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Thread: Decreasing Temps

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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Ok currently i can get my terrarium down to ~60* at night. i am wanting to get an N. aristo soon and i need to know how i can get the night temps lower? or are these temps OK?
    Glider14
    P.S. if anyone can PM me about a site that actually seels them other than BE that would be great.
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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    rattler's Avatar
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    dopubt they actually need to be lower than 60, i have a flowering age plant thats doing fine so far with 60ish as a low, cant comment on long term but in the 3 or 4 months ive had it its been growing strong
    cervid serial killer
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    swords's Avatar
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    It may be chalked up to conditioning and what my plants are used to but when my highland tank goes to 60-65*F for the hottest parts of July, Aug and part of September my aristo quits pitchering, it lives and grows several leaves in the hotter temps but doesn't pitcher. Usually when cool temps return (mid 50's) those undeveloped pitchers will then drop and inflate if they hadn't dried out or gotten damaged in those months. As I say, this could be because the average nights for me are 50*f with occasional mid winter dips to 40*F.

    Rattler, have you gotten flowers on your aristo? How tall was it to be able to flower? What sex? I had two very long branching stalks and a basal but no flowers yet when I did my cuttings. The apical cuttings of this plant seem to be rooting better than the cuts taken further down the stem. I've lost almost 50% of the dormant node cuttings in the first 2-3 weeks (but none of the tip cuttings) wth all being treated exacty the same way.

    Edit: I forgot to mention how I do the cooling! I setup my highland chamber in the darkest/coldest side of the condiminium next to a northern window. Place a small 4" Comptuer fan to be used as an "air intake" fan in the window and have the fan blow through a 4" diameter dryer vent hose from the hardware store. Before the air goes into the terrarium it is intersected by a hose cvering the output of my ULTRASONIC humidifier (from the pharmacy). This setup blows cold, humidified air into the terrarium when the fan is in the window or room temperature air when the window is shut for daytime. In summer the intake fan is put infront of the window air conditioner so nightime temps are cool but not as cold as I normally shoot for.

    I'm currently rebuilding my website and will show the setup on the articles page "how to build a highland growing chamber".

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    Always a newbie glider14's Avatar
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    swords: can i see some pictures of this contraption?
    Everything is explainable. The seemingly unexplainable is but a result of our insufficient knowledge.- Hans Brewer

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    swords's Avatar
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    I'll have pics and written info when I get the site up, www.nepentheshouse.com (nothing is up yet so don't bother clicking).

    Here's a text version showing the flow from window to tank:

    Window - small 4" fan - 4" diameter flexible dryer vent tube - ultrasonic humidifier - terrarium

    I'll have pics up when I can. I know more than one person here built a chamber off my plans as I helped them with advice via email but I have no idea anymore who they were. If they're reading this maybe they have pics right now that they can show? It's works great if you have reliable cool nights and a window next to yor chamber (but not shining on the chamber-which would heat it up).

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    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    So what kind of temps do you get with the air conditioner? I was considering an air conditioner for my new highland rack, as a window intake isn't really ideal for my situation. The A/C would vent directly into the lowest level of the rack, with fans at the top for circulation. I'll be running the A/C air through one of those in-dish ultrasonic humidifiers before hand to condition it. The rack will be mostly sealed (a few gaps for exhaust) and covered in a reflective material, and for now I plan on lighting it with Fluorex rigs. I also thought about scrapping a mini fridge and just using the cooling element, but the air conditioner seemed easier. I live in Washington state, so I get fairly cool nights, except in the summer when it's too warm during the day to cool down at night. I keep my apartment pretty cool, in the low 60s or high 50s, so I figure that an average air conditioner should be able to handle the load and keep 35 cubic feet consistently below 60. At its worst, the nights are somewhere in the 70s. I'll have the sides of the rack well-insulated for that kind of weather. Is this reasonable, and will it work for the more demanding highlanders?
    Thanks,
    ~Joe
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    swords's Avatar
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    Depending upon the size of the AC and the chamber you can get almost any temps you want, if it doesn't get cold enough (run it one night with your temp and humidity gages inside) return it within a few days and get the next model up for a few bucks more until you find get the cooling you need. I live in MN and am getting by with a 5000 BTU A/C (about 60-65*F in the hottest part of the year Jun-early Sept which is the only time I run it) but I could do better with a 7500 or 10000 and keep my temps 45-55*F year round at night. I think I saw 10K A/C for $129 last summer so next summer I'll be upgrading (with a bigger chamber!)

