Substrate, Cleaning and Drainage Questions

I am thinking of setting up a bioactive substrate so that I don't have to do as much cleaning when my chameleon poops. However, I am not sure if doing so would be worth it. This is because I don't know how much of a hassle it actually is to clean a chameleon enclosure's bottom. That said, my main concerns for traditional cleaning--if I were to go that route--is that I'll have to replace the floor panels as they get dirty and that, to do so, I will have to lift off any plants or branches that may be sitting on it. I worry that I might end up disturbing my cham if I do that, plus it sounds like a hassle to try and do so as delicately as possible. So then, is it a reasonable precaution to take by going bioactive or am I just being too worried/lazy?

Of course, no matter what I use for my enclosure's floor, I'll still have to clean things like branches and vines. So, when I do that, should I just spot clean as those surfaces get dirty or should I take them out and scrub them down on a monthly schedule or something? I have also heard that, for live plants, you can just tear off any dirty leaves and let them fall to the ground if you have a bioactive substrate. Is this true, or will it damage the plant? I ask because I don't think that I should wash a live plant!

And lastly, concerning drainage again, I just want to confirm these four things:
1) The drainage tray is placed below the substrate tray
2) Water will drip out of the substrate through drilled-in holes at the base of the tray
3) Substrate and drainage trays are bought individually
and...
4) How you remove water from the drainage tray after it has collected is up to you
Is the above correct?

And, that's all! Sorry for so many questions again. Answer as many as you can, please! I appreciate it! :)
 

Chameleon Mike

Chameleon Enthusiast

This is how I set up my bioactive tubs for the screen cages. Before I did this I had potted plants and scraped and cleaned the bottom tray as needed. But if you use this set up or something similar you can put springtails and isopods in the tub and they will eat the fecies and dead bugs. They will also keep your plants healthier. I'm very happy with the way it turned out and will continue doing this for future set ups. Hope this helps.
 

This is how I set up my bioactive tubs for the screen cages. Before I did this I had potted plants and scraped and cleaned the bottom tray as needed. But if you use this set up or something similar you can put springtails and isopods in the tub and they will eat the fecies and dead bugs. They will also keep your plants healthier. I'm very happy with the way it turned out and will continue doing this for future set ups. Hope this helps.
I will take a look at the video!
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
For your first question about cleaning:
Yes you're over worrying a little, disturbing your cham for a few minutes while you clean is no big deal. That said, bio is the way to go IMO. It looks nice, self cleaning, adds a balanced eco system that will prevent mold or harmful bacteria build up, and I believe it to be a natural immune booster through exposure. I don't clean anything else, other than wipe down the viewing sides if they're messy. If poop happens to land on a leaf I'll pluck off the leaf and drop it on the substrate, or clean it with soap(if I really like that leaf...)
 
For your first question about cleaning:
Yes you're over worrying a little, disturbing your cham for a few minutes while you clean is no big deal. That said, bio is the way to go IMO. It looks nice, self cleaning, adds a balanced eco system that will prevent mold or harmful bacteria build up, and I believe it to be a natural immune booster through exposure. I don't clean anything else, other than wipe down the viewing sides if they're messy. If poop happens to land on a leaf I'll pluck off the leaf and drop it on the substrate, or clean it with soap(if I really like that leaf...)
So there's no need to wash branches?
 
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