across some leaves or something so that he could drink from it.
PS If not a 3-D background, I'm rooting for the Jurassic Park shower curtain ha ha ha
 
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah, actually my other cages had foam walls. I'd like to make a nicer permanent wall with plants growing from it. The shower curtain that is up right now was only supposed to be behind the wall I'll be adding. I'm buying a house soon though (i think) so I might just wait until then to do any crazy upgrades. Right now I am just renting. I realllly like the bioactive fully planted look though, plus all of the benefits that go along... My plan for my free ranges is to have huge substrate bins, fully planted and maybe a living wall-thing of some sort attached.

I like your suspending rock idea, but you might have a problem with bacteria build up recycling the water. cham poop, feeders, etc would most likely get mixed in pretty fast.
 
Simple, just run it through a simple Whisper filter, I keep reef tanks and brackish tanks, I can keep water clean ha ha ha. If all else failed, I'd just run it through a loop in the rock where it passed a UV filter (not hard to do) and kept the water crystal clear, plus with weekly replacements, I'd be confident in drinking the water myself. You could have pots in the thing too for plants that need a lot of water, you'd use a hydroponics method to run it along their roots, that would even filter it a bit. It'd be a complicated rock, but absolutely awesome. I've attached my idea of my free range. It's pretty rough right now, and the PVC stand is way more complicated than the pic, I'll probably use crossbars. But those dark gray triangles are intended to keep him from crawling too high up.
 

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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I keep reef tank as well, but i just can't see myself doing that. Water builds bacteria over time, uv sterilizer or not. It's asking for problems. If you pull it off it would be very cool-i'd like to see it, but i think you'll find that it'll cause more problems than it's worth. Unless you don't have your cham on it 24/7? I might be picturing it a little different than what you're describing. Sorry not trying to put down your idea in anyway, it sounds really cool. I myself have had some pretty wild plans for similar things. I just wouldn't reuse water. UV sterilizers are pretty inconsistent as well if that's what you're talking about using.
 
Ok, this is more about filters than chameleons, but filters are great too ha ha ha. My UV generally keeps water almost perfect, just go a bit larger than what you need. Plus, even if the water doesn't look clean, if it's gone through UV, everything in it has died. UV light is amazing, it kills the cell by corrupting the DNA, leading to eventual apoptosis, basically a kill switch in the cell . One thing people do with UV to decrease it's effectivity is to run water through it too fast, if you'd don't want to spend the money on a bigger UV, buy a smaller inline one, get a small pump, and run water out of the system, through it, and you'll have far better results. But with a project this small and a pump of likely only 20-40 GPH, it'll be no problem for the light to do its job. I suppose you could have the UV as a bypass and run some of the water through the roots of some plants, that would remove nitrogen, which, when removed, would also remove bacteria's food source, it would also discourage algae. Probably be best to run the water through a filter sponge first, otherwise large particles may clog your pump. You really wouldn't even need to do water changes weekly, maybe bi-monthly, it will be really clean water. I'm pretty sure you'd have great results with my system. I've included a diagram so that there is no confusion, the diagram doesn't include the plant root bypass, but I can modify it if you need me to.
 

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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've thought of doing pretty much the same thing. A uv sterilizer will not break down ammonia though, maybe if you cycled a tank of water and had some sort of sump/refugium thing going on lol. You'll also have stuff growing on wherever the water is running over time, cages generally need to dry out. Just because something is dead doesn't mean it should be ingested either. Idk though, those are just my first thoughts. with chams it seems best to start simple, you see a lot of people come on here with unique plans that never seem to end up working(that involve water especially)-myself included. I don't know of anyone here that uses recycled water in the way you're talking with any success. It's generally not a good idea, but with what you're explaining I could see it being a possibility if you want to put in the extra work for it.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Simple, just run it through a simple Whisper filter, I keep reef tanks and brackish tanks, I can keep water clean ha ha ha. If all else failed, I'd just run it through a loop in the rock where it passed a UV filter (not hard to do) and kept the water crystal clear, plus with weekly replacements, I'd be confident in drinking the water myself. You could have pots in the thing too for plants that need a lot of water, you'd use a hydroponics method to run it along their roots, that would even filter it a bit. It'd be a complicated rock, but absolutely awesome. I've attached my idea of my free range. It's pretty rough right now, and the PVC stand is way more complicated than the pic, I'll probably use crossbars. But those dark gray triangles are intended to keep him from crawling too high up.
I would pay to see you drink that water!
 
I wouldn't drink from anything that came out a whisper filter, let me clarify, those are terrible for filtration, it's purpose would be to move water. I'd be confident with running it through a small fluval canister. Plus, UV not only kills the cells, it breaks down the cell wall, basically all that is left behind in something that small is atoms.
 

Extensionofgreen

Chameleon Enthusiast
K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly) is always best with chameleons. The more elaborate a set-up, the more variables there are to consider and plates to keep spinning.
If you want to go the extra mile, try a living wall or some hanging plants, suspended over a drainage system to make watering easy.
The chameleon is most likely no critiquing your background and aesthetics are always less important than proper parameters.

My set-up is large, but really isn't complicated. I certainly don't full with recirculating water. I have a false bottom to pump out drainage water, a mistking, and a fogger. It's really just a typical set-up, just larger.
 

Extensionofgreen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Check out the build thread under the search term "Epic Parsonii enclosure" and look at the second build. It explains and shows my drainage.
 

laurie

Retired Moderator
I love you free range. We are going to turn the room, that currently hold Titans habitat, into a free range.david has bought the tile for the floor. Next he has to install a floor drain in a room on the ground floor! Fun times ahead for hubby.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey thanks! I'm actually in the process of completely redoing it in a more organized manner. Going to have 3 free ranges against the back wall for my 3 panthers
 
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