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Thread: Terrarium lighting

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    Hello,

    I bought my first terrarium a few days ago.
    50cm width, 50cm height and an awesome 160 cm in length. 400 liter / 105 gallon volume. \o/
    Itís gonna be a greenhouse style terrarium, just pots it large square water tray (for at least 2 pots each row).

    http://mywebpage.netscape.com/Phyrex...yterrarium.jpg

    My biggest problem currently is the lighting...
    Iím planning on buying a 58 watt dual fitting which fits perfectly over the terrarium.
    And Iím also taping the backside and the 2 sides with a reflective material.

    My questions:

    1) Are 2 GroLux 58 watt lights enough over the terrarium? Or should I use 3 or even 4?
    2) Can too much (artificial) light harm the plants? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Any other information about this subject I should know is also appreciated.
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    homer's Avatar
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    Cool

    Welcome to the Forum Phyrex. I'm sure 2 tubes will "get you by" when growing carnivorous plants, but 3 or even 4 would be better, of course. There are a lot of factors, like the thickness of glass/plastic you are covering the top of the terrarium with, the distance the plants are below the tubes, the kind of plants you are growing, etc, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]2) Can too much (artificial) light harm the plants?
    Yes I believe so, but that won't be a problem in your setup no matter how many bulbs you decide to use. Ultimately, the plants will show you if they are happy or not, until then we can only speculate.

    hope this helps,

    Homer

  3. #3

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    I would hang two dual 4 foot shoplights above the tank. (122cm)
    That way you have four 40 watt long flourescent bulbs. A total of 160 watts.

    You can get two cool and two warm to mix the spectrum or something similiar.
    For best results - flourescents need to be really close to the plants as possible though, without anything between them like glass or plastic.

    Here they are at Home Depot for 8 buks each. Dual 4 Foot Shoplight.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the responses

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]
    There are a lot of factors, like the thickness of glass/plastic you are covering the top of the terrarium with, the distance the plants are below the tubes, the kind of plants you are growing, etc, etc.
    Currently I havenít got a covering. Do I really need one? The sides of the terrarium have about 10 cm glass on top leaving the effective opening only 26 cm. With a light on top I think itís pretty much covered already (for humidity) or are there any other reasons?

    Distance to the plants might be a factor indeed because itís reasonable high (50 cm). Should I raise the plants, if so; what height away from the top?

    Plants Iím growing? Well currently about one of all species (N.Alata/Cephalotus/Dionaea - Royal Red/...). [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    Iím not planning on moving all the plants right away into the terrarium because they are very happy on the sunny windowsill they stand. Itís just for future plants. (Soon)
    Iím not quite sure where Iíll specialize in. I especially like Cephalotus at the moment. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    What plant types donít require a dormancy anyway? Having a well filled terrarium all year long seems more pleasant to me to be honest. (Iím also planning on getting a N.Bicalcarata some day. ^^)

    Anyway, as you can see I still have a lot of questions but most important is a good light setup first.
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Somewhat Unstable superimposedhope's Avatar
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    I don't think you can provide too much artificial lighting, now too much heat from the lights is another story. Perhaps with IF you had like 4 MH's over a plant.........maybe, though the heat would be the likely cause.

    Joe
    \"There is nothing here of interest to any nation, as a matter of fact there is nothing here but humans!\"

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    You may need some sorta of top to keep the humidity in. I would purchase a digital Temp and Humidity gauge.

    But you also need some kind of air circulation, so don't totally cover it.

    Plants can be within 1 inch of a flourescent. That's where it is most effective. Flourescents lose alot of strength the further they are from the plants. You can raise the plants or lower the light.

    About Dormancy, someone else could answer that as I donno too many species yet and how they do. I think Butterworts and some Sundews can be grown year round and most neps.

    Here is my new setup: Look how the light is hanging. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/lesliex317537/terrarium.jpg[/img]

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (LESLIEx317537 @ July 08 2004,2:33)]I would hang two dual 4 foot shoplights above the tank. (122cm)
    That way you have four 40 watt long flourescent bulbs. A total of 160 watts.

    You can get two cool and two warm to mix the spectrum or something similiar.
    For best results - flourescents need to be really close to the plants as possible though, without anything between them like glass or plastic.

    Here they are at Home Depot for 8 buks each. Dual 4 Foot Shoplight.
    2 x 58 watt is 116.
    4 x 36 is 144
    Only 28 difference. I think I rather use the 58 watt shoplights since it covers it nicely and most important: doesn't leave certain area's 'unlighted' (directly).
    I think I could fit 2(4 bulbs in total) of them next to eachother but I'll have to check out the sizes.

    But wouldn't 232 watt in total be serious overkill? I could add 3 (174) and maybe one normal lamp for a better viewing spectrum?
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  8. #8

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    232 watts of Flourescents would be awesome. 50 watts per square foot is nice. Plus they would run cooler than any other 232 watt setup.

    Where did you get 4 x 36 and not 4 x 40 watts? Are they just labled as 40 watters when they are only 36[img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img]

    BTW, my Fluorex setup above is pumping out 65watts of 6500K color to those plants which are about 3-4 inches from the bulb. It's about 65 watts in a small 1 1/2 foot square area.

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