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Thread: My Tank

  1. #1

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    Cool

    Ok... I have a twenty gallong tank, with nothing in it... I am looking for the cheapest way I can turn this baby into a terrarium...

    The measurements are 30" long, 13" wide and 13" deep...

    I think that my dad can make a glass cover at his work... I KNOW that for the top I can buy a shop light... Can I sit that on top? Aquarium canopies cost like, 60 dollars, and uh, thats kinda not fittin with my whole budget, if ya know what I mean... Is it possible to get a shop light that will sit atop the tank, or will It require handymanishness?

    I cannot decide if this will be a highland tank for neps, and someday some Helis, or if it will be a lowlandish type tank for dews, my lowland neps in the winter, etc...

    I think lowland may be the easier/cheaper way to go... Unless I need a heater... How much are they, how easy are they, etc...?

    I can get an Ultrasonic humidifier for five or six dollars at a second hand store... How can I have the vapour shoot into the tank? If it angles downward, won't it condense? Is there anything else I need to know about this?

    If I have the humidifier, I won't need fans in there, will I? It might be best if there was circulation in there tho, eh? What kind of fans should I use? Computer fans seem to be what everyone else is using, but is there anything smallish that won't need thirty or fourty dollars worth of electrical equipment?

    Uuuuuh... Is there anything else I'm missing? I'm hoping to get this tank up and running. I like the dimensions. Its not too tall, and theres lots of floor space...

    Thanks a Lot!!!
    Greg

  2. #2

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    Hi Parasuco!

    I have basically the same size tank. It's 23 gallon. My hubby is making my own light fixure, sort of like a shop light. For the top, I have just used a hard plastic grate (the kind made for covering florescent lights, so the heat shouldn't bother it). With it being a grate, there is contant air flow cause it's not sealed. It's a cheapy piece of plastic that you can probably find at most hardware stores for less that $8, and easily cut to size. It rests right on top of the tank, no extras needed. The light fixture will be resting right on top of it, and I'll be cutting a hole the size of the fixture in the grate just to make sure my lights have no "obstacle" even though the grate really creates none. I'll have little fans built in to the fixture as well, just in case, although I don't anticipate needing them since there is no blockage of air flow.
    As for humidity, my solution for that is a great one, but not within your budget by the sounds of things, so I'll leave that out! If you have your pots seperate in your tank without extra soil and are planning on keeping them in dishes of water, or having water sit in the bottom of your tank you shouldn't have a problem. But if you are going to fill it with dirt and either plant them all together or bury the pots in the dirt to create the illusion that they are planted together like I have, then a cup or small sugar bowl filled with distialled water sitting in the corner of your tank should help humidity. The water is constantly evaporating and providing a comfortable humidity level. Even in my tank with no sealed lid, I am maintaining 70% humidity.

    Hope this helps some! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    To live we must learn to forgive.

  3. #3
    swords's Avatar
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    Unfortunately my Natural aquarium.com website is offline right now (changing servers) but I have plans with photos/diagrams for building your own flourescent light canopy. I can email the file to you as a html (open it in MSExplorer) if you PM me your email address.

    To use my lighting canopy instructions to build your own you will need the following:
    (1) 1"x 8" x 6ft long plank
    (1) 1" x 12" x 4 ft long plank
    Lighting fixtures (for a 20 L you can fit 4x 20 watt flourescents 2 twin tube fixtures and give your plants a good 80 watts)
    Drill with both phillips head driver and drill bit slightly skinnier than the screws you will use (I like 1 1/2" #8 wood screws)
    25 wood screws
    Handheld jig saw or hand saw (to cut the planks)
    You can get an all glass lid with rubber hinge at the pet store for about $15

    Just lemme know!

  4. #4
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Regular fluorescent tubes are barely warm to the touch when running. If the light overhangs the tank be several inches (which it will if you use a 4' fixture), you can just place the shoplight right on the tank. A piece of glass or plexiglass cut to fit with maybe corner taken off to let you lift it and allow access to run power for a 12v fan and your all set. Won't need a humidifier with a nearly sealed terrarium.
    T
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #5
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Greg, DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT UTILIZE AN ULTRASONIC HUMIDIFIER IN A TERRARIUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I learned the hard way. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] I thought my plants liked it which they did but however the mist output is too high for terarium operation continously. So one morning I came down and saw that all my Drosera,small Nepenthes and pitchers were UNDERWATER in 2 gallons that accumulated overnight from the mist. So don't use one! Unless you're growing Aldrovanda or Utricularia. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    You could always wire your ultrasonic humidifier to a humidity sensor. But don't ask me how, I'm no electrician! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] The ultrasonic mister/fogger I use sits in my terrarium 24/7 in a cup of water. I only turn it on twice a day. Each run only lasts about 20 minutes until it automatically shuts off because the water level gets too low (only about 1/2 cup water gets used at a time). So even though it's always in the terrarium, I only need to turn it on and shut it of a couple times a day to maintain humidity. Works really well for me so far! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    To live we must learn to forgive.

  7. #7

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    Hmm, thats smart
    Even so tho... I'm sure that two gallons on the bottom of that tank will barely be a a skin... Well, i'm understating, but it won't be that deep... Mine has lots of floor space..... thats y i picked that one.

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    swords's Avatar
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    I guess the Battlehelm.com site will be up til the end of the month so I posted the lighting canopy instructions there, the address is:
    http://www.battlehelm.com/diycanopys.html

    A humidistat is what carnivorous newbie is talking about. I bought the cheapest one I could find it was made by Trion Controls it was $67 + shipping ($71 total I think) it has a dial that ranges from 20-80% humidity-you can turn it past 80 and the humidifier will run nonstop. I set it to go on/off at 80%. The humidistat is placed in the growing area and the power cord for the humidifier is plugged into the powercord for the humidistat. the sensor feels the air has less humidity so it opens the chanel for the humidifier to come on (I covered up the 2" hole on my humidifier and put a 1" hose running to the enclosure).

    However, if you're using a fishtank with a lid you won't need to add humidity with a humidifier. if your plants can't sit in 1" of water then build a false bottom of 1" PVC pipe ruinning acoss the botom of the tank with a piece of plastic eggcrate the length and width of the tank overtop so the plants can sit just over the water. The water evaporating will be more than enough humidity. All my waterproof tanks are setup that way.
    here's a shot of a "false bottom":


    hope this helped some! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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