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Thread: Highland Terrarium Help

  1. #17
    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    HES A MAN.

    vra, I have one last question for you, then ill stop being annoying.(if you so choose to humor my army of questions.)
    Given the choice of lighting, what would you say is overall best? As in t5/t8, how many bulbs/tubes, and which spectum/how many?

  2. #18
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    That is the question that almost every CPer asks. Even I am learning still myself. I have used 2 X T8 6500K suspended 8-12" above plants which gave me red VFTs with good compact growth. I have used a 24" dual T8 fixture with 1 x geiseman (sp) plant bulb and another daylight bulb to grow highland naps at a 5-6" distance effectively. However, my cephs were still green... my tank with 8 x T5 (mixed spectrum of coral life colormax, 7000k, daylight bulbs) and 2 T8 at almost 2' distance + 1 CFL 6500K at 2-3" outside the tank was necessary to get red color on my cephs.

    The answer depends on budget and cooling. T5s run hot. At a close distance they will cook your plants. However T5s are more effective than T8. They will put out more heat and more light. Remember... get T5HO not regular T5. But you need to seriously consider cooling.

    The dual T8 fixture and perhaps an external supplementary light source like my CFL may be the best solution if heat is a problem.

    If you will grow your plants in a cool basement or your basement cool room, you can knock yourself out with T5HO.

    Additionally, now LED are available and I am currently using these. They run cool and produce all the light you need with low heat. But they are expensive. I use freshwater planted aquarium grade LED fixtures but they are expensive.

    Honestly, try the T8, start off and you will have to experiment yourself. If money is no question... I would recommend the ADA aquasky LED fixtures... but they are $200 s pop.

    The T8 is cheap. $20 for the lights of America fixture. Then just look for good bulbs and you can definitely start with that. If you find plants growth being too dark green / etiolated, upgrade to T5. The fixture reflector makes a big difference in effectiveness. Get a good quality one.

    Spectrum wise... at my current point in this hobby...I would look for blue and red ranges in light spectrum. A plant grow bulb supplying both in high levels makes it look purple. But viewability is important to me,,, so I will flood this spectrum with additional white light. If you want to avoid tinkering with spectrum... go for overkill with lots of full spectrum daylight floursocent bulbs. General brand available in Canada is Sunblaster 6500K. US has more options here. With enough white light you are bound to get all the wavelengths you need.

  3. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by vraev View Post
    Additionally, now LED are available and I am currently using these. They run cool and produce all the light you need with low heat. But they are expensive. I use freshwater planted aquarium grade LED fixtures but they are expensive.

    Honestly, try the T8, start off and you will have to experiment yourself. If money is no question... I would recommend the ADA aquasky LED fixtures... but they are $200 s pop.

    The T8 is cheap. $20 for the lights of America fixture. Then just look for good bulbs and you can definitely start with that. If you find plants growth being too dark green / etiolated, upgrade to T5. The fixture reflector makes a big difference in effectiveness. Get a good quality one.
    For me with the DIY LEDs I'm using my break even point (the point where I will have paid my local electric company the cost of the LEDs) was between 2-4 years depending on which T5s and which LEDs. The real concern is finding people that have been using LEDs for 4+ years to ask there options, so few have been. I'm at about 1 year using CREE LEDs and loving them. So there is that risk, were T8/T5 are well know and used.

    Please keep in mind not all LEDs are created equally, the difference between one daylight LED and another daylight LED can be massive so do your homework. While there are better T8/T5 bulbs than others its not as bad, to my knowledge you can't buy a T5 daylight bulb that is 5% the light output of another T5 daylight bulb, with LEDs you easily can.

    If cost is not an issue there are some really amazing LEDs for saltwater that mimic season changes, storms cycles, day lengths, lunar cycles, cloud movement, ect. I was able to see a demo of one about a month ago and it was impressive.

    Unless you are leaning toward heat production, cost, or efficiency of the lighting I would not even worry about which one until you get the dimensions you are trying to light. Tiny spaces CFLs/LEDs win out really fast, 48" areas T5/T8 have a big advantage for example. Also keep in mind LEDs are spotlights where T5/T8s are bars, with CFLs somewhere in the middle.

  4. #20
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Great points RSS. I agree... it depends on the grow area size.

    I was actually looking up Aqua illumination's sol, vega and the new hydra. The even higher Radions are impressive too. These put out close to 200par at a 24" distance and are these are programmable to a crazy level. But they will run you close to $700+ a pop.

    But yeah... for a small grow CFL are sufficient. But for a bigger area.... you need T5 or T8.

    BTW Jones... check out this detailed guide.... very informative. http://www.carnivorousplants.org/how...r/Lighting.php
    Last edited by vraev; 07-06-2014 at 04:44 PM.

  5. #21
    For the love of Science! Dragoness's Avatar
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    I guess I am under the impression that most Neps got a lot bigger. Maybe I just have N. bicalcarata permanently entrenched in my head.

    This thread is marvelous, as I am brainstorming my own Highlands setup - even though it is a ways down the line.
    Jen- My Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...00#post1154900
    "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."
    -Bradley Miller-

  6. #22
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    oh yes. Every nep grows pretty big..especially ones in there. If anything argentii probably would be the only one that is a good size for a terrarium, but its one of the more picky species.

    All others like macrophylla etc... get huge. Thats why I never really have too many big neps. The large tanks were made for bigger neps. But, it showed how nave I was..lol! there was never too much empty space..I would always keep a full house in there. So once plants got bigger, I would sell them/trade them...or in worst case, put them outside and eventually the plant would go downhill.
    Last edited by vraev; 07-06-2014 at 09:06 PM.

  7. #23
    I Am the Terror Of the Night! NemJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoness View Post
    This thread is marvelous, as I am brainstorming my own Highlands setup - even though it is a ways down the line.
    I couldnt agree more man. This thread has all the info ive been digging for for a looong time. Hats off to everyone whos contributed. Especially vraev. Such a unique and effective setup

  8. #24

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    vraev,are those air plants in the background , or what type of plants are they?? In the shelf. Exo terra

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