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Thread: VFT specific questions

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    VFT specific questions

    First of all hello all!

    I have a venus flytrap that I recently purchased at a garden store. It isn't in the best quality and the leaves on the trap are long. However, there is a bit of red coloration in there. It is in a small pot and it had a plastic cover over it that i took off.

    I have tried to keep VFTs a couple times before, with no success. Now I'm doing things right....or trying to. So I have a couple questions that I have not been able to find answers to specfically.

    Anyway, I fed it a spider yesterday that was about 1/4 the size of the trap. I have heard that I should aim for between 1/3 and 3/4, right?

    I am trying to collect rainwater for it, but until then I have been using tap water that has been dechlorinated using Seachem Prime, which some of you may know as a liquid tap water conditioner for fish tanks. It says it removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrites, and heavy metal. Anybody ever use anything like this?

    And the lighting....it gets about 3 hours of direct sunlight where I put it, so to make up for that I have it 14" underneath a 4000L 40w fluorescent light for 8 hours 5 nights a week. I can only put it here during the night. Will having a bright night and a day of mostly indirect light make it mess up at all? Should there be a resting period of darkness everyday? What can go wrong with regular light in day and strong light at night?

    For humidity I have it in a small dish, I fill the dish up with about 1/2" of water and I also give it a little misting every morning. I make sure it has about 1/8" of water at night. Is this good enough for the humidity? Should I not water it for a day or so every here and there to prevent rotting?

    Well, that's all for now, but I know I probably will have more later if I can't find them.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Howdy OM,
    welcome to the forums!

    Anyway, I fed it a spider yesterday that was about 1/4 the size of the trap.
    ANY food is good food!
    there is no specific size requirement..plants outside catch anything that falls into their trap.
    the only real "limitation" is if a bug is too small, it will sneak out the "bars" before the trap fully seals shut..this is a natural adaptation of the plant so it doesnt waste energy digesting such a smal meal...and if you are feeding the plant, you dont want a bug so big it wount fully fit..IMO anything 1/4 to 3/4 the size of the trap is fine..

    but until then I have been using tap water that has been dechlorinated using Seachem Prime, which some of you may know as a liquid tap water conditioner for fish tanks. It says it removes chlorine, chloramine, ammonia, nitrites, and heavy metal.
    that is no good...
    the problem with tap water is the "hardness"..all the minerals in the water.
    that is what is bad for CPs..
    the fish conditioner does not remove that hardness..its all still in there.
    it only makes the water safe for FISH! not for CPs!
    ONLY rain water, reverse osmosis water, or distilled water is OK for your plant.
    because only those three kinds of water contain no minerals. (or very trace amounts anyway in the case of RO)

    And the lighting....it gets about 3 hours of direct sunlight where I put it, so to make up for that I have it 14" underneath a 4000L 40w fluorescent light for 8 hours 5 nights a week. I can only put it here during the night. Will having a bright night and a day of mostly indirect light make it mess up at all? Should there be a resting period of darkness everyday? What can go wrong with regular light in day and strong light at night?
    is that 3 hours of direct sun outside? or in a window?
    if its in a window, is there anywhere you can put it outdoors??
    that really the best place for a VFT to be..(outside)

    if that 3 hours of direct sun IS outside, I would just leave it there, and not bother with moving it inside every night for the artificial light..
    because..
    even though 3 hours is less than ideal, it will probably be on the low end of "enough"..
    especially if its direct sun outdoors..
    and you really wont want to move the plant twice a day every day until autumn..

    yes, IMO it should have a night resting period of darkness..
    some might say its not strickly necessary..maybe..
    but IMO its always best to try to replicate a plants natural environment as closly as possible
    for optimum plant health..
    wild VFTs have darkness every night..so therefore mine do too!

    let us know if the plant is inside or outside, and we give more specific advice about the lighting..

    For humidity I have it in a small dish, I fill the dish up with about 1/2" of water and I also give it a little misting every morning. I make sure it has about 1/8" of water at night. Is this good enough for the humidity? Should I not water it for a day or so every here and there to prevent rotting?
    keep the plant in a tray of water, keep 1/2" to 1" in the tray at all times..

    thats it..end of story.

    no misting necessary,
    no "1/8" at night" necessary..
    no need to even worry about it..

    fill the tray up to about 1" deep..
    keep an eye on it as the water evaporates..
    when its almost empty, a few days or a week later,
    fill it back to 1" again..
    repeat process.

    there should always be some water in the tray..
    the exact amount in unimportant..

    where do you live?
    (city and state (or country) is fine)
    your location is very important for winter dormancy..
    but you dont have to worry about that until November..

