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Specific HPS question (sonlight 400w aggro)


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#1 Thermal X

 
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Posted 30 November 2011 - 22:30 PM

Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum and have looked around it for the info I'm looking for but haven't managed to spot it, I could have missed it tough.
Anyways, I bought a HPS lamp and ballast recently from the company *Sonlight* and have some doubts about the lamp, I am using a Sonlight 400w aggro lamp, here is a link:

http://www.sonlight.biz/agro_400.html

As you can see in the spectrum chart it does emit radiation in the blue region of the visible light range but will this lamp serve for good growth for my carnivorous plants? The total lumen value is around 60,000 with ballast. They advertise the lamp on their website as suitable for both vegetative growth and flowering.


Also, I would much appreciate any help on the state of my carnivorous plants, I'm afraid they are dying but I'm not sure if it's that or an attempt at dormancy. Here are some pictures:

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As you can see the Drosera Scorpioides is entirely brown colored ( I know it isn't a good picture but it's the best the camera I have has to offer =( ). It does have a slight bit of green on top where the traps are produced but it seems to be fading into brown.

My Dionaea Muscipula completely died out, it seemed to have rotten away as the leaves and traps turned black and it looked like small amounts of mold were growing on them, I have since placed it under the new lamp and it is growing back from the soil.

My Drosera Aliciae had sort of the same problem, leaves becoming very thin and more narrow then turning darker and darker and rotting away, I'm not sure I did the right thing but I cut away the black leaves and found vaguely yellow ones underneath.

My Sarrencia seems to be doing the best out of all the others, the traps that are brown on top turned that way when they (and the other plants as well, but not as much) were left with barely any light at all for some time (2 months +\-) but the sarrencia is growing new traps.

My question is are both of my Drosera and possibly the other plants trying to hibernate or are they dying? My VFT is growing back (I don't know what a normal grow rate is but they are growing), but my D. Scorpioides isn't growing at all and has turned very nearly completely brown and my D. Aliciae looks like a persons face when he/she has a bad constipation with it's vague yellow leaves (hard to tell on the picture as it all seems very yellowish hehe :laugh:

I really want to be able to fix this problem as I really truly love carnivorous plants and would love to one day set-up a terrarium with it's own proper mini climate and more plants (especially nepenthes). It seems carnivorous plants don't just attract insects with their bright colors...but also people.

I would much appreciate help on this matter.
Thanks ahead.

Edited by Thermal X, 30 November 2011 - 22:36 PM.


#2 Defalotus

 
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Posted 30 November 2011 - 23:01 PM

I'm no professional but i'd say theyre suffering from lack of light if the were under low light for around a couple months. You should get some amazing growth and see a huge turn around with that bulb though:).

#3 Thermal X

 
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Posted 30 November 2011 - 23:09 PM

I'm no professional but i'd say theyre suffering from lack of light if the were under low light for around a couple months. You should get some amazing growth and see a huge turn around with that bulb though:).


Thank you for the reply. I hope so, it's been 4 days already and I haven't seen any improvement in the drosera's yet, I don't know how long it will take for improvement to start but I hope it is soon. The VFT has started growing back up out of the soil but seems to have slowed down a bit and the sarrencia I need to monitor longer to see if indeed it is improving, new tarps are being made but it seems the ones with the dry and brown tops are indeed dying and some suffer this problem and aren't even that big yet.

#4 Thermal X

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 12:18 PM

Does anyone else think it might be dormancy and also will my lamp work? I know they had a lack of light for some time but seeing as there has been no improvement in the drosera's and the sarrencia has young traps drying out and turning brown on their tops I'm still not sure what to make of this situation.

#5 Defalotus

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 14:13 PM

That light should work fine. I actually have a few plants under a 400w HPS that were in low light conditions and theyre looking nice atm. I'm not that big into dews so I cant answer much about their dormancy. Sorry.
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#6 Thermal X

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 14:20 PM

That light should work fine. I actually have a few plants under a 400w HPS that were in low light conditions and theyre looking nice atm. I'm not that big into dews so I cant answer much about their dormancy. Sorry.


