Why Does My Terrarium Fog Up? (Vivarium Owners Read This Too)
Are you a terrarium or vivarium owner and confused why you are getting misty fog building up in your tank? This is a common issue and usually easily resolved.
Why Does my Terrarium Fog Up? Terrariums fogging is caused by high humidity levels in your tank, typically caused by lack of ventilation. This is usually easily resolved by increasing ventilation or reducing the humidity inside or outside of the tank.
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Now you understand at a high level, lets dig deeper. Especially if you are here as a lizard owner. Because vivarium’s have some extra nuances that you need to be aware of, such as substrate such as bark that can be holding moisture that causes fog or misty glass.
What is a Terrarium?
A Terrarium is a sealed container use for plant life. It is a glass container which usually has soil and plants. It is an attractive centrepiece in many homes.
What is this Vivarium?
A Vivarium is a glass container which still contains plant life, in some cases, however it has reptiles or other animals living inside of it.
If you read about reptile’s or lizards, etc online you will notice that many people use the word vivarium and terrarium interchangeably. However, in reality a Vivarium is only applicable to lizards and a Terrarium is only applicable to plant life.
What causes Terrarium to Fog Up?
Typically, high humidity is the biggest cause for this fogging (more on humidity later in this article). At a high-level humidity is caused by, or shall I say can be caused by, a cooler temperature on the outside of the container in comparison to the temperature inside.
However later on in this article I will explain in more detail about what humidity is and how it caused. Also, how to get rid of.
How can you stop your Terrarium from Fogging?
One option to getting rid of this fogging is to actually purchase anti-fogging products. These products are similar to what you may be used to seeing on scuba-diving professionals.
In particular when a scuba diver goes for a dive you will notice that the mask can get misted up and will cause issues with them swimming.
To get around this problem scuba divers use special products that will stop this missing happening. This is a similar procedure for your terrarium.
Another option is to use a really mild soap to rub on the inner layer of the terrarium. This can get get rid of the misting.
As discussed earlier, you can also increase the temperature in the room where your terrarium is situated. This will reduce the chances of your container getting misty.
Another option, instead of increasing the temperature in that particular room, is to position a lamp on the outer side of the tank to beam heat onto that specific cooler side, which in turn will reduce the chances of the mist or condensation building up inside the tank.
What Causes Condensation Inside a Vivarium?
When you use items such as tree bark in your vivarium it can hold moisture and cause humidity. The problem is it is not very obvious that this is happening. So, one of the first things to do is to check items such as tree bark and replace these items if necessary.
Essentially the condensation is being caused by the humidity in your tank being at a high percentage. If you have a temperature gauge inside your tank you may find that it is not giving you an accurate reading which may be misguiding your judgement.
What can happen if of Vivarium or Terrarium becomes too damp?
If your terrarium or vivarium becomes too damp you may notice that fungus may start to grow inside of your tank. Also, you may also notice bacteria growing in the same area.
Therefore, it is critical that you avoid this because this is bad for the health of your lizard.
How do you get rid of the vivarium fog?
There are a number of ways that you can get rid of vivarium fog. In this section I will explain a few options that you can try that should help you.
Adding ventilation holes can increase and improve that airflow in your tank. After inspecting your tank you may notice that you may not have enough ventilation coming into your tank.
This could be the reason why this is happening. So, if you increase ventilation by adding ventilation holes this can get rid of the problem.
Using a dehumidifier unit can help to reduce humidity in the air. There are a large range of dehumidifiers available that can help you to get rid of this problem.
What is humidity?
Humidity is effectively water vapour in the atmosphere or in particular your room. What you need to understand is there is water all around us all the time, but it is not always visible. This water in the air that is invisible to us is called water vapour.
What is the humidity percentage?
Humidity percentage is a measure of water vapour in the air. 100% means a complete saturation of water in the air. If you were to listen to a weather report, if the humidity was one hundred percent it would indicate that rain is surely on the way.
On the opposite side of the scale 0% would indicate literally no water vapour and would be a real problem.
A measuring device for humidity is one thing, but the dehumidifier will help to reduce the humidity as discussed earlier. Each vivarium has a recommended humidity level. This recommended humidity level largely depends on the lizards that are housed in the vivarium.
How does the humidity effect your lizard?
Each lizard species has its own preference when it comes to the levels of humidity in the air. Effectively each lizard has their own humidity requirements. That is why it is critical to understand the species that you plan to own and where it originated from to understand what humidity levels it expects.
In addition to understanding the humidity requirements of your lizard, you will need to have a method of measuring the humidity to insure do you have a sufficient method to measure the humidity and keep your lizard happy at all times.
For example, if we take the bearded dragon lizard as an example, this originates from desert areas and because of this it is naturally adapted to low levels of humidity. Therefore, a typical humidity requirement for a bearded dragon is between 35 and 40%. To ensure that your lizard, or shall we say bearded dragon in this case, is happy you need to make sure your humidity measurement tool keeps the temperature/humidity within this range.
Does the Terrarium have to be covered? No, terrariums do not have to be covered because there are different types you can have. You can have closed variations as well as open ones. Therefore, it depends on the type of terrarium you want to keep.
Does a vivarium have to be covered? Yes, in general other vivariums needs to be covered. The reason for this is quite simply because you do not want your lizard to escape from the enclosure and be at risk of being stepped on or hurt running around your house.
Obviously, there are occasion when you need to open the cage, for example, if you need to clean it out or rearrange things.
What kind of substrate can I have in a veterinarian? Substrate is effectively bedding for your Lizard. There are a large number of options when it comes to substrate. An example of this is as follows: Moss, Sand, fibre brick and Aspen bedding.