    Scot

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    Wow, thanks for the long post, I very much appriciate it!

    The sunlight is from inside through a window, however later on in the month when it warms up I hope to put it inside. I live in southern Ontario, Canada. We are a zone 5b if that helps any.

    How warm should it be at night before I put my vft outside? Because right now it gets to about 70 farenheit at the middle of the after noon, and around 30-35 at night. But in the summer it'll stay between 50-90 F. Is it possible for my vft to get any diseases outdoors? Should I slowly introduce it outside as not to shock it?

    As for the water, how often would I have to give tap water for it to kill the plant? Because I may have to give a little in between rains, at least until I can fix my RO/DI machine. They are calling for rain in the afternoon, and its pretty overcast today so i should be able to fill up my bucket with a good amount of water.

    I do have a nice 100gpd RO/DI machine I use for my saltwater fish tanks. But it's temporaily broken at the moment, so i've had to use tap water for my reef top-offs....yuck! But it should be fixed in a week or so.

    Thanks again!

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    No problem OC..

    im in Rochester, NY..which climatologically is pretty much identical to southern Ontario.

    The sunlight is from inside through a window, however later on in the month when it warms up I hope to put it inside. I live in southern Ontario, Canada. We are a zone 5b if that helps any.
    I would put it outside..right now.
    VFTs really are not good "houseplants"..they should always be considered "outdoor plants"..
    they need the bright direct sun outdoors..

    check out my pages for more thoughts on indoors vs. outdoors..and for a taste of what you need to think about for this coming winter!

    http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychaos/CP/

    How warm should it be at night before I put my vft outside? Because right now it gets to about 70 farenheit at the middle of the after noon, and around 30-35 at night. But in the summer it'll stay between 50-90 F.
    its warm enough now..
    if its above 35F or 2C, its fine to be outside.
    Only bring the plants in for the night if there is a frost warning, or if its going to be below freezing..

    Is it possible for my vft to get any diseases outdoors?
    no..no diseases..some bug pests are possible, but rare..like scale or aphids..
    generally not a concern though.

    Should I slowly introduce it outside as not to shock it?
    some do..some dont.
    see "the burn":
    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...=111701&page=3

    As for the water, how often would I have to give tap water for it to kill the plant? Because I may have to give a little in between rains, at least until I can fix my RO/DI machine. They are calling for rain in the afternoon, and its pretty overcast today so i should be able to fill up my bucket with a good amount of water.
    a little tap wont hurt..but it should be "emergency use only"..
    it would really take weeks or months of constant use to harm the plants..
    it can be used short-term..but it cant be used long term.

    IMO, a week or two of tap use shouldnt be a problem, but I wouldnt go longer than that..
    and if you do go that long, flush out the pots when you finally get "good" water, by dumping a few glass-fulls on the top and allowing it drain out the bottom..that should flush-out any minerals that had built up..

    Scot

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    Thanks again!

    And that's an awesome website you have set-up. Very nice CPs.

    One more thing. I do have a bottled water called "Aquafina". It has 10ppm dissolved mineral salts, and yet it is made through reverse osmosis with added ozone. It says demineralized. Could I use this stuff?

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    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Salts are what you want to avoid. Even though the water has been purified by Reverse Osmosis salts were added back to make it more palatable. It is "drinking" water after all.

    Refer to:
    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3380.html
    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3370.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Not a Number View Post
    Salts are what you want to avoid. Even though the water has been purified by Reverse Osmosis salts were added back to make it more palatable. It is "drinking" water after all.

    Refer to:
    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3380.html
    http://www.sarracenia.com/faq/faq3370.html
    Thanks for the link! Lots of info there...except maybe for the part where is says RO units cost a couple hundred dollars. I can get a brand new RO machine for $40-60, the only difference is that they filter slower.

    So...about the distillation. Since I only have one plant, could I boil some tap water over the stove, make some kind of small tepee that will collect the droplets and bring them into little cups? Get what I'm saying?

    I've also heard you can take two bottles of water, join the at the neck, and paint one of the bottles black and fill the black one with water. Then leave it in the sun and the distilled water will collect in the other bottle. See what I'm saying? Sort of like a mini modified solar still.
    Think that would work? I only have one plant.

  8. #8
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Buying distilled water at the grocery store is also good source of appropriate water. I also use rain and running water from a creek.

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