Hello

Thank you. I have to be kind of careful what I post to any social media. We adopted her from foster care a couple years ago and it has been a bit of an uphill climb. I'm not sure we are on the downhill just yet, so all other hobbies are slowing for at least a few days.
Sounds like your doing the right thing. We will look forward to seeing results sometime in the future.
 
First off, I'm wishing the best for your daughter!

This cage seems amazing, though! A few thoughts:
-You can use expanding foam on the plant pots on the bottom to make it look like it's coming out of the ground or a rock, etc
-Scheffleras are amazing plants that are sturdy, leafy, cheap, and durable! Their stems create tons of covered pathways, too! Those and pothos/philodendron are the easiest (and very cheap) plants, and enclosures can be made with just those two types (though I personally love variety in my enclosures)! Pothos and philodendrons are easy to take a cutting and make more, as well!
-I used both expanded PVC sheets and coroplast (there wasn't a big enough sheet if the expanded PVC for the biggest side, I was scared it wouldn't be sturdy enough, but it is!) on my cage backgrounds. I took the mesh off on one side that I knew would be permanent and put the other sheet on the inside of the cage with the mesh still there, and siliconed the edges and screwed it into the frame. Remember to let the silicone cure and off-gas for at least a week (I prefer two) or per silicone tube instructions. Make sure to use either pure 100% silicone with no additives or aquarium safe silicone!
-You'll want lots of branches of different diameters and species going in all directions! No toxic or sap-producing species, though. I use oak, ghostwood, manzanita, and small rough bamboo branches (I scuff then up with course sandpaper to add even more grip; Home Depot sells tall big bags for cheap in the outdoor section), and another species that I'm blanking on right now
-The Great Stuff Outdoor Pond and Stone is very durable, and I like to add whatever substrate I'll be using on it while it's still wet before it cures. It takes one less step, and the remaining missed spots you don't have to worry about water coming into the cut foam (though it doesn't really matter with this foam)
-Definitely drill plant pot drainage holes through the foam where the lowest point is in the foaned-in pots. I like to add a small layer of rinsed lava rock (super cheap and light) in the bottom of the pots then put fine screen over it to separate the soul and lessen soil loss.
-Organic worm castings are an AMAZING safe fertilizer for your plants!
-I would at least put something watertight on/under the outside of the cage to catch and contain all of the excess water, if you don't want to put that in the cage. Also make sure to have a drainage system, as well
-Make sure to get a Herpstat (or another highly rated thermostat)!, That along with digital temperature probes and digital hygrometer/thermometer combos are important! I use a thermometer probe and the thermostat probe at my cham's baking spot (where the top of her back is when she's on that branch) for accurate temperature readings. I place a digital thermometer/hygrometer combo bread there, in the middle of my cage, and at the bottom, as well.
-Make sure to keep the bottom screen panel on the front of the cage clear for ventilation to make sure the chimney effect works properly
-Make the stand at least tallenough for your drainage system to for under it, and make the cage as high as possible for your chan to feel safest. You can always use a little step latter to access the too if needed. The only need to get up there is to replace lights and fix misting nozzles
-If you haven't gotten one yet, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5! It is the most important tool to have!
-I use a frame around my cage to lift the lights off of my cage (the frame is around a foot taller than the cage itself). Also make sure to tilt the basking bulb at an angle for a better and safer heat gradient

Here's my cage, let me know if you want pics of the drainage or lights!
 

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First off, I'm wishing the best for your daughter!

