First Bio Build

GrayMadder

Chameleon Enthusiast
Feeling like a kid on Christmas morning right now! View attachment 292143
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aleagueofherown

Established Member
Building the setup is totally like the cherry on top of being a cham owner!!! I could TOTALLY do that for a living and wouldn't complain a day in my life 😂 very excited to see more progress!!!


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Thank you so much! It is seriously the best, and most fun part. I kind of want to vomit when I think about the amount of money I'll have put into it by the time it is done, BUT I also know I'll be giving her the best life she could possibly have, and to me that's worth so much more.
Great looking build can't wait to see the finished product :)
Thanks so much! I've had to put it on the back burner for a bit due to exams and work picking back up, but it's been raining so it's not like I could get much done anyway (working on it outside on my deck). I am reallyyyy hoping my cork branches come in soon so I can start on foaming/shaping the background. Until then, doing my best to be patient!
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Whew! It has been a crazy week. I turned 29 on Monday :) Matt got me these ridiculously cute chameleon pins (see below) which are really turning my creative wheels for what I'm planning to paint on the front of the new build.
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Things I purchased from NE Herp, shipping to me Monday: custom plant kit, 1 tillandsia wide mix pack, 2 gallons oak leaf litter, 3 neoregalia pups, and a partridge in a pear tree (just kidding, 4 Jungle Dawn 40W LED spotlights).

There's a shop close to our house that specializes in metal works. The owner's wife was my school office manager when I went to Catholic school (K-3) across the street, and my parents have known their family for years. He was able to give me a great deal on the grate (see what I did there?) I wanted for the bottom drainage portion, and that should be done this week.

I'm still waiting for the cork branches to come in from Spain, but at this point I may just start foaming and using the branches I collected from my grandparents' property and the cork flats I got from Pangea Reptile. I'd like to get the foaming completely finished in the next 2 weeks, because I know it's going to be time-consuming.

Anyway, there's an update! Hope to post more photos of the progress soon.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Are you carving it to look like stone, or just making it more even?
Making it more even! So, easier than carving for detail. Haven't foamed the pots and branches in yet, and I'm planning to build the top so the fog will roll over a branch on the very top (using PVC). I have a long way to go, but I know it'll be worth it.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
you have just gotten started on your foam carving journey. Try carving it with a bunch of branches In your way lol.
I actually just finished the first later. With a couple of breaks it took me about 2.5 hours. I gave up 45 minutes in and dropped the knife for a dremel instead. SO much easier. Not looking forward to carving around branches and pots soon 🤣
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
I actually just finished the first later. With a couple of breaks it took me about 2.5 hours. I gave up 45 minutes in and dropped the knife for a dremel instead. SO much easier. Not looking forward to carving around branches and pots soon 🤣

lol ya it gets very tedious but 2.5 hrs isn’t bad. My newest build took me 2 weeks of spraying foam and carving and spraying foam and carving etc etc.

I find the dremel to be to messy. I prefer to use this grapefruit knife with a curve on it. The curve helps get into wierd areas. It really depends on what look your going for though I guess.
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aleagueofherown

Established Member
lol ya it gets very tedious but 2.5 hrs isn’t bad. My newest build took me 2 weeks of spraying foam and carving and spraying foam and carving etc etc.

I find the dremel to be to messy. I prefer to use this grapefruit knife with a curve on it. The curve helps get into wierd areas. It really depends on what look your going for though I guess. View attachment 294452View attachment 294453
That's an awesome carving tool! I have pretty bad arthritis which is why hand carving is difficult. But I do have a ton of weird blades for my dremel and luckily, I'm planning to cover the foam anyway. Eventually it'll be so full of plants that I probably won't notice the little imperfections. I think I saw your build, in another thread? It was awesome. It can be so involved! But worth it.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
That's an awesome carving tool! I have pretty bad arthritis which is why hand carving is difficult. But I do have a ton of weird blades for my dremel and luckily, I'm planning to cover the foam anyway. Eventually it'll be so full of plants that I probably won't notice the little imperfections. I think I saw your build, in another thread? It was awesome. It can be so involved! But worth it.

oh ya hand carving would not be your friend then. Ya I have a thread about my build here still working on it.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/lennon’s-new-bioactive-tank-build.179455/

I probably went a bit overboard with the detail because as you said it will be all covered in plants eventually but it looks awesome until then.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
oh ya hand carving would not be your friend then. Ya I have a thread about my build here still working on it.

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/lennon’s-new-bioactive-tank-build.179455/

I probably went a bit overboard with the detail because as you said it will be all covered in plants eventually but it looks awesome until then.
I love seeing all of the progress photos! And your rock wall - sooo cool. Overboard is my favorite. As others say, chameleons are a living piece of art. They deserve the best.
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
New plant babes arrived today from NE Herp! Now let's just hope I can keep them alive until planting *hopefully* by the end of next week.

- Peperomia caperata
- Pilea glauca
- Pellionia repens
- Aeschynanthus gracilis
- Peperomia cubensis
- Alsobia dianthiflora
- Peperomia perciliata
- Peperomia puteolata
- Tradescantia 'Baby Bunny Bellies'
- Soleirolia soleirolii
- Callisia repens
- Pilea depressa
- Selaginella uncinata
- Maranta leuconeura
- Monstera adansonii
- Peperomia obtusifolia
- Peperomia clusiifolia
- Peperomia piccolo banda
- Fittonia argyroneura
- Hypoestes phyllostachya
- Begonia bipinnatifida
- Calathea lancifolia
- Pteris ensiformis
- Nephrolepis cordifolia
- Polystichum tsus-simense
- Microsorum diversifolium
- Asplenium scolopendrium
- Pellaea rotundifolia

plant babes.jpg
 

aleagueofherown

Established Member
Woo excellent 👏 love it . Would you vote for this forum to have a plant care list
I saw the post about that before! I think plant care can definitely vary based on the area you live in, as well as where you get your plants. And there are SO. MANY. PLANTS. It might be difficult to nail down specific plants but it would be cool to see some information on common species. I do believe it would be helpful to have some general plant care tips. For instance - I bet most new chameleon owners don't know that they should "process" their plants before introducing them to an enclosure. And for those of us who have taller enclosures, that a certain amount of LED light is 100% necessary to ensure our plants grow well. I'd love to chat more about it with you!
 

Sonny13

Avid Member
I saw the post about that before! I think plant care can definitely vary based on the area you live in, as well as where you get your plants. And there are SO. MANY. PLANTS. It might be difficult to nail down specific plants but it would be cool to see some information on common species. I do believe it would be helpful to have some general plant care tips. For instance - I bet most new chameleon owners don't know that they should "process" their plants before introducing them to an enclosure. And for those of us who have taller enclosures, that a certain amount of LED light is 100% necessary to ensure our plants grow well. I'd love to chat more about it with you!
The LED lights nowadays are so small, they´re easy to build in a large enclosure without notice and will definitely benefit the plant grow. My bottom part almost hadn't any light, because of dense foliage above and I put in a small light LED strip 10" by 1" (Lucky Reptile Nano LED strip). I mounted it under a log and it´s almost not noticeable, except the light itself. It's shiny thing under the log.

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