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Thread: terrarium setup for heliamphora

  1. #9
    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mobile View Post
    You lose a lot of light if you do not use a reflector with fluorescent lights. Consider the shape of the tube and imagine the rays of light coming from around its circumference, along its whole length and you soon get the idea of how much light is wasted! You can get silver coloured reflectors specifically designed for fluorescent tubes, which direct the light downwards. It is not particularly necessary to line the terrarium with reflective material if you use fluorescent tube reflectors, but if you decide to then use reflective mylar, rather than aluminium foil. Mylar will not get as hot and is more reflective than aluminium foil. T5s will be fine, as long as you extract the heat with fans, as you would need to do with T8s too. Fans will both extract the heat and also provide some airflow for the plants, which helps reduce the risk of fungal attack and will also draw the cool air from your air conditioned room through the terrarium. You're looking to get a gentle airflow, so using 12V (PC) fans can help with this, as you can use a variable power supply to lower the voltage, thus the speed. You may also find that you won't need a humidifier, as the enclosed space in a terrarium will increase the humidity naturally providing the fan speed is not too high. Some of the European growers have moved away from using humidifiers for Heliamphora.

    Wolfn, Heliamphora and Cephalotus are not good partners, coming from quite different environments.
    thanks for the info, I shouldnt use a small humidifier? wouldnt the AC dry out my room?

  2. #10
    mobile's Avatar
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    Yes, the A/C unit will dry out the air, unless it has vapour injection. However, I presume that your terrarium is going to be somewhat enclosed, so the moisture in the growing media combined with the temperature would raise the local humidity.

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    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    wouldnt the terrarium overheat if its closed? its a 20 gal exo terra with sliding glass door and mesh top. I was planning to keep the terr fairly open to keep the lights from over heating it or is that not an issue?

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    mobile's Avatar
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    It doesn't need or want to be totally closed, but the fact that it's partially enclosed it will raise the humidity. You could try adding some media, watered as you would if there were plants in there, and measure the humidity levels.

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    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    should I have the glass doors closed with just the mesh and a fan for ventilation or also have one door open, or both? also whats better t5 or t8, I dont need my plants to be blood red, cant t5 overheat?

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    mobile's Avatar
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    The amount of ventilation will be entirely based on your ambient conditions. All I can suggest is experiment and monitor. If I remember correctly, don't Exo Terra terrariums have lighting hoods available that can accept two 26W CFL?

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    villosaholic Heli's Avatar
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    yes but it is a taller exo terra so i will put it on its side

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