Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Possibly setting up orchidarium

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by InkMinx, May 2, 2017.

  1. InkMinx

    InkMinx New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    3
    Hi all, I currently have a cabinet that is housing finches. However as Im down to just 2 of them now I have decided that I will not be getting anymore and will rehome the last 2 and find a new purpose for the enclosure. Its a beautiful piece of furniture but I no longer wish to keep any animal/birds, so I started looking into the idea of it being just a very large planted terrarium, in googling for inspiration, I came across orchidarium idea. In fact it was one of the forum members here that I found. I have next to no experience of keeping Orchid's except for one I got as a gift that I had for about 4 years a while back just in my living room. So here is my cabinet
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its 45in wide x 26in deep and 52in high, two sides glass sliding panels, 2 sides wood, the bottom 'drawer' is galvanised steel about 2in deep. it has fans in the ceiling and also 2 T5 grow lights.

    It always got a lot of comments when it was all planted up (although the birds quickly destroyed that and were replaced by artificial plants.) So I was thinking it would be nice to have it planted up with exotic plants, with moss and tree branches etc.

    So Im working my way through the site here trying to gather info, but if anyone could guide me on what things I wound need and how to best set it up for this purpose it would be much appreciated.
     
    Fumiaki Takahashi likes this.
  2. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    Thats realy nice!!!
    That looks like a $500 (¥56,000) tank!!!
    Are you wanting a green house style (not very pretty but grows plants well), or a planted rainforrest/temporate forrest setup?
    Here are some pics of each one:
    Greenhouse style 2017-05-02-12-41-25.png
    Planted style 2017-05-02-12-41-35.png Btw, these are NOT my pics.
    They are from Acme orchidariums.
    orchidarium acme
     
  3. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

    Messages:
    1,247
    Likes Received:
    891
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    The first thing to ascertain is if it is water tight.
     
  4. InkMinx

    InkMinx New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    3
    Im wanting planted style as opposed to greenhouse. The pull out draw can be tweaked so it can hold water, although it would only be shallow. If it needed to be deeper I can build a shallow perspex tank/tray for it and put egg crate ontop. The sides are all fine as the glass overlaps so there is no air gaps/draughts
     
  5. InkMinx

    InkMinx New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    3
    Im thinking to get a misting set up like this Ultimate Value Misting System v4.0 and then maybe water to about a 2in depth in the bottom with a fogger for general humidity?
     
  6. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    Sounds realy neet!!!
    Sounds good.
    Are you using a filtration system for the water?
    It keeps the algae and bacteria way down.
     
  7. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    I personaly prefer the greenhouse style because it can be easly taken apart and cleaned.

    A planted tanked is harder to maintain.
    Pluss, once its setup, it can be very hard to clean.
     
  8. InkMinx

    InkMinx New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    3
    So this is where I don't have a clue, do I need a reservoir in the bottom? Will I need a fogger, or are a lot of species of orchids find without, will the mossy/planted glassed space in the warmth of a living room create enough humidity? Does it need to be watertight as the excess was from misting will be pooling somewhere that will then need emptying? And what general maintenance is required? How do you deal with algae and bacteria? will I have algae issues if its got lots of moss in? Planted tank is the way I want to go, as I want it to be a habitat as opposed to a serious collecting and propagating of orchids, the idea is for it to be a focal point in my living room like a micro habitat
     
    Fumiaki Takahashi likes this.
  9. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Louisiana
    I've grown orchids in terrariums for the last 7 or so years and also keep and breed poison dart frog species for roughly the same span of time. I maintain about 20 planted terrariums for the frogs.

    In looking at your tank, I think it's definitely suitable for conversion to planted. You'll be thankful for those sliding doors when you're working inside! First thing I would do is to make sure there is an area for water to pool to be drained off later. Is there tank space below the doors? If so, I would create a "false bottom" either by making a raised platform out of something like egg crate or laying down expanded clay or some other rock-like material to raise your substrate out of the saturation zone. Add a stand pipe or something that allows you access to the bottom for occasional siphoning of the water reservoir.

    I would skip the fogger. It doesn't really do much (outside of it looking cool), and it tends to leave a bit of water constantly on the plants' leaves making rot an issue. Your enclosure will be humid enough within the glass enclosure with regular waterings. A Mistking system is an excellent addition but also be prepared to spot water since they tend to not cover every nook and cranny.

