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Humidity concerns

Discussion in 'Chameleons' started by Og_, Aug 23, 2007.

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  1. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    :confused: I've had my adult Veiled for about 3 weeks now. I'm concerned about the humidity but, I'm not sure if I'm going overboard.
    I live in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area and about the same time that I purchased my veil, This whole region has been in a heat wave. On top of that, We've been in a drought all year.
    So all this time the temps have been 100 degrees or more with very low humidity. Even with my central AC running non stop during the day, My "Reptile Room" doesn't get below about 82 degrees F. in the evening. The air is bone dry.
    I have a large screened enclosure. It seems insane trying to maintain humidity in an open air enclosure when the surrounding air is dry. It's like trying to load a wheelbarrow full of bullfrogs!
    So, I have cypress mulch as a substrate, Four very large sponges that I spray with water, Plus Sphagnum moss(Enough to fill a salad bowl in about 3 big clumps that I spray), And I've wrapped the back and the sides with nylon landscaping cloth which allows some airflow But is a moisture barrier. the front and top are open.
    I have a water dropper. It doesn't really seem to work that well. It only holds about a cup and a half of water and the more water it drops out the slower the drops come.
    In the early A.M. (Very early as I have to be at work by 6:30), He's a bright green when I flick the lights on in the room to mist his cage. It's almost like a neon green when compared to when I come home at 3 P.M. when he is more darkish colored. The latter is the hottest time of day.
    I keep both a day bulb and a fluorescent UVA\B on for twelve hours a day on a timer.
    The screened enclosure is 30" wide, 30" tall, and 18" thick.
    He has drift wood reaching up to about 8 inches from the top over which I have his basking light and flo-light.
    I have the sponges and sphagnum moss stuffed into the driftwood from top to bottom.

    I Have a vaporizer I could use.?..?

    Overall, I feel like I'm trying to maintain a rain forest in the middle of the Sahara. It wouldn't be a so much a problem if I had him in a glass tank but, I've heard that it is not good for them to see their reflection because they will mistake it for another Cham. + they need good ventilation or else they can produce respitory problems.
    I've tried to cover every base in this thread so any new insights will be greatly appreciated!:)

    Also the humidity attracts these small flying insects, Thank God the Ants haven't found their way in. They're all over the place at work!
  2. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    Live plants! Try hanging a niice full live plant from the top of the enclosure. Then soak the plant really well. The plants soil will slowly dry out as the day progresses, and the cham will be in the middle of all that vaporization. This will help keep him in the midst of a slightly humid environment.

    Some people also use the shower as a means to help keep chams hydrated. If you toss the cham in the shower, but not directly under the water, it is also apparently a good method to help keep them hydrated.
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    good call there Rich on the live plants!
  4. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Well, I have a live plant but, It's been at the bottom. I even started with a live Hisbicus plant at the beginning that reached from top to bottom but, it lost half it's leaves inside.
    Showering with my Lizard? If I do that, It will have to be our little secret!:cool:
  5. Palaeomike

    Palaeomike Elite Member

    I don't think Rich meant for you to shower with your Chameleon. I think he meant put him in the shower for a little while so he can get some moisture.

    You might be fighting a losing battle with trying to keep a Chameleon in such a dry environment. You might have to give him up, but hopefully you'll work something out.
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    With as dry as the air in the room is, the small steps you are taking within the cage are apparently not enough. Short of completely enclosing the cage in plastic sheeting about the only thing you could do it to use a vaporizer or humidifier and raise the humidity in the entire room.
    And it will actually be good for you as well. Our lungs are not happy with extremely dry air.
    And as for the dripper,...a lot of people use a 2 liter plastic bottle on top with a pinhole in it to drip. This gives you much a more larger water reservoir.

    LMAO! I love it!
  7. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    yes, how about a room humidifier? you can get one for about $30 at Walmart.
  8. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    OK, Maybe I was a little extreme in my descriptions of the weather here. Maybe I shouldn't have made the comparison to the Sahara. It's dry as compared to what is normal for "Georgia". The Atlanta, Ga area is usually almost unbearably humid during the summer if you don't work in an air conditioned office. This isn't Arizona.

    The reason for creating this post was so Ya'll could give me some warning signs of dehydration.

    I never said that I had any reason to think he was sick.

    Maybe I should have asked outright for warning signs but, sometimes I think out loud and communicating helps put things in perspective.

