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blue tongue skink humidity

Blue Tongue Skink Humidity

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Blue tongue skinks have humidity requirements that help them shed with ease. The right humidity levels can ensure good overall health and reduce the risk of respiratory infections in your reptile. Each blue tongue skink species has it's own humidity requirements with Australian species requiring around forty percent and Indonesian species enjoying up to eighty percent humidity.

Humidity Levels

Species

Humidity Level

Tanimbar blue tongue skink (Tiliqua scincoides chimaerea)

40% - 60%

Northern blue tongue skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia)

40% - 60%

Eastern blue tongue skink (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides)

40% - 60%

Western blue tongue skink (Tiliqua occipitalis)

40% - 60%

Central blue tongue skink (Tiliqua multifasciata)

40% - 60%

Blotched blue tongue skink (Tiliqua nigrolutea)

40% - 60%

Singleback (Tiliqua rugosa)

40% - 60%

Pygmy blue tongue skink (Tiliqua adelaidensis)

40% - 60%

Classic Indonesian blue tongue skinks (Tiliqua gigas gigas)

60% - 80%

Merauke blue tongue skink (Tiliqua gigas evanescens)

60% - 80%

Kei Island blue tongue skink (Tiliqua gigas keyensis)

60% - 80%

Irian Jaya blue tongue skink (Tiliqua sp.)

60% - 80%

Important Note

You need to keep the humidity level a bit higher when the blue tongue skink is before, during and after shedding.

Is Your Humidity Levels Too High?

In order to keep your blue tongue skink happy and ensure the best overall health, you want to pay very close attention to the humidity levels to ensure you help your reptile stay happy and healthy.

Signs of humidity being too high includes mold. Mold can grow in moist and humid areas. If you are not managing your humidity levels accurately, you may notice mold growing, along with dangerous bacterias, which can be harmful to your skink.

Worried your humidity is too high, then you can try changing your substrate regularly and providing a well ventilated enclosure, which can assist in the reduction of humidity.

Important Note

Humidity levels should not be kept high constantly. Humidity should be increased for a few hours and then be allowed to dry. Allow high humidity at night with daytime hours for the enclosure to dry out.

How to Accurately Monitor Humidity Levels

Monitoring the humidity in your blue tongue skink enclosure is essential to their health. The only way to accurately monitor the humidity is using a hygrometer. The Goove hygrometer is highly recommended. It accurately measures humidity and water vapor in the atmosphere and stores the data in its storage for 20 days. Alert notification can be sent to your smartphone quickly when the humidity or temperature is out of the preset range. 

When looking for accurate humidity readings, then you will find the hygrometer is very accurate, unlike the analogue meter.

Effective Ways to Increase Humidity Levels

If you find that your humidity levels are dipping and you're worried your blue tongue skink is going to be suffering as a result, there are a number of ways you can increase your humidity levels to ensure the most favorable outcome for your reptilian pet.

Enclosure

Enclosures are made from all types of materials with glass and acrylic tanks being the best for humidity. In fact, the acrylic tank should provide higher humidity levels than a glass tank. Both are excellent if you want to maintain high humidity. If you find you are struggling to maintain humidity in your glass tank, consider acrylic to give your levels a boost.

Further reading

Screen Tops

Screens are often selected to cover the top of a reptile enclosure. Screens allow for ventilation which can have an impact on your humidity levels. If you find your humidity levels are dropping and you need to increase your levels quickly, then choosing a solid lid over a screen lid can give your humidity levels the welcome boost they need to ensure your blue tongue skink stays happy and healthy in the long run.

Modifying your screen top is quick, easy and the best way to improve humidity. You can cover half of the screen in tin foil or you can cover the entire top of the tank in plexiglass for best results.

Substrate

Blue tongue skinks can live using a wide choice of substrates from paper to bark and cypress mulch. These are safe substrate options for skinks that have high humidity needs.

Good substrates for blue tongue skink

  • Aspen wood shavings – these should be mixed with sphagnum moss to improve humidity levels.
  • Bioactive substrate mix – a number of substrates mixed together to improve humidity levels.
  • Coco fibers can be mist with peat moss or sphagnum moss to create a beneficial substrate.
  • Coconut fibers
  • Cypress mulch can be mixed with sphagnum moss for great humidity results.

