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Thread: New lowland chamber

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    swords's Avatar
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    I was going to buy the mareials to build a DIY chamber when I saw this moulded showerstall marked down to $75 cos if a nick in the finish. That's cheaper tahn the materials for my DIY project, including the $19.99 to rent the truck to drive it home.

    I built a bench that will be able to be lowered as the plants on it grow. lowlight plants can go beneath the bench and hanging from the bench as there's ample space on all sides. the sides (and soon) back will be covered with plastic netting so I can hang mounted orchids on the walls and disquise the "white" look.

    The door is a sliding shower door, unfotunately the cheap sliding doors are all "hammered glass" so here's a shot with the glass:


    and without:


    The tank isn't nearly as dark as the photo appears, I'm still learning this new camera! I will be putting another 2-4 40 watt tubes over the chamber which is 6.5" tall x 5" wide x 3"deep as I don't think the 240 watts from the old lowland tank will be enough for this new one.

    Today is the first day the plants have been put in. I don't know how the humidity will be nor the temps but I have a therm/hygrom with a memory so I can keep an eye on it for a 24 hour period. right now there is nothing but the lights supplying heat and a misting to create initial humidity.

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    Hey Swords why dont you ditch those flouros and buy an HID?
    I recently picked up a 250w MH PL remote ballast system from Midwest Hydroponics for 249.99 excluding tax of course.

    Yes i know thats not entirely cheap but PL is the best.
    I dont know if you know this but an HID will out compete a flourescent setup of equal and greater wattage simply because you are streching that same wattage over a larger area.

    Id just recommend you stay away from HPS, youll never want to work under one of these. They are so red every color is distorted, imagine growing plants on Mars. Some of you may think that sounds "neat". Well it isnt.
    If you find you need more red than what most halides offer they do sell and enhanced MH bulb that has a higher spike in the red.
    If you have any questions regarding HIDs feel free as they kind of my specialty.

    Peace [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    My concern is with the normal fluorescent and the distance to the plants. Fluorescent light intensity drops off extreamly rapidly the further away you go from the tube. Adding more tubes will help slightly but will not correct for most of this. I think you would find better results going with a 250 watt metal halide vs 250 watts of normal fluorescents. Probably cheaper in the long run also (although I have not calculated it out).

    Perhaps if you hung the fluorescents down inside so they are closer, as another option?

    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Its about 40 cents a day to run a 250w MH in MN.

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    swords's Avatar
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    I do have a few unused metal halide setups...
    a 175, a 250 and a dual 400 watt unit (800 watts total). All are remote balast units from old reef tanks.

    My concern is that I heard I can not use MH lights over plexiglass (the reef tanks were open topped) and that's what the lid is made of. 0.90 mm thickness arcylic from home depot. I know from earlier experience terrariums don't work well open topped in comparison to "nearly sealed" when shooting for high humidity. A sheet of 72" x 36" glass would probably be pretty pricey wouldn't it?

    Khai are those the same PL lights from Orchids Limited? Those looked pretty weird when I was at OL and they had them running. Seems like the light was almost pink! I did not like that at all. I preffer either a "golden green" or "bluish" light as opposed to oranges and reds (i.e. soft white).

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    Thumbs up

    Great setup swords! Looks really nice.

    I have a suggestion about lighting. I was able to find flourescent tubes at Home Depot that can be attached to the wall. You just screw them in, instead of hanging them. If you were really motivated, you could probubly figure out a way to mount them on a track instead of directly on the wall, that way you could move them up and down as plants grow (or you have babies). The ones I saw were two feet, not four, but you could always just mount two across....
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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Why not put a hook in the top of the chamber and hang the metal halade inside the tank? It would increase heat quite abit too.

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    SirKristoff is a poopiehead Ozzy's Avatar
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    I can think of two options that you can do.
    GE makes a growlights called BrightStik. It's a disposable light fixture. The tube and the fixture are made together. They are easy to install, you can stick them where you want. Looking at your setup it would work very good for you. I've seen them at Lowes and Kmart for $9.99.
    Second option is to use the compact flourescent light bulbs($6) that scew into regular light sockets. I buy cheap cords(less than a $1), and replacement lamp sockets($2 or $3). Wire these together, and screw in the bulb. I hang these in by the cords so that I can get them close to the plants that higher light levels.
    Nice setup Swords.

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