    Being that your tank is roughly 4.5 feet tall, I would invest in 1-2 quality 4' LED fixtures with a color temperature near 6500K. Alternately, you can use one LED fixture and one T8/T5. In my experience, the fluorescent bulbs tend to grow plants a little better and their light is more pleasing to the eyes. I recommend at least one LED, though, because their light can penetrate down to the bottom of the tank much more efficiently than fluorescents. If there is no budget on the project (Hey, we can all dream!), I would run a combination of one Finnex Planted Plus freshwater LED fixtures combined with some T5HO (high output) fixture designed for freshwater aquariums.

    This site is a wealth of orchid culture knowledge, and I think I have a few photos of my terrariums both greenhouse style and naturalistic around somewhere. If you want more terrarium design information, check out dendroboard.com.
     
    Fumiaki Takahashi and Marni like this.
  10. InkMinx

    InkMinx New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    3
    Thats great! Yes, under the sliding doors is a sliding drawer, with the birds in it used to have a plant wall that when I watered it the water collected in the bottom that I then pulled the drawer out and swept into a dust pan and sopped the rest up with a cloth.

    So lighting wise, I currently have 2 of these in the top Exolux Pro T5 Single Tube Grow Light - Grow Lights | GroWell Hydroponics
    The cabinet it next to a window, although its north facing so it doesn't get direct sunlight. Do you suggest adding LEDs to this or will what I have be enough?

    Also how often and how long for would you suggest 'misting' as I see a lot of conflicting stuff, some that say once or twice a week others say twice a day
     
  11. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    Yes.
    Unfortanatly this can be very hard to do in a planted tank.
    Thats why I prefer a greenhouse style
    Because you can put a tray in the bottom and empty it once a week.
     
  12. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    Yes.
    A small water pump will do but I prefer a small water filter.
    For realy small tanks, some people use air pumps (the kind used in fish tanks).
    But since yours is quite large, I would use a water filter.
    Nothing fancy or large, just a small, inexspencive, internal water filter.
     
  13. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    Sounds realy neet!!!
    When it's finished, please post pics.
     
  14. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    That site is great referece!
     
  15. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    2 mins. once a day will do.
     
  16. InkMinx

    InkMinx New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    3
    Where is the algae growing? Is it the glass at the front? if so thats not a problem as they slide out fully for cleaning.

    Where and why am I wanting a water filter? with fans going and just misting once a day Im not sure where Im having all this water? Will it not work to just once a week or so open the drawer at the bottom and remove any water that has gathered?
     
  17. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    Curculating water limits bacterial growth.
    The shiny film on the water's surface is caused by certen bacteria.
    With a small filter, the film can't grow.
    It also keeps algae growth down.
    That stuff grows extreamly fast.
    Besides, moving water is soooo much better than stagnet water.
    Especally if you have mosquitoes.
     
  18. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    For some reason I thought you wanted a small pool in the bottom.
     
  19. Fumiaki Takahashi

    Fumiaki Takahashi miniature orchidaholic

    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    Georgia
    You would be surprised how much and how quickly:confused:
     
  20. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    146
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Sounds like your drainage plan should work. I would still create a false bottom above the drawer, so that the entire volume of the drawer can be reserved for drainage water.

    Those lights should work well for the upper reaches of the tank. I would still recommend and LED fixture if you're wanting many plants on the floor of your tank. I tend to avoid giving sealed tanks much exposure to sunlight because they can heat up much faster than you expect. I assume you already have a working knowledge of this since you have maintained this tank for a while. The extra humidity added by converting it to a full-fledged terrarium may make temps inside feel a bit higher (see the greenhouse effect for further reading), just something you need to keep in mind by planning. This may affect your plant selection down the line.

    The frequency of watering will totally depend on your plant selection and how you decide to grow them. If you use a lot of supplemental mounting media (i.e. sphagnum moss on cork bark), then you will want to mist less frequently. Also, if you're growing Lepanthes species and not Cattleya species, you may want to mist a little more often. I grow primarily Pleurothallid Alliance species and Bulbophyllums in my tank, and I would recommend a 1-2 minute mist cycle 2-3 times per week. My tank is totally sealed, though with only internal air circulation, and my climate makes the house naturally fairly humid.

    You will likely get algae growth on the glass walls and doors if you get any at all. It's easy enough to wipe away from time to time. You won't accumulate enough water to need a filter if you just create a false bottom and dump weekly or when necessary.