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Old 11-12-2011, 03:09 PM
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Default Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Greetings all!

I've been lurking here for a fair amount of time and researching. In fact I've become intimately familiar with the search engine.

First let me say - thank you all for all of the quality posts. A noob can spend time here searching and reading for hours and hours and get every answer they need without ever making a post. I'm one such noob.

Now I do have a question about humidity that is specific to our system - hence my inability to find an answer by searching.

Our system: 20L (not vert). False bottom with a drip wall/water feature and very small pond. Substrate is ABG with leaf litter. BG is black pond GS with cork bark, and a few other goodies covered with silicon and coir. We've got several mini orchids in there now and they seem to be happy (i.e., epidendrum porpax is blooming already). Top is all glass with a daylight t8 bulb. We plan on getting some R. Vents in a few months once the tank is established and stable.

Hence the question. Stability. I have two issues. One is temp - I cant seem to get it above 71. Not enough to keep everyone happy. I may have that solved as I have a dual t5 ho system on the way. Otherwise I'm going to add a heater of some sort. House temps are mid 60's during day and night with 70 during mornings and evenings. The other issue is humidity. For the life of me I cannot get it above 75%. My goal is 90%+. I have the top on the whole time, I hand mist the tank and it still will only spike at 80 for a few minutes.

What can I do to get the humidity up? Any ideas?

TIA,

- ryan
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

What type of lid do you have.? You should'nt much worry about raising the temps too much. Generally if your comfortable in a room your frogs should be fine.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Quote:
Originally Posted by rsain View Post
Greetings all!

I've been lurking here for a fair amount of time and researching. In fact I've become intimately familiar with the search engine.

First let me say - thank you all for all of the quality posts. A noob can spend time here searching and reading for hours and hours and get every answer they need without ever making a post. I'm one such noob.

Now I do have a question about humidity that is specific to our system - hence my inability to find an answer by searching.

Our system: 20L (not vert). False bottom with a drip wall/water feature and very small pond. Substrate is ABG with leaf litter. BG is black pond GS with cork bark, and a few other goodies covered with silicon and coir. We've got several mini orchids in there now and they seem to be happy (i.e., epidendrum porpax is blooming already). Top is all glass with a daylight t8 bulb. We plan on getting some R. Vents in a few months once the tank is established and stable.

Hence the question. Stability. I have two issues. One is temp - I cant seem to get it above 71. Not enough to keep everyone happy. I may have that solved as I have a dual t5 ho system on the way. Otherwise I'm going to add a heater of some sort. House temps are mid 60's during day and night with 70 during mornings and evenings. The other issue is humidity. For the life of me I cannot get it above 75%. My goal is 90%+. I have the top on the whole time, I hand mist the tank and it still will only spike at 80 for a few minutes.

What can I do to get the humidity up? Any ideas?

TIA,

- ryan
Where did you get your hygrometer? Because if you have a glass top and you are misting, then the humidity is probably 90%+. The t5 ho system should generate a little heat(?) and that might raise it up to 72-73 and thats good for most darts. Have you started to culture springs/FF's yet? I recommend that you start to culture them a long time before you get your frogs just to get a pattern in culturing. Got any pics? Cause you can't describe your tank and then not give us pictures!!
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Humidity gauges can be highly inaccurate. If you were to throw 9 more in there, I'll bet you would get 10 different readings. I've kept more than a handful of frogs over the years and I have NEVER bothered to use a humidity gauge. If your top is 90% or better covered, you have a little standing water under your false bottom, and you have some condensation, you will be fine.
71 F is also fine as long as you don't dip below 65 every night.
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:17 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Ditto on the hygrometer. If you have a glass top, hand mist, AND have a drip wall, then I'm sure your humidity is fine. Watch your nighttime temps, though as any temperature benefits you get during the day you obviously won't get when the lights go out. Also, how are you taking temps? If you use a temp gun you may be surprised to find "micro-climates" that vary 2-3 degress (though that may be less likely in a small enclosed tank like yours).
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

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Originally Posted by B-NICE View Post
What type of lid do you have.? You should'nt much worry about raising the temps too much. Generally if your comfortable in a room your frogs should be fine.
Glass lid. No gaps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
Humidity gauges can be highly inaccurate. (snip)
71 F is also fine as long as you don't dip below 65 every night.
I do think I have to worry - during the winter it will always drop to about 65 - so I assume. The ambient temp in the house is 62. My thought is a heating pad under the tank? I dont have enough room to add an aquarium heater - without some major surgery to the tank (water level is only about 1").

