mister question

PukaKeha

New Member
I just adapted a timer and valve for sprinkler systems into a mister for Rufus's cage. I have 4 tornado mister fogger nozzels set up around the cage. I have it set up to mist for 1 min every hour during the hot parts of the day. I was wondering if this is to much? It can be pretty windy up here, so I figure every hour in the hot parts would make sure he has water during the day. Anyone have any feedback as to misting more or less?
 

Dave Weldon

Avid Member
Howdy,

If your mist system is being used to provide your chameleon with water to drink and not just to provide a humidity increase then I'd run it for 20 minutes twice a day in addition to any other short runs for humidity only. Many keepers find that it takes 20 minutes to trigger a drinking response and then to drink enough to satisfy his hydration requirements. Twice a day increases the chances of satisfying his needs if he should not be interested in the first watering cycle.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I don't think he would have humidity problems because he lives in Hawaii and it is humid already. Plus the cage is outside.
 

PukaKeha

New Member
20 minutes of misting seems a bit much. I did the 5 minutes every two hours for one day and the ground all around the cage was sloppy and soggy. Im still tweaking to try and find what works best. Right now Im going 3 minutes every 3 hours and this keeps the ground from being a mud pit and is often enough that there is water somewhere pooled up in leaves almost all day. If I get home before dark tonight Ill take some pictures of my setup and post in here.

Kind of off topic but last weekend when I put in the misters I added some more plants. I have noticed a huge improvement in Rufus just in this short time. He is eating more than ever. Im more confident that he is getting enough to drink, and is generally happier. Before the new plants he would wander the bottom of the cage most of the day but I have only seen him down on the ground once since Sunday. Oh and thank you Spuds for sending me pictures of his mister and directions on how easy it was to make.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
Maybe you could put some kind of gravel on the floor in order to get rid of the soggyness. But nothing that your cham can swallow. Better yet, plant some grass.
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
Puka ....

If your mist system is being used to provide your chameleon with water to drink and not just to provide a humidity increase then I'd run it for 20 minutes twice a day in addition to any other short runs for humidity only. Many keepers find that it takes 20 minutes to trigger a drinking response and then to drink enough to satisfy his hydration requirements. Twice a day increases the chances of satisfying his needs if he should not be interested in the first watering cycle.
Dave's reply, copied above, started to hit the nail on the head. First off, as I am unsure of your exact reasons for making water available so often, I can only offer that such frequent watering opportunities is not the norm in the wild. As Dave says, twice a day is more than adequate, even in the lowest humidity scenarios.

So, what's the harm in 4-5 wettings per day ? What's the harm in misters (or foggers) ? Both are to be avoided. Chameleons, and their environs, need to dry out well every day, and especially so at night when the chameleon is sedentary. Sometimes this requires the use of a fan to create air circulation, but is mentioned in many websites by keepers/breeders who have dealt with problems associated with too much moisture. Besides being unnatural (it rains in Madagascar, and doesn't fog all that much, much less mist), it causes two frequent and unnatural issues. The first is an increase in respiratory borne infections, or infections that thrive on air too moisture-laden. The second is almost completely unnatural to wild chameleons, but not uncommon in many captive husbandry situations ... skin fungus. It can attack many parts of their skin, and cause significant problems on the bottoms of their feet. It is for this reason that perches need to be a natural product that wicks away moisture, and not a plastic of other non-absorbant material. Drippers are and always have been the best means of delivering drinking water. Your most common pet chameleons, veileds and panthers, deal with humidities lower than 70% all the time, and often lower than 50%. Twice-a-day access to drinkable water will address the chameleon's wildest needs.

Anyone out there with a waterfall in their chameleon's cage ... LOL ... what were you thinking !!! Bacteria problems await you !! Looks pretty though, now doesn't it !
 

PukaKeha

New Member
Dave's reply, copied above, started to hit the nail on the head. First off, as I am unsure of your exact reasons for making water available so often, I can only offer that such frequent watering opportunities is not the norm in the wild. As Dave says, twice a day is more than adequate, even in the lowest humidity scenarios.

