Housing Uroplatus can be a tricky endeavor. The larger the collection is, the trickier it is to manage effectively. While the options can be limited or limitless (depending on where in the world you are located!) it is important to take a few fundamentals into consideration when housing Uroplatus.
Glass or Screen?
This is a topic that can conjure up debate in any online forums. Many hobbyists have a preference for one or the other and depending on which region you’re located in can make or break your experience with keeping Uroplatus.
Glass cages are good for dryer regions that hobbyists find keeping a 50-60% Rh a challenge. Custom glass enclosures can be made to fit any dimensions within reason and come with predrilled holes for misting and drainage. Glass does cost more and the weight can be an issue for some keepers.
Screen cages are good for regions that already have higher Rh or where too much moisture and low airflow are a concern. In central Florida, we’ve found glass cages to hold too much moisture for us to allow the amount of misting we wanted to provide the animals. Screen cages are inexpensive, light weight and easy to move about making it a great choice for larger dynamic collections that may require shifting about. However, screen cages don’t clean as well or as easy as glass cages and mist water can be tricky to contain within the screen walls.
Watering and Drainage
Uroplatus derive more than just hydration from the moisture in their environment. Whether it’s lapping up water from small puddles on leaves or to trigger mating behavior with an increase of humidity and misting, watering the enclosure is something to consider very carefully.
Consumer products are becoming more available to enable any sized system to provide automatic misting or rain (using Rain Domes) to your entire collection. Misting times can be adjusted via digital timers so you can fine tune how much water goes into your enclosures.
Now that we have all of this water entering the enclosure we need a way to move all of the excess away. There are no easy answers to this issue and many folks come up with custom solutions that fit their systems. As mentioned before, many custom glass cage builders will offer predrilled holes for drainage and misting. We feel it is extremeley worth the extra few dollars if it means the only other option is to allow the water to build up. Drainage bases can be purchased for some standard sized screen cages but again often it’s a custom solution designed to fit the needs of the particular setup. The key point we’d like to drive home is, it’s very important to ensure the enclosure does not stay wet or soaked for too long. Soaked substrate is a playground for bacteria and mold that can cause major issues to your geckos if it’s not taken care of.