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Thread: New Grow Chamber/Box...In Progress

  1. #9

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    Jag: Like I said, one step ahead of me That's the cheapest shelf I've seen yet! (I mean price cheap, not looks cheap haha) And mylar...ditto what you said. I used an emergency blanket as mine. Best way to cut back on the T5 heat I believe is with a glass layer. Filters out a large amount of heat and minimal amount of light.

  2. #10
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    I don't know what night time temps you guys have where you are but in my area this is how I cool my plant shelf:


    To explain: there is a 4" PC fan in the window blowing IN through the 4" aluminum duct and the duct empties out into the plant shelf. The fan runs day and night to supply cool air. In the above example it is not humidified because there I'm using it for my old succulent shelf.

    To humidify the above setup simply get an ultrasonic humidifier from the pharmacy and put a 2" hose in the output hole. Then run the hose up to the air duct, cut a hole in the airduct and duct tape the join. You can control the humidifier with a humidistat or just a 15 minute timer, you'll have to play with the timer and find the setting that's right for your area, I like humidistats cos it's "set it and forget it". Now you have cool humid air 24/7 with no further work. Temps naturally dropping at night when the lights go off and outdoor temps drop and temps are also cooler during the day. In the hottest part of summer I put the "in" fan infront of a window A/C. In winter the temps are too cold so I close the window and the air at the window surface is cold enough to cool the chamber. Coldest I ever got was 40*F in mid winter.

    That's how I did my HL neps back in the day and how I will be doing my new HL tank again.

    Got my T5s today and am seeing how the heat goes with a single twin tube over a shelf tonight first then I'll try 4 tubes.

    Note on the HTG Garden Supply T5 fixtures:
    For anyone like Jimmy (and I) who bought the HTG garden supply T5s you can remove the reflector and drill holes for surface mounting in a wooden shelf. I just made new hanging hook holes on the very top of the casing so I can hang it closer to the top my wire shelf and reduce the wasted depth. While I had them open I could see it would also be very easy to part up these T5 fixtures and make remote ballasted units out of them.

  3. #11
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    Thanks for the help guys. I have an ultrasonic humidifier that will be running when the lights are on to help cool some. I was wondering how thick the glass should be, the thicker the better? Temps get in the low 60's naturally in the basement. If I end up still having problems with heat I will run the portable AC unit...

  4. #12
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    thinner glass is better. if you're planning on silicone sealing the glass, containing the humidity inside the glass shouldnt be a problem. however thicker glass would insulate the heat given off by the lights better than thinner glass, which would turn your tank into a nice oven (which wouldnt be bad for LLs though)
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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  5. #13
    swords's Avatar
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    Well here's a shot of the three temps I've taken with my twin tube T5 just a minute ago (been running some hours now):

    You can't really see but the temp over the ballast housing is only 78*F(!), the temp at the tubes ontop the 10 gallon vertical tank is 93*F and temp inside the 10 gallon tank is 80*F. The glass of a 10 gallon tank is 1/8" thick.

    keep in mind this is a temp test using only two T5 tubes, I don't know if the heat is cumulative will find out soon when I hang the other pair of tubes. So far it looks like a simple 1/8" of glass between the plants and tubes knocks at least 13*F off the lamps.

    Also, my shelf is not enclosed but is just a wire rack full of vivariums in progress. I opted against a fully enclosed shelf since I am going to have all the shelves lit and may need all the circulation I can get, especially in summer I have a feeling.

  6. #14
    Jag's Avatar
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    French: I too used the emergency blankets for my LL box but promised myself never to buy them again. They are too wrinkled and hard to make it smooth. That is why I haven't put any mylar on this other box. That is until I buy the roll. I went the cheap route to building this box because I am a college student with little money and decided that money could go to buying more CP's. Later in the future I will make another box much better with real stuff on it, but for now it works.

    Swords: According to the weather channel my hottest average temperature months is July/ August/ September. Temps: highs of 84/85/83 and a average lows of 65/66/65. Do you think I have a chance without getting an AC if I copy your bright idea? (We have a central AC but my father is old school and prefers to suck it out!)
    Another thing, I have never used a humidifier before. Lets say I hook everything the way you recommended me to do, do I still need to mist the Heliamphoras? Or does the humidifier take care of that? sorry its probably a stupid question, but like I said I never in my life used a humidifier before or grown Heliamphoras.
    Thanks for your advice Swords this has REALLY helped me a lot. Ill be looking forward for your answers on the questions I have provided. Thanks Again,

    ~Jesse
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    Jesse

  7. #15
    swords's Avatar
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    You could try, the AC will only pull it down to about 58-60*F and that still made finicky things like my N. aristo pout in July & august but bounced right back in Sept. when temps here start dipping again. Other HL didn't seem to care a whole lot about a dif between 50 and 60 at night. The main dif in warmer temps was older pitchers dying off faster. In cool weather pitchers last almost a year an I've heard they can last longer if they never get a heat spell but there wasn't much I could do about summer. Keep them well watered in summer that will help.

    I'm not one to ask on Helis, I was strictly into Neps. I had one Heli (H. minor IIRC) but it was sent bareroot and was never happy for me, finally it went black and died. I clearly didn't do what it wanted! LOL

    I watered my HL plants 2-3 times a week and misted them daily with a pump-up garden sprayer since I had to spray the mounted orchids hanging from the walls everyday so I just hosed everything down.

    As far as the humidifier you want that to make fog but to shut off before actually soaking the plants all the time. That's why I like the humidistat since it shuts off at 85% and comes on at 75% (or whatever you set it for). You can get the same effect with a timer but you'll have to mess with it and figure out what works. Humidistats are about $80 here: http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/acce...ontrols2.shtml scroll down to "prewired humidistat" just plug the power cord of your humidifier into the power cord of this and hang the humidistat in the tank with the plants. It turns the humidifier attached to your air input on and off as needed.

  8. #16
    Jag's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I was aware from previous postings that your hobby was Nepenthes and you had a HL chamber. (What a stalker. LOL) But since you have some experience on HL chambers might as well ask. LOL

    I think I will go with a humidistat. Its a little expensive but I guess ill be using it for many years to come so its a long run investment (My brain wants to think that. LOL)

    Yes I think it is going to work. Thanks Swords. Ill be posting some pictures in the future days to see if I got it right! Thanks Again Swords.
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    Jesse

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