Terrarium - what kind of light should i use?


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Hello! It's my first topic on CPUK :) [sorry for my bad grammar etc.]

I want to make a bigger terrarium than my current one. I found Mark S. (http://www.cpukforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=47389&st=40) terrarium which is beautiful, plants grow very well. He uses LED panels which i had never heard of.

Terrarium will be 1,05m long X 0,55m depth X 0,8m high. There will be fog nozzels (like this one:

) and andruino management system (i hope so!).

What kind of lighting would You suggest?

My first inspiration was this great project http://roslinyowadoz...aludarium-3.php (use google translate). Author uses Narva Oceanic Colour (1800 lm), Osram Lumilux 6500 K (3250 lm) and two Osram Fluora (2250 lm).

Is it really worth it? Maybe i should go LED and use something like this http://ebay.eu/1jxGbIX

What about HPS?

What kind of panels should i use (and how many) to 'satisfy' plants :) ?

I'm going to grow Nepenthes, Utricularias, some Tillandsies(?) and maybe Heliamforas (but i'm not sure yet).

Regards

Wojtek

Edited by wojtek0018
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t5 versus leds, welcome to one of the most contentious and hotly argued "lighting" arguments ever!

forget hps or mh bulbs they will overheat your set up in minutes, t5 bulbs aren't made the same length as your tank, too short or too long plus t5s will struggle to properly light an 80cm depth,

leds may well be your best recourse unless your super rich then solid state plasma (if your super super rich).

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I agree with Paul, the 80cm depth will be the tough part. I use regular fluorescent lamps all the time and love them. They do great and don't plan on moving to LEDs anytime soon. Although, the tech has gotten soooo much better.

If you want something still on the cheaper end of HPS or MH bulbs, maybe these High Output fluorescent lamp fixtures are more fitting your 80cm depth issue.

http://www.horticulturesource.com/sun-system-sunlight-supply-sun-system-sun-blaze-t5-44-fluorescent-lighting-fixture-4-4-lamp-47-l-x-6-25-w-x-2-5-h--p694/

I use a 2-foot four lamp option for my indoor herb garden and it is handling 50cm depths just fine.

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leds just aren't up to standard yet, greens hort are trialling some of the best units in the world and they are still being outperformed watt for watt by mh bulbs, im sitting firmly on the fence on leds and it appears they may well be the "almost made it" technology, bit like laserdiscs, minidisc, etc, they seem adequate for supplemental lighting but id be wary long term for sole light sources.

my money is on solid state plasma, which is the closest thing to fusion created light, if the right combination of elements are used in the plasma you can perfectly recreate the spectral output of any star, which is essentially what we are trying to do with artificial light.

until we crack fusion and we all have micro fusion light bulbs at home ss plasma will be the way forward

and who said astro physics has no application in horticulture, hydrogen has been very busy for the last 13billion years just so you have the capacity to read what I have wrote

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This solution is very expensive. I'm looking for something cheaper

All fluorescentic lamps used in this project (http://roslinyowadozerne.eu/art/technika/paludarium-3.php) costs less than 30$ (in Poland)

80cm depth

80cm height (to adjust hight of fluorescent lamps)

@Paul y

Can you tell me what "Solid plasma" is?

Can you guys give me the specification of lamps that i should buy?

I found red-blue LEDs in Poland but 1 panel costs about 60$ and it is just 14W, 800-1000 Lm (WSD-GLRB14W-01). Is it a good deal? Maybe i should buy some more panels? What do you think?

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Now i think that i should make this terrarium a little bit bigger - i'll change length 1,05m to 1,30m and now all kind of fluorescentic lamps should fit perfectly :)

__________________

What about this LED? http://www.ebay.fr/itm/T8-Tube-Lampe-220V-138-LED-Croissance-Plante-Floraison-Horticole-Hydroponie-8W-/370743050762?_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2648&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

Edited by wojtek0018
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Tough to hook you up with Poland / EU specs for light fixtures from my United States perspective, but that High Output Fluorescent was only in the $100 range which is way nicer than the HID lamps and setup which run you up to $1000 if only that.

