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Zath

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I decided to re-purpose one of my many empty aquariums (I'm actually an old hand at Terrarium building) into my first ever plant terrarium.

I read about other people's projects and thought about many different opinions, while also trying to stay with the KISS method. This is what I came up with:

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Cleaned all the glass and plastic with vinegar & water (a corn snake had been the previous tenant), and wrapped it with a single piece of aluminum foil. Even the bottom of the tank is reflective. I plan on adding a front-flap of foil as well, as soon as the first plants are in there.

The lighting is two T8 32-watt bulbs. I wasn't 100% on what kind to buy, and heard of people getting good results with both 5000K and 2700K, so I compromised and did one of each. If that proves not to be enough, I'll consider building a custom hood frame that will accommodate two 2-foot flor. lights, totaling 4 bulbs.

The plastic container on left will be used in an attempt to culture some live sphagnum to use as top dressing, and maybe eventually as media. The pots are in anticipation of new arrivals, which I'm thinking of slack-potting. There's still some room in front for seedling-sized pots for leaf-pullings, babies, etc.

I have also ordered a glass-top for the aquarium. It should arrive well ahead of any plants.

Speaking of slack-potting...can someone please tell me if a clay pot should be "prepared" in any way before putting a cp in it? Do I need to soak it or something?
 
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Zath

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May 24, 2014
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VA, USA
There seems to be something missing.......... Where are the plants ?!

>.< I'm anticipating them.

As a long-time owner of exotic pets, I have learned that the worst time to set up an enclosure is when you have the critter in your house. It pays off to get things ready in advance. :p

...pickin' on me...
 

Radagast

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Looks like a great start. I've never planted CPs in clay pots, however whenever I use them for other plants I always pre-soak them. I was taught that this was a great idea, as the first watering a large amount of the water will get soaked up by the pot...But I've never done any randomized controlled testing :p.

What type of plants do you intend to grow? Also- You may already have this but do you plan to have any gauges in the terrarium that display temp & relative humidity?
 

Zath

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Looks like a great start. I've never planted CPs in clay pots, however whenever I use them for other plants I always pre-soak them. I was taught that this was a great idea, as the first watering a large amount of the water will get soaked up by the pot...But I've never done any randomized controlled testing :p.

What type of plants do you intend to grow? Also- You may already have this but do you plan to have any gauges in the terrarium that display temp & relative humidity?

There will likely be a couple pots of S. seeds in about a month or so, including some Darlingtonia and Psittacina, a couple Utrics, and some Nep. seeds. Cross your fingers for me and pray they're all viable.

As for gauges, I have a number of cigar humidors that could stand to lose their hygrometer, so yeah, I've got that covered. :p
 

jimscott

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The Sarracenias and Darlingtonia can get their start in a terrarium but will eventually need to be outside.
 
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The Darlingtonia should be fine in terra-cotta pots but I'm not sure about for the other species. Clay pots can leach minerals into the soil and can dry out rather quickly because they are porous, although that might not be such an issue if you are growing them in a terrarium. And I agree with jimscott, the Sarracenia and Darlingtonia would do better outside once they get bigger.
 

Zath

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The Darlingtonia should be fine in terra-cotta pots but I'm not sure about for the other species. Clay pots can leach minerals into the soil and can dry out rather quickly because they are porous, although that might not be such an issue if you are growing them in a terrarium. And I agree with jimscott, the Sarracenia and Darlingtonia would do better outside once they get bigger.

I fully intend on putting out the Sarracenia and Cobra Lilies if they make it a year or so. At the moment I'll just be happy to see them germinate, lol. The darlingtonia are stratifying in the fridge, and they will be in standard drained plastic pots. I planned to use the terra-cotta pots with the Utrics, using the slack potting method. I'm going to drill / melt holes in the bottom of the two plastic pots, and I have a suitably sized plastic tray that will allow me to essentially set up a multi-pot water tray system. That's....the plan, anyway...

I finally received my Nep. seeds today and sowed them immediately. N. Reindwartiana, and N. Albomarginata (sp?)

Not very flashy plants, but since there's a high likelihood of my first attempt at these to fail...best to set expectations a little lower, perhaps.
 

Bio

Plant Whisperer
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Mar 20, 2014
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SC
On the far right, in the second photo, is that a variegated V. planifolia? Kind of off topic but I was just wondering.
 

Zath

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Update!

So both good and unexpected things have happened. Some plants I ordered arrived ahead of schedule, lol. Fortunately, I had just stocked up on supplies, I just had to use them with a little more urgency.

The pet-store through which I had ordered a glass-top for my CP tank didn't come through; I won't even go into the excuse they tried to give me. The order was placed almost two weeks ago, and verified with two different people, so...

I had gotten a couple thin sheets of acrylic plexiglass and jerry-rigged a lid so I could use the entire tank, rather than confining my little nep seeds to a Sterilite container. I also added in a heating element, set on the same time schedule as the lights. I'm still a little unsure as to what temps I need to keep for N. albomarginata and N. Reinwardtiana, so if someone could give me some figures, I'll see what I can do.

I ran out of sunlight by the time I was done, so I'll get pics of the new sarracenia and my new table (it is truly a kickass little work table, believe me) tomorrow.

Here's some pics of the terrarium setup, after I realized any pictures I take of it will look identical from 7:30-11:30. :p

Terrarium Full by the_bugman_cometh, on Flickr


A close-up of the heating arrangement. It's a 100-watt submersible heater found on clearance at a major pet store for $10.
Terrarium Heat-source close-up 6-6-14 by the_bugman_cometh, on Flickr

And new plants:

D. Spatulata, looking pitiful. (It was in it's shipping box for at least a week.
D. spatulata 6-6-14 by the_bugman_cometh, on Flickr

D. Burmannii plantlings (or hybrids thereof)
D. Burmannii 6-6-14 by the_bugman_cometh, on Flickr

P. Moctezumae, with a wilty-looking flower. Perk up! You're home now!
P. Moctezumae 6-6-14 by the_bugman_cometh, on Flickr

More stuff coming tomorrow, as well.
 
Joined
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Everything looks great, your plants will perk up in no time! Your set up is a lot more high tech than anything ive ever had, it looks awesome }: -)

2qait80.jpg
 

Zath

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Jcal

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If you get tired of watering those individually, Tupperware containers are great for housing plants. Pretty cheap too
 

Zath

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May 24, 2014
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VA, USA
If you get tired of watering those individually, Tupperware containers are great for housing plants. Pretty cheap too

That is coming down the road. I have tons of stuff like that around. Right now I'm also individually treating a few plants though. The typical vfts accidentally got some second or third-hand fertilizer, so I've been flushing them every couple days and cleaning out their trays. I don't want that water mixing with any other plants, lol. They seem to be okay. Haven't even had to trim any traps yet, and they eat pretty well.
 
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That Mardi Gras is sweet! And with the sky and clouds in the background, sweet pic dude! Nice little collection you've got going there. :)
 
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