please argue these scenerios on the cage im building


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Hey all,

Im in the process of building my 2x2x4 cage for my panther and Im having a tough time choosing between screen all the way around, or screen front and 3 solid sides (painted lexan) with the back lexan piece having a box cut out to allow air to draft out the back (like Will's white cages). I have read many threads on here saying solid is "bad", "ok", etc, but I see some people are having great success with either.

Now, the reason I want to do 3 solid sides is because my panther is currently in a half screen, half glass (i know, bad!- thats why im building this) and I couldnt keep the humidity up at all (digital gauge read "0" humidity almost all day) until I got a ultrasonic humidifier and even with that, it would only stay at 40% consistently. Then, the next thing that comes to mind is that I will be getting an automated misting system sometime in the near future, so, will I still need the humidifier AND the misting system? or can I just get rid of the humidifier after the misting system is in? Again, I just cant see how Im going to keep the humidity right with an all screen enclosure. Some people say to cover 3 sides with heavy plastic to keep humidity up, but doesnt that mean I can just make 3 sides solid? same difference to me. All opinions are welcome!:) Thanks again all!

Pics of my cage in progress are in my gallery if you want to take a look.

I would suggest having a solid back/bottom and the rest screen. A solid back prevents water from manual misting from going through the cage and onto a wall and/or floor (helps a tad with humidity too), solid bottoms make cleanup quite easy. Having solid sides also takes away the option of side mounting heat bulbs. I like to side mount my heat bulbs since the cham doesn’t have to bend its body sideways to increase the surface area getting the light – it can sit normal on its perch and get the light just fine without contorting itself. Just my preference.

If you think about it, its easier to cover mesh screen with plastic if need be but much harder to replace a solid side with screen if you wanted to. 40 humidity is not that bad depending on the season … especially if you are in cold/winter region. Adding a mist system will help and whether or not you need a humidifier and a mist system running at the same time really depends on your environment. I personally strive for 60-ish humidity for my true chams so I may have both running and on humid days turn the humidifier off. I have no problems getting the right humidity with all screen cages and plastic on the back … it can be done with humidifiers and I would rather do that then soak my cages like crazy with excessive water … a wet cage all the time spells trouble.

Thanks as always Roo,
You said to make a solid bottom...thats what i have right now and its tough to clean up in my opinion. The bottom of the new one will be screen with a drain container under to catch the water, and i'll be able to empty it from there.

Another thing, if I keep the humidifier, would it be good to "force" the humidified air to one section of the cage to create a microclimate? So he can get wet and dry as he pleases. Right now, my cycle is On for 2 hours, Off for 1 from 7am to 7pm....thanks again

You said to make a solid bottom...thats what i have right now and its tough to clean up in my opinion.

Really? I don’t get it. With mine I just wipe up turds and debris then spray disinfectant / scrub then use a plant watering can to rinse away everything. It all goes out via the draining system. With screen, poop and stuff like that will get caught up in the screen and making it harder to get it clean. Please elaborate on why a plastic bottom is harder to clean.

I plumb my humidifier right into the cage – most of the cage. I would say plumbing it to half the cage is a good idea since it offers a choice like you said and choices are always good. Now with a cage 2 feet wide, I am not sure how much of microclimate you can create. My cage is almost 4 feet wide so that’s a bit easier to accomplish.

DO NOT, DO NOT use screen on the bottom of the cage. You will regret it. Poop, cricket legs, LEAVES, soil. Trust me, works mistake of one of my cage designs
Do you guys use litter trays or anything like that to collect water and debri?
When I build mine I'm planning on having a removable drip pan. I think being able to remove the pan and squirt it off would be real easy.

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