Thank you, it's good to know that at least the lighting is okay for them = )

#7 Peter Hewitt

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 17:38 PM

Although your 400w HPS is certainly bright enough for the plants you have, they also tend to create a lot of heat which draws a lot of moisture out of the air. It seems to me that your media and the plants themselves look quite dry. Usually when using these types of lights its a good idea to have a barrier of glass or Perspex between the lights and the plants to prevent lethal drops in humidity.
Your Drosera are not plants that go through Dormancy, so thats not the problem. Just remember that Sarracenia and Flytraps need to have a winter Dormancy, so if you are in winter or going in to winter you must let them do so. The lights and heat will interfere with this so you should just let them go dormant in a cool place. If not, I'd say the lights are drying the air out too much. put the plants in a terrarium type container with the lights on the outside of a clear glass or perspex lid.
Just my 2 cents.

Edited by Peter Hewitt, 01 December 2011 - 17:38 PM.

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#8 Thermal X

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 19:21 PM

Although your 400w HPS is certainly bright enough for the plants you have, they also tend to create a lot of heat which draws a lot of moisture out of the air. It seems to me that your media and the plants themselves look quite dry. Usually when using these types of lights its a good idea to have a barrier of glass or Perspex between the lights and the plants to prevent lethal drops in humidity.
Your Drosera are not plants that go through Dormancy, so thats not the problem. Just remember that Sarracenia and Flytraps need to have a winter Dormancy, so if you are in winter or going in to winter you must let them do so. The lights and heat will interfere with this so you should just let them go dormant in a cool place. If not, I'd say the lights are drying the air out too much. put the plants in a terrarium type container with the lights on the outside of a clear glass or perspex lid.
Just my 2 cents.


Yes I am going through winter, though the temperatures inside at night go no lower then 19 celcius.
To let the sarrencia go into dormancy after placing it in a cool place does it still need lighting? Or can it be a cool place with low levels of light?

Also my VFT is coming back out of the soil and is still very small and has no fully developed traps yet, should I still allow it to go into dormancy in the same conditions the sarrencia would need?

Thank you for the information about the lamps heat, it is indeed hot. I was hoping to get a terrarium for carnivorous plants but still need to find a place to buy one for a reasonable price, in the mean time I will try to do what you suggested with the material I have at my disposal.

Also a quick note, I found out today that the water in the pots the plants were standing in had a thin layer of what seemed to be mildew or something of the sort growing slightly over it and the sarrencia had the same growing slightly over the top of the moss covering the soil so I drained the soil with distilled water and placed all the plants (still in their pots with soil) in a foam tray (one big one for all) and filled it with distilled water so all the pots stand in it and they can absorb the water.

#9 .Pico.

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 19:32 PM

A lot of plants don't grow under a HPS, specially Drosera species.
Use a (400w) MH lamp, they are very good for every plant.

#10 Thermal X

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 20:15 PM

A lot of plants don't grow under a HPS, specially Drosera species.
Use a (400w) MH lamp, they are very good for every plant.


The problem I have is buying a MHS lamp would be expensive as I import them from Italy, where I live I don't know of any stores that sell these kinds of lamps and haven't found any website or shops that sells them here. So I would have to spend quite a bit of money again just for a new bulb. The reason I chose this lamp is because it emits some radiation used by plants during the vegetative growth stage. I have read around and found out that MH can be used for flowering (according to these people) and that it does it well enough, but still I'm left with the problem that I would have to pay quite a bit of money again.
This is a HPS but it's emission spectrum is different then that of normal HPS's, are you sure this won't work?

