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Thread: Bit the bullet and setup a grow rack - Critique!

  1. #1
    Alien1099's Avatar
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    Bit the bullet and setup a grow rack - Updage First Post - New PICS

    I picked up a couple of dual bulb T8 fixtures at Walmart for $10 each, the standard Shelves by Design $85 shelves from Lowes and some Philips T8 bulbs that are stated to be the following:

    2800 lumens
    32 watts
    24,000 hour life
    CRI of 85
    6500k color temperature

    They certainly seemed to be damn good bulbs for the money. Can I do better? I know there was a specific type of GE bulb that came highly recommended here on the forums, but I did not write down the model #. I also know some people like to mix 4000ish k color temp bulbs with 6500k color temp bulbs, but is there any real benefit to this?

    I'm going to wrap the back and sides with reflective mylar for additional light efficiency and just have the front open. I'm going to line the reflectors with it to reflect additional light from them.

    I'm going to also a get some risers to put the plants on to get them closer to the light, but I wanted to have some room for the Dana's Delight and Hurricane Creek White to grow soI set the grow shelf a bit low. I know they're going to outgrow the amount of space I have now even eventually.

    I plan to fill the rest of the shelf up eventually with some sundews and more VFTs.

    Any suggestions?








    Edit:


    Well I went ahead and bought another light fixture this evening and put it up for additional lumens. I also lined the sides and back with some thick mylar sheets that I pieced together. They were made from calendars that my office sends out, only I put the shiny side facing in of course. My plants should be extremely happy now.

    I also made a cover/flap out of some very thin mylar sheets that I bought from a party supply store. I plan to go back and by some more to make a new one though. They are slightly transluscent which is kinda cool because you can see inside the rack while it's reflecting light at the same time.

    The transparent container has chilean sphagnum moss that I'm going to try and grow live moss from (hopefully).

    Finally, I put a 120mm computer fan on the rack to blow cool/fresh air up towards the ballasts to help keep them relatively cool.

    Hopefully this can't be considered cruel now.









  2. #2
    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    yeah...move your VFTs and Sarras outside....they wont last long inside without dormancy

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    Alien1099's Avatar
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    It seems like every single thread has somebody posting to put their plants outside. That kind of defeats the purpose of going to the trouble to create optimal growing conditions inside. I know they typically grow best outside. However, there are a number of reasons why I don't grow my plants outside.

    Phoenix, AZ gets to 115 easily during the summer months.

    Neighborhood kids would likely screw with the plants on a regular basis and I've already caught them doing so before when I did have them outside in the spring.

    There are no real good places for direct sun in my yard or patio that have more than an hour or two of direct light. There are two very large trees that shade almost my entire front yard and I don't have a backyard. When I had them outside on the weekend, I'd have to move them every other hour so they had sunlight.

    I can admire and monitor them much easier when they're right next to me in my room.

    Anyway, I am very aware of dormancy requirements. It's not fall/winter yet and I plan to move them to my patio for winter dormancy anyway. Until then though, they are going to be grown inside under fluorescent lights. Thanks for the suggestion however.

  4. #4
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alien1099 View Post
    That kind of defeats the purpose of going to the trouble to create optimal growing conditions inside
    Yes, it's frustrating to hear other's criticism, but "optimal growing conditions inside" is a non-sequitur with these plants. There would be a lot more than a handful of inexperienced growers with their plants indoors if this were a simple task. If you want them to last like that, high output lamps would help. (Have you read up on the difference between lumens and PAR? Google it.) But don't go buying more VFTs; for one, it's cruel to keep these plants in conditions where they'll be unhappy, and second it's an invitation for disease and pests. If you absolutely can't give temperate plants the conditions they want and need, there are still thousands of species of tropicals that will be perfectly happy inside.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  5. #5
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    I've seen lots of great looking Sarracenia and Dionaea grown under lights. Heck, my venus fly traps looked better under before I gave them to my mom and she had them outside (right Chris? lol.).

    Anyways, for my suggestions, I'm not sure how tall you expect your Sarracenia to get this year, but I would definitely move the lights down lower (or the shelf up higher). As for the shorter plants, put a box under them to raiser them closer to the lights. If you can squeeze more lights into the shelf (and your wallet!) go for it. More light is definitely preferred over less light with the plants pictured.

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

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Capensis's Avatar
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    It seems to be bright enough for them to me, especially if you're going to add mylar. I had VFTs under a growlight before and they gained color, so it's not like they'll die just for being inside. What's in the pot on the far left?
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=6789&dateline=1352508752

  7. #7
    Alien1099's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seedjar View Post
    Yes, it's frustrating to hear other's criticism, but "optimal growing conditions inside" is a non-sequitur with these plants. There would be a lot more than a handful of inexperienced growers with their plants indoors if this were a simple task. If you want them to last like that, high output lamps would help. (Have you read up on the difference between lumens and PAR? Google it.) But don't go buying more VFTs; for one, it's cruel to keep these plants in conditions where they'll be unhappy, and second it's an invitation for disease and pests. If you absolutely can't give temperate plants the conditions they want and need, there are still thousands of species of tropicals that will be perfectly happy inside.
    ~Joe
    I'm sorry that I've been so cruel to my VFTs growing them inside. I'm not really sure what to say to what you've typed other than the fact that you're wrong. There are plenty of members here that have been successful in growing CPs indoors. My plants may not look as good as some people's, but they have exploded in growth from the humble small plants that they were when I received them. But aside from that, you seem to have a biased opinion about growing such plants indoors. I don't know what you expect me to do? I already spelled out the reasons for doing what I'm doing. Should I pack up my bags and move to another geographic location so I can grow my VFTs in a more natural environment that is acceptable to you?

    I also specifically asked for suggestions on better lights. I bought these tubes knowing they would most likely be a temporary solution, but these seemed to be the best that I could readily find locally this weekend. Yes I know brighter is usually better. However, I was interested in what kind of lights other people use that produce good results.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capensis View Post
    It seems to be bright enough for them to me, especially if you're going to add mylar. I had VFTs under a growlight before and they gained color, so it's not like they'll die just for being inside. What's in the pot on the far left?
    Dollar store VFTs. I bought 7 of them a few months back. Only 2 of them have been growing well, one of which is in my original large black pot. One is in the blue pot which incidentally has cracked and I had to tape up. Apparently it was made from crappy materials or had a defect. Anyway, most of them look like crap for some reason. It's strange. They all have the same growing conditions. I had a similar plant (my first) that took about 5 months or so to finally "take off" and start looking like a normal venus flytrap though. Nothing changed. It sat next to my B52s and Akai Ryu which have shown tremendous growth. Then suddenly it started acting right.

    Anyway, my plants have been inside for months growing under a 6900 lumen CFL, so it's safe to say they won't die despite what Seedjar would apparently have me believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by xvart View Post
    I've seen lots of great looking Sarracenia and Dionaea grown under lights. Heck, my venus fly traps looked better under before I gave them to my mom and she had them outside (right Chris? lol.).

    Anyways, for my suggestions, I'm not sure how tall you expect your Sarracenia to get this year, but I would definitely move the lights down lower (or the shelf up higher). As for the shorter plants, put a box under them to raiser them closer to the lights. If you can squeeze more lights into the shelf (and your wallet!) go for it. More light is definitely preferred over less light with the plants pictured.

    xvart.
    Yeah, I've already got the HCW sitting up higher than in the pic and put up some mylar paper on the wall after I took the pic. I'm going to prop them all up a bit higher. I have the shelf kinda low so that the sarracenia have room to grow. It's easier to prop the plants up than to raise/lower the shelf or light.

  8. #8
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    the lights and distance should be fine. I grow my vfts inside as well under those lights. Your plants should be fine.


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