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Thread: Idea for a highland grow rack

  1. #17
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    I just cool the room, and keep a humidifier inside the growchamber/shelf area. It works great, and I have even left a large amount of area open in the chamber walls for gas exchange. This does cause the humidifier to run more, and therefore require filling every other day or so, but so for months it has worked great. I'm in a low humidity environ anyway, so the A/C air isn't much different from the ambient air as far as humidity is concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by rattler_mt View Post

    if you use a freezer one suggestion.....dont leave it empty....put something such as water bottles in it of something to increase the surface area that the air moving through the freezer hits.....prolly get more life out of the compressor motor and use less electricity in the long run...

    i wouldnt do it the way you have the fan running in the pic.....i would put the fan on the output hose, not on the intake hose....i think it would work better.....
    I agree fully. Put some objects in that freezer to reduce the workload and increase the efficiency of the freezer. And I also agree with the fan placement.

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    yeah but how low are you dropping temps.........im growing intermediates and some highlands with no special equipment, i just keep them in my basement and they get 65 degree nights......but that can be much different than keeping the ones that want to drop to 50 at nights happy........it can be interesting dropping it the rest of the way.......

    JB.......my basic thought is to take the frozen water bottle in the small terrarium idea and make it much larger and automatic.......using a closed system pumping antifreeze out of the freezer through copper pipe, into a large container full of water as a sorta back panel to turn it into a heat sink.......and pump cool air in as well but on a much lesser degree than what your planning......if i were to do what your planning i would skip using a freezer and just use a small AC unit instead........

    i am thinking this will use much less electricity than what your planning.........the heat sink should keep the temps reasonable during the day regardless of what lighting i use....should only have to pump in the cold dry air at night to get the maximum drop in temps and only have to worry bout the humidity problem for half the day......

    just thinking that freezer life may be short trying to use it as an AC unit........
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  3. #19
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Just to let you know Rattler the freezer in the pictures I posted supposedly does not run much more than it usually did according to the guy that made the vivarium. That is what he said in the thread on it anyway.

    I do not think you would shorten the life of it because your basically just expanding the area it is cooling and not trying to cool the room. The AC cannot drop temps down into the 50's without ruining the AC unit. So to get the temp drop into the low 50's upper 40's for a villosa you would need a freezer. I do agree with the Frozen water bottles though. To be honest I have thought about using the antifreeze and pump idea, but not quite like you described. That might help keep the fan from coming on as much, but either way I don't think it will shorten the life of the freezer because your not opening up the freezer like you normally would and that doesn't shorten the life of the freezer.

    How about this. I will go over to the other board and revive the thread and ask how it is working and if the freezer is holding up.

    Murphy how about replacing the lid to the freezer or the front door. Not sure the setup of the freezer, but that way you do not ruin the integrity of the freezer and if this doesn't work out for you the freezer is not ruined. You make the holes in the new lid or door instead so that you can put it back to the way it was pre-grow-chamber if need be.
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  4. #20
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    I just revived the thread and asked how the vivarium was holding up and if the freezer life had been shortened. Nov 06 was the last post in the thread so it is almost 2 years old. I hope to see if he responds.
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  5. #21
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    So maybe screw in piece of glass for the door, cut two holes, and have them going into the grow area. That's it?

  6. #22
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rattler_mt View Post
    yeah but how low are you dropping temps.........im growing intermediates and some highlands with no special equipment, i just keep them in my basement and they get 65 degree nights......but that can be much different than keeping the ones that want to drop to 50 at nights happy........it can be interesting dropping it the rest of the way.......
    Luckily it's only in the hot summer months that it's an issue, and 58F -59F is the night temp I can hit in those months, lower of course the rest of the year. I wish I had a basement - someday as then I could get so much more room and control.

    But - I don't grow any ultra highlanders. For those I would definitely have to come up with a better option for the hottest 4 months of the year.

    BTW - great ideas in this thread. Got this one tagged to read up in later times if I ever need ideas.

  7. #23
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    Yeah for now it's the warm summer months that have me. The winters are great. The only thing is I'm moving into a apartment soon and need to find a way for year round cooling.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Jeff Shafer has used a chest freezer as a grow chamber for ultrahighland Nepenthes for years. So has Jeremiah. You replace the top with plexiglass or glass and put the lights over it. Put a remote bulb thermostat inside the freezer to control the temperature with a day/night timer and put the plants on a rack so they are not sitting on the bottom.

    The only problem as I see it is you can't easily see or take care of the plants without dealing with the lights.

    I agree that if you want to hit ultrahighland temperatures low 50's or below then you need some sort of refrigeration, like a freezer. An a/c unit cooling a whole room also seems rather wasteful and costly for energy use. Better to duct the a/c output directly into the grow chamber and have a humidfier output blowing into that duct before the chamber to rehumidify the air before it exits the duct into the chamber. The a/c and humidifier can be wired to a thermostat and timer inside the grow chamber to keep preset temperatures day/night.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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