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Thread: N. ampullaira: is a natural setting possible?

  1. #17

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    Thanks again Josh, this info helps a TON!

    The tank is actually an AGA (All-Glass Aquarium) standard 30 gal and measures 36x12x16 3/4". I think 29 gals tend to run 30x12x18.

    Thanks for the specifics on "bright light." I am coming into Nepenthes from the reefkeeping, where "bright lighting" usually consists of a couple 250w or 400w metal halides.

    Glad to hear that a humidifier won't be necessary and that evap from the lower water level should suffice. I'm going to start searching for those substrate materials. What would you suggest as a good average substrate depth for healthy root growth for amps?

    I'll keep this thread posted as I move along--let me know if you end up doing something similar with that 29 gal! I've also got a 20 gal laying around empty...do you think this would become too cramped too quickly to try?

  2. #18
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    If you can supply very bright reef type light do it! I have 240W, 300W and 400W MH over my various grow chambers. The plants will repond very well to such lighting if you can supply it.

    A 20 gallon tank would probably be OK since you're looking to just grow a carpet of basal shoots but you will have to prune the main vine sooner which may activate one of the basal shoots into growing long. The main problem with a small tank is getting enough light over it. If you used a 250W MH it would probably be too hot and too intense over such a small tank but perhaps 2x 55 watt compact fluorescents?

    As for soil depth, 4-6" would probably be adequate because once the roots hit the weed barrier over the false bottom they should start to travel horizontally and a 30 gallon tank gives them plenty of space to wind around. I'll be interested to see your tank about a year from now after the shoots start coming up!

  3. #19

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    I wish I had a couple spare halide retros, but unfortunately I don't. Lighting is probably the single biggest factor right now. If I went with a 20 gal tank, I was thinking of putting an LOA 65w over it...but that would get pricey buying a couple to cover a 30 gal tank. So the 20 gal is more doable, but I think it would get cramped faster than I would like, plus the 30 gal has an extra foot for scaping the terrain, etc.

    My problem with the 30 gal tank is the 12" width. I can only fit one shoplight over it (I have a 4' that would provide some overhang on either side, but it covers nearly the entire top). Are 24" models a bit slimmer? Unless I built a hood and retrofitted some ballasts, etc. together, I don't know how I could fit 4 bulbs over the tank.

  4. #20
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    Yes, lights are the most expensive part but they are also the single most important part of growing Nepenthes (or any plant life) sucessfully. Light's importance is very closely follwed by humidity, pure water (R/O at all times) and proper temperatures. All these things must be controlled within the appropriate ranges for the species you are trying to grow if you want continuous pitchering and growth as fast and easy as possible (which for Neps is still pretty darn slow).

    Yes, those ready made lights of america 4 ft shoplights are too big for use over an aquarium. I learned that the hard way too!

    At Home Depot they sell industrial 4ft fluorescent light fixtures for installing in ceilings which have an exact size of 48.5" in length and a slim profile of 4" wide and hold two tubes using only 48" x 4" instead of the standard shoplight size of 52" x 8" with it's endcaps and reflector. You do have to snap the prewired lamp end caps to the end of the fixtures steel chasis and attach a power cord to the ballast (buy the cord seperately). It's an easy project taking only about 10 minutes to assemble and only runs about $17 each but that was a couple years ago. For the powercord I just buy a $0.99 extension cord and cut the extension recepticle plug off.

    Take a look at the actual celing fixtures aisle at Home Depot or one of those kinds of hardware stores for these kinds of industrial kits (twin tube with no reflector).

  5. #21

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    Hey swords, is there a difference in the amount of light used if it's natural light? I ask because a possible location for the tank is in a corner of a room in the house that is in front of and next to two windows: one faces south, the other west. It gets direct sun at various times throughout the day, blocked in mid-afternoon by a large pine tree. The problem is that it's an old house and the closest outlet is across the room, so I would be depending on natural light as the sole source.

    Would this be suitable for growing amps? My assumption is that since the PAR and intensity of natural light blows artificial light out of the water, than various amounts of it throughout the day would provide it with plenty of photosynthetic energy, but preferring shade in the wild, wouldn't be too much. However, you guys are the ones with the experience, so I'm interested to hear your thoughts.

  6. #22

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    Well, how many hours of sun would it get? Add all the times together. My N. ventrata does much better with 4 hrs evening sunlight and 1 hr of morning sunlight than it did under 14 hrs artificial light.

    SF

  7. #23
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    Real sunlight is always best I've heard but unfortunately I'm an apartment dweller so I haven't been able to grow Neps in terrariums in windows (either small windows or facing bad /shady directions). There are a few here who have terrariums in windows, I know Joachim from Germany does and his plants do great but he does still have an additional 2x 70 watt metal halides for extra day length.

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