No daytime mist

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Credit: Petr Necas

WHY NOT TO MIST AT DAYTIME

If we speak about indoor caging, the most keepers do terrible disservice to chameleons reverting their hydration cycles. This kills the chameleons slower or faster way and cuts a substantial part of their lives.

Why?
For millions of years chameleons were sitting at the night at low temperatures in high humidity, often in fog that turned in the morning into dew.

And what we do to them now when we put them in terrariums?

We put them into a terrarium and let them sit the whole night in the driest air during the whole day cycle at relatively high temperatures (because we do not as a rule simulate the natural night drops of the temperatures) and then at the daytime, we even increase the temperatures (usually to higher levels than in the wild), add a permanent, very hot basking spot and during this, when the temperature is extremely high, we spray the terrarium with water.

It means, we completely revert and modify the natural cycle instead of:
WILD: cold moist night and warm dry day
we provide
CAPTIVITY: warm dry night and hot moist day
This of course is harmful for the health id chameleons as this breaks the homeostasis and their natural cycles.

People object often: But there is also a rain in the wild and it happens not only at night but also at the daytime!
Yes, this is true but you forget a very important factor! When there is the rain and the daytime, the clouds cover the sun, it becomes dark and the temperature drops substantially as the temperature of the rain even in the tropics is maximum 27°C, usually much much lower: around 21°C or even lower if at high altitude.

The combination of hot air together with high temperature and slow air movement, which is the result of misting in the daytime at high temperatures is one of the best environment in which bacteria and fungi reproduce and as a result respiratory diseases develop because all it is absolutely unnatural.

What to do?
If you want to Spray the cage, the best time is in the evening after the lights are off or early morning before the lights gets on and during the night. Very best, you get a fogger (at night only!) and then you can often even skip to mist.
If you for whatever reason want to mist your cages at daytime, please switch about an hour before all sources if heat off and best also all lights, then mist and then after another an hour switch the lights back on.

If you want to be sure, the chameleon has enough water to drink anyway, the best option is a dripper. This does not spoil the environment with too much extra humidity as it is used only locally and amounts of water are little.

In outdoor caging, the situation is more complex, as misting is often used in areas too hot for the chameleons to lower the temperatures for them during hottest periods of the day. It is quite risky too and brings health problems, as we force the animals to live in conditions, which are unnatural for them, but under circumstances, they can survive this and even more reproduce. They however never make longevity records and often die at half of their lifespan or even less.
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Credit: Petr Necas

WHY NOT TO MIST AT DAYTIME

If we speak about indoor caging, the most keepers do terrible disservice to chameleons reverting their hydration cycles. This kills the chameleons slower or faster way and cuts a substantial part of their lives.

Why?
For millions of years chameleons were sitting at the night at low temperatures in high humidity, often in fog that turned in the morning into dew.

And what we do to them now when we put them in terrariums?

We put them into a terrarium and let them sit the whole night in the driest air during the whole day cycle at relatively high temperatures (because we do not as a rule simulate the natural night drops of the temperatures) and then at the daytime, we even increase the temperatures (usually to higher levels than in the wild), add a permanent, very hot basking spot and during this, when the temperature is extremely high, we spray the terrarium with water.

It means, we completely revert and modify the natural cycle instead of:
WILD: cold moist night and warm dry day
we provide
CAPTIVITY: warm dry night and hot moist day
This of course is harmful for the health id chameleons as this breaks the homeostasis and their natural cycles.

People object often: But there is also a rain in the wild and it happens not only at night but also at the daytime!
Yes, this is true but you forget a very important factor! When there is the rain and the daytime, the clouds cover the sun, it becomes dark and the temperature drops substantially as the temperature of the rain even in the tropics is maximum 27°C, usually much much lower: around 21°C or even lower if at high altitude.

The combination of hot air together with high temperature and slow air movement, which is the result of misting in the daytime at high temperatures is one of the best environment in which bacteria and fungi reproduce and as a result respiratory diseases develop because all it is absolutely unnatural.

What to do?
If you want to Spray the cage, the best time is in the evening after the lights are off or early morning before the lights gets on and during the night. Very best, you get a fogger (at night only!) and then you can often even skip to mist.
If you for whatever reason want to mist your cages at daytime, please switch about an hour before all sources if heat off and best also all lights, then mist and then after another an hour switch the lights back on.

If you want to be sure, the chameleon has enough water to drink anyway, the best option is a dripper. This does not spoil the environment with too much extra humidity as it is used only locally and amounts of water are little.

In outdoor caging, the situation is more complex, as misting is often used in areas too hot for the chameleons to lower the temperatures for them during hottest periods of the day. It is quite risky too and brings health problems, as we force the animals to live in conditions, which are unnatural for them, but under circumstances, they can survive this and even more reproduce. They however never make longevity records and often die at half of their lifespan or even less.
I love these. I avoid facebook like the plague for anything other than the RABS group. But this is the extent ill comment on this.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
This a pretty beaten to death subject at this point, and I see nothing wrong with it, but I also see nothing wrong with misting heavy and forgetting the fogger. My chams have all enjoyed the showers and I don't think there is anything showing that fog increases lifespan or quality of life when compared to a reasonable misting schedule and humidity levels. It's simply more efficient in most cases.

