Night humidity levels and temperature need to go up

I've been monitoring the humidity levels in my chameleons enclosure using 2 hygrometers that sync to an app on my phone. The daytime humidity levels are great during the day usually between 50-60% but for night the humidity drops way too much and I can't seem to fix the issue. I put some clear lining to cover up two of the walls to trap humidity but its not working. I set the mister to spray longer but it's not working. The humidity stays at about 40% during the night and it needs to go up much more. What else can I do to fix it? And for winter coming up and the nights getting cold the temperature drops at night and it's starting to get to mid 60s during the night. Should I be concerned for mid 60s temperature? During the day it's fine sitting at low 70s on the bottom of the enclosure and reaches 85 in his basking branch. He is an Ambilobe Panther Chameleon.
 

Carloscruz

Avid Member
For the humidity you could try to get a fogger or put more plants inside the cage and for the Temperature they benefit for a drop in temperature at night.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi Michael,

In reverse order (because this part is simpler/easier...
....And for winter coming up and the nights getting cold the temperature drops at night and it's starting to get to mid 60s during the night. Should I be concerned for mid 60s temperature?
Arnold Schwarzenegger No Prob GIF


Looking at climatological data for Ambilobe, Madagascar...

The daily average high (red line) and low (blue line) temperature, with 25th to 75th and 10th to 90th percentile bands. The thin dotted lines are the corresponding average perceived temperatures.

AverageJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High89°F88°F89°F90°F89°F87°F86°F87°F89°F92°F93°F91°F
Temp.81°F80°F80°F80°F78°F75°F74°F75°F77°F80°F82°F82°F
Low73°F73°F72°F71°F69°F66°F64°F65°F66°F69°F72°F73°F
https://weatherspark.com/y/104776/Average-Weather-in-Ambilobe-Madagascar-Year-Round
Note: These are averages; some nights it may go quite a bit lower.



.... I put some clear lining to cover up two of the walls to trap humidity but its not working. I set the mister to spray longer but it's not working.
Two walls (above quote) may not be enough.

I think this is one reason many enclosure mfrs. are gravitating towards hybrid enclosures—or at least offer them as an option.

The tightest hybrid enclosures allow air (ventilation) in through a screen/vent beneath the door(s) (but above the bioactive layer, if there is one) and out through the screened top. Everything else is solid impervious walls, door, and floor.

Microclimate is much easier to control in a hybrid enclosure.

The humidity stays at about 40% during the night and it needs to go up much more. What else can I do to fix it?
Do your hygrometers have external probes?

We have to learn to think in terms of microclimates. RH within an inch or so of lush plants can be higher than what it is 4- 6" or more away, and chameleons live in that "close to the plant" zone—especially at night.

Without an external probe, it's more difficult to ascertain the RH of the air the chameleon is actually breathing versus RH of the air farther from plants.

Plants raise humidity in 2 ways: evaporation and transpiration; misting drives the former, plant hydration the latter.

Misting at night generates evaporative cooling as well as humidity. As temperature rises, RH falls—and vice versa! 🤓

What else can I do to fix it?

Making sense of this in no particular order: (Yeah, I know... 🤪)
  • Sealing the enclosure up tight except for the screened top and an intake vent just above substrate level.
  • Have you tried a room humidifier? They will make the temp drop slightly.
    (As temperature rises, RH falls—and vice versa)
  • Try a fogger (if you don't already have one).
  • Try misting at night; I mist for 2 min. each @ 6pm (lights out), 9pm, Midnight, 3am, and 6am (lights on). This keeps my temps down and humidity up so that I don't need a fogger.
    Note: 3 hours is sufficient for my enclosure to dry out between mistings.
  • Try adding more lush, live plants. Live plants help increase and maintain humidity.
  • Go bioactive. (A whole 'nother discussion)
  • Measure temps & RH where your chameleon is and breathes rather than out in the open.
    Same idea as measuring basking temp. at the basking site. ;)
I would do did the last item first before proceeding to the others.
 
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