To Mist or Not to Mist...Not exactly the question...

So, I came across a thread by Hoj one day, and it was one of the best I've seen for getting us to question what we "think" is the right way to do things. For those of you who want a good read and may want to add to the debate here is the link...http://www.chameleonforums.com/way-if-you-need-drainage-indoor-habitats-youre-doing-wrong-over-wate-79468/.

The basic idea is that if one does not mist for extended periods of time and have drainage to avoid puddles that one is doing something wrong. (Hoj was not saying this, but only exploring the comment another had posted.) I had not had drainage and did not mist for more than 30 seconds or at most a minute each session. I did not design the enclosure with drainage due to the fact that Zaphod is a veiled chameleon and has the ability to supplement his hydration with vegetation if needed. I would not have taken this approach with other species of chameleons.

I am now done with phase one of my experiment and will now share what I have discovered. This isn't to say that my results are conclusive, especially due to the fact that tomorrow may bring totally new results, but here is what I did and what Zaphod thought of my efforts :D.

I first added a drain to the enclosure and decided to add a few live plants. I changed the duration and frequency of the misting sessions to give Zaphod more of a chance to sit under the spray if he desired. After a few adjustments to the misting schedule to optimize the humidity levels and not drown my new plants I was ready to conduct my non-scientific experiment. :rolleyes:

Here are my results...

Zaphod does NOT like to spend any time under the misting nozzles and I still do not regularly see him drinking (which was one of the talking points of the original thread in regards to longer misting and better hydration). I only see droplets on him when he happens to be near when the timer goes off, and he generally runs for cover.

My hibiscus does NOT like the additional misting either. :( I have just replaced it with a new plant due to the excessive leaf dropping and gnats in the soil! The enclosure does not dry out quite enough with the extended mistings, and I fear I could be endangering my boy more than helping (only the two sides and top are screened).

It got to a point recently that Zaphod was moving the misting nozzles and I would come home to a bit of a flood.
http://www.chameleonforums.com/hes-doing-purpose-109168/

So, I was originally commenting on my experience with no drainage, and have seen the other side of the discussion first hand now. I will admit that I would most likely add drainage to any future enclosures that I build just for the convenience, but I will most likely mist for shorter duration with Zaphod. I can always run a long manual session if I choose due to the drainage and will most likely do this once in a while. I also plan to try this experiment with a heater soon to see if he likes warmer water.

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Hope this adds some food for thought when discussing hydration in the future! :D;) Thanks for checking out my blog. :cool:

Comments

My plants (scheffleras) have been thriving like nobody's business with the addition of the MistKing. All my previous plants have died quicker than I thought possible. And while none of my chams appreciated the misters for the first 3-4 months (hated them for at least 3) all of them except one now drink readily from them and when it gets a bit warm they go and sit in the spray very happily. I think it just takes a little getting used to. Their humidity is perfect now too. Won't ever go without a misting system again!
 
I give you two thumbs up :)

Something to try with your kid. Set a "primer" misting session up before the actually drinking session. Set the primer session to go off for a minute or so. Then give a break of no misting for a minute or so and then start the drinking session. Some just dont like the mist but will drink from it once they get started drinking from the leaves.

I have other tricks. If this doesnt work for your kid.
 
ferretinmyshoes;bt1858 said:
My plants (scheffleras) have been thriving like nobody's business with the addition of the MistKing. All my previous plants have died quicker than I thought possible. And while none of my chams appreciated the misters for the first 3-4 months (hated them for at least 3) all of them except one now drink readily from them and when it gets a bit warm they go and sit in the spray very happily.
I didn't have live plants prior to adding the drainage, but only the hibiscus did poorly. I think it was a combination of too much water and not enough light when the pothos filled in the top of the enclosure. :eek: I am going to try some other mist/drinking experiments to see if I can get better results!
 
ataraxia;bt1860 said:
I give you two thumbs up :)

Something to try with your kid. Set a "primer" misting session up before the actually drinking session. Set the primer session to go off for a minute or so. Then give a break of no misting for a minute or so and then start the drinking session. Some just dont like the mist but will drink from it once they get started drinking from the leaves.

I have other tricks. If this doesnt work for your kid.
This sounds like a great idea!!! I'll try it tomorrow and see if it works over the next few weeks. :) I was going to try manual misting to get him interested, but he runs for cover most of the time when the door opens :mad:! I'll let you know if I have better results and thanks again for the tip! :cool:
 

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