So, what's the harm in 4-5 wettings per day ? What's the harm in misters (or foggers) ? Both are to be avoided. Chameleons, and their environs, need to dry out well every day, and especially so at night when the chameleon is sedentary. Sometimes this requires the use of a fan to create air circulation, but is mentioned in many websites by keepers/breeders who have dealt with problems associated with too much moisture. Besides being unnatural (it rains in Madagascar, and doesn't fog all that much, much less mist), it causes two frequent and unnatural issues. The first is an increase in respiratory borne infections, or infections that thrive on air too moisture-laden. The second is almost completely unnatural to wild chameleons, but not uncommon in many captive husbandry situations ... skin fungus. It can attack many parts of their skin, and cause significant problems on the bottoms of their feet. It is for this reason that perches need to be a natural product that wicks away moisture, and not a plastic of other non-absorbant material. Drippers are and always have been the best means of delivering drinking water. Your most common pet chameleons, veileds and panthers, deal with humidities lower than 70% all the time, and often lower than 50%. Twice-a-day access to drinkable water will address the chameleon's wildest needs.

Anyone out there with a waterfall in their chameleon's cage ... LOL ... what were you thinking !!! Bacteria problems await you !! Looks pretty though, now doesn't it !
Maybe I didnt give enough information. I found my Jackson's chameleon (Rufus) about a mile from my house. I live in Pukalani up on Mt. Haleakala. Its windy as hell most days up here which is the reason I set up misters. Im not misting 4-5 times a day. I turn the timer on at 7 when I leave for work and it sprays for 3 minutes at 10 1 and 4. When I said that it leaves water for him if he needs it, I mean that it pools up in the hibiscus flowers and catches in a few of the bigger leaves. From you post I feel like your saying my setup is unnatural for chameleons. Im pretty new to caring for them but I have been observing them in the wild for some time (even more now that I brought one home) I drive all over the island for my job and I have got to know areas where they seem to thrive the most. There is one spot in upper Kula (a couple minutes up the mountain from my house) that I can allways find at least two. In this spot almost every day there is rain that blows from the top of the mountain that is very "misty" and they seem to be pretty adjusted to this. Sorry I seem to be rambling a bit, but I feel like your kinda attacking me with that post. I dont know a whole lot about the internet but Im going to try and post a video so you can see what Im talking about.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
I would try to mimic the weather near Pukalani up on Mt. Haleakala. You know that they thrive there and can survive. So why try to fix something that isn't broken. Try monitoring the rain fall of that area every season using the weather forecast or checking the internet. That is what I would probably do. I'm pretty sure you don't have to worry about humidity problems because your cham is outside.
 

Marc10edora

Avid Member
By the way, this is kind of off topic. But are there praying mantids in Hawaii? I thought it would be really cool, considering your set up, to lay a couple of mantid egg sacks near your cham cage. That way when they hatch, they'll get eaten by your cham.
 

PukaKeha

New Member
Yes we have them here. I dont know a whole lot about their egg sacks, as in what they look like or where they tend to be laid, but it would be cool to hatch some out and give him another food source.
 

PukaKeha

New Member
I had my girlfriend show me how to put a video online. Hopefully this shows better what Im talking about.
 
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PukaKeha

New Member
My friend just told me that it takes 30 min or so for the site to process it, so thats probally why it isnt opening.
 
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spuds

New Member
Just my opinion, but I think the intelligent use of misters isn't just pretty, it can help aid in keeping both cages and chameleons healthy. Personally I've noticed that my chams use this oppurtunity to hydrate, clean their eyes, scrape off any unwanted objects off their skin (i.e. skin, dust, whatever). Misting can be / is a very benificial part of chameleon care provided that there is proper drainage and both the cham and the cage is allowed time to dry out thoroughly.
I agree, RI can occur with excess mosture in the air. However other underlying deficiancies in husbandry will be contributing factors of such ailments (i.e. lack of air circulation).
Yeah, things here are surely different from what you read in books. We got chams here that live in the clouds. They have clouds passing thru their trees everyday. Morning, evenings and sometimes during mid day. Then we got other populations that don't see rain for 9 months at a time and come down to the ground to drink in puddles left by park sprinklers. Shhh! don't tell them that their not supposed to be drinking from standing water.
Sounds like you got alot of the bugs worked out. Just gotta adjust the watering times to what works best for your part of the island.
 

