I have an ultra sonic one that I use over my orchids that is from Walgreens. It is a walgreens brand that you can modify with some 1 inch PVC and then it is all up to you on how you want to go from there. I also use them over my frog tanks at work. It has a 2 gallon resovor and can run for 24 hours without going totally dry. I cant find a photo on line but I will get the product number off the box at work and post is up here if you want.
I am also getting a misting system for over my orchids and some of my snakes at home. I am going with a Big Apple Pet Supply. They have a good looking and cheap misting system. They link is below:
I hope that this helps
Your Post began with:
"I want something that I can use tap water in, hence, the non-ultrasonic".
It is simple common sense...
we have minerals in our tap water. If you have a method of dispersing the water
into the air, either the minerals go with it or stay behind.
If your humidifier turns the water to steam using heat, the minerals are trapped behind,
as the temperature it runs at does not disperse the minerals into the air. You then have to "clean" the mineral build-up from the humidifier. It is messy and takes some work.
If your humidifier turns the water into "artificial steam" like the Ultra-Sonics do,
vibrating the water into fine particles and dispersing them with an internal fan into the air,
then the minerals go with the water, and create that fine dust! Again, messy!
Or, if using a spray system, this too will not separate the minerals, but carry them into and
onto your plants. Again, creates some work. You either have to clean your plants,
"clean" the water before it gets to your humidification system !
Really, the choice is yours. Some plants tolerate some minerals better than others,
and you can sometimes flush the pots and plants off with fresh water. When the plant absorbs moisture, it may take some minerals too, but any not absorbed, or any water that has a chance to evaporate at the surface of the potting medium, will leave and build
mineral deposits. This can be seen as a crusty looking crud on the surface of potting media.
I think everyone will be able to recommend a humidifier that they like (or one they don't),
but you will have to decide how you will want your "system" to handle dealing with the minerals.
I myself use both "systems" and it is a hassle lugging rain water, but it is free and it works good! I put in rain barrels years ago, and they work nice. Distilled water gets expensive and a Reverse-Osmosis costs a bit in start up for a system.
Oh, the things we do to provide "Shang-ra-La" for our plants!
But as you know, it is worth it, and besides,
their lives depend on it!
I already do collect rain, I wouldn't be able to afford the amount of ditilled I would go through. I was simply asking if anyone had any expierience with a small, effective, non-ultrasonic humidifier. I already knew about the mineral dust and that is why I'm asking for an alterative.
I currently use a type that pumps water over special "pads" and uses a fan to blow air over them, thus humidifying the air that comes out. The problem is that this just isn't enough, my chamber is only getting about 60% humidity durring the day.
Does anyone think that the "warm steam type" ones would work better?
I have used the humidifiers utilizing the "hot-element" method of
creating steam. The elements usually are coated with teflon or
something to make chipping off the calcium/mineral deposits.
(You can also use something "chemical" to remove the "lime" deposits.)
The humidifier does work really well, pumping out a lot of steam/humidity.
The only drawback is that after numerous "descaling" of the heating element,
the teflon comes off too and loses its efficiency. That eventually makes removing the
mineral deposits frustrating and eventually impossible.
The "evaporative" type humidifiers as you mentioned using, are slow and inefficient for
putting out a LOT of humidity.... as you have found out. The higher the
existing humidity in the surrounding (input) air, the more energy needed to push
more humidity in.
Hot dry air like in the desert will literally suck moisture into the air from a water source,
but cooler, moister air isn't as "thirsty" and needs to be "force fed". Hence the use of
a heating element, or atomizer (ultrasonic type) which forces more water vapor into
So in answer to your question, yes! The humidifiers with the heating elements do
work quite well. The draw backs are removing the calcium deposits from the
humidifier, along with the fact that they are putting out heat.
The heat is only a problem when doing a Highland Chamber,
but an asset when used in a Lowland one.
I would be using the heating kind of humidifier to this day,
if I didn't get tired of cleaning it all the time.
And once you go to basically mineral-free water (rain, distilled, RO, etc.) then it doesn't
matter what method you choose, as far as a "mineral deposit" issue is concerned.
(There are other things to deal with or consider, but minerals won't be one of them
at that point!)
Thanks for the info, it gives me some things to think about.
I've been thinking......maybe I will switch to an ultrasonic.
Can anyone recommend a Cheap, but effective model?
It is the Walgreens Cool Mist Humidifier made by sunbeam. The item number is 700-612. I tryed to find it online and could not find it but I just got one about a month ago so I know that they still have them. It has a 1.2 gallon tank and I have been using them over my orchids, reptiles and amphibians for years and I hope that they keep making them. Here is a photo of the box. I hope that this helps.
Thanks, but I couldn't find one, so I ended up ordering a Sunpentowns su-2000 ultrasonic. Now I just have to wait for it to get here.