New DIY cage built

Sabriel13

New Member
Hello all, with my male veiled soon to outgrow his first cage my husband and I built him a new much bigger enclosure. Now we have the issue of filling it on a budget, for now. Eventually I would like to have live plants to help fill it out, but for now I was curious if anyone had any suggestions. In his previous cage we had some sticks we had gathered from outside and baked but they still grew mold over time so I removed them, is this normal? Thank you for any and all help and I hope you all have a great day.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi there! There are a lots of plants that you can pick up relatively inexpensively that will fill up your cage quickly! My favorite plan to use is Schefflera Amate. You can sometimes find them in stores, but I order mine online from Home Depot. I get a 10" bucket with two little trees. I separate them and spread them out as they will grow quickly with decent lighting and water. I think I paid $24 for a 10" pot, so figure $12 per plant, and one plant that has had a few months to grow can easily filll a 2x2 cage!

Another good one is Schefflera Arboricola. This is usually sold as 3 short little tree stubs ina 10" pot. Once again, separate them and spread them out and they will grow as little trees to make your cage look like a little forest. I believe this is also around $25 for a 10" pot, which could then be broken up to make 3 plants.

Both of these don't have great "branches," so you'll still want to use sticks of various sizes from outside. Some of mine had minor mold or fungus blooms, but that's normal so long as it dries up and fades. You can also bake them (carefully!!!) to kill any insects, fungus, or bacteria currently growing on them. I usually just wash mine really well with the hose, or diluted bleach spray and rinsed super well if I am concerned about the branch.

Cork bark is a great addition - my guys love climbing on it and it adds a bit of dimension to the cage.

Pothos and philodendron are popular plants used, often in the upper part of the cage. Pothos is especially cheap, because you can easily propagate it to make larger or separate plants! I never seem to do well with pothos in the cages, personally, but my pothos do well outside the cage. Go figure! I LOVE using climbing philodendrons in the bottom of the cage. They grow like weeds and will climb the branches or cork bark. Another easily propagated plant, and they do really well in the cham cage conditions.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s some pics of the schefflera... the amate are the ones with big droopy leaves. when i first planted them - the plant was about 2’ tall. Its now 3+ feet after a few months, but very full. It will easily reach the top of my 6’ cage by sprint, but I will keep it pruned as my panthers like an open.
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The schefflera arboricola have small “umbrella” like leaves, and tend to grow straight up. I have an amate in there too, its the droopy branches almost touching the floor. The tall plants were 1 arboricola plant that I spread out to make 3 separate trees. They grew 2’ in a few months and now reach the top of the cage.

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snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Excuse the ghetto feeding cups. Charlie wants to come out and will not eat if we are around (as he wants me to take him outside) so I sometimes wedge his food cups in corners. Feeder runs have not worked well for me (escapees)
 

Thatwizard420

Avid Member
Hello all, with my male veiled soon to outgrow his first cage my husband and I built him a new much bigger enclosure. Now we have the issue of filling it on a budget, for now. Eventually I would like to have live plants to help fill it out, but for now I was curious if anyone had any suggestions. In his previous cage we had some sticks we had gathered from outside and baked but they still grew mold over time so I removed them, is this normal? Thank you for any and all help and I hope you all have a great day.
Go to the nearest nursery and go to the tropical section/Indoor section. It’s like paradise
I’m a big fan of Fatsia japonica, and Nandina Domestica.... Nandina need good lighting though
 

Sabriel13

New Member
Thank you for the suggestions, he is loving his new little habitat. He's enjoying climbing from the plants and vines which have all kept up just fine. However we built the cage out of wood and we are noticing a couple of darkening small areas along the bottom of the cage, how would you go about cleaning that? Also in an unrelated question, i am giving my chameleon a few days of crickets to switch things up from the Dubia roaches. I bought them yesterday and put them in the cricket keeper and when i went to pull a tube to feed him this morning all tubes but 1 were empty and all the crickets had jammed themselves into 1 tube. It seemed like half the crickets in the tube were dead and I didn't feel comfortable feeding him the live ones in the tube as I've never had this happen and was fearful they might be carrying a disease. Is this something anyone has had happen before? Could it be heat related? When I dumped the crickets half seemed to be alive, is it possible they were sleeping? Also when i dumped them it seemed like the living crickets were lethargic and/or missing legs. I keep the crickets in a colder area in my house. Any and all input is appreciated, thank you.
 
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