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Old 12-12-2012, 01:00 AM
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Default Misting for Beginners

I have talked to "newer" members and they seemed to be under the impression that misting is not just for humidity purposes but that the frogs "needed" the water.

My stance was of hypothetical nature: that the misting was for the humidity, not a specific need of the frogs directly and you could potentially go months without misting, even if everything "looked dry" as long as the humidity was still high enough. (High enough being 60/70% plus) ... correct? Comments?

I bring this up only bc the subject of "misting" isnt discussed enough IMO. We all know that it needs done, but for newer members, it hasnt really been explained in terms of proper technique and reasons.

So I am starting this thread to jump start a discussion on proper misting techniques, purpose/reasons, and to basically educate newer people to the hobby on the misting aspect of our vivariums, bc as I have stated already, this is a topic that isnt discussed enough.

So ... What are some important things that you all think a new member should know about misting?

Thanks.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Another reason people mist is for the plants. If you look around, you'll see a lot of the plants people use in their tanks belong to the Bromeliad family, and are considered "air plants." That means they don't have a traditional or elaborate root structures to absorb water and nutrients. Many (all?) bromeliads have a "cup" in the center of the plant which is used to collect and retain water and nutrients. Tillandsias which fall under the same family, have hardly any root structure, and absorb water and nutrients through their leaves.

Obviously if you have these in your tank, a misting is required to maintain these plants.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by cml1287 View Post
Another reason people mist is for the plants. If you look around, you'll see a lot of the plants people use in their tanks belong to the Bromeliad family, and are considered "air plants." That means they don't have a traditional or elaborate root structures to absorb water and nutrients. Many (all?) bromeliads have a "cup" in the center of the plant which is used to collect and retain water and nutrients. Tillandsias which fall under the same family, have hardly any root structure, and absorb water and nutrients through their leaves.

Obviously if you have these in your tank, a misting is required to maintain these plants.
Correct ... but how OFTEN should one mist the tank if they have these plants in their tank?
What is the proper way to mist if it is this kind of setup? How long can these plants go without misting?

Great example.

Things like this are great scenarios that a beginner might encounter & provide an opportunity to give these members more specific direction instead of leaving it open to translation & their own often misguided interpretation of proper techniques.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

As far as the frequency is concerned, someone else may have to provide specifics.

With that being said - I would say it should be "as needed." I know that might sound rather broad, but let me explain.

Obviously, you shouldn't have to worry about drowning/over-watering these plants, because if they're mounted correctly, they should never be exposed to standing water.

With bromeliads, especially with frogs who are utilizing them to breed, people may mist more frequently (daily or more?) as to facilite water changes in the "cup" of the bromeliad. If you leave the tads in the tank to develop (or they must be left in, like pums), this can help facilitate water changes for the tadpole.

I mist on a daily basis. I would bet that most people who have an automatic system (I don't) also mist on a daily basis.

When it comes to watering, I think the most important thing a beginner has to be aware of is standing water in the soil. Not only can this rot the roots of the plant, but it can shorten the "life" of your soil. This is probably part of the reason why creating false bottoms is extremely popular, so that water can have a place to drain and not pool in the soil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamble View Post
Correct ... but how OFTEN should one mist the tank if they have these plants in their tank?
What is the proper way to mist if it is this kind of setup? How long can these plants go without misting?

Great example.

Things like this are great scenarios that a beginner might encounter & provide an opportunity to give these members more specific direction instead of leaving it open to translation & their own often misguided interpretation of proper techniques.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:47 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I mist my tanks fairly often. Once/twice a day by hand trying to saturate all parts of the viv. I do this because I keep very tropical plants and moss. I also have moderate ventilation. On days that I feed, I skip a misting because the fruit flies will drown in the water otherwise. Then I'll mist when they've had a chance to eat.

In general I like to keep my viv wet and not let it dry completely. Maybe this isn't the best way but it works for me. None of my frogs are breeding age yet, so I don't worry about wet/dry seasons.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

My permanent tanks.on a Mister get misted a few times a day.

My temporary tanks are not on a mister get misted when I feel.like it....which is not.very often.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:59 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daleo View Post
On days that I feed, I skip a misting because the fruit flies will drown in the water otherwise. Then I'll mist when they've had a chance to eat.
On days that I feed, I'll usually mist right before the lights go off. This helps to make the flies be a little bit more active, and my frogs (who demonstrate unusual behavior) really only eat after the lights have gone off.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:10 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Keep in mind that misting will also wash frog waste and such down to the bottom of the vivarium, where it can more effectively be broken down.

Even in a humid environment, I think it's vital to provide frogs with access to a bit of water (be it a damp surface or actual body of water) where they can 'drink' by absorbing water through their seat patch.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by zBrinks View Post
Keep in mind that misting will also wash frog waste and such down to the bottom of the vivarium, where it can more effectively be broken down.

Even in a humid environment, I think it's vital to provide frogs with access to a bit of water (be it a damp surface or actual body of water) where they can 'drink' by absorbing water through their seat patch.
I agree , but what of some comments that ive read else where that most tanks these days are "too damp". (Im playing Devils Advocate here). Where is the happy medium? If the microfauna load was at a sufficient level, wouldnt that cut down on the need to mist for the purpose of "waste cleanup"?

Heres another question:
Where is the line drawn between too wet & too dry?
What is too wet?
What are some things that a beginner can look for so that they can tell: I need to mist today, im misting too much, or my tank is great where its at.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:31 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

If the frogs are out grazing on microfauna and your vivarium has a nice fresh rain smell then you're probably about spot on.

If the frogs are up off the substrate all the time and your vivarium has a heavy or smelly/rotten odor, it's too wet.

If the frogs are constantly visiting a provided source of water and there is no odor at all, it's too dry.

That's just my 10 cents, and by no means a definitive set of guidelines. IME, it tends to hold true most of the time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Seat patch.....that's awesome
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by zBrinks View Post
If the frogs are out grazing on microfauna and your vivarium has a nice fresh rain smell then you're probably about spot on.

If the frogs are up off the substrate all the time and your vivarium has a heavy or smelly/rotten odor, it's too wet.

If the frogs are constantly visiting a provided source of water and there is no odor at all, it's too dry.

That's just my 10 cents, and by no means a definitive set of guidelines. IME, it tends to hold true most of the time.
Great explanation Zach.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:08 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I think I am in the minority in that I only mist my established tanks about once per week, if that. The only purpose I mist is to get the frog poop off of my plants. This regemin has worked for me for years. The humidity is constantly high because the soil, wood, and backgrounds are moist, not to mention plant respiration and transpiration, and bromeliads filled with water. I do squirt water directly into bromeliad cups when they look dry, which is fairly infrequently. My frogs are all very healthy and the adults breed regularly. I notice that breeding activity follows the seasons and especially the weather outside (they get really amped up when a storm front moves in). I wonder what would happen if I misted several times a day...

When I started out, I misted several times daily. Some of the plants became quite waterlogged and wilted or browned, and the glass was always fogged up. Not to mention that it was a lot of effort, especially once I got more frogs.... I am surprised to see how often many people do it (different strokes for different folks!)

I must clarify that I only feel comfortable with infrequent misting after a tank has been set up for several months. Before it is established, I do mist it daily in order to allow the water to soak into the hardscape and get some good plant growth. Also, all of my tanks have glass tops that completely seal the tanks. Most of them have no water feature and access to the false bottoms (egg crate) is done using a small siphon pushed through the soil, I purge the water in the false bottom once or twice per year (another reason I don't mist often).
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I mist my tanks maybe every other day. I currently have two tens & one 29 standard tanks. My 29 is pretty established w/ plants so it never really looks dried out. My tens are still kind of establishing themselves (w/ plants). So comes out to every other day of hand misting, for now. Of course I check the tanks daily if more misting is needed. So currently it is not an exact science. I do have a mistking that I eventually will set up once I have all my tanks on a rack.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

My orange terribilis tank has not been misted in over 8 months. I have it in another room away from the mistking while I have been building my zoomed rack, seems to be doing fine since it's sealed.

