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Thread: One more terrarium question for you pros

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    Hi again, and sorry to keep spamming this board with terrarium questions. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img] I just want to make sure I don't make any mistakes.

    I'm considering a 20g tank, and these come in two types - tall and wide. Wide would be nice because I could fit more plants, but I'm worried that some nepenthes may quickly vertically outgrow the tank, and also that the light source being closer would heat things up too much. Is there a suggested minimum height requirement for highland neps? In particular, I'll be growing a ventricosa, sanguinea, and judith finn (high-low hybrid). Would you suggest going tall or going wide?

    Also a quick light question - warm white vs cool white is simply a difference in color and has nothing to do with temperature, does it? Or does warm white indeed get a little hotter than cool white? Thanks in advance!

    Leo

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    swords's Avatar
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    Hi Leo,

    I have a Ventricosa, Judith Finn and Maxima all in a DIY wood and plexiglass case which is 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. It gets 15 minutes of humidification every 2 hours while the lights are on and only a couple times overnight. I coudl drastically reduce the humidifiers use if I'd made the case watertight but wood soaks up water/mist easily/quickly. the plus side is I should get moss growing on the walls and that will be neat! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    I am using a Vicks Ultrasonic cool mist humidifier model V5100
    Phazer IV compact flourescent lighting 110 watts. each 55 watt tube puts out about 8000 lumens so these two are equal in lumens to a 250 watt metal halide bulb but does not have the heat associated with MH. It does get warm (about 80* in the high parts of the terrarium) after a 14 hour "on" cycle but I will be putting a 4" PC fan (get em at radioshack) on the top of the tank to increase air movement and to suck warm air up and out of the tank.

    You need to realize that a taller terrarium requires higher wattage light (to reach the plants lower leaves) if you're settled on a single 15 watt flourescent you'd better stick with that 10 gallon til you're willing to up the ante on your lighting system cos at low light lumens/lux/wattage (however you wanna rate it) the light won't reach long distances in a suitable quanity unless you are only supplementing natural light (something I can't do due to bad window placement in my condominium [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img] )

    I use 29 gallon terrariums (it's as high as the 20 gallon tall and as long as the 20 long-the best of both worlds&#33[img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] If you have a Petsmart near you you can score a 29 gallon tank for about $25.99 plus $14.99 for a nice all glass lid. I one for my current smaller personal plants in 6in pots- the other one is just a propagation chamber for cuttings I haven't figured out what exactly I'm gonna do when all my neps start getting large! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Good luck-terraiums rule!

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    "...each 55 watt tube puts out about 8000 lumens..."

    are you sure [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]
    8000 lumens seems to be a lot for a 55 W tube

    my 70W high pressure sodium light has an output of 5600 lumen and I was told that they are the most effective plant lights avaiable.

    Martin

  4. #4
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    I am no expert on lighting so I'll stay outta that. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img] Leo, I have the 20 gal. extra hihg for Rajah and cuttings and other Ultrahighlands. It works fine with 1 15watt flurescent BUT if your gonna do what I am doing you MUST put it near a south, or always bright window. Rajah os doing fine as it gets that light from the window and the 15 watt fluorescent. I would personally go with a wider tank but if your gonna put Gracilis,Tobaica,and other super vigorous Neps in there go with the tall one.

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    Thanks for all the info!

    I think I'll make up my mind very soon. No, swords, I have already completely given up on the single 15w idea since reading the replies to my last topic, although I don't plan on going for as high as 8000 lumens either. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

    N.g. - ventricosa, sanguinea, and judith finn shouldn't be too supervigorous would they? So perhaps I could get away with the wide? But then, it seems easier to keep a tall one cooler. hmmmmmmmmmmm...... [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/confused.gif[/img]

    Leo

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    I am not an expert, but as I use a "long" tank and my neps (a ventricosa red and a Judith Finn) like it, I will stick in my two cents.

    I do not humidify, nor do I have a fan, as the long tank setup seems to regulate itself. No direct sunlight.

    The lights make about a 10-deg F-over-ambient difference if you leave a small gap in the lid on both ends of the tank--this is with 4 20W florescent bulbs and for me means a 15-20 deg difference over the course of a day (say 88 F to 73 F). You might get away with 2 bulbs in a long tank and still get growth if all you have are neps--I expect the heat difference from ambient in that case would be minor. Retained heat in the pots and other material, and insulation from the air trapped inside (no fan in my setup) keeps the tank warmer than ambient for 24 hours, so it will never drop to room temp.

    Humidity in this 20 gal long tank is pretty irregular, going from 100% to about 80% on a daily cycle. I have not noticed that the plants care about this, though a drop below 70% might hurt the leaves. I do not run an air conditioner (yet), but if I did I would fill the gaps in the cover with permeable plastic (like that Glad "keep crisp" stuff with the holes) to allow for air transfer. That's the plan, anyway.

    The ventricosa will grow all over the place. I've had mine about a month and the newest leaves are over twice the length of the ones it came with. Pitchering like mad, too--I've got about 4 new baby ones. It is not growing "up" yet, and probably won't for some years, but it is determined to grow out and invade the neighboring pots.

    Steve

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    Steve, how many plants (and what kind, other than ventricosa and j.finn) do you keep in your terrarium?

    Do you do anything to cool it down at night, like N.g.'s frozen water bottles?

    Thanks for the info! Leo

  8. #8
    Nepenthes Specialist nepenthes gracilis's Avatar
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    Leo, Ventricosa and Sanguinea are pretty vigorous growers but wouldn't out grow a regular style terrarium super fast. I mean I can fit my ventricosa into the 5 and 1/2 gallon Merrilliana tank with no problems, due to it's compact growth and not viney uncompact growht like Tobaica! The Judith Finn wouldn't even begin to out grow the tank unless in about 5 years! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif[/img]

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