enclosures · videos

This Is Serious Appreciation For Reptiles

“Touring The Most Amazing Reptile Room In The World”

This place is amazing!

I am blown away from the level of manual labor this achievement must have entailed

and further stupefied by the extent of detail executed by this man in it’s design!!!

20180604_135448Murph also is amazed! Look at him, just in awe, I hope he’s not forming expectations!


As always, it is my hope, the links posted that correlate to the videos shared on Lizardplanet.com, will be visited directly, so those responsible for the creations of the videos acquire the views, likes, comments, and subscriptions that are well deserved.

To the video above: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq8wBSuAnls


“Give me Lizardry or give me Death!” – ♥ Dawn Renee



A Substrate Alternative For The Pampered Lizard

20170928_140420Lil Murph and his predecessors do not and did not have the typical (yawn) lizard-life!                                                                                                            I am convinced all animals (humans included) appreciate something soft in their lives. Lizards bring out the squealing little girl in me! Like a young girl’s happy place when she’s playing dress-up with her kitten, I experience this when I’m on the hunt for blankie-quality scraps of cloth (as discussed in a previous post), AND as I …um…re-decorate the enclosure for a revived atmosphere, AND as I prep my lizards for special-occasion photo shoots!!!! Especially the latter! Yes, this happens at my house!! -A rare time my lizards are disgusted with me – but I redeem myself! I shall share with you these photo shoots later and hope they make you smile.

I stated that I’d tell you what I use in lieu of substrate, that you may laugh at me…   Here goes:

My lizards have their own sheet collection!! We have animal print; happy spring shades in pastels; and flannel for winter, a “Frosty the Snowman” theme.

Said sheets and corresponding blankies are kept separate from the household collection. My lizards have always had their own dirty laundry hamper (box) and dresser (bigger elaborate box) with separators. Within these compartments are back-up squishy pillows, blankies (folded with girl-ish glee), newspaper for the poo place, and the flat sheets (folded with less girl-ish glee because they take longer to fold).

When it’s time to apply clean bedding rather than substrate, my system is as follows:

1) Mushy food (i.e. bananas or grapes) and calcium powder scattered about to an icky degree or poo-place target not hit perfectly = a bedding change.                            Everything out (although his hammock is usually fine). Roll up the icky and nestle within ‘hamper’.                                                                                                                                Murph goes atop the cage to look out the window or in a play pen, if you will. This temporary imprisonment of strategic design is an architecture of  pillows, books and art stacked and situated so as to retain him somewhat idly on the living room floor! If he’s in a ridiculously mobile mood, for his safety he must be placed in a tall-walled box (with a blankie) until I can return him to his cage. I usually don’t have a baby sitter for this labor.

2) Any rocks, branches or dishes get washed or bleached and rinsed appropriately if needed. Let them air dry on an old towel or something.

3) Gleefully select new sheet! Gleefully select color of pillow! For this item, we have options of orange, royal blue and black! Murph likes the layout of his cage so I usually only alter aesthetics.

 4) Return clean accessories and Murph.

Murph’s laundry is washed when there is enough for a medium-sized load. I pour  maybe a couple of cups of bleach into washer as it fills with water. When full I add bedding. I havn’t a newfangled washer so I do it this way to not fade the bedding.20170819_190953 Bedding in lieu of substrate: it may not be perfect for lizards and will not work for everyone but it is my way, and Murph is happy with it.20170818_183330This mirror adds an open-ness to Murph’s enclosure. This mirror belonged to his sister(?) Copper, whom he never met. My lizards need to see how beautiful they are. He hasn’t quite figured it out….Often he’ll attempt to eat the food he sees in the mirror!!! THAT does not cease to be adorable!!20171018_200254

***It is important to keep something slightly rough in a cage like a branch or rocks because first of all, lizards like to climb (a lizard is still a lizard despite any acquired behavioral attributes of a human baby they may possess from extreme pampering) and secondly, they like to rub against them to relieve an itch and aid in shedding skin.

I know Murph is happy with his cage. He lets me know, like when I attempted to give Murph’s smart mind an observance to ponder! Here he is considering the intrusion of a waterfall, eventually displaying a disdain for the space-taking object by peering out at me with the look in his eyeball that conveyed he will have an attitude if I continue to allow such an annoyance to disrupt the Zen waves of his domain!20171026_182630

“Give me lizardry or give me death!”                  -Dawn Renee



Choosing A Home Within Your Home For Your Scaly Companion


“I want out….I’m not playing!”
“Sigh….I can’t believe she’s not going to let me out!”

As you see, Mr. Pitiful here is in a 55 gallon aquarium. It was given to me with my lizard because a family member wanted me to give this baby a better life. I had to buy nothing but more bulbs and of course, locate new blankies. This aquarium previously contained fish (sanitized pre-lizard, of course). For the lizard, the previous owner secured with screws 2 little framed screens (found at a hardware store) that fit the opening  at the top. He screwed into these 2 knobs for handles to lift up and open the new doors (likened to the reverse of how a butterfly spreads it’s wings). This was done to ensure the lizard would stay contained and their cats would stay out. Like cabinet knobs next to one another, you can open both sides at once with both hands. Unfortunately I’ve not a picture, but you can visualize with the description. It is troublesome to hold them open with your shoulders as you clean, set food, etc. But, it’s one solution if you’re on a tight budget. I secured the knobs together with a rubber band so there was no chance a door would slip down and bump baby and they couldn’t be lifted from within. A dual light bulb lamp (heat & full-spectrum) was rigged high with twine and duct tape by the original owner.

Now, here is my truly rigged and totally ingenious (I must say) enclosure:


Okay, this rarely happens. It’s nearly perfect!

