Budgies are best
Is 55 gallon good for a terrarium?
I might be getting a 55 gallon tank for a great price this weekend at a local sale. I want to upgrade my 20 gallon that's getting crowded even though most of the plants will be going outside. Is a 55 gallon ok for using as a terrarium? I'm sure it's got to be wider/deeper than my 20 gallon. I'm looking forward to remaking the stand too. Could I see some pics if any of you have a 55 so I can get ideas for layouts? Oh, this is for nepenthes btw.
best thing to do is kinda wing it for most use of space i reccomend sguare pots and set them in the tank you can always put sphagnum around them and make them look like their planted in the tank. 55 gal is good untill your plants out grow that like the 20 gal. what you growing in them?
They are the right length to put standard size 4' fixtures on, but they're a little shallow and high sometimes. If memory serves correctly, they're only a foot deep. Fine for smaller Neps, not so much for bigger ones. And the height can sometimes make lighting a challenge since the bottom is so far away from the top, but that's easily solved with a false bottom. With a little bit of consideration, they make fantastic terrariums for the right plants.
Any size terrarium is just fine as long as the plants can fit inside.
I'm pretty sure the one I'm using at the moment is 50 gallons. I'm not positive though.
Here's a pic:
This size is the perfect size to fit a four foot T5 fixture across the top. I just cover the lights and everything with some cheap plastic to keep the humidity high.
Nice, the bigger the terrarium the more space for the plants. For neps that should work, anyway whenever they grow large you will have to use even a bigger terrarium or perhaps in hanging pots.
I look forward to seeing pics!
What kind of soil are you using for the terrarium?
For my neps, heli, ceph, droseras, utrics, and airplants i grow all of these in a 30 gallon aquarium. Already one of my neps is growing large, and even have n. rajah so they are small for the moment. Not to mentioned i have the other plants i mentioned in the terrarium. It really does look great because of the amount of variety of plants and color. I use in the bottom silica sand, then very little peat, then I used a good amount of LFSM, and then i used LM. I keep the lid close sometimes for the entire day and sometimes i leave it open, they all seem to like the conditions in which i grow them.
I use the growpanel 45 and I am constantly misting the plants.
Definitely a 55 gallon aquarium would be even better! good luck!
Listen to Dex, he's the terrarium master around these parts from what i've seen! 55 gallon sounds good to me, im using a 30 gallon at the moment and have fit my modest collection in it comfortably.
Budgies are best
Right now I mostly have lowlands in there since I brought them in for the winter. I have bicalcarata, merrillina, reinwartiana, an unknown and a few others like some hybrids. I think I have a vent x spathulata. My set up doesn't look like this at the moment as it's always chaning, and I have more plants coming in the mail tomorrow.
That's my little 20 gallon. The big blue pots will be moved out once the night temps get a little better which should be soon starting around April. So I want something bigger for highlands for the majority of the year.
I'm glad to hear that this is an ok size and shape. The price is good but space is the other factor and I don't want to end up with a big tank that won't work well for me. Square pots, good idea. That would maximize the space. I use egg carton at the bottom to keep the pots out of water that puddles under the humidifer. Since my humidifer is outside any tips on placement of the tube?
I will be getting much better lights very soon. I am going to buy a T5 fixture that holds 4 blubs and get both cool and sunlight blubs. Oh I'm also going to keep some cuttings in here of ventrata I'm going to make very soon.
Dexenthes, your tank looks very nice. So much life in there!
Thanks for the tips everyone.
EDIT: jht-union and creaturetom, thanks. I didn't see your responses because I was typing at the same time. I know with most pets bigger cages are better so I figured it was the same for plants. I use mostly LFS mixed with pearlite and peat evenly, but put LFS on top to retain moisture.
I shall definitely listen to Dex and those that have more experience than I do.
Aww come on now, stop that. Plus there are other members that are much more masterful at terrariums and vivariums. *coughhackswordshackcough*
Originally Posted by CreatureTom
If anything I am the master of cheap and lazy terrariums.
Anyway, definitely consider what plants you are growing. . . I particularly do not recommend having a lowland terrarium seeing as there are only a few plants that stay small enough for any size terrarium for any amount of time. (N. bellii, N. campanulata).
Almost all other lowlanders will tragically outgrow the setup in no time. . .
As far as lighting it really depends on what kind of lights your using. Like I already said, I recommend T5's, but I have also used just Compact florescents too.
My current terrarium is about a foot and a half deep and the shortest of plants get a good amount of lighting. If I want to blast certain plants with light (N. argentii, Heliamphora, Sarracenia) I have them sitting on upside down pots to raise them up a bit. Some people might try and raise the entire terrarium up so that the ground is a steady height, but if you're growing Nepenthes that will not work. The shortest of plants that are on the bottom (Drosera, Utricularia) and are in the shade may receive a modest amount of light, but any plant that gets within the <6 in mark is going to experience extreme amounts of lighting. Vining Nepenthes will inevitably be burned or have to be redirected downwards.
Ultimately terrariums can only really be transition homes for most Nepenthes. There are very few Nepenthes that you would be able to grow in the long run in a terrarium (unless of course you have an absolutely huge terrarium).
That is why most of my plants are small seedlings, and as they grow older I will inevitably have to trade away or sell the larger plants which are no longer fitting in the tank.
That is also why I am looking for another N. argentii.
Budgies are best
Oh that's merely the Lowlands' winter home from Jan-Mar. They'll all be moving out in about two weeks to my little Shade house for nine months out of the year. Highlands grow slower so yes most of the year I want this for highlands. I also will grow a few plants as house plants in hanging baskets.
Yeah in Florida you are going to have a unique problem of the weather being not suitable for highlanders without air conditioning for much of the year. So your setup is going to have to be artificially cooled. This is possible to do for a terrarium but the fact is most species will outgrow even a large terrarium after not too long.
Your lowlanders will be much more suited for life outdoors the majority of the year and in the winter they may need to be heated. But bringing them indoors during the winter... that will soon become unrealistic as they begin to put on considerable size.
Honestly I don't envy your climate for that reason. It's much easier to warm things up than it is to cool things down.