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[Help] Screening species for a biotope orchidarium-vivarium

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by Frog Eater, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Frog Eater

    Frog Eater New Member

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    Hello Orchid lovers!
    First of all, I want to apologize for not being able to do my research alone and to take some of your time. Also I want to thank all of you who are reading, and of course the one who will answer.


    I am planning to build a biotope orchidarium. A Peruvian one to be accurate. A mid elevation Peruvian cloud/rainforest forest vivarium, to be exact.

    What do I expect of this thread. Well I don't expect much, it is an hopeless try not to turn insane due to the amount of species to sort and screen.
    I'm hoping from experienced grower to bring me back to reality and remind me species that are too rare or too difficult, from totally different biotope, or that cannot thrive in the condition I will keep them.
    I am also open to any specie suggestion and growing tips or personal experience.
    I don't want to abuse of your time, but any contribution, might it be very small, is a divine help to me. Really. Thank you very much again.

    So with andysorchid website and orchidspecies and some french website and also commercial website I got a list of genus that can be found in Peru/Colombia/Ecuador/Bolivia. But wow. It is quite big.

    So, what are the requirement for the plants :
    They can't be full sun or need too much sun. They will be kept indoor under LED. Shade loving species are a must. Full shade plants are dream plants.
    They should not be too big as I need light for a few other plants (Bromeliad)

    The humidity will be very high, always more than 75% and often at 100% saturated air. The bottom of the tank will be fogged. A rain system will water the column.
    The tank will be very vertical. Which mean I can easily adjust luminosity level if I have few species which need a lot of light and more other that prefer shade.
    Plant will certainly be planted on cork branches or dead wild vine. The upper level of these horizontal virtual cylinder will be occupied by bromeliads, fern and moss so that there's a soil kept between them. Here it will be quite wet. Vertical border of the cylinder will be heavily drained and will receive much more aeration. I plan on fixing orchids here. And on "Special" heavily drained top zone for specie who require a lot of sun.
    Also the soil is alive with some isopods and springtails. I don't know if it is needed to mention it but I am pretty novice to it so if you have any remark about it...
    Orchids are in blue. The vine is drilled so that running water that keep moss and fern wet circulate without going on sides, the laters will receive water thanks to the high hygrometry and rain system.

    The temperature will be between 25C (77F) if I heat it and 21C (70F) if not heated during the day and will drop to 17-18C during the night. Lower temperature are possible during winter night. If I understand correctly, for flowering the difference of temperature between night and day is often more important than the temperature of culture itself (given the temperature is adequate to the specie). Am I correct ? So might it be wise to keep my orchid a little warmer at daytime to benefit from a bigger temperature drop during the night?

    The final choice will be a handful of species.
    Some small and unexpensive species will be several plants while I plan on putting 1 or 2 interesting, bigger species.

    I'm mainly interested by species that :
    Bloom often (who isn't ?) or can produce nice foliage quickly.
    Is small.
    If it is a big specie i'm interested in these traits :
    Kind of weird patterns on flowers. Psychopsis are a good example of the kind of flower.

    Globally speaking I like alien looking species because they create a mix of disturbing and relaxing atmosphere I like a lot.
    So far my choice is on a mix several individuals of one specie of each of these genus : Restrepia, Macroclinum, Comparettia, Lueddemannia and then a "mother plant" that I struggle to find.

    Here is a list if it can help you to understand what I am looking for. But it might also confuse you ahah.

    So here are some species I pinned by interest.
    • Very interesting
    Macroclinium sp.
    Comparettia speciosa
    or other similar species (if any)
    Dresslerella sp. If it is from Junin rainforest... Maybe D. hirsutissima
    Solenidiopsis tigroides Seems quite uncommon.
    Dichaea sp. I really like the look of the leaves, but it looks very hard to keep.
    Masdevallia sp. There are too much of them I am looking for pretty and intermediate species. I am screening this genus right now.
    Restrepia sp. I'm facing the same problem than with Masdevallia because of the huge diversity of the genus. Restrepia contorta seems a good choice but I'd love to hear your opinion about that.
    Sigmatostalix sp. Did not dig really into this yet.
    Lueddemannia sp. I like it a lot. But it seems to love very warm condition while I will be mostly intermediate.
    Coryanthes I can't resist the appeal of a mushroom (not to say something else) looking orchid that has a flask of perfume. But it seems rare in the market, very difficult and it looks like it prefers warm environment am I right ? But it is a big plant from what I saw and it could be a perfect main Plant in the orchidarium.
    Gongora sp. Just too beautiful. I cannot resist. Probable mother plant. Any info welcomed.
    Cycnoches peruvianum I really love this one but if I understood correctly, they need a very marked resting period which my orchidarium could not provide... So bad. Also I read that you could increase chances to get female (or male) plant with warmer or colder temperature but I cannot find this info again and I don't remember in what language the info was so if you have it, I will marry you if you share it ahah.
    • Nice and Interesting
    Oncidium trilobum
    Telipogon Rare and cool/cold for what I saw :(
    Lophiaris nana Looks like it doesn't like too wet environment so much
    Helcia As you might notice the nice&interesting have more patterned and marked flowers than the previous. I love trippy looking flowers.

