ultrasonic foggers? - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 11-29-2003, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 251
Hey guys are the ultra sonic foggers you see all over the market really all they're cracked up to be. Also about how much water do they use in any given length of time.
Anonymous is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 04:51 PM
Planted Member
Zurp's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Enfield, Connecticut
Posts: 292
EDITED: {Skip right to page three for my fogger chamber plans... Most of this post is senseless bickering, added with my usual confusion! There are also SOME useful links scattered here and there. Otherwise, if you want to see me squirm... read on!}
That question has no flat answer... But here is my best try.

I had one, and returned it only because I found out this...

1). The fogger stream can NOT come in contact with life, or it will suffer severe burn/freeze. (The ultrasonic stream will damage your skin if you touch the stream)
2). This will suck down a gallon of water in a day. (@ 2hrs. a day this would use about one gallon every two weeks)
3). The ceramic disk that creates the stream will need to be replaced or cleaned often.
4). The power draw is equivalent to a 100W light-bulb, if it is running or not, the power-pack always draws power. (All power transformer packs do this. This just drains more.)
5). I paid over $40 for mine... I have found them as low as $18... (There is only one manufacture with patent production rights, there is nothing special about the TERRA models.)
6). The fog only looks cool when it first rolls out, after that it just looks like half your tank is filled with a thick smoke. Not that cool, thin fog. more like that thick, soupy stuff! The kind where you can't see your nose through it.
7). This can kill life in your tank if you use it daily. Pneumonia and other fungus based illnesses.
8). If you think algae in a fish-tank is bad, wait until this makes it grow on every item in your vivarium. Mold, Mildew, Mushrooms, Slimes...
9). If you wonder what the frogs and fish will hear... Stick an electric toothbrush inside your ear and turn it on. The electronic oscillator that controls the pizo element makes an audible humming sound.
10). You will have to spend another $100 for additional stuff to make this functional as a permanent accessory, mini fan, tubes, fog chamber, noise dampening material, questionable water conditioners so your creatures don't die from air-born bacteria, and a timer.

Do like I did, buy it. Try it. Return it.
Zurp is offline  
post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-01-2003, 05:23 PM
Planted Tank Obsessed
aeternum23's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 435
Hmmmm, injecting microscopic ice crystals into my skin sounds like a bad thing . All fun aside, why not just mist the tank manually via spraying. It's easy, low cost, and quick to do.
aeternum23 is offline  
post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-02-2003, 02:15 PM
Algae Grower
DanConnor's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 88
But if you can't mist regularly try this:

I have a rainmaker jr... works great.
DanConnor is offline  
post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-03-2003, 02:12 AM
Wannabe Guru
Spar's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,014
As I mentioned in a seperate post, UH's come in External versions as well. I had tons of problems with the Internal ones, so switched over a year ago to the External and have had only success with them. Read the other post i made about "humidity" for more help.

110g - Vivarium (Dart Frogs)
180g - Reef
100g - Planted Tank (mainly Swords)
Spar is offline  
post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-11-2003, 03:36 PM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: KC,MO
Posts: 52
Hmm. I have not had any problems at all with mine I have it come on for a half hour every few hours. I just have to clean it out every now and again. Take a look here at the paludariums looks like they have no problems. I read these things oscillate the water at ultrasonic frequencies and that is how they do what they do. I have 3 of them and the water dont get any colder so I dont know about freeze boiling.
Wheat is offline  
post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 04:10 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 251
There is no "freeze boiling" going on here. They vaporize the water. The water temperature does not change. It is in no way toxic. Also the sound is inaudible even to a frog. The frequency of the sound is far too high for any animal to hear. The ceramic disk does not wear out that quickly. They wear out from mineral deposits inhibiting their ability to vibrate at the proper frequency. If your water is kept clean (specially if you use distilled water) then they can last for years.

I use one in a 300 gallon enclosure and it stays on 24/7. The humidity stays right wher I want it and my water dragons love it. The one I have in there now has been running 24/7 for about 6 months now with no ill effects.

