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Thread: New future terrarium

  1. #1
    Lucky Greenhorn Lil Stinkpot's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    San Jose, CA
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    New future terrarium

    A short while ago we were given a huge 6x3x(almost)2 foot glass display case. This is the kind of thing you buy watches or cameras out of.

    Never mind the "redneck" stand it's on, it's all we could afford, LOL!

    The doors came mirrored. Once we get soem cash saved up, we'll have the doors re-cut as clear glass. The wood is a mess of tree roots we found one day, and they've been sitting around for years, waiting for a use to come along. I was playing with my beardie when I needed two hands. I put him on the wood and.... Zzzz Zzzzz Zzzzz Zzzz Zzzz

    Sorry, Teddy, this wood's not for you! (Now I gotta go out and find HIM one. )

    This will be a LL setup-- it is the biggest thing I will ever DREAM of having, and has room to let N. rafflesiana and bical. stretch out a bit. But what else can I put in there? What kinds of Utrics and orchids like LL conditions? Are there any ferns or other "interesting" growy-things that will co-habitate nicely? I intend this to be a "natural" scene--no pots. Like this: Living Clay background test

    What about fauna? Is there a critter that I can keep in there, too?

    What kind of lights do I need? I think I'd need them to be at least 4 T8 tubes wide, right?

    How on Earth can I water proof the bottom? It's just cheap-o particle board down there. I was thinking of either pond-liner or Formica, glued into place (with some 3M super-duper industrial glue or epoxy, not just silicone).
    If you shake a rain stick, you get rain. I need a hamata stick.
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  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    Cernunnos Woods
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    Can you pull that bottom off? If yes then you could get a sheet of fiberglass tub surround glued with liquid nails to a piece of 3/4" plywood. Put silicone (or better yet GOOP glue) around the bottom edge of all the sides and set it down ontop to make a watertight seal then go around the inside with a bead of silicone (or better yet GOOP) and make the join completely water tight. As long as you never try to move it filled the base will be fine - that's what my old HL tank was entirely made of wood and fiberglass tub surround with an old storm window as the door. If you don't wanna replace the whole bottom you could glue in the Pond Liner with GOOP but if the formica is waterproof then just do the inside edge seal with Goop, it's like silicone but far stinkier, dries glass clear but most importantly GOOP glues everything permanently. There are various GOOPs on the market (Household Goop, Amazing goop, Crafter's Goop, E5500) but they are all pretty much the same thing, like silicone but way stronger (and cheaper). Goop is thinner/runnier than aquarium silicone, so to get nice glue lines I suggest using masking tape .

    With a tank that size you have lots of options for decoration, Bulbophyllums are the first warm growing orchids who come to mind, in that family there is everything from small and weird to huge and really wild and beautiful. Also warm growing dendrobiums and paphs, ferns, begonias & other small/medium size tropicals. I'd have fun with that tank and I'm sure you will too! Most orchid vendors state what climate each species does best at just follow their guidelines on warm, intermediate and cool , low, medium and high light and choose plants based on what conditions you have and you'll do just fine. Neps and many types of orchids grow together in the various climates in the wild so their care is often similar. If your orchids arrive green and quickly turn all yellow they are getting too much light and may begin to suffer so some larger leaved tropical plants will help make some natural looking shade for those who don't like living under the full blaze of glory.

    Not sure how "lowland" you plan to make it, some animals dislike being over 85*F/30*C. I try to keep my terrariums at 80*F or cooler during lights on so the critters don't stress out from too high of temps and the plants seem fine with this, even the amps and rafflesiana (BE99) are doing Ok without hellishly high temps.
    Last edited by swords; 09-09-2010 at 12:52 AM.

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