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Thread: N. hamata lids

  1. #1

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    Hi everyone,

    I have a 10-gallon highland tank set up with two N. hamata, one N. x Judith Finn, and one N. spathulata x spectabilis. Lighting and humidity are adequate...as is the soil mixture. A frozen (2 Liter) bottle of water is used for cooling and drops evening temps to approx. 55 degrees. The temp is 80-85 during the day.

    For some odd reason, the lids on the hamatas drop over the pitcher openings....only at night however. By mid day, they are back up again. I spray the plants down when the lights go out, and I use a plate glass lid as a cover...so humidity shouldn't be a problem...as a matter of fact, the leaves still have water droplets on them in the morning. I've tried leaving the terrarium cover slightly open, as well as cooling only to 60 degrees...the lids still drop...on some pitchers more than others.

    Other than this, the plants seem to be doing fine...growing tips are growing and one plant has even begun to to create a pitcher while in my care (Approx. 3 weeks).

    Any ideas as to what could be causing this? I'd assume it's due to stress...but why do the lids close only during the evening? Is evening air circulation to circulate the cool air a must for highlands? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Tom

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    swords's Avatar
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    Tom it is low humidity which is causing your hamtas lids to drop. You say your humidity is adequate what is the percentage reading on your hygrometer (humidity meter)? If it is below about 80% hamata will be unhappy it is very finicky about high humidity. I had the same problem when I first got mine last summer. Your lids will open and close only a few times then the pitchers will start to shrivel up.

    Are these the pitchers that came on the plant when you bought it? If so, then it shouldn't be too much to worry about as the plant will have to acclimate to it's new home and should make new pitchers (if your humidity is high enough) in a few months. If these pitchers were made after you owned it and now they are closing that means something has gone awry in your care for them just recently, maybe a hole has opened somewhere in your terarrium and is letting in dry air.

    Circulating the air with a small fan would help chill the tank at night but it will also dry the air even further unless you have a humidity device like a humidifier. If you could drop the daytime temps about 10*F (to 70-75*F) the plants would appreciate it. A fan put in the terrarium and left on all the time should lower the temps slightly but you will need to seal the terrarium. What kinds of lights are you using over the terrarium?

  3. #3
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Been thinking about this and the only explanation I can come up with is the ice bottle pulling moisture out of the air at night by condensation.

    I had wondered with people using this method to cool highland tanks and I guess now this is some proof that it can be a small problem. If they continue to do this on pitchers produced in their new environment then there will be a cause for concern. I suspect that once they are reestablished and settled in they won't do this anymore.

    Tony
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    The same happenedto me only not with a hamata but with a ventricosa 7 months ago. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] Know it got used to the humdity droping from 85% to 81% [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
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  5. #5

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    Thank you for the replies!

    Swords: I have 160 watts of flourescent lighting over the tank...regular and compact ranging from approx. 5000K to 6500K. I will place a hygrometer in the tank this evening, and let you know what the daytime/evening readings are.`

    Tony: That's a good point...the condensation that forms on the bottle...as well as on the glass as a result of the cooling, is most likely pulling valuable moisture from the air.

    However, the pitchers that are doing this are pitchers that were already on the plant when I received it. A new pitcher is forming on one of the plants...hopefully, it won't display this behavior...for now, I think I'm going to place a small, flat tupperware container filled with moist sphagnum in the tank at night to provide a little extra humidity. I'll keep everyone updated....thanks again for the replies.

    Tom

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    Tom, one of the three pitchers on my new hamata decided to close its lid after two weeks, and shortly thereafter shriveled up. The other two pitchers are still just fine, and the lids have not moved a bit. I think the waterbottle pulling out humidity is a good explanation for yours, but i don't use a water bottle for cooling, so i'm still not sure what the cause was. Maybe the pitcher just reached the end of its time?

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    swords's Avatar
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    I'm sure each plant is a bit different (unless they're the same clone) but my hamatas pitchers live a very long time (in the range of 6 months or longer.
    I don't remember when my plant began making pitchers last year but I have just recently lost the first two pitchers my hamata made in my care. The pitchers that came on it were gone quickly they simply closed their lid and shriveled. However, the death of the pitchers that were grown in my conditions took a long time from lowering of lid to dessication of the pitcher. The lid dropped about 1/2 way and then the whole pitcher slowly turned a lighter shade of it's normal color pattern (looking like it was "dusty"), that took about a month or perhaps longer. Then it slowly shriveled starting with the lid finally closing all the way and then turning brown over the entire pitcher. The browning phase took another month or so. I have a 3rd old pitcher just finishing the lighter color phase now and closing it's lid all the way.

  8. #8

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    ...So I conducted a small experiment last night: I sprayed the plants down when the lights turned off (10pm) and placed the frozen bottle into the terrarium. I placed the bottle in a plastic bowl to see exactly how much moisture condenses on the bottle during the night. By 12am, the humidity was at 82% with the temperature at 60 degrees.

    At 7am this morning, the sides of the tank were dry for the most part...as were the plants. The temperature was 57 degrees...and the humidity...65%. The bowl that the bottle was sitting in had about 1/4" of water in it...water that was obviously removed from the air via condensation upon the cold surface of the bottle.

    So this seems to be a big problem with using this method of cooling. Are there any ideas to keep the humidity high under these conditions? I could decrease the surface area of the frozen bottle...but that would mean a smaller bottle...and less cooling. I could cover the bottle with some sort of hydrophobic material that water wouldn't condense on...but I can't think of something off the top of my head. Would one of those ultrasonic foggers commonly used in reptile enclosures work? Man, what we go through to keep these plants. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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