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This week we've had our first snow, thankfully before I got my frogs, and I was able to see how the weather changed my viv. I rolled out the space heater, which has successfully done its job the past few days. Something I should've considered was all that warm dry air being pushed around the room. Frequency of hand misting has gone up the past few days, so I'm adding another mist to the cycle while I look into a humidifier as we move into the colder months.

So dendroboard I ask you: what seasonal changes do you see in your vivs? How does your upkeep change?
 

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Great question.

I'm in a dry-winter-air climate too (but snow in September? Yikes!), so I run a humidifier in the reptile room during the winter, and try to maintain 50% ambient humidity (I don't measure humidity in frog vivs). It is a balancing act between maintaining adequate humidity and destroying the house with moisture in the walls; negatively pressurizing the house has helped keep the walls dry.

I use acrylic inserts on top of Exo Terra screen to maintain moisture. In summer, I cover about 50% of the screen, in winter closer to 80% of the top gets covered by using larger acrylic pieces.

Ambient temps can fall to low 60s F in the winter. The frogs eat less then, so I feed less (both frequency and quantity).

Watching the frogs helps a lot. If they eat less (i.e. more FFs left over), they are getting cool and I feed less. If they hide more, the viv is getting dry and I either cover the top a little more, or add a hand misting mid-morning, or let them hide more.
 

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My frog room is also the utility room in our basement, so the furnace and air conditioner evaporator coil are variables I have to consider.

Summer is the worst season for me because the ambient humidity is high, and the air conditioner cools the frog room too much. Even with all the basement vents closed, it's 10 degrees cooler down there. Before I covered the main HVAC stack with insulation, the frog room was getting down to 64° F in the middle of summer. Now it's only 68.

I don't need household heat or AC in the spring and fall, but I run a space heater for the frog room. I refuse to run a space heater AND central air in the summer.

Winter is my favorite. Furnace keeps the frog room warm and the air is dry enough that I don't need to worry about active ventilation for the vivs.


I should also note: I turn down my misting in the summer on account of the humidity.
 

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My frog room is also the utility room in our basement, so the furnace and air conditioner evaporator coil are variables I have to consider.

Summer is the worst season for me because the ambient humidity is high, and the air conditioner cools the frog room too much. Even with all the basement vents closed, it's 10 degrees cooler down there. Before I covered the main HVAC stack with insulation, the frog room was getting down to 64° F in the middle of summer. Now it's only 68.

I don't need household heat or AC in the spring and fall, but I run a space heater for the frog room. I refuse to run a space heater AND central air in the summer.

Winter is my favorite. Furnace keeps the frog room warm and the air is dry enough that I don't need to worry about active ventilation for the vivs.


I should also note: I turn down my misting in the summer on account of the humidity.
My experience has been similar. My frog room is in my basement and I do similar things with humidity in my frog room.

My AC actually keeps my frog room at a perfect temperature in the summer. 73F in the vivariums with the lights on. The furnace in the winter also keeps the temperatures around the same. September and October aren't great times, too warm for the great to turn on and not hot enough for the AC to come on. Leaves it a bit warmer than I prefer in the frog room.
 

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Are these changes you guys are describing enough that it flips the breeding season? I know at least one guy down in Denver that can't control his heat effectively enough so that his frogs breed in the winter instead of the summer.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great question.

I'm in a dry-winter-air climate too (but snow in September? Yikes!), so I run a humidifier in the reptile room during the winter, and try to maintain 50% ambient humidity (I don't measure humidity in frog vivs). It is a balancing act between maintaining adequate humidity and destroying the house with moisture in the walls; negatively pressurizing the house has helped keep the walls dry.

I use acrylic inserts on top of Exo Terra screen to maintain moisture. In summer, I cover about 50% of the screen, in winter closer to 80% of the top gets covered by using larger acrylic pieces.

Ambient temps can fall to low 60s F in the winter. The frogs eat less then, so I feed less (both frequency and quantity).

Watching the frogs helps a lot. If they eat less (i.e. more FFs left over), they are getting cool and I feed less. If they hide more, the viv is getting dry and I either cover the top a little more, or add a hand misting mid-morning, or let them hide more.
Silly Q but when you say negative pressure, do you mean like opening a window so that the air gets pulled outside? I'll make a point to watch their eating habits. Thank you!

Basements seem to be winning out for "frog room" location. Is that pretty par for the course you think? Working around the furnace seems to be a pretty solid idea, and something I would've never thought of but then again I dont think I've ever seen a basement irl.
 

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Getting good negative pressure in the house involves using an exhaust fan to remove air from the house, so that all other air flow is towards the inside from outside. I have a small bathroom-style fan (high end DC model, so only uses about 5w of power, and is nearly silent) that runs 24/7 in the reptile room. Most houses will maintain slight negative pressure on their own, since bath fans, range hoods, furnaces, and the stack effect of attics tend to pull air out of the house.

Where winters are below freezing, if air moves out of the house through the walls (i.e. there is positive pressure), the moisture in that air condenses inside the walls; this is very bad for the longevity of houses. Vapor barriers help some, but I've never opened a wall and saw a vapor barrier that was anything but a nice thought -- they are usually very poorly implemented.

Yes, basements can be great frog rooms, especially in climates that require AC. Here, we have summer highs into the 90s F pretty regularly (the record in my life here is about 102F), and winters are below freezing, with a good number of days below 0F (the record in my life is -35F). The basement runs about 70F summer, 60 F winter, though my reptile room has a lot of heated enclosures so it stays a little warmer in there.
 
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