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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new Exo Terra 36x24 build that’s almost ready but I can’t decide where to put my misting nozzles. I’ve got a solid piece of glass for the top, my original plan was to drill a single bulkhead in the middle about 6 inches from the front and have two nozzles on a tee going left and right. They would need to be angled towards the back to get the smaller broms there but I’m not sure this wouldn’t leave some significant gaps on the outside edges.

Has anyone tried a similar layout? Am I better off with nozzles on the sides facing inward?
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I like a nozzle about every foot, across the width. A 36" wide would take 3 or 4 nozzles. Measuring from left to right I'd put mine at say 6, 18, and 30 inches from the left edge, or possibly 3, 13, 23, and 33 inches from the left edge. Nominally, anyway - a nominally 36" viv might be 34.75 or 35.5 or whatever. Even it up, if you're anal.

If you like them paired up I guess you could do a pair at 12" and another at 24", nominally. I find all I get from pairs is more water, right around there; it's a way to "trick" the timer. Not a way to improve distribution. More like the opposite, really. But all my vivs are pretty big - my "tiny" ones are 18" cubes. With such a viv you can do a pair at 9" nominal from the left side and get decent full-width coverage. But you have a 36, so...

A paired set in the center of a 36 is going to leave a whole lotta dry spots. They just don't spray 18" distant. And the coverage isn't that heavy, regardless.

a solid piece of glass for the top
Like, with no mesh strip? Ever tried breathing by opening your mouth, and then not breathing? Yeah. Doesn't work. Put in a full-width mesh strip, probably across the back. I guess you could do the front and it would keep the front glass clearer. But that would provide way less front-to-back air exchange I think. Anyway, froggers seem to like about a 2" wide strip. (My snake vivs are either all-mesh up top, or the back half of the top is mesh.)

Am I better off with nozzles on the sides facing inward?
Functionally, I don't think you'd be worse off. You could even be better off - on the side allows you to play with the height, which could be handy for water-lovers farther from the top. But then you'd have a real dry upper zone - fine if you wanted succulents up there I guess. Or maybe you'll be putting in a drip line around the top rim (I do that and really like it. My misters aren't so much to water plants as to bump the RH a few times a day.) What plants do you want up there?

My snakes move my lid-mounted misters all the time. PITA kinda. It would be worse of they were side-mounted. I guess non-stickyfoot frogs wouldn't do that.

Hope that helps. Good luck!
 

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Lots of people have nozzles in front aiming back, I think this reduces the amount of precipitation on the doors. If you need really precise coverage you might want extra nozzles aiming in from the sides or toward the front (I do), but it doesn’t look like you have enough small, dense plants to need that.
 

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Like, with no mesh strip? Ever tried breathing by opening your mouth, and then not breathing? Yeah. Doesn't work. Put in a full-width mesh strip, probably across the back. I guess you could do the front and it would keep the front glass clearer. But that would provide way less front-to-back air exchange I think.
Just tried it. Almost died. 0/10 would not recommend.

My vivs get a bare minimum of 2" top vent (up to 50% of the top, when the ambient humidity is decent), always at the back when possible. If the front glass fogs up*, the viv doesn't need a front vent, it just needs more vent, IMO.

*In a viv without supplemental heat, anyway; condensation when the viv is right around room temp is a physics-driven high humidity warning alarm that doesn't need batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Like, with no mesh strip? Ever tried breathing by opening your mouth, and then not breathing? Yeah. Doesn't work. Put in a full-width mesh strip, probably across the back. I guess you could do the front and it would keep the front glass clearer. But that would provide way less front-to-back air exchange I think. Anyway, froggers seem to like about a 2" wide strip. (My snake vivs are either all-mesh up top, or the back half of the top is mesh.)
I’m undecided on that still, about half of my other vivs are built with 2” of screen but I’ve got a few Exo Terra cages going without any vents and they’re doing well. Where I live a combination of low winter temperatures and high altitude results extremely low humidity so it’s not unusual for me to cover the vents when it gets dry anyway. I made a template so I can cut vents with a rotary tool later if I change my mind.

Functionally, I don't think you'd be worse off. You could even be better off - on the side allows you to play with the height, which could be handy for water-lovers farther from the top. But then you'd have a real dry upper zone - fine if you wanted succulents up there I guess. Or maybe you'll be putting in a drip line around the top rim (I do that and really like it. My misters aren't so much to water plants as to bump the RH a few times a day.) What plants do you want up there?
It’s hard to see in that pic but there’s a bunch of small neoregilias placed in the cork on the back, they came off the fireball-ish one on the left side and another like it without the variegated leaves. The intent is to get pretty good coverage on the back wall with those over time. I will probably be keeping r. Imitator chazuta in here so it would give them a wide selection of tadpole rearing sites.

My snakes move my lid-mounted misters all the time. PITA kinda. It would be worse of they were side-mounted. I guess non-stickyfoot frogs wouldn't do that.
I have a tortoise that does this too, drives me crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My vivs get a bare minimum of 2" top vent (up to 50% of the top, when the ambient humidity is decent), always at the back when possible. If the front glass fogs up*, the viv doesn't need a front vent, it just needs more vent, IMO.
It’s hard to find anything other than rh numbers but to give some perspective, it’s so dry here I need to run a humidifier in-line with my furnace to keep the wood floors from cracking. Condensation is not usually a problem.
 

