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Thread: Got rid of fish and converted tank into upgraded

  1. #1
    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    I'd been planing on doing this since me and my grandmother got in the same semi-monthly fight about my 29-gallon fish tank when we cleaned it, so I got sick of that crap and decided I couldn't deal with cleaning the tank as much as I needed to, so I got the fish tank converted to a dew/ping/Nep tank over the weekend and moved my N. ventricosa, D. adelae and P. primuliflora from the previous 10-gallon to the 29-gallon. Took the fish to the pet shop on Saturday and took all the water and decorations out of the tank, then on Sunday morning, instead of my usual 10:30 waking time (to not miss The X-Files at 11), I got up at 9 so I could try to get it all done before I left with Mom for the day. My grandmother "HAD NO IDEA WHAT TIME IT WAS" and slept in until just before 11, so I had to do the last half of the work myself. Went out back and washed about 50 pounds of gravel in a ridiculous process of swashing the full-power hose around in the bucket and then pouring all the water out, then poured the gravel out across some newspaper to dry, then hosed the bleach/alcohol smell off the hood parts (I had to rub them down with alchohol and then bleach the night before to kill off most of the fungus.. and since I didn't want the plastic water-gaurd under the fluorescent, I had my grandfather take it off), then turned the tank back right-side up (it was upside-down drying all night), wiped it down, put a thin layer of gravel in there, then put the hood back together, then started foiling three sides of the tank. By then my grandmother was up and The X-Files was on, so we moved it to the floor in front of the TV in the kitchen and I sat on the floor and watched The X-Files and finished foiling the tank, then taped foil over the holes in the hood where the filter and heater used to go (there's still ventilation provided by various crack-sized gaps and the vents on top of the light fixture), then moved it into my room and set it up with the plants and light, then dismantled the old 10 gallon and put it in the garage. Now I'm currently working on the long, ridiculously drawn-out process of repeatedly spraying the tank and pouring water onto the gravel until it finally starts condensing instead of evaporating. I have no idea how this works.. I mean, each time I replace the exact same amount of water on the glass and gravel, so it's not like the moisture amount is gradually building up. But it never starts actually creating humidity until you do it three thousand times. Go figure. Anyhoo, so that's what's what.
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  2. #2
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (FlytrapGurl @ May 11 2005,10:26)]Now I'm currently working on the long, ridiculously drawn-out process of repeatedly spraying the tank and pouring water onto the gravel until it finally starts condensing instead of evaporating. I have no idea how this works.. I mean, each time I replace the exact same amount of water on the glass and gravel, so it's not like the moisture amount is gradually building up. But it never starts actually creating humidity until you do it three thousand times.
    The humidity will increase gradually as long as there isn't enough air circulation to remove it and there's a source of water in the tank. To some degree, your plants themselves will humidify the tank in the process of exchanging air for photosynthesis. You can mist as much as you want (until your Drosera objects) but you won't see much condensation unless you get the humidity near 100% or the terrarium glass is colder than the air inside. If you want an indicator of humidity, buy a cheap analog humidity gauge from the hardware store and stick it in the tank.
    ~Joe
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  3. #3
    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    I already got a hygrometer at the pet shop. Anyhoo, I'm not even misting anymore.. fear for the dewness. I'm just gonna keep replenishing a little water at the bottom of the tank for humidity. Plus, I figured out how to cover the entire top door of the tank and half of the light fixture so those openings around the edges and hinges are nonextistent. Definite rise in humidity there, but still waiting for the condensation, which will indicate that the humidity is where I want it (since the plants did really well when there was condensation last time).

    I know the humidity was not near 100% in the last tank.. only about 70-80%. But there was muchos condesationos.
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    It was also a much smaller tank, and that makes it easier temperature- and moisture-wise to get condensation going. My 76 gallon tank almost never fogs or gets condenstation. During the day I have a fan on for circulation-no fog. At night when the lights and fan are off there is some condensation, but not much. So even with high humidity during the day(70-90+), I don't get fog and only when there is heat applied to it in the AM by the lights does it begin to condense.

