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Thread: Indoor controlled environment options

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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    Indoor controlled environment options

    So I have a couple of nepenthes, but is feel that I can't reasonably provide the temperature drops they want, being that it will start to get too warm at night for nature to provide it for them anymore (highlander hybrid and ventricosa). So I was hoping to perhaps get a very small, portable indoor greenhouse or terrarium like container which is temperature controlled. While I did find some stuff on the internet, it was all for keeping stuff warm, none seemed to be good for cooling stuff down to the extent I would need.

    Any advice guys, for those who don't have any outdoor stuff but still have indoor highlander nepenthes? How would you keep them cool? And don't say refrigerator, they won't fit and my mom would have a fit, and they are a bit too cold anyways. I thought of ice packs, but am concerned that they will contaminate the soil somehow. Freezing DI water and placing the cubes on the soil has crossed my mind, but I don't know if I could use enough to cool the plant without overwatering it.
    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

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    freezing water is at best a short term option.... it would get old mighty quick.
    frozen water bottles also act as a dehumidifier

    Basement is easiest option if available
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 05-22-2014 at 10:07 AM.

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    Aristoloingulamata Dexenthes's Avatar
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    I have heard of many different people trying many different things in situations similar to yours. By and large the most successful indoor cooling setups do involve a refrigerator or refrigerant of some kind. When your house and the entire environment surrounding your house wont naturally get down to highland temperatures it becomes a huge expenditure of resources to try and artificially create that scenario. If the nighttime temperatures outside still fall down into the 50's or low 60's then you can use the outside to cool your terrarium. Ice packs and ice cubes will become a mess and you will find quickly that they would be a hassle and largely ineffective. My suggestion to you is to limit the number of true highlanders you purchase and just see if your hybrids and N. ventricosa can stick it out with whatever temperatures the house/environment can give them. N. ventricosa is not a particularly picky plant and although it may not thrive in lowland conditions it probably wont die all the way back and come winter time it may resume to being healthy and vigorous. Many hybrids can withstand lowland/intermediate temperatures without much problem. The only problems with hybrids that I have noticed come usually when it is a primary hybrid and one or both of the parents is a particularly finicky highlander. Even then, some of these crosses prove to be hardy.

    TLDR: without a refrigerant or swamp cooler, cooling your terrarium will be extremely difficult.
    LOOKING FOR: N. (argentii x bicalcarata) x {[(lingulata x edwardsiana) x (naga x hamata)] x [(klossii x undulatifolia) x (aristolochioides x rajah)]} Growlist: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=124586

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    PsychoSarah's Avatar
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    Where would I get a swamp cooler of small size? Another issue is that my summers are too hot and my winters are too cold, there isn't much time in the year in which temperatures work. Also, I live in a dorm for half the year, so no basement.

    I wish I could perhaps get more lowlanders, but so many of them get really big, I can only house relatively small plants.
    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

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Probably, the best method for small highland (dorm) setups is using a vapor cycle (refrigerant) aquarium chiller....
    However, unless you have one laying around, this can be an expensive investment.

    Contrary to tribal knowledge I find Heliamphora do not need diurnal temperature drop.
    Mine seem perfectly happy and colorful without it.
    Beyond that.... I'm no nep person.... I only grow two :-)
    Last edited by Av8tor1; 05-22-2014 at 05:59 PM.

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    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    i built a setup using a modified chest freezer and so far it works really well to get any temps I want. Donh and rjgeorgia also use the same system.

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    One option is to change to an easier problem.It's always easier to add heat than cool things. You can just switch to lowland Nepenthes in a covered aquarium, if you need to heat that it's easy to have a reservoir of water in the bottom with a submersible aquarium heater in it.
    http://carnivorousplants.org/cpn/art...30n1p21_25.pdf

    I'm just offering this as a suggestion because you only have two highland plants, it's not too late to shift focus. I don't know how small of a terrarium you have to have but ampullarias can easily be kept small, and there are enough different clones in circulation to keep it interesting. You easily could grow 2 or 3 amps in a measly 10 gallon tank under one 25 watt compact fluorescent.

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    divaskid's Avatar
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    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...-Plants/page22

    If you scroll to the bottom of this page (last post), I shared how I made my first set up. It can be made to fit a smaller tank as well

    Edit: Forgot to add in that post that I also used a timer for the cooling system so they only turned on at night
    Last edited by divaskid; 05-22-2014 at 06:38 PM.
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