What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariums? - Dendroboard
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:55 PM
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Default What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariums?

For instance, I have a very large enclosure that has a lot of surface area and that needs misting on basically all of that surface area, and is also very tall, which may affect misting in ways I don't yet understand.

This is a an example picture of it:



For reference, the black foam-covered part of it is a bit over 5ft tall and the interior width is about 4ft, with 2ft of depth.

Now, I bought a MistKing starter, which I believe is supposed to comfortably handle ~10 nozzles. I bought an L-unit 4-nozzle addition later, feeling pretty much certain that the one default nozzle wouldn't cut it. But I'm realizing that I have no idea how to determine how much surface area individual nozzles cover, and how that might be affected by gravity in a very tall enclosure that needs water all along it's length.

Is there anyone here experienced with MistKing systems who would be willing to explain this to me? and, for the sake of other users who might read this later, explain the general rule about how many nozzles are needed for differently-sized vivariums?

Thanks for your consideration.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

I suggest you get that pump running and do some experimenting on the height/horizontal relationship. The nozzles have a 45 degree flare, and the pumps do a good job of pushing the water, but...as you have intuited, at some point gravity takes over and your mist is done going sideways, it's now going straight down. I imagine holding the nozzle out at shoulder height, outside on the driveway on a still morning. Turn the pump on for 20 seconds. How big is the wet circle? Now move up to the wall of the house, or better yet, a wooden fence. Starting with the nozzle 2' away, what does the spray pattern look like? Keep approaching at ~4" intervals.

By way of example, I have some 2' deep, 2' wide enclosures about 3' tall, and they need 4 heads to get the back and sides well-covered. I still have to supplement with hand-misting about 2x/week, to soak the moss packed into the cork mosaic areas - particularly the lower areas. The upper areas are pretty good with the auto only.
  • I'm guessing it may be very hard to adequately mist the lower-most walls if your heads are all the way at the top.
  • I'm also guessing you may wind up needing all 10 heads. Four or five will be targeting the upper walls, and the remaining five or six, the lower walls.
  • My personal guide for installing mist heads in 18" deep vivs is one per linear foot - so a 24" wide gets 2, a 36" gets 3, etc. But I usually also have drip walls going, and I still do a little hand-misting. Also, that extra 6" of depth is at the outer limit of horizontal "oomph" for the pump to push those tiny, light mist droplets. If they were bigger drops I think they'd go WAY farther, but unfortunately they are tiny.

So - you'd best get tinkering. Besides "how many?", you have to figure out "so - where do they go?" I'm thinking - if all heads are up top - you'll wind up with something like 2 ranks of 4-5 heads each, the first rank deployed about 8" in beyond the glass, and the second another 8" in. Or maybe you'll do an arc of heads around the back and sides, set back off them about 8" to cover the upper & middle walls, and also have another group or two of heads (maybe in multi-units?) in the center-front of the armoire, trying to cover those lower walls.

To make sure the wimpiest-sprayed areas get wet enough, your hardest-sprayed areas are gonna get soaked. Assuming they're all on the same pump & timer, anyway. This will lead to runoff, but hey, since you've got that drain in, you ought to be fine! Plus, the runoff may well be part of your overall water-the lower-walls solution - soak the uppers and just let the water run down. But there will be dry spots and collection channels with runoff, for sure.

Good luck!
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Old 05-20-2019, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

Thanks for your extra-detailed post, as always, jgragg. I'll get to testing it as soon as I get home.

I am a bit concerned about having a nozzle setup significantly below the ceiling. There isn't much in the way of a hiding place in the low-center of the terrarium, and what is there that could offer a hiding place, would certainly look worse for having a nozzle setup installed.

So I'm thinking I order an L-unit 4-nozzle and a T-unit 4-nozzle, and perhaps use the 1-nozzle that came with the starter pack in the middle-back of the ceiling.

