I'm new to CPing but I've studied the hobby very intensely for the past month or so, read 3 books on it and read lots of the posts in this forum as well online articles about CPs. I bought a Low Giant VFT about 2 weeks ago. It's newest leaves/traps are wrinkled and the trap part is kind of oval shaped. The wrinkled parts are still a vibrant green. I'm concerned that the problem may be the lighting. Maybe some of you guys can figure out the problem?
I have it in a 55 gallon tank. It is about 5 inches from a double 48" light fixture with Daylight light bulbs and about 9 inches from a double 48" HO T5 light fixture that has one white bulb and one actinic bulb. I leave the light on for about 16 hours a day. Also the tank is next to a window and gets about 8 hours of slightly shaded sunlight a day. I hang reflectors on the sides of the tank as well.
I have a thermometer near it and it tends to fluctuate from 70 - 85F. The humidity near it fluctuates from about 70 - 80% RH. It is in this range probably 99% of the time. This last weekend here in the South Bay Area California we had a heat wave. But I never saw the thermometer go above 85%. This is because I stuck a whole 1.2gallon humidifier right in the tank. I mist the plants every day and water them about twice a week but not thoroughly. The VFT is in live sphagnum peat moss(it came in it and I have not repotted it).
The plant looked great when I got it. It's new leaves grow about 1/8th of an inch a day. I have had the HO T5 light fixture for only about the last week or so. It did not have any wrinkled leaves before then either. Only the newest leaves are wrinkled and they are very wrinkled. All the older leaves are bright green and look healthy, except for a few of the lowest ones which are blackening. I think it's just normal leaf loss though.
I have noticed a bug or two in the tank but I think they are only stray bugs that have wandered into the tank. I haven't seen anything that would lead me to believe that it is infested.
I also have 2 other failed VFT attempts that are being resurrected with new sprouted leaves. They grow about an 1/8th of an inch a day too. The top half of their leaves are a slightly darker shade of green than the rest of the VFTs though. The darker leaf halves don't look quite as vibrant.
I'm concerned that I may be blasting them with too much light. I haven't read a single VFT post here yet complaining about too much artificial light yet though. Do I have too much? I have a Lowii and Rajah about 4 inches lower from the lights. I'd like to know the problem before these newer arrivals start getting messed up as well. And yes I know Rajahs are not for beginners and 70 F is too high for night temperatures for these guys. I'm experimenting with getting the humidifier to lower the temp more. I got it to 66 F tonight.
If I were you, I wouldn't bother to try to grow them under artificial lights. It's so much easier to just put them outside in the sun
Tropical Fish Enthusiast
VFT's are difficult to mainatin inside, in the long run. They really are an outside plant.