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExoticPocket View Post
Where did you get your hygrometer? Because if you have a glass top and you are misting, then the humidity is probably 90%+. The t5 ho system should generate a little heat(?) and that might raise it up to 72-73 and thats good for most darts. Have you started to culture springs/FF's yet? I recommend that you start to culture them a long time before you get your frogs just to get a pattern in culturing. Got any pics? Cause you can't describe your tank and then not give us pictures!!
I'll check with a more accurate hygrometer - the one I have in there is just a cheapo.

Fruit flies are starting next week. Want to make sure I'm good to go for the frogs that will arrive in jan. I'm also going to start a springtail culture - in the tank and backup before the R. vents arrive.

Thank everyone for the support here and the comments.

I'll get some pics shortly (minutes) - the condensation makes it a bugger though! (I have a small air pump blowing on it but only keeps a small spot clear.

- Ryan
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:45 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Finally, someone who's a little closer to me. Living in Whitefish, I have the same issue with temps. While I think there are better solutions out there, I resorted to a heating pad on the back of a couple of my tanks. The heat from the lights aren't going to help at night, and that's when my temps dip the most (I have my therm programmed at 60 at night, and when it's below zero outside, the house will easily drop to that temp).
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:14 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Yeah - I think i'm going to have to do the same in terms of a heating pad. Hope it works.

Here are the pics as promised!

Two pics of the tank from afar:





Next pic: Orchid center. Epidendrum Porpax on left and a Bulbophyllum sp. (rosary beads) on the right (mounted near the top of the viv). In the substrate is a Mediocalar decoratum.


Next pic: false african violet - Strepocarpus saxorum


Next pic: mistletoe cactus - Rhipsalis baccifera located near the waterfall/drip wall section planted in a heavily drained "pot" 3/4 of the way to the top of the viv. This little dude will cascade down.


Next pic: the flower on the epi porpax that developed less than a week into the viv. I think it's happy!


Next pic: left side of the viv with the waterfall. It's not really a waterfall - but a slow drip. Also the line drips in another spot behind the epi porpax.


Next pic: right side of viv. The bark is a quarter round chunk. right now the "lid" is off of the bark, was doing a little work back there. But that is how I can access my pump without tearing stuff down, the lid is just a piece of egg crate covered to look like root vines (silicone and rope method). Fits nice and tight and will keep the little dudes out once they arrive.
]

I think that about covers it!

- ryan
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Last edited by rsain; 11-12-2011 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Update on humidity.

You were all correct. A different hygrometer (expensive one) did the trick. After leaving it in there for the day it registered 85+. I did a little work to the drip wall to add some more movement of h2o and I expect it to jump a bit higher.

Thanks for the advice!

fyi - I just got back from Small Hill Orchids - got two mini broms (neoregelia sp.) to go in there, two tillandsia's (ionatha and bulbosa), a Pilea involucrata (friendship plant) and a small bit of pilea spp. (baby tears).

Two home made vines and a little mounting and it's ready to wait for frogs. Time to get on the FFs.

- ryan
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:01 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

I have the same lid and I have way too much condensation on my glass. My view is impaired. LOL. Here are 3 ways you can tell ypour condensation is high:

1. Large amounts of condensation.
2. You will feel the humid moist air when you stick your hand in the viv.
3. If you have moss, it will stick up, like hair when static electricity is over it.
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Hey Ryan!