I wouldn't recommend them in a small enclosure but in a large area they look awesome.
Anonymous is offline  
post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-12-2003, 11:46 PM
Planted Member
Zurp's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Enfield, Connecticut
Posts: 292
As for the noise... I know that the ultrasonic part is inaudible. I was referring to the internal oscillator circuits which hum rather loud. Stick your ear against your tank. I am not making this stuff up, then again the two I purchased could have just been oddly defective, but I doubt that because I can even hear the ones that they sell as home medic therapy lights giving off the same annoying hum, like an air-pump for a fish-tank.
Zurp is offline  
post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 12:19 AM
Planted Member
Zurp's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Enfield, Connecticut
Posts: 292
P.S. - My intention is not to raise debate, it is to raise awareness on both ends. Yes they do look cool, yes the "MIST" is cold. Yes these can "PROMOTE" moss, mold and other fungus growth on all surfaces. Yes, these are used to grow and sustain mushroom farms. Yes, illnesses related to breathing bacteria and spores can arise. Yes, these will raise your humidity. Yes, these will cause harm to you if you touch the stream. Yes, these units, as a whole, do make audible noise. Yes, these do make high frequency noise also. Yes, they do drain a lot of power (Thus the super huge power pack). Yes, any device when properly moderated, can nullify or reduce all of these above mentioned problems.

I was just stating that, for me, these were more of a luxury novelty. As opposed to being a desirable necessity. You run this 24 hours a day? Doesn't that kill your electric bill?

One more fact, these are NOTHING like "Rock Concert Foggers". Concert foggers use hot moisture which only sinks because the glycerin addititve. You should never attempt to use a water only solution in a concert style fogger, and never use glycerin addititves in foggers made for a vivarium.

For info on what ailments you should be looking for when using a fogger on a regular basis, search google for medical info on humidifiers. You will find the good, bad and ugly of using these things. Just because "YOU" don't "SEE" any issues with using these things, doesn't translate into there not being a problem. You can't see pneumonia, or other internal sicknesses... Most of which are fatal at some point.

Amphibians that breath through their skin, love this stuff. The atomization process gives water a greater surface area to absorb oxygen. That may be a plus if you notice your frogs or salamanders seem down. When I had mine, my newt actually came out of the water to explore while the tank was filled with fog. My Fire Belly Newt now stays back in the water.
Zurp is offline  
post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 01:23 AM
Algae Grower
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 10
If you were to submerge the USF in a shallow jar and stick the jar below the substrate and put a lid over it with a smaller opening cut out of the lid to allow the fog to creep out. would that prevent potential buring problems to your frogs ect....?
HERPER is offline  
post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 01:28 AM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
Scorpion's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 637
Originally Posted by DanConnor
But if you can't mist regularly try this:

I have a rainmaker jr... works great.
This is similar to the stuff they used at the supermarkets

ESTJ (v)
EPC Member #27
Scorpion is offline  
post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-17-2003, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
Planted Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 251
About the 'ice-crystal' thing..... Ultrasonic transducers DO NOT create ice, then boil water. The ultrasonic transducer is like a tweeter that is submersible, inaudible, and cannot control it's pitch. Have you ever seen water on a speaker? It is like that, but with a much greater frequency - enough to vaporize water. The reason that the transducers seem to 'burn' is that the frequency is high enough to vaporize water - - - last time I checked the human body was about 70% water. The high frequency, which vaporizes water, also attempts to vaporize items that pass in front of the transducer. The 'burn' has nothing to do with the humidity that comes off the transducer, it is the frequency, which is being emitted that has the potential of burning. Just to set the record straight, ultrasonic transducers DO NOT freeze, then boil water - they simply vibrate at a high enough frequency to vaporize water. It is also highly unlikely that even a frog could hear the sound coming off of a transducer - they usually operate at about 1.7mHz (megahertz). Even the smallest animals (bats, mice, frogs, etc) cannot hear much past 80kHz (kilohertz). So, I would say that frogs are more than safe from the sound of an electric toothbrush in their ear. If it is a concern, put the container with the ultrasonic transducer outside the tank, in a jar, connected by a large macaroni PVC joint. Otherwise, there should be no concern for even the smallest animals to hear past 80kHz (1.7 mHz is more than 20 times greater frequency than 80kHz). However, if the animals do hang out in the water, it is extremely important to keep the transducer in a place where the animal has NO chance of coming in contact with it. While the burn experienced is not crystals being embedded in your skin, the frequency is high enough to inflict harm.
Anonymous is offline  
post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 01:59 AM
Planted Member
Zurp's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Enfield, Connecticut
Posts: 292
If they went into all the details on how this works and possible dangers, there is a possibility that you wouldn't buy it. When consumers read that a device may cause harm, illness or death, it is hard to convince them that a product is safe, and they would not end up purchasing it.