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Old 12-12-2012, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I mist every other day, or depending how dry the viv's look. However I mist my verts daily, because that vent is too big IMO and it seems as if everything gets drier fast in them.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I mist twice a week, and this seems to be working. Sometimes I mist more if things look rather dry or to get dirt off the glass. In the beginning I was misting daily, but after a couple of months the background and wood had enough moisture in them so I reduced it to twice weekly.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:04 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I mist every other day (on days I don't feed). I have noticed that the humidity will stay higher longer by having more deposition film canisters filled with water scattered around the viv too.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamble View Post
I agree , but what of some comments that ive read else where that most tanks these days are "too damp".
That's because people tend not to have sufficient ventilation. I have on occasion misted my vivarium with 5 gallons of water (I run a drainage tube at the same time) and half an hour later standing water on the leaves is drying. I have gone 4-5 days without misting or even water in the false bottom, frogs were fine. In fact, the plants actually do better when I mist every other day.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Since I havent posted about this yet, here is my response:

I mist depending on the "season".
During the summer months I mist 1-2x a day & I feed everyday.
In the fall, I start cutting back my misting to around everyother day, misting once & feeding everyother day ... same during the spring.
During the winter, I mist 1-2 times per week and while still feeding everyother day, I am feeding in smaller amounts.
I do this to "cycle" my frogs down & reduce breeding.

So far this has worked for me. My frogs are still breeding but not anywhere close to what they are when im misting & feeding everyday.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

It should also be noted that if you have a properly ventilated enclosure, misting can also help cause some turn over of the air in the tank reducing the risk of stagnation...

There are too many variables which range from climate, to preferences on how you control temperatures in your house to size and placements of vents that impact how often misting needs to be done... I do think that given the prevelence of totally sealed enclosures, people mist thier tanks far too frequently and keep thier enclosures far too wet... I've brought it up before but there are indications in the literature that humidity as low as 60% is perfectly acceptable for many frogs...

Some comments

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:05 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Ive let my leuc tank got a month without misting and it does have passive ventilation. Some people seriously over mist their tanks, and it shows

Im a big fan of condensation on glass to dictate my need for misting.



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Old 12-12-2012, 08:41 PM
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Some people seriously over mist their tanks, and it shows
Can you explain the part I bolded?
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I mist my 18x18x24 zoo med once every few days and I mist my 18x18 exo terra a little every day, but that's just because the plants haven't grown in yet (I've noticed they give of a lot of water into the air and they really help with humidity).
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

So there is no guide to misting then?
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:58 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

I think it is definitely true that it would be easy to over mist. I have my bicolors in temporary plastic boxes. I didn't add any holes, but there is some air exchange from a small gap between the lid and box.

I misted them when I set them up and once after that. I haven't since then which has been a few weeks now. I would still say it is almost too wet in the boxes. I still get a lot of condensation, and the moss has always stayed wet. I also put some of the cuttings that came with them in their boxes. They have been growing just fine with only ambient light and without further misting.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

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So there is no guide to misting then?
Here is something I posted almost 2 years ago:
http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/beg...beginners.html

It reads as follows:

"This is for the new people to the hobby.
This caused a little confusion for me when I first started, so I assumed I probably wasn't the only one ...

When people say to mist the tank for humidity, misting doesn't not mean to "soak" the tank, its just that: mist it.You want enough water to raise humidity n wet the leaves n substrate slightly, but u do not want to oversaturate ur tank like a thunderstorm downpour, leaving everything constantly wet.*Too much moisture in the soil/viv can cause plants to die, soil to rot, respiratory/bacteria infections ... etc ...*
Just enough water that the leaves dry off in 2-3hrs is plenty.
Hope this helps."