As you see, this is a cage for a furry friend not for the scaly sort. But if you’ve weened or simply denied your lizard of live crickets that jump around, this sort of non-glass enclosure will do well with an amount of painstaking labor. Worth it if you can’t afford a large aquarium and love your lizard(s) and choose an enclosure such as this.

**Warning: You may bleed in the construction

I say this because I did! Obviously. I’m a girl. ….but a determined one!! Hours were spent, blood was shed, frustration and adrenaline flowed as I fought this labor of love!!! It was the darn rolls (2) of thin wire I bought and the reel of super thin wire that scraped me up and poked wee holes in my fingertips! I wanted to drop-kick all of it but that would have led to further injury!!

I purchased this cage from a pet store for my previous beloved friend and kept it. It’s approx. 20″ w, 21″ h, 30″l. On the exterior is draped across the roof and flowing down the left & right sides a thick cloth shower curtain to aid in heat and moisture containment (this is important for their skin and health). The front door is uncovered by cloth most of the time. The back wall is uncovered because I keep the back pressed against a window so my sweetie  can look outside. When the weather is nice I open the window. I got lucky in that I have a sturdy desk to hold the weight of the cage that is exactly as tall as my window sills are high. 20171014_16363820171014_163844THIS UVB BULB HAS OLDEN-DAY STYLE  METAL DRAPE HOOKS CRAMMED INTO THE HOLES ON THE BACK USED FOR MOUNTING. THEY ARE BENT TO PERFECTION AND WRAPPED AROUND THE BARS ON THE TOP OF THE CAGE. IT IS SECURED AGAIN WITH A WIRE AROUND THE CENTER OF THE WHOLE THING AND SECURED TO CAGE. WE DON’T WANT THIS TO FALL!! THE CORDS OF MY LIGHTING ARE ALSO WIRED TO AND FED OUT OF THE CAGE THROUGH SNIPPED OPENINGS LARGE ONLY ENOUGH TO GET THE PLUGS OUT AND INTO A POWER STRIP (NOT A CHEAP EXTENSION CORD).

If you want to try this for your lizard(s) you will need:

  1. Cage: (of a humane size) they need space to climb a little, be able to get away from their poo, have  sections for food, water, basking and sleeping
  2. rolls of  thin wire: (similar to chicken wire) measure the cage to determine the amount of wire roll(s) you will need to purchase. The purpose of this to keep all body parts from getting stuck (if your lizard is small, to prevent escape, amazing the small spaces they can wiggle through) between the metal bars of the cage.
  3. reel of much thinner easily bendable wire:  1 reel should work but be certain. This is similar-slightly thicker in width to the wire within a twisty tie for bread loaves. The purpose of this is to secure the thin wire to the exterior of the wire cage.
  4. very sticky clear tape: You will have to cut and piece in small sections of wire roll to conceal gaps. Placing tape inside (sticky side facing the outside) at all places where cut wire may come into contact with your lizards feet for example if they climb the walls will protect them from injury.
  5. wire snips: to cut the wire rolls. However, your thinner wire should be thin enough that scissors could cut it
  6. stage / gaf tape or equivalent: this is a stretchy and strong tape. This is ideal for wrapping inside or out around the gap that will remain around the perimeter of the cage by the bottom tray after you’ve secured you wire roll to the exterior. If you wrap the inside it will be sticky side facing out and for the outside, sticky side facing in, obviously
  7. PATIENCE and time: As stated, this is a labor of love

     These cages have a removable plastic tray on the bottom. Remove it before and replace it after the project is completed. Have plenty of work space for the cage and to unroll the dastardly wire rolls. To cover the majority of the cage you wont have to do any snipping for a while. You will need to lay the cage on it’s side to begin at at a corner. Secure with thin wire as you work so you can be sure it lies flat and tight against the cage structure. You don’t want a lizard stuck between the cage and wire! A securing wire every 6-10 inches should work. Jump around with placements of these using your best judgement as to where 1 should be. You may need 4 hands but I did it with 2. Sometimes you may have to squeeze into the cage for certain things!

Pre-cutting a bunch of reeled wire into the same size ahead of time is very handy. Lay them near you upon something light in color so they’re ready and visible. Shape them into a U-shape but longer on the side you’re holding to feed it through, being certain it is tightening the bond of the exterior wire to a bar of the cage.20171024_090257 Remember to have all ends of all cut wire facing out/away from the interior of the cage. These ends may snag flesh and draperies but it’s a petty price to pay to ensure your loved one’s safety.

*note: My beardie is about the equivalent of a human pre-teen, as such still likes food that moves. Do to enclosure selection and the guilt I experience when watching innocent little critters be devoured, my lizards live nearly vegetarian life styles. I have had healthy lizards by providing them a good variety of fruits (never citrus) and veggies, some contain protein to replace meat. I also crush unsalted nuts with the butt end of a steak knife for protein. I do have freeze dried crickets given as a snack. These can easily be found online and are cheap.

An excellent source of knowledge about bearded dragons can be found at: www.beardeddragon.org

More on diet at it’s home page  >at left tap #2) what to buy  >scroll to and tap food items and supplements.    I do give my lizard in small portions, frozen (but mostly fresh and rinsed veggies) rather than canned (and often high in sodium) veggies. I pour a small amount in a covered dish to thaw in the refrigerator and for the outside animals, toss out any remainder after a few days. I’m not sure what eats the food I throw out but I enjoy thinking I fed a family of raccoons or something for the night.

In conclusion, this is a long post fellow lizard-loving friends. The cage is laborious in materialization and description. I hope it helps at least one person and lizard. Thank you for being here! If you have any questions or comments please contact me via the options above. 

“Give me lizardry or give me death!”   –Dawn Renee