Popcorn

jermaine1998

New Member
Okay I have an idea. What if you planted a super thick bed of popcorn seed or other fast growing plant[like clover] at the bottom of enclosure. It could probaly use up excess water and disperse it back into the air creating humidity. It would also look nice and provide food for feeders such as crickets. I'm most likely not going to do it myself, just a thought. Give me your opinions/criticisms.
 

DanSB

Avid Member
I don't know about corn and clover in particular but a planted vivarium is a great idea. I would focus on known safe plants that do well in a chameleon enclosure though.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay I have an idea. What if you planted a super thick bed of popcorn seed or other fast growing plant[like clover] at the bottom of enclosure. It could probaly use up excess water and disperse it back into the air creating humidity. It would also look nice and provide food for feeders such as crickets. I'm most likely not going to do it myself, just a thought. Give me your opinions/criticisms.

Not even sure if "popcorn" would sprout. If it doesn't just mold first (becoming increasingly smelly and probably toxic to the crix and your cham), it would need very intense full sun to grow well.

Probably not a great idea actually.
 

jermaine1998

New Member
yeah just wondering because i sprouted popcorn seeds in a closed jar and they used up alot of water and created alot of humidity in the jar. my crickets and locusts also ate it but idk if chams could digest it safely
 

DanSB

Avid Member
what if i a added a cleaner crew to digest waste
thanx for the info

I would expect that with proper plants being well seeded with springtails and isopods you would be fine. That is my plan at least.

I would still spot clean fecal matter though.
 

Chamaeleonidae

New Member
I am a newbie to keeping chams, but I think a planted substrate bottom is a very cool idea:D. I wouldn't worry about the cham poo (fertilizer), but I would worry about getting enough light to the plants in the bottom of a cham cage, without cooking the cham. Too little light, and the ground cover plants could die and rot, making a mess of things. Too much light, roasted chameleon:(.
Is there anyone who has done this and made it work before? Pictures?
 

jermaine1998

New Member
I am a newbie to keeping chams, but I think a planted substrate bottom is a very cool idea:D. I wouldn't worry about the cham poo (fertilizer), but I would worry about getting enough light to the plants in the bottom of a cham cage, without cooking the cham. Too little light, and the ground cover plants could die and rot, making a mess of things. Too much light, roasted chameleon:(.
Is there anyone who has done this and made it work before? Pictures?

yeah thats my idea but the cage would probaly be too tall to allow proper lighting I thought it would awesome to have the plants take care of waste
 

sandrachameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
Its more commonly done in Europe than in north America. If its something you are interested in doing, I suggest visiting some of the cham forums of Germany, UK etc. as you'll find more info there.

you have to choose plants that have lower light requirements, high tolerance for water and drought. you need a plan to deal with the waste and the extra water (false bottoms), a plan for plant maintenance (removing dead matter, pruning/trimming), a plan dealing with nematodes, fungus gnats, ants, spiders, other pests. Crickets and other feeders will hide in the plant matter - which can be dangerous if they later chew on your chameleon at night. Stray feeders may lay eggs resulting in tiny babies which are more likley to escape into your home. obviously cage construction has to support soil/dampness, roots, etc. (not screen). if you have a female, digging / egg laying has to be considered.

Its not necessarily a simple undertaking. But some of the best beautiful enclosures I've ever seen were fully planted top to bottom
If the cage is indoors, it is far easier for most people to have a bare cage bottom.
 
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jermaine1998

New Member
yeah i wouldnt do it it for a chameleon maybe an aboreal snake or gecko species
but i did not know they did it in europe. I just like the idea of the wholle system working together but that is almost impossible in captivity. Again thanks for the info!
 

DanSB

Avid Member
yeah i wouldnt do it it for a chameleon maybe an aboreal snake or gecko species
but i did not know they did it in europe. I just like the idea of the wholle system working together but that is almost impossible in captivity. Again thanks for the info!

There is no reason this won't work well for a chameleon. It is far from impossible in captivity, in fact many dart frog keepers are doing this with a lot of success. Josh's frogs (a sponsor here) has some great information on setting up a system like this for dart frogs and with a little imagination could be easily converted to chameleon requirements.

It would be easy to take an off the shelf screen cage and put it over a planter. My idea is to build a couple of redwood planters filled with Chan friendly plants, maybe some grasses on the bottom. All you would have to do to clean is rotate the screen to another planter every few months and spot clean fecal matter.

As a note I would make sure any animal in an enclosure like this is tested and clear of parasites with regular checks and be prepared to rebuild if a parasite issue presents itself.
 

jermaine1998

New Member
I think I'm going to setup a experiment setup with Anoles or something. Or grow a tray of clover and dandelion with isopods then add the cham's fecal matter and see what happens. I'll post updates.
 

Dr O

Veterinarian
Okay I have an idea. What if you planted a super thick bed of popcorn seed or other fast growing plant[like clover] at the bottom of enclosure. It could probaly use up excess water and disperse it back into the air creating humidity. It would also look nice and provide food for feeders such as crickets. I'm most likely not going to do it myself, just a thought. Give me your opinions/criticisms.


I think planting corn is a really, really, really bad idea. With high heat and high humidity you are essentially making a perfect culture for an aflatoxin, which not only is toxic to every species of animal known but is exceedingly toxic to birds, so reptiles are not too far off. It is an extremely potent toxin whether causing acute death in high amounts or often liver failure from low-grade amounts. I would not want any of my feeders nor lizards anywhere near that. Never mind the human danger! This sentence from Wikipedia probably sums it up best,"Aflatoxins are toxic and among the most carcinogenic substances known."
 

jermaine1998

New Member
i meant to put dandelion instead of popcorn.
does anyone know where to get dandelion seed and I'll do research on aflatoxin.
thanx for the info
 

Chameleopatrick

New Member
I am a newbie to keeping chams, but I think a planted substrate bottom is a very cool idea:D. I wouldn't worry about the cham poo (fertilizer)

You wouldn't, but I would.

Chameleon waste like any other is waste filled with bacteria. It's stinky and unhealthy for any waste to be left in the habitat and is a recipe for sick chameleons. Plus, waste left in reptile enclosures are known to give reptile keepers salmonella.
Since you are new to chameleon care, please take some time and educate yourself when it comes to reptile waste. See the link below.
http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/salmonellosis.htm
 

DanSB

Avid Member
You wouldn't, but I would.

Chameleon waste like any other is waste filled with bacteria. It's stinky and unhealthy for any waste to be left in the habitat and is a recipe for sick chameleons. Plus, waste left in reptile enclosures are known to give reptile keepers salmonella.
Since you are new to chameleon care, please take some time and educate yourself when it comes to reptile waste. See the link below.
http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/salmonellosis.htm

This is an excellent point many neglect. Even steer manure is processed in compost reactions to kill off the bacteria. You can't just let the poo settle in and need to spot clean as much as is possible, preferably with gloves. This is precisely why I recommend having 2 cages / planters and swapping out every 2 months or so.

Alternately you can take your chances and not worry about it. It isn't a 100% chance of contamination.
 
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