Where does their poop go? :(

Loki-Laurason

New Member
Okay, so I’m getting my first panther chameleon very soon and I’m trying to get everything set up for his arrival. I’m getting my enclosure from dragon strand, and plan on getting the large keeper screen kit (with dragon ledges and an extra floor panel). I like the idea of the extra floor panel, so that I can switch them out quickly and deep clean the spiked one. BUT I also love the idea of a substrate tray and having plants at the bottom of his cage.. but I don’t know if that’s sanitary or not. :( So when he has to potty, it just falls into the soil? And that’s that? Don’t make fun! I’m VERY new to all of this.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums! First off on behalf of everyone here I would like to applaud you on your forward thinking behaviors to get everything ready for your cham before getting the chameleon. You're on the right path! I would like to suggest filling out the help form that can be found pinned I'm the Health Clinic section of the forums with all the things you plan to do for your cham so we can make sure you have everything set up perfectly for the arrival of your new little bundle of joy!
As for your present issue, there are a couple of options. The first and easiest option, and the one that is most commonly suggested for newer keepers, is to go bare bottom on your enclosure, which is what the easy drip pan will allow you to do on the Dragonstrand enclosure. This option allows for easy drainage so that you dont have water pooling in your enclosure which would otherwise harbor bacteria. In this option, you would need to spot clean for feces, urates, and any dead feeders. As for plants in this situation you can hang potted plants from the ledges that come with the enclosure, that's primarily what they are there for. You will want to put an inch of river rock over the soil in the plants so your cham doesnt accidentally eat any of the soil.
You other option is to do a bioactive setup. It's a bit more advanced, but if you do it properly and do your research then it is very rewarding! To do this in a chameleon enclosure you'll need a lot of substrate, drainage layers, and a cleanup crew(springtails and isopods). I am by no means an expert in bioactive setups, but there will be some more experienced keepers chiming in, but probably not until the morning. The benefits of a bioactive setup however is that the cleanup crew(CuC) deal with most of the things that you would have otherwise had to clean up. Assuming you have a hearty enough CuC it will take care of all of those things. A bioactive setup, at least to me, is also visually more appealing and really helps with maintaining humidity because of all the live plants!
So, you have options to research and think about!

When are you getting your baby?? Do you have pictures yet?
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Look into bioactivity. I've been doing it along with several other members. The poop is gone within hours. It is an amazing way to set up an enclosure.
I can't wait to start building Pesto's new enclosure so I can set up a bioactive for him. I dont mind collecting poop, but if one thing is annoying its collecting all the bits of shed :rolleyes: that's my morning job tomorrow
 

MrsM

Avid Member
Okay, so I’m getting my first panther chameleon very soon and I’m trying to get everything set up for his arrival. I’m getting my enclosure from dragon strand, and plan on getting the large keeper screen kit (with dragon ledges and an extra floor panel). I like the idea of the extra floor panel, so that I can switch them out quickly and deep clean the spiked one. BUT I also love the idea of a substrate tray and having plants at the bottom of his cage.. but I don’t know if that’s sanitary or not. :( So when he has to potty, it just falls into the soil? And that’s that? Don’t make fun! I’m VERY new to all of this.

Sometimes the poop lands on leaves, sometimes they go down to the ground, sometimes they poop on you... but the poop is really really easy to clean up. Not smeary and doesn’t smell as bad as other animals.
So I wouldn’t over think it- keep it simple so you can focus on the more important needs of your chameleon. I disagree on starting with a complicated substrate.
I’m new and it helped me to start with just paper towels as a substrate. Easing into it allowed me to worked out how to mist and control temperatures just the right amount so that water evaporates between mistings.
Then you can also keep a few potted plants just make sure the edges of the pots aren’t sharp or hazardous.
 
Hi there sweet lady, welcome on board! Thanks so much for doing so much research and for asking so many good questions! Please feel free to text me any time with questions! My human boys miss you! If I tell them you are here on the forums the will chat with you every chanse they get! Lol
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sometimes the poop lands on leaves, sometimes they go down to the ground, sometimes they poop on you... but the poop is really really easy to clean up. Not smeary and doesn’t smell as bad as other animals.
So I wouldn’t over think it- keep it simple so you can focus on the more important needs of your chameleon. I disagree on starting with a complicated substrate.
I’m new and it helped me to start with just paper towels as a substrate. Easing into it allowed me to worked out how to mist and control temperatures just the right amount so that water evaporates between mistings.
Then you can also keep a few potted plants just make sure the edges of the pots aren’t sharp or hazardous.

