terrarium humidity

From: Christensen (chrst@srv.net)
Date: Thu Apr 08 1999 - 14:49:40 PDT

Date: Thu, 8 Apr 1999 15:49:40 -0600
From: "Christensen" <chrst@srv.net>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1263$foo@default>
Subject: terrarium humidity

I have a 30 gallon terrarium. The humidity wasn't
good, so I tried a few things, but each try had the
result of a big puddle on the bootom of the
terrarium. My most recent attempt was tapeing paper
towels (two) on the inside walls. The bottom of the
towel is in the puddle on the bottom of the terrarium.

This way, I am not fighting against the puddle. If
the paper towels stop working, then I can throw them
away and tape new paper towels on the walls.

Covering the terrarium helped me, a lot. If you want
circulating air, inside the terrarium, then use a
small fan. But it may slightly reduce the humidity.
That happened to me because my cover had a few small

Using two paper towels, for me, the humidity is about 65%. At night,
when the lights turn off and the terrarium is cooler, the humidity rises
to about 80%. Maybe, if I add a third paper towel the humidity will be

The contraptions I tried:

1. glass jar, full of water, with a fish heater in the water. It only
helped heat the terrarium. The surface area of water exposed to air was
too small to significantly increase the humidity.

2. large plastic container full of water, with paper
towels draped over the sides. Half of the paper towel
was in the container and in the water, while the other
side was on the outside of the container. This method
significantly increased the humidity. However, the
plastic container used a lot of space. If the container
was filled too much, then the water would flow through
the paper towel and out of the container until the
water level of the container and the terrarium were
equal- capilary flow.

3. variation of the plastic container and paper towels
that eliminated the capilary flow problem but still
caused (after many days) a big puddle on the bottom of
the terrarium. The puddle was caused by repeated
evaporation from the plastic container and condensation
on the interior glass. Eventually, the container must
be refilled to maintain high humidity.

4. paper towels taped to the inside of the terrarium.
Refilling with water is less frequent. Eventually some
water is lost because of taking off the cover.
Maintenance is not expensive and is simple. The puddle
caused by condensation isn't a problem anymore.
Now, the puddle is neccessary.


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