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Thread: 5 gal terrarium

  1. #1

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    Hey, Just wanted your advice on something I'm trying to set up. It's a 5 gal (yeah neps are gonna outgrow this...) terrarium that is sealed apart from a 1 inch gap at the front with a plastic sheet (this gap prevents any condensation forming at all....without the gap condensation forms...is this good?...) with about 1/2" of water at the bottom of the tank. There is an 18w general aquarium fluorescent bulb and a 30w (equivalent to 150w) compact fluorescent daylight bulb resting on top of the plastic sheet.
    At the moment I have a small (1 1/2" diameter) potted D. alicae sitting about 8" from the light that seems to be ok, but has only been in there for 2 days. Im planning on adding a N. ventricosa, a N. hookeriana and an ebay 'mini' nepenthes. I am a complete newbie to this and just wondered if this could work....Phew that was longer than I thought.... Any info is apreciated. Cheers.

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    Hey, im new to growing CP's too. Just wondering if its a classic style terrarium?? Have any pics

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    Hey there Icetray. First of all welcome to the forums! I hope I can help you out with this.

    I actually just added a 5 gallon tank to my collection so you bring this up at a good time. My tank is lit by 30 watts of cool white light (two 15 watt tubes). When I first started (seriously) growing CPs, I grew several sundews and a Nep in this tank with identical lighting and they all thrived.

    Taking this into account, I don't think you need more than 30 watts of light on such a small tank. Also, you don't need to seal the tank with plastic. You want to keep the air flowing in and out of the tank, plus most sundews and Nepenthes don't need extremely high humidity to do well. All of my terrariums (I have three total) don't have lids on them, only lights and my plants grow like mad. And we're talking about lowland and highland Neps with 20-50% humidity.

    So my advice is to get another 18 watt flourescent tube and replace the 30 watt bulb with that. Also, don't forget to line the whole tank with something reflective, like mylar, reflective carboard, or tin foil (not the best but if it's all you got, then no big deal).

    Last but not least, I wouldn't keep water in the bottom of the tank with the plants standing in it. I've tried this before and it'll result in a dirty and smelly tank, along with possibly dead Nepenthes since they hate being constantly waterlogged. Get some cheap, plastic water saucers at Lowe's or Home Depot and sit each plant in its own saucer. You can keep water in the D. adelae's tray all the time, but with the Neps you should top water them, let them sit in the shallow water until it evaporates (depending on the season and conditions it usually takes from 4 days to a week), let them sit for a few days without any water in the tray (the soil should be just moist now) and then water again, repeating the entire cycle.

    I hope this helps!

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    Wow, quick replies! cool
    First of all Jayson, it's not a classic terrarium but I do think those look so much better. All my plants will be potted to begin with as I am a lowly uni student and I need to take them home at some point. On the subject of money the only other lighting option I have is to add another 30w compact fluorescent (equivilent to 150w) but this time its a warm white bulb....I realise this isn't ideal.
    LLeopardGGecko, thanks for the advice , I have the tank hood covered in tin foil but would you suggest that I lose the plastic covering and have the bare bulb above the plants? I have no humidity gauge but im guessing a central heated room in the UK is not all that humid....my plants won't be sitting in water, its just in the bottom of the tank to keep humidity up. What Im worried about is the light source being central to the tank but I can't afford to buy another fluorescent tube to spread light out.....In the UK we don't have this 'Lowes' or 'home depot' you speak of..haha. Cheers.

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    Ok sorry for the double post but I missed some stuff.
    Jayson16: I don't haven't got any pics yet, sorry.
    LLeopardGGecko: I've seen some pics of your setup in other threads and I'm aiming for something like yours

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    Yeah LLeopardGGecko has some very nice terrariums, hoping the one im building now will turn out as nice as his . Good luck with your terrarium problems Icetry. Wishing best of luck




    -Jayson

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    Thanks for the kind words guys.

    Icetray: I would just get rid of the plastic covering and have the bulbs directly over the plants. It's how I have my lights in all my terrariums and I've yet to have any problems.

    On the note of terrarium pictures, in the next month or two I'll be posting some major updates on my website. Keep a look out!

    Mitch's Carnivores

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