    Remember that cold air falls (even when fanned) and warm air rises so you should find a way to mount the ac to blow in the top of the chamber so the air will circulate downward (naturally) and keep the plants on top shelves cold enough and not too cold on the bottom.

    Also, realise that the A/C creates very dry air so you will want the A/C cooled air to be presaturated with humidity before it reaches the plants to avoid a dessicating sort of draft. I had setup sort of the way you describe at first and all my hamata lids snapped shut overnight. Once I made it so the air was presaturated they opneed right back up over the next night.

    I really don't think the small in dish thing will make a thick/effective enough fog, those are really more for looks. They also wear out a lot sooner than a regular 2 gallon phamacy model humidifier. Pharmacy made ones are cheaper too. I bought one of those mini disks for a vivarium years ago and it was at least it twice what I paid for the wal mart one and wore out in several months. I just replaced a worn out $30 wal mart model after 3 1/2 years on the highland chamber. Not a bad deal! Also you will be filling that little dish continuously because circulating air dries out quickly if not kept replenished with fog. The pharmacy model holds 2 gallons and is good for 1 -2 days depending upon how often the humidistat (humidifier controller) turns the humidifier on. You can't leave the humidifier on continuously because the palnts will be soaked all the time and rot but with a humiidtstat you can set it to automatically come on when the air drops below say 70 or 80% and shut off when it reaches 75-85% just before the fog turns to precipitation. You can even play games with your orchids by dropping or raising the humidity settings for a month or two to simulate dry and rainy seasons! Neps don't like it too dry but sometimes it will cause them to flower too! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (swords @ Feb. 08 2006,10:59)]Remember that cold air falls (even when fanned) and warm air rises so you should find a way to mount the ac to blow in the top of the chamber so the air will circulate downward (naturally) and keep the plants on top shelves cold enough and not too cold on the bottom.

    Also, realise that the A/C creates very dry air so you will want the A/C cooled air to be presaturated with humidity before it reaches the plants to avoid a dessicating sort of draft. I had setup sort of the way you describe at first and all my hamata lids snapped shut overnight. Once I made it so the air was presaturated they opneed right back up over the next night.

    I really don't think the small in dish thing will make a thick/effective enough fog, those are really more for looks.
    There's no way to put the A/C in the top of the chamber. I've thought about the thermodynamics at play but the only way would be to make a new cover for the rack with holes at the top, and beyond that I'd have to have the A/C hanging outside the rack on a separate support in order to have a humidifier in front of it. I know that A/C air is dry and the transition is too sharp for most Neps. The A/C is going to go underneath the entire rack, blowing into an inclined surface to force the air up.
    The rack is divided into three shelves, and for now I'm only lighting the top one, which should fit all of my CPs that need climate-controlled conditions - Cephalotus, Heliamphora, and Nepenthes. A few humidity-loving houseplants will occupy the second shelf for the time being. The lowest level will have the humidifier, heater, and fans, and the whole rack will sit in a drip tray. I want to run some PVC pipes from the top to the bottom with low-speed CPU fans to pull warm, humid air down from the airspace near the lights, forcing the cool air to the top gradually. RH goes up as temperature goes down, so the warm air can be used to pretreat the A/C air for humidity. In this way, instead of blasting plants near the A/C with cold air, the plants on the bottom will get relatively warm, humid air while the fans and A/C are on.
    The in-dish humidifier I was referring to is not one of those decorative ones - it's the same idea, but a much larger unit used for special effects. There are units that displace up to three litres of water an hour. They come with buoys to float them at the proper level in a volume of water, so they can be placed in rather large resovoirs. It should suffice. As I understand it, ultrasonic humidifiers wear the fastest when they're run without water; if you were keeping yours in a shallow dish, perhaps that's why it wore out so quickly. I like the idea of simulating rain seasons - I'll have to try that.
    Thanks for the tips.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
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