Lets Talk Water.

The Wild One

Chameleon Enthusiast
I need to figure out a custom misting system for a bioactive viv, has anyone else done this? Please show me your drainage and misting systems and how they work. Thanks!
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I need to figure out a custom misting system for a bioactive viv, has anyone else done this? Please show me your drainage and misting systems and how they work. Thanks!
Could you give us an idea of the enclosure? Glass, screen, hybrid? The reason why you want to mist; ie rh too low, increase places for Cham to drink.
 

The Wild One

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so, the back wall is 29inches wide and 69 inches tall. I would like to mist for hydration and to cover all of the areas for the plants so they get proper watering too. there is a total of 11 different plant species and 2 of them are going to be suspended, the 5 on the floor, most of the remaining on the back wall and a few on the sides. The back wall Will the covered with great Suff pond and foam and cocoa fiber. The cage will be propped up on a stand about 10 inches tall for drainage space (To be figured out). The plant species are:
lilac, wandering Jews, ficus Alli, money tree, Schefflera amate, monstera, dracaena, zebra plant, pothos, and an African daisy. Coda doesn't like being directly misted so I would like to give her places to escape if she doesnt want to be misted. Its all high visibility screen. Thanks! let me know if you need anythig else!
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Personally, I’d mist just after lights out for a few minutes, fog overnight, and mist again just before lights on. Let it dry out during the day. Then you can monitor whether all your plants are getting enough water. Could you take a pic of the cage?
 

The Wild One

Chameleon Enthusiast
Personally, I’d mist just after lights out for a few minutes, fog overnight, and mist again just before lights on. Let it dry out during the day. Then you can monitor whether all your plants are getting enough water. Could you take a pic of the cage?
this is an upcoming build, Im just trying to get my head wrapped around everything.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok, so there are, from what I can tell, two points of view on the substrate/drainage in such a situation. But first, I just want to say that before you put your Cham in a bioactive build, you should run three fecals on it. The reason being is that once it’s in there, if it has pinworms, Coccidia, or anything, you’ll have no way to sterilize the environment other than to tear it down. So, make sure your Cham is clean first.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t really have bio active enclosures, it’s complicated, but I’m not sure I’ll be the best at giving advice here. I think @GoodKarma19 would be in a better position, as she has recently completed a large bioactive enclosure.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
I use large square planters that I screwed the base of the enclosures to. Set up the pots with a drainage layer rocks, course poting soil, then very fine Pete moss/sand mix similar to a paludarium or planted Aquarium. I only mist my veileds heavy in the morning seeing as how they are a more arid cham I diddnt drill holes in the bottom of the planters cause I won't be flooding the substrate. It is bio-active and so far so good springtails have multiplied like crazy I even scooped a portion out for my new gecko and Anoles bioactivity. Just let the top 1"- 2" of soil dry throughout the day and lightly mist when you see fit, or when they look thirsty lol. I mist when I see venting- to cool the cage down.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ok so, the back wall is 29inches wide and 69 inches tall. I would like to mist for hydration and to cover all of the areas for the plants so they get proper watering too. there is a total of 11 different plant species and 2 of them are going to be suspended, the 5 on the floor, most of the remaining on the back wall and a few on the sides. The back wall Will the covered with great Suff pond and foam and cocoa fiber. The cage will be propped up on a stand about 10 inches tall for drainage space (To be figured out). The plant species are:
lilac, wandering Jews, ficus Alli, money tree, Schefflera amate, monstera, dracaena, zebra plant, pothos, and an African daisy. Coda doesn't like being directly misted so I would like to give her places to escape if she doesnt want to be misted. Its all high visibility screen. Thanks! let me know if you need anythig else!
I'd start with a minimum of 3-4 misting heads. In my 36x18x36, 2 heads are wildly insufficient for coverage. Be aware that you'll likely still need to handwater at least the pots on the walls a couple times a week!