Here is some more informational links.

General info and sales
http://www.greenigsociety.org/advanced.htm (Mid-way down)
http://www.tortoisetrust.org/articles/trophab.html (Mid-way down)

Medical links
Zurp is offline  
post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 04:40 AM Thread Starter
Planted Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 251

Ultrasonic transducers DO NOT 'evaporate' water. The evaporation of water involves the heating of water molecules until they are heated fast enough to escape the surface tension of the water. Just because there is a fine mist being emitted from the water, does not mean that traditional 'evaporation' is occurring. Additionally, liquid, as a phase of matter, does not compress easily. The 'rapid compression' you speak of is incorrect.

I have to ask where you got your definition of 'boil'? Boiling is absolutely the addition of heat to a medium to excite the molecules of that medium. Liquid nitrogen 'boils' at room temperature because its boiling point is much lower than that of water. Mercury boils at 356 degrees C because its boiling point is much higher than that of water. Also, these 'boiling points' are dependent on the pressure of the atmosphere around them. For instance, water boils at sea level at 212 degrees F, whereas it boils at one mile above sea level at 210 degrees F. If atmosphere is not present to exert pressure on the liquid, the boiling point is immediately reduced. Different materials react to atmospheric pressure differently. Our measured boiling and vaporization points are completely dependent on the pressure of our atmosphere. So, liquid Nitrogen boils at room temperature, not because of its 'degrees of separation from its environment', but because of the molecular properties of liquid nitrogen. Matter boils because of specific heat capacities, which are completely individual to each element, and completely dependent on the pressure of our atmosphere. Iron (Fe) melts at 1,535 degrees C and boils at 2,750 degrees C. Nitrogen melts at -209 degrees C and boils at -195 degrees C. Water melts at 0 degrees C and boils at 100 degrees C. What I am trying to demonstrate is that all materials have different heat capacities, and it is these capacities that regulate boiling points.

Now that we have the basics of melting and boiling down, let's talk about the compression of water. Liquids are commonly known to be 'incompressible', but this is a myth. Liquids are compressible, but it requires so much energy to compress water, that it is impractical to measure (without advanced lab equipment, and a hefty degree). As long as there is space between the atoms and molecules of a material, there is compression to be had, even if it is difficult to detect. HOWEVER, when water is compressed, it is by NO means turned into ice. When water is compressed, the molecules simply become closer, as with any medium, which is being compressed. Have you ever dropped BBs, or ball bearings? Between the solid ball bearings and the ground, compression is occurring. Is this changing the phase of matter the BBs or ball bearings are in? NO!!! Because of the special properties of water, it does turn into crystalline form when energy is lost - but it can not be compressed enough to form 'ice crystals'. One of the special properties of water, which allow it to be what it is, are seemingly insignificant forces, such as hydrogen bonds, Van der Waals interactions, and dipole-dipole forces. Water molecules are also special because of the partial positive charges on the two hydrogen atoms, and the partial negative charge on the oxygen atom, which help to form a dipole moment. The surface tension of water is partly due to the dipole moment (the direction, which positive charge is directed). All of these factors contribute to the properties of water. The freezing of water cannot be achieved by compression, only by the donation of energy from the water to another medium. In all cases of energy transfer, the goal is always equilibrium. The intermolecular forces present in water are responsible for the properties of water….. these properties DO NOT include crystallization upon compression.

Now for ultrasonic transducers: While I appreciate your ‘evaluation’ that I understand “layman’s terms”, I must remind you of your source for information, I quote:

“The directions EXPLICITLY state. "Do not expose flesh to the jet stream of water which is created, as this will cause severe burns from microscopic ice getting under skin.””

