Thoughts water softeners/well water cham safety

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Our house has well water with a salt water softener. When we moved in it was tested safe for drinking. I've been using it for a while, my cham gets a 2 hour shower on the mist setting once a week . Gets heavy fogging the rest of the week. This has worked for me all winter while he's inside. I was doing more showers for him, but no fogging last winter. Urates have been white, I have no cause for concern, but I guess the paranoid side of me wanted to see what other's with any experience thought about it. My understanding is the salt is so low(something like 1% of your daily value in a cup) that it shouldn't be an issue. Takes a few months before we have to refill the salt.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
The salt takes out the calcium in the water. I'm not sure how this will affect a chameleon, but too much salt can lead the human body to excrete calcium through the urine. Again, I'm not sure if this will affect calcium absorption in chameleons, but something to look into.

I was reading on caudata.org (the newt and salamander forum) that you can bypass the softener (if you want) by either looking to see if there is a bypass valve or you can get tap from the garden hose or outside faucet as softened water isn't ideal for lawn grass and plants.


Also, one of the threads I was reading said that softened water can greatly increase salt intake in humans. Not sure if this is true but def something worth looking into if you haven't yet: https://www.caudata.org/threads/water-softener.31494/
"Epidemiological studies link hard water with good health and the salt load in artificially softened water can significantly raise human salt intake as well as cutting calcium."
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Does your chameleon blow salts out of its nose?
Can chams actually blow salt out of their nose? I thought that was only for reptiles that have evolved around places with salty/brackish waters. I would think that chameleons wouldn't be able to excrete salt from their noses since (at least to my knowledge) they are not receiving much salt in the wild. I will have to look into this.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
The salt takes out the calcium in the water. I'm not sure how this will affect a chameleon, but too much salt can lead the human body to excrete calcium through the urine. Again, I'm not sure if this will affect calcium absorption in chameleons, but something to look into.

I was reading on caudata.org (the newt and salamander forum) that you can bypass the softener (if you want) by either looking to see if there is a bypass valve or you can get tap from the garden hose or outside faucet as softened water isn't ideal for lawn grass and plants.


Also, one of the threads I was reading said that softened water can greatly increase salt intake in humans. Not sure if this is true but def something worth looking into if you haven't yet: https://www.caudata.org/threads/water-softener.31494/
"Epidemiological studies link hard water with good health and the salt load in artificially softened water can significantly raise human salt intake as well as cutting calcium."

Interesting about excreting calcium, guess that would depend on the salt intake.

Not sure about a valve, it's hooked up to the houses water supply. Will look into it though! Guess I could just turn it off temporary for the showers too eh. I know the garden hoses don't have it hooked up, but that wouldn't help much for the shower. And you California folk have to remember, us in the northeast have tough winters, turning the hose on often isn't an option for many months😭.

I'll check out that link, thank you! Everything I read said it all depends how hard the water is. Some only needs small amounts of salt, others much more.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleons do blow salts out.

Scan down to salts...
https://www.madcham.de/en/anatomie/
Oh wow, that's interesting! So does this mean that you don't need to worry about calcium being excreted with too much salt? That is a pretty cool feature!

us in the northeast have tough winters, turning the hose on often isn't an option for many months😭.
And that is why I'll never move away from the West Coast. I'd rather drive up to Tahoe for snow than have the snow come to me ;)

If this is the case, do you think I'd see him blow salts out if the sodium intake was too high?
I'm not sure if "blow" or "blowing" is the correct word. From what was described, I think the salt is excreted (slowly) kinda of like buildup. It isn't going to be like marine iguanas sneezing out salt. But yes, if the intake was too high, I would expect that you would see salt build up. The image on adcham almost looks like a small peice of stuck shed right around the nose opening.

1614884981133.png
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@Mendez said..."So does this mean that you don't need to worry about calcium being excreted with too much salt?"... The salts are not calcium salts. They're sodium and potassium. So no worry about them dumping calcium.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
@Mendez said..."I would think that chameleons wouldn't be able to excrete salt from their noses since (at least to my knowledge) they are not receiving much salt in the wild"... Insects have salt in them. Butterflies actually seek salt out...as do many other insects. They don't get enough in their vegetarian diets.
 
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh wow, that's interesting! So does this mean that you don't need to worry about calcium being excreted with too much salt? That is a pretty cool feature!


And that is why I'll never move away from the West Coast. I'd rather drive up to Tahoe for snow than have the snow come to me ;)


I'm not sure if "blow" or "blowing" is the correct word. From what was described, I think the salt is excreted (slowly) kinda of like buildup. It isn't going to be like marine iguanas sneezing out salt. But yes, if the intake was too high, I would expect that you would see salt build up. The image on adcham almost looks like a small peice of stuck shed right around the nose opening.

View attachment 294626

Yup, if you weren't born in a snowy place, save yourself the depression and lack of productivity haha.

I've seen my Panthers excrete salts in the past(different house, used RO water for them too oddly). I just meant, would I notice the salts around the nose.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
I know butterflies do a thing called "puddling".
Ever had an insect hit you in the eye....I think they're trying to do the puddling thing.
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
My veieled hates being sprayed directly so I mist around the enclosure with spring water. Seems luxurious and expensive but Deer Park is usually a buck a gallon which gets me a few days worth. I don’t think I’ll ever use an automated sprayer on her.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
My veieled hates being sprayed directly so I mist around the enclosure with spring water. Seems luxurious and expensive but Deer Park is usually a buck a gallon which gets me a few days worth. I don’t think I’ll ever use an automated sprayer on her.
I think most chams hate being sprayed during the day when the lights are on--which is why misting at night is a good option. That's also the benefit of an automated mister: you can have it run in the middle of the night without having to lift a finger.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Parsons love water. He willing sits in water spraying on him for hours.

And I can't use a mister on his indoor free range unfortunately
 

Andrew1283

Established Member
I think most chams hate being sprayed during the day when the lights are on--which is why misting at night is a good option. That's also the benefit of an automated mister: you can have it run in the middle of the night without having to lift a finger.
If my chameleon gets sprayed with 68 degree water in the middle of her sleep I don’t think she would like that either. I mist heavily soon after her lights go out. Personally I wouldn’t want anyone waking me up with a cold 2 hour shower.
 

Mendez

Chameleon Enthusiast
If my chameleon gets sprayed with 68 degree water in the middle of her sleep I don’t think she would like that either. I mist heavily soon after her lights go out. Personally I wouldn’t want anyone waking me up with a cold 2 hour shower.
You can't go comparing a chameleon with a person. I wouldn't like sleeping on a branch all night. Chameleons have evolved over time for nighttime drops. Veiled chameleons lives in areas with 100% humidity in montane forests with night temp drops below those that many people provide their veiled chameleons. If my bed was dropped in the middle of that forest in the middle of the night, I would hate my bed sheets getting soaked with fog. Chameleons are not like people. There bodies find it very beneficial to get high humidity at night that is a low/moderate temp. Of course you don't want to spray 30-degree water, but that's obvious. 68 degree water is pretty warm.
 
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