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Thread: In-Greenhouse Lowland Winter-Only Terrarium?

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    In-Greenhouse Lowland Winter-Only Terrarium?

    So I just ordered some amps, two to be exact, online. N. ampullaria Brunei Red x Harlequin and N. ampullaria Brunei speckled. I have a 10 gallon for them set up in my greenhouse with a lid that seals off the tank completely. I was curious about how I should go about doing this... I want to do something where it will retain enough heat in there at night to stay like 60F so the amps will still grow. The greenhouse should be kept at 50-55F at night during winter. It is about 50-60F at night during summer, in which my only other lowlander has done wonders, but is now slowing down as nighttime temperatures are staying at about 50F (no heater is being used right now).

    So, the best way to do this would be water, right? Putting two inches of water in the bottom and sticking the pots in there would cause issues... In the day, the water would heat up to like 90F and boil the roots. At night, it would cool off and have no effect at all.

    I had a five gallon tank of water out there with guppies in the spring and it didn't go below 60F usually. So 5 gallons would fill the tank half way and keep it warm in there. How would I put the plants in there without sinking them? I thought of using a gladware container and floating it on the surface, but if I did that I would probably need a large container so that the weight of the pots and stuff wouldn't sink it.

    My mind is very narrow and doesn't always think of the best options... Is there any way I could make a glass terrarium retain heat at night while allowing light in during the day without having to add/remove insulation every day? The terrarium heats up to about 85-90F during the sunniest part of the day. Maybe stays about five degrees warmer than the greenhouse.

    Thanks!

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    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    Check out my setup in my wardian case here http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d-Setups/page2
    You are going to want to heat up the terrarium to a minimum of 65 at night if you want any sort of decent growth out of your ampullaria. I would suggest a reptile heating mat placed under the terrarium that runs 24/7 to keep the water warm and then an ultrasonic humidifying disc placed into the water to up the humidity. Also I would use either a couple of CFLs or a one or two tube HO T5 for lighting, thats what I use anyway...
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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcmcnair View Post
    Check out my setup in my wardian case here http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d-Setups/page2
    You are going to want to heat up the terrarium to a minimum of 65 at night if you want any sort of decent growth out of your ampullaria. I would suggest a reptile heating mat placed under the terrarium that runs 24/7 to keep the water warm and then an ultrasonic humidifying disc placed into the water to up the humidity. Also I would use either a couple of CFLs or a one or two tube HO T5 for lighting, thats what I use anyway...
    Thanks! I looked at your thread and saw how you use egg crate to hold the plants above the water... I think that's what I will do. No need for an ultrasonic humidifier I think... Since the terrarium will be pretty much sealed and in the sun, it should kick up the humidity quite a bit. I really don't want any other heaters out there, malfunctions could cause a fire. I know I sound too cautious, but my friend's greenhouse burned down due to a heater malfunction, so...

    I guess if I let the sun heat the water into the 70s or 80s during the day, it should stay at 60F or so at the coldest at night and should keep the air in the terrarium around the same, correct? Then I just use egg crate to hold the plants above the water and I'm good to go.

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    if it is sealed and in the sun it will likely get hot in there; just keep a watchful eye on your temps

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    Formerly known as Pineapple Nepenthesis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpbobby View Post
    if it is sealed and in the sun it will likely get hot in there; just keep a watchful eye on your temps
    Got to around 92F today at the hottest with 100% humidity, or however close you can get to it. Sides all fogged up. Still drops to GH temps at night though. In the winter it should get about 85F on a hot day in the terrarium and maybe 80F on a hot day in the greenhouse with a 2200CFM swamp cooler running that is coming on Friday or sooner. Would be around 50F at night.

    Say I had the amps in a terrarium with 80-90F days and 50F nights, would that be worse since there's a large temp swing or better?

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    I would definitely keep the temps at 65 or above, but ideally over 70 at night. And don't worry about overheating, my terrarium on my windowsill hit 100F and 100% RH just about every day this summer. With those conditions my amp quadrupled in size. For the bottom of the tank, you could lay some gravel down and then pour water on it. Works just like eggcrate, but more water is exposed for better humidity, and in my opinion it looks a lot better. This was my HL tank a while ago, but you can see what I mean by the gravel. The water and gravel also give some thermal mass to the tank, so if you get dark gravel, then it would heat up and maintain the heat really well. Or you could stick a black soup can full of water in there and it would build up a ton of heat during the day and slowly release it at night.

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    An aquarium heater in the water under the egg crate set to around 70 would do nicely. Put the terrarium on a little foam insulation too to help reduce heat loss out the bottom glass.
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    Tony just reminded me, there's this super reflective bubble wrap insulation you can get at hardware stores. If the light is coming primarily from one direction, I've found it doubles light intensity and retains heat very well.

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