Jackson's chameleon misting schedule at 50% humidity

So I'm setting up a mistking for the Jackson's chameleon I hope to get in a couple weeks to a month, and I'm honestly fairly confused by the seconds timer system.

Setup:
2×2×4 all screen cage. There are currently two live plants (I may add more) and some fake vines. The cage is located in a 6'×5' room (technically a closet, but just has animals in it, no clothes lol), no windows or fans. And I have a heat lamp, UV light, plants light, and all that in the cage.

Questions:

- How long should leave it on in the morning for? I've hear some folks leave it on for 15 or so minutes? If I did this, would 7:00 (when the lights turn on) be when I would want to do it?
- how frequently and for how long should I set it for. If the humidity is too high or low from these listings, would I want to adjust the time between mistings or the duration of mistings first.
- should I only have it set to must during the day, should I do less frequent mistings overnight, or should it be kept consistent day and night?
- alright, so maybe I'm just paranoid or something having owned fish before any reptiles, but should I use a water conditioner for the water in the system? Do I need to get RO water, is store bought distilled better or worse than using tap water (I'm not sure where I can buy RO near me)? For my other reptiles, I use tap water with reptisafe in the hand-held misters and water dishes, but would that end up clogging the mistking? I know my tap water isn't super hard or soft (about 7.5 pH, and average in general hardness (I don't remember the number, but I could do a test if needed)
- I've seen recommended here and there that you give Jackson's weekly rainstorm type things in the shower. Basically I want to know if this is a good thing to do, or if I should do something else to meet the little guys needs. Would the chlorine in the tap water be too much? I know some folk don't use water conditioner, but honestly that scares me so I just need confirmation as far as how safe that is to do.

Anyways, I know I'll probably have to fiddle around with the exact timings a bit, but I just need a good general place to start, and I'll adjust it in the time before I get my Cham.
 

Carlton

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I'm setting up a mistking for the Jackson's chameleon I hope to get in a couple weeks to a month, and I'm honestly fairly confused by the seconds timer system.

Setup:
2×2×4 all screen cage. There are currently two live plants (I may add more) and some fake vines. The cage is located in a 6'×5' room (technically a closet, but just has animals in it, no clothes lol), no windows or fans. And I have a heat lamp, UV light, plants light, and all that in the cage.

Questions:

- How long should leave it on in the morning for? I've hear some folks leave it on for 15 or so minutes? If I did this, would 7:00 (when the lights turn on) be when I would want to do it?

What's the ambient humidity in the room? We can't necessarily recommend this or that time period because we don't know your specific situation. Are you in a humid or drier climate? All these factors will affect how long you'll need to mist to reach a comfortable level for your cham. Generally, the more live plants in the cage the better, as they will absorb the moisture misting creates (the potting soil as well as the plant surfaces themselves all soak it up), there are more surfaces to hold droplets, and all this "structure" will help slow down evaporation. An all screen cage will dry out faster than one that has some solid sides and lots of living foliage.

- how frequently and for how long should I set it for. If the humidity is too high or low from these listings, would I want to adjust the time between mistings or the duration of mistings first.

The humidity level will be highest right before the mist cycle stops. It will probably drop fairly fast because the usual humidity level in a human house tends to be a lot lower; that moisture will dissipate out of the cage. A high level won't be horrible as long as it doesn't sit at the same constant high level 24/7. Think about that habitat in the wild...after a storm the level will be high, but it will dissipate. Again, depending on how dry the surrounding air is the level will drop off after that. You will need to set up some test cycles and track the rate of change with an accurate hygrometer. You'll soon figure out how long it takes for the cage to get TOO dry....this will help you determine when your next mist cycle should happen.

- should I only have it set to must during the day, should I do less frequent mistings overnight, or should it be kept consistent day and night?

Thoughts about nighttime misting are changing, but generally, once the heat lights go off for the night evaporation slows down. You don't want or need the humidity to be constantly high. You want cycles of higher and lower humidity during a 24 hour period.

- alright, so maybe I'm just paranoid or something having owned fish before any reptiles, but should I use a water conditioner for the water in the system? Do I need to get RO water, is store bought distilled better or worse than using tap water (I'm not sure where I can buy RO near me)? For my other reptiles, I use tap water with reptisafe in the hand-held misters and water dishes, but would that end up clogging the mistking? I know my tap water isn't super hard or soft (about 7.5 pH, and average in general hardness (I don't remember the number, but I could do a test if needed)

Tap water that's safe for human consumption is going to be safe for chams in general, but the things to be aware of are municipal treatment chemicals. Chloramines are not great for herps so the water treatment is a good idea. Due to the amount of water you'll go through because of misting (instead of providing water in a dish for a terrestrial herp), RO filtered water may be more economical. I've never heard that Reptisafe clogs mister nozzles. The other substances that clogs misters are hard water deposits; basically calcium. If you don't have hard water problems in the house you may not have to worry about that. You can easily control the amount of calcium buildup in a misting system by running vinegar through the mister periodically. Take the tubing down and cycle vinegar through it using the pump. You'll want to clean the system to deal with bacteria anyway.

