Aluminium Mesh

Light/heat placement
Heat retention
Ventilation
Humidity
Drainage
Cleaning
Stress Factors
Additional Comments



Light/heat placement
- Hard

Mesh blocks 20-40% of UVB so UVB strip lights may need to be inside or doubled up outside depending on the species kept. Difficult to create basking spot without area of mesh directly under bulb becoming dangerously hot if the chameleon were to climb on it.

Good for use with Mercury Vapour bulbs suspended overhead in a warm room but again this depends on the species kept (Panther Chameleons do not tolerate high levels of UV given off by Mercury Vapour bulbs).


Maintains heat - Very Poor

Unless used in warm/hot room, mesh cages can be very difficult to keep areas outside the basking spot at a comfortable temperature.
Producing a Thermal Gradient is very easy providing the cooler end is not to cold for the chameleon to use.Good ventilation/airflow naturally creates a gradient.


Ventilation - Excellent

The main advantage with this type of cage is the unrestricted ventilation


Maintains humidity - Variable

Humidity is directly related to the amount of ventilation. When using mesh cages more regular spraying and the use of real plants helps create more acceptable levels of humidity. "Soft Trays" can be used to cover several sides but at the expense of air-flow.


Adding Drainage - Easy

Most mesh cages have plastic floors which can be drilled and will not deteriorate in a damp environment.


Cleaning - Ok

Can be stripped out then easily cleaned. Easier to clean that the plastic mesh cages due to the plastic bottoms.


Stress Factors

All round vision can leave the Chameleon no where to feel safe. My preference is to cover 2 adjacent walls and heavily plant that corner giving a retreat from visual stimuli.


Additional Comments

This type of caging is best used for taking your chameleon outside in the sunny weather for natural UV exposure.

There is less stress on the Chameleon as it is still in its original enclosure. They also tend to last a very long time. Crickets can't chew their way out.

They are better suited for use in warmer climates or in temperature controlled reptile rooms. Common mistake is to use in cold rooms where the chameleon spends all its time under the basking spot, effectively making the rest of the enclosure useless.

When siting the heat lamp, make sure the lamp and reflector/housing has an air gap of around 1inch between the lamp reflector and the mesh. This helps remove heat from the mesh and therefore is less likely to cause your chameleon thermal burns.


Plastic Mesh - such as Reptarium

Plastic - vision vivariums or purpose built

Glass

Wood

Freerange

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