Opinions wanted on setup

KDaters

Member
I just upped my enclosure to the exo terra x-tall 36x18x36 from the lousy chameleon starter kit. While all of the stuff I had in that setup moved up as well, I feel like I have a lot of open space and not enough hiding spots. Looking for recommendations on plants or suggestions on how to better utilize this space.
 

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Gingero

Chameleon Enthusiast
You're off to a good start, but definitely room for improvement. Putting some potted plants on the bottom would be a easy change that would fill up lots of space. My chameleon has really been enjoying the croton plant I picked up from Home Depot at the bottom of his enclosure. Once those pothos plants grow out some more, you'll be in good shape. You may want to consider some fake silk leaf vines in the meantime to help fill in some of the gaps. Some bendy vines would be cool too.

I'm going to link two videos I made. The first is about live plants and chameleons (which to get and how to set them up):


And the second video is my most recent one, which is a tour of my chameleon's enclosure. You might be able to get some ideas:

 

KDaters

Member
You're off to a good start, but definitely room for improvement. Putting some potted plants on the bottom would be a easy change that would fill up lots of space. My chameleon has really been enjoying the croton plant I picked up from Home Depot at the bottom of his enclosure. Once those pothos plants grow out some more, you'll be in good shape. You may want to consider some fake silk leaf vines in the meantime to help fill in some of the gaps. Some bendy vines would be cool too.

I'm going to link two videos I made. The first is about live plants and chameleons (which to get and how to set them up):


And the second video is my most recent one, which is a tour of my chameleon's enclosure. You might be able to get some ideas:

Yeah I was just at my Home Depot and didn’t see any of the plants they had on the safe plants list so I avoided them. I wanted to try and stay away from having anything in the floor of the enclosure but now I’m not sure. I do have a dragon ledge along the back panel that I’m not using so I can add some more support branches for another plant. Thanks for your help!
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I use a lot of hibiscus. It grows in any condition for the most part... just give it PLENTY of light. I also use "money tree". It literally grows like a weed and is great for cover. I also use a lot of orchids and staghorn, but I keep mostly Panthers which don't eat the plants.

Hibiscus comes in a bush or tree variation... you can go with either, just keep up with pruning it and you'll be amazed. It's cham and human edible... and insects love it so it doubles as a gutload or food if you free range your crickets. They are available frequently at home depot and lowes.

***caution*** I have had MANY plants from home depot and lowes just crawling with aphids. Check the buds super carefully when you buy them. If you repot and "clean" your trees, followed by a brief quarantine phase you'll be fine. Just keep in mind that mites and aphids are super common in those kinds of shops.
 

KDaters

Member
I use a lot of hibiscus. It grows in any condition for the most part... just give it PLENTY of light. I also use "money tree". It literally grows like a weed and is great for cover. I also use a lot of orchids and staghorn, but I keep mostly Panthers which don't eat the plants.

Hibiscus comes in a bush or tree variation... you can go with either, just keep up with pruning it and you'll be amazed. It's cham and human edible... and insects love it so it doubles as a gutload or food if you free range your crickets. They are available frequently at home depot and lowes.

***caution*** I have had MANY plants from home depot and lowes just crawling with aphids. Check the buds super carefully when you buy them. If you repot and "clean" your trees, followed by a brief quarantine phase you'll be fine. Just keep in mind that mites and aphids are super common in those kinds of shops.
Thank you! Is there a specific soil I should be using? I’d like to replant the Pothos but need to make sure I’m not using harmful planting mix. I also need to cover up the soil with some rocks. I’ll check out my local nursery for these plants! Thanks again!
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Thank you! Is there a specific soil I should be using? I’d like to replant the Pothos but need to make sure I’m not using harmful planting mix. I also need to cover up the soil with some rocks. I’ll check out my local nursery for these plants! Thanks again!
Most people say "organic potting soil"... but I just use regular old top soil/sand mix. The mix of sand helps with drainage. If for some reason you're still getting too much water you can use the clay balls. Hibiscus can withstand a LOT of water... but mostly the need light. Worst case scenario you can use the dome fixture from your cham kit and put grow bulbs in it to help... or LEDs, etc.

Depending on how the plant does... you can use some form of compost to help fertilize it. I skip the top rocks because I have lots of females. I go with a bigger planter and skip a laybin.

Good luck!
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey! I saw your very first post! What an improvement! You chameleon is going to be very happy without that garbage Cham-kit. Now they've (he's?) got live plants, a big cage, and proper lighting. Hibiscus is great (as stated above) and the blooms are gorgeous, and the veileds love to much on em'. Schefflera (umbrella plant) is also great for filling out spaces and climbing.
 

