input on building

reptileguy

New Member
Brian S....thank you very much for finding that link.....it probably took you awhile.....i think it will help me out a lot.....
 

Brian S

New Member
No problem, i was thinking about where i saw it, and ended up tearing chameleon news apart becuase i knew it was there somewhere.
 

reptileguy

New Member
I went out today and looked around at some stuff....where can i find that corrugated plastic to use? I went to home depot and lowes and they don't carry it......also.....is that over board.....if i just build it out of sanded wood walls, would that be sufficient.....they won't get moldy, soft or warp will they?? also, if i make a solid walled structure, what would I pin the vines to...i planned on having a screened front, top, vent on the back and one of the other sides.....
 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
If you use wood you will be able to paint and /or seal it if you want.
I haven't had trouble with warping, rotting, mold etc. due to the fact that I let the enclosure completely dry out between mistings.
Also if your wood does absorb some of the moisture from a misting it will keep humidity higher longer as it takes a while for that to completely dry and moisture is evaporating the whole time from the wood.

-Brad
 

reptileguy

New Member
good stuff.....i like hearing that, I just looked up on the web how much that pvc, and polythylem board are, and they are definitely not cheap......im going to stay with the wood then....I'm gettin closer to finishing up my ideas...
 

Heika

New Member
The corrugated plastic is pretty inexpensive.. cheaper than wood if you find it for sale in the right place.

I have a cage that is 30X32X66, and sits on a 2 foot tall cabinet. I like it a lot. My fat panther Spencer lives in it, and someday I may have to boot him to a different cage so that I can put a large species in it. The screen is made of 8 mesh fish pond plastic mesh, except for the top. It used to be the plastic screen, but over time the lights warped it so I changed it out for aluminum window screen.

Here it is when I was setting it up when it was still new. Sorry to those who have seen these a hundred times now, I am too lazy to take new pics..









 

Brad Ramsey

Retired Moderator
You can use a sink or as in Heika's case (i think) a shower pan.
This is commonly done and is quite brilliant.
My next enclosure will be built around the dimensions of one of these and housed on a cabinet with a drain to a collection bucket.

-Brad
 

reptileguy

New Member
i just called lowes and home depot, and they gave me a really nice flooring idea, and that is the pan that goes under the washing machine.....lowes' is about 31 x 29 and h.d. is 32" squared.....both about $20, and have 2 different locations to cut for draining....i think that will work out real nicely...
 

Heika

New Member
Yes, it is a washing machine drain pan. My uncle built that cage for me to my design after I bought all the supplies.. I am a pretty mediocre carpenter. Ok, ok.. I will admit it.. I am a really crappy carpenter. The drain holes in the bottom of those are offset on the sides. We decided it would be best in the middle, and my uncle came up with that cool poke up drain. I had my doubts about it.. he didn't. It has worked very well.

The screened part of the cage actually sits inside of the pan. It isn't attached to anything and can just be lifted off after the plants and chameleon are removed. The pan lifts off too, and can be taken outside to be sprayed down with the water hose. The top of the cabinet is open.. the pan is supported by the edge, and it is plenty strong enough to support the 4 potted plants that are in his cage. It slopes from the weight of the plants to the drain, which is pretty efficient. For normal cleaning, I use a shop vac to clean up dead leaves and poo, and then wipe it with a rag and novalsan S. Makes for easy cleaning.

The only thing I didn't like about this cage when I had it in the house was its height. I got a bit greedy.. wanted it as tall as I could get it and didn't think that through completely. There was enough space to slide in a basking lamp, but just barely. I actually had to switch to a different reflector lamp because the one I was using was too tall and wouldn't fit. I had to adjust the heat by wattage, which was really a pain in the ass. Spencer has small healed burns to prove it. It is much easier when you can lift the lamp away from the top of the cage to adjust the temperature. Now it is out in the shop, which has 10 foot ceilings. Much, much better.. the lamp can be lifted again. I am guessing that the plastic mesh wouldn't have warped quite so bad if I could have lifted the lamp away from the top of the cage too.

Heika
 

reptileguy

New Member
so the bottom of your cage is open......and just sits in the pan....i like that....very easy for cleaning......is the drain necessary.....i mean will there be that much water draining out??
 

Heika

New Member
I use a misting system and empty the five gallon bucket in the cabinet about once a week. So, yes, for me it is necessary. It makes it nice and clean too. The water never sits in the cage allowing bacteria to breed, and maintenance is really simple.

Heika
 

Heika

New Member
It depends on which one you decide to go with. If you make your own "semi automatic" system, you can build one from a pump sprayer, timer, sprinkler valve and misting heads for about 65-75 dollars. If you go with a commercial one, you will be spending more. I bought a ProMist.. super nice pump driven system that I absolutely love. I bought the larger of the systems they have available and it was $250.00. Rainmaker and Rainmaker JR. are both supposed to be decent systems as well.

Heika
 

reptileguy

New Member
have you made your own? I would probably do that.....saves money.....im all into saving some money right now.....Do you have directions on something like that
 

marxous

New Member
There are hardware fabrics that are pvc coated and there is window screening. They are in different departments at home depot and both are viable choices. I used the window screening for Kitty's enclosure (see my gallery for pic). Also check out this DIY article by Chris for inspiration.

-Brad

http://www.chameleonnews.com/diycage.html
in that walk through he only has one light per cage!? what about the UV lighting? has he dicided not to use any!?!?
 
in that walk through he only has one light per cage!? what about the UV lighting? has he dicided not to use any!?!?
You can see the 4 foot florescent fixtures in the last photo. Surely all that light is not coming from those bulbs hanging a foot and a half overhead. The lights are simply hidden.
 
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