User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Tank size for N. merrilliana

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Tank size for N. merrilliana

    A local Nepenthes grower offered to help me build a lowland tank for my apartment. This was something I had planned on doing for a while, but until now I didn't have access to the tools I would need. I want to use the tank to grow several very large lowland Nepenthes, particularly N. merrilliana and N. merrilliana hybrids. I've never seen a Nepenthes merrilliana in real life, just pictures of the huge traps, so I don't know how large the entire plant gets. For the tank size, I'm thinking 4 foot width, 6 foot length, and 6 foot height. Would this be sufficient space for a couple monster lowlanders? I plan on cutting things back when they vine to induce basals.

  2. #2
    zesty. BioZest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    NE, US
    Posts
    769
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    nepenthes are vining plants, they get as big as they are allowed to (within certain limits). The size you are planning sounds really good.

  3. #3
    mcmcnair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,044
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a 5' long, 32" wide, and 3' tall wardian case and it is not even half the size it really needs to be to grow plants like N. rafflesiana and N. merrilliana. Many lowlanders can get up to 6' across at full maturity. To get fully mature plants though I'm pretty confident that your plants will need to be planted in pots at least a foot wide. I imagine a 5 gallon pot would be perfect. Also, many lowlanders live in extremely wet and swampy conditions from what I've read so I would plant them in either 100% Live Long fibered sphagnum or maybe a 3:1 long fibered sphagnum, fir bark/orchid bark with a top dressing of live sphagnum. As far as a setup if I had the time and money to redo mine I would install a mist-king system with fog nozzles for an auto-watering and humidity raising system. I would have a false bottom for the pots to sit on with a reservoir of water underneath to help raise humidity. The reservoir would drain into secondary tank which gets dumped periodically. I would definitely use High Output T5 lights to both raise the temperature during the day. The entire setup should be sealed and airtight with probably 2 fans to circulate the air within the tank. You won't really need to pump in fresh air as you will likely be opening the tank to look at your beauties on a daily basis Hope that helps!
    NCSU's Carnivore Nut
    Original President of the CCPS & Co-Founder
    Mason M.
    My Growlist

  4. #4
    swords's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cernunnos Woods
    Posts
    8,120
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I used a tub/shower stall I got super cheap from Home Depot to grow my large LL Neps. It was cracked so marked down to $50, it measured about 6 ft wide x 6 ft high x 3 ft deep front to back. I put a sliding glass door on it, installed a humidistat and ultrasonic humdifier output was piped into the chamber.
    I had a 400 Watt 5000K Metal Halide lamp over a big sheet of very thick plexiglass that seperated the tank from the lamp. The tank got plenty warm about 90*F or higher during the day in summer and the Neps grew like gangbusters. I grew a couple bicalcaratas to 6 foot in there, a Miranda to 4-5 feet in diameter and numerous smaller LL Nepenthes and orchid species filled in all the rest of the space. Of the plants I put in there only the N. northiana did not like these conditions. A decade later I still don't know what pleases N. northiana...

    As far as my large N. bicals were concerned they were in long fibered sphagnum moss in 18" diameter pots which sat on a tray which held and inch or two of water. I would make sure there was water in the tray or they would begin to wilt under the Halide lamps, they were absolute water hogs. If I did not have them on the tray their pots would be nearly dry every day or two.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    102
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I worked a bit more on the design of the tank and found all the supplies that I need to build it locally. Dimensions are going to be 6' x 6' x 6'. The frame will be made of PVC pipe and a 6 foot square acryllic sheet will be bolted to each side of the PVC frame. Obviously, with this sort of design, the tank won't be anywhere near air/watertight, but the plants will sit on trays filled with expanded clay pellets in the bottom of the tank to catch water/ increase humidity.

    For lighting, I'm planning on using 2 4-tube 4 foot High Output T-5 ballasts, with 4 6500k bulbs and 4 2700k bulbs. Will 8 tubes be enough for a large lowland tank? Due to the size, I can fit an additional 4-tube ballast on top if needed.

    I'm in grad school right now and I'm leaving town for winter break. I will start the build when I get back in mid January. I've bought the first 2 plants for the tank already (a large N. merrilliana x 'Miranda', and a N. truncata x (truncata x merrilliana). They are being held at the nursery until I get back from break. They will stay in the school's tropical aroid house (lowland conditions), until I get the tank finished.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •