Natural Vivarium Enclosure??

svinyard

New Member
I think we've all got the potted plants with some sticks, fake vine and pothos thing down pat but if you've seen some of the nicer Arboreal Tree Frog viv's, they really put us to shame when it comes to looks and a more "exhibit" style.

Has anyone done similar stuff to the frog guys but for Cham's without making compromises on the healthiness of the lizards environment?
 
Well since substrate is not recommended it is difficult to do that. Many people free range, but you would really have to do research before you do that. I do know there are some places where it is perfect weather where they have a whole cham garden. I personally have a large 4x2x2 reptarium with large plants, real/fake vines, and some fake clothe flowers and it looks very nice(if I do say so myself :D) It all depends on how much your willing to research/spend.
 
it just isnt the safest method for animals like chameleons. i had a beauiful big heavy planted vivairum that i constructed myself. it everything from dirt, soil and moss, to foggers and such. it was beautiful but just not safe.
 

svinyard

New Member
Is it mainly just the substrate? Of the larger, more exhibit style of Red Eye Tree Frog viv's that I've seen....the floor wasn't really the highlight.
 
It's of course not the substrate. It is the lazyness of people and the missing taste. If you want to see some really aesthetic work, check out this site: http://home.wanadoo.nl/v.a.kroon/terracom/main.htm
Chameleons have "substrate" in the natural habitats too. And they still have survived.
I can understand plastic or fake plants for quarantine but not in the end-setup.
In the wild, they typically aren't eating on the ground though. In captivity with cages their food tends to be on the ground rather than flying around or climbing the plants so they pick up more substrate than they would in the wild. Also a lot of chameleons have been known to eat their substrate with is also dangerous. If a chameleon is known to not eat substrate, you cup feed, and keep it clean i guess substrate could be used with caution.
 

svinyard

New Member
It's of course not the substrate. It is the lazyness of people and the missing taste. If you want to see some really aesthetic work, check out this site: http://home.wanadoo.nl/v.a.kroon/terracom/main.htm
Chameleons have "substrate" in the natural habitats too. And they still have survived.
I can understand plastic or fake plants for quarantine but not in the end-setup.
Yeaaahhh...thats what I'm talkin bout.

You can't discount the fact that chams have died from getting substrate stuck from a bite. However, it looks like most of the floors and general areas of the nicer frog viv's are carpeted by lush moss. Off hand, it seems like a nice non-toxic moss would solve the substrate issue. However, like I said the ground is really trivial in those amazing looking cages.
 
Are all of those vivs for chameleons? I don't believe they are, looks like a lot of tree frog vivs or for other animals. I do have a natural viv for my yellow spotted salamander and if safe I would love them for my chameleons but I would need a lot more money than I have.
 

svinyard

New Member
Are all of those vivs for chameleons? I don't believe they are, looks like a lot of tree frog vivs or for other animals. I do have a natural viv for my yellow spotted salamander and if safe I would love them for my chameleons but I would need a lot more money than I have.
I think none of them are for Chams on that site. I am more of a fan of the upper portions of the cage, substrate aside, the cool plants, wall and general creativity of the design is leagues beyond what the standard cham cage looks like. Just wondering what the pit falls are, beyond the substrate, for having some of those frog designs in a cham cage.
 

Itwas

New Member
Im guessing cleaning would be one of the main disadvantages. how often do frog guys have to clean their tanks? I cant imagine it being very easy to get behind all of those plants and give it a good scrub every month. I also imagine that a large chameleon could tear tanks like them to shreds in a matter of hours.
 

ndugan7

Member
i keep my jackson's in a planted vivarium with substrate and will never go back to all screen for him.....living in new england i needed a higher humidity enclosure and the viv works perfectly. I have had zero problems with substrate and feeders, he cup and hand feeds mostly.
 

svinyard

New Member
i keep my jackson's in a planted vivarium with substrate and will never go back to all screen for him.....living in new england i needed a higher humidity enclosure and the viv works perfectly. I have had zero problems with substrate and feeders, he cup and hand feeds mostly.
Interesting!

1- What kind of substrate?

2- How do you deal with mold etc?
 

ndugan7

Member
1. i use the zoo-med product Eco-earth mixed with organic soil that i strained bigger pieces out of, underneath that is a layer of mesh then hydroponics balls

2. i haven't had any real problems with mold, i spot clean the viv OCCASIONALLY but for the most part i leave it alone. I added a springtail culture when i first was setting up the viv and they clean up almost all the cham's poop quickly and i believe they eat mold too.

Only once in the almost three years i've been using this set-up have i needed to completely clean the whole viv.
 

svinyard

New Member
1. i use the zoo-med product Eco-earth mixed with organic soil that i strained bigger pieces out of, underneath that is a layer of mesh then hydroponics balls

2. i haven't had any real problems with mold, i spot clean the viv OCCASIONALLY but for the most part i leave it alone. I added a springtail culture when i first was setting up the viv and they clean up almost all the cham's poop quickly and i believe they eat mold too.

Only once in the almost three years i've been using this set-up have i needed to completely clean the whole viv.
Wow!! I really like the idea of creating an "Eco System" so to speak. The springtails are a nice touch that can certainly make a very big difference as they help break down the fecal matter into fertilizer for plants and eat mold.


Do you have a misting system? How much water do you put through it? Any sort of drainage?
 

eisentrauti

Avid Member
here is an amazing article on this subject!!

http://www.chameleonnews.com/10JulAndersonGlass.html
Chris' article is good but this is just the normal way hole Europe keeps chameleons. So thinking about the box wont hurt sometimes... The idea of dense planted setups in combination with springtails, other small insects like sow bugs with rainworms in the ground isnt new.
Just use soil out of a wood look that the ants and snails are gone and you are very close on the idea of a more ore less natural working terrarium
 

ndugan7

Member
i DO have a mistking but i don't use it for my jackson's viv, it would be too much water and WAY too wet in there if i did. Since i am available to do it every morning i mist heavily for a minute or two about an hour after lights on, a light spray in the late afternoon too. Misting isn't needed as much with the viv cause it holds the humidity better and Drainage is not an issue with the hydroballs.
 

ndugan7

Member
Chris' article is good but this is just the normal way hole Europe keeps chameleons. So thinking about the box wont hurt sometimes... The idea of dense planted setups in combination with springtails, other small insects like sow bugs with rainworms in the ground isnt new.
Just use soil out of a wood look that the ants and snails are gone and you are very close on the idea of a more ore less natural working terrarium
when i first got the idea of switching to glass i quickly realized that the 'screen cages only' concept was much less prevalent overseas - in fact it was the opposite IMO. i am glad that i made the switch and encourage others to do the same...screen for my panthers and veiled and glass for the montane species.....even though i only have one!
 
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