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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have a 40G breeder set up growing in, with the standard wire mesh lid. On top of the lid are an LED light, a PC fan for circulation, and a plastic cover I scrounged from an aquarium hood. This leaves approx a 36"X6" strip of uncovered lid mesh exposed. Pics attached for reference (excuse the dirty glass).

My questions is - with this setup, I'm consistently getting humidity readings of 85-93%RH on a Govee unit, no matter where in the viv I place it. Given all I've read about how hard it is to keep humidity high enough, especially in aquariums, any thoughts? I don't live in a particularly humid region (New England).

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Given all I've read about how hard it is to keep humidity high enough, especially in aquariums,
Curious to see links to these claims; I assume they're from new keepers who are trying to figure out why measuring humidity is not giving them info that makes sense. The opposite is actually the case -- fish tanks hold too much moisture since they don't passively ventilate.

I'd recommend not measuring humidity at all. It isn't a very useful way to gauge the amount of water in a viv, and is very commonly misleading for multiple reasons.
 

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EVERY experienced dart frog hobbyist is adept and employs the 'hand and eye' method for humidity. Gauges are not what we should depend upon. Gotta 'get in there' in the viv and hand check the soil...plants ect. False bottom should always contain water. Stuff like that
 

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Have you tested the calibration of your hygrometer recently? Might be giving you an inaccurate reading. If you’re unaware of how to test them, here’s what I do:
-Fill a small screw cap or something of the sort with fine salt-should have about a teaspoon or two of capacity. Making a little tinfoil cup for this is pretty easy.
-Wet the salt with a few drops of water till it’s JUST damp/saturated. It should still be granular, but act somewhat like wet sand. There should be no visible water pooling above the salt, nor should any salt be dry.
-put the salt cup and hygrometer in some kind of container you can seal. Ziploc, Tupperware, whatever works.
-Given a few hours, the wet salt should cause an accurate hygrometer to stabilize at exactly 75 percent humidity. If yours stabilizes at a different number, note down the exact difference and add/subtract that whenever you read your hygrometer in the enclosure.
 

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Keep in mind that single-point calibration only corrects for point accuracy, and not for slope (which needs at least two point calibration, and is definitely an issue in measuring RH as this is a calculation of moisture and temperature). The salt method ensures that the meter is reading within specs when RH is in fact 75%, but ensures nothing about readings at other RH%.

Also, hygrometers don't read accurately regardless of calibration when RH is near saturation, because of condensation on the sensor. Even without condensation, hygrometers are less accurate at the ends of the range, <20% and >80%; even $200+ NIST meters are only +/- 4% at those ranges.
 

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Keep in mind that single-point calibration only corrects for point accuracy, and not for slope (which needs at least two point calibration, and is definitely an issue in measuring RH as this is a calculation of moisture and temperature). The salt method ensures that the meter is reading within specs when RH is in fact 75%, but ensures nothing about readings at other RH%.

Also, hygrometers don't read accurately regardless of calibration when RH is near saturation, because of condensation on the sensor. Even without condensation, hygrometers are less accurate at the ends of the range, <20% and >80%; even $200+ NIST meters are only +/- 4% at those ranges.
Huh, TIL, thanks for the info!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
EVERY experienced dart frog hobbyist is adept and employs the 'hand and eye' method for humidity. Gauges are not what we should depend upon. Gotta 'get in there' in the viv and hand check the soild...plants ect. False bottom should always contain water. Stuff like that
Problem is that I'm NOT an experienced DF hobbyist. Soil under the leaf litter is moist (water in drainage layer), but the LL dries off fairly quickly after I mist it.
 

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Hi all,

I have a 40G breeder set up growing in, with the standard wire mesh lid. On top of the lid are an LED light, a PC fan for circulation, and a plastic cover I scrounged from an aquarium hood. This leaves approx a 36"X6" strip of uncovered lid mesh exposed. Pics attached for reference (excuse the dirty glass).

My questions is - with this setup, I'm consistently getting humidity readings of 85-93%RH on a Govee unit, no matter where in the viv I place it. Given all I've read about how hard it is to keep humidity high enough, especially in aquariums, any thoughts? I don't live in a particularly humid region (New England).