Bad Substrates for blue tongue skink

  • Cat litter – Cat litter is too dry and can cause the risk of respiratory problems should it be inhaled.
  • Conifer wood shavings – fir, pine, and cedar wood shavings can be highly toxic to blue tongue skinks, causing respiratory problems, while not offering excellent humidity levels.
  • Large rocks are very dangerous. The blue tongue skink will try to swallow rocks, no matter what the size. This can lead to impaction and/or choking.
  • Orchid bark – this bark can get mold over time due to misting. It can cause impaction and there is an increased risk of injury with your reptile injuring itself on the sharp bark edges.
  • Reptile Carpet – Doesn't provide a natural environment. Your blue tongue skink is going to love to dig and burrow and they can't do this with reptile carpet in their enclosure. Chances are using this substrate, you will be spending time helping your skink out from under the carpet.
  • Sawdust – A definite no for substrate options as it comes with a high risk of respiratory issues and doesn't offer enough humidity to keep a happy and healthy reptile.
  • Soil – Never take soil from outdoors. This can be brimming with insects and microorganisms, which will be dangerous for your reptile pet.
  • Walnut Shells – these increase risk of impaction and often your blue tongue skink will eat the shells when eating and hunting. These are not suitable to boost humidity levels.

Bioactive substrate, cypress mulch and coconut fibers remain the most natural substrates that will help boost humidity levels with ease.

Misting

Invest in a misting bottle and give the enclosure a gentle misting once or twice daily, depending on how high you need to get your humidity levels. Misting is a natural way to provide humidity in the tank. Simply give a gentle misting over plants and sides to allow humidity to rise. Be careful not to soak the enclosure, which can result in mold and mildew.

Make a Humid Hide

Rather than having very high humidity levels in your enclosure, you can also provide your blue tongue skink with a humid hide, a place they can go when they want additional humidity. When choosing a humid hide, make sure it is natural and big enough for a blue tongue skink to turn around. The Zilla reptile habitat hide is a good example. It maintains a high humidity level and helps with shedding.  

Further reading

Water Dish

If you are struggling to maintain your humidity levels in your blue tongue skink enclosure, then you can consider increasing the size of your water dish. Leaving water in the enclosure will increase humidity levels, the larger the water dish, the higher the humidity your skink will enjoy.

Automatic Mister or Fogger

An automatic mister or fogger creates a way to maintain the humidity levels in your blue tongue skink enclosure. Exo Terra, one of the top reptile product brands, offers a fogger which produces a mist to increase humidity and create a damp environment, while their mister offers a programmable system helping to maintain humidity levels with a fine mist being released as chosen intervals.

The Exo Terra Monsoon automatic mister enables you to set how many times you want to mist per day. The misting can take place for one second up to two hours. This is an easy way to ensure your blue tongue skink enjoys the high humidity it needs to remain happy and healthy.

Live Plants

Using live plants is an excellent way to boost humidity levels in a natural way. Plants naturally remove carbon dioxide from the air and add humidity and oxygen, making live plants the perfect choice for an enclosed environment. If your enclosure has limited fresh air then you will find that live plants can boost oxygen levels while helping you maintain high humidity levels.

Bio Active Enclosure

A great option is to set up a bioactive enclosure. This is an enclosure with live plants, eco earth substrate, insects and more. It includes inverts and microorganisms to break down any waste, reducing how much time you need to spend cleaning your blue tongue skink enclosure.  The bioactive enclosure will provide a natural and comfortable habitat for your reptile, helping to maintain humidity levels.

Effective Ways to Decrease Humidity Levels

While it is essential to ensure you keep your blue tongue skink happy with high humidity levels, it is also important to ensure that you don't maintain too high humility levels for too long.

Lowering your humidity levels is considerably easier than making them higher. If your humidity levels are too high for your skink, then you can consider one of the following to help reduce levels to reach a safe percentage:

  • Remove the water dish – removing the water dish will help to decrease humidity levels.
  • Add a smaller water dish – if you have added a large water dish, then consider a smaller dish to lower humidity levels.
  • Add ventilation – if you have closed up the top of the tank to improve humidity, adding a mesh lid can add the airflow needed to reduce humidity with ease.
  • Change your substrate – If you are using a moss or eco earth, consider changing your substrate to lower levels of humidity and keep your blue tongue skink happy.
  • Consider changing your enclosure – If you are using a plastic enclosure, changing to glass will help lower humidity levels.

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