Dragon Strand Caging Systems

SBCK Chameleon Cage Set-up Workshop

Chameleon Cage Set-up Workshop

Dragon Strand will be leading a Chameleon Cage Set-up Workshop for the South Bay Chameleon Keepers on March 28, 2015 in Southern California.  At this workshop you will be able to come and listen or bring your cage and materials and set-up your cage along side to lecture.  This will be a hands-on workshop!

Date: Saturday March 28, 2015

Time: 1PM Cage Building and meet and greet, 2PM – 5 PM Cage Set-up Workshop

Location: Reptile Nerds, 12550 Brookhurst Suite F.  Garden Grove, CA

We will be loosely following the cage set-up strategy in the Advanced Chameleon Cage Set-up article, but there will be so much more!  We will go over the following agenda:

  • Cage Types AvailableNaturalistic Adult Chameleon Cage Setup
    • Screen
    • Hybrid
    • Solid Side (glass)
  • Cage Accessories and their uses
    • Drainage Trays
    • Substrate Trays
    • Dragon Ledges
  • Lighting Strategies
  • Living Levels for your Chameleons
  • The Four Critical Gradients
    • Heat
    • UVB
    • Humidity
    • Exposure
  • Hydration Strategies
    • Drippers
    • FoggersNaturalistic Chameleon Cage Setup
    • Misters
  • Arranging the Top of the Cage
    • Lighting
    • Heat
    • Hydration
  • Selecting and Placing Plants
    • Real vs. Artificial
    • Plant Selection
    • Placement
    • Anchoring
  • Selecting and Placing Branches
    • Branch Selection
    • Placement
    • Anchoring
  • Adding Extras
    • Aesthetic Plants
    • Naturalistic Foam
  • General Caging Questions
    • Cage Placement in the home
    • Chameleons crawling on the screen
    • Caging for Babies


If you desire to set-up a cage during the workshop you will need to bring the following materials

1) Cage:  Please bring a screen cage or hybrid cage (such as the Dragon Strand Breeder Series).  Dragon Strand will offer special SBCK packages that may be pre-purchased and will be delivered to the meeting.  Cages and accessories will be available for sale at the meeting on a first come first serve basis.  Pre-ordering guarantees the cage size and accessories you want.  If you already have a cage you may bring that cage.  Please do not bring glass terrariums.  While we will touch on these briefly, the strategies for glass terrariums are another workshop all together!

2) Accessories: The only accessories necessary to bring are Dragon Ledges if you desire to use them.  These are anchors that make holding branches and plants on a screen cage easy.  The Breeder Series comes with these anchors. They are optional with screen cages, though they are included with the special SBCK bundles.  If you have a screen cage already and would like to use the Dragon Ledges please purchase them ahead of time for delivery to the meeting to ensure they will be available for you.

3) Branches: Bring branches of various diameters that you would like to install in your cage. You may also bring artificial vines.  Read the Advanced Chameleon Cage Set-up article and look at the pictures for an idea of what is needed.  You may also contact Dragon Strand for help if you’d like ideas of what to bring in this area.

4) Plants:  If you are going to place a plant on the bottom of the cage you will not need to bring it to the workshop.  You’ll need to bring plants that you would like to hang in the cage or use as accents.  If you want to hang a plant make sure you have an appropriate support.  Dragon Ledges have been made specifically for this purpose and are available for pre-sale.  There are sizes for all commonly available cages on the market.  They are also included with the SBCK Workshop bundles available below.

Suggested plants for resting on the bottom of the cage (no need to bring)

  • Schefflera (Umbrella plant)
  • Ficus benjamina (ficus tree)
  • Pachira (Money Plant)


Suggested plants for hanging

  • Pothos (Devil’s Ivy)
  • Nepenthes (Tropical Pitcher Plant)
  • Spider Plant


Suggested plants for accents

  • Bromeliads
  • Polka dot plants (estes)
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Small pothos, spider plants, or schefflera
  • Mini Orchids


5) Tools and Hardware: If you are picking up a cage or buying one at the workshop then come an hour early for the pre-meeting cage building session! Bring a good Phillip’s Head Screwdriver and  we will get that cage up and ready for the workshop.  Beyond that there will be some tools at the workshop, but if possible, bring black zip ties (for firmly attaching branches) and a cutting tool that can cut your branches to size.  At least bring 20 to 30 3.5″ black zip ties.  We’ll need less if Dragon Ledges are used.  Contact Bill Strand at dragonstrand@gmail.com for questions as to what you may or may not need for your particular situation.  And, lastly, bring clippers to snip off the ends of the zip ties.  A hot glue gun can also be brought to attach branches together.

  • Phillip’s Head Screwdriver
  • 3.5″ (and larger if appropriate) black zip ties
  • Clippers
  • Hot Glue gun (optional)


6) Great Stuff Pond & Stone Foam: In many of the cage pictures you will notice a black rock cliff that the plants come out of.  This is made with a construction foam that is used to repair ponds.  It is black and fish safe.  This is not necessary for a great looking cage, but if you desire to go this extra step then bring cans of Great Stuff Pond & Stone.  These can be found at Ace Hardware and pond stores (they may have them under different brand names).  There are many variations of Great Stuff product.  Pond & Stone is the only one that is black and rated as safe for animals.  Neither Home Depot nor Lowe’s carries the Pond & Stone version so your best offline bet is Ace Hardware. This product is available online as well for reduced price (but you pay for shipping).  the tricky part is how much you will need and that depends on how much you want to put in.  The 48″ cage pictured above took six cans.  The next to last part of the workshop will be all about working with the foam.

If you have any questions about the meeting or have not yet signed up please send an email to southbaychameleonkeepers@gmail.com. We look forward to seeing you there!