No buying up all those mini broms before I get back into town... One thing to help with the humidity is by using a coco fiber substrate. It retains moisture well and allows you to plant bromeliads, pothos and other plants which produce heat. So by adding more plants you can eliminate the use of the under tank heater. If you do get one be sure to get a potentiometer as well. That way you can control the temps... Oh, I have a bunch of springtails if you need a starter culture......
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

what type of false bottom are you using? whats that tube coming out the right side of your viv?
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Old 11-13-2011, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

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what type of false bottom are you using? whats that tube coming out the right side of your viv?
Egg crate false bottom - 1 1/4 inch elevation. This is a limited height viv with very little room!

Ahh - you spotted it. It's an air pump hose. I have it snaked through the tank to blow air on the glass so you can see the darn thing. Works ok but not prefect. About half the tank stays clear - I'll keep trying different spots to see where I can get the best clearing.

- ryan
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Old 11-13-2011, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

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Hey Ryan!
No buying up all those mini broms before I get back into town...
Oops. I only bought two. There are several left!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thercman View Post
One thing to help with the humidity is by using a coco fiber substrate. It retains moisture well and allows you to plant bromeliads, pothos and other plants which produce heat. So by adding more plants you can eliminate the use of the under tank heater.
Yeah - it was a tough call. I eventually went with ABG. The broms will be mounted rather than planted. This is good to know about the plants adding heat. I'll keep an eye on it.

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Originally Posted by thercman View Post
If you do get one be sure to get a potentiometer as well. That way you can control the temps... Oh, I have a bunch of springtails if you need a starter culture......
Uhhhmm. Yeah. Of course. Thank you! pm me and we'll coordinate.

- ryan
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Keep in mind that an outside air pump is pulling dry outside air into the tank and will lower the humidity.
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Try to cover that up, so your frogs dont get back there.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

B-NICE- It is actually covered. I just had the 'lid' off for access to the pump and water line. I do have to fill a small side gap though wont be much of a problem and I'll have it done long before the frogs arrive.

parkanz2 - This is true and was my first target for solving the humidity problem. I unplugged it for a day and it only bumped up to 79 or so. When I used the better hygrometer i had the pump running and it was well above 80 so I think i'm ok.

I have a heating mat from Josh's on the way to get my temps up.

- ryan
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

ok, cool. keep up the good work.
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Old 11-15-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

That tank looks pretty wet in a few of those pictures. It really doesn`t need to be soaking wet all the time.
By the looks of the moisture in there, I`d say your humidity should be fine, and maybe a bit more cover for the frogs.
Nice work.

John
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Trying to remember if I misted right before I took those shots. I very well could have since the orchids are dripping. It's usually not THAT wet - but I do get tons of condensation (too big a temp difference between the tank and the room).

We added some more plants (including 2 mini broms), a 'root' and some more hiding spots (secured bark to create hiding holes that cannot be seen from outside the viv) for the little guys. Going to let the flora build up a little (until jan) before the vents go in.

Thanks for all the feedback everyone! You're making this painless!

- ryan
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Old 11-15-2011, 10:29 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Another suggestion is you could add springtails, before adding the frogs.
Check our sponsors to purchase springtails cultures. They`re a great addition to a viv.

John
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:39 PM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

A local frogger (thercman) is helping out with the springs. Already got the box ready to go for the culture with cowboy charcoal. Order from Josh's for the ff cultures and kit.

- ryan
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Updated pics - got two mini broms in here: neoregelia (Pepper and Mickey Mouse). Also see the pilea.



And the darn condensation is brutal - I hate having to keep the house this cold!



Leaf litter is waiting to go in - but will add soon. Just want to make sure all the planting is done. I have a larger Pilea spp. to go in here - but want to get a feel for the viv first before we decide where to put it.

Here is the new tillandsias - bulbosa (foreground) and ionantha (background)



- ryan
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Put the tillies in the dryest (highest?) part of the viv. That's their only chance in a 85%+ humidity environment IME.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Greetings, thanks & humidity question

Agreed and that is precisely where they are. Far away from the drip wall sections and as high as I can get in the tank. Also fresh air (about 20% RH) being pushed very near them.

- ryan
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