New Owner - Humidity Help

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Meeesh
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New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby Meeesh » Sun Dec 01, 2019 6:35 pm

Hi, I am a new BTS owner and I'm super enthusiastic about the best care for him. Please critique me!

This is Kaiju, a Halmahera (I think??). About 6-8 inches, unsure of age but less than a year. Image
Image

I rescued him from a Pet store who had a very hard time selling him and was "at their wits end". They said he had multiple vet visits, and was healthy, no mites or parasites, but didn't eat for a time which made him unsellable. Since getting him 2 days ago, he's eaten a little bit every day. No poops though. I hand fed him today cat food (CORE wellness wet) and bits of mustard greens. He has all toes, no stuck shed that I can see, and no sores.

Substrate: Coco fiber and spaghum moss mix.

Image
Image

I have struggled with getting his enclosure humid enough, due to the wire top. On the hot side, the left, we have a 150 wat and a 100 wat basking lamp (one will be replaced with the UVB on Thursday). It is reading about 98 degrees, and I need to get a tile for him to sit on to bask. As you can see, humidity at 45 degrees, though I just moistened the substrate by hand and then gave a mist an hour ago. It went from 75 to 45 in an hour due to wire top.

Middle is a ceramic 100 wat for gradient and warmth, able to be kept on at night if needed.

On the cool side, it's about 75-80 and humidity 70-80, which is great. Is it okay that the basking side is at such a low % of humidity?



1) I have misted his enclosure every two hours these two days I've had him, and put glass over the screen. That boosted the humidity, however, the glass dropped the basking heat temps to low 80s so I removed it.

2) I am getting a humidifier on Wednesday, and I hope that helps keep humidity up more consistently. I have work and I can't be misting all day.

3) I've got another hide for the cool side and plants coming in Thursday, but he seems to like burrowing deep the best.

Please give me all of your best tips and tricks! Glass top was cutting heat too much, but no glass top is letting humidity escape.

https://imgur.com/gallery/StGGybW
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Yeshika
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby Yeshika » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:10 pm

I've heard covering the mesh can help hold in humidity! Tinfoil, or something similar. Just make sure there's still enough ventilation, and keep any coverings away from heat lamps and things. A humidifier is definitely your best bet, but just make sure it's regulated so it doesn't get too swamp-like in there :lol:
Meeesh
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby Meeesh » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:39 pm

Hello! Thank you. I'm looking into aluminum tape for a more permanent fix once my humidifier gets in. That is, if the humidifier itself doesn't fix the issue!

Just tented aluminum foil over it for bed and it rose the humidity to 73% while the lights are out.
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mb606587
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby mb606587 » Sun Dec 01, 2019 8:39 pm

Yep, foil tape, which can be purchased at your hardware store, can be applied to the screen top and is very effective at minimizing the ventilation. Humid hides filled with moss work well. And as you've noticed, the basking area tends to drop humidity levels more quickly than the cooler zones, which is okay. Just as your skink will thermoregulate with different temperatures zones, it will also seek out areas with higher humidity when necessary. And Kaiju is indeed Halmahera. Consider keeping the food bowl on the cool side. Any uneaten food left directly under the heat will spoil much quicker.
Meeesh
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby Meeesh » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:59 pm

Hello all!

Thank you so much for the support. I plan to become an active member here as I've really become smitten with BTS and the passion of this forum.

Today he burrowed under the warm side (temp analog said 106° at highest air temp) and stayed there all day. It does not appear that he ate, which I expect is okay. His food stayed on the middle side as suggested.

I misted several times today, too, to keep the humidity as high as possible but I cannot wait for the humidifier to come in! I'm so anxious every time I see the hot end analog read below 60% humidity.

I'm keeping a daily log of humidity, temp, and other notes to help me.

Question: when I get the humidifier in Wednesday, should I aim for the HOT SIDE to be at 80% humidity consistently? I know the cool side stays higher in humidity naturally, I just want to make sure I'm not over doing it. A lot of literature states that ambient humidity up to 90% is good for halmaheras, which would mean the cool side would be even higher if I was aiming for his basking side to be that humid all the time. I don't want him to get scale rot from too much wetness!

Thank you all for your help. I've read so much on this site!
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mb606587
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby mb606587 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:06 pm

It's okay for the humidity to fluctuate a bit. You don't need to feel as if you must keep your humidity over 80% at all times. In the wild, Halmaheras may encounter a few days of 60% humidity, followed by a couple at 95%. The issue is when it's chronically low. If you can keep the cool side humidity at a reasonable level, I wouldn't worry about if the hot side drops a bit. Chances are the humidity will peak overnight as well when the temperatures aren't as high. Scale rot is common when the enclosure is too wet, such as if you were running the fogger 24/7 and noticed the substrate was overly wet and stagnant. Running the fogger on a timer in intervals and turning over the substrate from time to time should help prevent that from occurring. Sometimes what happens if the water isn't able to drain properly through your substrate is the top layer gets soggy while the bottom will remain dry so thats something to keep an eye on.
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby mb606587 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:38 pm

A tip I've heard from several experienced keepers but have yet to use myself is to add sand to your substrate. The sand will help keep excess water from pooling at the top of your substrate and will hold moisture surprisingly well. Most use a mix of 30%-70% or 40%-60% sand to substrate ratio.
Meeesh
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby Meeesh » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:47 pm

Thank you for your help. It is so, so appreciated. I feel like a new mother lol. I'm 29 married with no kids, chronic disability, a service dog and a pet dog, and I've sort of adopted him as my newborn as far as anxiety goes!

On the hot side, my analog hydrometer (top back left of tank) states that it will dry out so 57% if unattended for a few hours. I've just been misting every couple of hours until that fogger comes in.

I did notice that he moved around and ate while I took a nap today! He even bumped around a temp gauge that was on the ground a few inches on the cold side. I'm ridiculously excited for that. No idea where he's burrowed now, but I'm not going to dig him up for another day or so to build comfort.

Also - I think this is urate? It's hard, white ball left on the cool side that was very hard to the touch And smells of urine-like sharpness. However, no dark poop was attached. Is this a normal bowel movement? It was dry, so I assume it dried over my nap. I did add calcium to his food, could this be why?

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mb606587
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Re: New Owner - Humidity Help

Postby mb606587 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:28 pm

Yeah the fogger will make your life much easier. And yes that is a perfectly normal urate. Sometimes it'll accompany their poop, sometimes not.

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