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Slightly bigger cage, many more options

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Posted by: JackAsp at Mon Jul 27 20:41:05 2009  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by JackAsp ]  

Just upgraded the trio into a 50"X 28" X 28" ( legs) wood-and-plexiglass display cage. The 75 gallon seemed... SORT OF big enough. Only problem I could never quite get past was that they liked climbing too much for me to make their cage furniture any lower, but they liked jumping too much to have tall cage furniture without nconstantly bumping their noses on the screen. The girls weren't really stressed by that, but Pancho was getting a bit stir-crazy.

I'd been considering upgrading to a 90-gallon, just for the extra headroom, but found this thing instead. On the plus side, it's the pefect height for me to lean into and be able to reach everything. And lights can be attached to the chicken-wire top, so I can open it up without rearranging fixtures. (Yes, I added a layer of smoother screen to the inside.) On the downside, it didn't fit through the doorway to my collared room until I took it apart, and then there was barely room to squeeze in there and reassemble the damn thing! And also, the lighting-convenience isn't quite as perfect as I would prefer it to be.

MVBs still can't be attached that way, since they shut off every time you even look at them funny. So right now I have one reflective-heat bulb about a foot above a 16" X 8" black stepping-brick plus an MVB about three feet above the other basking tower, hanging from a closet bar. I also put a hook-chain on the middle of that same bar to hang the lid of the door in place when it's open, since if I kept the cage far enough from the wall to open it all the way and just lean it back I would be unable to get into my furnace room. Depending on how room temperature bounces around, I might add a third light fixture, I might change wattages, or I might even replace the MVB with a strip light until things cool down. Like all new cages, it's a work in progress.

This is a terrible picture. Bright but angled light, camera flashes, and scratched plexiglass are a bad mix in photos. However, going over the features from left to right:
16.5" X 8" X8" cave/jungle gym/ basking tower, with 16" X 8" X 3" adding height, room for thermal variation, and temperature conductivity. For scale, those are three adult collareds sitting on top of it, re-warming themselves after a few hours trapped in the bathtub.

A large MagNatural ledge, which I'm not crazy about do to their tendency to slide and wobble, hence the wide brick under it for stability. Whatever I think of the thing, the lizards all seem to love the texture of it, so since it's their cage they get to keep it.

The rat wheel is back. For those who didn't see the earlier discussion about rat wheels, this one has no spokes and no crosspiece. It's just clean solid plastic with an axel in the middle. The problem I had when I used it last time was that although Lupe liked it (and since Lupe is the one most prone to obesity, that's a big plus,) Chica was distracted by being gravid for the first time, and Pancho kept wanting to jump on top, falling down, and getting confused. So I wasn't going to turn a four foot tank into a three and half foot tank to make room for a cage prop that only one animal liked. Now that there's room, I'm trying it again. It's elevated above sand-level on a large brick, braced with two smaller ones on the underframe, the positioning of the large driftwood log should deter Pancho from trying to jump on top. Worst case scenerio, it goes back in the closet.

Four-foot driftwood log, about four inches wide in most areas. People who say their collareds don't like branches aren't using thick enough branches. Anything fat enough to run on that's positioned horizontally or diagonally seems to be a hit, and wood is lighter than large rock and more stable than multiple-small rock.

Fiberglass planter with damp sand, because Lupe still has eggs coming.

Food and water dishes, elevated above sand level by large buried brick.

And, one more brick/cave/tower, just far enough from the other one that they can jump from one to the other, but they have to put some actual "oomph" into it. A more casual jump is less than the width of the cage. Log to MagNatural or vice versa, for example.

Anyway, this is it, as of right now. i have no doubt many features will change, of course.
0.1 2006 Western Hognose (Bebe)
0.1 age unknown Cane Toad (Hengo)
0.1 2005 White-Banded Sheen Skink (Minerva)
1.0 2006 Northern Diamondback Terrapin (Queequeg)
1.0 2006 Madagascan Speckled "Hognose" (Sigmund)
1.0 2008 Bullsnake (Winkle)
1.2 2008 Eastern Collared Lizards (Pancho, Lupe, and Chica)
0.0.2 2009 Eastern Collared hatchlings


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