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 Post subject: misting system questions
PostPosted: February 8th, 2018, 12:21 pm 

Joined: June 17th, 2010, 4:51 am
Posts: 354
Location: CT
Does anyone here have experience with misting systems? I want to use it for Uroplatus and I have a few questions:

What is your preferred brand? From a little bit of searching it seems like MistKing gets the most attention

Can I use regular tap water through it? My water is kind of hard. I know everyone RECOMMENDS RO or distilled, but would I be able to just soak the nozzles in vinegar periodically? Or even run vinegar straight through the system?

If no to the above question, does anyone know the real answer if distilled is bad as drinking water for reptiles? I have seen both arguments but no actual evidence for either.

The plan is the misting will be the gecko's sole source of drinking water. Will the mist from MistKing be to fine? or will there be enough droplets formed on surfaces for them to drink from? Right now I spray the enclosures at least every other night (that will go to every night once its warmer) and watch them drink.

Thanks for any input.


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 Post subject: Re: misting system questions
PostPosted: February 8th, 2018, 6:26 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2011, 12:03 pm
Posts: 4037
Location: San Francisco, California
Many people start off using RO but abandon it. Some things are satisfying to clean and some things are just easier to replace. For me nozzles and sprayer heads fit into the replace category. TDS levels contacted by most animals in the wild vary; in my way of seeing things any absolute uniformity with something as important as water can be easily avoided. Be it having absolutely no dissolved salts and minerals or being too hard. I use distilled for my frogs misting but their water pool leans slightly hard.

When switching to an automated system its a good idea to maintain a conscious intimacy with that window of check that you have fostered when misting by hand. Keep it up a while. Adjustments will be forthcoming.


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 Post subject: Re: misting system questions
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 11:19 am 

Joined: June 17th, 2010, 4:51 am
Posts: 354
Location: CT
Thanks Kelly for your always present good advice. I will definitely stay on top of them. I will be getting some hatchling henkeli in the near future, and don't want to have to worry about them if I go away for a few days. (Also hoping to hatch my own sikorae this year). One of the perks of keeping reptiles is the ability to leave them alone when needed. But tiny little geckos that likely wont drink from a bowl makes it a little more tricky. And like you said, adjustments will be needed so I am going to set up full time so I know its running properly instead of setting it up only when absolutely needed a couple of times per year.

For the record, I have asked around elsewhere too and everyone agrees that misting heads just cant effectively be cleaned.


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 Post subject: Re: misting system questions
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 3:25 pm 
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Joined: March 9th, 2017, 4:22 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Southern California
I favor the units sold by ProProducts.

http://pro-products.com/


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 Post subject: Re: misting system questions
PostPosted: February 20th, 2018, 1:47 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1678
I've played with automated watering for a while now.
- When I began, I built my own (first efforts looked like something out in the yard, and evolved into kinda like what you see at the produce section of your grocery store).
- Eventually I quit that, and have accumulated several MistKings; never have yet retired a pump from there.
- I have no experience with other commercially-available stuff. I have no plans to get any experience with other brands. I've found what I like - rugged, dependable, totally configurable, with the best customer service you could hope for. I'm a true believer in "do you need fast, good, or cheap? - you can't get all 3 at once so pick the 2 you need most". MistKings are fast (no tinkering, just plug & play) and they are good. They aren't cheap. But hey, cheap is usually junk.

You could blend tap and RO if you're that worried about it. I also figure straight RO might be a little too low-mineral for animal life. I just run straight tap water and watch my nozzles. I don't screw around with cleaning misters either. Not any more - it either just doesn't work, or it seems to but doesn't last long at all. My experience anyway; maybe I was doing it wrong.

The mist from a MistKing s quite fine but water sticks together. Droplets on surfaces "grow" with more mist input, until they drip or they run. With some care in design, your background and decor could include places that collect a little run-off water, then pour off & "self-clean" to some extent. (My early experiments with drip irrigation stuff yielded systems that sprayed a little and dripped a little; personally I liked that drop size better for snakes and lizards. Those systems moved a lot more water than a MistKing though - drainage was imperative! See more below.)

You're gonna need to play around with spray duration and frequency until you get them dialed in. You'll probably see some seasonal differences (just as you note with your hand-misting) and will need to tweak your settings. Buy one of MistKing's seconds timers. Very easy to figure out and use. You'll love it.

I'm also gonna put in a plug for drains. (See the pun? ha ha ha). Seriously, water in, water out. Out how? Solely evaporation? Not bloody likely. Manual removal? Blech!!!!!! Stick in a drain, let gravity work for you. My background is venomous snakes, a key to staying healthy is to keep your hands outta the cages, so I am biased HARD to no manual removal. Still though, who isn't a little lazy, who doesn't go out of town once in a while? Drains. One flood, or zero floods, will make you a believer. Why not just skip the flood?

The frog guys (I am not one; I do squamates) are all over this topic. I think you're basically looking at a dart-frog viv, upsized and with more ventilation. Check out Dendroboard and maybe some other resources. Holler if I can do anything else.

cheers
Jimi


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