    Catasetum microglossum
    Lycaste macrophylla

    Schomburgkia Some people say you can skip resting period...
    Pleurothallis The genus is huge so I'd be glad to have some direction to research. I really love the leaves and the tiny flower. It might be an interesting to put some green leaves in the orchidarium.
    Stelis Same, I will do more research about this little thing.
    Dryadella I am looking for intermediate species.
    Scaphosepalum Lovely! Will screen this deeper

    Cyrtochilum Infos I found were pretty discordant. So I might dig in this genus if I find some restless high humidity and intermediate species.
    Caucaea (if markings)

    Psychopsis It might be a cool mother plant. I'm trying to figure out which species don't need resting period.
    Leochilus Heard it can be found in Peru but totally unsure

    • Interesting....
      Sudamerlycaste Very intriguing specie that I in fact like a lot.
      Batemannia Species I found were cool-cold growing, any intermediate in the genus ?
      Catasetum barbatum (Resting ! :( )

      Kefersteinia Many interesting species to me.
      Miltonia warscewiczii

    Really I cannot thank you enough,
    Have a good day!
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Redding, California, USA
    Sounds like a great project. I don't grow in an orchidarium so I can't help with specifics. There have been many posts on this Forum about vivariums/terrariums/orchidariums and you can use the search function to find them. Here is a good start.
  3. spiro K.

    spiro K. Well-Known Member

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    I don't grow in an orchidarium either,but I am impressed by the amount of work you are putting into it!
    I would,without hesitation, recommend Pleurothallids of all sorts (if you want to be totally authentic ,find out which come from Peru) ,esp. Restrepia sps.,Dichaea sps.,Stelis sps., maybe even some terrestrials like Erythrodes sps. or such.
    Forget about Telipogon ,Schomburkia,Catacetum etc. They require very specific treatment that is difficult to provide in an enclosure.
    Have fun with it ,and good luck!
  4. carl

    carl Active Member

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    Sooutheastern Pencilvania
    If you are going to be completely obsessive, you might also want to consider the habitats of your potential occupants - some are found growing on the humus layer, some low on trees or shrubs, some only on slopes, some high in trees.

    You can choose a horizontal slice, or try to encompass a particular locality. Your call.
  5. Tillander

    Tillander New Member

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    JohnsonS likes this.
  6. Frog Eater

    Frog Eater New Member

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    Hello !
    Thank you for all your informations!
    I'm going to read the links you gave me :)
  7. Gregg Zollinger

    Gregg Zollinger Active Member

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    If it doesn't need to be native to Peru, but just grow in the conditions your are mentioning, I would look at Trisetella hoeijeri, it would do well, and if you like weird flowers.....

    Also, Diodonopsis erinacea comes to mind, again, I don't think it is native to Peru, but would do well and has weird flowers.

    From Peru, maybe Masdevallia roseola or Masdevallia bennettii (i have never grown these).
  8. musingsofjoe

    musingsofjoe New Member

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    If you want to get really technical you can get onto Tropics and look at the Peru project.

    I did an Ecuador biotope based off of what was found in the Azuay province in Zaruma/Buenaventura mid elevation cloud forest. In the end though I did not stick exactly to this-and substituted with similar species(or species found fairly close by the in that same province) around a focal species(Dracula cordoba).
  9. JohnsonS

    JohnsonS Active Member

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    Portland, OR
    Have you tried searching on GBIF (http://www.gbif.org/species )? There, you can do a pretty extensive search and apply all sorts of filters (genus/species, country, elevation, etc.).

    Here's a quick search using the family name Orchidaceae and a filter for Peruvian country of occurrence and found at elevations below 1800m. As you can see, there are over 3,500 results! http://www.gbif.org/occurrence/sear...0&HAS_GEOSPATIAL_ISSUE=false&ELEVATION=*,1800

    It helps to narrow down the search by only using genus - such as Pleurothallis, etc. In this case, you can narrow the results down to just over 300. Some of the results will only list the genus and not the species (that is simply because the occurrence was not identified any further) but there are still a good number of occurrences that do list the species. http://www.gbif.org/occurrence/sear...ATIAL_ISSUE=false&ELEVATION=*,1800&offset=200

    A quick look reveals that these species are found under these filters and might also be commonly available:
    Pleurothallis aggeris
    Pleurothallis alveolata
    Pleurothallis crocodiliceps
    Pleurothallis hemirhoda
    Pleurothallis pruinosa

    Pleurothallis ruberrima
    Pleurothallis ruscifolia
    Pleurothallis stenosepala

    Obviously, then you would need to screen for which species match your size requirements...

    Andy's Orchids is a great resource, but don't forget that many species will have a geographic distribution greater than what is listed on their site. For example, a species listed as indigenous to Costa Rica might also be found in surrounding countries like Panama or Nicaragua and so it helps to cross-reference a species when you find something you like to see if it might also be found in your area of interest. www.tropicos.org is a good resource for cross-referencing species occurrences, as is IOSPE.

    These techniques are not a fool-proof way of creating a biotope, but they will at least get you close. The other option is to browse for biotope photos posted by someone who has visited your area of interest by searching for keywords. www.flickr.com is one of my favorites.