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Thread: Noob-penthes grower needs help!

  1. #9
    Class 5 Nepenthes hoarder lance's Avatar
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    Having started growing CPs at age 10 as well, I know how it feels to loose your first Nepenthes to hard water. Have you decided on how you are going to cool your highland terrarium at night? The easiest method that I have used for the past few years is sucking in cold air from a window until the temperatures get into the low 40s (at this point the room automatically reaches a low into the 50s because of the outside temp), but this depends on where you live. I would be a little worried at the solar rainmaker as a water source if it waters "every 3 hours". For Sarracenia that would be ok, but Nepenthes are best watered every couple days and not kept too damp.


    In addition to growing plants, I design and build RC planes powered by Tesla batteries. Check out my progress at www.chargedplanes.com

  2. #10
    Mr Acurite's Avatar
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    The truncata stopped growing, and started to brown all over, eventually being kind of rotten all over. When it fell over of it's own accord, I threw it out and thoroughly washed the pot, which was a nice orchid pot my mom had used for store-bought orchids in the past. The soil was a combination of the potting material sent with it by california carnivores, and basically just NZ sphagnum. May it rest in peace. For the automatic watering system, which I definitely want one instead of relying on my less-than-perfect memory, any better suggestions? Also, the lid I have on my 10gal terrarium right now is a "science for kids" type grow light over a hole I cut into cardboard. I might try figuring out how to get photgraphs to work, and show you far more accurately. Works fine though, keeps the humidity high enough for the sundews. I'm not sure I have a large enough piece of cardboard to cover a 20gal tank, but one of those science fair posters might work. I'm going to try and get some photographs now, to show you what I'm doing for my sundews...
    If Swiss Cheese has holes, and more holes=less cheese, and more cheese=more holes, does that mean that more cheese=less cheese?

  3. #11
    Sundrew's Avatar
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    1. I really recommend buying a used terrarium for cheap. You can get plexiglass cut to the size you want for a lid at Lowe's or Home Depot for very cheap.
    2. You should go for fluorescent lights. That LED does not look bright enough and I can't tell if it produces the right kind of light for what you want.
    3. Good idea going for the hygrometer and thermometer, though you can find cheaper ones at hardware stores for like $2.
    4. I like the drip system, but you really will not need to spend that much money. You can put eggcrate or gravel in the bottom of your terrarium, put some water down there so it just touches the bottom of your pots, and in a closed system it will keep your Nepenthes moist for weeks. Plus, if you really want a small tank, that irrigation system will take up way too much room.

    Are you going for lowland or highland neps? Have you thought about temperatures? Is this tank going on a windowsill or somewhere else?

  4. #12
    Mr Acurite's Avatar
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    Firstly;
    My sundews, sitting in some nice distilled water;
    http://postimg.org/image/se4w1so05/
    the lid I was describing;
    http://postimg.org/image/z3tfs534j/
    second;
    The first Nep I've got my eye on is N. (x ventrata) x alata by california carnivores, and it's most likely going to go next to some windows, but west-facing ones which receive basically no direct natural light. I do like the gravel idea, and I can't argue with saving some of my own cash. It would also let me continue watering my sundews the same way I've been doing. I will probably go with a sheet of plaxiglass instead of a shmancy lid. If you would be so kind, precisely what lights do you use?
    If Swiss Cheese has holes, and more holes=less cheese, and more cheese=more holes, does that mean that more cheese=less cheese?

  5. #13
    Sundrew's Avatar
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    What I do is grow my Nepenthes in a southern exposure windowsill in a large terrarium (you can see pics in my photo thread). The plant you want will be extremely easy to grow in house conditions (though you should get an idea of what temps and humidity you're working with). You will need supplemental light, I recommend four foot fluorescent t8 fixtures. They need 32W four foot bulbs, and a combination of 5000K and 6500K ("warm" to "cool") will do nicely. You will probably need just a two bulb fixture. For your sundews I recommend the same thing, though 4 bulbs would be best. Your single little light won't do much to color them up. If you want to keep them in that small enclosure, use powerful CFLs (rated 1600 lumens or above). You can buy reflectors for them at Home Depot or Lowes for $7. The t8 fixtures will run you $15 and packs of two bulbs run about $7 but last years.

  6. #14
    Mr Acurite's Avatar
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    4 feet for a 30" tank seems like rather a lot of overkill... Would, say, 2 or 2 1/2 feet exist/ do the trick?
    If Swiss Cheese has holes, and more holes=less cheese, and more cheese=more holes, does that mean that more cheese=less cheese?

  7. #15

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    You can use clamp lights with CFLs. If you have places to clamp them you'll probably find it easier than a giant fixture on top of a tiny tank. But what are you going to do when the plants start to vine? My lowland tank is a 29 gallon (a tall 20 gallon, basically) and I'm always trimming ampullarias because they're smooshed up against the lid. I can't imagine a 20 gallon doing the trick for long.

  8. #16
    Mr Acurite's Avatar
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    Okay, just got back from my local-ish home depot, and I've kind of figured out what I can do, nicely under budget. First off, they sell 2' t5 2 tube light fixtures. If, when used with reflectors, 1 2' light can keep a 10gal terrarium nicely lit, 4 2' t5 tubes in 2 fixtures can light a 20gal terrarium. If that comes back to bite me in the ***, so be it. Second, they (H. Depot) sell pretty large pieces of plexi-glass, which they say is easy enough to cut yourself, making a nice, easy lid. Thirdly, about 3/4 of an inch of gravel at the bottom, with plant pots nestled at different levels depending on how much water they like, when filled up about a quarter-inch higher with distilled water will most likely work to water the plants (correct me if I'm wrong there), and the closed system should keep humidity and temperature high. Being near the window in a temperate climate like mine will cool the terrarium at night, with lights warming it back up during the day. Use of an automatic timer to control the lights, and the slow rate at which the water is consumed should make the watering schedule easier on me. Have I just about got everything? Also, I'll put in some support structures for when the Nep's begin to vine, and trim them back when necessary.
    If Swiss Cheese has holes, and more holes=less cheese, and more cheese=more holes, does that mean that more cheese=less cheese?

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