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Thread: Indoor controlled environment options

  1. #9
    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    Divaskid thanks for the idea of the set up. Mine would be smaller as I want it to be portable, I was thinking of getting one of those small terrarium kits (maybe just 2 ft wide and 4 ft long, not too tall). I currently just use a humidifier in my room, and open my window with a fan blowing on the plants at night). I am preparing in the future for when I have more difficult plants. I would switch to lowlanders, but they are often so big and fast growing I wouldn't be able to house many of them once they were mature and actually producing good pitchers. So I am kind of stuck with the small highlanders.

    Expense isn't a huge issue, as I save up my money and don't really splurge, I already have the lights, I just need a well insulated container for at night so I can cool my plants down. My dorm gets unusually hot all year round (I never had to turn the heat on even when it was -10 degrees F outside, it remained a steady 80 degrees, and sadly, AC is not available when outdoor temps are below 50 degrees in my dorm). I can't just leave my window open as it gets way too cold in the winter, but I can't just leave it closed either. Maybe I will just change the setting on my refrigerator so that I can stick them in there until I figure stuff out. 45 degrees should be ok temporarily, right?
    Come to me flies and crawling bugs. This plant wants to give you great big hugs
    Aren't I pretty, don't I smell good? I'd come to you if I could
    But I can't so you must come to me, I'm sure we will get along splendidly

  2. #10
    rcl27's Avatar
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    I gotta side with Heli on this one and recommend a chest freezer. We were actually talking about it earlier today. Lowes has a 5-cu ft freezer for $189 with dimensions of 28.375" x 22" x 33.25" and a 7-cu ft for $229 @ 37" x 22" x 32.6". All of the sides are already covered with reflective metal so all you have to do is remove the door and slap on a piece of plexiglass on top for a cover. You can use a ZooMed hygrotherm to get your night time drops (instead of using the freezer's internal thermometer) and whatever fogger of your choice for humidity. It is also tall enough to accommodate some vining once your nepenthes hit that stage.

    It really is the best bang for your buck and easiest approach to achieving adequate night time temps and humidity. Plus at that size it would, well feasibly, fit into a dorm room. I am not quite sure how it would look stacked on a dresser but at least it is not HUGE lol.

    This is about the only pic I can find of an empty one online (albeit the GE one):

    You can also scroll to the very bottom and see Heli's setup here: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-thread/page69

    I would also not worry about moving them back and forth from the refrigerator. A lot of times just moving the plant from different environments so often will cause more stress than simply skipping out on night time drops.

  3. #11

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    I'm not sure I would recommend this to anyone but here is the latest I've posted on my Wine Chiller setup using thermoelectric cooling. For maintaining constant temps its working great, but providing lows at night and highs in the day I started having real condensation concerns.

    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...un!?highlight=

    Its been about 6m without any real issues, but I would assume you would want more space for Neps and then your clearly better off with a compressor unit. Think more of a "beer fridge" than a refrigerator.

    I'd recommend getting some of the GOOD LEDs out there as they produce very little heat and when your goal is cooling things it will work out better to pay more upfront for the lower heat producing lighting.

  4. #12

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    I got a "broken" wine chiller (peltier cooling) off Craigslist for $15, replaced the peltier module, removed the circuitry and hacksawed the control panel off and affixed it all to a ~1.5 foot long by 5 inch board. It sits under my terrarium and cools one container to 60-68 during the day, and 52-56 at night.
    As for condensation, I just made a small shroud around the fan inside the container (can sling condensated water), and remove some of it with a baster every couple weeks.
    Agreed with RSS on the size limitation though, but I am not complaining for a sub-$30 cooled enclosure.

  5. #13
    Maiden's Avatar
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    Sarah,

    From my experience, the #1 problem for all growers who like highland and ultra highland plants is the night temps drop.

    I spend one year just to ajust and improve my highland setup.

    My setup is very simple.

    In my apartment, i have a room only for my plants. I run a A/C next to my setup, the air flux directly on my terrariums. This way, even with the massive full spectrum i throw in the tank, the temperature stay cool, at 24C max. Each terrarium in that room have a .5 inches hole on the cover. This way, my plants have a gentle air flow running slowly inside the tank and the relative humidity stay at 85%.

    At night, when my timers close my T5 tubes, i add 3 little icepaks inside each terrarium, and with my A/C running, i can reach 15C with 80%RH.

    I had to ajust my a/c to the right angle, because the cold air have to hit all terras. I also have to monitor the vibration, because of the a/c. That was bad for my plants, shaking all the time.

    Also, i had to buy new window store pannels, because the sun pushed a lot of heat in the room, at the wrong angle.
    I had to move the plants, because helis species like hispida or neblinae need cooler roots night temps. So i move these plants on the cooler side of my terra, where the a/c air hit the pannel. Many others lil details i had to set also.

    For my temperate plants who need dormancy, i just open a window next to the setup. This way, my plants just fall slowly asleep in november, and when they are 100% dormant, i bag them and put all these lil guys in the fridg at 3C until next april.
    I just open the bags once a month to add 2-3 water myst shots and to see if everything is ok.

    So, you will need to 'try and learn'. Each lil details are important, and at the end, you will run the perfect setup for your plants, in your growing space and with your local RH% and temperatures.

    Francois.
    Last edited by Maiden; 06-05-2014 at 11:17 PM.

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