Honestly, and this may sound a little mean, but I don't intend it that way... if a correct bioactive substrate is too complicated, then someone probably shouldn't have reptiles. I'm not saying that you personally are unable or have to do it, but that it's really not that big of a deal and I believe you're plenty capable, just making it out to be more than it is.

Going a little off topic here, but it gets weird how willingly we accept things like foggers because !natural! hydration and because it's easy to set up, but then those same people will ignore the obvious benefits of bioactivity. I mean, I'm no expert on this, but it seems to be a pretty commonly known thing that exposure to different bacteria is good for living things immune systems, it also offers more of a natural/stimulating environment, keeps things clean where you don't have to worry about harmful bacteria and fungus taking over. I think in the years to come we will see how much we've been depriving our animals by keeping them on white sheets of pvc/newspaper/etc. Just my opinion and I still love my no substrate chamily members :)

For breeders, people with WC in quarantine, etc I'm not coming at you for having barebottom enclosures, that makes plenty of sense. But for the casual hobbyist, there's so much to gain from having good substrate.
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Honestly, and this may sound a little mean, but I don't intend it that way... if a correct bioactive substrate is too complicated, then someone probably shouldn't have reptiles. I'm not saying that you personally are unable or have to do it, but that it's really not that big of a deal and I believe you're plenty capable, just making it out to be more than it is.

Going a little off topic here, but it gets weird how willingly we accept things like foggers because !natural! hydration and because it's easy to set up, but then those same people will ignore the obvious benefits of bioactivity. I mean, I'm no expert on this, but it seems to be a pretty commonly known thing that exposure to different bacteria is good for living things immune systems, it also offers more of a natural/stimulating environment, keeps things clean where you don't have to worry about harmful bacteria and fungus taking over. I think in the years to come we will see how much we've been depriving our animals by keeping them on white sheets of pvc/newspaper/etc. Just my opinion and I still love my no substrate chamily members :)

For breeders, people with WC in quarantine, etc I'm not coming at you for having barebottom enclosures, that makes plenty of sense. But for the casual hobbyist, there's so much to gain from having good substrate.
I think the idea of bioactivity is just daunting for new members, because it's just anothing thing that they need to be mentored on, and as we know new members dont usually like to ask questions. I think the more we talk about it, the more we will see casual hobbyists taking the leap into it.
Maybe you should make a "Bioactivity For Dummies" thread James ;) (asking for a friend :ROFLMAO:)
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think the idea of bioactivity is just daunting for new members, because it's just anothing thing that they need to be mentored on, and as we know new members dont usually like to ask questions. I think the more we talk about it, the more we will see casual hobbyists taking the leap into it.
Maybe you should make a "Bioactivity For Dummies" thread James ;) (asking for a friend :ROFLMAO:)
This! I either need to get a drainage system going for my boys or bioactive. I think the thing that stops me is the wife constantly worrying about the bio bugs getting out lol.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Honestly, and this may sound a little mean, but I don't intend it that way... if a correct bioactive substrate is too complicated, then someone probably shouldn't have reptiles. I'm not saying that you personally are unable or have to do it, but that it's really not that big of a deal and I believe you're plenty capable, just making it out to be more than it is.

Going a little off topic here, but it gets weird how willingly we accept things like foggers because !natural! hydration and because it's easy to set up, but then those same people will ignore the obvious benefits of bioactivity. I mean, I'm no expert on this, but it seems to be a pretty commonly known thing that exposure to different bacteria is good for living things immune systems, it also offers more of a natural/stimulating environment, keeps things clean where you don't have to worry about harmful bacteria and fungus taking over. I think in the years to come we will see how much we've been depriving our animals by keeping them on white sheets of pvc/newspaper/etc. Just my opinion and I still love my no substrate chamily members :)

For breeders, people with WC in quarantine, etc I'm not coming at you for having barebottom enclosures, that makes plenty of sense. But for the casual hobbyist, there's so much to gain from having good substrate.
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