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    Hello! I'm pretty new to VFTS but I'm definitely intrigued! I bought a octagon shaped aquarium at wal-mart and a couple plants down at the local nursery recently. I used perlite on the bottom and moss on the top. I live in an Air Force Base dorm so our windows are pretty much blacked out during the day so I bought a aquarium light bulb that is supposed to encourage plant growth in aquariums. Will this be adequate for a light source in my terrarium?

    I've had them for about 1-2 months and they seem to be doing fine except on one of my plants recently one of my traps seems like it's opened too far! It's not black or anything it's just like it's way too open. The other plant also had a trap/leaf turn black so I pinched it off. I don't know if it's normal for it to die off occasionally or not.

    Oh also, I live in San Antonio. However it usually stays around 70-80 degrees in my room at all times. The bulb in my terrarium only slightly warms the temperature on the inside.

    Please help!! Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    VFT's really dont care about temps and humidity as long as you dont freeze them. Don't worry about the trap that open to far, its prolly just exspired. VFT traps only close about 5 or 6 times before they exspire and either die off or open WAY up and become a leaf. Do you have any specs on the bulb your useing?

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    CopcarFC's Avatar
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    Also, VFT's don't like still air. They prefer to have some level of wind on them at all times. If your aquarium has a few big holes on top and you have a fan on in your room, you should be fine.

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I used perlite on the bottom and moss on the top.
    What type of moss did you use? Typically, people use long-fibered sphagnum moss (LFS) or sphagnum peat moss to grow carnivorous plants. If you used another type, you should either replace it or watch your plant carefully to see if it reponds badly. But your plant has been doing very well for a couple of months, so this setup may work for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I bought a aquarium light bulb that is supposed to encourage plant growth in aquariums. Will this be adequate for a light source in my terrarium?
    It depends on what type of light bulb it is and how far away your plant is from it. Most people that grow their plants in terraria use fluorescent bulbs because they put out a lot of light but not much heat. Place your plant close to the lights (3-5"). Physical signs that the light is not strong enough are: 1) the plant is turning very dark green, 2) is growing very slowly, or 3) its leaves are getting long and stretching toward the light, 4) the plant lost its red coloration (if it had any).
    If your plant has been healthy for the past couple of months, your lighting is probably good enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]I don't know if it's normal for it to die off occasionally or not.
    Yes, it's perfectly normal for a leaf to die occasionally. Just cut off the black portion immediately to prevent fungal infections. It has been suggested that traps can close a certain number of times before they die--this hasn't been absolutely proven or disproven but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Oh also, I live in San Antonio. However it usually stays around 70-80 degrees in my room at all times.
    Those are perfect temperatures for the growing season. Remember, though, that VFTs require a dormancy when they should get little light and colder temperatures for at least several weeks--you might get away with skipping dormancy for the first one or two seasons, but most VFTs will not survive indefinitely without dormancy.

    *One other thing: You didn't mention what kind of water your using to water your plant. VFTs (and most other CPs) should be watered with rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis (RO) water. You can buy distilled water at your local grocery. Tap water shouldn't be used because it oftentimes has too many minerals/salts which will harm the roots over time.

    **The other thing to mention briefly is feeding: CPs can survive without food, but many do better if fed once in a while. You can feed it insects or spray the leaves with a 1/4-strength fertilizer. Ask more about this if you need to...every person has their own favorite food they feed their plants.

    ***The last thing to mention is air circulation: If your terrarium is enclosed, you should find a way to circulate the air in it. Most people add a small PC fan to do this. If this is too much work, you can partially open the glass cover (or just take it off).....VFTs do not need very high humidity to do well.

    Your plant seems to be doing well, so it looks like your doing things right. Good luck with it.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
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    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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    Awesome, thanks for all the info. The only thing is, the aquarium came with a plastic lid that has a hole in one side but it's relatively small in comparison to the size of the actual opening at the top of the aquarium. The only reason I use it at all is so that it will stop some of the heat radiating down from the bulb. I'll try and get some pics on here with my setup.

    Thanks so much for all the info!!

    Oh and to answer the question from earlier, I did use sphagnum peat moss. Also, I used distilled water to water it, which I do only rarely because it seems like it's always moist and humid in the soil.

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    chloroplast's Avatar
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    Glad I could help.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]The only thing is, the aquarium came with a plastic lid that has a hole in one side but it's relatively small in comparison to the size of the actual opening at the top of the aquarium.
    Sounds like it shouldn't be an issue. Your plant has been doing fine for the past 2 months, so there's no need to rush and change things for the sake of air circulation. I just thought I'd mention it.

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]The only reason I use it at all is so that it will stop some of the heat radiating down from the bulb.
    You'll find that the cover actually traps heat and that the temperature in the tank would fall if you somehow had the light without the cover. But in your case, the difference would probably be small because you don't have an extreme lighting setup.

    Seems like you're doing OK with your VFT.....ever think about getting a couple other CPs for the tank? Compared to VFTs, many of them are easier to grow.
    Secretary, New England Carnivorous Plant Society (NECPS) http://www.necps.org/
    Member, International Carnivorous Plant Society (ICPS)
    Member, North American Sarracenia Conservancy (NASC)
    Member, The Carnivorous Plant Society (CPS)

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