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Thread: Going to build a custom terrarium

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    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    Going to build a custom terrarium

    Hi everyone,
    So I am getting ready to attempt to build my own custom terrarium. I am really trying to go all out with this project and do it right. I want to be able to grow highland nepenthes so basically I need a way to provide the temp range for them in the terrarium. I am getting ready to order the glass for it. The dimensions are 26"w x 36"l x 36"h, kind of a weird size i know but I have a fireplace that juts out from the wall and has a large counter-like space on top that has those dimensions and I would like to have a terrarium there. Does anyone have any suggestions on one, how to actually assemble a custom terrarium if I have the glass; two, if there is any sort of temperature controller and humidity controller that is specifically for terrariums; three, if such a thing exists where to get one; and four, if it doesn't exist, ideas of how to provide the temperature changes and humidity necessary to grow highlanders. If possible I would also like to have a stream or waterfall in the terrarium. I have space to build a custom reservoir tank that measures 5"x36"x36" lwh and I would like to use this for either a mist system or a water feature. Maybe even both. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks guys!

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    B0B's Avatar
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    Im not the person to be giving advice but im sure a fan mounted up top can decrease temps for you as far as humidity keep it closed or even set up a fogger system inside so you dont have to mist but yea like i said im not the one to be giving advice but youll figure it out and im sure someone here will help you but do post pics when you get it finished good luck

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    UnstuckinTime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmcnair View Post
    The dimensions are 26"w x 36"l x 36"h, kind of a weird size i know but I have a fireplace that juts out from the wall and has a large counter-like space on top that has those dimensions and I would like to have a terrarium there.

    ...you're putting a highland terrarium... onTOP of a fireplace? Do you use this fireplace? That just sounds like a cooling and humidifying nightmare to me! If you use the fireplace, you might have to think about building some sort of active cooling system, (as compared to a passive one, like leaving a window open), like recirculating water from a cooler through a tube in front of a fan or something.
    "The plants you grow, end up growing you."


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    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=123995

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    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    The fireplace doesn't work. And even if it did there is about a two foot gap between the top of the fireplace and the platform the terrarium will be on.

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    As far as the temp/humidity controller goes, the ZooMed HygroTherm is what some of us use, and I absolutely love mine. Just keep in mind it can't handle the startup draw of a portable AC unit, so you're looking at using (a) fan(s) to pull air in from the room or, probably more preferably, from outside. But it works great and is incredibly cheap when you compare it to proper "greenhouse" controllers or even growtent controllers. Excellent bang for your buck.

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    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    So here is my design for the terrarium so far. I'm trying to think of a way to cool it down to 60-65F at night so I can grow highland nepenthes. Any ideas? The plan is to have a metal screen over the top with two 2', 2 tube T5 growlights on top of it with a plastic dome covering the lights and screen to keep in the humidity. I am debating whether to have a fan blowing in air from my apartment through the plastic cover. Is this a good or bad idea?

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    Sphagnum Guru Wire Man's Avatar
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    Using 2 CFLs might work better. I use them on my terrariums and they work very well and are a lot cheaper. What Neps are you planning on growing in there?

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    mksmith's Avatar
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    @mcmcnair - You should use the ZooMed HygroTherm to Handle Humidity and Temperature control as @kyle pointed out. It is able to start an air conditioner just fine.

    I have a ultra-highland setup that is partially controlled by a HygroTherm. I am using a window A/C unit as my cooling devices and a humidifier and misters for increasing humidity. It works very well and the best part is that it has a night-time cooling mode that allows you to drop the temperature by 25 plus degrees which you will need for this highland terrarium.

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