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Thread: Grow chamber ideas...please critique

  1. #1

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    Grow chamber ideas...please critique

    I'm planning a small lowland chamber as an experimental project, to be possibly done on a larger scale if it works out. I'm planning on basically constructing an aquarium, but out of mirror, so that I will get maximum reflectivity for the lights. Has anyone tried this? I've investigated glass cutting a little, and it doesn't seem too hard. I have a giant mirror that we pulled out of the bathroom when we remodeled, so that's free. I'm planning on attaching the edges with superglue, then sealing with aquarium silicone.

    I'll probably do something in the front like others have done with the plastic track with sliding glass for doors. Other suggestions for the door are also appreciated. The top will be partly mirror and partly clear glass for the lights to shine through.

    One other question: how tall should I make this chamber? I want to give the plants some room to grow so that I don't have to make a new chamber too soon, but don't want the lights to be too far away. The lighting will be 4 2-foot t8s. Right now the plants are in an aquarium that is 30" x 12" x 18", with only 2 bulbs, and the plants seem happy, with temps over 80 during the day, 70 at night, and 90% humidity.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    usually the word "small" and the phrase "lowland" are rarely in the same sentence. problem is because usually lowlands tend to be very robust. however, it can be done. i've done it for my petiolaris dews and my N. campanulata: http://cpforums.org/gallery/v/amphir...N3015.jpg.html.

    your plan should work very well, im assuming regular glass for the front, otherwise you wont see anything.

    if light reaching the plants is an issue, you could always create shelves out of pots and/or egg crate diffusers. just simply modify the setup to make it shorter as the plant grows taller.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    jimmy uphwiz's Avatar
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    if your able to brace the panes for a while , just use the aquarium sealant its very strong after cured and you have a better seal when done , start with the base and the back and one side,run a generous bead of silicone and place the back in place, have someone hold it in place while you run a bead on the bottom and up the back and set the end on the bead and aginst the back bead, at thei point it starts being a little easier to handle, once they are siliconed and in place, and well supported you can do the other end , all in the first setting, wait for 24 hours and add the top. You can add an extra bead of silicone to the inside joints (after cured for another 24 hours) , and smooth with a finger to make a very tight water proof seal. Mine has been in use for 5 months and constantly has standing water,it hasn't leaked so far, this is my first the next will be 4" to 6" taller. Other than that im happy with the size 46" long 16" deep and only 15" tall which would be fine for me but i added a false bottom to allow for more water build up and better humidity, so I am a little short on the height , but the plants like it , and they are close to the lights, so the heli's Really love it..
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    If you start with the super glue you may end up with a leaky terrarium, because you may create spaces that will be hard to fill with the silicone . pros build even some of the largest aquariums with just aquarium silicone. Its very strong and almost impossible to remove even with a razor blade, and on a smooth surface.

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