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Thread: My rainforests

  1. #17
    Frilleon's Avatar
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    I would guess the fans are blowing directly on some (if not all) of the plants. This will dry out sphag fast. I have noticed this in my setup also. I have a T5 3-4 inches above my tank with a fan blowing parallel in between. I also use a ultra-sonic humidifier in the bottom. This will help low temps near the roots (plus it looks cool too). You could also run them 24/7 to help the drop temps at night. I run all my fans 24/7. My heat exhaust fan turns off about an hour after the lights.

    As for the lights you have great lights. Adding more doesn't really make any sense to me. All you have to do is get the plants closer to the lights. My tank is tiered so I can have different sized plants in there. Can you raise the plants to the lights?

    The general health decline is most likely from the higher night time temps. What we're the night temps in the old setup? I used to keep a lot of my plants in similar conditions. While they grew they did not thrive. Since moving my whole grow room into my garage where the temps drop into the 50's every night my plants have exploded with grow.

    If you get better air flow through the tanks it should help with the leaf fungus. I would use some fungicide on it for now. It's not fatal unless untreated.

    I think your pretty close, just some minor tweaks and you'll get it right. You just have to find the right minor tweaks!
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  2. #18
    BigBella's Avatar
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    I have also found that relatively sudden changes in cultivation practices set things back a bit -- and that many highland Nepenthes are very particular about their nighttime temperature needs and any alteration; that being said, just give them time to settle.

    Beautiful villosa as usual . . .
    “Sì perché l'autorità dell'opinione di mille nelle scienze non val per una scintilla di ragione di un solo . . ."

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  3. #19
    RL7836's Avatar
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    V,
    A few people have mentioned light intensity as a possible issue. While I don't know what the real issues may be, just remember that light intensity varies by an inverse square relationship (not linear as most people think). If you double the distance (ie: from 2" to 4"), the intensity is 1/4 of the original. If the distance is increased by 4 times (ie: from 2" to 8"), the intensity of the light reaching the plants is 1/16 of the original. Going from 2" to 16" is 1/64 of the original intensity!
    All the best,
    Ron
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  4. #20
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    I would be careful about basing the 'intensity' on the color of the pitchers. N. jamban and N. jacquelineae will make nice red pitchers grown in a closet. Some plants like young N. burbidgeae will make red leaves. They do get redder in brighter light. I have seen them almost beet red, the entire plant. A little flush of red doesn't say much about light intensity. I don't think your light intensity is horrible but it is far from optimal also. Perhaps a simple solution like Frilleon suggests and put in a plastic shelf or something so you can place smaller plants up higher?

    If you are up for some wiring maybe try one of those 100w 6500k compact fluorescent yard lights they have at home depot/lowes? They are pretty inexpensive.

    Personally I would put the glass back if heat is your main issue. The little bit of light it may deflect is minor compared to the heat entering the grow chamber and the moisture loss out the top. It sounds to me like your other main problems besides the lighting issue, are too much heat and too much evaporation. Putting the glass on would reduce both dramatically I think.

    How warm does it get outside during the Summer? Are you able to duct in some outside air to blow into the grow chambers? You can put an ultrasonic humidifier inline with the duct to humidify the air prior to entering the chambers when the system is working. That would be an inexpensive way to get cool humid air into the chamber. Swords used to vent the output from a window AC unit into his highland chamber. He had an ultrasonic humidifier output going into the duct to humidify the air before entering the chamber since the AC removes moisture.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #21
    quogue's Avatar
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    Really nice set-up Varun, I have a few things to suggest:

    Take out any access/side panels and open the chamber up as much as possible and turn off the fans!
    Then you can try one fan for abit and see and slowly put back some of the glass and see, my plants are essentially in the open and they love it! Humidity can be around 50% or less for the HLers.

    Definitely add more lights! I have 6 T12 fixtures for 12 tubes over my HL chamber and I have plenty of distance between them and the plants, but not as much distance you have there.

    If that's a window above the tanks, I'd have them open as much as possible, spring/fall. Fresh air is good. Very good.
    I AC in the Summer (2 mos) just to keep them from getting over 80F for too long. It's like maybe down to 70F at night. Temperature is not just numbers though...

    Winter is pretty chilly rarely getting 70F and down to like 48F at night for a couple of months. Spring & Fall are their favorite... but it works overall. I've had healthy plants for years and the Sphag is extremely happy there and I only water like once every 3 days or so and that's the only time I mist as well with a hand sprayer.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #22
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    thanks for taking the time to care and offer suggestions.

    I used to use a ultrasonic humidifer, but since I have limited RO water which I mostly use for the mistking system, I have to be a bit careful and cannot use it with the ultrasonic humidifier. SO I used to use tap water .. hence the mineral buildup on plant leaves. Currently I do not use any fan to blow air off the lights. Becos there is no gap where I can outfit a fan to blow over the lights.

    Night time temps in old setup usedto be high 60s in the summer. Mostly thanks to multiple ice packs. nOw i can't use icepacks. The tanks are too tall.

    Hi ROn! Yes! I definitely understand the geometric decrease of light intensity. Believe me! thats why I bought a bay of 4 54watt tubes. Initially a single 2 x T8 along with a supplimentary CFL used to light everything in my old setup and that was enough. but yes...at a closer distance. TO consider th distance, I spent money for this light setup. Now I am considering selling it and probably trying a 6 tube bay or a metal halide...altough I am wary as Tony says they get really hot.

    TOny...would u suggest to get rid of the T8 fixture. I think its pretty useless at this distance. Replace it with the CFLs as u mentioned? As u say...MH can get pretty hot. I want to avoid that if possible.

    Guys...I just repositioned the sensor which was earlier near the pot level to the level of the plant body itself. HOLY!! Temps that were before 72F were now 79F. Clearly temps are dramatically higher at foliage level. THis means during the summer temps were over 90F for the most time.

    I was considering the exact swords setup u mentioned. I even have the fans ready..but was putting it off to see if I can somehow prevent all that ducting and just push in room air into the tank.

    Thanks for the comments Quogue. You are right. I removed the side glass and wow...temps droped at plant level by 5-8F. Window is sort of open...I turn on the fan in it at night to bring in cool air and drop temps to 62 or 58F lowest during autumn (now). I imagine it will only get lower and can go to 40s in winter.

    Clearly...I need to run tests with:

    1) water quality
    2) heat...check at other places in tank...plant foliage level
    3) put back hte glass I had..and re-check temps
    4) Buy some CFLs and replace those useless T8s (at this distance)

    anything else u guys would suggest to do as the first priority. I think more than anything...its the temps that are issue now.

    Once again...thanks everyone. I really appreciate your feedback. I'll keep ya all updated.

    varun

  7. #23
    Frilleon's Avatar
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    You can remove the sides! I didn't know that! You should be able to get a good air flow through the tank that way. Removing hot air out the top allowing cool air to be drawn in through the side. If you use fans place them at the top blowing air out the top. You should see even greater drop at plant level.

    CFL might be a good choice. They run hotter then T8's but are not too bad. You might be able to find a small one that fits in the tank.
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  8. #24
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    well..not the whole sides. On the side...the tank has an opening. its like the TOP 1 and a half foot of glass can be folded down on a hinge. So unfortunately, tis not the bottom.

    Well...biggest thing about T8 is that at htis distance...they probably are useless. Damn!! was a shocker to see the temps soo high. I mean that could make a lot of sense to the issues I was having in summer. If pot level was like 85F or so...i am sure the plant level was like atleast 95F or so. damn!!

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