Basically to summarize there & here:

You can spot water your plants without misting the entire tank if your plants need it.
As long as your humidity is above 60%-70%, there is no need to mist your tank.
That may take a few days to weeks to months. It all depends on tank size, amount of plants, drainage layer, amount of ventilation ... etc.
(As Ed said, there are too many variables).

So to the beginners, if you do not have a hygrometer; (not the cheap analog dial types ... those are crap); get one.
It is invaluable in knowing where your humidity is & when misting is needed.

I personally use this one:
http://www.joshsfrogs.com/temphumdit...ygrometer.html
There are many options available on the website.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-16-2013, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by zBrinks View Post
If the frogs are out grazing on microfauna and your vivarium has a nice fresh rain smell then you're probably about spot on.

If the frogs are up off the substrate all the time and your vivarium has a heavy or smelly/rotten odor, it's too wet.

If the frogs are constantly visiting a provided source of water and there is no odor at all, it's too dry.

That's just my 10 cents, and by no means a definitive set of guidelines. IME, it tends to hold true most of the time.
Zach,

I rather like your analysis - thank you for the observations!

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Old 02-16-2013, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed View Post
It should also be noted that if you have a properly ventilated enclosure, misting can also help cause some turn over of the air in the tank reducing the risk of stagnation...

There are too many variables which range from climate, to preferences on how you control temperatures in your house to size and placements of vents that impact how often misting needs to be done... I do think that given the prevelence of totally sealed enclosures, people mist thier tanks far too frequently and keep thier enclosures far too wet... I've brought it up before but there are indications in the literature that humidity as low as 60% is perfectly acceptable for many frogs...

Some comments

Ed
^This.. (And what Gamble said too)

I've left tanks un-misted for months... If there is water in the false bottom, and the tank isn't overly ventilated (which as Ed said, it seems most are not ventilated enough), the frogs should be fine.

If they are sitting next to your heater, or a fan or something that increases temp/airflow that is going to mean you have to mist more probably, but most of my tanks have about a 1 inch strip of ventilation and no fans (because I'm broke), but with water in the false bottom they will continue to get condensation on the glass after the tank heats up in the mornings...to me that signals that I'm fine. And when the glass is clear if I mist, the glass will have condensation for a few hours, maybe the rest of the day...and be clear or mostly clear the next day. If anything I should probably get a fan running at intervals on a timer.

If a frog has a moist substrate it is likely going to be able to hydroregulate or whatever. They aren't fish...but seems a lot of people would feel safer drowning them like they were.

With some experience you should just be able to consider the placement/conditions in your home, glance over at your viv and go...oh needs to be misted, or nope it is fine. You should be able to walk over to your viv and point to all the places that are the most humid in that tank at any time of day. Understanding microclimates, evaporation, etc..etc... is very helpful and give you the peace of mind that you know what is happening in there an don't need to futz with using blind guesswork.

Just because the leaves are dry and there aren't puddles everywhere doesn't mean that tank isn't actually pretty saturated...its all about what the soil is holding, and the humidity that is coming from that constant evaporation, how heavily planted is the tank, and how much air is being exchanged, and how humid that air is and so on and on and on...

Basically though if the soil is moist, and it isn't an all screen cage with a fan blowing on it and you have a few plants in there chances are you are fine.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:32 PM
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How about another question of which kind of water? RO? Tap?
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Buddysfrogs View Post
How about another question of which kind of water? RO? Tap?
IMO RO, distilled or really good rainwater....tap should usually be the last choice and if you do use it try to let it sit for 24 hours to get rid of the chlorine.

Plants tend not to like tap, and in many places your tap water will lead to deposits on the glass. Once in a great while to make sure there are a few minerals in the soil, ok...but not an every day thing.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

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Originally Posted by Buddysfrogs View Post
How about another question of which kind of water? RO? Tap?
This has been discussed quite a few times in past threads.

Tap water, while usable, will over time clog misting heads & also create a film on plant leaves, essentially disrupting proper photosynthesis. This is due to the mineral content of tap water.