This is the emission spectrum of a normal HPS:

Posted Image

and this of the one I have:

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Note that there is radiation emitted in the HPS I have under the 425 nanometers. The normal HPS does not emit any radiation around this wavelenght or under. Also, mine emits slightly more on the same wavelenghts the normal HPS emits. I do not know how this will affect growth, I did notice though, like Peter Hewitt mentioned, less humidity in my room since I set up the new HPS lamp, especially considering I have an aquarium in the same room (350 liter) so I usually have a high humidity level. I'm not saying you are wrong, I am just trying to confirm if my HPS, which does differ slightly then a normal one, won't work well at all. Some people have said it will and others it won't, the reason I don't just go out and buy a MH and try for myself, is, like I said before, because it's really expensive to get one.

Thank you for your comment.

Edit: If I did get a MH when would I need to switch it to the HPS for the flowering stage of the plant?
Or do plants really flower with MH as well?
Is there a big difference in the quality and quantity of flower production? --> I saw posts on the net from people saying that flowering quantity is less but quality is as good as or better for some plants (not cp's), would this then also apply for cp's?

Edited by Thermal X, 01 December 2011 - 20:19 PM.


#11 Peter Hewitt

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 20:17 PM

Yes I am going through winter, though the temperatures inside at night go no lower then 19 celcius.
To let the sarrencia go into dormancy after placing it in a cool place does it still need lighting? Or can it be a cool place with low levels of light?

Also my VFT is coming back out of the soil and is still very small and has no fully developed traps yet, should I still allow it to go into dormancy in the same conditions the sarrencia would need?

Thank you for the information about the lamps heat, it is indeed hot. I was hoping to get a terrarium for carnivorous plants but still need to find a place to buy one for a reasonable price, in the mean time I will try to do what you suggested with the material I have at my disposal.

Also a quick note, I found out today that the water in the pots the plants were standing in had a thin layer of what seemed to be mildew or something of the sort growing slightly over it and the sarrencia had the same growing slightly over the top of the moss covering the soil so I drained the soil with distilled water and placed all the plants (still in their pots with soil) in a foam tray (one big one for all) and filled it with distilled water so all the pots stand in it and they can absorb the water.


As Long as the temperature is low (Below 10 deg c but above freezing) Sarracenia and Dionaea dont need a lot of light in dormancy, so a cool garage or unheated room will be fine for them. Some Sarracenia will even survive below freezing temps, but I don't reccomend trying it. you should allow the flytrap to go dormant with the Sarracenia or it will get exhausted and die eventually. It might have started growing a bit because of the heat and light of your HPS, but if you let it get cool it should re-enter Dormancy normally.
It is quite normal to have some slime mold form in the water trays and surface of media, it does not harm the plants but can be unsightly, just scrape it off the medium with a spoon and clean your water trays regularly.
You should be able to pick up a used Aquarium to use as a Terrarium off ebay or your local second hand store, they are usually very cheap.
Below I include a link to Barry's site where he talks about how to build a very nice and inexpensive Terrarium, you can adapt the plan to suite your budget.
http://www.sarraceni...q/faq6010c.html

I doubt that Drosera will not grow under HPS, the spectrum is fine for most species of plant. The only problem with them is the heat produced, but you would have the same problem with Metal Halide. I myself have grown many a happy Drosera under Sodium lamps. Plants actually grow best under Compact flourescent lights which emmit a lot of light in the red Spectrum, but HPS will also work.

Edited by Peter Hewitt, 01 December 2011 - 20:34 PM.

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#12 mobile

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 20:42 PM

Lamps with a high level of red (HPS or 2700k 'warm white' florescent) encourage flowering. Lamps with more blue spectrum (MH or 6400k 'daylight' florescent) encourage vegetative growth and colouration. Plants grown with a lack of blue light tend to be elongated. See here for an explanation: http://www.littlegre...om/guide3.shtml

I only have a couple of small MH lamps. Under one is VFT, which flowers and under the other is Utricularia longifolia, which flowers for months every year.
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#13 Thermal X

