UTH Sapping humidity from air

This is where you discuss the conditions of your crabitat -- temperature, humidity, substrate, decorating, etc.
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Arcasta
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UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Arcasta » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:40 pm

Hi all,

Firstly I want to thank you for your assistance back in April when I asked about my listless hermies. As suggested, I got them a significantly larger tank and they love it! They're out and about much more now.

However, now that fall is here, I'm having trouble heating the tank. I purchased an under tank heater, which I adhered to the side above the sand substrate. It created the ideal temperature, but it also caused all the humidity to condense, resulting in dry air and an overly wet substrate. Up to this point, the humidity level had been ideal. I unplugged the heater for a few days, and the humidity/substrate corrected itself. I was wondering if anyone else has this problem and what they're doing to fix it? Right now, I think a timer for the heater may be my best bet so that it's on half the time/off half the time, but I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks!
Alison

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DaJimmer
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by DaJimmer » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:55 pm

First calibrate your hygrometer be sure its not the culprit.
Seal the top with cling wrap or press n seal?
Add moss pits?
Add bubblers to water pools?
Your substrate is sand castle damp right? Damp enough to hold shape not wet enough to glop appart?
-Jimmer


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Arcasta
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Arcasta » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:21 pm

Thanks for your response, Jimmy! I have cling wrap and moss in the tank, and until I added the heater, the sand was a nice sand castle consistency. After I added the heater, the humidity in the air condensed and dripped down like rain, making the sand gloppy and wet but the air dry. When I turned the heater off, the water evaporated back into the air in the tank and the sand was again sand-castle consistency.

I know a heater should be placed above sand level to prevent drying out the substrate, but since I seem to have the reverse problem, maybe I should give that a shot?

Thanks!

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DaJimmer
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by DaJimmer » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:39 pm

Calibrate your hygro yet? Theres no possibilty for "dry air" if your tank is fogged up??? !!

Well something here is fogged up anyway.

Im NOT extremely experienced but i have never heard of this problem yet. This is exactly what a uth is good for... NOT killing humidity. Something is not right??? Calibrate your instruments. Orrrr this is a misdiagnosis . Could there be a leak in a water dish or you are over spraying??? Calibrate.
-Jimmer

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GotButterflies
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:34 pm

My heater doesn't have to run all of the time...but...I live in Florida. Something doesn't seem quite right. Could you fill out the following template so that we can help you further? Thanks :)
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=46102
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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Happyhermiehome
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Happyhermiehome » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:20 am

Are u misting a lot? When I had humidity issues I was misting several times a day and the result was over wet sand. That combined with a slightly drippy water dish resulted in a bacterial bloom. Watch for darker patches of sand and a funky smell and try to let that sand dry up a bit. U could mix in some dry EE to help soak up the extra moisture. This may also help your humidity and I highly recommend bubbler pools. They solved my humidity probs. I use over head dome lights for heat and still maintain 80-90% RH with the bubblers on.
Livin' the Crazy crab life :P

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mjjluver
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by mjjluver » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:01 am

I agree with dajimmer. Check/calibrate your hygrometer. I bet your humidity is fine if its dripping. It sounds like the glass is getting condensation because the room temperature is colder outside the tank - so like how a cold can of soda gets condensation once you take it out of the fridge. If this happens the humidity inside the tank is probably pretty good


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Arcasta
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Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:39 pm

Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Arcasta » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:17 pm

Thanks for all your feedback! As requested, I've filled out the question template.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

Children's play sand purchased from Home Depot. Boiled and baked to sterilize, and 6" deep.


2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?

Humidity gauge and temperature strip. The humidity gauge is located at the top of the tank, about an inch below the lid. It's pretty steady at 80%. The temperature is at a steady 75 degrees.


3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

Zoo Med ReptiTherm UTH, Large. It's attached to the back wall of the tank, above the substrate


4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?

There is a bowl of fresh water and a bowl of salt water. I use API Betta Water Conditioner to purify the water in the amount indicated on the bottle. I use don't know the salt I use because I decanted it into a Tupperware, but I'm pretty sure it's aquarium salt. I use about a 1/4 tsp to 1/3 cup, but I don't use measuring tools so it's approximate.


