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Small 10 gallon Experiment

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by harrywitmore, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    I was at PetSmart a week or so ago and noticed an aquarium setup they had on sale. It's a 10 gallon bowfront which is about 17" tall, 17" wide and 10" deep. I thought this would be a good choice to try and do a small water wall and grow some very small orchids like some of the warmer growing Lepanthes. I got it for $80. Not too bad considering they are normally $100. Here's one on eBay

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...=260512359658&ff4=263602_263622#ht_1652wt_870



    So, I ordered a couple of First Ray's ECOWEB panels and constructed a background. Since I wanted to periodically run water through this I got a rigid piece of tubing and drilled small holes every 1". I then hooked a small fountain pump to this. I had to make another top since the one that comes with it has spaces for pumps and heater and I wanted a tighter fit. So I cut one out of some 1/32" lexan I had. I'm pretty sure the provided LED light fixture will be too week but I don't yet know what I will add light with yet. Here's the background complete with pump.

    awww.cloudjungle.com_CloudJungle_Terrariums_10BOW_12_1_2010.jpg

    Now I wanted to get mosses growing on it so I mixed up a moss mixture by using various mosses I have collected over time as well as some from a few orchid pots here and there. I mixed this with a handful of sphagnum and blended it until it was a nice slurry. I then removed the background and poured the mixture over the background which allows it to make good contact with the ECOWEB. Here's how that looks.

    awww.cloudjungle.com_CloudJungle_Terrariums_10BOW_12_2_2010.jpg

    I plan to add a couple of 3" computer fans to move the air around and run the pump on a schedule during the day. I will be monitoring the temperature to see what my highs and lows are as well as humidity. I also still need to cut a piece of ECOWEB to go in the bottom.

    This is not my idea and has been done many times and most notably using the EPIWEB IIS system. But this is not available in the US as far as I know and this was much cheaper. I have so far about $100 in the setup since I already had a pump.
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds cool. Keep us posted, please, as it progresses.
     
  3. Candace

    Candace Kept Woman Supporting Member

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    Fun!
     
  4. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Looks great, Harry! I can't wait to see it overflowing with plants.
     
  5. Jon

    Jon Mmmm... bulbophyllum...

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    Lookin good, Harry. I've had problems in the past with normal computer fans, and Chris pointed me toward this place. The fans are waterproof --> fan link. They're great because they stand up really well to high humidity.
     
  6. Karen

    Karen Species nut

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    That's a great project!
     
  7. Akhenaten

    Akhenaten Member

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    harrywitmore nice start :) Very interesting to see plants inside :)
     
  8. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    Thanks all. I will see how the moss grows in before planting much. I did add a bit of Riccia, a filmy fern and a bit of a Conocephalum species of liverwort. My first Lepanthes I wan to place in here is L calodictyon so if anyone has a spare they are interested in selling I would love to get one here in the US.:D
     
  9. Alexis

    Alexis New Member

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    Harry, let me know if you don't find a calodictyon before the end of Jan. The Tamiami show is coming up here in Miami, and I will probably be able to find one for you there. PM me if you want me to do a lil' shopping for you!
     
  10. Pook

    Pook Disneyed

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    You might also look at the Gelid Wing 8 fan. It's a waterproof 80mm noiseless fan. I've got one in use as well as two of the Wing 12 (120mm) and think highly of them.
     
  11. Mary Jane

    Mary Jane New Member

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    Looking good, Harry!
     
  12. rollinkansas

    rollinkansas Active Member

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    Harry,

    How is the moss holding up? I almost have my tube all figured out, so moss mix will basically be the last step for me.
     
  13. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    Mike, it's growing well. I have tried it with this one and a small experiment with floral foam and both are growing moss quickly. I'll get some pictures today.
     
  14. rollinkansas

    rollinkansas Active Member

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    Great, save some for me! Figuring out the lighting is giving me a headache, but looks like you solved that problem pretty easily.
    Do you find there is an even flow through all the holes in the watering tube?
     
  15. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    I'm getting pretty good coverage. It stay a bit dry at the very top but everywhere else is fine. I'm using a small swivel lamp to supplement the lighting down low. But with Pleuros most don;t need high light.
     
  16. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    Here's some updated pictures

    awww.cloudjungle.com_CloudJungle_Terrariums_10BOW_2_1_2010_1.JPG

    awww.cloudjungle.com_CloudJungle_Terrariums_10BOW_2_1_2010_2.JPG

    awww.cloudjungle.com_CloudJungle_Terrariums_10BOW_2_1_2010_3.JPG

    Here's another experiment with floral foam

    awww.cloudjungle.com_CloudJungle_Terrariums_10BOW_2_1_2010_4.JPG
     
  17. frogparty

    frogparty New Member

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    does that florist foam allow for capillary action of h2o? or do you have to water it? The moss really seems to like it.
     
  18. harrywitmore

    harrywitmore Member

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    It's in a totally enclosed terrarium so I haven't added water but once. It doesn't wick water to the top but it's also not drying out fast. The moss started very quickly. It's getting a bit too much light I think. If I do another I will scoop out the top of the foam and make it easier to water the top.
     
  19. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Wonderful. That filmy fern is sure cute.
     
  20. California Orchids

    California Orchids New Member

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    Harry, Your experiments look great. I look forward to more info on growing this way with the Epiweb.I have an outdoor system (about 6ft tall, 3ft wide) that is made of Grodan held in place by a metal grid. I planted Maidenhair ferns on it as well as Pleuro.species about 2 years ago. The grid structure is in a tub with a pump that circulates water up to the top a few hours a day depending on time of year, temp etc. things.It works well. The water falls into the tub and also makes nice fountain type noise. I hope to do more with different plants. Mary