If you want an American-Centric idea, here is something I posted over at United States CP forums. Maybe some of the content in here would help, if you can find equivalent items in Poland. The costs below put me in the $30 range too, so it is my favorite way to go personally:

I had a 40-gallon tank and used:

TWO 4-foot 2-lamp fixtures from Lowe's: http://www.lowes.com...ture&facetInfo= The fixture looked a little different in 2010 but it is this same basic T12 fixture.

Bulbs I used were T12 6500K daylight bulbs: http://www.lowes.com...etInfo=SYLVANIA

As for backing your glass and sides with reflective material? Absolutely! In fact, with your dimensions, you can go for these mirrors at Home Depot/Lowe's like I did and put them in the Bottom, Back and Sides. Reflect as much light back into your growing space as you can: http://www.lowes.com... - $10|$10 -$15

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don't use mirrors as reflectors, unless they have been polished by nasa they will be uneven as hell and cause big disparities in the spread of light, buy some diamond sheet mylar, its diamond pattern reflects light evenly, it can be cut as easy as wrapping paper and its light proof and water proof and real cheap. go to your local hydro store, you know the shops that pretend to be there for chillies and orchids and stuff but all they really sell is cannabis cultivation equipment.

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I wouldn't go as far as saying "Don't use mirrors for reflectors." I would say, "Here is an option even better than mirrors...." Mirrors are great opposed to tin foil, reflective foam etc. And uneven or not, they are just catching edge light loss and bringing it back in. They aren't the only source of light hitting the plants as the lights above the plants are already doing a fine job. Can't see the harm in mirrors, imperfect or not.

That diamond pattern mylar sounds great. I wonder what it costs to get something like that here in the US. Thanks for the suggestion!

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less than £2 a sq metre for sheet diamond mylar, probably cheaper in the states, glass mirrors are a bad choice in comparison, glass absorbs light towards the far end of the blue spectrum particularly uv light, in a terraria that's two layers of glass before the light is reflected back in, and believe me glass mirrors focus light all over the place, are invariably cheap and not backed particularly well, are a nightmare to fit to the sides and back of a tank (let alone the inside of a hood) and in comparison to something purpose made and tested to death by big horticultural companies, that can be cut with scissors selotaped on and fitted to the inside of the hood.

not trying to argue with anyone just buy some and test in your set up with a decent light meter, take multiple point readings with mirrors and then repeat with diamond sheet mylar and your second readings will be a lot more even, as in a better spread of light, ideally fitted to the inside back and sides of the tank as well, if your tank is viewed from one side theres no need to force the light through the glass of the tank before its reflected back in.

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I felt like "don't use" was strong, but no worries, I don't feel you are arguing.

I checked out the stuff and found some decent prices. Sometimes the prices were high off eBay because they were selling larger quantities than I would need.

But from the look of the material I can see why the structure is ideal for reflecting light:

DiamondMylar_zps3e1a8562.png

I think I am going to get some to put in the top of my wooden box to reflect the light down, as i have been needing to get something setup there.

However, for backing my sides, I think I just enjoy having mirrors to see the plants reflected in it. It is really nice. Not ideal for light, I can see why, but the plants are happy and growing and I enjoy the look.

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sorry for my bad use of English I wasn't trying to order anyone about, my love of plants mainly stems from my complete inability to communicate with people, I went through some pretty rough times when I was a kid and resulting damage has left me with some pretty acute personality disorders. if I cause offence its not through intent and I apologise if I have.

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Thank You very much for replies,but I still don't know what should I buy.

I'm using foil that us used to save human heat during accidents (I hope you know what I mean) but to this project I'll use aluminium foil used to cover walls (something similar to this which was posted by Odysseus)

What lightning do you use in your own terrariums?

Tapnięte z mojej Xperii SP

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No offense taken at all, Paul. No worries!

