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Aquarium to Vivarium

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Daniel925, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. Daniel925

    Daniel925 New Member

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    Growing in southern Louisiana my orchids spend about half the year outside. Each year when I bring them in for "winter" I feel like they are not doing their best, especially the small stick mounts. So my plan this year is to keep the smaller ones in this aquarium that I found on craigslist and converted to a vivarium. I read through a bunch of threads on this forum and Orchid Karma's website to find an affordable way for my starter terrarium. Thanks to the people that have shared their experiences!
    This is a 48" x 18" x 13" aquarium and it sits on a cabinet that I built to keep all my growing supplies in. Here are some process shots. I still need to figure out ventilation and watering and move everything in. Moving the orchids in will happen some time in October when it starts to get in the 50s at night. IMG_0554.JPG IMG_0555.JPG IMG_0552.JPG
     
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well done! Look forward to seeing it filled.
     
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  3. carl

    carl Active Member

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    If the top is solid (as in very little air exchange), your stick plants will probably be happy with a daily misting. Mine are (in a 24x12x16high). I advocate a fan blowing into the staging - I mount a small fan on a piece of plastic pipe, mainly to keep the fan out of the way of any drips. Helps keep humidity up. Another fan or two for circulation. Excess water removed via siphon or a shop vac.
     
  4. Daniel925

    Daniel925 New Member

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    I'm not sure what I'm doing with the top yet, but I'll probably have some computer fans in there for circulation. I'd like to do a misting system but I'll probably be doing it manually for a bit. At least until I figure out how the whole system works. Do you have any pictures of your setup? I'd like to see how you have the fan so it doesn't get misted.
     
  5. Daniel925

    Daniel925 New Member

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    Here are some pics of the terrarium with orchids. I was only able to get 17 in here with 2 pitcher plants. I could definitely fit some more stick mounted orchids. It includes:
    Brassavola nodosa, Leptotes bicolor, Encyclea cochleata, Bulbophyllum sumatranum, Bulbophyllum grandiflorum, Dendrobium gouldii, Jumellia confusa, Phalanenopsis japonica, a Paph hybrid, a random grocery store Phal., Dendrobium micro chip, Epicattleya charlie brown, Psychopsis mendenhall, Stereochilus dalatensis, Podochilus muricatus, Encyclia bractescens, Oberonia setigeria

    These all do really well outdoors in the summer in Louisiana so I'm hoping they'll do well together for the winter in the new setup.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That looks great! Lots more room in there.:)
     
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  7. meredog

    meredog Growing in SW FL

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    I'm aware that this is an older thread, but I need some advice...

    I have a number of miniature orchids that require more care than I would ask my house/pet sitter to do. And some days, me too ;-) So I am thinking of setting up an orchidarium for these guys.

    Because I need to be challenged, I am considering a tall aquarium to have fish in the bottom half, and the orchids hanging in the top half.

    Fish aside, for anyone who has set up an enclosure with orchids, how do you manage fertilizing and cleaning out the over-spray extra water that could get yucky? Do you fertilize out of the tank? If so, how often do you fertilize? I currently do weakly weekly, and if I need to fertilize elsewhere, I need to seriously think through my plans, because then I need easy in/easy out orchid movement.

    BTW, this project came to life because I accidentally purchased some tiny mini orchids, that need more humidity and better 'even' care than 'oh yeah, I have to go water those guys'. A terrarium/vivarium/orchidarium in the house will be right there.

    Thank you!
    Carolyn
     
  8. carl

    carl Active Member

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    If you are going to have fish, why not just use the water in the tank for the orchids? Make a sort of green wall in the upper part, and simply use a submersible pump or power head to circulate the water...
     
  9. meredog

    meredog Growing in SW FL

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    I did think about that, but I am setting up the tank to be primarily a humidity controlled environment for the orchids, and most will be hung via suction cup to the walls, so a waterfall or fountain won't get them all watered.
     
  10. carl

    carl Active Member

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    There are spray systems for use in vivariums, typically using a low-voltage pump in a reservoir. Perhaps one of those would work for you. Use the tank itself as reservoir. Downside would be disease transmission...

    Another option is a submersible pump triggered by a float. Water level rises too high, pump runs until it gets below set point. Waste into a bucket or drain.
     
  11. meredog

    meredog Growing in SW FL

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    Yes, I could try that.