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Thread: how many footcandles/lux do you grow your nepenthes?

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    how many footcandles/lux do you grow your nepenthes?

    Which nepenthes do you find grow best at what FootCandles or Lux? Obviously many people have various experiences, and sometimes you find a plant that just doesn't do bad anywhere you put it. But, I was just wanting to know your experiences. I'm planning on moving a few things around in a few of my tanks and I;m trying to get a better idea of which may do better higher/lower in the tank.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Well I don't know about those specific numbers but I grow my Nepenthes under two 4 foot long T5 High Output fluorescents (lowland species) or four 4 foot long T5 High Output fluorescents (highland species)

    Each T5 HO tube puts out 5,000 lumens so some plant shelves get 10,000 lumens each and the HL chamber gets 20,000 lumens.

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    at what distance are the plants from the bulbs? the amount of light is actually extremely descending the further you get from the tube. E=1/dē, so every time you double the distance the amount of light at that point is quartered. It makes a pretty big difference if you have your plants on the bottom of a 75g vs sitting on a platform in a shorter tank like a 20g long, especially if you have more than one light

    edit: i've always done pretty much the same though. two t5 or t8 tubes for each tank, and then try to put the larger plants on the backside and the seedlings toward the front. just wondering more to the point of which plant can take more than a few hundred foot candles vs those that like to receive less. One think i've noticed is i believe that seedlings like to be a little bit more shaded and receive less light (which is really a no brainer), but i'm looking for species that seem to do particularly well in much brighter light vs those that wouldn't do so well in the same light but otherwise same conditions.
    Last edited by steppedinds; 03-17-2015 at 05:45 PM.

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    swords's Avatar
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    In my setup it depends on the plant, some are 4 inch seedlings a foot or more below the lamps and some are tall vines a few inches from the lamps seperated only by the lid glass of their grow chamber.

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    yeh i got a ventricosa like that under 4 t5s. it's gotten to be almost 3 feet tall, though i'm not sure on the light levels in it atm as i gave the tank to my grandmother for xmas as an orchid tank. the best readings i can get coming of a flourescent tube are around 1000-1300 footcandles and that's almost touching the bulb. I was wondering if any1 has experimented with a higher wattage bulb, like leds, hps, or mh, to see if they would tolerate more. or even outdoors

    edit: and at the same time in one of my tanks, my lower level plants are at around 100-150 footcandles
    Last edited by steppedinds; 03-17-2015 at 05:55 PM.

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    swords's Avatar
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    Yes, you can grow Nepenthes under Metal Halides. I bought a cracked Tub/Shower stall at Home Depot for $50 and dragged it home to grow Lowland Nepenthes in it during the early 2000s. I had a 400 Watt Metal Halide over it which was separated from the tub/shower growing area by a 3 foot x 6 foot sheet of plexiglass. The enclosure had an ultrasoonic room humidfier blowing into it keeping the humidity about 90%. the supposed "low light lowland nepenthes" really sucked up the intense lighting. N. bicalcarata grew into behemoths very quickly with cantalope sized pitchers. N. Miranda grew 14" tall pitchers. It was a real LL growing machine. The one plant who hated it was N. Northiana, it got smaller under the punishing light and stiffling heat/humidity.

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    700-900 foot candles is what I aim for at the top of the plant, measure with an analog unit. Growing plants under Hight Pressure Sodium lights.

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    Being a cheap person by nature, I simply have my nepenthes growing under an 80W equivalent fluorescent bulb with support from a 20W t5. (Total output I'm estimating is around 9,000 to 10,000 lumens). The sides of my terrarium are coated in a hyper-reflective refractory film (aka aluminum foil) to maximize light efficiency. I'm by no means a lighting expert, so don't expect my meager setup to work everywhere, but my plants generally color up nicely and grow quickly, so I don't complain. Unless you're growing a species that's really picky about lighting (stupid talangensis always hogs more light than I can give it), most nepenthes are ok with lots of different lighting arrangements.

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