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Thread: Last ditch effort: Self watering setup

  1. #1
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Last ditch effort: Self watering setup

    Hi guys,

    Its been a while since I have been back to TF. Life takes its own turns and in the last 4-5 months, my life has changed tremendously due to family issues. As a result, I have almost lost my entire collection of plants. I had to go away for over a month and I gave some important plants to my friend to look over. Unfortunately, some of them didn't make it. I lost a lot of very very rare and dear to heart plants. The less critical ones, I left on my balcony sealed up in a bag with water. Surprisingly, some made it, while most highland nepenthes didn't. Before this year, I had over a hundred nepenthes ranging from seedlings to nice sized juvenile plants that were worth 6 years of effort/time and money. I now have less than 15 neps left.....lost all of my rare little plants such as my 6yr old 6" villosa, one macrophylla BE, all my jamban seedlings, jacquelineae, flava seedlings, matalingajanensis, hamata, rajah etc.

    Its inescapable and I do have family matters to attend to and will be going away again for another month and a half, so the option was to either let the last few plants in my collection die as I don't think these will survive another move to my friends and back again to me. Or, to try to keep them alive by making an automated setup. I figured whether they make it or not, I might as well learn something from it.

    So here it is: My first try at an automated setup. I must say thanks to my good friend Butch for all the support and also especially to Paul. His watering setups were are great inspiration.

    Its too early to say if this will work, but I leave in a couple of weeks and this will soon have to be functional. I know my cephs hate water on the crown. Unfortunately the plants are all over the pot and I can't fully position the water away. On top of that, I have plans to add fans at the top to blow over the plants after watering (timer controlled) to remove the staleness.

    The reservoir is around 6 gallons max and I will fill it up before i leave. The pump is 180gph and the only managable one for this size that i could find. Unfortunately, splitting up the outlets severely effects the pressure as expected. Need a better solution in the future.

    Either way for now, the objective is to keep these alive and if I may, growing back as well as they used to. But once again, only time will tell how it fares.

    cheers,

    V


  2. #2
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Looking good Varun,

    My only advice.... when something positively, absolutely must work....keep it as simple as can be, and have redundancies built into the design.

    Parts that arent installed cant fail
    Parts that are installed can and do fail, design for that eventuality
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 11-28-2012 at 07:41 AM.

  3. #3
    dyzio's Avatar
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    This looks very promising, I'm looking forward to see how it will work in longer time.

  4. #4
    CreatureTom's Avatar
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    This looks like a very good idea, even if your plants aren't too fond of these conditions it seems like they're not extreme enough to cause death. The music made me feel your pain!

  5. #5
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Thanks for comments guys. The only concern is algae. My foray into planted aquaria has shown me that duckweed may be useful in removing nutrients from water. So I might buy some duckweed and throw that in the water reservoir to see if it helps keep the algae down.

    Yup! It has been difficult to keep the setup going in the past few months. I can't even begin to tell how many times I have considered to close shop and scrap everything down. But once in a while, I get a glimpse of my CP books and somehow can't let the leftover plants die.

    At once these plants looked like these:

    Last ditch effort: Self watering setup-5770281807_b278063419-jpgLast ditch effort: Self watering setup-5770280977_1936e74e0d-jpgLast ditch effort: Self watering setup-5708775173_fce0a6f565-jpgLast ditch effort: Self watering setup-5698732110_be81a00584_z-jpgLast ditch effort: Self watering setup-5713024789_af85a5831a-jpgLast ditch effort: Self watering setup-5872835085_5733ff5c9f-jpg


    All the bromeliads that grew for 4 years. the beautiful moss, all gone.

  6. #6
    DonH's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your recent plant losses... Are you planning on adding an airstone to the reservoir or do you think the timed trickling of water from the pots is enough to prevent the water from going stale?

  7. #7
    richjam1986's Avatar
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    Not sure how well your ceph will do long term being kept that wet (as you already mentioned), but I've never seen how it responds to this kind of setup. You should seriously consider using a wick system for your Ceph instead. I water my Ceph (and most of my Neps) exclusively via a nylon rope wick going from the soil in the bottom of the pot into a shallow water reservior, which I only need to refill every week or so. If you have a larger water reservior you would need to worry about it less often. This setup has worked great for my Ceph and neps the past couple years. Anyway, just an idea. Your ceph pics are really beautiful, so I don't doubt your ability to grow the species!

    Here's an older pic of my wick grown ceph. The plant is nearly filling the whole pot now, but just to show that the system works
    044
    Last edited by richjam1986; 11-28-2012 at 10:56 AM.
    Da' mishu
    Provo, Utah.

    My Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...29#post1089429

  8. #8
    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    varev! nice to see you once again on the forums! so glad that you are going to continue with this hobby. may your plants come back stronger than before!
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
    +growlist
    +petiolaris drosera going dormant?
    +picture thread

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