An important note, if you or someone else can address it: How high does the misting pump itself need to be installed? My armoire bottom is near the room floor and its ceiling is near the room ceiling. Because the reservoir needs to be above the misting pump, and I assume the misting pump needs to be fairly high to pump water up to the nozzles on the ceiling ... I have to get my reservoir pretty damn high.

That is, of course, unless the misting pump can be rather low to the ground.

Now, if that misting pump HAS to be high up, and the reservoir yet higher, I technically have a super-strong cypress wall shelf I built a long time ago to hold a 100lb 24x18x12" Exo Terra. I could use it to support a Lowe's 5-gallon bucket, but it'd be damn tough to get it up and down as often as I would have to.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

Quote:
Because the reservoir needs to be above the misting pump, and I assume the misting pump needs to be fairly high to pump water up to the nozzles on the ceiling ... I have to get my reservoir pretty damn high.
I give you one point for reading the MistKing manual, and hold back your second possible point, on the grounds of "bad assumption".

I don't know what the head capacity of a MK pump is, but - as long as you're on the same floor / story, I am dead certain you could have the MK pump on the floor, and your misters stapled to the damn ceiling, and those misters would put out at full capacity.

But just to illustrate with my own stuff - my 2 MK pumps and my 2 reservoirs (10-g aquariums) live on the same small, rolling, wire-shelving cart. Each shelf (there are 2 shelves) has an aquarium and the pump that runs off it. As long as there's at least maybe 4" of water in the aquarium, the pump is effectively below the water level. So that's all I do.

Quote:
That is, of course, unless the misting pump can be rather low to the ground.
Put it on the floor for all the pump cares. Seriously, I bet the sucker could pump up 3 or 4 stories. You're good, find something more important to worry about! Ha ha ha.

cheers
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

Thanks again! Man, I worked you to death today. I'll let you know the next time I have concerns, but I should be good for a little while, while I try to finish waterproofing the basin and moss-stapling the moss.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:14 AM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

You do not need to mist every part of the vivarium, you may just need to run the misters longer. What will happen is the water will drip down and over things and then capillary action will allow it to soak into surrounding areas. Now in some cases this could leave some fairly dry spots but you might just adjust the plants you put in those spots, you can also increase sphagnum moss in those areas to connect them to other areas that are getting more water. There are lots of options. In general I have 1 mister per square foot of top space. So in your tank with a 4x2 footprint that would be 8 misters, going up to 10 would be no problem. Also keep in mind in a very large complex tank you might just have to do some hand watering in certain areas once every couple days. I see people end up with dry spots or special needs plants even in much smaller tanks.


Another thought is, build in extra misting lines to put in misters if you need them. If you dont you just cap them off or turn them into air lines.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

Does anyone know why a reservoir of RO water might smell like ...

... cheese?

I don't quite understand it, but it's a chronic reoccurance. It lasted even after I stopped putting Seachem Prime in it, although I don't see why that would affect it, anyway.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: What is the rule on how many mist nozzles to have for a differently-sized vivariu

That means you have bacteria in it.

You have two options.

Empty it. Scrub it clean with water and bleach. Wipe it out. Spray with a dilute solution of bleach and let it dry before filling it up again. If it still smells you have a problem with your RO unit.

Or add bleach to the reservoir so that you have 5ml per 4l (1 teaspoon per gallon) and leave it for four hours. Add the SeaChem Prime in the recommended amount for your volume. Leave for an hour to mix. Check the smell.

On another note, the Mist King droplets are very small and stay in suspension quite a while. Before I put mine on my tank I tried them and even holding them above my head the droplets did not coalesce before they hit the floor. In addition, if you have any airflow in your tank, you should get some nice vortices that spread the mist around. Depending on what you plant where you may need to spot mist some plants if they are directly underneath overhangs but no reasonable amount of nozzles will fix that.

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Old 06-07-2019, 02:10 AM
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Default

I had a pretty strong feeling it was bacteria, as that's usually the case as far as "things that smell like cheese that aren't cheese" go.

I will try those suggestions when I am back home. Thank you.
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