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Thread: I'm Back

  1. #1

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    Howdy, I am back, to the hobby, after some 25 years of so, wow has things changed, I am targeting my old favorites Nepenthes (Highlands mostly) and Heliamphoras. Am going to build a terrarium aprox. 4'x32"x 4', the 32" so can get it through doorway to move. Thinking of using sump system and chiller to cool the water and then an old fashion humidifier, the kind with the spining wheel to cool the terarruim. Have tried the foggers but have not found any that last for long without replacing the central disc frequenlty. Haliodes will be my lighting, leaning towards 1000 watt or maybe couple of 400 watts, will probably go with 6500 kalvin bulbs to keep close to CR Index of the sun. Looking for any help on this plan from experienced growers of improvements on the idea, before I get started. Am approaching this as I will likely be building another better terraruim later to replace this one, first on rarely is perfect!! LOL. I used to keep Salt water Reef Tanks, so have a vast background in filtration techniches and water purification, as well as experience in Lighting systems, trying to apply this info into the project. Thx for your time
    Regards
    Ryguy

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Welcome! Your plan souds cool, but heres a little advice:


    You can use the sump system, or you can add about 3 inches of water to the bottom of the tank, add your chiller and a very small circulating pump to move the cold water around. make a short PVC support (Like the kind some people use for live rock) and add eggcrate on top of that and add your plants. Either way, i suggest using an ultrasonic fogger. If you use RO/distilled water then the disks should last a very long time. If you are going to use a sump, seal it of so the vapor doesn't escape except through the tube attached to your bulkhead/heads. Most people use air conditioners , and some the peltier cooling systems, but if you already have a chiller it should work fine especially if you use an Ultrasonic fogger.

    I think 400 watt MH is a bit overkill, especially for nepenthes. Use 2 250 watt MH spaced 2 feet apart about 1 foot over your tank and you'll be good (If you already have the 400 watt MH, then theres no reason not to use it ) With high light like that, you'll have to aclimate most of your new plants to it. With MH, you can grow pretty much every tropical genera year-round. 6500K is a good temp that's pleasing to the eye and the plants.

  3. #3

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    Pill thx for the input, I'm curious though why the fogger versus the humidifier, what about the fogger do you find better? Which fogger do you recommend? I am already using the egg crate way, but am working toward a water fall style terrarium with the new setup, Paladrium would be better term. I'm considering some Sturisoma Sp cat fish in water section.
    Thanks again for your input
    Ryguy

  4. #4
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    I love Sturisoma!!!

    Foggers are small and make a lot of fog. Everyone uses them. A fogger makes more sense that a big spinning wheel. Don't really reccoment a brand, as my eggcrate system keeps the humidity up and i don't need once for a chiller.

    I don't really reccomend planting the plants in a real terrarium/paludarium. Your plants will get tangles and roots will intertwine and fungi and disease can spread, plus they will outgrow it in no time.

  5. #5

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    Ya Sturisoma are my favorites, they breed pretty easy too, and being river fish would be ok with cooler temps, figure good mix for nice display, the Heliamphora's will be the main focus, with the Nepenthes for accent. Going to try N villosa, my favorite, but will wait for system to stabalize and get everything fine tuned before adding that one, I live in Tacoma, WA so don't even have to really worry about tempts until next summer really but just wanted to have everything designed into the system. As I said before, have had really bad experiences with the foggers, that was why I was shying away from them. I was using R/O water in the end and it helped prolong the replacement of the discs. The hummidifier would be thicker droplets and thus be more effective at cooling the system down was my thinking, plus it would be more reliable in the long run. I appreciate your input, thx again.
    Have a great Day
    Ryguy

  6. #6
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Welcome to TerraForums! Aside from CP's, you and I have another hobby in common - tropical fish. Well.... it used to be my hobby. I kept freshwater fish at home and worked for a tropical fish wholesaler, where, among other things (tank cleaning and deliver), I was also in charge of taking care of the salt section. What, specifically, are you into?

  7. #7

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    I started with CPs as a kid some 25 years ago, was not much available then, not like now. I then got into freshwater tanks, particularly plecos and the sturisomas, I had friends that owned a freshwater wholesale and that was where I got my cat fish from. I then got into salt water and was not long before I got the Reef Tank Bug, was into that for about 13 years, I built comercial filtration systems for local stores and wholesale outlets, in exchange for animals. When I retired from the reefs I had 600 NET gallons of reefs spread between about half a dozen tanks on two floors, all plunbed together of course, I specialized in Tridacna clams and small polyp stony corals. My clam collection only consisted of about 20 clams in the end but they totaled over 100 #'s and over 6' long if were lined up end to end. About 7 years ago I walked away, still have best 2 friends that are stiil in it, but haven't been back yet, some day but probably not as intense as I was, it was very labor intense system I kept. Always wanted to get back into the CP's and a freshwate tanks with Sturisomas and Arrowana's, my two favorite freshwater fish.
    Take care
    Ryguy

  8. #8
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    Hi RY,

    I can address the lighting thing with a MUCH cheaper option.

    You can get 65 watt complact flourescent flood lights, the brand name is flourex (or is it fluorex? I always go dyslexic on the name).

    They have a temp of 6500K. I forget their exact CRI, but it's over 80 for sure (quoting low to be safe).

    Pros: High light output (I want to say 6900 lumens), low energy (65 watt), not too hot (you can lay your hand on it without getting burned), small (about 12" x 6"), and CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP! They're $11 or $12 each at wallmart (that includes the bulb).

    Cons: somewhat hard to find - they're not always in stock unless you got to home depot, and they're 3x more expensive there. Also, you have to buy an extension cord, snip off the female end, and wire yourself - they're really for mounting directly into your home electric network.

    I think the pro's have it.

    I've been using them for two years now, and the plants grow much better than with conventional twin tube setups, and I haven't had to break the bank with those ^%&# expensive grow lamps.
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

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