5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

I usually give them table scraps, so small pieces of fish, chicken, or beans. Sometimes peanut butter or honey. I also supplement this with store bought food. I replace it every other day.


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

I got them in July of 2015, so 20 months now. There are 4.


7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?

I believe they've all molted at this point.


8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?

They live in a 20 gallon tank (30 x 12.5 x 13) with a mesh lid that's covered in plastic.


9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

There are 4 crabs and 3 are about 1.25" diameter and one is about 2" in diameter.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?

There are about 5 shells in at any given time. I try to switch them up monthly.


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?

No


12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

I spot clean weekly and maybe once a month I'll till the sand and rinse their hideaway and climbing toys. I've never deep cleaned.


13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

The heater


15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?

As suggested, I'll definitely get a new hygrometer, but I'm baffled at how the substrate became overly wet only after the heater was installed. And I did not add any additional water or mist before this happened. Regardless of the hygrometer reading, I could tell the air was dry because sand they had tracked up onto the chola wood was completely dry. I know warm air holds more humidity, so this is really weird.

I bought the heater when I moved in with my boyfriend because his landlord keeps his heat really low. I'd say maybe despite the heater, the interior of the tank is colder in the new apartment, which would cause the moisture in the air to condense and "rain" down on the substrate, but after I unplugged he heater, the substrate and humidity returned to their previous (and correct) conditions.

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GotButterflies
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by GotButterflies » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:11 am

I answered GB for GotButterflies :butterfly::
Arcasta wrote:Thanks for all your feedback! As requested, I've filled out the question template.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

Children's play sand purchased from Home Depot. Boiled and baked to sterilize, and 6" deep.

GB: Is this mixed to sandcastle consistency with dechlorinated fw or dechlorinated msw to make it sandcastle consistency? Also, You could add ee which would also be moistened to sandcastle consistency.

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?

Humidity gauge and temperature strip. The humidity gauge is located at the top of the tank, about an inch below the lid. It's pretty steady at 80%. The temperature is at a steady 75 degrees.

GB: Humidity can be a minimum of 80 - so it can go higher. Temp should be a minimum of 80. I let my temp range from 79 (Low @ night to 85 High during day).

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

Zoo Med ReptiTherm UTH, Large. It's attached to the back wall of the tank, above the substrate

GB: You could try insulating around this to get your heat up. Some use aluminum foil (shiny side facing crabitat) followed by styrofoam/foam board/cardboard. I personally love Reflectix. It looks like car shade. You can purchase an extremely large roll for $15 at Lowe's or Home Depot. You would hang all of the above with packaging tape, duct tape, or Reflectix tape. Being that you have a Zoo Med UTH, you would insulate AROUND the UTH, not over the top of it. That would be a fire hazard.

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?

There is a bowl of fresh water and a bowl of salt water. I use API Betta Water Conditioner to purify the water in the amount indicated on the bottle. I use don't know the salt I use because I decanted it into a Tupperware, but I'm pretty sure it's aquarium salt. I use about a 1/4 tsp to 1/3 cup, but I don't use measuring tools so it's approximate.

GB: Aquarium Salt is for keeping fresh water fish healthy. It is incorrect. You need marine salt - a product used to make saltwater fish tanks. A lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean. It has the essential elements and minerals that your crabs need. Please fix this asap.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

I usually give them table scraps, so small pieces of fish, chicken, or beans. Sometimes peanut butter or honey. I also supplement this with store bought food. I replace it every other day.

GB: Hermit crabs cannot have certain seasoning - so please do the table scrap thing with caution :) They also are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers so make sure honey is raw & organic, as well as foods when possible.
Safe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556
Food pyramid: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

I got them in July of 2015, so 20 months now. There are 4.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?

I believe they've all molted at this point.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?

They live in a 20 gallon tank (30 x 12.5 x 13) with a mesh lid that's covered in plastic.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

There are 4 crabs and 3 are about 1.25" diameter and one is about 2" in diameter.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?

There are about 5 shells in at any given time. I try to switch them up monthly.

GB: The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?

No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

I spot clean weekly and maybe once a month I'll till the sand and rinse their hideaway and climbing toys. I've never deep cleaned.

GB: Really not necessary to do all of that! Just clean out poo, food and water bowls :)

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

The heater


15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?

