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Thread: I gotta do it again

  1. #17
    Kung Fu Fighting! NeciFiX's Avatar
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    I don't have a Lowe's near me would Wal-Mart or Menards work? I can find a Lowe's if necessary.
    - NeciFiX

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    I did alot of research when I was picking what light types to go with for my indoor setup since I was likely to end up with alot of them. That was about a year or 2 ago, so things may have changed a little, but here is what I found.

    Always go with 4 foot fixtures, always. Its the standard and will be cheaper when replacing bulbs.

    T5HO was the way to go back then, once I figured out the initial costs/replacement bulb costs/electric costs T5HO was the way to go for me, find a hydroponics place with a good fixture you like that has individual reflectors, or if your the DIY type build your own. I have built a few myself and am happier with the bought ones, although mine work just as well if not better than the store bought they just don't look as nice, and these things will be around for a while. From my experiences you only need 2 T5HO fixtures per 12" area, unless you are trying to light an area deeper than 12", remember you are talking about the bulb to leaf distance not the tank/growrack height. At 8-9" I am burning some orchids and getting very good color on CPs, yes I could get better color with more light but thats just not cost effective for me. Moving the plant closer to the light would do the same.

    I own both a 4 bulb T8 and a 2 bulb T5HO, the T8 are hotter and burn more electricity than the T5's and provide me with less light....With everything in life, you milage will vary. All fixtures and bulbs are different. The T5's costed alot more up front but over time they will pay for themselves. I'm talking years, not months T12's will become harder and harder to find replacement bulbs as time goes on, they are getting replaced with T8 bulbs and T8s will be replaced with T5s. Its a good idea to read up on light bulbs Buying the correct bulb can make a huge difference, all those number mean things. There are a few guides out there, usually around the aquatic or orchid forums.

    Think things out. Think things out. You can design you dream setup in bite sized $100-200 bits and pieces, spent $150 this year then next upgrade comes next year at $175 for X then next year your getting the Y for $80.

    Growracks are nice...but go to a reptile store and check out the Exo-terra's before you decide. I replaced the top mess screen with some plexi-glass and have never looked back. Love the Exo-terra's. Other Reptile tanks turned on there sides are less expenise than fish tanks and are just as good as fish tanks but they can't hold water. Both of these do wonders for humidity.

    Check out the orchid forums and poison dart frog forums for tons of ideas about vivariums, so much information there.

    Use your plants to help you. If you know you can grow Ceph's, grow them, and sell them to buy/upgrade your setup. I started out with just a 12" X 24" fish tank lighted by a few compact flouscents, about 2 years ago. Well thanks to some happy plants and some repeat customers, I now have way way way to many plants and a much higher electric bill. I'm heading out of the plant business now that I have the setup that I wanted, its alot of work, time to enjoy my plants.

    Every CP I'm growing is indoors under lights, I have a few typical Cephs with 1" pitchers all nice and red. Just started growing some Nep's, so far so good. I've had an H. minor for a while with no problems. The biggest problem is things with a winter domancy and how you are going to address that, since you can't provide that inside. Basically what I'm trying to get across here is that if you want to do it you can, just do some research and ask around. Someone has probably tried and can lend a hand. I have about 20 viviariums all under lights, about 10 of them have CPs in them all growing happily, some too happily....

  3. #19
    Not really I am Bob's Avatar
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    Though this probaly won't interest you, I was able to build a two shelf growrack for about $50-60 with the bottom enclosed and humidified for the lowlands and the top could easily be encolsed too. And that price was with the (cheap) lights
    my growlist
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  4. #20
    RL7836's Avatar
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    RSS - great chunk with lots of valuable info - thanks!!
    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    I did alot of research when I was picking what light types to go with for my indoor setup since I was likely to end up with alot of them. That was about a year or 2 ago, so things may have changed a little, but here is what I found.
    Approx. 5 years or so before that (guessing), I was a member of the AGA (aquatic gardeners association). Although rare, there was something close to a consensus at the time with AH Supply light fixtures. I built a bunch of enclosures, assembled the fixtures ... lots of time & money. Over the years, while I really enjoy the quality of the light, I've had a number of premature lamp failures. I don't know if my experience is representative but I'm starting to get more serious about T-5 fixtures...

