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Thread: Some basic care/dormancy questions...

  1. #1
    moonflower's Avatar
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    Hello [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    I'm very seriously considering buying the Small Moderate Humidity Kit from this site (two VFT's and two sarracenia) for my college dorm room in the fall, since my 10-gallon fish tank is far to large to be lugging 200 miles each way and i need something alive to care for!! And i've always wanted some cp's... lifelong hatred of ticks, honestly (*SNAP* goes the flytrap... teehee [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]). Plus, my theory is if you're going to get a hobby, it may as well be one of the most oddball ones available ("I garden." "I knit." "I grow meat-eating plants. Come in for tea?")

    Just looking for a few basic care answers... i'd really like to keep these plants alive!!!

    1. Stupid question... humidity. What's considered "moderate"/ good for flytraps and pitcher plants? How badly do i need a humidity gauge?

    2. Lighting? My room is on the northwest side of the house and i doubt my dorm room will be any better situated, so i'll need artificial. Since the thing is round and a little larger than a milk jug, I was thinking a basic desk lamp with a compact flourescent bulb, with a timer?

    3. Do CP terrariums generally grow algae? Just curious... I'm very well accustomed to dealing with the stuff, just want to know if i'll be scrubbing another tank on the weekends

    4. Well, I was all set and happy about getting my cute little CP terrarium until i got to this thing about "dormancy." Err... i'm SLIGHTLY apprehensive about stuffing my plants into a fridge for three months, especially considering the very, very, very mixed reviews on that. I live on Long Island where we get wildly varied winters... two januarys ago we had three days where it was 70 degrees F (i kid you not), and this winter we didn't see grass from december to march. I was thinking, perhaps my garage... we have a window that gets light but never direct sunlight, and it's very sheltered in there because it is a garage. However if we get a serious cold snap, or somebody leaves the door open, there could be problems. On the other hand, I could do the fridge thing up at school (by Rochester NY, BRRRRRRR), but i'm very much afraid that i'll have four dead plants come spring :$

    Or, do I even have to put them through dormancy at all this year? The latest I would buy the terrarium (again, the one from this site) is late July... how old would they be then? Would i be screwing up any kind of biological cycles by putting them through dormancy around Thanksgiving?


    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me... i really wasn't sure where to post this but since the biggest question is dormancy for VFT's and sarracenia it seemed a good bet!

    Thanx again!!!!
    ~heather
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

    ~a friend's observation of my CP's

  2. #2
    HellzDungeon's Avatar
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    hmm.. lets c,
    i got a large high humidity kit, and its doing great!
    although it only came with a few plants, its now over run becuz i put tomany plants in it :P
    ill post a pic as soon as i fond my good camera...(still cant find it!!!
    it does extremely well under a 60 watt cool white flourescent in a reptile light fixture (the single socket dome kind)
    i didnt want a moderate humidity kit becuz it needs a dormancy, and i really dont like VFT and Sarr under flouresents, they never will color up like they would in full sun
    o yes, i c u live on Longisland [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    a fellow LIer!!!
    i live in Valley Stream [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    ill post pics of my bog aswell to show u its great to gro VFT outside on Long Island
    Best wishes,
    Hope this helps,
    Hellz
    Nike SB is Bananas

  3. #3

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    Hi Moonflower,

    WELCOME TO THE FORUMS! (that's the standard greets here for new members). Ticks might be a little small for a vft, perhaps a drosera, sarracenia, or nepenthes would do the trick a bit better. Don't worry, once you get your first plant you'll find yourself addicted and getting other types! But back to the flytraps thing, good humidity (50% and up) is important, but you'll also want a bit of air flow to cut down of the annoying mosses and fungi that can grow in a tank.

    A thermometer with a humidity gauge can often be found at petstores for well under a dozen bucks. I got mine at a 99 cent store. In the very least, you can check weather.com and see what the humidity is outside.

    Floro bulbs have to be pretty close to the plant. You could also invest in a special grow light, prices depend on size/wattage/brand/spectrum but aren't a bank-breaker either. That will help give color to the plant.

    Dormancy - won't need it the first year. I don't know the weather in various parts of NY very well, you might be able to put them outside instead of the fridge. Fellow NYers will have to help you out with that one. Also, around November there will be a lot of posts on the forum about dormancy to help you out.

