"Truth is the torch that gleams through the fog without dispelling it."

I chose this Claude Adrien Helvetius quote as the title for my blog on foggers due to the current debate about their use. I decided not to edit my previous blog on misting https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/basic-info-on-misting-and-fogging.2325/ because the information is still relevant and many are going to have success using these methods as they have for years. This next edition of my Hitchhiker's Guide to the Chameleon Forums has taken quite a few months of personal research and experimenting to prepare for it. So here it is...

The use of foggers as the main source of hydration for your chameleons!!! :cool:

So before everyone gets their crickets in an uproar, please hear me out. I am going to explain my reasoning for doing this and share my results with you. I am also going to share my observations about enclosures and chameleons while using this method. Lastly there will be a section for accolades and donations... oh wait, nevermind. There will be comments welcomed as always ;) and I will try to answer quickly.

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Here is the unit I chose to provide the fog for my enclosure. Taotronics TT -AH002

I especially liked the way you can direct the flow in two directions if you want. I modified the unit by using a threaded 1" tube to supply the fog to the top of the enclosure. Here is how the base cabinet is set up. I currently have the MistKing reservoir on the left, the Fogger on the right and drainage in the middle.

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The nice thing about this fogger is that it can run dry and automatically shuts down. It also has an adjustable flow rate. It is a bit tricky to fill, but mainly when putting the top part back on the base. Just make sure it is seated correctly so you don't have leaks. (I haven't had this issue, but some have reported this in reviews.) Another great thing about this is the price! Generally about $30 but often you can find it cheaper.

So why would I try this to begin with? I mean, everyone out there is talking about their chameleons drinking and how they encourage them. All the methods of hydration from prolonged misting a few times a day, the "shower" method, drippers, they all have gotten results over the years and still have their place, but to be honest, I never got great results from them. I almost never saw my veiled drinking from any of these sources and there were no signs of dehydration. I guess he was getting the moisture from the plants and insects that he was ingesting...

Or was there another explanation that I did not consider? Are we missing something in our husbandry that is causing our animals to need to drink more than they would normally? Why do veiled chameleons eat vegetation?

The more research I have done about chameleons (mostly veileds) eating vegetation in the wild has convinced me that they are not doing this to get moisture. As a matter of fact, they are often eating dried vegetation . So it would lead me to believe that they are not trying to supplement their hydration this way.

O.K., then they are getting the moisture from their feeders... but would this be enough?

The idea had led me to explore new ideas. How else could my little veiled be staying hydrated? Was it something in his environment I was missing? There had to be a good explanation. Sadly, Zaphod was getting older, and I fear he was having some issues internally. In the last few months he actually did start drinking from the misting sessions, but this was not a normal behavior for him. I did adjust the schedule for him so He could enjoy the longer sessions, and he did wait for them to have a good drink. I think he was even enjoying the feel of it. But for the first 4 plus years he would run for cover any time the mister went on. It was the exact reaction that chameleons in the wild often display when it rains.

I have always enjoyed creating enclosures that mimic the environment that an animal is from and try to provide the most suitable conditions for them. Something has always bothered me about our chameleon enclosures. They just don't look natural to me. I would do a bio-active set up, but don't currently have the time to dedicate to this. I did make sure to have dense foliage and plenty of vine pathways to provide a secure spot for them, but was there something else I was missing? Perhaps there was...

Some "new" topics about the "Naturalistic" approach of keeping had gotten quite the buzz surrounding them. Most of the ideas and support were from Petr Necas through his observations in the field. I always considered myself as one to provide naturalistic conditions for my animals over the years, so naturally :rolleyes: I was intrigued. At first I was skeptical because my first instinct was concern about moisture building up at night and promoting mold or mildew. But then I thought... each morning there is moisture on the lawn and plants even on the hottest and driest times of the year. Even many stressed plants after a long afternoon in the sun will recover overnight and look better in the morning. What was going on here? As the temperature went down after sunset the dew point is reached and there is more moisture available in the atmosphere. So how could this be mimicked in the enclosure and would it be beneficial? I was going to find out...

After Zaphod passed, it took me a while to get another chameleon. When I did, I decided to give the method a try. I was still using the MistKing at the same time, but wanted to cut back the misting a bit at a time to see if fogging at night actually works. After a year of this I am here to tell you that it has worked like a charm! Raistlin has thrived in these conditions and has not been seen drinking once since I have had him. (I'm sure he does on occasion, but I haven't seen it.) I have the fogger going each night for at least 5 hours and have the MistKing going twice a day for only about 15 seconds. The only issue I have had doing this is the effect on the plants. They did not do as well with the heat from the basking lamp and T5 HO lights. I am likely going to start longer misting just to help with this, but have found the fogging at night to be ideal.

I clean out the base of the unit every couple times I refill the reservoir because it does get a bit scuzzy. You can see here how the fog looks in the enclosure...
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More to come, but out of time for now...

Comments

Thank you for sharing this. Is there a point where too much moisture can cause pneumonia? I have my mist king run 10 times a day for 5 minute increments.
 
That’s sweet!! Very impressive! Really make me feel bad my enclosure looks like s**t compared to that. I really need to step up my game for my Chameleon. I like seeing stuff like that, inspires me to want to take my enclosure to another level ( more natural looking, and try to mimic my Ambanja Panther Chameleon’s natural habitat).
 

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