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Thread: Suitable Terra for a Heli?

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    Aionios's Avatar
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    Suitable Terra for a Heli?

    I would really like to grow a Heli Minor. I was thinking of sticking a pot of them in one of these guys I found on Amazon, but I'm unsure which would be better or if they're even suitable. I was planning on keeping them by a windowsill though I also have a clamp light that I can stick a CFL bulb in as backup if it's needed.

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 15.5 inches


    Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 17.5 inches


    Thanks for any advice you can share.
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    Sundrew's Avatar
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    Terrariums trap an enormous amount of heat, especially if they are kept on a windowsill with the sun beating in on them. The space is fine for those, but you will want a high-powered CFL, mylar or aluminum foil to wrap the sides with to trap the light, and somewhere to keep the plant around 50-65F.

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    I like Sundrew's advice, but thought I would offer as personal experience. 50-65F is probably the ideal. If you can hit that they probably love you. I successfully keep mine significantly higher than that (as much as high 70's, occasionally even into the 80's. 90's is where I have started to have real problems.... grrrr....). Best to avoid those temps but they can take it. Try to give them a cooler evening if they get warm during the day.
    To add to what Drew already said about your enclosure- I worry about air flow with the top one. I think it looks really cool but make sure you get some fresh air in there- especially if you are using a denser (for a heli) soil mix. Once heli's get the fungal infection of death- the only remedy is a bottle of prozac unless you are able to amputate pretty early. H. minor is fairly forgiving though.

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    Aionios's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice so far. I'll probably go for the lantern with ventilation (happily since it's significantly cheaper!). Originally, I thought it would be a problem because it would lower the humidity. Glad I asked.

    I was also worried about the temperature but hearing they can survive a little higher is a relief. I can probably provide 70-80F during the day and lower at night with the AC. Not afraid to adjust either if necessary.
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    i dont do pots. amphirion's Avatar
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    it also depends on the species you are growing. smaller species such as pulchella, minor, and hispida will manage in such a small space. larger heliamphora species require larger/wider growing spaces as these plants have a clumping habit, with the exception of tatei. the head space is further complicated with the presence of flower stalks.

    in the wild, they experience temps from the mid-70s and drop down to the low 50s or even high 40s at night. humidity is highest in the morning, though in the wild, they receive fluctuating weather conditions from rain to drizzle to fog to full sun (in any sequence might i add) in a matter of minutes. as others have also hinted, these mountain tops have large volumes of humid cool air moving through them, and a narrow enclosure like that will make such attempts extremely difficult if not impossible.

    *edit*
    i just realized we were just talking about minor. either enclosure technically can house a minor, but the issue with the flower stalks will still stand.

    cool, humid air along with bright light is key.
    " You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." -Inigo Montoya
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    Aionios's Avatar
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    The lantern would probably be better then if/when it flowers. I could probably poke it out of one of the ventilation windows. I'm probably going to purchase a young plant with immature pitchers so I don't think the size will be a problem for a while. I think it will give me enough time to prepare when it outgrows the lantern. Thanks I'll try not to bake 'em.
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    Why not a ten gallon terrarium with a dual cfl hood? Those even have holes to rig up a coolimg system. That's what I attempted my first heli in, though I killed it due to overwater and clumsiness. :/ Would love to try another at some point... For now, I have my maturing nep in there as well as two cephalotus that I hope will pull through.

    Anyway, with the cooler I can easily provide a day temp range of 75-77*F. With ice bottles as a night drop catalyst, 50's are doable in a cool, air conditioned room:





    Not good for flower stalks though, If and when that happens.

    A crazy idea I have had recently is to build a shelf across my window, above the window ac. That whole area around is between 67-73* while it runs during the day while full sun against the window. Not bad, I think. I think it may even be possible to make the ac blow on the plants to provide a nice night low. I need to test this more though as humidity may be a concern.
    Last edited by Gigantea; 05-12-2013 at 01:48 PM.

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    Aionios's Avatar
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    I wanted to keep things simple. Pretty hesitant to take the plunge into hooking up a cooling system and setting up light fixtures. I do have unused 19 gallon tank that I plan on outfitting with lights, etc. But right now, I don't think it would be efficient to do all that now for one plant. Maybe further down the line when I have a larger collection.
    "You cannot find peace by avoiding life."
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