It is generally recommended to use RO or Distilled water.

Now with tadpoles, tap water is fine as long as a water conditioner is used.
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Old 06-23-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Should there be a visible waterline in the false bottom substrate?
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by ecichlid View Post
Should there be a visible waterline in the false bottom substrate?
What do you mean by should?

Basically, I usually keep 1/2" - 1" of water in the bottoms of mine, as it helps to regulate the humidity.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:03 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

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Originally Posted by ecichlid View Post
Should there be a visible waterline in the false bottom substrate?
You don't want it dry...part of the purpose of a drainage layer/false bottom is to hold the excess water and allow it to evaporate/wick back into the soil to some degree to keep the soil moist and humidity up. Basically it is there so you don't flood your tank, and saturate your soil, killing all the plants and creating a breeding ground for icky stuff...but still helps keep your humidity up.

Also water in a false bottom is like a temperature sink. It will make it harder for your tank to heat up or cool down really fast...creating a more stable environment, and buying you time in bad situations.

I usually keep my water level pretty high...like a centimeter under the main substrate layers...sometimes I slightly flood the tank. I do this in part because I have ponds that share their water reservoir with the false bottom...they are essentially one, only there is a barrier to keep tads/frogs out from under the false bottom but still let water pass through. So that lessens the frequency at which I have to top off the pond due to evaporation.

But I also tend to have fairly thick substrate layers compared to some people (sometimes)...so a little flooding isn't such a big deal in some of my tanks...and the frogs/plants can handle it if it isn't constantly saturated for months at a time. I have periods of laziness...so I will sometimes slightly over mist/fill the false bottom so I can get away with those periods where I forget to mist for a week or 2 or top off a pond.

So my way, may or may not be the way you want to go...but you do want some water in your false bottom/drainage layer. Generally though it is good to have an air gap between the water table and the main substrate layer.

When I'm on the ball...I can pretty much mist and what not so that my water table level hardly moves....Just maintains a near constant level over weeks or even months....if it starts going up noticeably over a few days to the point you are in danger of flooding...stop misting for awhile...if it is really bad siphon /pump the water out (A turkey baster can be a quick solution, just don't let the frogs get down under the false bottom through the hole u make)

If it keeps falling and falling even though you are misting, maybe you aren't misting enough...Also just a tip, if you want to fill up the false bottom a bit but don't have pond connected to it...pour the water down a corner...not to much to fast, but enough that the corner gets saturated enough most of the rest of the water just runs straight through to the false bottom. A little trick that sometimes has a use
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Old 06-24-2013, 06:04 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Thank you folks! I just used a monkey pod that was in the viv as a small bowl and poured in 3 quarts of distilled water. I now have a water level I can see in my false bottom substrate. All is good in the world.
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Old 12-01-2013, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Bumping this for the new people.
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Old 12-01-2013, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Great thread!
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Great thread! I was sent here by another post and even though its old won't hurt to to bring it back up to the forefront.

My viv is about 3 weeks old. I have added NEHerp moss at different stages and according to their instruction its important to keep it misted initially. I have been misting twice a day since day one. My humidity has been staying a constant 89-92 R/H around the clock. Temps drop to 67 and rise to 75 ish. Is this about where I want to keep it or once things are grown in should I relax my misting schedule? When I mist I try and hit mainly the moss is which throughout the entire viv and everthing gets hit at least a little bit.
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:19 AM
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Default Re: Misting for Beginners

Once your moss is established, you should be fine to reduce your misting.

The plants in your viv will help to maintain the humidity.

As stated previously,
You don't want to keep your humidity on the higher end long term & a drop to 65-70% is perfectly acceptable & potentially healthier for the frogs. (And also helps in cycling them down in the cooler months).

From what I've read, in the Rainforest, humidity does not stay at 100% all day.
Generally speaking, by midday, it can drop down to the 70% range before the next rain comes.
(I'm basing this on literature I've read).
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