    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    T5HO was the way to go back then, once I figured out the initial costs/replacement bulb costs/electric costs T5HO was the way to go for me,...
    Sounds like you & Av have read from the same book.

    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    ....From my experiences you only need 2 T5HO fixtures per 12" area unless you are trying to light an area deeper than 12"...
    I'm unclear on your meaning here...?

    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    I own both a 4 bulb T8 and a 2 bulb T5HO, the T8 are hotter and burn more electricity than the T5's and provide me with less light....With everything in life, you milage will vary.
    Really?? A T-5 fixture w/ 2 lamps provides more light than a 4 lamp T-8 fixture?

    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    Buying the correct bulb can make a huge difference, all those number mean things. There are a few guides out there, usually around the aquatic or orchid forums.
    That was something I liked about being a member of the AGA. I had recommendations from people I trusted about good lamps. While it seems plants will grow well under many lamps, I like to have a CRI above 90 or so - so the colors are accurately reflected and visually pleasant. It seems to be getting tougher & tougher to locate decent CRI lamps with a good lumen output. Are there T-5 lamps with decent CRIs? Recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by RSS View Post
    I'm heading out of the plant business now that I have the setup that I wanted, its a lot of work, time to enjoy my plants.
    Wow! Really?? Who's going to supply the aquatic world with U. graminifolia??
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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  5. #21
    sea bear returns! theyellowdart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeciFiX View Post
    I don't have a Lowe's near me would Wal-Mart or Menards work? I can find a Lowe's if necessary.
    I'm not sure. The only place I've seen the shelving unit I'm talking about is at Lowe's, but you may be able to find something similar at WalMart or Menards.
    growlist

    Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

  6. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by RL7836 View Post
    RSS - great chunk with lots of valuable info - thanks!!
    Approx. 5 years or so before that (guessing), I was a member of the AGA (aquatic gardeners association). Although rare, there was something close to a consensus at the time with AH Supply light fixtures. I built a bunch of enclosures, assembled the fixtures ... lots of time & money. Over the years, while I really enjoy the quality of the light, I've had a number of premature lamp failures. I don't know if my experience is representative but I'm starting to get more serious about T-5 fixtures...

    Sounds like you & Av have read from the same book.

    I'm unclear on your meaning here...?

    Really?? A T-5 fixture w/ 2 lamps provides more light than a 4 lamp T-8 fixture?

    That was something I liked about being a member of the AGA. I had recommendations from people I trusted about good lamps. While it seems plants will grow well under many lamps, I like to have a CRI above 90 or so - so the colors are accurately reflected and visually pleasant. It seems to be getting tougher & tougher to locate decent CRI lamps with a good lumen output. Are there T-5 lamps with decent CRIs? Recommendations?

    Wow! Really?? Who's going to supply the aquatic world with U. graminifolia??
    I used AH Supply lights a while back but stopped due to the high bulb replacement costs. A high vote in favor of more standardized bulbs like T5/T8

    When I'm planning a grow area I figure 1 T5HO light per 6" horizontal area, now if your trying to light up a deep area like a space that is 12" wide X 48" long X 24" deep, you would need 4 or maybe 6 lights instead of just 2 to reach the ground, unless you were planning on only growing lower light plants down there. The reason I think 2 T5HOs is enough light for 12" of space is from my experiences with them, no you won't end up with red/burgandy Cephs/VFTs at 8-9" but you will get some light reds and good healthy growth, move them closer and you get more color. Here is a Ceph that is approx. 1" from 2 T5H0s (1 daylight 1 actinic, I see no reason to change it ) The close proximity to the fixture does not seem to have any ill effect on the Ceph. I have rarely thought if I only had more light, most of the time its the opposite, this plant is getting too much light I need to move it. Keep in mind I grow more than just CPs, so lots of light is not always my friend.



