Help! Is this level of humidity dangerous to a northern blue tongue?

Unforeseen issue… my house is too humid. :woman_facepalming: I was prepared for RAISING humidity, but never thought that the ambient air in my house would be too high by itself. :weary: My hygrometer is at 68 just sitting in the open, and that’s without any water bowls, substrate, or lamps. I keep seeing 40-60% (or even just 40%) recommended as ideal humidity levels… What should I do? Is 60+ dangerous to a northern blue tongued skink?

I’m running a dehumidifier right now, but I don’t know how much it will do by itself… For those who keep species like beardies, rosy boas, or other desert animals… how do you manage to keep humidity down? I would think that achieving desert-level lows would be challenging in most places. I’ve seen in-tank dehumidifiers—do those work well? I’m rather desperate, so suggestions are welcome!


the heat lamps will probably be able to bring the humidity down to 50 ish percent as long as the substrate is dry. Also with northerns, they are constantly on the move and will be in an a wide range of environments from tropical to desert. So it wouldn’t be unnatural for them to be in 70% humidity for part of the year. And remember that humidity fluctuates throughout the year so some parts of the year could maybe get down to 40% for all we know. For me at least humidity outside is 65%. Inside we have a dehumidifier and the house humidity is 48% and inside my skinks enclosure 40%.

As for in tank dehumidifiers i would recommend that you wait to see the humidity after the dehumidifier has run for a bit and everything is set up in the enclosure.


Hey @logar I don’t know anything about bts but you make a great point about humidity (and heat) and that it fluctuates year round! (I am sure there are exceptions of course).

That’s always been in the back of my mind when I see keepers trying to keep heat/humidity at a specific never wavering level when in the wild there are fluctuations due to seasonal variations……

Sometimes I believe, imho, there is unnecessary overthinking. But guys don’t shoot the messenger, it’s just an opinion but I am totally open to constructive criticism/ feedback if I get any! :+1::pray:


I live near Houston, TX and keep a beardie. As you may now it’s extremely humid in Texas and i used to see humidity around 50-60% in his enclosure. I ended up getting a CHE because his enclosure was staying too cool, and it tackled both the temperature and humidity issues. His humidity is now at 36% most of the time and is at a perfect temperature. I don’t know about care for blue tongued skinks, but a CHE might be an option if it won’t make it too hot :man_shrugging: Just adding my experience with CHEs and humidity. Of course you could get a lower voltage one to lessen the heat and get you a better humidity for your animal. Hope this helps!


That’s… a huge relief, actually. I did try finding out what humidity levels they would be dealing with in nature, but no matter where I looked… the recommendation for pets was always 40% or 40-60%. I’ll obviously try to get it into that ideal “Goldilocks zone” range, but I’m glad to hear that they probably won’t get a URI overnight if it’s muggy outside for a day or two… :sweat:

I ran the dehumidifier for a few hours… and wow, the power behind that little thing really amazed me. O_O I didn’t’ t have an extra on hand, so I took a small unit from a bedroom… and the humidity in said bedroom went up by 12%, while humidity in the reptile area dropped 6% over a very short period of time. :open_mouth:

I know what you mean, honestly. I do wonder about that… :thinking: I guess my major concern is that in a vivarium, I can only semi-replicate a very small slice of nature… whereas a skink in the wild could travel, dig, or shelter in a lot of ways and places I just can’t provide in captivity. :frowning: So I end up going in circles thinking: “Nature is brutal… How could these animals make it in nature if a humidity swing was enough to cause mass extinction? …But, they’d have much MORE environment to choose from out there, whereas there can only be so much variation in a 4’x2’x2’ box… Is that why the parameters are so fussy?” I don’t have much experience with vivs, so I can’t base anything on personal experience… which leaves me anxious over every detail. :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Oh, that’s hopeful to hear! I do have CHEs, actually… but only in my nighttime lamp. I have a halogen flood bulb for heat/light in the day (plus a fluorescent light over half of the tank for UVA/UVB), and a CHE that switches on at night, when the “day shift” bulbs shut off. I’m testing the setup tomorrow, so hopefully that dramatically lowers the humidity. My only concern is that the substrate or water dish will make things worse, or cancel out the drying effect of the bulb/CHE… :confused:


As long as the water bowl is on the cool side there should be no need to worry about it increasing the humidity. As for substrate, as long as you don’t add water to it the it will dry out very quickly.


Hardwood flooring mfrs recommend that same 40-60 range. I’m wondering if it’s a number everyone just defaults to, or is it really a tested range? I agree w the idea that the heat lamps will tackle a fair amount of your humidity.


The halogen bulb and CHE brought it into a very reasonable range (48-54%), once the substrate dried out. :grin: The only time I have any issues is when I lay new substrate out, or shift the existing substrate around (it’s 3” deep, and there’s still moisture trapped further down). Overall, not much of an issue! I really appreciate the help and advice, all!

Hmmm… maybe it’s just a very “neutral” range, that doesn’t cause issues for most things? Or is very common/comfortable for human homes? I’ve investigated a lot into setting up an enclosure for a bts, and while there’s a LOT of talk about creating the right humidity levels for Indonesian species, the Australian species seem like they’re rarely touched on. :woman_shrugging: I recall hearing on a Reptile Mountain TV video that northern and eastern bts “seem to do well in most homes, at ambient humidity levels”. It could be that those species are just extremely hardy and adaptable, or possibly that what’s comfortable (or even just “bearable”) to humans happens to be the same as for these skinks. XD