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Everything posted by Sigesti

  1. I think that'd be more efficient for cooling, but I think it could potentially kill the humidity.
  2. Talking to someone, they suggested moving the AC out and venting its cool air into the tent. That would certainly give the AC more air to suck in. However, I'm wondering what length of tubing would be the maximum I could use without the air losing too much of its coldness.
  3. An engineering friend did a bit of research for me, and gave me a lot of very good advice. The big thing I took away from all of it is that I was fighting a losing battle with my house's ambient temperature. Getting the terrarium down in the feasible range that I wanted (around 60 degrees F) was just going to be pretty difficult. The solution I went with ended up being that I'd be better off placing the terrarium in a place where the ambient temperature would help and not hinder the process. In my old home that was a cellar. Thus, I decided to try creating an artificial cellar. I talked to some hydroponics fellows, and they mentioned how a grow tent could do a decent job of keeping a temperature in. That paired with a portable air conditioning unit might get me what I wanted. All that, and it kind of looks like a monolith. Its size is 4x4x7, but let's peek inside, shall we? Inside, there's the control tower. The air conditioner sits on top because the venting tube needs to reach a window, and longer tubes can decrease efficiency. You can also see where I've taped up vents to insulate the tent. The side of the grow tent, showing the vent leading to a window. Electrical stuffs (+ cat tail). I still need to clean this up a bit to make sure it's all organized. The timers are there to control the two sets of fluorescent lights, and the rest of the plugs are for the terrarium humidifiers and fan. The tank currently sits on the bottom of the tent (where the colder air will gather). I also ran a tube of air from the AC directly to the terrarium (although I need to check just how much this helps). The AC has an auto setting and a cool setting. I just wish the auto-setting worked a bit better. I set it for 62 and the thing just stops around 72. I've taken to switching it to auto during the day and cool during the night. A view of the AC tube. The AC itself sucks humidity from the air, but the terrarium is enclosed and thus keeps a happy humidity of around 80-100% Regrettably, as the tent is big and opaque, it's tricky monitoring the thing. I went to a hardware store and picked up a remote temperature sensor that let's me monitor how things are going. Results: Daytime terrarium temperature: 80 degrees F Nighttime terrarium temperature: 63 degrees F Terrarium humidity range: 80-100% Ideally, I'd like to push the nighttime temperature to 55, but I think for now this is as good as it's going to get. I'm at least pleased to be at a decent point that I believe I can build and develop upon. On the happy side, my plants appear to be improving greatly. A number of them that had stopped producing new leaves are now starting to pick up their growth again. Even the N. Lowii seems to be pitchering well. Costs: There is the unfortunate 'cost' of having an enormous black cube like this thing taking up space in a room and blocking a window. Unfortunate, but one I'm willing to make to ensure plant health and happiness. I am open to decorating solutions to the cube though. This was not a particularly cheap solution, but overall I found the costs not too horrid. The tent itself was around $180.00 ( The air conditioner was $340.00 ( On the other hand, I'm intrigued at the idea of using this tent (as it stays fairly cool) into a make-shift root/wine/cheese cellar as well. Anyhew, that's the direction I went. I welcome any comments/critiques as I'm still feeling my way in the dark with all this.
  4. I may need to invest in insulation, as right now I'm not using anything really. I was concerned about the insulation would keep a lot of heat from the lights in as well though. How do you handle that?
