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Thread: artificial lighting for highland neps

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    Unhappy

    I visited a petstore looking for artificial lighting to get my highland nep terrarium started, and found that they only carry aquarium lights. Are these ok for highland neps? Also, if I have a choice of fluorescent vs incadencent, which is better? Are there any other types of artificial lights (specific brands) that work well? Any information is appreciated. Thanks. Leo

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    The fluorescent pet lights designed for aquariums with plants would work fine but they are expensive. I would not go with incandescent, they get too hot and would cause problems in an enclosed terrarium.

    Your best bet would be to get a couple cheap fluorescent light fixtures from the hardware store and use cool white bulbs with a warm white mixxed in. You could also get some of the fancier tubes like ultralume or chroma 50.. They tend to be a bit more true to sunlight and put out more lumens (ie they are brighter). Minimum I would say 2 tubes if they are normal wattage but preferably 4.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    My Ultrahighland terrarium is illuminated by both sunlight and the purple petshop light (1 at 15 watts). I would go with the pet shop aquarium light as they do make them in "sun" mimiking bulbs just like growlights and I find them to be fine, but try to get the brightest possible one if, your going to be grwoing them in a dark area.

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    I can get by with only 15 watts? That's good to know - I was worried about the electricity bill.

    I'll shop around both the hardware store and the petstore and see what comes up.

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    Lee I would not try and use just one 15 watter for any plant unless you're growing orchids that like the dark! Try and use 2 or better 4 flourescent tubes that are as long as your tank. On my 29 gallon aquarium I have 4x 20 watt flourescent tubes ( 2 cool white and 2 daylight) it makes a bright crisp light and the pitchers color up nicely. Over my 75 gallon I have six 40 watt tubes (240 watts) of ballanced flourescent light-there's hardly a thing I can't grow under this light (except the previously mentioned lowlight ochids who hate this setup)

    4x 20 watt tubes is the same as putting a new reading lamp in your living room-it won't affect your electric bill more than a few cents. To be honest, terrariums and aquariums (non-reef aquariums I mean) do not affect the electric bill as much as one would think. I have 7aquariums/terrariums all with at least 4x 20 watt tubes and a couple with 6x 40 watt tubes and my electric bill only went up $5 total over the years of building my collection from $37 to $42 a month.

    Putting light over your terrarium isn't like running an A/C in august - you'll never notice the cost of running it but the plants will show the bennefits. If you're growing spendy highlanders why not have good light over them too?

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    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    1 15w light bulb would be only a minor supplement to plants that are getting primarily natural light. How much artificial light you need depends on your own situation. I would plan on at least 2 if the plants would get some BRIGHT indirect light during the day and 4 tubes if they are relying on the lights for growth.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

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    I do think it depends on the distance between lamp and plant. One 15W can be enough when the distance between plant and lamp is not bigger than 10cm - 15cm. I had some small nepenthes under fluorescent 20W reflector-lights and they got in fact red colouration to their leafes due to the minimal distance. The usage of a photron will also help. Of course this does only work for very small plants - and even Nep. g. will have to get something bigger when the about one meter big flower stalk will appear from his plant next year... ;-)

    Joachim

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    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I know! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] I shoulda mentioned about the lighting in my tank that my Rajah mostly recives natural light ALL DAY LONG. And the 15 watter is used for rainy days,and at night till 9 PM.
    I am not anticpating on any super large Rajah palnt yet, I am just V. happy that the leaves are getting MUCH larger and I finnally see a very slight tendril insertion. V. pleased with this plant.


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