Chameleon Company

Avid Member
A little too much stretch.

Puka,
Been away from the thread for a few days. I agree wholeheartedly with your impressions on trying to mimic the outside environment in which these animals thrive. At the same time, once a topic is posted here, its applications broaden from not only answering your situation as specifically as possible, but also one of qualifying advice and concerns to those perceptions we anticipate will be taken by readers. Often, this means more words and explanations than what would otherwise be confined to your more specific concerns, written for the larger audience. This leads me to the broader discussion.

I doubt any of us would argue the needs and merits of access to water for chameleons, as to deny a chameleon regular hydration, even if by drinking from puddles, is beyond rational husbandry. What I do want to address might be a possible notion some would take from the above post that misters are good or better than simpler hydration means, such as drip or rain. I would state that most, if not all, who use misters and foggers are not replicating a cloud rolling in, much less the daily hydration regimen that a chameleon is exposed to in the wild. Misters and foggers do provide hydration, but require extra managment beyond a system that better mimics simple drizzle or rain. By the same token, standing water and/or waterfalls also provide access to hydration, but in a captive environment, they only invite more problems than they solve, excessive bacteria growth being high atop the list. To each his or her own as far as aesthetics, but to choose or recommend a husbandry process that requires more management over other available ones which address the same needs just as well, without the increased collateral risk, is to give advice that needs to be tagged with warnings as to its use. Specifically, as to this comment by Spuds:

I agree, RI can occur with excess mosture in the air. However other underlying deficiancies in husbandry will be contributing factors of such ailments (i.e. lack of air circulation).
I would say that is a poorly drawn conclusion, as the use of misters and foggers is to increase the risk of "excess moisture in the air", and therefore increase the need for air circulation. What was or would have been adequate air circulation and good husbandry before the mister or fogger was used now may not be. Misters and foggers are perfect examples of "solving one problem while creating another", and the resulting increase in husbandry problems they invite makes the use of the mister and/or fogger the primary deficiency. My advice to all hobbyist is KISS ... keep it simple-stupid.
 

spuds

New Member
K.I.S.S
1) Does a mister mimic rain? NO
2) Can a mister be used to provide water for drinking? YES
3) Is a mister the only way to provide water for drinking? NO
4) Can a mister be used to provide water for bathing? YES
5) Should the use of a mister / fogger be carefully monitored? YES
6) Are there risks to using a mister / fogger? YES
7) Should your cham, enclosure, and furnishings be allowed dry out thoroughly before nightfall? YES
8) Can a mister / fogger be used safely in my enclosure? YES



I agree, RI can occur with excess mosture in the air. However other underlying deficiancies in husbandry will be contributing factors of such ailments (i.e. lack of air circulation).

I would say that is a poorly drawn conclusion, as the use of misters and foggers is to increase the risk of "excess moisture in the air", and therefore increase the need for air circulation.
I don't think my "conclusion" is poor. It makes perfect sense. We're not using ( here on Maui )misters to make the air more humid. The air here is humid enough because we're surrounded by an ocean. Humidity is not the issue here. Heat and wind is what we're up against. I agree 100%, increased air circulation is a must for airing out and drying both cham and enclosure. The excess moisture created by misting is short lived due to the heat and wind.

ChamCo. You really do know what your talking about. I would definetly feel comfortable taking your advice and or purchasing animals (if it weren't illegal here). You know what works for you and I know what works for me here. We live in 2 different areas and have different issues we have to deal with. I'm mearly giving my 2 cents worth on a location I know best.
 

PukaKeha

New Member
I didnt mean for this to start a fight in any way. I posted it on the day I set up the system and didnt really know what was enough or to much. Next time I ask a question I will be sure to add everything about my setup and as much info as possible to keep from causing confusion. After the first day I realized my first timing was way to much and have been tweeking it since then. Using the tips from here and some trial and error I got it to what I believe is a good setup. Thank you
 
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