Re: drainage - I have about 2" of expanded clay balls followed by fine screen, ~7" of substrate, and about 1/4" leaf litter. To access my drainage layer, I have 1" (1.5? Can't remember lol) PVC pipe that I can comfortably stick a siphon down that I offset about half an inch from the glass so that it's virtually invisible.

Substrate/drainage breakdown:

20190410_032715.jpg


Drainage access:

20190911_110522.jpg


With clayballs (didn't take a picture with the screen in place, oops):

20190911_111800.jpg


Substrate in:

20190911_173342.jpg


3 months and some change:

20191201_140749.jpg
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'd start with a minimum of 4 misting heads. In my 36x18x36, 2 heads are wildly insufficient for coverage. Be aware that you'll likely still need to handwater at least the pots on the walls a couple times a week!

Re: drainage - I have about 2" of expanded clay balls followed by fine screen, ~7" of substrate, and about 1/4" leaf litter. To access my drainage layer, I have 1" (1.5? Can't remember lol) PVC pipe that I can comfortably stick a siphon down that I offset about half an inch from the glass so that it's virtually invisible.

Substrate/drainage breakdown:

View attachment 253303

Drainage access:

View attachment 253304

With clayballs (didn't take a picture with the screen in place, oops):

View attachment 253305

Substrate in:

View attachment 253306

3 months and some change:

View attachment 253307
As usual, you’ve crushed it here!
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
The snorkel ventilation is a great way to avoid root rot without having drainage holes. I like how you've implemented the pipe into the tank.. once more excellent craft.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Excuse my ignorance, but what does the pipe actually do?
Allows you to siphon excess water from the drainage layer. It took me a solid month to fully saturate the soil and start filling the drainage layer... but now I need to drain it ~once a week and am glad I placed it! I use the nutrient rich run off to water the plants in the walls, as well as the rest of my house plants. :)

You can also try for a bulkhead to drain off excess water, but I wasn't about to try drilling a hole in my expensive glass terrarium haha!
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Allows you to siphon excess water from the drainage layer. It took me a solid month to fully saturate the soil and start filling the drainage layer... but now I need to drain it ~once a week and am glad I placed it! I use the nutrient rich run off to water the plants in the walls, as well as the rest of my house plants. :)

You can also try for a bulkhead to drain off excess water, but I wasn't about to try drilling a hole in my expensive glass terrarium haha!
Now you’ve got to pardon my ignorance. How do you siphon the excess water? What do you use? I’ve read about using a small aquarium motor...how exactly does it work?
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Now you’ve got to pardon my ignorance. How do you siphon the excess water? What do you use? I’ve read about using a small aquarium motor...how exactly does it work?
I played with the idea of using a fountain pump, but ended up scrapping that idea as it would be near impossible to access the pump in the event of a malfunction without digging up the substrate unless I went for a broad diameter pipe. I'm considering playing with it for future builds, though!

I use a self starting siphon intended for siphoning gas, though it's very cheap and I end up sucking on it to get it started anyway (and often ending up runoff in my mouth, haha!). Can use any old tubing that can fit down the pipe, really, as long as you can get some gravity action started.
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
I played with the idea of using a fountain pump, but ended up scrapping that idea as it would be near impossible to access the pump in the event of a malfunction without digging up the substrate unless I went for a broad diameter pipe. I'm considering playing with it for future builds, though!

I use a self starting siphon intended for siphoning gas, though it's very cheap and I end up sucking on it to get it started anyway (and often ending up runoff in my mouth, haha!). Can use any old tubing that can fit down the pipe, really, as long as you can get some gravity action started.
You are amazing lol
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
It naturally wicks some water from the bottom just by allowing air flow. I've used a under gravel filter in a bio active it worked very well. I wouldn't recommended one for a fish tank even though they are made for them. They work ok for planted tanks but even then the plants roots grow into them. But yeah the grate that goes into the bottom allows for additional air flow. I've also used air lines designed for fish tanks to force air thru the snorkel.
 
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