I have been lurking for a while here and thought it high time I introduced myself.
First a little personal background;
I bought a house in st. Louis about 6 years ago and took a job at a local hospital as a locksmith (I started in locksmithing in 1995). I started a 120 gallon saltwater reef tank in 2005; it has since grown into a 180 gallon system in 5 years time. In 2008 I set up a 125 gallon planted fresh water tropical tank, in my opinion, thus far successfully. I enjoy learning in many forms, be it from others sharing their knowledge, my own experimentation, my successes, as well as my failures. I (would at least like to think) am Simi knowledgeable in geology, biology, mycology,audiophile gear, electronics, basic mechanics, very basic chemistry,woodworking, locksmithing, gunsmithing, and blowin stuff up (ok maybe not too knowledgeable on that last one, but it sure is a blast, muhahaha ).
a few random (and odd) pics
Enough of my background, on to the CP’s
I have been intrigued with CP’s (VFT’s) since I was a kid, but as I was ignorant of their needs, I killed quite a few. At age 10, I decided I was done until I could find out what I was doing wrong, I stuck to my guns and did not kill (buy) any more for some time. 2 years ago, armed with a better understanding of their requirements, I got myself a home depot VFT in the classic “death cube” repotted it, and set it atop my 55G mangrove tank, as close to the lights as I could, using the tray method, watered with RO/DI. The RH was between 50 and 80%, lux at a meager 4300 for 16 hours on. It began to go dormant at around the 7 month mark, so in the fridge it went, pot and all. My mother, who is very accustomed to finding my weird “experiments” every ware, still had a good laugh at seeing the pot of dirt in the fridge, though she never questioned me about it, she only laughed. After 3 months of dormancy I gave it a good rinsing and put it back. HOLY CRAP! It came back, first time ever for me. After not killing one for the first time, I set up my first CP terrarium, WooHoo. And so here I go, with yet another addicting hobby, awesome! The beginning of this month I went to the MO botanical gardens while they were hosting the Saint Louis CP society show and sale, as you all can imagine, I did not leave empty handed.
I walked out with 3 VFT’s, 2 pings, and a sundew.
The terrarium set up;
I started with a standard 55 gallon fish tank. (From the bottom up) 2 layers burlap, 1/2inch-1.5 inch quartz round rock (2 inch deep), 3 layers burlap, 50/50 pearlite/peat 3 inches deep, topped with LFS (I think I can see some living LFS sprouts coming up but I will need to drag my scope up stairs to confirm this). 3 sides are covered with Mylar. I have a computer fan on the inside top corner for internal circulation.
Glass lids, cut to have a small gap 10 inch long 1 to 3 millimeter wide, adjustable
Light: DIY (2) f32T8 @ 6500 K, each bulb is being driven by an Advance centium® ICN 4P32-SC, and overdriven X4 (= 6800 lux @ the substrate). A fan blows across the ballasts and light bulbs as the overdriven bulbs get HOT.
Water: 5 stage RO/DI, TDS = 0-10, at 10 TDS the pre-filters and DI resin are changed.
Temps 78-85, night and day respectively
LUX = 6800 for 16 hours
Water sample taken after 1 week in the soil showed;
PH = 6.3
TDS = 46 PPM
I am contemplating adding a canister filter to circulate the water around and to prevent it from going anaerobic, but that’s ware it stands for now.
Any and all comments and constructive criticism will be appreciated and welcome.
Lastly I would like extend my gratitude to this community and all its members for sharing their time, wisdom, and knowledge.