Enclosure and Drainage Questions

Hello everyone! I have been trying to figure out if I should get either a standard 24” wide, 24” deep, 48” tall repti-breeze enclosure, or a dragon strand enclosure of the same dimensions. I ask because dragon strands are more expensive, will probably require a large shipping cost, and I also have the exchange rate from USD to CAD to factor in. Because of this, I am very tempted to just get a Zoo Med enclosure off of Canadian amazon or from my local exotic pet shop, but I have some concerns there as well. Basically, I hear both a lot of good and some bad about them which I find confusing because opinions on their quality seem to be split. Though, perhaps they are still popular because functionality is more important than quality? Not sure. Anyways, for someone who is going to get either a Veiled, Panther or maybe even Jackson’s chameleon and is a beginner, is the repti breeze still a safe bet? Or would there be a benefit if I splurge on a dragon strand? And, if I get a repti breeze, is the starter kit worth it? And further, if I get a dragon strand enclosure, would getting a substrate tray and dragon strands (for those who don’t know, “dragon strand” is the name of the company, and also the name of a product used to support climbing surfaces for chameleons that they make) from them be worth it?

As for my drainage-related question, those of you with bio active substrates on their veiled, Jackson or panther enclosures, do you find that they still need to be drained of water to the same degree as a typical substrate in the same enclosure would? More? Less? Not at all?

Thanks for any thoughts advice! :D
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Have had Panthers and Parsons on over a foot of substrate and I still have to drain the water. Obviously not as often depending on the mist schedule, but it's still something that needs done sooner or later.

How handy are you? Could try building something, or even modifying the reptibreezes. Couldn't be too hard to stack 2 next to each other for a larger cage too.
 
Have had Panthers and Parsons on over a foot of substrate and I still have to drain the water. Obviously not as often depending on the mist schedule, but it's still something that needs done sooner or later.

How handy are you? Could try building something, or even modifying the reptibreezes. Couldn't be too hard to stack 2 next to each other for a larger cage too.
What method do you use to drain the substrate? An idea that I have had in my for a while was to put a piece of PVC pipe through the base of the enclosure and substrate tray, then lead to to a bucket or even through the window that I will be positioning to make a gravity drain. Don't know if this would work with lose substrate, though. Thoughts?
As for handiness, I am not. Also, I am not concerned about the size of the enclosure, more about its quality. I hear that reptibreezes are on the flimsier side and susceptible to rusting. Perhaps I could improve its sturdiness my enlisting a family member to support it with a wooden frame or something? Not sure.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have pond liner in a big wooden stand that holds the substrate. Water goes through a hole at the bottom into a bin. I have a fountain pump in the bin which pumps the water outside through a tube.
 

Ruthless

Avid Member
Well many people have used Zoomed reptibreeze for chameleon housing. I personally wouldn’t spend the extra cash on a dragonstrand keeper series but would spend the extra cash to get Breeder series if I needed help controlling humidity but then again I came up with my own diy for humidity help here’s the link https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/alternate-clearside-diy.168320/ and for getting the zoomed starter kit I would stay away most the stuff is useless if you are trying to do your chameleon right. I would get the reptibreeze with the a dragon strand ledge kit. Hope this helps.
 

Char333p

Avid Member
If your just want all screen then yeah regular reptibreeze is fine. But clear sides or the dragon ledges are pretty awesome. Other then that the strands are obv hand built so more sturdy but very similar to the reptibreeze
 
Well many people have used Zoomed reptibreeze for chameleon housing. I personally wouldn’t spend the extra cash on a dragonstrand keeper series but would spend the extra cash to get Breeder series if I needed help controlling humidity but then again I came up with my own diy for humidity help here’s the link https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/alternate-clearside-diy.168320/ and for getting the zoomed starter kit I would stay away most the stuff is useless if you are trying to do your chameleon right. I would get the reptibreeze with the a dragon strand ledge kit. Hope this helps.
Never heard of the ledge kit. I'll check it out! And thanks for the link! Oh, and I realize now that "dragon LEDGES" are the product, and "dragon STRAND" is the company. The names aren't the same as I said they were in my first post. So, thanks for the reminder of that, too!
 
Here's some pictures I found on my phone from a little while back. Please excuse the mess in the one... was cleaning and rearranging everything.
Thanks for the pictures! Might need some explanation as to what I am seeing, exactly. :LOL: I wanted to see the pictures, by the way, to see if it was similar to what I had planned or if it is something that I could put together. Would you consider your system/method to be fairly complex? It didn't sound it in your first post...
 

