Will this enclosure work as is?

Lpsouth1978

Avid Member
My sisters friend is moving and gave me her chameleon enclosure. I know that it is not ideal because chameleons need good air circulation but will it work?

It measures 38" wide x 18" deep x 48" tall. The problem is that only the front and top are mesh. The other sides and bottom are plexiglass. Will there be enough airflow with just the front and top being mesh. It is a great setup and I would hate to tear it apart and redo it if this will work as is.


 

jmwhitel

Member
It should be fine.

You could always get it completely setup with plants, lights, misting, etc, and anything else that will go in it. Let it "run" for a couple weeks and measure the humidity and temps to make sure they are within range. The mesh should be enough to circulate the air, but actually getting it working is the only way to tell.

Really cool viv tho!

Its actually kinda similar to a custom setup I am building atm

Good Luck!
 
That will work fine so long as the wood is sealed and you make sure to use paper towels in the bottom so water doesn't sit still an create bacteria
 

Kiwiflage

Member
It will work, however I would highly suggest making some alterations in the near future. Chameleons demand a lot of foliage to hide in. They should really have live non toxic vegetation to munch on so they don't invest the plastic stuff, and its a good way to keep humidity up... Is there a humidity gauge and temp gauges?
 

Klink

New Member
That's kinda like a giant Exo-Terra vivarium set up. You should get that chimney air flow effect from it, but I'm no expert.
 

Lpsouth1978

Avid Member
Thank you all. I am just getting started with setting it up. Repticon will be near me in October, so I do not plan on actually getting a Cham until then. I am planning on getting a misting system from Mistking. I am also looking to get the fake plants out and add a couple of branches, then putting some pothos in there to get established on the vines and branches. I figure that I have 2 months to get it setup and completely ready for a beautiful Cham.

Most of the wood has been painted and sealed, except for the front doors. I will be painting and sealing the doors in the next week or so. The doors were actually the back of the viv when I got it. They were also all wood, so I took the wood panels off and am putting aluminum screen on it instead. I just hope that I don't find more that needs to be modified.

I also have 2 bearded dragons and lots of extra light fixtures, so the only things I need to purchase for the viv is the right bulbs and the misting system.
 

CLP

New Member
I think it should be fine, but you definitely want lots of plants (preferrably real) and vines/branches for your chameleon to climb on. You will find a lot of members end up putting plastic up to one or more of the sides of their all screen enclosures (especially where the environment is dry) to hold in humidity.

I have my one year old male veiled in a 24" deep x 36" wide x 48" high enclosure that is only screen on the sides and top. He has been living in there for over 6 months and is doing great. Even with the twice daily misting, the humidity stays well within the recommended range. And in winter (I'm in Canada) I acutally have to mist 3-4 times a day to keep the humidity where it should be.

Chameleons are great pets. Just keep reading this forum and by the time you actually get yours, you'll be more than ready for your new friend. Good luck!
 

Seiryu

Established Member
That is plenty of ventilation yes. Besides adding foliage and vines and all of that, one thing that stood out to me was the lid.

It looks like a very fine lid? As in the holes are super small? Fine mesh like that can block 35-50% of the uvb from a light depending on how fine. You may want to consider a 1/4-1/2" hole screen top to allow more UVB to pass through.
 

CLP

New Member
That is plenty of ventilation yes. Besides adding foliage and vines and all of that, one thing that stood out to me was the lid.

It looks like a very fine lid? As in the holes are super small? Fine mesh like that can block 35-50% of the uvb from a light depending on how fine. You may want to consider a 1/4-1/2" hole screen top to allow more UVB to pass through.

Good catch with the lid and uvb blocking. Seiryu is right. The fine mesh can block up to 50% of the uvb rays. I have a fine mesh top on one of my enclosures, so went with a 10% uvb bulb for that one to compensate for what the top was blocking.
 

Lpsouth1978

Avid Member
Well, after some more research into ideal enclosures and after further inspection of the enclosure, I decided I would redo most of the enclosure. I have taken out ALL of the plexi and will be replacing it with aluminum screen. I have already replaced the screen in the lid with aluminum screen and added screen to the doors. I am looking for a shorter table, just tall enough to fit buckets under, for the enclosure to sit on. I am planning on drilling holes in the bottom of the enclosure for drainage and will have a bucket underneath to catch the excess water.

I am also looking into automatic misting systems, but I can't decide between mistking or aquazamp. I like the aquazamp raindome, but for an exclosure this size I would need 2 domes. Any thoughts or suggestions would be GREAT.

I hope to have the enclosure done in the next couple of weeks. Then I will focus on the misting system and finally get the plants and everything else in place so I can make sure the humidity and temps are good before getting my chameleon. Repticon is right by me in Oct. so I plan on getting it then. I am trying to do this slow and correct from the start.




 

SaintJimmy

Avid Member
Awesome looking cage so far. All I suggest getting:

Fishing line (to tie sticks and other things to the cage)

Parrot feeder cup (to put worms in so they can easily be counted by you and devoured by the cham. use fishing line to tie to cage)
rectangular-seed-cup.jpg


Some real plants like
Pothos (hang from top)
images

Ficus (set on bottom)
img-thing


2-4 Fake vines (put curling around/next to the fake twisty vines to provide hiding spots. Hang one/two from the ceiling to have a place for water to drip on. tie onto cage with fishing line)
PLV070.jpg


Straight horizontal sticks 2-4 (provides many climbing areas for the chameleon and makes it easy to roam the horizontal space provided. drill holes in each end and tie on each side with fishing line)
images
 

Lpsouth1978

Avid Member
Thank you all for the advice, but I am afraid more is coming.

I have completely replaced all of the Plexiglass with aluminum screen. My next big project will be to redo the bottom of the cage. Right now there is no form of drainage. I am planning on drilling holes in the bottom and using PVC pipe to direct the water into a bucket.

I have not decided on plants yet, but I have some time for that. I am also hoping to find some bamboo poles to use for vertical climbing spots throughout the enclosure.

I should be able to get a misting system in about 3 weeks, though I have not yet decided on whether to get the Mistking system or an Aquazamp raindome. My main concern with the raindome is the space that it takes up on top of the enclosure and I may need 2 domes to cover the whole enclosure. With the Mistking system I can simply place the nozzles so that they cover the whole enclosure.

I already have the basking bulb and fixture and plan on ordering the UVB bulb and fixture later this week. I know a lot of people say to get them from lightyourreptiles.com, but they are a bit too expensive to me. I am actually looking at buying a fixture from aquatraders.com. The fixtures are quite inexpensive and the one I want to get has timers built into the fixture. I will get it with 6500k plant bulbs and replace one of the bulbs with either an Arcadia or Reptisun bulb.

The only question I have on the bulb is this:

The aluminum screen is a pretty tight mesh, though not as bad as what was there before, so can I compensate for this by getting an Arcadia 12% or Reptisun 10.0. I figure that should make up for the UVB lost to the mesh.







 

Lpsouth1978

Avid Member
Still looking for an answer to my question: is it ok to use a Repti-sun 10.0 to make up for the UVB lost due to the mesh screen top? Or will enough UVB still get through? The last thing I would want is a Chameleon developing MBD because not enough light penetrated the screen.

Any advice on this is greatly appreciated!
 
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