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Thread: New to terrariums and CPs

  1. #1
    The ignorance of man stains the land! Victoria's Avatar
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    Hello all! I have read tons of info on this site and others and am ready to make the step into CP growing.

    We have lots of saltwater tanks and my main tanks were 2 55 gallons....well, as a gift my husband (Jeremy) bought me a new 180 gallon acrylic tank. So that has left me with 2 empty 55s. I am keeping one for a backup. The other 55 Jeremy wants me to turn into a terrarium, since he has never shown any interest in my house full of plants I figure I better take his advantage of his interest, lol.

    Well, thats a good enough intro I think. My point for posting is that after all the reading I have done I am still not sure what plants would be good in a standard 55 gallon tank and what ones will be good starter plants. I have your typical ferns, rubber plants, succulants, etc and they all thrive so I am not a newby to plants just CPs.

    There are also tons of opinions on what should be on the bottom of the tank. I have read to use rocks with carbon on top and then I have read to use eggcrate.....so I am not sure what the best aproach would be...maybe both ways are the best way.

    I have decided to plant the CPs in their own pots, I am not going to try covering the pots or anything as that is just more expence and I dont mind the look of the pots. What is the best kind of pots, clay I assume?

    I am also not sure where to get the CPs from, I am after the least amount of expence as possible. I am extremely happy to see a trading forum, its just a matter of getting plants and letting them get big enough to be able to trade....

    We collect corals (for saltwater tanks) and that hobby has become quite addicting...after looking at pics and other peoples set ups Here I know for sure that collecting CPs are going to be just as addicting to me!

    Oh yeah, what kind of lighting is best? We use full spectrum lighting....Philips TL90 bulbs for my regular plants plus they get indirect lighting from the window which is a standard size window. So would that lighting be enough if I use 2 bulbs?

    Well, I think I am all out of questions. Thanks in advance and I look forward to meeting you all!

    Victoria
    They are slowly and painfully killing you.....did you know that?

    How brainwashed are you?

  2. #2
    Moderator Joseph Clemens's Avatar
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    Plastic pots. Full spectrum is okay, but not essential. If you're only going to use 2 bulbs, they should be almost as bright as the sun. For a similar area, I use 4 - 2 bulb fixtures, 8 bulbs, they use electronic ballast and I've rewired them to overdrive the bulbs, so one ballast, designed to light two bulbs, only lights one bulb. Almost all CP grow best in full-sun. There are exceptions, but even those do best with extremely bright artificial light, when the heat of sunlight is not a factor.



    Joseph Clemens
    Tucson, Arizona, U S A

  3. #3
    quogue's Avatar
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    Heya, I think 55's are the perfect size for a CP terrarium.
    I use 2 fixtures of 2-bulb Flourescent T-8 48" strip lights I got from Home Depot for cheap, already wired too. I use regular-ol' GE cool white bulbs. These do me VERY well producing almost too much light in some cases. I just have them laying on top of the tank and aquarium mirrored backing on 3 sides of the tank.
    I have my pots sitting in saucers at the bottom of the tank, no eggcrate or nuthin, if I want them to be closer to the lights I use either plastic storage bins or tupperware food storage continers.
    Plastic might be the best for pots, but I like the look of glazed ceramic and have scoured for years to find the most attractive pots for my plants to make them look their best.
    My philosophy is to make it cheap, simple & effective. & to make it look good too.
    I have my tank downstairs where it's cool year-round and kinda cold in the winter, it's easier to heat than to cool. I use an under-tank mat heater for a 35 gal tank on one end of my 55 and keep the plants that like it cooler on the opposite end(like King Sundews)
    If you have lotsa Coral you might be able to trade them for some Really nice CP's with the people here who are into it and have nice stuff to trade. I'd do research so you don't trade a $200 piece of coral for a couple of Cape Sundews and a Nepenthes Ventricosa or something. You want to get the best deal possible in a trade.
    I personally like a few big plants in a terrarium instead of tons of little ones, what's your preference?
    Sorry if this is long, but I love terrarium growing!

  4. #4
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Oh I used to be a reefer! I LOVED it but I got out of it in the 7th grade I believe. Got too expensive for me on my allowance Had an awesome 75 gallon

    You can probably re-use the lights you were already using on the 55 gallon tanks if you havn't recycled them already.

    I use eggcrate sitting on top of 3 inch pots with water in the bottom and a titanium heater in the water. Plants kept in pots is easiest but not the prettiest.

    You can buy starter cp's from this website. There are lots of online stores. If you want nepenthes, which I LOVE but get big, talk to Tony He's a great member who has his own nursery.

    In my experience, Cp's, even the common ones, need better light that most coral. I had a 440 watt VHO setup for my LPS and then used to for my cp's. It didn't cut it. I then upgraded to a single metal halide (ushio) and they are beet red and thriving and I can keep them far away from the lamp and not within inches. The 440 watt VHO setup was good enough for my nepenthes but not for the drosera.

    Here's mine. the first pic is a HPS bulb, which sucked so I replaced it with a MH conversion bulb.

    http://www.terraforums.com/ib312....t=27192

  5. #5
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Welcome to TF! The beauty of discussion forums is that it's a pool of varied information and experiences, sometimes even contradictory, or at least seemingly so. There are a variety of ways of approaching the cultivation of cp's and depending upon your climate, resources, preferences, etc... you can be reasonably successful in more than one approach. I happen to cultivate them mostly by window sills. Some plants, like VFT's and American pitcher plants, I keep outside for most of the year. This winter I am keeping my tropical sundews and bladderworts in a closet, under a fluorescent light.

