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Thread: New terrarium

  1. #1

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    Talking

    Hey everyone, im new to these forums but iv been browsing the past couple days and it seems like a good place. My names chris takahashi so helloo. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    On to business.. I'm building a terrarium but i have NO EXPERIENCE OR PRIOR KNOWLEDGE with growing any kind of plants or anything of this sort. I just became really interested recently and iv been reading up about terrariums so I now have a tall 18-gallon aquarium tank, a fixture with two 20v flourescent "natural sunshine" bulbs, and some other miscellenous supplies. (i could take pics but i didnt think this would be necessary yet)

    ANY advice or comments as to how i would go about selecting, growing and caring for my first plants EVER and my first terrarium ever would be grrrrreatly appreciated. Ill reply quickly to any questions on my future set up so feel free to just post ur thoughts.

    Thank you. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_r_32.gif[/img]

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums!!

    Line 3 sides of it with something REALLY reflective. I recommend the "heat blanket" you get from Target for about 2 bucks. Also make sure you have a glass or plastic top to protect the plants from burning under the light and to increase humidity. I'm not sure if 2 20v flourescent lights is enough, but others will prolly comment. Are you going to terraform it or pot your plants?

    -Rail
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    Im going for the completely natural micro-ecosystem kind of look, so yea ill be putting my plants right into the soil. I have enough space on the top of my tank for perhaps twice the amount of lights. Ill probably cover two sides with reflective material (as you said), but the rear will be a natural background. (the substrate will climb halfway to the top and then cork bark will cover the rest).

    Oh and thanks very much for the advice and the welcoming comments! im loved [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_o_32.gif[/img]

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    Welcome to the forums!

    First of all, you're going to need to choose plants that don't require a winter dormancy, since you don't want to be sticking your entire 18 gallon tank into the fridge [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img] You'll want tropical carnivorous plants, which include (but aren't limited to) many different kinds of sundews and nepenthes like:

    -Drosera spatulata (Spoonleaf Sundew)
    -Drosera aliciae (Alice Sundew)
    -Drosera capensis (Cape Sundew)
    -Drosera adelae (Lance Leaf Sundew)
    -Nepenthes sanguina (Asian Pitcher Plant)

    All of these plants are very tough and I've been growing them for a long time with no problems at all. If you'd like you can check out my website Mitch's Carnivores to see how I grow all my plants. My site isn't finished quite yet, but I'm sure you'll find some useful info in the Terrariums section.

    Hope this helps!

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    If your gonna terriform it I would put about 1 or 2 inches of gravel right on the bottom and then maybe some activated charcol ( charcol is purly optional ), then put LFS on top of that and then your soil of choice. I would get a temp. and humidity gauge then water it. After everything is nice and wet, leave it there and ajust the opining on top to get the temp and humidity you want. After a few days if you like the conditions then you can add plants. Make sure you either don't water it too much, or run a hose into the gravel layer an siphon out excess water. Like LLeopardGGecko said most sundews and Nep's will be fine in there. Good luck!!

    -Rail
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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, you WILL need more light than that. My setup is like the one you are making and I have two 90cri 40w tubes and 2 30w compact flourecents giving off 2000 lumens a piece. I know others on this site have FAR more powerfull lighting setups, but this works. I get good growth and coloration also.

    -Rail
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    LLeopardGgeckooooooo a.k.a. Mitch, thank you very much for the crucial feedback. I liked the CP species suggestions, this is the kind of stuff im looking for, but i dont plan on limiting the tank to CPs. most likely i will have a few of the same species of CP and the rest of the tank non-carnivorous species. Because remember, this is kind of like a "o0o0o aaaah, thats a super cool looking terrarium that just hopped outta the wilderness" terrarium effect im going for.

    Also, thank you again copcarFC, you are my own personal jesus cristo. Thanks for the lighting advice and example of ur own personal lighting set up. As for the drainage layer and such, i have that kind of information but ur confirmation was awesome and i didnt think i needed the temp n humidity gauges but illl definitely get that then, thanks!

    PS: Do you guys keep crickets or something for ur CPs in a seperate container?

    PPS: My friends cousin that i talked to today from england has a 60-gal terrarium with red-eyed tree frogs! woot!

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    As far as food for my CPs, I go to my local reptile store about once every two weeks to get a bag of small crickets. I also buy a container of flightless fruit flies about once every two months. The flies are the perfect size for my younger plants and smaller sundew/butterwort species. I also catch bugs around the house for my plants every once in a while.

    I really like your terrarium idea so far. I'm already excited about seeing it and it's just in its beginning stages [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] You'll definitely have to keep us posted on its progress once you get everything going. If you ever have any more questions, feel free to post again or PM me. Good luck!

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