- I've seen recommended here and there that you give Jackson's weekly rainstorm type things in the shower. Basically I want to know if this is a good thing to do, or if I should do something else to meet the little guys needs. Would the chlorine in the tap water be too much? I know some folk don't use water conditioner, but honestly that scares me so I just need confirmation as far as how safe that is to do.

Some chams don't like the disruption of being removed from their turf for a shower. Others don't seem to mind once they get used to it. Chlorine isn't great for herps. Be aware that most municipal treatment systems no longer use chlorine. If in doubt, ask them. Plain chlorine will dissipate on its own if you leave the water out uncovered overnight. Chloramines won't dissipate; the water treatment will neutralize it.

Anyways, I know I'll probably have to fiddle around with the exact timings a bit, but I just need a good general place to start, and I'll adjust it in the time before I get my Cham.

Trial and error and documenting beforehand is the way to do it. Get the system up and running the way you want before the cham arrives. A lot less disturbance that way.
 
Lots of information in there, thank you. Sorry, I realize I forgot to add the normal humidity level into my post. It's typically around 50% in my room, sometimes it will get as low as 40% certain times of the year, and it may jump up to 55% or so here a few there, but generally it will be about 50%.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
In addition to my misting schedule I do a few long hand mistings in the cage a week. After the mister has done it's long duration misting of a few min. about 30 min. after the lights come on in the morning I do a hand misting with a pressurized sprayer. l mist until they clean their eyes and/or drink. My mister is set to do 4-5 mistings a day. The first and last are the longest and the others are just long enough to leave water droplets on the leaves. I adjust my misting every season as the humidity changes in the house with the heat or AC.
 
Thank you for your response, I'll keep that in mind.

Currently, I have my mistking set to 15 minutes at 7:00 am, 2-3 minute mistings every 2 hours, and a 5 minute misting at 7 pm, then its off until 7 am the next morning. This seems to be keeping it 60-80% consistantly throughout the day, with it being a bit higher near the plants/in the leave than out in the open, specifically above the leaves/directly under the lights (its closer to 95-100% during and right after the mistings, and 40-45% in the morning before it comes on). Does this sound good in terms of gradient and percentages and whatnot, or should I make further adjustments to it?

As far as plants, I've added a few more; I have a ficus benjamina on the bottom, two small schefflera arboricolas mounted mid hight in the corners of the cage, and two pothos higher up in the enclosure. I've noticed that the droplets tend to stay on the leaves for 1-2 hours, with some little pools gathering and staying longer and remaining throught the day, but drying up overnight. Would you say these are safe time frames in terms of bacteria growth and the like, or should I extend the distance between the mistings to allow the water to completely dry off each time?

I hope I'm not being too much of a bother, I've had fish and other reptiles, but the closest thing terms of humidity requirements I've had is a ball python, so I want to make sure I'm getting this right. Thank you!
 

@chris

Member
Thank you for your response, I'll keep that in mind.

Currently, I have my mistking set to 15 minutes at 7:00 am, 2-3 minute mistings every 2 hours, and a 5 minute misting at 7 pm, then its off until 7 am the next morning. This seems to be keeping it 60-80% consistantly throughout the day, with it being a bit higher near the plants/in the leave than out in the open, specifically above the leaves/directly under the lights (its closer to 95-100% during and right after the mistings, and 40-45% in the morning before it comes on). Does this sound good in terms of gradient and percentages and whatnot, or should I make further adjustments to it?

As far as plants, I've added a few more; I have a ficus benjamina on the bottom, two small schefflera arboricolas mounted mid hight in the corners of the cage, and two pothos higher up in the enclosure. I've noticed that the droplets tend to stay on the leaves for 1-2 hours, with some little pools gathering and staying longer and remaining throught the day, but drying up overnight. Would you say these are safe time frames in terms of bacteria growth and the like, or should I extend the distance between the mistings to allow the water to completely dry off each time?

I hope I'm not being too much of a bother, I've had fish and other reptiles, but the closest thing terms of humidity requirements I've had is a ball python, so I want to make sure I'm getting this right. Thank you!
You’re doing a good job. Remember when you are looking at humidity that humidity pockets are important too since humidity isn’t always consistent throughout the cage. I’m sure that while your humidity is down at 60% in some parts of the cage that your cham will be able to find a nice humidity pocket that’s still in that 80% throughout the day!
 
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