Today I am doing this post to share with you my last project: a highland landscaped terrarium.
The goal of this was really simple: have a really nice landscaped terrarium to keep it in my living room & have a highland room to keep my Heliamphora collection.
So I bought an old exoterra terrarium (60cmx60cmx45cm : height x width x depth), and I built a ‘structure’ around it. So the goal was to increase the insulation, and have a nice terrarium box.
This is the setup:
Really basic system, with high pressure pump, nozzle, water level security (to avoid running the pump without water).
I don’t heat the tank (I don’t need it with the LED just over it), but I need to cool it. For this I use an aquarium chiller (hailea HC 130A) which is under the tank, in a furniture (built for the tank). Cold water goes into the terrarium with a pump, and then into the 3 heat sinks (with fans) and comes back to the chiller.
I also made a water cooling unit with PVC pipes, and mesh fabric. The fabric is always wet, and the air is coming through thanks to 2 fans. So water is evaporating, and thus airflow is getting a bit colder.
3 fans for air flow, plus 2 fans for the water cooling unit. They are running during the day. I will adjust frequency according to the plants reaction during the next months.
I am using Led lighting. There is 8x20W COB led. Leds are cooled with heat sinks and fans.
Walls are covered with polyurethane moss, cork oak, and black mesh fabric. So the mosses, and orchids will grow on it. I wanted something really natural, without pots, labels, etc. So everything is hidden (but all the labels are in place ^^).
In the bottom there is Dibond aluminium base over a seedling plate to make a small water reserve (to avoid plant soaking in the water). On top I put some horticultural felt to keep moist under the post, and to bring some water for my water cooling unit.
6) Regulation system
The most important part of this tank (because without it nothing can run automatically): the regulation system. I built it with an Arduino Mega board, with many electrical connections, and computer programing (my brother helped me for this part). So everything can be ‘ON’, or ‘OFF’, or ‘AUTO’. I can change the setup/timing really easily. In the next weeks, I will add a Bluetooth module to control it directly from my smartphone.
7) Plants (The really most important part ;) )
This is the list of actual plants in my tank, but I am still looking for some heliamphora and some Utricularia
Pleurothallis /lepenthes sp.
Restrepia sp. (en pot)
Restrepia sp. X 6 (dont Restrepia elegans)
Heliamphora heterodoxa x minor
Heliamphora huberi (Akopan Tepui)
Heliamphora arenicola (Tramen Tepui)
Heliamphora chimantensis (Chimanta Tepui, Venezuela)
Heliamphora pulchella (Amuri Tepui, Venezuela)
Heliamphora hispida (Cerro Neblina, Venezuela)
Heliamphora x 'tequila'
Xyris sp. (Neblina)
And then the pictures of the building and the terrarium:
Global view :
My old electrical system
My old highland terrarium (5 years old)
The new tank
Insulation of the tank
Global view of making
Left side view
Covering with black mesh fabric
View from top
Water cooling unit
Regulation system making
Regulation system (almost finished)
I will add more pictures later to show you the plant growth =)
If you have any question feel free to ask me ☺
(Sorry for my English, I am French ^^)