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Thread: terrarium with "open" glass bottom

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    Veronis's Avatar
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    terrarium with "open" glass bottom

    Hi all,

    My terrarium sits on a wire rack and basically if I stick my head in the terrarium and look down, I can see the floor. Should I put mylar on the bottom of the terrarium so that the light doesn't go straight through to the floor, or should something that isn't mylar go on the bottom (sheet of white paper)? I'm not sure about using mylar, as several thousand lumens would reflect right in my face when I'm working in it.

    I'm using the method where all the plants inside are in separate trays.

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    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    I really don't see any problem with your terrarium being transparent on the bottom. Adding mylar would probably do you more harm than good as those "several thousand lumens" could burn the underside of your plants where they don't normally recieve light.

    Leave it alone, your just making unnecessary work for yourself.

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    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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    larry's Avatar
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    I have mylar on the bottom and 3 sides of my terrarium. I don't think the reflected light is anywhere near powerful enough to burn the bottom of the leaves.
    larry
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    Veronis's Avatar
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    I put the terrarium on a few cuts of light-colored wood, since I needed to raise it about 1.5 inches anyway. At least now it isn't clear on the bottom.

    Thanks for the input guys; putting mylar on three sides will probably be plenty with the amount of light I'm pushing into it, but I'll revisit this if I need to.

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Use the mylar on the bottom. You can put mylar on the bottom without much worry of "several thousand lumens".

    Remember that the intensity of light decreases at the reciprocal of distance squared. So the light hitting you from the reflected bottom of the tank has traveled all the way down from the actual bulb and then back up again. So if the distance from the bottom of the tank back up to your face is X and if we assume it is half the distance from the bulb to the bottom of the tank then total distance traveled is 3X. Then the intensity will be 1/(9(X^2)). Then you also have to account for attenuation of the light by 1) Your head (as it is going to be between the bulb and the tank when you are looking/working in it), 2) your plants which will block some light both on the way down and back up and 3) the glass on the bottom of the tank itself as glass is not 100% transparent.
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