Yeah..... I have a problem, I need to join a nepenthes anonymous group hehe
Eventually I'll run out of room right?!?
Everything is looking great!! Can't wait to see the set-up in person...
Thanks for sharing!!
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Since you like the benches, here's a close up of the benches before they were painted so you can see how they were made. They were quite easy and fast to make if you have a nail gun. They're made completely of 1x2s that I got from Home Depot (they came in a bunch together for a decent price).
To make them, you just cut a bunch to the length you want for the table and cut a bunch of squares for the spacers and start nailing them together. Where the legs are you put longer pieces instead of the square spacers.
Also, I highly recommend painting the wood before nailing them together. Getting in between all those one inch spaces are a pain. Its so much fast to pre paint and then do a little touch up
Very nice! I was actually planning an very similar build. How well does the air conditioner work for keeping the nighttime temps down? Also, how do you prevent overheating during the day?
The real key to my tank's success is this temperature controller. Its awesome! It allows for four different time settings and you can pick any temperature for each time. So I have it set to 78 F and during the night its set to 58 F.
Since the controller is on all the time it only kicks on the AC when its too hot. Once it reaches the temperature you've set it turns off the AC. So during the day the AC will only turn on/work if it goes above 78 F. This makes it so they never cook in there during the day. Also since I used an AC designed for a much larger space (a room) it takes only a couple of minutes for the tank to cool down and then it turns off. So the AC really doesn't run that much which is nice since thats a HUGE expense otherwise.
Another thing thats helpful is I have the tank on the north side of the house. It really doesn't get hit directly by the sun which helps to keep temps down, but it still gets lots of bright light. Oh and using a lot of insulation helps a lot. The temps stay where you want them for much longer so the AC works less.
The only thing I would change about my design (other than being bigger hahaha) is to get a double paned window. The one I bought was the cheapest since it was only single paned. They don't really sell the double paned here in Hawaii too often (at least the size I was looking for) but you can special order them. The window is the most expensive part of the tank by far.
I'm currently working on my humidity problem but haven't come up with anything in particular yet. The humidity seems to stay around 70-80% (mostly 70%) and it just seems too low for them for some reason. Nothing major I guess, they'll still do fine in this humidity, but eventually I'd like to get it up higher.
Heres a pic of the temperature controller….
The thing sticking out the back is the sensor
Impressive! I was planning to build mine out of two windows salvaged from an old house. The shape would be very similar to yours with the two forward facing walls being windows. I would glaze them with "liquid shade" as the unit would be out in full sun. The AC would probably be on the back. I had always assumed that in order to get temps below 60 I would have to rewire the AC but it looks like you have found a way around that. Does the AC plug directly into the controller? If so, how did you bypass the AC's built in thermostat? Finally, how are you handling drainage? Are the plants sitting in trays or directly on the floor?
Yes, the AC plugs directly into the controller and basically acts like an on and off switch for the AC. It plugs into the socket on the front of the controller. You can see the socket in my first picture (I just unplugged the AC so you could see it).
To bypass the ACs thermostat, the AC is set always on the "on" position and on the coldest temperature on the AC, that way it never turns off on its own. The controller turns it on when it senses it's too hot and once it reaches your set temp on the controller it'll turn it back off again.
As for the drainage, I have a drain at the bottom in a corner. The tank isn't level so that it'll drain towards this corner. Right now the plants are just sitting on the floor but I think I might raise them up off the ground in the future.
If you and your dad ever want to come over to check it out and see it in person, you're more than welcome to. Sometimes seeing it in person makes a big difference