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Thread: My rainforests

  1. #25
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vraev View Post
    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.
    Maybe..

    This would only be a benefit if you were to replace them with more overall wattage. CFL do run at a higher output than T8 and the compact nature allows more bulbs. So they are more effective at longer distances. Not sure about the feasibility due to the rather narrow long space the T8 is currently taking up. Large sized CFL tend to be rather bulky. Maybe a series of smaller CFL.. But that would probably require a homemade light fixture. How much space do you have up there? I have seen other setups with alot of height and there would be lights down the sides to get more light at the plant level.

    My other question though. Is why so tall? Are you planning to have some tall plants and some short plants in the end? If not then why not just reduce the height for now to get the lights closer. It does look nice tall though so I can see the asthetics.

    What you need is like 4 of these babies! http://www.grow-light.com/LED-Grow-L...le_p_1911.html

    On the heat issue.. I would have glass between the plants and the lights to block the heat. I would have the top sides open a bit to allow air in and more heat out. Let the heat from the lights go up on it's own. Warm air inside the grow chamber can exhaust through the top sides on it's own. Plants do not need 'fresh air' Without a vent at the bottom for air exchange you are only pumping heat from the lights down onto the plants with all those fans at the top. Even by aiming a fan upward you are sucking air down on the other side and with it heat from the lights. Shut them off. All you need is a very small fan circulating air horizontally at the plant level. You can play around with the sides open/glass over the top between the lights but in either case I would not be running the fans at the top at all.

    In fact this type of setup could work very well tall so that you have enough height on the sides to hold moisture around the plants, but still have an open top to run hotter high power lights with minimal heat buildup because the top is open and there is little mixing between the hot air above and cool air below.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  2. #26
    Taliesin-DS's Avatar
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    Smaller cfls are less efficient then big ones.
    my growlist: http://terraforums.com/forums/showth...306#post976306
    My pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/taliesin-ds/

    <Exo> @Talie......You are the lord of all things blah....

  3. #27
    Now crazy of my baby!!! Delwin's Avatar
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    Why not just get another set of T5HO??
    Now crazy abt my baby

  4. #28
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    Hi guys,
    SOrry for late reply. Grad school is very very hectic in these opening weeks of the fall semester.
    Don't really have too much space up there. Probably the only room I have is the width of a regular 2 tube 4' T8 or T12 fixture. I definitely can don't know how to get lights on the sides without it being a major hassle...plus, I want plants to grow towards the top...not lean ito the side
    The only reason why I had the tank soo tall is because I knew that nepenthes grow tall and given good conditions, they rapidly grow tall and hit the top of the tank. This is especially true for most sumarta species like aristolochioides, glabrata etc. For instance, thats exactly what Ihappened to my glabrata. Now the aristo is nearly 3' tall.
    LOL!! that LED will cost me a kidney to buy enough of those.
    GOod to know about the fans. I understand what you mean. Its a cyclic rotation of air that pulls in from the top back to down and back up. I am thinking of a way to solve the issues you guys have all brought up. Firstly, I will openup the sides. One fan at the top pulling air out. THen one fan at the bottom plant level so circulating bottom air. The only issue now is lighting.
    I don't mind Delwin's idea. But do u guys think a couple more 54watt T5 will do the trick? That would be a 100$ more and overall of 6 54 watt T5. Do u think that will be enough Tony? ANy other guys here who use this set of lights for this distance? ALso what if I use mylar and cover up all sides and even the front during normal running time of the tank?
    thanks,
    V

  5. #29
    Now crazy of my baby!!! Delwin's Avatar
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    Mine is 3feet tall.Only T5HO is able to go that deep. As for MH, forget it, it produce far too much heat. Unless you want to waste your kidney for the LED You can fix something like a stand maybe a piece of glass block on each end of the light set to make some space between the light and the top glass. The place a pc fan at a corner to blow away the heat produce from the lights.
    Now crazy abt my baby

  6. #30
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    If you can swing the 2tube 54w T5 I think it would be worth replacing the other yes. The mylar is a good idea. You are losing alot of light out the sides because of the distance and fluorescent bulbs are not very directional, scatter light every which way.

    I still feel your excessive moisture loss is the biggest problem. Much more so than the lighting and temperature issue. I also still think the fans are contributing to the heat problem. You also never mentioned (unless I missed it) the room temperature during the day when you say it is getting up into the mid80s or low 90s inside the grow chamber? This seems like a rather important bit of information to help understand just how much warmer the grow chamber is running over the ambient room temperature. Some rise is expected but just how much are you experiencing?

    I am curious to how things go with changing the fan set up. Have you tried simply turning the fans off during the day and monitoring the temperature down by the plants?
    Examine closely how your fans are blowing/pulling air in or out of the chamber. If air is exiting the grow chamber then it must be entering somewhere else. If the air entering is not cooler humid air than what's inside the grow chamber already, then it is hurting not helping. It is much more stressful on the plants to have excessive transpiration vs. warmer than optimal temperatures.
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  7. #31
    Carnivorous plant enthusiast vraev's Avatar
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    The temperatures are as follows:

    Summer (Room)
    Max: 88-90F
    Min: 70F
    SO far, I have been noticing that in the tank the probe was at the pot level and temps were like 5F lower or normalized at 85F. I thought that was just the buffer effect of water and the fan. But considering the air temp in the tank is a lot higher and the gradient just above the plants is soo much hotter, I wouldn't be surprised if it hit over 95F in the tank on the hottest days.

    Current temps (autmn is coming) Readings from today
    Max: 82F
    Min: 62F

    In tank, temps appear to be: Max: 78F and min: 59F

    Unfortunately, as i mentioned, The probe was incorrectly placed durin the summer season. So perhaps, I am waaay off with the temp readings.

    And you are right, ever since I removed one fan from the inside, I had to water only once in the week. There is still one fan at the pot level. I will raise it up and put it at plant level. The only concern is that Wouldn't that dry out the plants? Where exactly do u think is a good position. And bear in mind, I cannot control fan speed. (Atleast, without any other electronic devices)

    There is no opening for the tank anywhere apart from the top and the side door. It is otherwise sealed at the bottom. So that means, the only air circulating is from the top where the lights make it hot.

    But you guys say fresh air is not needed? Wouldn't a lower CO2 concentration in the air make it unfavourable for plant growth? But yes, I understand that without correct conditions and excess heat, that would be an even bigger issue.

    So do u think I should turn off all the fans tomorrow and take readings?

    cheers,

    V

  8. #32
    Lover of Mountains nightsky's Avatar
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    Reading of your struggles to get things right makes me feel better about my same struggles. It's like trying to balance on basketball while juggling! Just when I get one parameter right, it throws another off.

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