    By the way, We got some rain yesterday and showers are forecast for every day in the extended forcast. Monday's high is supposed to be only 87 (Yeay!)

    I believe Rich indirectly answered my concern by explaining soil evaporation. I have plenty of H2O going in so there should be plenty of evaporation. I was just trying to figure out how is it going to stay in a screened enclosure. I was concerned that I was going overboard.
    I don't want to cause so much humidity that diseases can grow.

    the showering thing was a joke! (Did I need to explain this?)

    And, You can credit the wheelbarrow/bull frog thing to Willie Nelson.:D
  9. eimersmoo385

    eimersmoo385 Active Member

    hhhmmmmm... i thought we werent allowed to use abbreviations......... y is it alright for u
  10. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    OK E, Be careful...
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A few abbreviations are universally acknowledged such as LOL and LMAO. Everyone knows what they are. Its the text message shortcuts that are not allowed.
    I am no more above the rules than you are.
  12. Mark

    Mark Elite Member

    A passive option I used with my iguana is hang a wet cloth or towel over much of one wall. Like the dripper it will hold a lot of water and almost time release it. It will also be laundry easy to clean and could give you a background for the cage.

    I played with it a lot and misting the hanging towel or hanging a wet towel worked best. I also tried having the bottom hang into a tub of water and wick up or have the top sit in a tub and wick down. Wicking up form below you fight gravity too much, wicking down from above and you make a drip system.

    Plants are great if you don't have something that will destroy them. Look for lower light options like pothos or philodendrons. A spider plant would work too but I think the wider leafs of the previously mentioned ones would be best.

    If you want / need rain PLEASE take ours. We're in flood stage and I actively bailed 50 gallons of rain water out of my back yard today. Month-to-date 15.84 inches of rain for Rockford IL, previous record was 12 and change. Rain still fills the 10 day forecast.
  13. kyleking2006

    kyleking2006 Member

    Yeah i would suggest live plants
  14. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You could also try cutting back on the air conditioning. That dries out the air like crazy! The idea of a humidifier is not bad, but putting a humidifier and a de-humidifier in the same room and letting them fight it out seems like a lot of wasted electricity! Do you have a good hygrometer? Maybe it's not as dry in there as you think?
    I like Mark's ideas of the wet towels and the idea of live plants.
    Good luck and keep us posted.
  15. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    That was my next question, what does your hydrometer read in his enclosure?
  16. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Well, that's the thing. The advice that I've gotten from the person that raised this cham from a baby, Is that a hydrometer doesn't work in a screened enclosure. If you put one in a glass tank, There will be two problems. #1 they will see their reflection and attack a glass barrier which will cause injury and more stress. #2 chams are susceptible To breathing problems in stagnant "Tank" air.

    I Understood that this would be a "High Maintenance" animal when I got him.

    Well, everysince it's started raining, It's been no problem. The temps have dropped by ten degrees. The humidity is just as miserable as it should be. The sun beats down all day driving up the moisture that causes t'storms in the evening. That's typical Georgia summertime weather. We hear thunder every day about 6 or 7 O'clock.
    When I mist the cage in the A.M., It's still moist when I get home from work.
    My A.C. is not very efficient in removing H2O. It's really old!
    I can sure tell the difference at work though, I'm a welder by trade and I'm having to drink 3 times the amount of water. You don't want to live here if you hate humidity! Unless you like to sweat Or have an office job.
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    A hygrometer works regardless of the type of enclosure. Measuring humidity in the air is the same whether its inside a screen cage or a glass one. Its altering the humidity in the air that is more dificult in a screened cage since yu are more or less working with al the air in the room.
  18. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Well, like I said, when I come home, everything is still moist. That's a big difference than a week ago. We had a 3 week combo of low humidity(Drought) and High temps. We get that every year for a couple or few weeks. But, this year has been tough.
    But, It only lasted a few weeks. And, I don't mind busting some bun for the sake of my animals!
  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I hear ya! Its a hard trick to create a slice of a tropical environment in our homes for our critters while at the same time being able to have a living space that WE (and our spouses) can tolerate!
    And this time of year, at least around here turning off the AC is not an option!
    Everything in the house would cook!
  20. Mark

    Mark Elite Member

    I'll trade you. When I did the inspection for buying my house -- 3 pm, full sun, 1st of February this year -- it was all the way up to 3 above zero Fahrenheit with winds gusting to about 20 mph.
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