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At the moment, hygrometer readings aside, it looks and sounds like you'll have more issues with things drying out really fast, than with things staying wet. Aquarium-style tanks do have a tendency to be overly wet, but it really depends on where in the states you are and what the average humidity is in your home - out here in the desert with 30% humidity, a 6" ventilation strip like that would result in my tank being bone-dry most of the time. Also, the fan is not really functioning as a circulation fan where you have it now, but rather creating more ventilation (which you may already have more than enough of). Here are my recommendations (and people who keep darts, please correct me if I'm wrong):

For the moment, keep an eye on how much you run the fan, and how fast things dry out. You may want to cut back on how frequently/long the fan runs. If you start getting mold or rot issues, cover the fan with mesh so it's frog-safe and move it into the tank so that it circulates air rather than pulls air in or out of the tank. Aquarium-style tanks have air circulation issues.

Keep an eye on your moss - if it is drying out and getting crispy, you're probably not misting enough. You don't want to keep it wet enough that it grows quickly, but in my experience from 60-80% humidity, live moss will look hydrated and fluffy.

From my understanding of frog husbandry, moist underneath the leaves, but the surfaces drying off within about an hour of misting, is ideal. This is also ideal for most plants, which do not want water sitting on their leaves for more than an hour or so at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks everyone. Based on the comments, here's what my plan is:
-Get a piece of glass cut to the size of the top of the tank (excluding the light and a smaller strip of open mesh than present)
-As long as the water is only in the drainage/wicking layer and not sitting on the plant roots, make it as humid as I possibly can, hydrometer readings be damned.
-Right now the fan runs for 1 minute, 3X/day. Cover it in mesh, figure out a somewhat aesthetically-pleasing way to place the fan in the tank (ideas, please!), and pare it down to 2X/day just for circulation.
-Once I have it stabilized and get frogs, put a shallow saucer of water in.

Comments?
 

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Thanks everyone. Based on the comments, here's what my plan is:
-Get a piece of glass cut to the size of the top of the tank (excluding the light and a smaller strip of open mesh than present)
-As long as the water is only in the drainage/wicking layer and not sitting on the plant roots, make it as humid as I possibly can, hydrometer readings be damned.
-Right now the fan runs for 1 minute, 3X/day. Cover it in mesh, figure out a somewhat aesthetically-pleasing way to place the fan in the tank (ideas, please!), and pare it down to 2X/day just for circulation.
-Once I have it stabilized and get frogs, put a shallow saucer of water in.

Comments?
I don't know that you have to do all, or even any of those, now - it's not clear from your descriptions that there currently is a problem. How fast does everything dry off after misting? What is the ambient humidity in your house around the tank? Are there moist places at all times for frogs to hide if necessary?

@fishingguy12345 said that it doesn't look like 90% humidity in there (which I agree with, although up into the 80s can "look" pretty dry), but then you don't want it to be 90%, you want the humidity to vary from something like 65-85%. Unless breeding tanks are very different than normal frog tanks.
 

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-As long as the water is only in the drainage/wicking layer and not sitting on the plant roots, make it as humid as I possibly can, hydrometer readings be damned.
Why?

Frogs don't need or want their air completely saturated with water. They need the ability to move from drier to wetter areas (and vice versa) to help them regulate their temperature through evaporative cooling.
 

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Adding: you could do any of those things, but no need to do them unless you are having problems. For instance: moss mounted on the background is withering and looking crispy, mist the background more frequently. Frogs are constantly hiding, mist more frequently and/or get that piece of glass cut to reduce the ventilation strip on top. Start getting issues with mold or new growths rotting, move the fan inside to increase circulation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
OK, not gonna lie - very confused right now. People were saying that the tank looks very dry/that it dries out fast, that aquariums have no circulation, and to not trust the hydrometer. Now it seems people are saying that the things I thought people did to increase humidity/circulation are unnecessary. Help!
 

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You might be conflating "dry" with "bad" and "wet" with "good" when it comes to dart frogs - dart frogs don't want a constantly saturated environment, and neither do the plants that grow well alongside them. This is where I'm bowing out, since I keep lots of mosses and pleurothallids and no dart frogs, but I'll pop back in if there are more plant-specific questions.
 

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You might be conflating "dry" with "bad" and "wet" with "good" when it comes to dart frogs - dart frogs don't want a constantly saturated environment
You've learned well :).

@DontCallMeAToad : how does the substrate cell under the leaves? Is it dry, damp, really damp, fairly wet, or soaking wet? This is one way to tell how much moisture is in the tank.

In a top opening tank, with no ventilation at the bottom I would expect to see condensation on the glass of the humidity was in the 70-90% range (my only top opening tanks (for froglets) have condensation on the glass most of the time and I only mist then once a day, if not every second day).
 
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