    Algae - I wouldn't worry about it really. Mostly you'll get annoying moss like I mentioned above (spagnum is the good stuff by the way). Most importantly, you know about the special watering conditions, right? Reverse osmosis, distilled, or rainwater only. Not bottled water, not tap water, and sometimes not Los Angeles acid rain

    Well, I hope enjoy being a member here, people are very nice! Stick around, you'll see a lot more replies to this post [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]
    A flytrap ate my homework!
    -Michelle

  4. #4
    moonflower's Avatar
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    wickedthistle- yup yup, i know about the water requirements... i'll probably just get a gallon jug or two of distilled water from the supermarket and keep that on hand.

    heheh... ticks too small... i swear the east end of long island is the tick capitol of the world, we have all sizes and working at an animal hospital i've seen specimens that are nearly as large as a dime (tsk tsk the dog's owners didn't use Frontline on that one!). the kit comes with two sarracenia anyway, so as long as the little bloodsuckers are being digested by somebody's plant juices, i'll be happy

    no dormancy for year one? YAY!!! i can put off freaking out for another 12 months!!! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img]

    and thanx for the welcome [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] ooo i can't wait to get my terrarium now, i can't order it until mid-july since we're going away, and it would just be mean of me to leave my little 11-year-old fish-sitters with these finicky plants along with the fish tank. should be fun though!!!
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

    ~a friend's observation of my CP's

  5. #5
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Hi Moonflower and welcome to the forums! Sounds like you are from Riverhead or thereabouts. I grew up in Huntington. I live in Reading, PA now. Can't find a decent egg roll, pizza place or cheesecake!

    I kept my first SUCCESSFUL VFT on an east facing window sill from last June 'till early November. It was kept in an old plastic pretzel container, sitting in a couple inches of Deionized lab water. The plant was doing well, with its traps going from 1/2" ->1". then I tried an experiment. I put the lid on for a week, while I was out of town. The new traps were smaller and some blackened before maturing. I thought I was doing the plant a favor, but it was a disservice. I ditched the lid and the plant returned to its former vigor. I mention this because terraria tend to be enclosed or nearly so, thus depriving the plant one very important need - air circulation. Yes it needs humidity as well as adequate lighting and appropriate water, but air circulation tends to be underrated. You could place your plant on that window sill and supplement its lighting, artificially.

    Just sharing some experience to go with Wickedthistle's wise guidance.

  6. #6
    moonflower's Avatar
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    jimscott- heheh you forgot about bagels

    thanks for the air circulation tips... i wish i had my brother's room, nice big southeast-facing window [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_n_32.gif[/img] no problems growing anything on a windowsill in there. but he's seven so using his room to grow plants that invite poking might not be a great idea!!!

    i was actually wondering about air circulation in these terrariums (the ********** ones). do they have air holes or should i either ditch the lid or tip it to one side?

    (still leaning towards the compact flourescent/ desk lamp setup btw... wickedthistle, where would i find grow lights like the ones you mentioned?)
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

    ~a friend's observation of my CP's

  7. #7
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    I haven't personally used growlights nor seen PFT terraria, but as long as the pots are sitting water (open tray method) they shoiuld have adequate humidity if you were to remove the cover. Mine have been kept in a laboratory and the ambient air is rather dry. Apparently, the water that the pot was sitting in, was doing its job.

    Yup, forgot about bagels. They've never heard of bialys or egg creams around here, either. As an anecdote, I spent most of my adult life in Buffalo. They call soda->pop. Heros are called subs. Their "a's" are different and they actually pronounce "r's". Also, when my Western New York wife made strawberry shortcake, it was a biscuit with strawberry sauce - not the real cake I grew up with. A creek was called crick. It is a different world outside of NYC & LI!

  8. #8

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    Hey Moonflower, I got my growlights at the petstore. Though, mine are flouros also used for fish tanks. Maybe check with some nurseries. I have also found floro tubes at Home Depot, but I didn't see any of the bulb type.

    We have a chain here called "Noah's Bagels". All Kosher and supposedly NY. Yummy stuff!
    A flytrap ate my homework!
    -Michelle

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