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Thread: Optimum highland nepenthes terrarium

  1. #1

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    Question

    Hi,

    Iím busy with a terrarium at the moment. I want it to be optimized for Highland Neps. I would like to (eventually) grow the more famous species like Lowii, Rajah, Hamata, etc...
    Some of them are very slow growers so it would be nice if the terrarium is as optimal as possible to decrease waiting time.

    I have several questions but first the specs:

    Terrarium: 160 x 50 x 50 cm. 100 gallon / 400 litter capacity.
    Lighting: 4 x 58 watt grow lights (Arcadia) Total of: 232 watt.
    Reflectors: Each tube will have a reflector on top which increases light output by ~100%.
    The back of the terrarium will certainly have reflective material. Perhaps also the sides and bottom. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    I also bought a digital thermometer/hygrometer so I can monitor the whole thing.


    Anyway, as promised, here are the questions! ^_^

    1)
    My biggest concern is temperature. I have ordered 2 dual fitting shop lights but they arenít in yet. I have no idea how much warmth they generate but Iíve read quite some disturbing topics about terrariums tuning into ovens.

    a) Do I have to do anything special to reduce temperatures (especially during the night) or wonít this be a problem?

    I will probably need coolers but I have absolutely no knowledge on which ones to use and how.
    b) First of all; which types? Iíve read about CPU coolers (heatsink-less?). Are these good or is there anything better/more simple?

    c) Secondly; assuming small CPU fans. How much would I need (dimensions: 160x50x50) and what about the placement?
    For example: 2 on top blowing downwards, or 2 inside the terrarium in (diagonal) corners to create an air flow in the tank?


    2)
    Another thing Iím quite clueless about is humidity control.

    a) Highland Neps appreciate high humidity and especially high during the night. However also cooler conditions. How do you combine this?
    When you activate a cooler wonít this drop the humidity a lot..?

    b) What type of mister should I use? (ultrasonic/...?)
    Also, how do you install it? Iíve seen constructions where a large mister is placed under the terrarium and the mist is led by PCV pipes into the terra...
    Wouldnít it be better to simply place a small mister inside the tank? (Iíve no idea how big the compact designs are though. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/confused.gif[/img])

    Any other related information about humidity and temperature control will be appreciated.

    And finally;
    3)
    What are the optimal day/nighttime temperatures and also day/nighttime humidity levels for Highland Neps in general?

    The Savage Garden says ~15 degree Celsius during the night and ~25 during the day. Can the experts here agree on that? (Because not everything in TSG is 100% correct)

    Thank you for reading.
    Hope you can help me make an optimal (within a normal budget of course [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]) Highland Nepenthes terrarium. When itís all done I will order quite a lot of expensive plants and it would be sad to see them die. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

    -A. Looper.
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  2. #2

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    Aaahh... no one? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_h_32.gif[/img]
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  3. #3
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    Well, I can try to answer what I can, but it's not much.

    1) Shop lights and warmth. Fluorescents don't pump out as much heat as MH, incandescent, or any other light source. It's the right choice in this case.
    a) Adjusting temps depends on your ambient temps where the terrarium is located. I don't do anything personally, but live where it's cool.
    b) no clue
    c) Enough to move the air, but not blow your plants around much.

    2 a) The more the air cools, the higher the relative humidity gets. This just happens, unless you're using a cooling method that dries the air, like with an air conditioner.
    b) Ultrasonic are the best. But the ones I've seen are big. You can get a small fogger, but must put it in a larger well of water, so you're back to the size issue. That's why some people pump air in. Unless you live where it's real dry, this is probably not necessary for most neps. Terrariums create increased humidity by themselves.

    3) It depends on the nep. Some, like N. villosa, like it COLD, while some, like N. hamata, like it cool. The temps you list should work for most of them, though.

    What I'd do is set up the tank, put in a cheap nep or two, and see what the temps and humidity do with no extra cooling or humidity, and then adjust accordingly if necessary.

    Where do you intend to keep it, and what are the conditions there?

    Capslock
    Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium

    My photos are copyright-free and public domain

  4. #4

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    Thanks Capslock,

    I have the terrarium in my PC room (I also happen to sleep there [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img] *grin*). Not much natural sunlight comes through.

    Itís an attic meaning itís hot(ter) in the summer and cold(er) in the winter. Currently 25 degree Celsius (no lights on yet) and ~65% humidity (no water nearby) so both will increase and itís mainly the former on which Iím worried about.

    The climate in The Netherlands isnít a very hot one but still I doubt I can lower the temperatures by 10 degree with only a few fans..
    Has anyone ever measured how much your Ďcooling installationí reduces temperatures?

    Oh and another thing:
    4) Does a ultrasonic mister produce cold mist which could help reduced temperatures?

    Thanks again. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Capslock's Avatar
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    Ooooh, I love the Netherlands!

    You should get good temperature drops for most of the year just from the lights going out. In the hotter months, you might try putting a vase full of ice in there overnight, and just put it back in the freezer during the day. That would be the low-tech, but high effort way. Your humidity will be fine with no mister necessary, and they don't cool that much anyway. I think you can do this, except for perhaps the most demanding of Nepenthes. Lowii and hamata should be fine, but rajah and villosa might require more cooling effort.

    Capslock
    Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium

    My photos are copyright-free and public domain

  6. #6

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    True, the temperatures will most likely be fine most of the year.
    And I have no doubt that the humidity is high enough for the plants to grow normally.

    However, I want to make a terrarium as optimal as possible. I really donít mind spending some more money for a good mister if it will allow my plants to grow faster, even if itís just a little.

    The only problem is that I donít have all the knowledge about good equipment & conditions hence this topic. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Capslock's Avatar
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    The big challenge is cooling a tank easily and efficiently. A mister will just make it wetter, and you don't necessarily even want that. I'm not the guy to talk to about cooling a tank, though. I've never done it.

    Capslock
    Malo Periculosam Libertatem Quam Quietum Servitium

    My photos are copyright-free and public domain

  8. #8

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    I was just thinking...

    How about I just put refrigerated water in a simple spray bottle and manually mist the plants when the lights go out during the night.

    It wonít lower the whole temperature inside the terrarium enough by 10 degree but wonít it simply feel the same for the plant?

    Kinda like when you are walking on ice itís not that cold but if you break through the ice youíre suddenly freezing.
    [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]
    [img]http://home.**********.com/users/phyrex/phyrex.gif[/img]

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