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Thread: My first terrarium

  1. #1

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    Alright, I think I figured out how I want to setup my first terrarium. Since you guys are such a great resource and so helpful, I thought I'd post it all here and make sure I'm not doing anything stupid before I order everything in and put it together. many thanks, from both me and my future CPs, to whoever takes the time to read and respond. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]


    I'm looking at picking up the 3 gallon terrarium that they sell here at PFT. Then purchasing two of their bags of peat and perlite soil mix, hopefully filling the terrarium up about 1/3 of the way (I'm guessing). The dimensions I was quoted was just under 10" tall and just under 11" wide. This should leave me a good 5+ inches of upward growing room for my plants (considering it's not as high as you get away from the middle).


    I'll be picking up a common VFT and a Dente VFT from here. I'd also like to get a Drosera Capensis, though I'll have to go else where since they don't seem to sell them here [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img] (I'd appreciate any PMs or emails telling me where would be good to get a good healthy one). I'm hoping the Sundew stays small enough that I don't have to transplant it. From rough calculations using approximate terrarium size, I should be able to space the plants equidistant from one another 2" from the side of the bowl and 4" from each of the other plants.


    I'll be keeping them in my room on a sunny windowsill to get about 5 hours sun/day (working up to that slowly after planting). I know they could use a little more, but I don't have anyway else to put them unfortunately. My room maintains a temperature of between 78 and 82 in the winter and gets as high as 85-88 in the summer (lots of computers heating it up [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img] ). I'll feed them once every few days by taking the terrarium outside and catching a bug or two inside with saran wrap over the top....dumb luck can decide which plants get those bugs [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] (it should average out though). Then I'll head back in the watch the fun! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]


    In the late fall I'll move the terrarium to my garage for dormancy and bring it back out in the spring. My garage has very little artificial light (but some on occasion), medium-low humidity (should stay higher inside the terrarium), and goes from around 60 degrees in the fall to 25-40 degrees in the winter (depending on weather) and then back to around 40-50 in the spring. There will likely be little air circulation at this point. In February they come back to my room for recovery. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]


    Anybody see anything I'm doing wrong or have any tips on things I should watch out for? Once again, all your help so far as been appreciated. You've (especially Tamlin) shown a great deal of kindness and patience with me and I'm thankful to have had such an environment to fuel my interest in CPs again. I've learned so much over the past few days from reading posts here and extrapolating on that information through Google searches. Thanks...

  2. #2
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    The set up sounds pretty good, though I'm not sure how well a capensis would like a 3 month dormancy, since they really can grow year-round. They can take cold spells, as they're very tough, but I'm not sure about a true dormancy...Tamlin would know...
    Anyway, with regards to the VFT's that sounds just about perfect. Five hours of sun is plenty. Temps sound fine. Humidity isn't a big issue with VFT's.

    **Sudden inspiration**
    Instead of capensis, you could get D. rotundifolia or D. intermedia...both at a little smaller that capensis, and do experience true dormancy. Just a thought.....
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

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    Schloaty, thanks for the comments. There are so many different kinds of Sundews it makes my head spin. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

    I'll try googling those two you suggested...

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    You're setup sounds great!If you get the roseted sundews, get intermedia (like schloaty suggested), but make sure it is not intermedia 'cuba'! They don't need dormancy. Other good ones are Drosera spatulata, only the flower stalks will bump the top of the terrarium, you don't have to worry about that though [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img], and alicea. Also, you should get Pinguicula, primuliflora or morensis will do well, just dig them up in the winter, they don't need dormancy.

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    I've been doing a little Google research and Drosera Intermedia looks like it has potential. My one concern with a smaller plant though is food. There won't be many (or likely any) bugs smaller than a fly for the drosera to munch on. Would an intermedia be able to handle something as large as a housefly? I'd hate to have my little Drosera go hungry. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

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    Lightbulb

    Where do you live that the smallest bug is a fly
    You don't have mosquitos? Gnats?
    Just put them under a porch light at night....TONS AND TONS of no-see-'ems will come flocking to the light.

    That's how I feed my dews if they look like they need a snack.
    17 Nash Rd.
    North Salem, NY 10560

    YOU! Outta my gene pool!

  7. #7

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    Why not just grow an assortment of tropicals in your terrarium, and just remove the VFT come dormancy time? You will have a greater chance at experiencing the incredible variety of the genus, and won't have the dormancy issue to deal with.

    No tropicals will take kindly to a hard dormancy at, or occasionally below, freezing, and this is what the VFT needs.
    "Grow More, Share More"

  8. #8

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    Schloaty, I guess I should have been more specific. I'm trying to keep the terrarium a tightly controlled environment. When I take it outside, I want to be with it every second so I can monitor what's heading in and out. That way I won't have to worry as much about some nasty critters getting in (like ones that will attack my plants, or start a colony in there and spread into my room). It's not going to completely protect me, but it'll make me feel much better.


    That being said, the only meals my plants will get are the meals I let fly in (or catch and put in) and trap in there until they're eaten. Loads of flies and mosquitos around here, but I doubt I'd be very adept at trying to catch gnats to put in for my plants...I can hear my neighbors now. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]


    Anyway, should I take this to mean that a housefly will probably be too big/strong for it? I think I'll still go with it, just have to figure out a seperate feeding plan for it.


    Thanks.

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