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Thread: Lowland nepenthes terrarium question

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    kwende's Avatar
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    Lowland nepenthes terrarium question

    For a while I used a 10-gallon tank with water (distilled) at the bottom and an aquarium heater for my Ampullaria and Bicalcarata. The plants were perched atop upside-down flower pots; they're quite young so this setup worked. Recently, however, I acquired a great many more adelae (which also inhabit the 10 gallon) and this has forced me to rearrange my current setup.

    As a result I broke out my old hexagonal aquarium and have, again, placed my lowlanders atop upside-down flower pots within it. The tank is quite large so they should have ample growing room. But now I'm left with trying to raise both the humidity and temperature, and I want to again try the technique of filling the base with water and heating it with an aquarium heater. In order to save money, though I thought I'd ask (but I'm quite sure I know the answer already) whether filling the base with non-distilled water (straight from the tap) and heating THAT was safe for the Nepenthes. I would never actually water the plants themselves with it. I'm hoping to limit the # of gallons I have to buy each week of distilled water.

    I haven't tested my tap water's PPM, but I imagine it's too high to use to directly water the plants.

    Thanks.

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    mcmcnair's Avatar
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    I don't know how that will affect the aquarium heater but the way I have my setup done is I use the light fixtures to heat the space and then use disc foggers or an ultrasonice cool mist humidifyer to humidify the space. You might also try air stones or a water pump to keep the water churning to raise the humidity.
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    kwende's Avatar
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    Is the water you use for the mister distilled? I have an ultrasonic mister. Right now I'm having a hard time heating the tank (it's quite large, so it has a lot of volume to heat).

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    kwende's Avatar
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    Oh, Mason....this is Ben by the way (on Facebook).

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    i started with a setup much like yours.......is it a submersible heater? perhaps u need a bigger one.....i use a 100watt one and it does the job fairly effortlessly even on the 30 gallon terrarium i have now. far as the tap water......i tried it once....but i have hard water and within a matter of hours the glass was coated with the left over minerals.....not sure if it would do much to nepenthes long term but i imagine it would be detrimental to drosera without long term exposure as they can realistically absorb the minerals through the leaves.

    use rainwater and just deal with the fact you will have algae.

    i don't have any photos of the old terrarium any more but below is a photo of the upscaled version....i decided to throw in some aquatic plants to occupy the wasted space and imo the increased vegetation does seem to help the nepenthes as well as keep the algae in check as they aquatic plants eat the same thing algae does...and if you get a surface covering floater then they will starve the algae of light too. just be warned that when you get it tuned in right and your lowland nepenthes are 'happy' that they will probably grow on an average 3x faster than they do now. they will keep you fairly busy bc when you aren't upscaling you will be repotting. however i do enjoy the marvelous growth and wouldn't trade it......going to a hothouse later in the spring and will really see the lowlanders begin to take off.


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    kwende's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'm going to try the hard water at the bottom for a while and see what happens as far as the mineral deposits.

    Thanks for your picture.

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    im not suggesting you try the hard water......realistically the deposits will cover the media and change your ph....if the water has alot of minerals in it. i guess you can go with it but you would have to flush your pots pretty often which is a huge pita......my suggestion is collect rainwater and use that.

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    I don't see why it would hurt to use tap water at the bottom, as long as you never watered your plants with it (as you said).
    Da' mishu
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