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Thread: Cooling highland tanks

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Lincoln, NE
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    I am looking for a low maintenance way of cooling tanks. At least one person has told me that it's more of heating the tanks more during the day rather than just cooling(ie , he told me to get warm white rather tnan cool white bulbs, if I am using flourescent). That is good advice, but how do you get a chamber or tank in the 50s or lower, without spending out the wha-zoo?
    For that matter, how do you commercial people keep reasonable bills when growing and selling Nepenthes? Obviously this second question does not bear on sill nursery people who live in the tropics and have access to natural highland/lowland conditions(Hi Rob .



  2. #2
    swords's Avatar
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    Apr 2002
    Cernunnos Woods
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    Joe, "Warm White" and "Cool white" bulbs don't have any actual bearing on temperature that the bulbs put out. What these terms mean is the bulbs color temperature (Kelvin rating) meaning how blue the light appears. Warm white has a low Kelvin rating like 2400K and is sort of pink/yellow in color and Cool white has a rating of about 6500K and is sort of "crisp white" or slightly blue. The tropical noonday sun has a Kelvin rating of 5000K - 5500K is kind of a golden green. 6500K is about equal to the noonday sun in Chicago Illinois.

    As far as cooling a tank the best method I've come up with that is hassle free is to attach a 4" dryer vent hose to a 4" fan and have the open end running into your highland chamber. I have the fan suck in cold air from the window at night. I have the output of my humidifier running into this duct hose to keep the incoming air well humidified. The fan causes the already cool outside air to get colder and the result will be a nice hefty temp drop. In the summer I use an air conditioner to get the deep drop in temps at night.

    This is essentially the same way greenhouses get cooled down, by using a "swamp cooler" or "evaporative cooler". On one end of the greenhouse is an open vent with a metal grid or sponge, (something that can have water dripping through it) and a powerful exhaust fan on the other end blowing outwards. This draws air from outside through the water soaked grid, cooling and humidifying the incoming air. The exhaust fan is set to a "cooling" thermostat to come on and go off when the temps drop to the appropriate level. This type of system is used by orchid growers as well, many of whom need night time temp drops.
    Highland plants require 70-85*F days to grow well and then they need a 15-20*F temp drop (to 50-60*F at night-some require even cooler) or they will eventually sicken and die when not given the correct temp change.

    hope that helped some!

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