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Thread: Grow Tent Recommendations

  1. #1

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    Grow Tent Recommendations

    Hi all,

    My questions aren't going to be directly related to growing CPs (though I'll likely attempt some Helis so maybe they do), but CP growers seems to have a level of ingenuity that isn't necessarily around in other plant hobbies.

    I've been growing orchids for 15ish years now and have been growing in terrariums for the last 3-4 years in order to stretch my growing conditions. My major interests are Pleurothallids and high elevation Papua New Guinea Dendrobium and Bulbophyllum species. Living in Louisiana, trying to grow the vast majority of these species is next to impossible. I've tried using a fridge (worked but too bulky), contemplating converting a wine chiller, and am now thinking of trying a grow tent.

    Since so many people here have experience with these tents or with heavy manipulation of their growing conditions, I thought you guys would have the best advice. So here's what I'm thinking and the ideal conditions I'd like to attain:

    My plan

    - Utilize a grow tent with A/C, misting system, T8-T5 lighting, maybe a rack system to maximize surface area, and fans to grow a various selection of I-C growing orchids, mainly minis

    Questions

    - I'm definitely looking for tent recommendations. I found a reference to one here a while back but have since lost the thread. I'll have to do some digging, but the tent looked high quality with decent size for not too bad of a price ($200-300 range)

    - Using an AC, what is a reasonable temp range I can achieve? I'm shooting for somewhere in the low 70s high to 55ish night low.

    - How is the humidity in these chambers? Will regular mistings (to water) keep the humidity high enough or is a humidifier or drip wall necessary?

    - Has anyone had any leak issues due to water build up on the ground?

    I think that's everything I can come up with at this point. If anyone has suggestions beyond the questions I posted, please feel free to give your two sense! I appreciate any help you can provide.

  2. #2

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    When it comes to tents I think you have two major concerns.

    First, some tents are manufactured in such a way that there's a risk of gas-off from the adhesive that bonds the mylar to the canvas. This isn't a problem for people growing tough plants with all the vents open, but we're usually growing sensitive plants with all the vents closed to keep the humidity in. When you shop around try to make sure you don't end up with a tent that has killed other people's plants, especially if you're looking at cheaper tents.

    Second, leaking. I have a Secret Jardin tent and I've never been able to solve the leaking problem. I have a layer of plastic on the bottom of the inside of the tent, but condensation from my humid environment rolls down the walls and ends up behind and underneath the plastic. Outside the tent I have plastic on the floor. Someday I'd like to prop the tent up on something so air can pass underneath -- plastic greenhouse grow benches for example. My metal poles are quite rusty from sitting in water all the time. I have no idea how long they'll last, but I'll have a greenhouse by then.

    The rest is easier to solve. Due to lights heating a tent is much easier than cooling one. My tent is in the basement so I haven't needed to add any cooling. I sometimes leave a window next to the tent cracked in the winter to get good highland nights.

    Without doing anything special it's easy to attain humidity of 50% or so with the vents closed. To get my tent closer to 75% I have a plastic bucket with a floating pond fogger in it. The bucket is right below an upward-pointing circulation fan to distribute the fog; without the fan the fogger would just be adding to my wet floor problems.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by carbonetc View Post
    When it comes to tents I think you have two major concerns.

    First, some tents are manufactured in such a way that there's a risk of gas-off from the adhesive that bonds the mylar to the canvas. This isn't a problem for people growing tough plants with all the vents open, but we're usually growing sensitive plants with all the vents closed to keep the humidity in. When you shop around try to make sure you don't end up with a tent that has killed other people's plants, especially if you're looking at cheaper tents.
    This is what I've read on here and partially why I posed these questions to you all. Like I said, CP'ers seem to be on the cutting edge of climate manipulation. This was the tent that I was considering: http://www.greners.com/i/grow-tents/...oms-gl120.html. It looks to be pretty high quality but also not terribly expensive. Any information about this one off-gassing and/or leaking is more than appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by carbonetc View Post
    Second, leaking. I have a Secret Jardin tent and I've never been able to solve the leaking problem. I have a layer of plastic on the bottom of the inside of the tent, but condensation from my humid environment rolls down the walls and ends up behind and underneath the plastic. Outside the tent I have plastic on the floor. Someday I'd like to prop the tent up on something so air can pass underneath -- plastic greenhouse grow benches for example. My metal poles are quite rusty from sitting in water all the time. I have no idea how long they'll last, but I'll have a greenhouse by then.

    The rest is easier to solve. Due to lights heating a tent is much easier than cooling one. My tent is in the basement so I haven't needed to add any cooling. I sometimes leave a window next to the tent cracked in the winter to get good highland nights.

    Without doing anything special it's easy to attain humidity of 50% or so with the vents closed. To get my tent closer to 75% I have a plastic bucket with a floating pond fogger in it. The bucket is right below an upward-pointing circulation fan to distribute the fog; without the fan the fogger would just be adding to my wet floor problems.
    Heating won't be an issue at all for me, being in South Louisiana. My plan is to keep this in the corner of a future "frog room" where temps will be kept about 75-78 during the day. Inside the tent, I'd set that dedicated AC to something like 70-73 day. When the lights go out, I'll drop the frog room 5-10 degrees and have this set to drop into the 50s. I'd probably install a misting system to actually water the plants (most will be mounted) and then possibly some kind of drip wall for added humidity/another show piece.

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