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Thread: Plant racks & lighting questions

  1. #1
    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Plant racks & lighting questions

    Oy I have too many plants, made worse by being re-bitten by the orchid bug. I now have 3 shelves full mostly of plants, so here's pics of that and the RO machine (which got moved to the other side of the sink behind the dishes-drying-rack). Oh, and the plants on the window behind the RO machine I think I have a problem LOL.

    Anyways, I have the chance to move to a nicer apartment but it gets less hours of sun through the windows because the roof overhangs quite a bit, but has a nice porch on which I could put the neps etc. outside on it with the Sarrs...what do you guys think I should do?

    I don't use any grow lights now and just rely on the sun to grow my plants (at least, so far...), so I was wondering if you do set up T5's or T12's, do you have to use a fan so the plants don't melt from the heat? Because then you'd have to set up more humidity...which leads to fogger/mister, fan & lights for the price of more light! On the other hand if I put them outside, I risk whatever bugs are on the nasty, bug-infested trees around the place and I'm sure I'd have to get shade-cloth for the searing San Diego sunshine.







    Or I could just not move?

  2. #2
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
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    I have no fans, but then my plants like the heat. I do mist and such however, but then I don't live near the ocean!
    You NEED to get the opinions of members living out near you for real answers, as your outdoor environment determines a lot in the equation. Getting the opinion of someone living in Arizona will differ from someone in Michigan, as our environments are different outdoors.

    By the way, If the apartment is indeed nicer, you have to weigh that into things too. YOU need to be happy too, not just your plants!

    Good luck!
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

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    Hermopolis's Avatar
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    It's going to depend. Normally, you will not need fans. But it does ultimately depend upon what kind of lamps you are using, where they are in relation to the plants, how much ventilation exists in the area around the plants, and what kind of conditions you want to maintain.

    -Hermes.
    "The grass withers, the flower fades. But the word of our God stands forever." (Isaiah 40:8)

    My Grow List Updated Oct 22/2010.

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    Frilleon's Avatar
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    I have the exact setup you discribe. I did not use fans until I upgraded my light to T5's. The T8's I was using required no fan. I was using the ultrasonic humidifer just for looks, but when I upgraded the terrarium to a 20 gal and added the T5's it came in handy.
    Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=116427
    Member of BACPS & ICPS

    A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Albert Einstein

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    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Growinold: I'm not happy if the plants aren't happy ;-)

    Hermopolis & Frilleon: thanks. I think I'll have enough sunshine at least in the summer without bulbs I think, but I may run into problems in the winter and maybe invest in some bulbs if I'm still living in the same place, but then it'll be cooler so I may be OK without fans. I checked out the place today and I think I can get everything straight sunshine from ~6-7AM to ~10-11AM probably, which is what those red red cephs I have are getting, so I think I'm going to move (it's just upstairs from where I am and I don't like living on the ground floor anyway).

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    Veronis's Avatar
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    Thez - If you go with artificial lighting at any point to supplement, here are just a few notes...

    If you go with T12...these put out the least amount of heat if you get electronic ballasts. Magnetic ballasts are only for T12's and put out a lot of useless ambient heat, and they're very inexpensive for a reason..

    If you go with T8, which was the "new and improved T12"...there's no such thing as magnetic ballasts anymore. These put out more heat than T12's so if your plants are in a room that seems to "collect" heat in your apartment, you may have heat problems, otherwise you should be fine.

    If you go with T5...you need a fan.

    No matter what, I would recommend 6500K color temp (blue spectrum, promotes leaf/pitcher growth), and you can add in a few 2700/3100K's for more red spectrum if you want to promote more flowering. Also note that plants under 6500K will still flower, but if you're in this for flowering moreso than for pitcher growth, add some 3100K.

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    im about to creat a rack...that info above by veronis is extremly helpful

  8. #8
    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Veronis: thanks for the long answer, because I was just wondering what bulbs. Coming from a science background, I started looking for an aborption spectrum of chlorophyll to figure out if I should put up just one purple and one red bulb in the ~425nm and ~675nm range respectively...but I'm unsure if I can actually get that or if I just have to pick up some sort of like...temperature spec lamp or something? Lol I'm a physicist.

    Anyway, I saw a chart on wiki that said:

    warm/soft white -- <3000K
    white or bright white -- 3500K
    cool white -- 4000K
    daylight -- >5000K

    And found this page, but got more confused: light bulb color/temp chart ... anyone have a graph (or the equations and I'll make one) with useless-heat-output-in-watts v.s. colors-output-in-nanometers v.s. temperature-rating-in-K, overlaying the plant-absorption-spectrum?

    And I thought there were different kinds of T-5's and the others, like "T-5 blue" or something?

    (Av8tor...I think I need you here)

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