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Plants That Can Stand Up to a Cuban Knight Anole?

Discussion in 'Tropical Plants' started by TigerCowrie, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. TigerCowrie

    TigerCowrie Member

    I'm in the process of designing a habitat that will eventually house an Anolis equestris, and while does have some fake plants, I also would like to use some live ones. However, I understand that knight anoles can be quite destructive to their habitats, and I'm not sure what other than pothos and a few related vines could stand up to that. Among plants I've considered are a type of Chlorophytum other than the common spider plant and various bromeliads ranging from Tillandsia to Cryptanthus to Neoregelia. Any suggestions as to what bromeliads would be best, or other plants that would be good?
  2. casey15

    casey15 Elite Member

    One thing I'd suggest is get a low cost plant, pretty much any plant will eventually be destroyed. Better to buy cheap, then replace when needed. Try Snake Plants, Orchids, you could put in vertical and semi horizontal bamboo stalks, good for climbing and they are really tough. You could also put in moss, it's tough/soft and makes a good hiding place for lizards.
  3. TigerCowrie

    TigerCowrie Member

    Noted. Are there any particular varieties of orchids and moss that you'd recommend?
  4. pandorasbox

    pandorasbox Elite Member

    Since they aren't plant eaters (right?), I wouldn't count on them getting destroyed. There are a lot of plants on sale now at a lot of stores. Really, for me it is easiest to find plants that look like they could handle a little bit of weight, look on the tag if they are at least partial to full sun if I have a bulb on them, and then check on my phone if they are safe. Rather than pick out ones I like online and get disappointed when I can't find them in the store. That being said, Bromeliads have worked well for me (away from the bulb) and are pretty easy to find, pothos (for non plant eaters) fill in nicely, and there is also this succulant that I really like for my crested gecko but I'm not sure what exactly it is.
  5. casey15

    casey15 Elite Member

    For the moss, peat moss is great to use. It's cheap, and very soft. It also hold moisture really well, it's a good thing to put inside of a hide spot. If you soak the peat moss overnight, then wring it out to get rid of extra water your little guy will love it.
  6. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I'm currently on my phone and can't leave a detailed post but wanted to say that any kind of stringy moss is not typically appropriate for anoles.

    This includes sphagnum (peat) moss. It poses an impaction risk. Also, anoles don't need humid hides. :)
  7. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    Depends on your lighting. The anoles will not do much damage to the plants but the amount of lighting, the substrate (depth and setup) and your overall goals with the setup will dictate the plants that will work in your enclosure. Pothos and bromeliads are both fairly cheap, attractive and will last in a variety of setups.
  8. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I use Massangeana Cane, Dracaena species, Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, elephant ear plants, and palms. :)

    My Knight anoles have never destroyed any plants in their enclosures.
  9. TigerCowrie

    TigerCowrie Member

    I'm glad you told me this. I had been planning to use sphagnum for the substrate, but luckily haven't bought it yet. Is there something else you'd recommend for the substrate, that wouldn't pose an impaction risk and ideally could be used for plants, though being plant-suitable isn't neccessary; there's always potted plants and epiphytes.

    I'm glad to hear that knight anoles aren't as destructive to plants as some of the stuff I read implied. Massangeana Cane, elephant ear plants and most palms probably aren't options unless I remove some of the wood, which I probably will have to do eventually considering the type of wood I used. The stuff they call lucky bamboo is a variety of Dracaena, isn't it? That would be easy to get, and cheap.

    If I want to get plants locally, would a garden store or an actual nursery be a better choice? Or would that vary from place to place?
  10. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I would recommend using a sand/soil/coconut fiber combination for the substrate. You'll want to be sure the soil is organic, fertilizer-free, and without the white pellets. You'll also need to include a drainage layer so the soil doesn't become swampy and moldy. I usually use gravel.

    The only thing my knight anole destroys is insects. :) But his poo is pretty rank. I'd definitely encourage you to use a bioactive substrate.

    What are you talking about when you say"remove some of the wood"?

    Remember that lucky bamboo, despite being a species of Dracaena, grows to 5 to 6 feet tall. :)

    I go to actual nurseries. I like to support local businesses, and the plants are typically much healthier.
  11. CodyW

    CodyW Elite Member

    I agree, just make sure to put a divider between the drainage layer (pebbles, stones, pellets, false bottom) and the soil mixture as overtime the soil will work its way into the drainage layer and make a rather stank anaerobic environment.
  12. KDK241

    KDK241 Well-Known Member

    I got my plants for my knight anole's cage at Lowe's and Home Depot. Local nurseries didn't have anything at all that I wanted but I found some bromeliads, pothos, dracanea and another one I don't remember for cheap. They always have a 50% off section and I got most of them there. Now if I could just get the cage done :/
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Just be sure to wash them off throughly! You would not believe the concotion of chemicals that plants in the nursery trade get sprayed with!
  14. TigerCowrie

    TigerCowrie Member

    Noted, all of it. I'll look into the local nurseries and see what's available in my area. By remove some of the wood, I mean some of the branches I have are grapevine, which I understand won't hold up to the humidity knight anoles require for the long term. As for lucky bamboo, I didn't realize it grew that tall. Is it possible to prune it back enough to keep it in a four foot tall habitat?

    As the cage I got is screen, (I know it's bad for keeping up humidity, but I plan on covering three walls with coco fiber mat or something, and using the wet towel trick on any bare areas of its top) I'll need some sort of substrate tray for the substrate you describe. Anything you guys would recommend on that front?
  15. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I have always used grapevine in my enclosures without issue.

    I don't think that trimming the bamboo regularly would be aesthetically pleasing. As you trim it, it should grow wider. That could be cool though. It's worth a try.

    The entire enclosure is screen? So you can't add substrate without it coming out of the bottom? Is that why you need a tray?

    I think you should scrap the screen cage idea. It would be much better for the anole if you use a cage appropriate for this species.

    You'll need to make significant modifications to the screen enclosure to make it acceptable for use with the anole. For example, the wet towels and cocofiber panels aren't going to keep the humidity consistent. You'll need to fit plywood panels to most sides of the enclosure, and glass to the door. The plywood will need to be sealed.

    It seems like it'd be easier and less expensive to just make a new enclosure instead of making an enclosure to fit around the screen one.
  16. TigerCowrie

    TigerCowrie Member

    The problem is, I was already more than a hundred dollars into the screen cage before I realized that about humidity, and I'm on a very tight budget and not good at DIY. That's why I got a store bought screen cage in the first place. If at all possible, I'd like to stick with the cage I have. And I doubt the store would take the cage back at this point.
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Since you are stuck with the cage, you could always modify it. Get some thin acrylic sheets the size of the screen panels. Silicone them to the frame.
  18. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I agree with Merlin, you can silicone acrylic to the enclosure. You still need to attach plywood to three or four of the sides for privacy though, and the wood should be sealed so it doesn't rot. Knight anoles need privacy to feel secure.
  19. TigerCowrie

    TigerCowrie Member

    I can manage that, I'm sure. When attaching the plywood and acrylic, I need to coat the whole sheet with silicone, right? Also, is there a particular type of sealant you'd recommend for the plywood?
  20. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    You can probably just use a bead of silicone around the edges of the acrylic or ply to attach it. Make sure the silicone is consistent and doesn't have any gaps in it.

    You can seal the ply with Minwax. Since you aren't going to need a whole lot, then using the water-based polycrylic satin finish minwax should be economical. :) Don't use anything from Thompson's.

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