Should i build this cage? Should i go bioactive?

bryceoneal

Member
right now i have an adult male veiled chameleon that i rescued a few months ago in a 18x18x36 exo terra screen cage that unfortunately he has been in all his life. id like to build him a bigger cage to custom fit the desk that his cage currently sits on. i was thinking 4 feet tall (top of cage would be about a foot or two away from the ceiling), and 3 feet long (the length of my desk), and 17 inches deep (depth of my desk), is this a suitable cage size, i know the minimum is 2ftx2ftx4ft but i’d think the extra foot in length would make up for the 6 inches lost in depth? any advice, tips, and tricks on building a cage from scratch is welcomed!
and if this cage is suitable and when it’s finished, should i go bioactive? id love to add more live plants and think that having them planted in dirt on the cage floor looks a lot better than pots on a bare floor, plus this allows plants more room to grow id imagine.
so that sums up my questions and of course any input, advice, and tips for a bioactive cage is also welcomed
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for rescuing your new veiled, 3 x17 x 4 I think would be just fine, there are numerous threads on bioactive and custom vivs on here, I custom make all mine bio active with a drain very quickly but I've been building my whole life, you have to consider how much time you have to the level of complexity of the viv you have in mind, or get a dragonstrand with a drain tray, keep in mind veiled chams are usually not the most sociable of animals so if he is gonna be on or behind your desk, he will need a good hiding spot around plants to feel safe
 

bryceoneal

Member
Thank you for rescuing your new veiled, 3 x17 x 4 I think would be just fine, there are numerous threads on bioactive and custom vivs on here, I custom make all mine bio active with a drain very quickly but I've been building my whole life, you have to consider how much time you have to the level of complexity of the viv you have in mind, or get a dragonstrand with a drain tray, keep in mind veiled chams are usually not the most sociable of animals so if he is gonna be on or behind your desk, he will need a good hiding spot around plants to feel safe
is drainage super important? what if the soil isn’t being soaked constantly? or should it pretty much always be wet? i want it to be as nice looking as possible but i prefer to make one not buy one because that way i have a custom fit and it will most likely be much cheaper, and i want lots of vines and plants for him to use and hide in. i’m pretty much the only person that comes in my room (parents or friends come in occasionally but not often) and he’s never seemed to care about my (or anyone’s) presence unless i’m invading his territory to clean or take him out to weigh him. i also tong feed most/all of his food (i like to make sure he eats and i don’t like the idea of bugs running freely in a poorly sealed cage) so he’s most likely starting to associate me with food so i think he will be okay on my desk in my room, and i’m sure he will gladly appreciate the extra space as he can be very active sometimes.
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
For me a a drain is important, I do not like stagnant water. I have live plants growing in 1 inch growstone in a french drain system, and I water alot, there are lots of other ideas on this site, just research bio active vivs-enclosures
 
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