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Thread: Terrarium Setup & Pics

  1. #1
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Terrarium Setup & Pics

    Here I go again, causing mischief. I just spent all day condensing my unwieldy grow rack setup down into a terrarium. Just got a 24"x18"x24" terrarium delivered today, and so far the results are great! Here's the play-by-play:

    1) Out with the old...





    2) Reclaim some space


    3) Fasten a clear acrylic panel to the bottom of a 4x 2' T5HO fixture with gaffers tape---keeps the spray off the bulbs


    ---Cooling system---
    For the cooling system, I'm using a water cooler design I stole from this thread
    --thanks for the tips, robthered!

    4) Unscrew the taps from the front of the water cooler



    5) Snag yourself some 3/8 NPTF to 3/8" barbed hose adapters.


    6) Fit some fans to a PC radiator. I used a dual 80mm radiator and a pair of low-noise 12VDC 80mm fans. My radiator has 3/8" pipe fittings, to match the fitting size of the pump and the inlet/outlet adapters on the cooler


    7) Scope out the inside of your cooler. There should be one 3/8" OD protrusion at some point. Fit a piece of 3/8" ID flexible tubing onto it with a hose clamp (see the pattern? Everything is 3/8"!).



    8) Make a 10' coil of 3/8" OD copper tubing and put it in the reservoir. Fasten it onto the tube from step 7 using a hose clamp.


    9) Attach the pump and seat it in the reservoir. I use a 210GPH pump and it's way too powerful.


    10) Slide some flexible tube insulation over the tubes. I use 5/8" ID insulation because my tubes have a 5/8" OD.


    11) Put some teflon tape (aka thread sealing tape) around the barb fittings.


    12) Hook everything up with hose clamps and slide the insulation over the joints.


    13) Plumb the cooler input/output to the in/out ports of the radiator. Fill the reservoir with 30% cold-weather windshield wiper fluid (the kind without soap!) and 70% RO water.



    ---Other Stuff---

    14) Hook up the Hygrotherm


    15) Hook up the humidifier



    ---Modified Exo Terra Monsoon Mister---
    The Monsoon is a great little machine, but the reservoir is just too small. Luckily, that's an easy fix:

    16) Replace stock 1/8" ID connectors with longer tubes for a deeper reservoir


    17) Buy a 4 gallon bucket. Cut out holes--one for the refilling port and one for the intake tube.


    18) Rest the unit on top of the bucket. Voila!


    19) Install the nozzles.


    ---Finishing touches---

    20) Throw down some egg crate


    21) Hit it with a layer of sphagnum... BAM!


    ---Then, just add plants---






    I'll keep posting updates as my plants adjust! So far the temperatures have stayed in the low 70s despite an ambient temperature of 83 degrees in the room. Humidity holding steady at 79%. Let's see what kind of a nighttime drop I can get

    Thanks for watching!
    Last edited by TheFury; 04-17-2012 at 07:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Budgies are best Thagirion's Avatar
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    Wow that looks cool. I managed to follow most of it. Yes I'm curious how low you can get it at night. My house reaches 80's in the day and keeping my tank in the low 70's in the day is the goal. I'd like night temps in the 50's low 60's if nothing else.

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    Cthulhu138's Avatar
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    I was thinking of doing the same thing with a Monsoon. Good to know it can be done before I buy one.

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    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    awesome setup! Great to see that you have updated, will you go more into helis?

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    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    so how does the cooler work to cool the terrarium exactly? also what does the radiator hook up to and is that the thing made of the computer fans? Sorry I'm just new to the whole custom terrarium thing and I'm hoping to make one myself soon.
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
    Original President of the CCPS & Co-Founder
    Mason M.
    My Growlist

  6. #6
    Oh, the humanity!! TheFury's Avatar
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    Thanks guys!

    @Heli - you know, I think my collection is about where it should be for the time being. I still have some plants to give away! And of course, to congratulate myself on this new setup I splurged on a few more plants. So my setup will be maxed out once they get here. But as certain plants outgrow this terrarium or die... I do see myself moving in that direction

    @mcmcnair - have a look at this thread... a lot of good info there. Basically we're using the water cooler to chill a solution of water and antifreeze, and using a pump to circulate it out of the cooler (through the fittings on the front) to a water-cooled radiator. You can get these at many computer hardware supply shops. The DC fans draw air through the radiator, which chills the air as it passes through. This thing is perfect so far!

  7. #7
    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    that sounds perfect for what I'm looking to do! Thanks for explaining and the links. Let me know what ur night drops are. Are you hoping for temps similar to highland nep conditions?
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
    Original President of the CCPS & Co-Founder
    Mason M.
    My Growlist

  8. #8
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    awesome, hopefully I will have a heli buddy in brooklyn in the future

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