As suggested, I'll definitely get a new hygrometer, but I'm baffled at how the substrate became overly wet only after the heater was installed. And I did not add any additional water or mist before this happened. Regardless of the hygrometer reading, I could tell the air was dry because sand they had tracked up onto the chola wood was completely dry. I know warm air holds more humidity, so this is really weird.

GB: I agree with calibrating the hygrometer. Condensation would occur bc of temperature difference with tank and your room. I use a great hygrometer/thermometer combo. Highly recommend - here is the link for Amazon - You can also get it at Walmart, in the air filter section :) Good luck! https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-Thermo ... eter&psc=1

I bought the heater when I moved in with my boyfriend because his landlord keeps his heat really low. I'd say maybe despite the heater, the interior of the tank is colder in the new apartment, which would cause the moisture in the air to condense and "rain" down on the substrate, but after I unplugged he heater, the substrate and humidity returned to their previous (and correct) conditions.
Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com


Topic author
Arcasta
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:39 pm

Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Arcasta » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:46 pm

Thank you for all your help! I bought some Reflectix and a new hydrometer. Now it seem my problem is sopping wet substrate. I have no idea how this happened- I didn't mist after the move, but somehow the substrate got super wet. Anyway, I've taken the hermits out for fear that if they try to dig down the sand will collapse and they'll suffocate. I have the life open and the UTH on to dry out the substrate, but not much progress has been made in 12 hours. Any suggestions?? (Ambient room humidity is 50% and tank temp is 75-80). I want to get them out of their awful wire cage ASAP!

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GotButterflies
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by GotButterflies » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:26 pm

To dry the substrate you could bake it or add ee to it.


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Truly blessed to have incredible creatures, wonderful friends and my amazing family in my life!! I'm very thankful & grateful for all of them! www.thehealthyhermit.com

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Happyhermiehome
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Happyhermiehome » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:00 pm

I read before about someone dumping out their sub on a clean trash bags and spread it out to dry outside on a sunny day. I would try the dry EE personally. It just sounds a whole lot easier than baking or dumping to me.
Livin' the Crazy crab life :P

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Hermiesguardian
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Re: UTH Sapping humidity from air

Post by Hermiesguardian » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:57 am

GotButterflies wrote:I answered GB for GotButterflies :butterfly::
Arcasta wrote:Thanks for all your feedback! As requested, I've filled out the question template.

1. What kind of substrate is used in your tank and how deep is it?

Children's play sand purchased from Home Depot. Boiled and baked to sterilize, and 6" deep.

GB: Is this mixed to sandcastle consistency with dechlorinated fw or dechlorinated msw to make it sandcastle consistency? Also, You could add ee which would also be moistened to sandcastle consistency.

2. Do you have gauges in the tank to measure temperature and humidity? If so, where are they located and what temperature and humidity do they usually read?

Humidity gauge and temperature strip. The humidity gauge is located at the top of the tank, about an inch below the lid. It's pretty steady at 80%. The temperature is at a steady 75 degrees.

GB: Humidity can be a minimum of 80 - so it can go higher. Temp should be a minimum of 80. I let my temp range from 79 (Low @ night to 85 High during day).

3. Is a heat source used in the tank? If so, what?

Zoo Med ReptiTherm UTH, Large. It's attached to the back wall of the tank, above the substrate

GB: You could try insulating around this to get your heat up. Some use aluminum foil (shiny side facing crabitat) followed by styrofoam/foam board/cardboard. I personally love Reflectix. It looks like car shade. You can purchase an extremely large roll for $15 at Lowe's or Home Depot. You would hang all of the above with packaging tape, duct tape, or Reflectix tape. Being that you have a Zoo Med UTH, you would insulate AROUND the UTH, not over the top of it. That would be a fire hazard.

4. What types of water are available (fresh or salt) and how is the water treated (what brands of dechlorinator or salt mix and what ratio is used to mix it)?

There is a bowl of fresh water and a bowl of salt water. I use API Betta Water Conditioner to purify the water in the amount indicated on the bottle. I use don't know the salt I use because I decanted it into a Tupperware, but I'm pretty sure it's aquarium salt. I use about a 1/4 tsp to 1/3 cup, but I don't use measuring tools so it's approximate.