    There is also a variety when approaching soil media, water, watering, feeding, troubleshooting,....

    As to procuring these plants, I started out by purchasing what I could find in Lowes, Home Depot, and other local establishments, that happened to sell them. A few months later I stumbled onto the discussion forums, just trying to ID what those places were actually selling. A few months later, after tapping out the local retailers, I discovered the CP Trading Post and I would say that ~95% of what I have has come from the generous folks on this discussion forum. You should check the foum out! This hobby can truly be augmented on a "shoestring budget"!

    Oh... did you say saltwater? In a former life, tropical fish was my hobby. I used to work for a wholesaler and was even given the oportunity to take care of the salt section. *sighs sadly*

    Speaking of fish....

  6. #6
    The ignorance of man stains the land! Victoria's Avatar
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    Corals.....oh yeah, we have corals! We have over 100 different species of SPS corals and around 75 different species of soft corals, so yeah, we have lots of corals. I will get on the trading forum and see if anyone is interested in trading some CPs for some coral frags. We are coral farmers and sell/specialize in aquacultured corals many of which are rare, we collect the rare ones....so I can see me getting carried away with CPs....I cant wait, lol. We also raise Parrots handfeeding the babies and selling them for pets if anyones wants to see pics of the corals or our breeder birds feel free to check out our site, it is a work in progress but has some pics up.

    Anyways, first I need to know what the best begginer CPs are. I need to be careful not to get any that require more know how than I have...which is little at this point. I think I would like the look of some that get bigger as well as smaller ones. I dont mind the look of pots, I think they look fine but then again I dont keep up on style and what not.

    What kind of CPs require dormancy? I dont know anything about putting plants into dormancy so I better stear clear of those for now.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]There is also a variety when approaching soil media, water, watering, feeding, troubleshooting,....
    Feel free to give suggestions. I do need to know how much humidity they need. We have a very humid house with all the tanks we evaporate around 12 gallons of water a day, so we have a pretty humid house as it is. Also, what temp is best for them? Whats the best way to water and how much? Sphagnum (sp?) moss and perlite is what I read to use for soil....correct me if I am wrong please. How do you feed them? Do they get their own food from around the house all year round?

    I would use the lights from my old tank but Jeremy modified them and put them in my new lighthood, not much gets thrown out around here, there is a use for everything its just a matter of finding it.

    We use 2-bulb Flourescent T-8 48" fixtures for our birds and my reg houseplants but we use full spectrum bulbs, it is the best and most benificial bulb we can find for our parrots, the closest we can get to the sun for them. I think since we have extra ones I will use 4 of those for the terrarium and if that is not enough I am all for upgrading. Jeremy upgrades his tank lights all the time and since this is his idea Im sure he wont mind upgrading if need be.

    I have two options for the placement of the terrarium. I could put it in our living room in front of a double north facing window. Or I could put it in the kitchen on the counter where it gets inderect light from the window across the room. I will of course have 4 full spectrum lights over the tank (unless you all let me know that will not be enough at all.....) to help. Those are the only spots in the house that are not overrun by reef tanks and parrots.

    Sorry if that is all to much info, I get to typing sometimes, guess Im a chatter box.

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
    Victoria
    They are slowly and painfully killing you.....did you know that?

    How brainwashed are you?

  7. #7
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    D. adelae and D. paradoxa and D. capensis , N. ventrata, N.ventricosa, most Genlisea, N. sanguinae, N. truncata (spelling?), Byblis liniflora, most terrestrail utricularia ,are all good , robust starter plants IMO. EVERY sarracenia is easy but not ideal for a terrarium. LOTS of cp's are easy.

    All sarracenia require a dormancy. Some Pinguicula have a winter dry rest period, Tuberous drosera have a summer rest period, some aquatic utricularia and aldrovanda produce turions to survive the winter.

    In a terrarium, nepenthes are your best bet. Most tropical drosera and mexican pinguicula don't require a dormancy. No nepenthes or heliamphora do. Cephalotus doesn't require one.

    Your humidity is fine with those aquariums. The temp depends on what you want. Highland? Lowland? Intermediate? ultra highland? You can grow a wide selection at room temps.

    for water I use RO. I top water and also sit some plants in a tray. You can feed them bugs, but some people foliar feed with a weak fertilizer, or use time release pellets.

    If you are eager to upgrade, go for it! I love upgrading stuff! If you can't do metal halide, go for VHO or PC. 4 full spectrum lights is fine if you keep them close to the light. You can also turn the tank on it's side to get the light closet and have more growing area. Basically, get the most light you afford. I'm very VERY happy with my 250 ushio. It outperforms my old 440 watt VHO that I got rid of just because it's coming from a single source.

    Put it anywhere you want as long as it doesn't overheat.

    Oh yeah, be very careful not to expose the plants to salt.

    Lol, one more thing. I suggest you (and everyone else who reads this) get The Savage Garden by Peter D'amato and Growing Carnivorous Plants by Barry Rice.

  8. #8
    The ignorance of man stains the land! Victoria's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the names, thats exactly what I needed.

    Fertilizer makes me nervous, I am more for organic plants, but if I have to I will fertilizer, better read up about it just in case....

    The biggest problem with upgrading lights is that we are at maximum capacity in this area of the house with all the tanks and parrots as it is. I have to use the toaster and coffee maker in my laundry room so I dont blow a breaker!

    Im going to check the web for pics of the plants you named as well as their specs for care and then its on to the trading forum!
    They are slowly and painfully killing you.....did you know that?

    How brainwashed are you?

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