As some of you may know, I've puchased a chest freezer a while back to turn into an ultrahighland environment. Well everything was going very smooth until the thing ran into issues keeping cool. After getting it fixed, the project was back in action nearly 6 months later.
1 N. rajah 2"
2 N. villosa 1"
1 N. aristolochioides 3"
1 H. minor 2" tall
Here I will document my process of building a chamber that was first developed by our member neps a while back, we owe you one for this idea. I've also added some extra stuff to it to suit my needs.
1) Obtain a chest freezer of any size. I only had the funds to afford a 3.5 cu/ft freezer so that was that. There should be some fairly good sized ones available now for very cheap.
2) Remove the lid by unscrewing the bolts.
3) I went ahead and siliconed the gaps in the interior so water won't leak out.
4) I glued a wooden frame on the top as shown here:
The purpose is to allow the thermostat and fan wires to pass into the freezer without drilling a hole in the freezer itself, which is not recommended.
The hole is then glued using silicone.
5) Thermostat is set to 40F at night to give it a 37-39F temperature. Thermostat is then reset in the day to 70F for 68F temperature. Notice the ~2F difference which is normal for any thermostat. Always use two thermostats although I only have one for now.
6) Install PC fan or any small fan that'll fit. Runs 24hr/day to keep temperatures even at all times. This is also the time to add all measuring devices (thermometers etc)
7) Install light hood with timer set for 8am on and 10pm off.
-2X15w Quantum Rod Ultra Daylight 1100K
-2X18w GE Natural Sun (to be installed later)
8) Get an acrylic or lexan cover preferably 1/4" but I only had the choice of 1/8". There were bowing problems when the freezer became too cold so I had to glue strips of wood to the outside of the lexan as shown. The wood frame has its benefits also.
9) Apply weather stripping to the underside of the lid and on the freezer's wooden frame.
10) Put everthing together. Notice how the lights sit on top of the lid's frame. Not only does the frame keep the lights from scratching the plastic, but it adds extra weight (in addition to the lights) to keep the weather stripping tightly sealed.
11) Plug in to run tests. Results are ~68F day and ~39F night
12) Put in plastic platform made of pvc pipes and egg crate diffuser.
13) I decided to put in two 4" deep trays to catch water instead of letting it run into the freezer's bottom. This collected water can be emptied. This water also helps the humidity.
14) Not necessary but I'll be putting a lot of lfs on to the growing platform to build small mounds and hills. This step is mostly for my enjoyment of landscaping but the wet lfs also helps to boost humidity.
15) You're Done!!!
16) Wait for plants.