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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started a thread about the general viv layout, now some advice on substrate please

I was intending (on my book research!! yes i know doesn't beat actual advice from owners, hence this thread) to set the viv up with 6 inches of sandy peat, so that i don't have to change anything when the female wants to lay eggs
Is this the best idea or is it best to set up a corner with nesting substrate in, or is it better to just set up the nesting site,when the female needs it....
I have read of putting in pots, or just big piles in the corner...(Belial) I read your reply about not needing a pot, and just setting aside a corner with sandy peat in it...just wanted to know whether to keep this there all year...I admit that i quite like the idea of having the whole floor covered in substrate, several inches deep for the whole time....what is best??

thanks guys
John
 

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The use of substrate is a debatable topic...

I use several different methods but all include calci sand more for the added calcium that the dust creates in the viv. The dust tends to coat crickets feet and so boosts the chams calcium levels. Also it gets onto the leaves and so when you spray the chams lick it off...

i have several set ups:

breeding viv has a constant layer of 8 inch deep calci sand/potting compost mix....

normal viv has calci sand about 2 inches deep and then a pile in one corner or along the back wall just in case...

For the bachelors i use an inch layer of calci sand...

ocassionally use breeding vivs (nothing but sand and peat mix and a some sticks) but since i switched to the 8 inch deep layer i haven't used it and it now houses babies...

you can get away with no substrate and a 8/9 inch deep tub or 2. for peace of mind though i like the 8 inch layer method..less worry..
 

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i have reptile carpet in the bottom of my chams viv.
 

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i use orchid bark
 

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the fine grade 1 so the crickets cant hide between the larger pieces
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys

I have to admit, the 8 inch layer of calci sand / compost sounds best for me.... glad you said about the sand being calci sand

any particular kind of compost...and do you add any bark chips for texture?? / hiding of food

one other thing...how long does this last...does it need changing, or just a bit of raking and replacing of toilet areas...
with my iguana, we take out most of the bark chips weekly, and replace them all, (sometimes more often, if she's being messy!!)

Thanks
 

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just clean daily. replace every 2 months should be fine.
added benifit is that you can plant real plants in it! leave them in their pots though!! you don't need bark chippings really...you can have some on top but don't really see the point!

compost is just potting compost without added rubbish..try and get as natural as you can..homebase do some good ones 'organic' so to speak.

this kind of set up works well when done right and you don't have to worry with laying boxes which is an added bonus..

one tip though: if you put a fine layer of sand on top you can see where she digs to lay..if you don't do this you may not ever find the eggs if she is quick!:smile: they pat the hole down so well afterwards...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
you are so quick with the advice

I've just got to start building it now....
I'm basing it on the iguanas viv, with a few modifications to suit the different habitat (living plants etc)

just one thought though....do chameleons have a pool / bath
my iguana has a 3 foot tub for her to bath in, about 5-6 inches of water, and she loves it....
I can't remember any advice on whether this is good idea or not....I didn't intend to put one in as i hadn't seen any examples of chameleon vivs with a bath!!: victory:
 

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i am new so dont take my advice,better wait for experts like belial but i read that chams aint good swimmers so i would think its best not to unless you want a drown,d cham although like i said wait till the experts post :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
like i said, that was exactly what i thought, and matches the design i've sketched out foe the viv

(well when i say sketched...i'm a civil engineer, and it is all to scale, on graph paper, from 3 perspectives, front, side and plan, with empty viv sketches, and planted sketches, plus blow-out version to ensure correct materials are bought before i start to build it, and an artists impression version as well....took me all lunch break ...extended luch break i hasten to say, and takes 4 A3 sheets....and some amendments made following advice from Belial.... and none of my sketches had a pool!!)
I just had an after thought and mentioned it on here instead of reading further, as i knew i'd get an answer straight away....I do remember now, from my research, why i never put a water feature in my plans....i remember reading about them not being good with water, but that had just eluded me....should think before i write :lol2: :bash:

anyway, i have about 20 care sheets on yemens, plus a couple of books, so i wouldn't have actually made that mistake in practice....just sort of checking you're all awake...LOL
 

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all sounds most complicated! i usually do a doodle and then pop down to B&Q and see what i can get! i do like the bargain bins for bits! you never know what good material you will find in them!:smile:
 

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i just got into reptiles and just knocked up a smaller viv just for the hell of it,
it was what was left in the contiboard i had and its 30inchx24x24 and took a whole hour to build :) but the deosnt include any vents in it yet but it is all countersunk and then wood filler in and all looking good just dunno what i can use it for lmao,
did think about growing on some crixs in it seems its now in the shed doing nothing :lol2: ,although i do like the sound of getting some waxxies and keeping them in there and feeding them in the moth stage to the chams but i need to do some research on the life cycle of waxworms first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
thanks repoman....makes me feel better....it'll prob take me 3 days....if i'm lucky....real good at diy you see!! LOL
BUT I will take more pleasure out of building my own, rather than buying one,
I'm much better at the design stage....I'm a civil engineer....
 
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