Multivitamins

Avid Member
Avoid the kit it's trash you need the linear t5 uvb , I wish the real plus to a clear side dragonstrand for viewing but if your able to find a zoo med for cheap it will work fine for a panther, I'm using a 2*2*4 zoo-med and I did get the Dragon ledges definitely worth it for me. for mounting ease and it helped the overall stability . I also opted for the heavy duty drainage tray as I've got a plant at the base of the enclosure as well as several mounted to the walls. I used a small sized drill bit and made lots of holes in the black plastic bottom to allow water to pass into the drainage tray.
 
Avoid the kit it's trash you need the linear t5 uvb , I wish the real plus to a clear side dragonstrand for viewing but if your able to find a zoo med for cheap it will work fine for a panther, I'm using a 2*2*4 zoo-med and I did get the Dragon ledges definitely worth it for me. for mounting ease and it helped the overall stability . I also opted for the heavy duty drainage tray as I've got a plant at the base of the enclosure as well as several mounted to the walls. I used a small sized drill bit and made lots of holes in the black plastic bottom to allow water to pass into the drainage tray.
Thanks for the info. I thought that the standard drainage tray was sufficient for one potted plant?
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello everyone! I have been trying to figure out if I should get either a standard 24” wide, 24” deep, 48” tall repti-breeze enclosure, or a dragon strand enclosure of the same dimensions. I ask because dragon strands are more expensive, will probably require a large shipping cost, and I also have the exchange rate from USD to CAD to factor in. Because of this, I am very tempted to just get a Zoo Med enclosure off of Canadian amazon or from my local exotic pet shop, but I have some concerns there as well. Basically, I hear both a lot of good and some bad about them which I find confusing because opinions on their quality seem to be split. Though, perhaps they are still popular because functionality is more important than quality? Not sure. Anyways, for someone who is going to get either a Veiled, Panther or maybe even Jackson’s chameleon and is a beginner, is the repti breeze still a safe bet? Or would there be a benefit if I splurge on a dragon strand? And, if I get a repti breeze, is the starter kit worth it? And further, if I get a dragon strand enclosure, would getting a substrate tray and dragon strands (for those who don’t know, “dragon strand” is the name of the company, and also the name of a product used to support climbing surfaces for chameleons that they make) from them be worth it?

As for my drainage-related question, those of you with bio active substrates on their veiled, Jackson or panther enclosures, do you find that they still need to be drained of water to the same degree as a typical substrate in the same enclosure would? More? Less? Not at all?

Thanks for any thoughts advice! :D
Even a bioactive setup will need to drain eventually. The idea is if you do it right you wont have too, but with how much misting chameleons need, its inevitable. Took me a month of spraying my enclosure to get myself in the routine for Koba, before the water started leaking. I now have a towel soaking up water because I didnt think the drainage part through. Probably going to drill a hole through the bottom of the reptibreeze and through the table so it can drip into a bucket. Since it's currently dripping off the table onto a garbage bag with a funnel Into a tote...
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for the pictures! Might need some explanation as to what I am seeing, exactly. :LOL: I wanted to see the pictures, by the way, to see if it was similar to what I had planned or if it is something that I could put together. Would you consider your system/method to be fairly complex? It didn't sound it in your first post...
Those were the best pictures of the stand/drainage that I could find. The close up of the bottom shows the vinyl tube going through the corner of the door where the water gets pumped out. The stand is hollow with pond liner on the inside. There's about 2 feet of substrate. At the bottom there's a hole drilled in the wood where the water drains through, down into that plastic bin you see under the stand. Since the bin is large and shallow, making it hard to move, I placed a small $10 fountain pump inside of it connected to the tube. I have it turn on 3 times a week for a few seconds(you wouldn't need to do it that often with a panther). It creates a siphon and drains all the water out back.

I wouldn't say it's complex other than the stand being custom built. Just trying to give you some ideas. For a reptibreeze you could do something similar on a smaller scale.
 
Those were the best pictures of the stand/drainage that I could find. The close up of the bottom shows the vinyl tube going through the corner of the door where the water gets pumped out. The stand is hollow with pond liner on the inside. There's about 2 feet of substrate. At the bottom there's a hole drilled in the wood where the water drains through, down into that plastic bin you see under the stand. Since the bin is large and shallow, making it hard to move, I placed a small $10 fountain pump inside of it connected to the tube. I have it turn on 3 times a week for a few seconds(you wouldn't need to do it that often with a panther). It creates a siphon and drains all the water out back.

I wouldn't say it's complex other than the stand being custom built. Just trying to give you some ideas. For a reptibreeze you could do something similar on a smaller scale.
Good ideas! I didn’t know that a pump would be that cheap. Also, is a whole two feet of substrate necessary if you want to make a planted enclosure? Or is it just something special for your Parson’s?
 
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