How to keep your reptile set-up humid
Your rainforest reptiles thrive when conditions are warm and moist. The rainforest is the environment that they have evolved in, and we need to recreate as much of their natural environment as possible. And that means keeping terrarium humidity levels high.
Crested geckos, anoles, chameleons and a variety of frogs need a wet environment to live happily. Reptiles that shed especially need plenty of fresh, uncontaminated water in their atmosphere for a successful peel. Here's are the best ways to keep things damp and dirty for your rainforest reptiles.
Keeping things Water-Tight
While most good-quality terrariums are relatively water-tight at the bottom and the sides, you should think about using a sealant to avoid water loss through the unnecessary gaps in your set-up. Be careful not to block up the top or bottom ventilation, but a little reptile-friendly sealant can help protect your humidity levels as well as your surrounding home furnishings from getting a good soaking!
How Much Humidity?
Knowing what your humidity levels should be is essential to allowing your reptile's to thrive. Research this beforehand while you are creating your set-up and take a look at purchasing a humidity gauge. There are some amazing models on the market but cost-effective solutions are available too for just a few pounds.
Humidity systems such as rain or mist-makers are almost undoubtedly the easiest way to keep the humidity levels in your terrarium at their optimum levels. They can usually be hooked up to a timer so that you can automatically adjust the humidity at various times in the day, simulating the rainforest's natural and regular rainfall.
Most are reliable, however if you are going to be leaving your terrarium unattended for any real length of time, you are best of investing in a really good quality system so you can rest easy when out and about. Keep them topped up and the timer system will do the rest.
Alternatively you can invest in manual sprays to adjust humidity yourself. These are by far the cheapest way of maintaining your humidity levels, and really you should have one of these handy anyway, even if you are using a rain-system in case of misting-system breakdown or if you just need to top things up a little. Spray directly onto the leaves and foliage in your terrarium to simulate the dew left by a tropical storm.
Once again, these are pretty cost effective, and a shallow but wide water bowl (preferably one that has a natural rock or wood look) is a great way to get fresh drinking water into your terrarium. Keeping it topped up with clean water not only gives your reptiles somewhere to drink their fill, but having more water in your set-up counteracts the loss of humidity caused by simple evaporation. You can include a few of these dotted around the terrarium if you wish, just remember to keep it shallow but accessible - you wouldn't want any accidents with reptiles getting out of their depth.
Keep things moving
A step up from a still water source is a moving one! Like most animals, reptiles prefer to drink from moving water as it is less likely to become stagnant. The gentle splash helps with humidity, releasing water into the terrarium atmosphere, and waterfalls in particular can be a fantastic audio and visual feature for your terrarium. Some of the newer models like the Zoo Med Repti-Rapids LED Rock Waterfall feature a light-system that produces a stunning shimmering effect at night in a way that won't upset your reptile's sleeping pattern, turning your striking reptile house into a beautiful night-light!
Good reptile care comes down to researching your specific reptiles' needs and doing your best to satisfy them, and that includes humidity for rainforest reptiles, but getting a quality humidifier and applying great water-features benefits the look of your set-up too!