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The Orchid Tent Project

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by PerpetualIrish, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. PerpetualIrish

    PerpetualIrish New Member

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    Howdy folks, I will start this with a little background. I started growing orchids about two years ago in a 20 gallon long. My collection rapidly started expanding and I progressed through various terrariums, 4 tanks started to get annoying and difficult to manage. A friend of mine showed me his grow tent that he used for orchids and I hopped onto that train fast.

    The last image of the tanks before I started the break down.
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    I consolidated my 4 tanks into a 4x2x6' grow tent, with the intention of growing cool to cold. This tent ran from Sept 2019 until 1/18/20. The project came with challenges, but also a wild amount of success that I had not had before.

    I powered the tent with a Mars Hydro SP250. I chose the lamp because it was fanless, driver brick was detachable, and was water proof. This light is incredible, however it was far far too strong for a tent that size. Even though the light was reading at 1000 FC, I was scorching and bleaching leaves, I noticed about a month in. I opted for 30% shade cloth as I could not raise the light and did not want to lower my bench. This was what the tent needed. The light increased blooming drastically.

    Ventilation was fairly easy. Due to the tents location, in a room with very little direct light (only in the morning) and the heat shut off, I was able to use a fan to blow cool air from the floor into the tent. A small 4'' fan was positioned above the light in a port in the tent, to help remove heated air. Periodically through out the day, a 6'' osculating fan would kick on and stir the air up. Cool Humid air was pumped into the tent via a slightly modified ultra sonic humidifier. Over the months the tent ran, I was able to record a had a high of 68 and a low of 45. All ran well, until I needed to scratch the itch again. The tent wasn't big enough.
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    Now, here we are, basically with an indoor greenhouse. This 8x4x6' tent was a real pain to set up in the room. Its basically half the size of the room. Ideally this tent will run the same as the smaller tent. I added a second light (Mars Hydro SP150), a second humidifier, and now have the osculating fan running constantly. Its going to take some for everything and myself to acclimate to this new walk in. More fans may be added in time, and I am considering a small misting system. Not to specifically water the plants, but to help cool it during hotter days and months.

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    Ill be happy to answer any questions anyone has about this. Its an on going experiment for me and learning experience. A greenhouse simply isn't a reasonable investment in my area. I am 7500 feet in elevation in the Rocky Mountains. Too many uncontrollable variables for me to want to deal with something out doors. The upside is that due to my location I have mild summers with cool evenings, sometimes as much as 30-40 degrees can drop at night in the summer. This temp swing aids me in growing cooler. I hope you all enjoyed this.
     
    Chuck-NH, rico, RustyExotics and 3 others like this.
  2. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    That is a job well done. And look, you still have lots of room to fill!
     
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  3. PerpetualIrish

    PerpetualIrish New Member

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    So much more room to fill. Thank you for the kind words. I'm looking forward to stocking it
     
  4. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Looks like a real pleasing set up! I’m thinking that with appropriate cooling systems, one could even grow cooler plants in this in warmer climates?
     
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  5. PerpetualIrish

    PerpetualIrish New Member

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    With the proper gear, I would imagine that anything is possible. I have been theory crafting a little on how to maintain a hot to warm tent in my climate. The insulation value of the tent material is not very high, an idea I had was to basically create a small box around the tent in 1-2'' expanded polystyrene (insulation material) It would help to create a buffer zone and help keep the temps you want inside if the outside temps are wildly different.