    As for the 2 T5HO providing more light than the 4 T8s well all I can say is with my bulbs/ballasts at the same distance/same plants/same clones the T5 are burning leaves the T8 are not. The colors are darker with the T5s at the same distance, the leaves are smaller with the T5s and lighter green in color (ferns), more purple spots on the orchids with the T5s. All signs from the plants of higher light levels. With all things I could just have a better ballast/bulb combo with the T5s than with the T8s. YMMY.

    T5s are supposed to be the "next" standard in lighting so there are/will be the good CRI bulbs out there for atleast 5 yrs, now when they make the next new standard .

    U. graminifolia supplies itself silly , and vastly downsizing might be a better way of saying it. 90% or so reduction.

  7. #23
    Kung Fu Fighting! NeciFiX's Avatar
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    http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...=0030575000000

    Would this work in terms of T-5 Lighting? Just an example? Would buying off the internet work as well or should I find a Lowe's?

    If I could grow a few Lowlanders that would be great! How would I go by closing the bottom rack for them? I spoke to Adnedarn and based on measurements and average pot size, he said a large grow rack like the one I was looking at would possibly hold 33 pots per rack. I would not have that many plants, so, having a lowlander area might be a good idea.

    I've always liked N. bicalcarata, I had a moment with a N. bicalcarata at a friend of mines' greenhouse. I was staring at it, I poked the fangs and I actually pricked my finger. The love moment ended and I was then convinced it was trying to eat me.

    I may keep it simple and not attempt the lowlander bottom part, and just do that later on when and if I get everything set up. I might not even grow Highlander Neps at all if they really do need a dramatic night time temp drop since I'd only be able to provide smaller ones year-round. But, nonetheless, I'm determined to get SOMETHING going.

    I'd only need lights for the top part of the rack at first. T-5's do seem to be expensive. Two 48", according to that site, would be around $70 or so. So, I'd rather not get a ton of them right away. How many would fit on each rack? Four, right? Jeesh, that could be a lot of money on top of the grow rack... Anyone got any cheaper alternatives? It's tempting not to even try to do this because of how expensive and complicated it is.

    Or is that four for the entire rack? In which case that's not too bad. Couldn't I only go for two if I'm only utilizing the top rack for awhile? And do I really need a grow rack that can hold 33 plants per rack? It might prove to be too big, and I couldn't utilize all the space, and that definitely ups the price. Are there any somewhat smaller options? It's hard to do this without a visual, haha, I may have to just find a Lowe's or see my friends' or something.

    A mediumish four rack one would be nice. Nothing too gigantic, but, four racks, in case I decide to morph the fourth one into some kind of lowland habitat as suggested above, in case. Perhaps 10-15 pots per rack would do well. How many lights would I then need for the entire thing? Three? Four? Five? Two? Haha. Sorry, I'm full of questions and I'm very nervous when making decisions such as these!

    Edit: I still do want to do this VERY much, I'm just really nervous. If I say I don't, I do, but, I'm just nervous! Haha. I don't want anything to go wrong.
    - NeciFiX

  8. #24

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    If you are planning on moving into 2 racks at some point just start out with 2 lights and if you find out that is not enough, you can always use those 2 in the other rack when you design it or just add 2 more lights. Just when you pick these 2 lights make sure you could add 1-2 more lights if you needed too. My plan was always to add another 1-2 lights when I got some more money but I just don't need the extra light so why spend the money?

    Yes you can use the aquatic fixtures, but the hydroponics ones are generally less pricey. The bulbs are no were near as pricey either, they don't need to travel through water so they can be of much less quality and your plants could care less. Water really destroys light the further it travels through it, so they make these over priced bulbs to correct for it. The hydroponics places have the normal "plant/daylight" bulbs.

    I do have a few of the Current USA T5HO fixtures, they have worked great, I went to another fixtures I found that was a single strip with its own reflector. That way I can place each light were I want it for the best coverage.

    Questions are good! Not asking them when have you end up with something that just doesn't work right.

    Growing a N. bicalcarata indoor would be a challange, those things get big. I'm bonsai'd things before, but never tried to bonsai a Nep

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