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Luca B.

Automatic watering

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Hi guys,i'm planning to build an automatic irrigation for my terrarium but my knowledge in this matter is poor.

 

My idea is very simple,a pump (with a timer) in a barrel and a 5mm pipe going trough the pots (with a couple of holes for every pot),do you think that drippers are needed? i have to water 15 pots with every pumps (2 pumps for 2 watering zone),do you think i'll have a problem with the different pressure in the first and the last hole?

 

Please share any suggestion:)

 

Luca

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It depends upon the size of the Terrarium. An irrigation system might be overkill in a smaller one.

 

Mine is just an old 3 foot fish tank and I did consider automating various parts but, in reality, I enjoy watering it by hand. Gives me the oportunity to perform all the other maintainance tasks on a regular timetable.

 

If you are talking about a big display case type then I'm sure better advice will follow.

Edited by Hud357

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It's  2sq meter,i used to water by hand and i really enjoy it but i will be at home 2 days a week next year so that's needed:)

 

Luca

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I might be late to the party, but more details will help narrow done your options. One detail would be how often are you willing to invest the time to water? There are simple, cheap, automated watering solutions, that can last 2-4 weeks, before needing refilled. I, for example, use a very porous mix and utilize a 4 ply strand of acrylic yarn, sometimes doubled over for larger pots over 5", tie a knot in one end, soak it in water, thread it through the bottom of the pot, diagonally through the center and overhand the opposite lip. Pot up the Nepenthes, and bury the overhanginging end coiled lightly on top of the root ball and cover with media. Use an appropriate sized reservoir, such as disposable plastic food container, cut a hole in the lid and set your pot on top, with the knotted yarn dangling in the water. I water all my potted plants this way and it works well for plants with established root systems. Small plants, like seedlings could be kept too wet, so these are potted the same way, but have the yarn taken out of water, for several days, to allow some drying of the potting mix. You can also add small doses of MaxSea or whatever you want to the water for constant, light feeding.

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If you use a pump that circulates water from the base of the terrarium (which I am assuming) it will be worth having a supply for the reservoir, I have found upturned bottles (I use 5L bottles) work great and keep a constant level (similar to a dog watering bowl with a bottle, very common).

I also obviously works if they are sitting in the water and maintains the right level, though it does not sound like this is the case.

 

I would also suggest having an empty pot as the last that the pump drips into, this way you may see if water is making it, pressure should not be a problem unless the holes are to large as I used a similar setup for a utric wall, 5mm pipe at 1M and holes every 5cm, this still had water exiting the end, the pump was a small solar pump.

 

Alternatively if it is just neps and not drosera or pings it may be easier to use a small mister, one per corner or one per side, again I have used small solar pond pumps for this and they work (on a sunny day), I am guessing you are using a much more powerful pump that takes AC power, my tank was 2ft/3ft and had 1pump with 2 misters (well more sprayers) and worked fine.

With this method humidity is raised and once a day for 15min or twice a day for 5min is fine, otherwise you can get away with 15min every two day providing your are using misters and not fogger tips (though fogger tips are uncommon and need much more pressure to work).

 

In all cases however I had the plants raised from the base of the tank and the reservoir at the base (except the utric who were in the water).

 

Hope this helped, but as Druboi said, more info would make suggestions easier, also the biggest issue with an external water source (such as a barrel) is that you may end up flooding the base of the tank and causing rot in a few species (though I keep most of my neps in permanent trays)

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Also the methods I mentioned are in play when I am at uni and my plants are at my greenhouse at my parents, so a couple months unchecked is normal.

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