    My point is that seeing condensation isn't exacltly your goal as long as your humidity is up. There could be enough of a draft to keep the air moving just enough not to condense, or the temperature isn't right(condensation would begin somewhere around the dew point inside your tank). If you don't get near the dew point, you'll never get any real condensation.

    Sam

  5. #5
    apple rings.. what more can i say? FlytrapGurl's Avatar
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    What's the dew point again? I know I had this in school, but I forgot. Anyhoo, the temperature is usually about 80 degrees.
    Liquid Plummer
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  6. #6
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    I have four terraria ranging from 10gal to 55gal. All with the same setup.

    1) Plants under fluorescent lights
    2) Foil placed on outside of tank (shiny side facing inward) to increase light levels
    3) CPU fan in the tank for good air circulation
    *air circulation is important. if you see condensation on the side of your tank then there is not enough air circulation and this promotes fungus/mold infestations. Humidity in my tanks is >90% (plenty for any CP) and there is no condensation on the glass.
    4) Plants in individual containers sitting in plastic saucers
    5) Sphagnum moss layer on the bottom of the tank kept slightly submerged under water. This way, humidity is kept constant forever without the need for constant misting (which can damage some drosera). Read below for the benefits of sphagnum moss at bottom of tank (I posted this reply in another topic in this forum).

    When I first setup my four terraria, I placed a 2" thick layer of dried long-fibered sphagnum moss at the bottom and thoroughly drenched it with distilled water. I then setup the rest of the terrarium (lights, fan, plants.) The plants are individually potted and placed in plastic saucers standing on the sphagnum moss. I keep the moss wet by adding water as necessary until the moss layer is barely submerged under distilled water.

    One year later, the dead-looking sphagnum moss is a nice lime green and thriving (growing)! That's right....the dead-looking moss you buy actually has many moss spores and if given the appropriate conditions, they will germinate. This serves three purposes. 1) The moss is a natural competetor of algae and molds/fungus--I have never had to change the water at the bottom of my terraria. 2) The moss holds water and provides my plants with constant humidity. 3) Most importantly, makes the bottom of the tank look like a bog....it is so aesthetically pleasing to see my CPs growing in the comfort of my house in what appears to be a bog!

    Two notes if you attempt this: 1) You must provide the wetted moss with light shortly after initially placing it in the tank....if kept completely dark for 3 days or more it will mold. 2) water only with distilled (or comparable) water...just like you would with your CPs.

    Good luck with your terrarium.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
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  7. #7

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    chloroplast, I was thinking of adding LFS to the bottom of my terrarium, and now that I know someone else had this idea (and it works well!) I think I will go for it.

    Currently, it seems like the LFS in my pots starts to turn green, but then dies off and turns black. I can't figure out if this is due to too much or too little water, or something else. Any ideas?

    I am hoping that if I try your method it will actually STAY alive. I really like the look of sphagnum moss. Does the moss actually have to be totally submerged, or can the top stick out of the water? I want to make sure it will work right so that I don't get that blackening problem...

    BTW, I currently use distilled water, but am upgrading to an RO filter. I also have LOTS of light in the tank (a 65W Fluorex running 14 hours a day in a 10 gallon tank). I also have 2 80mm (computer) fans to cool the tank and provide ventilation.

    Thanks for the great idea.

    -Ben

  8. #8
    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Blackening of LFS usually isn't the result of too much watering; in fact, I don't think it's possible to overwater LFS as it grows floating in bogs. It may be that you're underwatering it--but be careful if you're using it to grow CPs because you may inadvertently overwater them! Based on your growing conditions (65W for a 10gal tank) I doubt it's a light problem--the terrarium it's growing best in for me is a 20gal tank with 80W.

    If you plan on putting some LFS at the bottom of the tank, I suggest you buy a brand that looks straw-colored. There's another brand of LFS that appears dark brown.....do not get this as you'll have a harder time getting it to grow. In any case, both the straw- and dark-brown colored LFS can be found at your local Lowes (or nursery).

    Yes, you should attempt to keep it slightly submerged at first. After it starts growing, you'll have a hard time keeping it all submerged because the mat will thicken, but this is ok as once it is thriving it only need be half-submerged. (At least that's what worked for me.)

    If you have any other ?'s, just let me know. Good luck.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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