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Thread: Nepenthes tentaculata

  1. #9
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    80% humidity is more than adequate. Do they look like regular 4' tubes? They most likely are 34watt energy saver or 40watt destroy the environment faster tubes. Fluorescent tubes decline steadily in light output from the first day you use them. Ideally they should be replaced about once a year. Maybe some of the other under light growers can give you more details about this.

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

  2. #10
    swords's Avatar
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    How big is your terrarium? The plant looks a bit etoliated from lack of light, elongated green floppy leaves and small pitchers. I use artificial lights over all my growing chambers but to be totally effective with the fluorescents you must use a lot of them, or have the plants very close, or both.

    My 75 gallon aquarium (my smallest terrarium) is lit by 4 ft fluorescents I use six 40 watt tubes. I haven't tried the lower wattage energy efficient tubes, I don't know how good or bad they are. I see they do not have the same initial lumens as the 40 watt tubes do. Along with plenty of light I also cover all sides of the tank with tinfoil. If you don't tape the front except at the top then you can flip it up and look and enjoy them when you're done or gone to work leave the flap down so the light can bounce around indefinately.
    Ideally you should replace your fluorescents every 8 months or so to retain the best lumen output, a year is bad, two is real bad! I suspect just by replacing your tubes you may see dramatic new growth as your plant isn't too far from the tubes. It may not be enough to give you a plant that looks like the 1st one, but I'll bet if you doubled the light you could get much closer and maybe better than the photo!

    One thing some people who were using the ice cooling method found a few months ago on this board was that as the ice melted the condensation forming on the bottle appeared to suck the humidity out of the air. However, if you make the PVC/Eggcrate "false bottom" as Tony described then your humidity will be regulated by the evaporation of the water under the plants. (this is how the humidity is regulated in my 75 gallon lowland terrarium).

    You do not need to water them a lot, the soil doesn't need to be wet. I wait until the moss on top of the pot starts to change color (get lighter colored) then I water again. In the 75 gallon chamber I can water once a week, twice a week in the hottest part of summer if necessary. I use 1 1/2" or 2" PVC piping and that gives me a good number of waterings before I need to siphon the water out of the false bottom, usually every 3 months, that's only 4 times a year!

    Anyway, I hope that helped some. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #11
    O:-) trashcan's Avatar
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    My highland aquarium has base of 12" x 24", and a height of about 20".

    Where can I find egg crate? I will use tupperware in the mean time. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    So far my plans are to:
    * Replace floursecent lights (kill the environment 40 watts)
    * Raise the plants with eggplates
    * Water manually weekly
    * Cut cardboard to size, cover with tinfoil, place outside of aquarium
    * Continue to use frozen water bottles

    Tony, one additional question:
    Is it time to repot the plants? They are in the same potting medium as when you sold them to me. I cannot recall the exact date..

    Thank you everyone for your advice.

  4. #12
    Tony Paroubek's Avatar
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    Sounds good Pat. You can find that plastic eggcrate/light diffuser in Home Depot/Lowes.

    I would venture to say that some fresh potting mix would probably be a good thing. It has been a while and odds are it is a bit stale from sitting in water.
    Tony
    Is that a Nepenthes in your pocket or you just happy to see me?

  5. #13
    swords's Avatar
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    All new soil is an especially good idea if the soil it's in has been soggy for a long time. I warn you though, if the pots been wet for a long time, the stench of the anaerobic bacteria in the soil might curl your toes when you slide the soil outta there!

    When repotting I personally would suggest dividing the plant into single shoots. Not because I want one but because the main plant will grow better as the roots can pour all their energy into one stalk instead of 4 or 5.
    The smaller ones should root easily enough inside a terrarium.

  6. #14
    O:-) trashcan's Avatar
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    Can anyone give me an idea of roughly how much flourescent lights cost? I'm trying to draw a budget (going to pick them up tomorrow). I have no idea if they will be .50 each or (more likely) 10.00 each. Looks like I'm due to replace twelve of them!

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    It depends a lot on where you get them and what kind of bulbs you get. Cool whites are often very inexpensive (<$1.50/each) at HD, etc. If you want to get full spectrum or something fancy, they can be $10 or more. It's probably best to avoid warm white - too red.

    Are your current lamps 40W? I missed that part, if you answered it. There are only certain lamps that can be used in a given fixture, so you don't want to end up with the wrong bulbs.
    There's no 'a' in perlite.

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  8. #16
    swords's Avatar
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    It depends upon the type of bulbs you want. I just use cheap old GE "residential" fluorescent tubes that are available for about $1.99 - $2.99 for two in a bright yellow srinkwrapped packet of two bulbs. You can find these at the larger chain hardware stores such as Home Depot. These give a nice bright white light. I used to buy the specialty GE Chroma 50 bulbs. They are sold almost everywhere and come in a bright neon orange colored sleeve with yellow lettering saying "Sunshine" which are like $5.95 each tube. The Sunshine tubes have a very good color temperature (5000K) and CRI (90) but they are too yellow for my taste. Aside from that the plants grow just as well with the cheap Residential bulbs as they do the specialty tubes. I figure why burn the cash on bulbs that aren't any brighter than the cheapies.

    One type of bulb I feel I should warn you of is the specialty plant and aquarium bulbs by GE (or is it Ultralux?) or those packaged as "plant grow bulbs" these are very dim in comparison to even the cheap residential bulbs. In my opinion these type of bulbs are about as worhless as trying to grow with a blacklight. What you want is to find a notice of the "initial lumens" on the package, the higher the better. The Residentials I buy now have an initial lumens of 3250 whereas the Sunshines I used to buy have 3000.

    I hope that helps some!

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