User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 20

Thread: New to terrariums and need help!

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey everyone! I'm new to these forums and in the few hours I've been here I've found so much useful info, it's amazing. I've been growing CPs for years now, but I guess you could say I've never really gotten it right. This year is the first time I'm trying to grow my plants in a terrarium with artificial light (they have been on a window sill in the past). I managed to find an 18 inch reptile flourescent light for my 5 gallon tank. On the box it says it gives off both UVB and UVA, and the guy at the reptile shop said the light was sufficient for plants (some of his customers have used them for less-then-legal growing). So I have this light on top of my terrarium, and after reading about putting foil along the sides for light retention, I did that. I also have water in the bottom of the terrarium (my plants are all in pots standing in it) but until today I didn't realize that the bottled water I'm using probably isn't distilled. I think this is part of the reason my plants aren't doing so hot. Many of their leaves are turning black, even the new ones.

    So, my questions are: Do you think that my light will work for CPs? If not, what are some good alternatives? Also, as far as humidity goes, should I leave the top open?

    It's really nice to be here and I think all of you for your help in advance!

  2. #2
    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    I live in Chaffee County, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,673
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can't help you with your question on light but as far as covering your terrarium or not, I'd say not. Many of the the CPs you find in garden centers, grocery stores, and the like, don't really need high humidity. Many of them will do fine in direct sun or bright indirect sun, depending on your location and its weather. If your bottled water is reverse osmosis water or distilled water it should be OK. Just be sure that nothing was added to it to enhance its nutrtional value or enhance its taste. Pure water has very little flavor, so adding stuff to it to make it taste better is common.
    ---Steve Allinger---

    How come chicken fingers are bigger than buffalo wings?

    My Grow List

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well most of my plants I ordered through Cook's and Sarraccenia Northwest, like the Water Sundew and the Cape Sundew, so maybe they need humidity?

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Everett, Washington
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome to the forum, there is definitely a lot of interesting and useful information here [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    Could you give a description of all the plants you plan on putting in the terrarium? That would help to find out the kind of environment you need.

    Nepenthes tend to have the highest humidity requirements; however it depends a lot on the humidity in your house as well as the particular species. Also, it is generally advisable to not let Nepenthes sit in standing water.

    As for the water, I don't have anything to add except that you might be able to get distilled water or purified water cheaper, especially if you get it from one of those water machines. The machines usually say what the process involves and let you get pure water without salt or anything added.

    As for the light, color spectrum and wattage/lumen output are the most important characteristics. When you buy bulbs, always try to get ones that say cool white or daylight instead of warm white. Does your fixture have one tube or two, and how big is the terrarium?

    If you are willing to spend some extra money on lighting, you may want to consider compact fluorescents. If you want some really powerful lighting that is easy to find, I would recommend the Fluorex fixture that can be found at most hardware stores from $30-$40. Just make sure you can return it if it has problems, since this light is known to have some quality issues; but when it works it works GREAT.

    For more info on compact fluorescents, see this thread:
    http://www.**********.com/cgi-bin....t=17820

    -Ben

  5. #5
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    4,064
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey there, watch out for bottled water. Check the nutrition label (I love it; as if water is a significant source of nutrition) and be sure that there isn't any sodium added to your water. Many bottlers treat water with salt to enhance the taste and eliminate heavy minerals; salts will quickly accumulate in your terrarium and be very troublesome. If it's water for drinking, it could be distilled and then salinated for taste. Your safest bet may be to get reverse osmosis water; often times you can fill your own containers with it from purifiers in larger grocery stores, in which case it's pretty cheap.
    Generally speaking, sundews don't need any humidity considerations. I have several different types of sundews (including the Cape and water sundews) growing on my dry, windy, third story balcony and they're thriving. I'm told that fungus can be a problem for sundews in still, humid air. If low humidity was a problem for you in the past, just try the terrarium uncovered first and see if things improve; covering your terrarium will decrease light performance and may ultimately make things harder on your plants. Pick up a cheap reptile humidity gauge so you can get a better idea on what kind of growing conditions you have.
    As far as lights go, you don't need designer bulbs, as long as you can get the plants close to the light source. A reptile bulb may not be ideal for plants; when it comes time to replace it, just go to the hardware store. Like sharp229 said, cool white or daylight spectrum bulbs are adaquate. Some people say that any forty-watt fluorescent is as much as you need. I use cool white bulbs with some sun-spectrum bulbs mixed in (when I feel like spending more.) I've also heard that replacing your bulbs frequently is a good way to improve yeild, as their output degrades with time.
    A lot of information on lighting, climate and terrariums can be found at the carnivorous plant FAQ. Good luck!
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    2,073
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My tank is only 5 gallon and my fixture holds one bulb. My plants consist of several sundews and flytraps. So you guys think that my reptile light might be ok for my plants? Or should I just go replace the bulb now. I don't think I'll be able to get 40 watts for such a small tank/fixture though.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Everett, Washington
    Posts
    109
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oops--I didn't notice you specified it was 5 gallons. For a 5 gallon tank, I think one 18 inch bulb should work great. I used to use two 18 inch bulbs on a 10-gallon.

    As for it being a reptile light, it is hard to say how effective it will be. I've learned from various people here that quantity is more important than quality when it comes to light. If the bulb looks reasonably bright, you might want to just try it for a while and see how your plants do. Next time you'll want to get a cool white or daylight bulb though.

    And you shouldn't have to worry about the cape sundew. Mine seems to be nearly invulnerable, spreading through all my pots even when I don't want it to.

    Check this out: I originally had only 1 plant in this pot, but this D. capensis had a mind of its own:

    Macro: It's almost like grass.




    -Ben

  8. #8
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Olympia, Washington
    Posts
    4,064
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your current light is worth a shot. Try the light and, if possible, put the terrarium where it can get some morning sun. If the plants don't improve, lights really aren't that expensive; the four-foot, two bulb fluorescent fixtures I use are nine bucks a piece. For your size of tank, you could get a compact fluorescent bulb (the kind with the built-in ballast for use with incandescant fixtures) - I don't know what wattages they come in specifically but the ones that are sold as '100 watt equivalent' work fine, apparently.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •