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Joined
May 7, 2003
Messages
257
Hello,

Can I in good conscience buy a Bical even if I don't have a greenhouse, don't have an extra terrarium, and have never grown a Nepenthes in my life? Should I wait to gain more experience growing othe CPs before dealing with a Bical? Thanx for the help LA Trap
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
Nathan's sub-$40 complete bical solution

Go to a Petco or some other pet superstore and buy a 10 gallon glass aquarium for around $12.  Go to home depot or some other superstore or a glass store and buy a piece of medium to thick acrylic (aka lucite aka plexiglass) or glass and have them cut it for you to fit the terrarium.  It should cost less than $10.

Buy a bicalcarata.  Put it in the terrarium.  Put the terrarium in a sunny windowsill and cover it MOST OF THE WAy with the cover.  Make sure not to seal it!  Water the bical whenever there is no longer any water in the bottom of the terrarium.

You can keep gracilis or ampullaria or rafflesiana in there with it.

Note: this will only work for a year, two at the most, before the bical outgrows the setup.  You could get a 20 gallon to begin with or you should plan on making a bigger grow chamber out of wood with plastic stapled to it.  If you have lots of money you could also get a 55 gallon terrium, which will last even longer (and hold more plants).

That's it.

Total initial cost for 10 gallon approach:
12 tank + 10 cover + 15 bical =
< $37

You can probably get these things cheaper, too.  Check the ads in the newspaper or look for garage or yard sales.  even cracked aquariums make good terrariums.  Just be sure to tape the cracks so you don't cut yourself.

Another thing you could add is a new or used aquarium heater and put it in a glass in the terrarium.  Make sure you keep water in the glass, or the heater could burn itself (and perhaps your house) down.  This will keep the terrarium closer to the lowland temperature range and also make sure the humidity stays high.

Note: I don't have the heater with mine, and it has done fine.

Good luck!
 
Joined
May 7, 2003
Messages
257
Thank you so much for your response D. Muscipula. I guess I will have to buy a new tank.

A few more questions though, Do Bicals really need temps to be 85* F? Can I keep the plant out of the tank during the day on hot days, and put in the tank on cool nights and winter? Can I use ceramic heat emitters as a heat source? thanks for the help, L.A. Traphole
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2003
Messages
818
Location
Cambridge, MA, USA
I think that high humidity is important enough to bical that it's best to leave it in the terrarium.

My terrarium doesn't reach 85F very often during the winter months because it sits against my window and has no heating.  The bical doesn't grow very fast under those conditions, but it survives.  I bought mine a year ago now, and it is producing adult pitchers and has probably doubled in diameter.  I believe that's slow for a bical, but on the other hand, it still fits in a 10 gallon terrarium.  
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20030630-CP-terrarium%20(lowland).jpg


Tankmates are (left to right): N. gracilis and N. Rafflesiana, D. adelae, D. prolifera, and N. ampullaria (cutting), N. xCantleyi and U. calcyfida.
 
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