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 21:12 PM

As Long as the temperature is low (Below 10 deg c but above freezing) Sarracenia and Dionaea dont need a lot of light in dormancy, so a cool garage or unheated room will be fine for them. Some Sarracenia will even survive below freezing temps, but I don't reccomend trying it. you should allow the flytrap to go dormant with the Sarracenia or it will get exhausted and die eventually. It might have started growing a bit because of the heat and light of your HPS, but if you let it get cool it should re-enter Dormancy normally.
It is quite normal to have some slime mold form in the water trays and surface of media, it does not harm the plants but can be unsightly, just scrape it off the medium with a spoon and clean your water trays regularly.
You should be able to pick up a used Aquarium to use as a Terrarium off ebay or your local second hand store, they are usually very cheap.
Below I include a link to Barry's site where he talks about how to build a very nice and inexpensive Terrarium, you can adapt the plan to suite your budget.
http://www.sarraceni...q/faq6010c.html

I doubt that Drosera will not grow under HPS, the spectrum is fine for most species of plant. The only problem with them is the heat produced, but you would have the same problem with Metal Halide. I myself have grown many a happy Drosera under Sodium lamps. Plants actually grow best under Compact flourescent lights which emmit a lot of light in the red Spectrum, but HPS will also work.



Lamps with a high level of red (HPS or 2700k 'warm white' florescent) encourage flowering. Lamps with more blue spectrum (MH or 6400k 'daylight' florescent) encourage vegetative growth and colouration. Plants grown with a lack of blue light tend to be elongated. See here for an explanation: http://www.littlegre...om/guide3.shtml

I only have a couple of small MH lamps. Under one is VFT, which flowers and under the other is Utricularia longifolia, which flowers for months every year.


Thank you for the replies. The facts are getting a bit conflicting and confusing me as to what to do lol! I will first of all take care of the sarrencia and VFT for their dormancy and find a place to put them, how long do they have to be dorment?
I will then increase the humidity, hopefully with a terrarium, and continue growing with the HPS and see how the Drosera get along. It turned out the medium was actually nearly dry on top so their was indeed not enough humidity. Raising humidity should take care of that lack of moisture on the top of the medium. If I see that the Drosera's start growing again I will document their growth and post it some day on the forum as physical proof that HPS does work for growing, I will only be able to verify this for Drosera though, I do know for a fact that no matter the plant the kelvin rating they require is that which they are used to in their natural environment and 6400 strikes a good balance there, I did know this before I bought the HPS but I was compelled to take the company that sells it up on their claim that it serves both vegetative and flowering purposes...I just hope in the end I don't regret making this decision because getting a MH will be costly.

If all parameters are within acceptable ranges and there is no growth, I will change to MH as I don't have any other option.

I would however like to add that other plants currently growing under the HPS are showing signs of rapid growth and an increase of coloration, like the Basil plant and oregano (both herbs) (this last one does seem to be growing slower) and a cactus I have also seems to be growing a lot faster (even for a cactus). The leaves look much more lively and the stems are stronger now (I believe this is due to an increase of osmotic pressure which results from photosynthesis, I could be wrong about that last fact but I observe that plants with weak lighting loose the rigidity in their stems and once placed in proper lighting conditions soon recover from this).

I read somewhere once on the internet a claim that stated that though kelvin ratings are indeed a factor that influences plant growth and the type of plant growth, lumen ratings were more important as the greater need is that of quantity not quality, meaning, according to the person or people who wrote what i read, it is more important that the plant receives enough photons rather then the different wavelenghts of visible light radiation emitted. I'm not entirely sure about that, personally from what I've learned and heard (on the forum and before) the kelvin rating does matter but doesn't have to be as specific as most people claim as long as the lumen rating makes up for it. I guess the only way left is to find out.

Thanks again to all.
If anyone else has any suggestions or comments I would really like to see them and they would be much appreciated.

Edited by Thermal X, 01 December 2011 - 21:32 PM.