Okay, so…… from my “COMMON – HOW DOES THIS WORK [website]”, to your ‘EXPLICITLY stated directions’, I’m just not sure who to trust. Once again, I insist, ultrasonic transducers are emitting a frequency, which operates fast enough to vaporize water – NOT flash boil or flash freeze the water [PERIOD!]. To do a large scale version of an ultrasonic transducer, put two cups of water into a (clear) one gallon milk jug…. Okay, see how the water sits in the bottom in one big puddle? Now, shake the milk jug up and down as hard and as fast as you can… what happens? YES!!! The water turns into smaller particles than the original puddle – this resembles what an ultrasonic transducer does to water (the water is just being shaken at 1.7 million cycles per second). Another example of a similar process is when science teachers place sand on the device, which has a surface that oscillates up and down – what happens when the device is turned on at low frequency? The sand begins to vibrate on the surface? What happens when the frequency is turned up? The sand begins to leave the surface of the device. What happens when the frequency is turned way up? The sand leaves the surface wildly, which resembles the similar process of what an ultrasonic transducer does to water.

The websites you brought up: I viewed almost all of them. Those websites have nearly no credibility as far as I am concerned. I looked at, at least two, which stated that the ultrasonic transducer produces ‘anions’….. We’re talkin’ first level college chemistry folks…. Get a grip. An anion is an atom or molecule, which has an extra electron attached to it (from its neutral state). Anions form bonds with cations – it is called an ionic bond! Yikes! Salt is an example – NaCl (common table salt – sodium chloride) is made up of two ions: Na+ and Cl-. The sodium (Na) is missing an electron, and the chlorine (Cl) has an extra one. In water, NaCl is highly soluble because ionic bonds are most easily broken, so when salt is added to water you are simply separating the crystalline form of NaCl into its conjugate ions. What’s my point? Water is in constant equilibrium with its conjugate ions, H+ and OH-. Water CANNOT be turned into ions by an ultrasonic transducer. Plus, what idiot would try to sell these things by saying that we put ‘anions’ into the air – the anion of water is OH-, which is a strong base. I don’t even want to begin to talk about the stupidity exhibited in these websites – some people will say anything to sell something, even if it is completely wrong.

Okay – I’m stopping here. If you can come up with that patent, I would like to see it. However, considering that most of the properties of water were discovered more recently than 40 years ago, I am already questioning its credibility. As you can (hopefully) see, I have more than a “layman’s” understanding of how most things work (chemistry, at least). Unless you can prove me undoubtedly wrong, please stop spreading incorrect information. The mist produced by ultrasonic transducers is fine for any creature, as long as the amount of mist produced is right for that particular creature and the water is not contaminated. Coming in contact with the transducer can be fatal to small animals, and cause strange sensations of ‘burning’ for humans. Organic matter can be gelatinized with high enough frequencies, as water can be vaporized (turned into small particles) with high enough frequencies.

Anonymous is offline  
post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-18-2003, 01:23 PM
Planted Member
Zurp's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Enfield, Connecticut
Posts: 292
I didn't say that the sites that I posted were where my source of info, only that more info could be found there. The "HARM" statement that I made was directly taken from the directions of "Care and Operation of Your Exo-Terra fogger". I can personally attest to the fact that you will get burned, and your finger will freeze. (Stupid is, stupid does!) I held my finger in the stream for about 3 seconds, it felt as if I was getting shocked by an ice cube. I always test this stuff before I introduce it into my tank.

All directions have this warning, whenever the stream may come in direct contact with flesh. Some cool mist vaporizers, which also use the same devices, but are contained from direct contact, do not have these warnings.

These same ultrasonic devices, which were once the size of a computer monitor, have been used in everything from agriculture to pollution control. They can also commonly be found in several homes as cool air humidifiers, as personal units or built into ductwork. They have been used in hospitals filtration system for the added bonus of aiding in the capturing of airborne microorganisms, pollens, bacteria, dust, etc... They have also been used in vegetable and fruit displays.

Yes, there is always misconception and even contradiction. Every "NEW" theory and research always finds a different explanation. All I really wanted to say was that there are other present dangers which may arise or disappoint, because they were purposely left out of consumer advertisement (Box and website literature), but they are mentioned in the instructions inside the box.

OK, so I loose my train of thought just before I go to work, I was in a rush. This is common with third-shifters that have A.D.D. on top of that.

Just be glad that I don't have turret syndrome!

More info for your history. This technology goes as far back as the 1880's when piezoelectric reactions were first discovered.
Zurp is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ultrasonic foggers (without all the hubbub) ^iMp^ Riparium/Terrarium/Vivarium 9 11-19-2009 12:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome