Introduction to the Dragon Strand Atrium Series
Chameleons, like many other arboreal reptiles, may live high above the ground, but they live horizontally. Thus, they actually make more use of horizontal space than vertical. The Dragon Strand Atrium Series is specifically designed to offer this space for our chameleons. There are three sizes and three material variants.
Atrium Size Options
Atrium Cage Sizes:
Medium Atrium (28.5″ W x 18″D x 29.5″ H): This cage represents the minimum size necessary for an adult Panther Chameleon. The width allows height to be reduced. Though note that this cage must be placed high up to give the security of height. The Medium Atrium comes standard with five Dragon Ledges, a Drip Easy Drainage System, and a Hydration Mount.
Medium Tall Atrium (30″W x 23″D x 48″H): The Medium Tall Atrium takes the space of the industry standard 48″ tall cage and gives it an extra body length of width. This cage is the best general purpose cage available. The Medium Tall Atrium comes standard with five Dragon Ledges, a Drip Easy Drainage System, and two Hydration Mounts.
Large Atrium (45″W x 22″D x 44″H): The Large Atrium has been designed to be the perfect cage for adult panther chameleons and can house Meller’s and Parson’s Chameleons up to about 500 grams. This width cage gives you freedom to create both a plant filled vegetation zone and a cleared basking zone. The Large Atrium comes standard with eight Dragon Ledges and two Hydration Mounts. The Drip Easy Drainage Tray is an optional accessory and must be ordered separately.
Atrium Series Materials
Atrium cages come in three materials and four configurations
All Screen. Each Atrium variant can be made in the all screen style. This cage offers maximum ventilation. Dragon Strand cages are made from rust proof materials and so any screen cage may be used for outdoor keeping with the standard precautions regarding predators and sun.
Clearside. Dragon Strand has pioneered the use of this material in chameleon caging. We use a clear, durable, PVC material. This material has the advantage that it is lightweight and allows us to create large, chameleon-worthy sizes without the weight of glass. This variant allows misters to run inside the cage and the mist is kept inside. Therefore house walls and furniture are kept safe from water damage. It also allows you to create humidity pockets which would be exceedingly difficult in a screen cage. The Clearside line comes in two variants. The Standard Clearside Configuration has the front, one side, and the back in the clear side material. The other side and the top are screen. This gives ample ventilation. The Vivarium Configuration is done under special arrangement and allows you to work with the chimney effect. This has the two side, back, and partial front in the Clearside material and just the service door (lower front panel) and top out of screen. This configuration gives the highest control of humidity, but is a relatively new tool in the US chameleon market. If you would like to use this configuration please make sure you understand the chimney effect as the standard screen cage advice is inappropriate for the Vivarium style cage.
Breeder Style – PVC Sides. The Breeder style cage has the two sides and back in white PVC with the front and top in screen. The Breeder style has the advantage of keeping mist inside the cage, but it adds visual isolation. This is helpful to the breeder that has a group, but does not want the complications that come with social interaction. The Breeder Style has also found use with keepers that desire to create a full vivarium and desire the walls to be able to be used for structural support for mounting plants, and building out landscape features. Note: the Breeder style can be made with the Vivarium Configuration where the main door and top front panel are clear side material and the service door is screen.
Full screen cages offer the maximum in ventilation. Dragon Strand cages use aluminum screen so rusting is not an issue.
Clearside cages use flexible, clear PVC pulled taut. This material may be flexible, but it is highly durable and is stronger than the screening that is used in cages. This image shows a cage with the Clearside material in front and screen on the side.
Breeder series cages use white PVC for sides to give visual isolation for chameleons kept in close quarters. Standard configuration has screen on the front and top. Pictured is the Vivarium variant that has a clear door and a screen service door/top to take advantage of the chimney effect.
Medium Atrium Cages
Medium Atrium Cages (28.5″ W x 18″D x 29.5″ H) are available in both screen and clear side versions. Each comes with five Dragon Ledges, a hydration mount, and a DripEasy Drainage Tray. The Medium Atrium can be made in the Breeder style by special arrangement. If this is of interest please contact email@example.com. Due to their size, the Medium Atrium cages are not able to be bundled.
Medium Tall Atrium Cages
Medium Tall Atrium Cages (30″W x 23″D x 48″H) are available in screen, breeder, and clear side styles. Vivarium style can be made under special arrangement. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org . Each Cage comes with five Dragon Ledges, two hydration mounts, and a Drip Easy Drainage Tray. Due to their size, the Medium Tall Atrium cages are not able to be bundled.
This shows a sample branch structure that can now accept various potted plants. This is a Medium Tall Clearside Atrium being prepared for a juvenile Meller’s Chameleon.
With the plants added, this tall and wide cage gives the necessary open areas for basking and the dense foliage for hiding and comfort. As the plants grow and fill in the pots and support structure will slowly be hidden and the cage will take on a true “floating garden” feel.
A dense plant network gives you the ability to create a humidity pocket and have multiple areas that your chameleon could feel safe sleeping.
Large Atrium Cages
Large Atrium Cages (45″W x 22″D x 44″H) are available in screen, breeder, and clear side styles. Vivarium style can be made under special arrangement. Please contact email@example.com . Each Cage comes with eight Dragon Ledges and two hydration mounts. Both an optional Drip Easy Drainage Tray and 6″ Substrate Tray are available. Due to their size, only the Large Screen Atrium cages may be bundled with with each other or with an optional Drip Easy Drainage Tray
Optional Drip Easy Drainage Trays and Deep Substrate Trays are available for the Large Atrium. Drip Easy Drainage Trays may be bundled as a double bundles, but, due to size, we are not able to bundle a Substrate Tray with either another substrate tray or a Drip Easy Drainage Tray. Drainage Trays go under the cage and catch excess water. Substrate Trays are for creating systems with a substrate floor. Substrate Trays come water tight, but they are not meant to be used as a water catcher as that would keep water in the cage with access to escaped feeders, poop, and the chameleon.
Listed below are the available configurations for the Atrium Series cages. To choose which configuration is right for you the options are compared below.
Size: The basic guideline for size is to get the biggest cage that will fit your available space. You cannot get too big of a cage and if the chameleon is old enough to be sold it is old enough to go into its adult size cage. If your breeder insists that your chameleon needs a grow out cage then I would be happy to sell you two cages. But your cage manufacturer, Chameleon Breeder Podcast host, and decades long chameleon keeper/breeder says you only need your adult cage!
Material: The decision between screen, clear side, and the white PVC Breeder style is a decision as to how much of an environment you want to build beyond ambient conditions.
Screen is maximum ventilation and is appropriate when the ambient conditions are close enough to your chameleon’s needs that a small nudge with a heat lamp or mister/fogger will provide the adequate environment. Screen is the only option suitable for outdoor keeping.
Breeder/Clearside cages give the cages three solid sides in which you are able to create humidity pockets and gradients with minor heat retention. Both styles have one whole side and top screen so there is no chance of stagnant air. Both styles will keep the mist inside the cage to protect furniture and walls. The difference is that the Breeder style gives visual isolation due to the white PVC walls. This is useful when multiple chameleons are in one room or you desire the strength of the solid wall to mount vivarium items such as for a fully naturalistic/bioactive environment. The Clearside also has three mist retaining sides, but is clear so the environment you create inside can be enjoyed.
A simple guide is:
|Pet Chameleon + Dry Environment||Clearside|
|Pet Chameleon + in living areas||Clearside|
|Ambient Conditions are mostly correct||Screen|
Atrium cages include various accessories which are described below
Dragon Ledges are anchors that are attached to the side frame and give you the ability to mount horizontal branches and potted plants at any height along the sides of the cage. These are patented and exclusive to Dragon Strand. They are included standard with every Atrium Series cage.
A Drainage Tray is a tray which sits under the cage. Its purpose is to catch the excess water and keep it from coming into contact with the chameleon, poop, or escaped feeders. The “Drip Easy” floor is a screen panel that replaces the standard white PVC floor panel. This gives superior drainage. There is a drainage tray offered for each Atrium Series cage. Some are bundled as standard and some are offered separately.
Hydration Mount is a bracket that you can attach anywhere along the inside top panel to mount an industry standard misting nozzle. There is a hole that accepts the Mist King and Cli-Mist Misting Heads and a hole that accepts 1/4″ tubing. This 1/4″ how may be used for a Monsoon mist input or else as an automatic plant watering input. Please note that this mount is specially designed for wide format chameleon cage needs in mind and the mounting allows mistheads to be placed anywhere along the inside frame. You are not limited to the corners.
Dragon Ledges work in the back ground giving your cage unparalleled structural support and are what gives you the ability to mount horizontal branches and potted plants. This is how the “Floating Garden” cage interiors are created.
Drainage trays sit under the cage – not inside like a substrate tray would. It works with the cage floor panel to keep the water away from the cage inhabitants. The DripEasy system is the screen floor panel you see in this image. This offers maximum drainage and can be used when you mount all your plants on the sides of the cage using the Dragon Ledges.
The Hydration Mount allows you to mount industry standard misting nozzles to the Dragon Strand Cages. The larger hole accepts standard Mist King or Cli-Mist nozzles while the smaller hole will allow Exo-Terra Monsoon entry or allow the entry of a plant drip system. The Hydration Mount comes with a grommet for the smaller hole which will cover the loose wire edges caused by creating a hole in the screen for the 1/4″ tubing access