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Thread: Grow chamber of the gods

  1. #1

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    Grow chamber of the gods

    The Europeans make really nice terrariums.
    I care nothing for aesthetics.

    My gods are Frugality, Miserness, and Spendthrift.

    My number one concern is cost, which is why I embarked on attempting to build a cheap yet sufficiently large chamber. My old one was way too small and crappy. It was basically disintegrating.

    Here's my parts list:
    Snap Clamps: 9 x $1.19 + $6.55 (shipping) = $21.07
    3-way elbow fittings: 8 x $2.83 + $8.67 (shipping) = $31.31
    1.5" x 10' PVC pipe: 8 x $4.29 = $34.32
    Duct tape: free (had it laying around) = $0
    Plastic sheeting: ~$8 for a small 4 mil roll = $8
    (I covered most of it in a large roll of 6 mil sheeting I had laying around since I paint houses. The 4 mil was just to fill the little gaps I had.)
    Light fixtures: ~$8 x 2 (3/5 I already had) = $16
    Bulbs: ~$7 x 2 = $14
    (The 3 fixtures I had already had bulbs)
    Small fan: free (already had it) = $0
    Humidifier: $30 x 1 = $30
    Shelving: $50 x 1 = $50
    (originally I planned on making one out of these: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...361&lpage=none and cinder blocks. Doing that, you can make a 6' x 1' shelf 3 tiers high for about $30. This wasn't stable enough for me, since I am building this on carpet. Put 2 cinder blocks on the ends, then 1 in the middle, and stack the wire racks. I decided to buy a cheap shelf instead).
    Twine: free = $0
    Total: = $204.70


    For a grow area that's 7' h x 3' w x 7' long...that ain't bad.
    1.5" pipe is the way to go. Though smaller diameter pipes and fittings would save money, I do not recommended them for something of this size. The structure is very sturdy as well. I punched it to test it out, and it barely and briefly shook. Passed my test.

    I'm going to add a few more lights and maybe a heater soon, but this is how everything is ATM.

    I had some pics of the very beginning, as I was planning on doing an entire build, but they kind of looked bad. Plus, it's a box made of PVC and fittings. If you can't figure out how to replicate this from the photos, we're all in lots of trouble.

    Outside:

    As I said, the dimensions are: 7' h x 3' d x 7' w


    I'm using this 6' h x 2' d x 3' w shelving unit I got for a paltry $50 at Home Depot. If you're looking for shelving, I highly recommend this. It's made of high impact resin and can hold 1000lbs (evenly distributed weight, i.e. 200lbs per shelf):



    My new tank+stand that I put in there. I'm too lazy to cut the mylar (really an emergency blanket lol), so I just drape it over:

    There's 2 kinds of location data ampullaria seeds, and raff seeds with location data in there.


    As you may or may not know via this thread (http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=111265) my collection is in shambles. Hopefully the higher humidity and the soaking I gave everything will make all perk up and at least not die, but who knows. Anyway, here's about the only 2 things looking decent ATM:

    chaniana x veitchii:



    splendiana x rokko:




    I've still got some kinks to work out, like the fact that the light in the tank doesn't come on when the timer clicks on, even though the other 4 lights connected to the same exact timer do. However, it does work when I click it off, then on manually. I'll try to clean it with coke and/or CLR to get some of the corrosion off, and if it still doesn't work, I may have to break down and buy a new light fixture deal, though I'd realllllly rather not.

    Btw, my old enclosure:

    Is now inside my new one, without the crap plastic on top of it. It is currently empty, but tomorrow I'll probably go and get 2 new fixtures to hang on it, since I am expecting a new shipment next week, and have 0 room already. I ran out of space so fast because I'm trying to let the new plants not touch each other so they'll get more air movement etc. In my old setup, I had pots literally inside/on top of other pots, which didn't do so hot.
    Z polski y dumny
    Prayer - how to do nothing and still think you're helping.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F5aCUNE4Z8
    ^^^Newest vid

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    Nepenthes's Avatar
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    Very very nice Ron. I REALLY would love to make something like that. Sounds very cost efficient. Interesting how you place the fluorescent lighting vertically rather than horizontally. Does this provide enough light for the plants in between pots? It seems like it does, due to the success you've had, but I was wondering if you have any 'trouble' spots.

    Great pics btw... should be easy enough to replicate from the info. provided. Thx for the share

    P.S. Love that Chaniana x Veitchii... Mine is just forming a pitcher after recovering from poor humidity (from the grower) and I can't wait. I'm thinking about ordering another 1 or two for outside .
    - Daniel

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    Jayson16's Avatar
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    Great job PK, whats your climate like inside the new chamber?

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    Is ready to take this hobby to a whole new level DavyJones's Avatar
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    Where are the pics?!
    "We are in a sense the Universe trying to understand itself. By Observing it we are observing what we are." - Phillip Plait

    Growlist: Updated 1/11/12 http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=110846

  5. #5
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phissionkorps View Post
    My gods are Frugality, Miserness, and Spendthrift.
    Heh. As my father once said to me: "Welcome to middle class, son." I totally agree with you about aesthetics being unnecessary; but, if I were to ever build something like that I believe my wife would have a different story to tell.

    Nice work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayson16 View Post
    Great job PK, whats your climate like inside the new chamber?
    I was wondering this, too.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    jack's Avatar
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    Please, no one take offence to this remark, I have never understood growing plants in a grow chamber. There is no way to enjoy your plants except the small amount of time the chamber is open and being serviced. Why not just grow plants that can grow with your environment? Ex. I grow N. chaniana x veitchii as a house plant with low humidity and it grows and pitchers great, plus I get to enjoy it while i'm sitting and watching t.v..
    'Celebrate the birth of our nation by blowing a little piece of it up'.The Simpsons.
    My grow list ~http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=107403

  7. #7
    --Freedom Czar-- Fryster's Avatar
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    Very nice PK,

    I myself, DO care for aesthetics when it comes to an indoor grow-rack (or chamber).

    I don't like it when my stuff gets messy, but that's just me...

    That said, how are you going to service your plants with the vertical lights in the way? Did you construct them as removable? I notice that you do save some vertical space for plants by mounting lights on their ends but isn't it more cumbersome to service the inhabitants of your new chamber?
    Only a moral and virtuous people are capable of freedom; the more corrupt and vicious a people becomes, the more it has need of masters. -- Benjamin Franklin

  8. #8

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    DJ,
    can you not see the pics? Anyone else having that problem? They show fine for me.

    Jayson/xvart,
    Umm....lowlandish? I can't find my thermometer/hygrometer, so that's my guess! It's really humid, and kind of warm lol.

    jack,
    Nothing can survive in my environment...no joke. Humidity in Lubbock is never higher than 20% unless it just rained. Also, for about 6 months, temps are above 90, and for the other 6, they're below 40. Even my lowlanders at the windowsill shrivel in the winter, and my windowsill highlanders shrink in the summer. Trust me, if I didn't absolutely need a chamber, I wouldn't have one.

    fryster,
    Yes, I can remove the lights (they're hanging on hooks). Also, there are some generous gaps in between the lights, and as you noticed, no lights on the side (which may change). I have one of those huge sprayers with the long shaft (hehehe), so watering any of them is really easy, but the lights are built to be able to come off in the event that I need to remove something
    Z polski y dumny
    Prayer - how to do nothing and still think you're helping.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F5aCUNE4Z8
    ^^^Newest vid

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