#14 Peter Hewitt

 
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Posted 01 December 2011 - 21:44 PM

Thank you for the replies. The facts are getting a bit conflicting and confusing me as to what to do lol! I will first of all take care of the sarrencia and VFT for their dormancy and find a place to put them, how long do they have to be dorment?
I will then increase the humidity, hopefully with a terrarium, and continue growing with the HPS and see how the Drosera get along. It turned out the medium was actually nearly dry on top so their was indeed not enough humidity. Raising humidity should take care of that lack of moisture on the top of the medium. If I see that the Drosera's start growing again I will document their growth and post it some day on the forum as physical proof that HPS does work for growing, I will only be able to verify this for Drosera though, I do know for a fact that no matter the plant the kelvin rating they require is that which they are used to in their natural environment and 6400 strikes a good balance there, I did know this before I bought the HPS but I was compelled to take the company that sells it up on their claim that it serves both vegetative and flowering purposes...I just hope in the end I don't regret making this decision because getting a MH will be costly.

If all parameters are within acceptable ranges and there is no growth, I will change to MH as I don't have any other option.

I would however like to add that other plants currently growing under the HPS are showing signs of rapid growth and an increase of coloration, like the Basil plant and oregano (both herbs) (this last one does seem to be growing slower) and a cactus I have also seems to be growing a lot faster (even for a cactus). The leaves look much more lively and the stems are stronger now (I believe this is due to an increase of osmotic pressure which results from photosynthesis, I could be wrong about that last fact but I observe that plants with weak lighting loose the rigidity in their stems and once placed in proper lighting conditions soon recover from this).

I read somewhere once on the internet a claim that stated that thought kelvin ratings are indeed a factor that influences plant growth and the type of plant growth, lumen ratings were more important as the greater need is that of quantity nor quality, meaning, according to the person or people who wrote what i read, it is more important that the plant receives enough photons rather then the variation of visible light radiation emitted. I'm not entirely sure about that, personally from what I've learned and heard (on the forum and before) the kelvin rating does matter but doesn't have to be as specific as most people claim as long as the lumen rating makes up for it. I guess the only way left is to find out.

Thanks again to all.
If anyone else has any suggestions or comments I would really like to see them and they would be much appreciated.


Dont get too confused about your lighting set up. The plants that these types of grow lights were designed to service have very specific needs when it comes to Vegetative and flowering growth, I won't mention which plants these are, but you can draw your own conclusions.
CP's have less specific needs, so as long as the lights are bright you should get good growth from just about any light. I have grown very vigorous plants under metal Halide, HPS and Flourescent lights, and have not noticed very different results. Currently I am growing plants under a 350w LED mixed spectrum light and even this one works very well. As long as the lights are bright, temperatures correct and Humidity sufficient you should be fine. In my opinion these are the things you should be more concerned about at this stage.
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#15 Thermal X

 
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Posted 02 December 2011 - 17:08 PM

Dont get too confused about your lighting set up. The plants that these types of grow lights were designed to service have very specific needs when it comes to Vegetative and flowering growth, I won't mention which plants these are, but you can draw your own conclusions.
CP's have less specific needs, so as long as the lights are bright you should get good growth from just about any light. I have grown very vigorous plants under metal Halide, HPS and Flourescent lights, and have not noticed very different results. Currently I am growing plants under a 350w LED mixed spectrum light and even this one works very well. As long as the lights are bright, temperatures correct and Humidity sufficient you should be fine. In my opinion these are the things you should be more concerned about at this stage.


Thank you again for your help, I will focus on humidity first as, like you pointed out, it is very dry both the surface of the medium and the air. I finally have some time free in the weekend and will work on fixing this problem, hopefully finding a terrarium as well.

#16 Defalotus

 
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Posted 02 December 2011 - 21:53 PM

My dews under my HPS are growing great.
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#17 Thermal X

 
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Posted 02 December 2011 - 22:26 PM

My dews under my HPS are growing great.


= ) Good to hear it. Seems after having the humidity problem under control I'll have no further worries :D at least...I hope not.