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The orchidarium project

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by Mike Leone, Sep 12, 2014.

  1. Mike Leone

    Mike Leone Acme Orchidarium Co. acmeorchidarium.com Forum Sponsor

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    The inspiration to start growing orchids again came from a birding trip to Cost Rica were I spent as much time botanizing through my binoculars as I did birding. I was photographing an epiphyte laden branch in the cloud forest
    on Cero de la muerte (mountain of death) at around 1200 feet and thought wouldn't it be cool if I recreate this.
    The following photos are one month after setup, two years after and the inspirational photo P1010836.JPG P1020194.JPG P1010691.JPG P1020138.JPG P1020843.JPG
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wow, that is stunning. Congratulations on a great project
     
  3. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    fantastic job
     
  4. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Very nice to see the progression, how are you cooling the enclosure?
     
  5. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Very very nicely done! It looks just like a display at show. Thank you.

    Would love to see more plant photos if you don't mind.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2014
  6. wpinnix

    wpinnix William Pinnix

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    Amazing. Is that a yellow Dendrobium cuthbertsonii in the lower left?
     
  7. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering the same thing. I was trying to place scale to it, from the Lepanthes leaves. Are they hybrids?

    I admire this and feel its perfect. I'd love to read the specifics of this.
     
  8. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Absolutely amazing. Definitely one of the most beautiful terrariums I have seen. I would love to hear more about the specifications of the set up, lighting, enclosure, fans, plants, substrates, humidificatiion, cooling etc. Do you have any construction pictures you could dig up?
     
  9. orchidnut57

    orchidnut57 Member

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    I agree with everyone truly a very excellent set up. Well done and welcome
     
  10. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    I think that is Gina Perlite on the bottom left. And yes! More plant shots please!
     
  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Looking really good, Michael!
     
  12. lepetitmartien

    lepetitmartien Active Member

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    Stunning!
     
  13. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    That is an amazing result Michael. Great work. Are you airconditioning the tank in any way?

    Also, the mosses you have used. Did you collected them, and how did you establish them

    If you are on facebook, can you post this to this group please as I know the members would love to see your work.. Wardian Cases, Orchidariums and Vivariums. https://www.facebook.com/groups/301381213230652/ Or can I post your pics there and credit you for them?

    Best regards

    Brett
     
  14. Mike Leone

    Mike Leone Acme Orchidarium Co. acmeorchidarium.com Forum Sponsor

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    Thanks to everyone for your kind words. It's been a very rewarding project to see a lot of careful planning come together and work better than I had hoped. By studying what Orchid Karma and Ron Hanko had done I built on their basic plan and added more automation and technology while making sure the whole was aesthetically pleasing and did not look like a bad high school science project as many orchidariums do with wires hoses and duct tape every were.
    They are constructed out of 1/4" cast acrylic, cast does not warp like cheaper extruded acrylic. the sliding doors are glass. lighting is four 55 watt high output power compact fluorescents, two 55K and two 67K bulbs for optimum color spectrum. Automated watering/ misting system is by Mist King. Fans are Scythe gentle typhoon, three of them are for constant air circulation and two are thermostatically controlled exhaust for temperature control. intake air is pulled through and evaporative cooler.
    Temperature, fans, watering, misting, lights are all controlled by an EchoZone vivarium controller with multiple temperature and humidity probes. the controller has a wireless modem linking it to my Fios WiFi so it can be monitored and or reprogramed from any were. It logs historical temp. and humidity data in graph or chart format.
    temperature range in summer is held between 60/78 and 45/72 in winter
    The EchoZone controller is not cheap at around $400.00 including probes. but I feel it has been key to maintaining
    a very consistent environment and producing plant growth rates and flowering results that I have not seen before in 20 years of green house growing.
    Water for the orchidariums is mostly rain water with a little bit of well water for the minerals and iron content with enough DynaGrow orchid pro to bring the TDS up to about 180 PPM. I lower it to around 80 PPM in the winter. P1020403.JPG P1020409.JPG P1020411.JPG
     
  15. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    This is really something to aspire to. I cannot stress how well done everything is. As a miniature grower, this is absolutely ideal. KUDOS>
     
  16. Mike Leone

    Mike Leone Acme Orchidarium Co. acmeorchidarium.com Forum Sponsor

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    The mosses are collected here in my lush northern NJ forests and probably consist of at least a half dozen species,
    I found some are better suited than others. A few like live sphagnum and sheet moss grow vigorously and need to be
    controlled around small plants like Trisetellas. ferns came in with the mosses and also need to be managed.
    I submerge the mosses in water over night to drive out any unwanted beasties.
    The moss is then pinned with U shaped floral pins to the layered and carved tree fern slab back wall and wrapped around natural vines. P1010835.JPG P1020366.JPG P1020873.JPG P1020874.JPG
     
    Prudence1 and lepetitmartien like this.
  17. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the plant photos. That magenta bicolor cuthbertsonii caught my eyes too.

    BTW, what kind of vine(branch for mounting) is that?
     
  18. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    HOLY that is absolutely incredible I can't believe I just found this! What an inspiration.

    Do you treat your wood or did you just use regular pine?
    Regarding cooling, how did you connect that to your tank?

    The perpetual endeavor to achieve an elegant grow sans science project vibe....you've done it!
     
  19. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

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    Hi Mike.. Can you tell me what the dimensions of your wardian case are please? Have you taken measurements of the light output at various places in the tank? I would love to know this information as I have a 120cm tall wardian case that I need to change the lights on. Currently I am using a 150 what metal halide light

    Brett
     
  20. Mike Leone

    Mike Leone Acme Orchidarium Co. acmeorchidarium.com Forum Sponsor

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    Hi Brett
    The larger case is 92cm high x 110cm wide x 60cm deep that's 36"x44"x24" for us Americans who refuse to adopt
    the very logical metric systemo_O
    4-90 W fluorescents produce about 2500 foot candles fear the top and about 1500 at the bottom.
    55K and 76K mixed.http://ahsupply.com/ This is a link to my lighting supplier, Kim always answers the phone and he is very helpful.