Rufus's new setup


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I finished Rufus's new cage today. I went with a smaller screen on the bottom this time so the crickets cannt just crawl right out. I cannt wait until the vines in the back grow up and fill in more of the space up top. I had to dig up my sunflowers and move them to the sides of the cage. They dont look to happy, I hope they live...
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Substrate problem?

Is the soil going to cause any harm? I know that substrate is not supposed to be used due to them not digesting it. Also is there any pestisides or other chemicals in the soil that he might ingest? :confused:
The one vine does have the soil with the fertalizer in it. It had a really bad root structure so I didnt want to mess with them to much. I have built up the dirt from the yard over the top of the potting soil. My other cage has a dirt ground also and I have never had any problems. I figured they were smart enough to not eat it before I caught them...
Does anyone have any ideas for something better. I live ohana (my apartment is on my landlords house) so I cannt pour concrete. She is cool with me putting the cages and plants there as long as I take them when I leave, I just dont know what else would be better.
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My other cage has a dirt ground also and I have never had any problems. I figured they were smart enough to not eat it before I caught them...
There are lots of white spots in that dirt. If those are stones or fertilizer pellets, those will be probably be the first thing the chams try to eat. I don't think they're smart enough not to eat them, and you probably aren't quick enough to catch them before they do.
(I keep a screen cover over my larger pots, and a while back I removed the screen for cleaning - it was off for only an hour or two - and there was gravel in the cham's droppings the next day).

As long as the soil they can get to is clean, organic soil that doesn't contain fertilizers or other chemicals, and is a fine soil composed of small particles (no stones/clods), then it should be fine. Jim Flaherty was commenting here a little while ago that most chams seem to have some sort of biological need to eat soil, so maybe it's not so bad to leave some soil exposed in the cage.
But without ensuring that the soil is safe for your cham, there is a risk of impactions/poisoning caused by ingestion of the soil.
So just be careful. Lay down a generous (thick) topsoil of healthy soil over the floor.

I can't think of many practical solutions to your setup. A screen cover would allow insects and droppings to get through and would make cleaning difficult. And it would be difficult to put a tray of some sort down with those vines planted there, plus there would be a risk of insects getting under the tray and hiding away to prevent them from being eaten.
Maybe a plastic lining of some sort? Either way it would be difficult. Just go for the safe soil...
Thanks for the input, like I said when I leveled out the cage I covered all the little white balls with topsoil from my yard. Does anyone see any other problems with the cage. I posted the picture because someone allways sees something that someone else doesnt. I sure as heck didnt post it to show off my crappy craftsmanship.
Only thing I can See with being a carpenter, is that you used untreated lumber. Outside in the rain and sitting in dirt the wood will start to rot and fall apart but it looks great....Also how do you keep food inside with the larger size screen?
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