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Old 12-01-17, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BRB Ventilation

Hello!

What cues should a person use to determine if they have have too little ventilation? I am thinking excess condensation build up and/or mold are good ones but are their any other things to watch out for?

Thanks!
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Old 12-02-17, 10:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: BRB Ventilation

Condensation is mostly determined by temperature. If the inside of the tub is warmer than the outside, condensation forms (may be the other way, but same basic idea).

As far as ventilation, if it smells stuffy and looks moldy you may want to increase ventilation. If too much humidity is escaping, you reduce ventilation.
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Old 12-02-17, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: BRB Ventilation

Relative humidity should be measured at the temperature the animal should be kept at. This is usually the minimum temperature of the range for most tropical species since temperature is fairly stable in the tropics.

It is called relative, because the amount of water vapor the air can hold without it starting to rain (100% relative humidity) changes with temperature. Hot air can hold more vapor (that's the easy way to describe it, but it's far more complex than that).

When you have a relative humidity of 80% at 81F in a glass tank, and the room in which it is located is 72-73F, then dew will form on the inside of the enclosure because at those temperatures the relative humidity is 100%. The amount of water vapor in the air didn't change though, for both those readings it was 21.7 gram/m3 (21.7 would be the absolute humidity, not relative).

Now dew in itself is not an issue, basically it 'rains' on the sides of the enclosure. However bacteria/fungi do well in a wet place. So if you know that the temperature and relative humidity INSIDE the terrarium are correct for your reptile, but you're having issues with dew and things rotting due to being constantly wet, then you need to increase the temperature OUTSIDE of the terrarium to get rid of the dew. Besides your humidity level will drop when it forms dew due to temperature outside of the terrarium which only leads to excessive spraying and people blocking off the ventilation - which is not a fix for the actual issue.

Ventilation is always important, for any species, dead air is very unhealthy, certainly in combination is excessive moist.

Hope this helps
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Old 12-02-17, 09:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: BRB Ventilation

Thanks for the replies, guys! I appreciate it, that all makes sense!
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Old 12-04-17, 03:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: BRB Ventilation

Thanks for that TRD! I always wondered why I wasn't getting condensation like most other keepers. My room is usually 75-82 degrees throughout the year (except for winter night drops when it dips into 60 for a few hours). His cage is kept at 99% humidity according to hygrometers I've used, but I get no condensation at all unless I just sprayed. I don't worry about it and only need to spray 1-2x a week, even with days of less than 10% humidity in my town.

I do have another question stemming from the OP though. I notice my boy spends a lot of time hanging out by his air holes. I figure he just likes investigating the scents there, but I wonder if it could be a sign that he's trying to get fresh air? I don't even know if that's really a thing though. Thoughts?
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Old 12-04-17, 06:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: BRB Ventilation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefitte View Post
Thanks for that TRD! I always wondered why I wasn't getting condensation like most other keepers. My room is usually 75-82 degrees throughout the year (except for winter night drops when it dips into 60 for a few hours). His cage is kept at 99% humidity according to hygrometers I've used, but I get no condensation at all unless I just sprayed. I don't worry about it and only need to spray 1-2x a week, even with days of less than 10% humidity in my town.

I do have another question stemming from the OP though. I notice my boy spends a lot of time hanging out by his air holes. I figure he just likes investigating the scents there, but I wonder if it could be a sign that he's trying to get fresh air? I don't even know if that's really a thing though. Thoughts?
Good question. I haven't notice mine do that but it was the reason for my original question. In other words... should ventilation be maximized provided the humidity is kept within range?

The digital hygrometers are not the best indication of humidity as they eventually fail from being kept in such a humid environment, but I wonder if it would be better to have the hygrometer read, for example 80-90% rather than 99% to indicate some air flow (mine reads 99% as well and I also have little to no dew build up).
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Old 12-04-17, 04:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: BRB Ventilation

First, any affordable hygrometer is more or less accurate between the 20-80% range.

Second, all hygrometers should be calibrated, one could use the method with salty water for that.

Third, hygrometers stickied to glass will show a higher reading than actual because the glass is likely colder than the ambient temperature, hence due to what I already explained will show a higher relative humidity.

Forth, there are no species of snake that really require 90-100% humidity besides aquatic ones. 80% is more or less enough for even the most moist loving animals as the tropics also vary in humidity throughout the day and year.

And yes, ventilation should be as high as can be achieved. If you can't maintain humidity even without ventilation then you should really reconsider your setup (of vivarium or room) or keeping the species at all. ie- a high ventilation species like various chameleons can be very hard to maintain during a winter in a temperate climate without humidifiers in the room.
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