  5. So in my previous house, the ambient temperatures were always around 75 F (23 C) and I kept my terrarium down in the basement where the temperature would get to about 65 (18 C) at night with the fluorescent lights off. I recently moved and am now in a house at around 80 degrees with no basement, and am about to go mad trying to figure out how to achieve a temperature drop to keep my nepenthes happy. I recently tried a method I read somewhere about pumping air from a minifridge to the terrarium, but my results have been dismal. Here's a diagram of my current setup. Few basics, it's a 4x2.5x1.5 tank, 55 gallon. Acrylic sheets are between the lights and the terrarium (lights are about half a foot above). I have a humidity pump on either side keeping the humidity from 80-100%. The recent thing I've tried involves the minifridge. I've got a piece of tubing that leads to the open air of the fridge out to a funnel and fan in the terrarium (sealing hole in the fridge with silicone putty around the tube). The idea being to suck air from the fridge into the terrarium. My results have been poor, and I'm sure there's all sorts of reasons why that might be the case (tube too thick, tube too long, terrarium not sealed enough, fan not powerful enough). The air coming out just doesn't seem all that cold. I'm not sure what to do now and am welcoming all advice from people more experienced than myself. Before the fridge thing, I tried bottles filled with ice with a humidifier blowing across them, but that only got the temperature down to 74 at the least. That was a wee bit of a hassle and required a lot of attention. I've read about peltier coolers, but those seem frightfully expensive and difficult to get it working perfectly. I've also considered instead of using air, using a waterpump that takes cold water from inside the fridge (from some kind of tank), and then lining the inside of the tank with tube, to then lead back to the fridge to cool again. Thanks in advance for any help.
  6. Recently I noticed a talangensis in my terrarium was starting to have its leaves start to blacken. It had been growing like a champion for about 6 months, but I then noticed the leaves blackening from the bottom ones upward, at a faster rate than it was producing new ones. The conditions it's in have not changed, and I've always been sure to provide distilled water. My head went immediately to root rot, so I removed it carefully from its soil and created a new light mixture of sphagnum and perlite. I then treated the roots with a little rot preventer and put it back in. Unfortunately, this hasn't seemed to change things and the plant continues to blacken. Any ideas on what I should do? It seems like this guy may be headed for the compost heap, but for future plants what should my battle plan be?
  7. I should have been more clear, I've dealt with spider mites in the past. Those little nasties like webs.
  8. I was watering my terrarium nepenthes recently when I noticed some strangeness on it. The first one is an issue which has been there for a bit of time, but has never really seemed like too much of a problem. There is a thin chaotic webbing around the base of the plant. Some of it is on the plant itself, but that seems more coincidental. Whatever's making it appears to prefer the ground around the plant. Now, I've seen this before on my nepenthes before, and the first time I saw it I noticed a spider there as well. Overall, I figured the spider wouldn't hurt *that* much, as I mostly feed my pitchers manually. I've had spider mites before (not on these plants though), and I don't see any mites scrounging around, nor do the plants seem to be wilting. I figured I'd post it here for comment to see if I'm off base. ' The second issue are what i believe are aphids. Tiny little yellow/green fat bodies mostly on the new growth. Based on something I read, I just took a capensis tendril and ran it all over the plant picking up as many of the little blighters as I could find. Should I do more for the plant? Should I quarantine it away from the other plants? I'd appreciate any insight!
  9. I've been growing plants for about a year or so now with a decent amount of success. I ordered some heliamphora from Wistuba and decided to give it a try and order an N. Hamata. And so, a 6-12 month old clone should be on my way, but I'm edgy about raising it because I know how fickle they can be. I've got a terrarium setup that maintains fairly high light levels and good humidity, but I worry about sudden drops in humidity when I need to open up the terrarium for some reason or another. I was wondering what methods people used for raising their young n hamata, and in particular avoiding sudden humidity changes.
  10. Well, your suggestion sounded reasonable enough :) BEHOLD I think it's working well enough too, as the plants are looking less crispy. In a week or so, I'll remove a layer of bubble wrap.
  11. I have some new nepenthes in a terrarium that I want to gradually acclimate to the light levels of the tank. I tried to look around for shade cloth, but the only sources I could find were online. Before I go that route, I wondered if anyone had any ideas for other methods.
  12. Sigesti

