A chameleon needs many things in its enclosure to stay healthy. One of the things that they need is the right level of humidity. Humidity is very important to the health of the chameleons.
How much humidity do chameleons need? There are many species of chameleon that exist. Some live in the desert region and some live in the tropical region. For that reason, depending on where they live, they will need anywhere from 50% to 60% humidity. However, the minimum humidity level for all chameleons should be 50%.
Why Do Pet Chameleons Need Humidity?
Depending on where they are from, the chameleon will need a certain level of humidity to survive.
A proper humidity level for all chameleons is needed to maintain health. Humidity is needed to keep their skin smooth, eyes in good health, and important for digestion.
How Much Humidity Do Pet Chameleons Need?
This will vary from species to species. Where they live will depend on how much humidity they need. Therefore, on average, a chameleon needs a humidity level of between 50% and 70%.
The 3 popular species of chameleons are veiled chameleons, Jackson chameleons, and Panther chameleons. Each of these chameleons has different humidity requirements.
Veiled Chameleon Humidity Level – 50%
This species of chameleon is the easiest to care for. They don’t require a high humidity level since they are from the desert region. Where they are from are usually hot and dry for the most part of the year.
Where they are from has a good amount of rainfall each year, especially in the forested areas.
Veiled chameleons spend most of their time in the forested part of Yemen.
For veiled chameleons that are kept in captivity, they will need the same amount of humidity as their natural habitats. This means it should be around 50% humidity.
Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain it at that level due to the air condition unit or heating system running.
If the humidity level isn’t maintained properly, it could cause problems for the veiled chameleons. A humidity level that’s too high will cause tail rot. If the humidity level is too low, it will cause their skin to dry.
Panther Chameleon Humidity Level – 60%
Panther chameleons are from the island of Madagascar. In this particular country, it’s very humid and hot with high rainfall throughout the year.
Since the area where they live is mostly humid, the humidity level of about 70% is ideal.
However, homes that always have the air conditioner or heater running will be difficult to maintain.
Fortunately, Panther chameleons are hardy creatures and able to adapt to their environment. This means that a humidity level of around 50% will have no adverse health effects on them.
You don’t have to worry if the humidity level drop below their recommended range. To keep them healthy, it’s best to keep their humidity level between the 60% and 70% range.
Jackson Chameleon Humidity Level – 60%
Jackson’s chameleons originate from the mountainous regions of East Africa. This includes countries like Kenya and Tanzania.
The climate there is relatively similar to Madagascar, but humidity can sometimes reach 80%.
For that reason, the humidity level for Jackson chameleon should be around 65%.
How To Maintain Humidity In Your Chameleon Enclosure
There are several methods to keeping the humidity at the proper level. Below are some of the ways you can try to ensure the humidity level is correct:
Using Real Plants
Real plants will help maintain the humidity levels in the enclosure. These are living organisms, so they will help provide humidity through the soil.
Also, live plants help absorb carbon monoxide from the air and provide extra oxygen for your chameleons.
Live plants will make their environment look more natural. The more natural their environment is, the more the chameleon will feel safe.
Using A Fogging System
Fogging is similar to misting, but instead of spraying mist, it will release fine fogs. The fogs will suspend in the air for a while before settling over the enclosure.
Also, fogging will leave dew drops on the leaves of plants that the chameleon can drink from.
For Jackson and Panther chameleons, fogging is recommended for them. In their natural habitat, fog occurs naturally every morning. This will make these chameleons feel right at home.
For other species of chameleon, a fogger is needed if you live in a dry climate. A fogger will help keep the humidity at the right level for the chameleons.
Using a Misting System
Misting is one of the methods to help maintain humidity in the enclosure. The mist will fill the enclosure with water.
Some chameleon owners will go overboard when misting the enclosure. Misting too much can raise the humidity to a dangerous level. High humidity can harm the chameleons.
Instead, the proper way to mist the enclosure is to spray mist until the chameleon starts to open and close its mouth. Also, mist until water starts to drip from the leaves.
Using a Dripper
A dripper is nothing more than a simple tub or bottle of water that’s placed on top of the enclosure. It will have a tube that will slowly drip water from it. The water can drip onto the leaves and plants.
Dripper will be left to drip all day long. This will ensure that the chameleon will always have fresh water to drink.
Also, the humidity will be kept at the proper level at all times. Zoo Med The Big Dripper is what I recommend, which you can purchase from Amazon.
How To Measure Humidity Inside The Chameleon’s Enclosure
In order to measure the humidity levels in the chameleon’s enclosure, you need to have a measuring device called a hygrometer.
A hygrometer is simply a tool that gives you a reading of the level of humidity in the enclosure. It’s available as an analog or digital, but it’s recommended to get a digital hygrometer.
Analog hygrometers will give a reading that is off a lot when you measure it each time. This will make it difficult for you to determine the actual level of humidity in the enclosure.
Humidity Level For Chameleons During the Day and Night
Daytime Chameleon Humidity
During the day is when the humidity can become unstable. This is due to the temperature varying.
In the winter, if the heater is running, it will blow hot air which will cause the air to become dry. Therefore, it’s a good idea to mist their cage often to keep the humidity at the proper range.
On the other hand, during the summer, if the air conditioning is running, it will cause the air to become more humid. Therefore, you won’t need to mist their cage that often.
Night Time Chameleon Humidity
During the night, a drop in humidity isn’t a big issue for chameleons. This is due to the natural environment in which the temperature will fall naturally during the nighttime.
Chameleons are hardy creatures and able to withstand temperatures of up to 10 degrees difference.
However, if it’s during the winter months when it’s usually colder than their natural habitat, you’ll want to make sure the temperature won’t drop too much.
If you only heat your home in only a certain part of the house, you’ll want to ensure the room that the chameleon is in doesn’t fall below the recommended range.
What Happens When The Chameleon Humidity Levels Are Incorrect?
The correct humidity levels are important for the health of the chameleons. Too much or too little of the humidity level could cause them health issues.
Humidity Level Too High
A humidity level that is too high can cause all sorts of problems for the chameleon. It can cause tail rot and infections to their respiratory systems.
A high amount of moisture will make a good breeding ground for bacteria. This allows the bacteria to easily enter the chameleon’s respiratory system and cause them to be ill.
Humidity Level Too Low
When the humidity level is too low, it can cause problems for the chameleon as well.
A low humidity level will lead to shedding problems for the chameleon. When the air is too dry, the chameleon is unable to shed completely. The area that is left with bits of skin could become infected.
In addition, low humidity can cause digestive problems for the chameleon. Problems could be diarrhea and blockage of the digestive tract.
As you can see, humidity is very important to the well-being of the chameleons. Without the proper level of humidity, the chameleon can become ill and have other health issues. To ensure that they stay healthy and strong, the proper level of humidity is needed.