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Thread: Terrarium Lighting

  1. #1
    Fredoray
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    Hi -- I'm new here and am trying to set up a terrarium for my plants. I've read some of the posts here about lighting, but wonder if there's a special kind of flourescent light r will the pet shop fish tank variety work. One bulb or two? I was going to set up a 10-20 gallon tank. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    Don't get a hood that only takes incandescent bulbs. It's impossible to find good bulbs for them and the ones you can find aren't powerful enough to work. That's the only thing that I would advise. Shauntell

  3. #3
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    I would suggest purchasing a 20 gallon long which has a foot size of 30" long x 12" wide this will allow you to keep roughly 28 x 3" round CP pots. Be sure to buy a glass lid sized for this tank-the lids with rubber hinges make access easy.
    Over this size tank you can place 4x 20 watt flourescent bulbs (two 24" twin tube striplight kits-buy at home depot for about $15 per kit). You do need to use flourescent bulbs which have a "kelvin" (or "color") rating of 5000K - 7000K. Basically at the hardware store this comes down to using 2 cool white tubes and two warm white tubes. Specialty flourescent "plant grow" tubes are basically the same thing but overpriced. Sometimes specialty plant bulbs are even dimmer than the regular tubes!

    It is best to put as much light over your tank as possible. It is also a good idea to surround the front back and sides of the glass with tinfoil so the light stays trapped within the confines of the terrrarium. This will give you very brightly colored plants which grow healthy and strong. You can leave the front panel untaped on the bottom and sides so you can flip it up when you wish to view the plants or show your prizes to visitors and flip it down when you're done admiring!

    As Shaun says don't bother with regular light hoods they won't supply your plants with enough of the correct lighting. The new compact flourescent screw in bulbs work well with incandescent (screw in) fixtures but it takes a lot of hunting to find them in the correct Kelvin rating and they run about $15 per bulb whereas normal flourescents are $2-$4!

    I have a set of instructions for building your own aquarium & terrarium lighting hood from wood and lighting kits from home depot/lowes. it's easy if you have a drill and saw.
    http://www.battlehelm.com/diycanopys.html

    Hope this helps!

  4. #4
    Fredoray
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    Thanks -- I'll head to Home Depot today. Just wondering though -- a 12 inch tank doesn't seem to have enough depth to support four flourescent lights in their fixtures, but you never know till you look I guess. many thanks again -- we'll see if I can keep these guys alive here in Southern California!

  5. #5
    swords's Avatar
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    Fredoray the twin tub stripklight kits sold at homedepot are only 4" wide and 4" tall (Assembled with tubes installed in the endcaps). Nice and compact.

    Have fun! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

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    These sites may be of assistance to you:

    http://epm-britt.ucdavis.edu/Savages/Terrarium.htm

    http://sarracenia.com/faq/faq6010c.html

    http://sarracenia.com/faq/faq6010d.html

    The best advice I can give you is to buy a tank larger than you think you'll need--a smaller tank will be instantly out-grown.

    Chris
    Chris Roy
    Eastern Massachusetts, United States

    I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had time to make it shorter. - Blaise Pascal

  7. #7

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    hi! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] i myself am using a home made setup, im using aluminum gutters painted black on the outside, shiney on the inside, they can hold 2 bulbs next to each other, i drilled the holes for the florescent bulb ends, i used the icecap end caps found in major saltwater fish magazines, and the ballasts i got from home depot along with the gutters,i used 2 cut in half then screwed together to make a 4 tube fixture, the ballasts i screwed onto the outside, and i use 1"x1" lumber stock to keep it off the tank, they do cause enough heat to hurt the plants, tank is sealed cept for 1 spot thats cracked open for air circulation, and a fan blows down on the hood in between the lights and top to blow away heat, my plants are doing great with this setup, i use sunshine tubes, but you can use whatever tube preference you want [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] just another way of doing it.

    ccrider
    follow your desires, even the spur of the moment has its purpose in life!

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