This cage seems amazing, though! A few thoughts:
-You can use expanding foam on the plant pots on the bottom to make it look like it's coming out of the ground or a rock, etc
-Scheffleras are amazing plants that are sturdy, leafy, cheap, and durable! Their stems create tons of covered pathways, too! Those and pothos/philodendron are the easiest (and very cheap) plants, and enclosures can be made with just those two types (though I personally love variety in my enclosures)! Pothos and philodendrons are easy to take a cutting and make more, as well!
-I used both expanded PVC sheets and coroplast (there wasn't a big enough sheet if the expanded PVC for the biggest side, I was scared it wouldn't be sturdy enough, but it is!) on my cage backgrounds. I took the mesh off on one side that I knew would be permanent and put the other sheet on the inside of the cage with the mesh still there, and siliconed the edges and screwed it into the frame. Remember to let the silicone cure and off-gas for at least a week (I prefer two) or per silicone tube instructions. Make sure to use either pure 100% silicone with no additives or aquarium safe silicone!
-You'll want lots of branches of different diameters and species going in all directions! No toxic or sap-producing species, though. I use oak, ghostwood, manzanita, and small rough bamboo branches (I scuff then up with course sandpaper to add even more grip; Home Depot sells tall big bags for cheap in the outdoor section), and another species that I'm blanking on right now
-The Great Stuff Outdoor Pond and Stone is very durable, and I like to add whatever substrate I'll be using on it while it's still wet before it cures. It takes one less step, and the remaining missed spots you don't have to worry about water coming into the cut foam (though it doesn't really matter with this foam)
-Definitely drill plant pot drainage holes through the foam where the lowest point is in the foaned-in pots. I like to add a small layer of rinsed lava rock (super cheap and light) in the bottom of the pots then put fine screen over it to separate the soul and lessen soil loss.
-Organic worm castings are an AMAZING safe fertilizer for your plants!
-I would at least put something watertight on/under the outside of the cage to catch and contain all of the excess water, if you don't want to put that in the cage. Also make sure to have a drainage system, as well
-Make sure to get a Herpstat (or another highly rated thermostat)!, That along with digital temperature probes and digital hygrometer/thermometer combos are important! I use a thermometer probe and the thermostat probe at my cham's baking spot (where the top of her back is when she's on that branch) for accurate temperature readings. I place a digital thermometer/hygrometer combo bread there, in the middle of my cage, and at the bottom, as well.
-Make sure to keep the bottom screen panel on the front of the cage clear for ventilation to make sure the chimney effect works properly
-Make the stand at least tallenough for your drainage system to for under it, and make the cage as high as possible for your chan to feel safest. You can always use a little step latter to access the too if needed. The only need to get up there is to replace lights and fix misting nozzles
-If you haven't gotten one yet, definitely get a Solarmeter 6.5! It is the most important tool to have!
-I use a frame around my cage to lift the lights off of my cage (the frame is around a foot taller than the cage itself). Also make sure to tilt the basking bulb at an angle for a better and safer heat gradient

Here's my cage, let me know if you want pics of the drainage or lights!
Thank you. Unfortunately, we are back at the hospital again. The bright side is that I have a lot more time to read through this forum and marvel at amazing cham photos.

That is a lot of great info! The cage I have did not come with a solid panel for the right side, so that will be screen no matter what. I could change out some of the front with extra screen panels, but I'm not sure what all the screen panels this came with. I should probably open that box. I am also a bit nervous about being able to keep the humidity up. Again, Michigan weather. Our house always feels dry. I'll see what I've got and what I can swap out.

I have a digital thermometer and hygrometer combo that I need to figure out how to use. I thought I might put it down a side with enough slack that it can reach the basking spot when needed.


I have a par meter that I used for coral, but I'm guessing that won't work. I'll look into getting a solarmeter.

I had watched a video of someone using nylon rope, silicon glued, and coconut fiber to make their own vines. YouTube can be a great help, but it can also provide a fair amount of disinformation. We have a some branches from the woods nearby that we will collect branches from (from the cham safe list, of course) but what are the thoughts on homemade vines? The goal is to provide something for the live vines to climb across, in addition to the cham.

For the stand I have a few options, but essentially I'll need room for a 5 gallon bucket under. I'm planning on using the tray that came with the cage and putting a drain line in to go under the tray. Trying to go as high as possible, I'm looking at around 3 feet, with a 4 foot cage leaves me a for above for lights, and I think my tallest light is 9 inches. If I put the fans facing forward rather than straight up, I should still be able to pull air up and through.
 
So sorry to hear about your daughter. She is your priorty right now and delays in life are usually fir a reason. One thing i was thinking about with drainage for your plants is have one drain into the one below etc.. Then use a large potted plant without drainage at the bottom to catch the water. I took a five gal water bottle, cut the top off, burnt the edges so they arent sharp and potted my large swiss in it. My chams loves to climb down into it and get any crickets that find there way there. bevause its clear, i can keep an eye on the root system for watering. Also a single screened area of 4x2 will have give in it and the cham wont climb on it once its weight is up. I put 1x1 wire weld on one side and curved it up over half the ceiling so there is a couple on inches between the basking light. Also this is very important make sure the temp is about 80 where the basking perch is. Not above it or below it if you have to move the perch to get the temp right then allow for that. i got bulb replacements 75 watt basking and relized the temp was 90 so had to move the perch i keep a small temp guage right a badking level.
 
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