KDaters

Member
Hey! I saw your very first post! What an improvement! You chameleon is going to be very happy without that garbage Cham-kit. Now they've (he's?) got live plants, a big cage, and proper lighting. Hibiscus is great (as stated above) and the blooms are gorgeous, and the veileds love to much on em'. Schefflera (umbrella plant) is also great for filling out spaces and climbing.
Hey there! Thank you! I added in a Dracaena (spelling?) It’s been a humbling adventure that’s for sure. I went and looked at my original post yesterday just to see the responses to the form and if there’s something I haven’t improved. I feel like I should do another one just to keep things current. My fogger just arrived and now I’m looking to upgrade my lighting. Thanks for the follow and plant suggestion!
 

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Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
The cage is filling out nicely! And no problem. ( I don't know how to spell it either, you're good)
 

KDaters

Member
The cage is filling out nicely! And no problem. ( I don't know how to spell it either, you're good)
That’s sort of my problem haha I can’t just leave the cage alone. I’m never happy and constantly tweaking something to make it better.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hey there! Thank you! I added in a Dracaena (spelling?) It’s been a humbling adventure that’s for sure. I went and looked at my original post yesterday just to see the responses to the form and if there’s something I haven’t improved. I feel like I should do another one just to keep things current. My fogger just arrived and now I’m looking to upgrade my lighting. Thanks for the follow and plant suggestion!
Are you working on drip tray options? Your going to want that or you will be dealing with water leakage on your furniture. Looking good. I really prefer the wider format in caging.
 

Ares05

Chameleon Enthusiast
Once you get it almost how you want it leave it alone for a bit. A constantly changing environment might stress your little buddy out.

edit: Wait, is he still in old enclosure and once your done with this one he's goes in here? if so disregard what I said oops.
 

KDaters

Member
Are you working on drip tray options? Your going to want that or you will be dealing with water leakage on your furniture. Looking good. I really prefer the wider format in caging.
I’m very happy you asked. I’m struggling with humidity and drainage. I’m thinking about putting up coroplast sheets on three sides of the enclosure to help keep the water contained and help raise my humidity levels. But then the drainage. I was thinking of running hoses from the plants to a smaller drainage bucket. Ideally I set up the enclosure somewhere else in my house where I can run drainage directly below from the tray to a bucket. I really like the wide format and it works better for my available space.
 

KDaters

Member
Once you get it almost how you want it leave it alone for a bit. A constantly changing environment might stress your little buddy out.

edit: Wait, is he still in old enclosure and once your done with this one he's goes in here? if so disregard what I said oops.
Nope he is in this larger one. And yes! I try not to adjust his layout or mess with him. I’m more trying to upgrade around the enclosure.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m very happy you asked. I’m struggling with humidity and drainage. I’m thinking about putting up coroplast sheets on three sides of the enclosure to help keep the water contained and help raise my humidity levels. But then the drainage. I was thinking of running hoses from the plants to a smaller drainage bucket. Ideally I set up the enclosure somewhere else in my house where I can run drainage directly below from the tray to a bucket. I really like the wide format and it works better for my available space.
So look through this thread for ideas. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/drainage-systems-for-cages-get-creative.102038/ I have seen where people have build a pan so to speak from wood and used flex seal to make it water proof.

Get this for your sides and back. Easy as heck to install and you can remove if your humidity levels are too high. https://www.amazon.com/Duck-5-Windo...1573404837&sprefix=window+film,aps,500&sr=8-4
 

KDaters

Member
So look through this thread for ideas. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/drainage-systems-for-cages-get-creative.102038/ I have seen where people have build a pan so to speak from wood and used flex seal to make it water proof.

Get this for your sides and back. Easy as heck to install and you can remove if your humidity levels are too high. https://www.amazon.com/Duck-5-Window-Insulator-210-Inch-286217/dp/B000NHY1P0/ref=sr_1_4?crid=DE4I7ZXVROJF&keywords=window+film+insulation&qid=1573404837&sprefix=window+film,aps,500&sr=8-4
You’re the best @Beman Ill look at my local store for the window kit so I’m not paying the shipping. (Was the same cost as the kit). Some of those drainage ideas were pretty clever. I think I need to start thinking of other places in my house for the enclosure. Thank you!!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
You’re the best @Beman Ill look at my local store for the window kit so I’m not paying the shipping. (Was the same cost as the kit). Some of those drainage ideas were pretty clever. I think I need to start thinking of other places in my house for the enclosure. Thank you!!
Your welcome hun. There may be others on amazon that are free shipping for prime. I like the Duck brand though. I will say my home store was twice the cost of amazon. :(
 

KDaters

Member
Your welcome hun. There may be others on amazon that are free shipping for prime. I like the Duck brand though. I will say my home store was twice the cost of amazon. :(
I gotcha, I’ll price compare and see what makes sense. Is the dripper tray what you meant for drainage or did you mean a dripper as a water source?
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I gotcha, I’ll price compare and see what makes sense. Is the dripper tray what you meant for drainage or did you mean a dripper as a water source?
Dripper tray... You will need something. Your paper towel method will get old. Not to mention the cost involved of adding new everyday. Dripper as a water source is up to you. I do have an automated one and it drips on his pothos down to other plants. I kept a dripper even though I have a mister and fog at night because my boy has always drank from one. So I decided not to do away with it.
 
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