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Thread: Hello! Total newbie from NE Texas with a terrarium

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    Hello! Total newbie from NE Texas with a terrarium

    And I'm not *entirely* sure what I'm doing, but I'm trying! I wanted plants in my room at work, but it has no windows. I ultimately decided on a terrarium with artificial lighting, and carnivorous plants because they always seemed really awesome.

    10 gallon terrarium with some sort of tropical nepenthes. I wanna put a few sundews in here later on as well.


    Close up. No traps, but I'm really hoping they grow.


    It is in a mix of peat and sphagnum with a bit of perlite mixed in for good measure. The bottom inch and a half or so is coarse sand. I have distilled water, but want to find a way to tap into our building's RO system and use that. I have heard that even with this pure water, dissolved solids will still eventually accumulate and become an issue. (Is this true?) So, I figured I would make room for a small PVC pipe going to the bottom of the tank that I could siphon water out of every now and then to get the solids outta the tank.

    I'm a bit concerned about the lighting. It's fairly close, about 10" to the substrate, but I don't know if it'll be bright enough. It's a 2 lamp T5HO fixture from Aquaticlife. This is the manual, which includes spectral output graphs. http://aquaticlife.lifetimeproducts....ets/420014.pdf

    So... That's what I got I reckon. There's always more to learn. I'm glad to be here, and if anybody has any suggestions for improving this little terrarium of mine, I'm all ears.

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    Well I'm not sure if directly planting it into the soil will work. It's best to have it in a pot. And yeah make sure you have a strong enough light, especially if you want to put some dews in there. Idk what species it is you'll have to wait until the experts reply because depending if it's highland or lowland it'll need certain temps in the day and night.


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    Thanks for the reply. Would you mind expanding on why directly planting would be an issue? Pot or no pot, it's still sitting in a nutrient poor mix.

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echostatic View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Would you mind expanding on why directly planting would be an issue? Pot or no pot, it's still sitting in a nutrient poor mix.
    Drainage.
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    But it still sits at the same height in the tank, and I read that roots grow out of the bottom of pots. I have 1.5" coarse sand on the bottom of the terrarium for drainage, and will be putting a PVC tube vertically reaching down to the bottom, so I can stick a siphon down there for flushing the tank from time to time. Is this insufficient?

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    BS Bulldozer SubRosa's Avatar
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    It's tedious and overly complicated imo, but you're the one who's going to have to do it.
    Judge not lest ye be judged creates a cesspool. Judge others and prepare to be judged by them.
    Just know when to keep the verdict to yourself.

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    Enthusiastic Enthusiast Zath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echostatic View Post
    But it still sits at the same height in the tank, and I read that roots grow out of the bottom of pots. I have 1.5" coarse sand on the bottom of the terrarium for drainage, and will be putting a PVC tube vertically reaching down to the bottom, so I can stick a siphon down there for flushing the tank from time to time. Is this insufficient?
    If the sand is courser than the peat mix, it's not going to drain like you think it will. The ability of peat to hold moisture is very high, and you might just end up forming a kind of water table above the sand unless you absolutely flood it.

    Generally speaking, peat is not the recommended substrate for Nepenthes because it holds so much water. 100% dead lfs works for many, including myself, while others get a little more involved with their mixes. The one thing that seems to be the same in all of them is the ability for air to get to the roots.

    It doesn't look like you put very much perlite into the mix, and there was no mention of sand. You'll need to watch carefully to make sure the soil doesn't become anaerobic.

    It would be best to put it in a pot (I use net-pots and orchid-pots ((the ones with the holes in the side))) for mine. Nepenthes (from what I know), appreciate well-draining soil that will dry within 3-4 days or less.

    Giving your plants their own pots will also allow you to keep a larger variety in the same tank (allowing for temperature requirements if it's a finicky Nep), since you can more easily control their individual water needs.
    Last edited by Zath; 08-27-2015 at 06:47 PM.

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    Is it much worse than something like siphoning and replacing water in an aquarium? I do that all the time and don't mind it a bit.

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