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Thread: Separation of light fixtures from enclosure?

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    Unhappy

    Hey all. I am currently working on my design for a custom Nepenthes enclosure. I want to know if I should use a sheet of polyplastic to separate the light fixtures from the enclosure. In other words: will the light fixtures cause problems (ie. lower humidity) if they are actually in the chamber rather than outside the chamber? Thanks.

    Once this project is finished, I will probably post a thread on this forum describing it so others can build one, too.

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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    it will be warmer, and it will lower the humidity. BUT you might want the warmth for lowlanders, so that's a good/bad thing. any plastic or glass will cut out some light. keyword some. you can still have excellent growth but more light is usually always better. and add an external humidifier for the humidity issues. connect a pipe to the output of the humidifier and reattatch it to an appropriet sized bulkhead in the back of the enclosure. if it's glass you can get it drilled at a good aquarium store (not petco or major chain stores, good ones) for anywhere between 50 and 75 bucks.

    that's what i did.

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    Thanks, JLAP. Since I'm going to have one plywood side (covered by 6mm poly plastic, of course), I may be able to make a hole myself. I originally intended the tank to be for highlands, but maybe not. What kind of humidifier do you use? I have seen cheap ones that are pretty small and say they are for appx. 25 sq. ft. I don't think they are to humidify tropical plant tanks, so using one on a 12 sq. ft. tank probably wouldn't be overkill.

    -D. Lybrand
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    just a regulat panasonic room humidifier. mine hold about a gallon and a half of water.

    you can use it , but you can certainly turn the dials to regulate the humidity. no problem there at all.

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    Okay, that sounds good. I have actually found out that the 6 mil plastsic is very milky white and will block too much light. I am now looking at acrylic panels. The ones at Lowe's have a slightly bluish hue but I think that may be the plastic wrapping. Does anyone know whether or not acrylic blocks out important wavelengths? Thanks.

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    The blue-ish hue is plastic wrapping on the acrylic and, no, acrylic (and plexiglass or glass) do not block essential wavelengths. They also don't appreciably reduce light intensity at typically used thicknesses.

    The most important factor determining the quantity of light your plants recieve under fluorescent lights is the distance from the plant to the bulb.

    In general, CPs shouldn't be more than 8" away, but no closer than 2". Any further and they may not get enough light; any closer and they may get burnt. The risk of burning is higher when using compact fluros because the bulbs are hotter and they emit more heat. (You can safely place your hand on a fluro tube after its been on for 10hrs, but I wouldn't try grabbing a compact if its been on for more than 30min!)

    Hope this helps.
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    Yes, it does help, and I will definately be using acrylic. But it also raises another question:

    You say plants should always be within 8" of the light, and I have used this rule with plants under a single fixture. Now my tank will be 3' deep but I wll be using three fixtures with the ideal (5000-5500K, 90-100% RCI) bulbs. I assumed this would provide enough light. Am I right?

    BTW, I also plan to use mylar/mirrors/aluminum foil to reflect light in the tank.

    Thanks!

    -D. Lybrand
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    hmm... iono... my tank is only about 2ft deep . i would use as many CF lights as i can.

    personally i use 440 watts of VHO and i could still use more. i really really don't think regular NO lights will cut it since your tank is so deep.

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