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Yep, I run humidifiers in the winter (and a dehumidifier in the summer). :)
 

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FWIW, I like in a stinkin dry place too - but it's a year-round dry. I have excessive (to a frogger) passive ventilation in each viv in my dedicated basement herp room. I just pass so much water through my system via misters, driplines, hand-spraying, plant tanspiration, and evaporating standing water in my false bottoms that I make it work. Snakes do REALLY poorly with inappropriate ventilation, and poor keeping manifests in respiratory disease, and to a lesser extent skin and eye conditions. They can't deal with "closed up tight", but fans are even worse for them. Whereas I find that loads of passive ventilation, and strong thermal and moisture gradients, provide excellent health for my charges.
 

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I have a 36" exo I just did. A dual nozzle mistking, place 5" in from center, with the heads pointed at about 45 degrees gives me total coverage. My broms are consistently filled and my entire tank is wet after 30 seconds.
 

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I have a 36" exo I just did. A dual nozzle mistking, place 5" in from center, with the heads pointed at about 45 degrees gives me total coverage. My broms are consistently filled and my entire tank is wet after 30 seconds.
Well, YMMV, based on a variety of things. A half-minute is a long run, sure. But, there's design aspects - how many branches and where they are, for example. There's also issues like grow-in. A new viv is usually pretty sparse. Give it a year and hey buddy. Things will be different. Depending on your plant choices, possibly VERY different. Spray patterns can get blocked by plant growth, over time. (I've actually come to appreciate this - a vine crossing in front of a nozzle may let some spray past, but also create a drier spot behind it. It will also create a wet spot in the substrate plumb below it. This is where I can now grow terrestrial Selaginella specimens, which previously I could not - formerly, I was restricted to the wettest spots on my backgrounds.)

More heads in more places gives you more coverage. It's a mathematical fact. But, with specific design and careful plant selection & maintenance, I can see how a single nozzle pair at the center would work in a 36" wide. I've just found - and communicated - what I have learned works best for me. Over many builds, probably summing to something like 150 "viv years" of operation (e.g., 6 vivs for 25 yrs, 15 vivs for 10 yrs or 150 vivs for 1 yr). It's really not that big a chore to come back later and add another mister or two to an established build (especially if you just want to swap a double for an old single). But it's also not a big chore - or cost - to just put in a systematic layout and not have to come back and retrofit later. I've done it both ways, and now prefer the latter. Mostly so I don't have to sit there with the cage open while I'm dicking around hole-sawing and everything that follows, and then messing with hose layouts and fittings and all that. MistKing sells those little plug things, if I want to retire or remove a nozzle here and there.

Anyway - good luck OP. We hope all this helps.
 

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I have a 36" exo I just did. A dual nozzle mistking, place 5" in from center, with the heads pointed at about 45 degrees gives me total coverage. My broms are consistently filled and my entire tank is wet after 30 seconds.
I think "total coverage" for you may be very different than my idea of total coverage. I have 3 dual nozzles in my 36" Exo Terra and I wouldn't say I get total coverage, I have a few dry spots and I've have to plant those accordingly. But when the average size of my plants is around 3", a 3" missed spot can mean a dead plant.

The important idea here is that unless you want to grow lots of miniature plants, a dual nozzle will probably be fine for your purposes. If you do want to grow miniature plants, specifically a lot of them, you will need more nozzles for more precise coverage, and you'll need to run those nozzles for less time per "burst" to achieve the same wetness (6 nozzles for 10 seconds will give you the same amount of water as two nozzles for 30 seconds). Right now the OP's tank looks like it has a few large plants, so fewer nozzles is probably fine.
 

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I think "total coverage" for you may be very different than my idea of total coverage. I have 3 dual nozzles in my 36" Exo Terra and I wouldn't say I get total coverage, I have a few dry spots and I've have to plant those accordingly. But when the average size of my plants is around 3", a 3" missed spot can mean a dead plant.

The important idea here is that unless you want to grow lots of miniature plants, a dual nozzle will probably be fine for your purposes. If you do want to grow miniature plants, specifically a lot of them, you will need more nozzles for more precise coverage, and you'll need to run those nozzles for less time per "burst" to achieve the same wetness (6 nozzles for 10 seconds will give you the same amount of water as two nozzles for 30 seconds). Right now the OP's tank looks like it has a few large plants, so fewer nozzles is probably fine.
My only dry spots are in the top right corner (6" spot) where I have no plants and the top left, where I have an orchid that I don't want staying consistently wet. Everything on the ground level is wet. There isn't a spot down there that doesn't get watered.
 

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My only dry spots are in the top right corner (6" spot) where I have no plants and the top left, where I have an orchid that I don't want staying consistently wet. Everything on the ground level is wet. There isn't a spot down there that doesn't get watered.
Then we do have very different ideas of total coverage - everything on the ground level getting wet evenly is a very different prospect than all sides of a branch 18" up getting evenly watered.
 

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Then we do have very different ideas of total coverage - everything on the ground level getting wet evenly is a very different prospect than all sides of a branch 18" up getting evenly watered.
All my branches are wet too. Including the ones that are 30" high. Like I said, the only parts of the tank that aren't consistently damp is the upper two rear corners, where the ventilation is. My mister goes off for 1 minute in the morning, 30 second 4 other times during the day and another 1 minute misting in the evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies. This is on hold for a bit as I‘ve discovered the latch on this cage is more broken than I thought and I’ll need some replacement pieces. I’ll report back when I get the misters installed.

I think I’ll start with middle out and go from there.
 

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What a strong thread.

Mountain Gorilla Thumbs Up. (should be an emoticon)
 
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