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Thread: suggestions for lighting a specific terrarium

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Arrow suggestions for lighting a specific terrarium

    I have traded for a larger tank for a terrarium and I am wondering if anyone is using one of the same size and has some suggestions about what works, or would work, for lighting. The tank is 48" long x 13" wide x 24" high and I am mainly planning on using it to grow sundews. I've been wondering specifically if the height is going to cause me problems if I use T5's. I was thinking 4 - 4 foot tubes not really wanting to have 6 or 8 of them as that is a lot of expense and wattage. Perhaps I would have to bite the bullet. I am getting that HID lights are too much for such a setup but I know next to nothing about using them. Any advice by those more experienced would be greatly appreciated.

    - Mark

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    T5s should be fine, you just have to watch the heat build up unless you're growing tropicals like petiolaris Drosera. You can always raise the pots up higher to get them closer to the lights.

    You don't need a tank at all if you're growing temperate and sub-tropical sundews. Just make a typical grow rack/shelf and you can raise/lower the selves and/or lights as much as you need.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply, NaN. The main reason I use glass fish tanks is to increase the humidity around the plants. The ambient humidity in the room they grow in is way too low. If you use a rack do you have an enclosure around it?

    - Mark

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    Sarracenia freak Brie's Avatar
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    What kind of dews do you plan on growing? Are you having problems with them that makes you think humidity is too low?

    I freaked out about humidity at first, but once everything adapted, they've been dewy and happy as heck, with just normal low room humidity. I think the room stays from 20-30% depending on conditions(window/doors open or not). However I do plan on enclosing the rack with shower curtains/styrofoam sheets and have a Sunpentown Ultrasonic cool humidifier that will be hooked up to it eventually, mainly so my Neps and Helis can be out of a tank and happy... But to answer your question, T5s are the pretty standard way to go, but as NaN suggested, I would raise the plants closer to the light. Probably the best way would be build a false bottom with egg crate and bricks(or something else sturdy), then you can keep water or a mat of live sphagnum in the bottom to help with humidity. BUT, also like NaN mentioned, heat will be an issue. In the little tank on the top shelf in the pics below, the temp easily reaches 90+(which is good for the petiolaris dews it contains).

    Here's my grow shelves as an example. Notice only the real humidity or heat loving things are in tanks. The rest are just fine in low humidity.





    Happy dewy-dews, just sitting in open air, 20-30% humidity.







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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Humidity is not a problem unless it is consistently below 20% except for tropical sundews like petiolaris or the Queensland sisters. Mostly it's a matter of keeping enough water in the trays.

    I live near the ocean, RH seldom drops below 40%. It can get around 20% during the "Santa Ana" condition days but those are only a few days out of the year.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

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    Lotsa blue bluemax's Avatar
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    'Guess I'm just being old-school about the humidity issue. I certainly can't argue with the photos of your happy dewy plants, Brie. They look great. While I am growing some petiolaris 'dews, and trying to sprout some as well, I have other plans for those including much higher temps than they currently have.

    This is lots to consider but I welcome the simplification. Thank you both for your input. So - why do I have this big-a tank?

    - Mark

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