GB: Aquarium Salt is for keeping fresh water fish healthy. It is incorrect. You need marine salt - a product used to make saltwater fish tanks. A lot of us use a product called Instant Ocean. It has the essential elements and minerals that your crabs need. Please fix this asap.

5. What kinds of food do you feed and how often is it replaced?

I usually give them table scraps, so small pieces of fish, chicken, or beans. Sometimes peanut butter or honey. I also supplement this with store bought food. I replace it every other day.

GB: Hermit crabs cannot have certain seasoning - so please do the table scrap thing with caution :) They also are sensitive to pesticides and fertilizers so make sure honey is raw & organic, as well as foods when possible.
Safe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92557
Unsafe food list: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92556
Food pyramid: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=92554


6. How long have you had the crab and what species is it, if known?

I got them in July of 2015, so 20 months now. There are 4.

7. Has your crab molted, and how long ago did it happen?

I believe they've all molted at this point.

8. What type of housing are the crabs kept in, what size is it and what kind of lid is on the housing?

They live in a 20 gallon tank (30 x 12.5 x 13) with a mesh lid that's covered in plastic.

9. How many crabs are in the tank and about how large are they?

There are 4 crabs and 3 are about 1.25" diameter and one is about 2" in diameter.


10. How many extra shells are usually kept in the tank, if any?

There are about 5 shells in at any given time. I try to switch them up monthly.

GB: The HCA recommends 3-5 shells per hermit crab. I personally recommend more. It never hurts to have more :) There are incorrect shells to buy. Here is the shell guide: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=92552


11. Have there been any fumes or chemicals near the crabitat recently?

No

12. How often do you clean the tank and how?

I spot clean weekly and maybe once a month I'll till the sand and rinse their hideaway and climbing toys. I've never deep cleaned.

GB: Really not necessary to do all of that! Just clean out poo, food and water bowls :)

13. Are sponges used in the water dish? If so, how are they cleaned?

No


14. Has anything new been added to your crabitat recently?

The heater


15. Is there any other information you would like to share that might be helpful (anything that is regularly part of your crab care, playtime, bathing, etc.)?

As suggested, I'll definitely get a new hygrometer, but I'm baffled at how the substrate became overly wet only after the heater was installed. And I did not add any additional water or mist before this happened. Regardless of the hygrometer reading, I could tell the air was dry because sand they had tracked up onto the chola wood was completely dry. I know warm air holds more humidity, so this is really weird.

GB: I agree with calibrating the hygrometer. Condensation would occur bc of temperature difference with tank and your room. I use a great hygrometer/thermometer combo. Highly recommend - here is the link for Amazon - You can also get it at Walmart, in the air filter section :) Good luck! https://smile.amazon.com/AcuRite-Thermo ... eter&psc=1

I bought the heater when I moved in with my boyfriend because his landlord keeps his heat really low. I'd say maybe despite the heater, the interior of the tank is colder in the new apartment, which would cause the moisture in the air to condense and "rain" down on the substrate, but after I unplugged he heater, the substrate and humidity returned to their previous (and correct) conditions.
I just upgraded to a 40 gal. I have 1 bubbler pool the other regular. I have a small moss pit but noticed it was dripping onto the substrate so I lined the soap dish with press and seal wrap. I have 2 uth's. A mini, I guess on left side of back and a larger, yet still small on right side of back. I had to sealed with press and seal but today put plexiglass. I have 2 of those hygrometer/therm. One on each side since I wanted a warmer side and less warm side. But temp seems to be consistant at abput 77 deg. I know I have to insulate the heaters. My first question...you mentioned to insulate around uth. I hadn't heard that before. I have a scenic background behind the uth's. I know I have to put the insulation in front of that. I hate to think I may not be able to use the background at all. Does the entire back have to be insulated or just a couple inches around heaters? Maybe I'll just get a sheet of pink foam insulation. And I'm also having problem keeping up humidity. It's between 58 and low 70's. The sand/ee substrate is correct consistancy.
raising son's dog, Dante. Husky/hound.
Raising daughter's hermit crabs, Shelder, Paras and Derek. Added 2 more of my own (of course) Pete and Stryper. Former mommy to 2 guinea pigs and beloved cat, Nissi

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