Wojtek, I use the lights I talked about above and mini-CFLs like these:

Just make sure they are 6500K and at least over 1450 lumens.
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nm is the measurement of a specific wavelength of light, kelvin refers to its colour, it is very easy to overcomplicate this issue, its up to you how involved you want to get, i would always advise keeping things as simple as possible, the tropical marine fishkeeping companies produce the best led lights, sps and lps coral are much more demanding photosynthetic life than any plant and as a result the leds made for that market are the world leaders. but they are expensive.

odyseus has the right advice on kelvin and luminosity.

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nm is the measurement of a specific wavelength of light, kelvin refers to its colour,

Nm does refer to wavelength which gives the colour, the best wavelengths for chloriphyll absorption in plants are Blue 420 Nm and Red 660 NM. LEDs at these wavelengths will be the more efficient.

Kelvin refers to the colour temperature, a match flame at 1000k - Incandescent light bulbs 3000K -sunlight and sky at 6500K - North Lght (Blue Sky) 10000K

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No offense taken at all, Paul. No worries!

Wojtek, I use the lights I talked about above and mini-CFLs like these:

Just make sure they are 6500K and at least over 1450 lumens.

One comment says that this bulb doesn't work very long - I have to change it after about a half year later.

Is it normal? Maybe I should but led panels (this ones on ebay). Will there be any change?

How many led bulbs/ panels should I buy to make led light cover all terrarium surface?

Tapnięte z mojej Xperii SP

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My bulbs have been fine and going on 6 months now. Perhaps some will die, but I really doubt it. I think bulbs going that early are the exception, not the rule. That said, with how cheap CFLs are, replacing the odd bulb every 6 months is still worth it to me.

As for LEDs, I have zero experience with them. Many others would have to help you there.

Best of luck!

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..................................................

I'm using red / blue lights in the cellar so it's the only light source, except for when I go down there with the standard cfl lights on.

I have 4 trays of 21" x 21" (51cm x 51cm) using about 15W each so 60W for 1m². at present lighting is on for 10 hours / day.

Temperatures are from 6C to 12C.

Two trays have the commercial 225 led panels and I think they are just OK, I'll be supplementing that light soon with 4 x 3W blue leds.

The other two trays are lit with arrays I made up . They compromise 5 x 3W 120° (60 led) bulbs held lower down to the plants..

I have plans to add a further circuit to each array and have that on a seperate timer so light intensity can be increased for the miiddle hours of the 'day'. Here I am considering using 4 x 2W 120° (38 led) bulbs which can be red/blue or white or any other colour / combination. the 3W bulbs could also be utilised if it is considered more light is required but I doubt that would be necessary.Hours will also be extended on all lights as the season progresses.

Even at these low power usages I have Utricularia bisquamata "Betty's Bay. Utricularia livida and Pinguicula Tina in flower.

Please note This set up is mainly to provide frost free conditions for the plants however It is proving to be quite interesting.

Edit Perhaps I should also add that my home made arrays are a much cheaper way of supplying the light cheaper than even the 225 led panels which were under £20 each. If a bulb does prove faulty ( which has not happened yet) the whole array isn't lost as with the panels, it's just a matter of replacing a bulb ( £3.50)

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there was a lot of research done by nasa in the seventies into par light and the findings are still being used as the benchmark, yet current research suggests that plants require light from a broad range of the spectrum, it has been shown that some plants absorb wavelengths from the green, and uv portions of the spectrum.

personally I feel that all plants have evolved under the entire spectrum of light specific to our parent star and I wouldn't feel comfortable with a light source that wasn't as close to that as possible.

im not claiming to be right on this issue just personal preference.

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A later version of my experiences.

......................... I used 15W ( 5 x 60 led units @ 3W each) over 10 hours per 4sq ft last winter in the cellar and it was fine.That was sole light provided not a daylight suppliment. This year I have gone to the MkII version. Each 4 sq ft now has a dual circuit the main one being 5 x 3W unitsfor 10 hours + a further 4 x 1.8-2W units ( 38leds) for 2 hours in the middle of the timing.

These lighting arrays are so simple to make, needing only very basic wiring of E27 lamp holders and so very adaptable with the assortment of led growlights available. The other thing is if one unit blows ( although very unlikely as they're expected to last 50,000 hours) it's easy and cheap to replace.

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