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Vick's Sonic air humidifier

Posted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 9:58 am
by Keg
I bought a Vick's sonic air humidifier at Walmart. I'm on my third one. It was designed for people. It is silent and emits a visible cloud of humidity in a 3 foot long arc through the air. It costs roughly $39 dollars.

The reason I'm using this, is because I live in Arizona. This creates a unique problem because 1) I need lots of humidity for the crab and 2) I don't feel I can put a top on the crabitat because it captures heat in the tank. Keeping the tank within a survivable range is difficult because it can get hot, and I mean hot here. Th only way to cool the tank to a survivable range is to use the air conditioner and keep room temperature whatever I want the tank to be. This is ridiculously expensive, but at least my crab is happy. Also, a cover would keep the air conditioned air out of the tank.

Before I use the vicks, I almost killed my crab for years using wet sand to raise humidity. She fainted a lot in those days and fell out of her perch due to weakness or dryness. Then I tried an evaporative cooler type of humidifier that I bought at ACE hardware. It was a big improvement as long as I changed the $9 filter every two months or so. It clogged up with minerals...mainly because I was using spring water. Also it was loud. It was like a constant roar.

Then I tried the Vicks. it is silent and has adjustable output. This time, I nearly ruined my personal dwelling because I used spring water again. This type of humidifier doesn't use a filter and it doesn't clog, but spring water makes it send out a ton of fine dust in the air that covers everything. This problem is solved by using distilled water. The gallons of spring water at Walmart cost roughly about the same as the other kinds. That can run about $1 a day or a little more. So $365 a year from now on.

This has worked nicely for years and the crab can change her exposure to it by altering direction or pulling the shell back or hiding under it.
Humidity in the tank changes depending on the outside weather, so I have to be aware of that. I sometimes turn it off if its raining outside.
But the crab generally sits facing the cloud, directly in its path, so its pretty obvious she likes the situation.

The reason I went through two machines prior to this is because after about six months, the crab started hiding under her abalone shell all day. This is (for her) an indication that something is wrong with the air quality. (Note: That's my opinion to this reaction, based on observation, but not a scientifically verified fact). Every so often she'd come out and freak out when I was changing the water. After awhile, I figured out that there was something wrong with this humidifier or the water. It turned out it was growing mold (grey) and probably algae (yellow). It's hard to see unless you'e looking for it. Also when I opened the water tank to fill it, A 'plastic' odor came out.

Anyway, I changed the machine, which the crab watched, seemingly with approval. And now, every day when I fill the machine, I swab down the problem areas with Q-tips. Once a week I empty the water tank completely and swab out the inside as much as I can with a paper towel. No smell now. No dust. Crab loves me and is more playful with her tree, stump and mirrors.

Re: Vick's Sonic air humidifier

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:01 pm
by Keg
Update on the Vick's sonic humidifier:

By itself, the vicks will develop yellow algae and grey mold due to constant exposure to water and humidity. I tried buying two of them and swapping them out every 24 hours to let them dry out. I also dry them out between uses to remove growth. BUT, this doesn't really solve the problem. What actually solves the problem is dousing the devices in hydrogen peroxide between uses. As far as I can tell, it degrades into harmless hydrogen gas and oxygen. The crab doesn't seem to mind. But the crab will hide if there is an algae buildup. The hydrogen peroxide seems to remove algae that's already present. No problems after doing this for a few months. Petco says they approve of hydrogen peroxide for cleaning aquariums.

I've bought six so far. I threw the first two out due to mold. Dropped one. One was stuck on "full." I still have the other two.

Re: Vick's Sonic air humidifier

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:18 pm
by GotButterflies
Wow...I'm surprised that this is the only thing that has worked for you humidity wise. Sounds like a lot of work! I'm glad that it works for you and your crab! :)

Re: Vick's Sonic air humidifier

Posted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:24 pm
by Keg
This solution works for me because I live in Arizona. If I try to keep the humidity "in" with a lid on top of the crabitat, it causes too much heat buildup also. So yes, actively maintaining it takes lots of work. But a little extra humidity in the room is probably good for my nose anyway. This summer I may try one of those small evaporative coolers to keep the temperature down. That approach didn't work adequately for humidity though.