Help building custom viv/cage

Discussion in 'Enclosures And Supplies' started by Benton1576, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Benton1576

    Benton1576 New Member


    Ive been working on some designs on cages for my panther chameleons. Ive decided im gonna make them 100x50x50 which i think is the absolute minimum i will build for 1 from the ammount of research i have done regarding their minimum requirements.

    Heres what i have so far. Ill be building a frame from 1" square. The inside of the frame will be covered with PVC foamboard and sealed. The outside will be covered with laminated hard wood, similar to that used in the bottom of drawers/back of wardrobes. Sandwiched between the 2 will be Polystyrene sheet for better insulation, this will keep it cooler in the summer and warm in the winter. The door and roof will be made from fly screen with a 1 inch frame around it. I will be attaching a magnetic strip to the back of the frame, and 1 on the frame of the cage at the front so it lines up with the door. No risk of bugs escaping then.

    Now, heres what im a little confused about. Im told by many people over here in Germany that i will need to put a substrate in the bottom as for 1. it helps with the humidity and 2. they sometimes eat a bit to help with digestion. Im not so keen on the idea becauseof the obvious risk of impaction. I was gonna build the floor 10cm higher and put a drainage hole in it with a sink plug or similar, then a plastic tray underneath to catch any water. I think it is a much cleaner option doing it this way.

    Any thoughts? Ive already got a good idea what im going to do and what you all going to say but i thought is get some imput before i start spending more money on this project as im building 10 in total so its not gonna be cheap!!!
  2. millerman6401

    millerman6401 Member

    go with the drainage. some people use substrate but its a risk and mess thats not worth it imo.
  3. Benton1576

    Benton1576 New Member

    Do you think using fiberglass screen will be ok? I normally use Aluminium screen but the one i have seen that i want to buy is fiberglass. It comes with the frame and rubber retainer to clip the screen in place. Its made by a company called Rhino screens?
  4. ferretinmyshoes

    ferretinmyshoes Veterinarian
    Staff Member

    No! Crickets eat right through fiberglass screen so you will have little holes and escapees everywhere! Learned that one the hard way. ;)
  5. Benton1576

    Benton1576 New Member

    OK, thats a bummer! gonna have to try find some coated aluminium screen then, or get it shipped from the states. Its hard work being english and trying to find things like that in Germany!!! lol
  6. Benton1576

    Benton1576 New Member

    Ive just had a thought, is it only the black crickets that will eat their way through fibergalss screen or the brown ones too? I tend not to leave them in there anyway as ive always been worried about them biting the chams. I feed Locusts as a staple with the odd crix here and there and roaches. What if i was to use the exo terra flexarium material, not ideal as theyre not as easy to see through but im sure the crix wont eat their way through that right?
  7. Benton1576

    Benton1576 New Member

    Bumping this thread as i dont seem to be getting any answers. Cmon people, someone out there must know if using the fiberglass screen is ok with my normal brown house crickets.
  8. Elizadolots

    Elizadolots New Member

    Well, I don't know much about building cages, but I know that the brown crickets are just as good at chewing their way through stuff as the black ones so I would say no, you do not want to go with fiberglass unless you are prepared to a) have escapes and b) be making repairs.
  9. Texas Ranger

    Texas Ranger Avid Member

    The brown crickets can do the same as the black crickets it just takes a little longer.
  10. Bernie

    Bernie New Member

    I would agree with whats already been advised by not having substrate and also sticking with Alu mesh rather than f-glass
  11. clarkrw3

    clarkrw3 New Member

    I would also agree with what has been said Al screen and drainage no substrate makes cleaning much easier.

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