Dragon strand ledges

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi. While I’m anxiously awaiting the delivery if Miss Grumpy’s new and larger enclosure and gathering new stuff to put in it, i’ve got the dilemma of how to properly secure everything. I’ve looked at the dragonstrand ledges and wonder if anyone uses them and what their opinion is. I’d like to be able to get some of the plants off the enclosure floor and don’t want to go thru the expense and trouble if the ledges can’t support the weight.
Secondary question is are plain wooden dowels from hardware store safe to use? The only branches I can forage are from trees I can’t identify and not sure if those are safe. Spent $60 for branches already but sadly that’s just a few and i’ll be needing more.
Many thanks in advance.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dowels are safe.

Where do you live? Just go cut some branches down, don't use pine and don't use anything with sap and you're good. The toxic fear everyone has is way overblown. Unless your cham is grinding up branches and drinking them through a smoothie, he/she will be fine. Most of the plants they are found on in the wild are probably toxic :)

Edit: forgot to answer your dragon ledge question, yes they are a good investment.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
I live in central Florida just a few miles inland from Cape Canaveral. I’ve never seen even the tiniest hint of driftwood on the beach. I did cut some nice branches from a tree but wasn’t sure if safe to use as I can't identify it (not a pine or conifer).
Guess I’ll bite the financial bullet and order some ledges. Already spent a few hundred...what’s another $50.
This wonderfully bizarre little creature that I never planned on having and who hates me has stolen my heart and wallet. I feel like she should be wearing a little crown.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m getting ready to install dragon ledges on my DIY cage in just a few minutes. I have two dragon strand enclosures that use the ledges as well and they work well. I still use vertical branches to add additional support to the ledges and heavier branches but for a small branch or small Chamaeleon I think they would be fine on their own. The vertical branches add more climbing space and my chameleons use them frequently so I would add them even if you don’t think you need them.

If you get some branches from outside just be sure to rinse them off really well so that you don’t bring in any ants or mites. All of the branches that I use came from my backyard .
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
Ledges are great, especially when used as above in Beman's link.
Be sure to install ledges before you assemble your enclosure, if possible - much easier.

I agree on the sticks...I've used a lot of wood found on hikes...I choose dead wood with bark already fallen away - easier to wipe off and no problems.
 

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
I have 14 cages with Dragon Ledges, they will hold a lot of weight because the weight is supported by the ledges attached to the cage frame, not the screen. Wood dowels, bamboo, and other non-friction branches are not your best choice as they are smooth and require a harder grip strength for the chameleon than a natural branch does. As a side-branch note, man-made vines often don't dry out which can cause foot infections, use Ivy vines, Grape vines, etc.

Pathos is the BEST plant for your cage (IMHO), it will grow fast (one plant will fill your typical 2 x 2x 4 cage in 3 months), offer hiding places, take over-watering, and create new vines you can use to make new chameleon highways. You will need a plant light to keep any live plants growing. Please don't use plastic plants and vines.

CHEERS!

Nick
 
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snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s the cage I just threw together this afternoon with Dragon Ledges. A few more things to do to it, but the Dragon Ledges allowed for a lot more options. Needed to shift some cages around so its temporary, but still happy with it!

One of the most fun parts of this hobby is building the enclosures, IMO!

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MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great info from all! Many thanks! While I don’t have any trees in my yard, I do have a passionflower vine that’s trying to take over so can gather yards of that. I’ve got a nice Pothos that’s growing fast, along with hibiscus and umbrella plant. Having found the FL Chams plant list, i’ll be adding more. Miss Grumpy won’t sample the greens & fruits I’ve given but has been nibbling the plants. I hate the plastic plants, but have been using to give her hiding spots. I’ve ordered the softer fabric ones to use until her real plants grow enough to do the job. Ledges have been ordered. While I wait for everything to arrive i’ll have to brave the heat and biting bugs and go look for some nice wood and branches. Yes, I absolutely agree that planning and setting up an enclosure is a lot of fun. :)
 

janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
I live in central Florida just a few miles inland from Cape Canaveral. I’ve never seen even the tiniest hint of driftwood on the beach. I did cut some nice branches from a tree but wasn’t sure if safe to use as I can't identify it (not a pine or conifer).
Guess I’ll bite the financial bullet and order some ledges. Already spent a few hundred...what’s another $50.
This wonderfully bizarre little creature that I never planned on having and who hates me has stolen my heart and wallet. I feel like she should be wearing a little crown.
I’m just south of you in Satellite beach :) I’m having the same issue. I’ve collected some branches in the past but they ended up with bugs inside so I gave up lol.
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
Here’s the cage I just threw together this afternoon with Dragon Ledges. A few more things to do to it, but the Dragon Ledges allowed for a lot more options. Needed to shift some cages around so its temporary, but still happy with it!

One of the most fun parts of this hobby is building the enclosures, IMO!

View attachment 238572View attachment 238573
You had me at "threw this together"! :)
Bioactive, yes? I know there are many threads I have seen on how to set up bio...but would you share your method? And, what kind of wood is that in back left corner? Tanks...
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
I live in central Florida just a few miles inland from Cape Canaveral. I’ve never seen even the tiniest hint of driftwood on the beach. I did cut some nice branches from a tree but wasn’t sure if safe to use as I can't identify it (not a pine or conifer).
Guess I’ll bite the financial bullet and order some ledges. Already spent a few hundred...what’s another $50.
This wonderfully bizarre little creature that I never planned on having and who hates me has stolen my heart and wallet. I feel like she should be wearing a little crown.


So the key to figuring it out is part of treatment anyway :).

Well for one, even driftwood, pine trees smell, they smell like Pine, whether driftwood or not. Also the smell and sap is what is dangerous. If the smell is gone, and it doesn't sap it's fine.

So how do you figure that out. Bake them, bake them in the oven at 250f for 30mins or so. This will kill any buggos that may be on/in there as well.

If you bake a pine branch, it will sap. When you pull out your branches any pine will be covered in sapey substance. It rises to the top and bubbles in some spots and drips down those. Like it's bleeding.

I went to the lake the other day, came back with 4 large pieces, and a bunch of small ones. Have not got around to processing the smalls yet, but of the large ones, one of them turned out to be pine. (I live in the largest pine Forest in the US).

So one of my large ones, was way to big for the oven. So I used the method online, I filled my bathtub with water with 5% bleach mix. And let it soak weighted down overnight. That kills the buggos and such. Then let it dry for a day and a half, and used my heat gun on it, full blast in one spot for awhile. This also will sap if it's pine, tested on the piece that sapped in the oven. It didn't.

You could also cut a piece off the large one and bake to see if it saps.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
The tree I got the branches from has leaves similar to a ficus, but it’s a big tree and had tiny green nuts or berries. I have them drying in the sun/heat now and then will clean and bake. Thanks so much for the info on how to do both.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
You had me at "threw this together"! :)
Bioactive, yes? I know there are many threads I have seen on how to set up bio...but would you share your method? And, what kind of wood is that in back left corner? Tanks...

Its a big cork bark slab, its Clarice’s favorite part! I also got some cool pieces for Charlie. I have a lot of plants and wood kicking around.

Going bioactive is really not as difficult as people think and the animals clearly prefer it. And when I open the cage door it smells so nice! The only problem with throwing it together quickly is that my CUC didnt have time to get established first... so I’ll likely need to add more later or they’ll just take longer to grow in numbers. Charlie and Clarice picked off several giant canyon isopods as soon as they were allowed in!

10A2ED7A-8CD2-4A3B-8AE7-4B5E76058767.jpeg
 

cham_urchin

Established Member
Its a big cork bark slab, its Clarice’s favorite part! I also got some cool pieces for Charlie. I have a lot of plants and wood kicking around.

Going bioactive is really not as difficult as people think and the animals clearly prefer it. And when I open the cage door it smells so nice! The only problem with throwing it together quickly is that my CUC didnt have time to get established first... so I’ll likely need to add more later or they’ll just take longer to grow in numbers. Charlie and Clarice picked off several giant canyon isopods as soon as they were allowed in!

View attachment 238635
id love to hear how you assembled the soil and drainage layers, and with what...when ya got a minute
 
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