Hello Fellow Growers!
A while back I had posted some info & pics that included one of my terrariums, and I mentioned my planning on working up my shelves with another automatic waterer.
While I have designed, hacked together & used a few automatic watering systems, misters & “Rain” makers for my terrariums in the past, I didn't like what I had going on with my shelf-rack set-up.
As the first pics show, one of my terrariums needed cleaning anyway, having been overgrown with sphagnum moss repeatedly, so I decided it was time to get them all done (Shelves & terrariums alike). I had moss starting to grow all over the watering tubing, walls & base. It seemed that wherever there was the opportunity for a few spores to collect with proper moisture & light, it grew!
While the moss grew where I hadn't intended, it also grew where Ithought it would, & it did so very fast, overgrowing the plants every couple/few months.
When I saw Butch post his "ebb & flow" system, [ http://terraforums.com/forums/showth...=128546&page=2 ]
it reminded me that time was passing & I still hadn't gotten to work on things, & it motivated me to get my butt moving!
So here's the updated self-watering set-up that I am now using in my shelves.
Shelf Self-Waterer Set-up being assembled & tested:
Close-up of Pump connection (Note plastic grid used to keep "pots" above water level)
Auto-Watering components (Note Black hydroponic micro-tubing)
Complete bin ready to be inserted onto one of the shelves & filled with plants:
Black tubing from hydroponics store was inserted into holes drilled into common plumbing water tubing. [I didn't post any pics/movies of the auto-waterer working, as it doesn't look like much. Water comes out of the black tubes, end of story!]
The advantage to this set-up is that it doesn't splash like the RainMaker does, and it also conserves on water loss via evaporation. This makes needing to fill the system less frequent.
Auto-watering Shelf set-up installed along with plants:
To show some of the differences, this Plan/Diagram shows the Auto-waterer (right side) with black micro-tubing & RainMaker drip system (left side):
An airstone can be placed in the bottom of the reservoir to aerate the water even more, but I have not found much difference in using it as compared to not.
Now on to the
Rain! The Movie! (Click > to play)
Old overgrown Terrarium before clean-up:
It took a bit of scrubbing & repotting some plants, along with some cleaning up of the tubing & rain system.
Auto Rain Terrarium Set-up, cleaned as good as new!:
Planted Terrarium with RainMaker:
Enclosed terrarium keeps humidity in, and rain acts as natural way plants get wet/humidity, thus producing the best Nep. Pitchers (along with other CP's) I have ever grown. RAIN is the BEST way to go!
RainMaker in action!- The BEST way to water!:
For a more simple set-up,
Here is a self watering planter using a planter with drainage & an old bucket.
(It was an early experiment & has since been in use well over a few years. In all that time I have only had to add more water to it a few times.)
Basic Bucket Self-Waterer:
Here is a very basic plan showing the bucket & plastic planter.
From years of building & using automated “Rain” & watering systems for my plants, I can certainly say that it saves a TON of work & gets you away from needing to do most kinds of daily tending! I only have to tend to my plants about once every couple weeks, and can now spend my daily time with them to enjoy them when I want, and be more on my own schedule, instead of having to do the daily work & tending every time I had a free moment.
It does still get difficult however, as when I get real busy with other things, I now sometimes forget to look at them altogether! NOT good! But indeed, it makes growing most all of my plants a breeze!
I have actually been able to grow a lot more plants & in less time! The “Rain” system is terrific for totally solving the “humidity” needs! (Indeed it is my system of choice!)
For while the self watering is great, the RAIN is even better! Really brings the outdoors indoors and makes the plants thrive & grow to their best!
Neps in particular produce more pitchers than I had ever encountered growing the old way.
Now if only I could get it to thunder & lightning in it, I could have my own little thunderstorm going!
(It is funny actually, as when people are over visiting
and the terrarium system suddenly turns on,
they can't believe their eyes to see that I have a terrarium that actually starts to "rain" inside!)
Well I hope you all enjoyed seeing this. I don't usually have or take the time to show much of what I have going on, but as a lot of people asked to see what I was doing, I figured I would finally get around to sharing some of it.
By the way, Happy Holidays to everyone!