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Reboot: Starting anew with some of my old plants

  • #61
Varun, your setup is incredible. You should start building and selling them to other growers. :p
  • #62
:hail: Very Very nice. Especially love the pictures in your July update. :drool:
  • #63
@Heli. Haha. Thanks. Well...I like designing stuff, but don't like the DIY bits myself. I prefer ready-to-use stuff. But often I like to make things automated and that along with a need for aesthetics compels me to go to extra trouble. :p

Thanks guys for the kind words. I actually worked pretty
hard to get this second tank to the exact look I envisioned...and I am really happy how it turned out. I just need to finish the actual tank off with the base substrate layer, perhaps a water area and the background for orchids.

Anyways... finally..everything is in place. I got my hanging kit


My dad helped me drill into the horizontal arm at the perfect place and the fixture is dead centre on the tank. Really happy with how it looks




Fixture is already on schedule and in "night mode" so its fully off. Currently as you can see, its set at a max of 75% intensity. Lets see how the VFTs do. The LEDs get pretty hot...the fan comes on at 100% intensity almost immediately. Fingers crossed or this is going to be one expensive blunder.


I still need to get a proper tool to cut off the excess steel braided cable. My pliers failed.

But, also still need to finish the background and modify the false bottom of this tank. I want to try a water area with some clean water...but early experiments show it will be very very difficult as the peat leeches a lot of tannins and along with algae, this makes the water slimy and dirty. I need an aternate way to pull it off. So still working that out.

EDit...waning phase of the sunlight


thunderstorm mode:

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  • #64
this is the most epic build I have ever seen. May I ask how you cool the terrariums?
  • #65
Holy cow! Thats the coolest terrarium Ive ever seen :D
  • #66
A few months gone by, any update on how your plants have liked it so far? Such potential!
  • #67
this is the most epic build I have ever seen. May I ask how you cool the terrariums?

Thank you. Haha! I am glad you think so. I have seen a lot nicer terraria..but I am happy with what I have achieved in the small space. I honestly don't cool them in any way. They are just in a basement, so temps are pretty much 60-70s all the time. It never goes any higher. The LEDs only add a very minute amount of heat, so day time temps don't go too high either. I do notice plants stop growing well in summer, so that may have to do with the fact that indoor temps are in the 23-25C range. But it rarely does anything apart stall some of the harder species from pitchering.

Holy cow! Thats the coolest terrarium Ive ever seen :D
thank you very much. lol

A few months gone by, any update on how your plants have liked it so far? Such potential!

Thanks Dex. Things are chugging along. A bunch of flytraps in the second tank have died when I was away on a trip. A few of them I rescued from the root, but apart from that...plants are growing along. The lepanthes are declining again. :( A second order of $200 plants that dies in an year. There is just a wide range of plants in that selection and I can't get the conditions right for them. Been having issues with tiny bush snails which are damaging the lepanthes. But all in all, I found that ever since I stopped moving the pots for major cleanups, the plants are growing a lot better. They just prefer to be left alone. So now I just take out water from a hole in the egg crate at the front...that's it. Will take some updated pics this weekend. :)
  • #68
Its been a long while, but here is an update.


thats for tank 1.


  • #69
So for tank 2, the ecotech fixture has tremendous spotlight effect and nothing was able to grow properly outside the beam of light. But under the beam, even VFTs were blood red. So clearly the light has the required wavelength coverage. But to fill in the outside areas, I need to get supplementary fixtures. So took the opportunity to finish the tank off.



And here is an experiment... could blow up and cost quite a bit if it fails...but if it works...would look awesome.



  • #70
Wow, stupendous. Absolutely fantastic terrariums.
  • #71
Thanks Dex. Much appreciated. I am glad that the tank has matured. The neps have definitely settled in. But need to focus on getting the orchids to settle in as well. Need to buy a new replacement humidifier and increase circulation in there.
  • #72
Can't wait...my first U. quelchii flowers. :)


  • #73
Finally open. :D



  • #74
Some updates a few months worth...








  • #75
jaw-dropping as usual. You have some of the prettiest mosses! really makes the plants pop. I love your use of the Radion Pro! quite an expensive light, that single-point light source effect is also present in the hobby it was made for :/ lol. I cannot understand how you keep your UHL so happy without a mechanical means of temperature drop...
  • #76
Thanks man. Actually the radion is being used for the orchid tank with some VFTs in there. So...its focus is on the VFTs....probably the most expensive lighting anyone would bother using for a single pot of VFTs. lol... the rest of the orchids are mostly lit by current usa fixtures.
The purple one u see above (single ceph) is lit by a DIY rapid LED fixture based on an idea from RSS here. I just raised the fixture up...I am hoping that this should help it grow better. It really wasn't liking the intensity and the heat.
But heat is an issue...the trays u see here have been catastrophic for my cephs. I lost some very nice plants....even my first cephalotus that I got in 2007. I am trying it nurse it back from a cutting. Hopefully it takes root and grows. But lets see. Heat was a big issue as I was using 4 T5HO for two dome setups.


I actually just did this few minutes ago. I am trying to move the lights up so that it doesn't heat the setup as much. hopefully this gap should help lower temps. In the next week or so, I will also try to add a fan to start moving the air inside.


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  • #77
As December rolls around, here is an year end update of the tanks..pics just taken a moment ago.

Both are looking pretty good IMO. I am very happy considering where I started in this tank..the problems I had...with macrophylla almost dying. But now it seems back to its former glory. I will be soon upgrading to a bigger tank. lol! but here is the update for now:



Isometric view

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  • #78
Phenomenally gorgeous terrariums, Varun. You are the example all terrarium growers seek to emulate.
  • #79
Wow, your setup is beautiful! Is the moss cover all sphagnum?
  • #80
Phenomenally gorgeous terrariums, Varun. You are the example all terrarium growers seek to emulate.

Thanks Dex. lol! Too high a praise. I still try to emulate what some of the german/dutch growers manage in their amazing tanks. But...I am pretty happy on how things are growing right now.

Wow, your setup is beautiful! Is the moss cover all sphagnum?
Thanks. yup. There are a few species of sphagnum in there. Mostly chilean live sphagnum come back to life from dead LFS that I propagated, new zealand LFS, canadian LFS.
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