    N. Hamata Woes

    This might be a good place to put my question out about hamata raising :) (hope the original poster doesn't mind) I've got a terrarium that will be receiving a hamata when the weather warms a bit. Temperatures ranging from 22 C to 15 C, with humidity ranging from 95% to 75%. I've heard humidity drops can be hazardous, although the original poster's plant seems to do okay. Should I be worried about that drop? Also, should I worry about direct light? Right now it'd have 4 T5's down upon it for about 13 hours a day. I've got 3 sides of the terrarium covered in mylar. Should I try to cover the top of the plant with something?
  13. Sigesti

    Red Leaves

    Certainly so. And for some time, that's what I thought my leaves were doing. Turns out that wasn't the case :)
  14. Sigesti

    Red Leaves

    Do a quick peek to make sure there's no scale bugs near the red. The first sign I had of some of those were some bright red spots.
  15. I have a 48'x13'x20' tank that I'm trying to find lighting for. I have heard generally good things about T5 lights, and as heat was a big problem for my last terrarium I thought this might be a good route to go. I'll be looking into getting 4 bulbs total However, I did just want to check in here to make sure that T5's seemed a good investment. Looking around at fixtures, I've found a few different examples. I've listed them here for the fixtures, not the bulbs. Bulb wise, I was looking at getting 4 40W ones, 2 being 2400K and 2 at 6000K or so. This one is more for hydroponics. I worry a bit about it sitting on top of the terrarium. The double linear strip here. I'd get two of them to get the bulbage. This one seems pretty nice, and it comes with fans to vent heat.;pcatid=16771 I must admit...electrical terms kind of confuse me. The third one mentions it has: 216 watts, which I assume is the upper limits it can handle, so I'd get 4 bulbs with a wattage equaling about that? The 2nd one in my list mentions 28 W for the bulbs, but nothing for the case itself, so I assumed I wouldn't want to get higher than that. Right now, I'm leaning towards the third one. It seems to have decent wattage, good heat control, although I would still need to get bulbs. The first one has the bulbs included, but with its design being more for hanging over something, I worry it'll heat things up too much. Thanks for any answers/comments provided :)
  16. Well thank you all very much for your suggestions! Outside air is a bit hard for me to get with my current setup/placement, but perhaps that needs to change. Martin, could you explain a bit more how your system works? I wasn't quite following based on the description/pictures.
  17. Heh, and I'm not sure I have a good answer :) Hence why I'm asking too.
  18. The main source I found was here, an answer from the guy at Sarracenia Northwest (who usually has not lead me wrong).
  19. I've got a terrarium that has been doing reasonably well, but a few of the Nepenthes that prefer cooler temperatures have started to look a bit unhappy. As such, I was looking for a method to cool the terrarium (ideally, by about 5-10 degrees Fahrenheit). Unfortunately, I don't have a terrible lot to throw at the problem, and a number of the existing solutions I've found online appear to be a bit on the pricy side. One resource I found mentioned using ultrasonic misters to cool the temperature. Is this a viable solution? Right now I have a tropic-aire humidifier keeping the moisture levels up quite high, and an aquarium fan providing ventilation. I was looking at some like these: Barring that, I might just try finding the coolest part of my house to move them to and hope for the best.
  20. I've got that latter case right now. With toooons of baby pitchers. Here's hoping they grow a bit faster!
  21. I was curious about growth speed for the pitchers. About how long did it commonly take folks to go from juvenile to adult pitchers?
  22. Ordered a ping ehlersiae. It arrived mostly crushed. I e-mailed them and they requested me to send some pictures. I did so. I potted the ping and placed it in nice conditions, but over the next week, the ping died. They still had not responded to e-mails. I sent another one, and also called their number and left a message. I have received no response over the last month. Pretty awful =/
  23. Fairly recently I got a nepenthes hamata clone from Wistuba. I placed it into my terrarium and hoped for the best. My terrarium tends to get temperatures of 85 (with a drop to 75 at night) and 80% humidity (rising to 100% at night). It's potted in the Sarracenia NW mix of ground coconut fiber, chunks of coconut husk and bark. Receives light for 12 hours a day. Shortly after arriving to me, the few small pitchers on it turned black, which I took to be just part of transport. Lately though, a few of the other leaves are blackening, and I see some yellowish along the edges of some of the other leaves. Below are some pictures: And here are two images of its environment. Now, reading up, two things I'm edgy about are the intensity of the light and shifts in temperature/humidity. Is my current change in temperature at night possibly hurting it? And re: the intensity of the light, should I try to shield it from the direct light?
  24. Figured it out. They don't ship until Spring when their stuff is grown, which I don't recall seeing anywhere on their website. While their e-mail form is broken, I was able to delve into their website to find a phone number and cancel the order. But yeah, I'd agree that it's kind of unprofessional. Hopefully they'll fix the email thing soon.