I also find it very strange people will yell natural hydration BLAH BLAH, but ignore the benefits of a fully bioactive enclosure(you know, natural environment similar as it would be in the wild). Not saying you need bio, but keep your stories straight. If natural hydration is so important, then so should natural substrate(anyone can read into the reasons why, I'm not doing anyone else's hw for them :))

With all of this said, I will be fogging my Parsons this winter out of convenience. I just think there is more than one way in this instance. I'm not attacking fogging, but I'm defending misting. Most people fogging here haven't really done it all that long as a full source of hydration. Heck, necas only came out with that article like 2 years ago?
 

Zilla23

Established Member
while I see your point about trying to make their enclosures mimic their natural habitats, what about the fact that they are indoors with AC in the summer and heat in the winter, both of which suck the moisture out of the air inside, would we not need to replace that moisture in the day time as well? still learning here, but I do have a bio active enclosure, and so far, I love it and all the natural plants and soil do seem to help keep the humidity inside the enclosure at a higher level than the fake ones I used to have.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
And how do you match misting to an artificial environment? There is not going to be a 20c gradient and dew for most folks houses that cant sleep overnight with the windows open. Im lucky to see a 5c gradient. In those cases, when do you mist, because you need to match the misting to the environment.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
Geesh...I wonder how my veiled females live to be 6+ years old and males live even longer when I mist them in the daytime several times and let the cage dry out at night. Living in a climate where chameleons cannot exist normally without artificial means IMHO requires adjustments to the type of husbandry they would have if this were a different climate. The cooler temperatures here in Ontario in cool months involve a chill to the air that you can't get rid of, so humidity at night seems to be conducive to repriatory issues and fungal growth. Dry air in the daytime in the house because the furnace is on in the cool months IMHO needs humidity so I mist. Unless someone can show me that changes will result in longer healthier lives I think I'll just stick with my own way of keeping them.
I don't think that we can just make blanket statements...I think different conditions in different areas require adjustments.
 
Last edited:

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Greesh...I wonder how my veiled females live to be 6+ years old and males live even longer when I mist them in the daytime several times and let the cage dry out at night. Living in a climate where chameleons cannot exist normally without artificial means IMHO requires adjustments to the type of husbandry they would have if this were a different climate. The cooler temperatures here in Ontario in cool months involve a chill to the air that you can't get rid of, so humidity at night seems to be conducive to repriatory issues and fungal growth. Dry air in the daytime in the house because the furnace is on in the cool months IMHO needs humidity so I mist. Unless someone can show me that changes will result in longer healthier lives I think I'll just stick with my own way of keeping them.
I don't think that we can just make blanket statements...I think different conditions in different areas require adjustments.
Hold my beer, I raised veiled with perfect health for 6 years on just pinky mice, back in the 1990s. Got good marks from the vet too, kidneys and liver healthy as a horse. This was back in the day before the field reports starting coming in with "these dam things are eating berries during the non drought, WHY are they eating greens now too!?"
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hold my beer, I raised veiled with perfect health for 6 years on just pinky mice, back in the 1990s. Got good marks from the vet too, kidneys and liver healthy as a horse. This was back in the day before the field reports starting coming in with "these dam things are eating berries during the non drought, WHY are they eating greens now too!?"
Oh man, yeah, nutrition is a tough thing amongst any species! Best practice changes over time, and things come and go out of style. Pinkies are currently undergoing a resurgence of use, though generally only once or twice a month. My Lily girl takes them as readily as she takes a hornworm at this point! As long as they're healthy, I don't raise too many eyebrows at this point.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh man, yeah, nutrition is a tough thing amongst any species! Best practice changes over time, and things come and go out of style. Pinkies are currently undergoing a resurgence of use, though generally only once or twice a month. My Lily girl takes them as readily as she takes a hornworm at this point! As long as they're healthy, I don't raise too many eyebrows at this point.
What is your reasoning for using pinky>fuzzy? Older mice carry more vitamins, but less protein and calcium. Protein and calcium are very easily supplied through insects and dusting as it is though. I feel the vitamins are the harder thing to get in quality.

Not being a jerk just want to hear your thoughts because I've been in between using pinkies vs fuzzy and older.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
What is your reasoning for using pinky>fuzzy? Older mice carry more vitamins, but less protein and calcium. Protein and calcium are very easily supplied through insects and dusting as it is though. I feel the vitamins are the harder thing to get in quality.

Not being a jerk just want to hear your thoughts because I've been in between using pinkies vs fuzzy and older.
I know you're not being a jerk, James! I know you better than that. :love:

I'm mostly using pinkies as opposed to fuzzies at this point because I dont think my little girl could possibly take down a fuzzy! I mean, I could try dismembering it and feeding it in two parts?? :unsure:
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
@GoodKarma19 ahhh makes sense. You can still find some very small fuzzies and up so you might be good. lmao please post a video of the dismemberment and title it something like "cute and cuddly"
And then tag @Beman so I can put her off food for the rest of the day! :D ;)

I'll see if I can find some smaller mouse fuzzies. The ones at my local store were bigger than little Lily's head, last I checked!
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom