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 Post subject: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 9:47 pm 
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Hi folks, I'm new around here, but thought I'd dive right in!

I thought I'd tell you a bit about my orchidarium. It always raises eyebrows and questions when mentioned or seen. And as I have no garden and therefor no greenhouse (and two pesky cats who knock over and nibble anything), it really is the ideal solution to indoor orchid growing.
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I use an Exo Terrra glass case, with 5 CFL daylight bulbs in the hoods. A lucky Reptile SuperFog takes care of humidity and 4 waterproof fans run constantly. Temps vary between 50 degrees at night (I sleep with my window open in the spring and summer!) to an absolute max of 80 degrees on a summer day (this past week has been hellish, and I've been placing a frozen 2ltr bottle of water in the bottom every day) humidity sits at around 90 + at all times.

Thanks to the high humidity and constant air movement, I'm able to grow a wide variety of species. Mesdevallias, Dendrobiums (New Guinea miniatures are my favourite), Bulbophyllum, Angraecums, Sophoronitis and a host of others all seem to do pretty well.
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I just thought some of you might find it interesting and might inspire you to have a go. Hope I've not bored you to tears!



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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:28 pm 
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hi mate, whereabouts did you get your plastic mesh? i have been looking to get them for ages but don't seem to find them easily.



thanks
Joel


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Hi Joel, I actually picked it up on eBay. It's used for koi carp and reef building - was kind of pricey though (£50 for twice the amount you can see in the orchidarium.) Type in "egg crate" and it should come up.

Hope that helps a bit!


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2012 11:58 pm 
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whoa! that's pricey!

you have a nice tank! i think i'd have to settle for chicken wire mesh! haha


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 12:03 am 
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Tell me about it! But I needed it for the base (filled with water and hydroleca) as its solid enough to support plants and still allow air movement to the underside of the pots. But believe me, my bank balance isn't pretty... Thanks for the compliment. I'm pretty happy with the setup.


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 9:59 am 
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That is lovely - and the plants all appear quite happy. :)

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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 10:26 am 
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Hi Cambar,

That is a great set up!

I have two of the Exo-Terra terrariums with a super rain misting system from Lucky Reptile and 6 refrigerating fans on (4 on the larger one and 2 on the smaller terrarium). I use them for my Pleuros and cooler growing plants and also love it in there.

I bought them ready with a large collection of plants a few years ago.

Where do you get your waterproof fans from? Mine are quite old now and I don't know where to get my replacement fans from.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:19 pm 
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hi there cambar!
wow i got to admit that is the best orchidarium i have seen so far! well done, they all look so happy in there :D
was wondering what sort of lighting do you use? as thinking of setting up an orchidarium too but specifically for warmer orchids e.g Paphiopedilums, vandas etc. also are humidity pellets any good for it?

lovely set up! well done again
regards :)

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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:37 am 
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Lilith - thank you very much! :)

Francis - I use Phobya waterproof fans (the 14mm ones as the move more air about). In previous incarnations of the orchidarium, I used the exo terra fans which are frankly overpriced rubbish and stop working if they get too wet - not idea for a humid and enclosed space. The Phobya fans have been great so far. I highly recommend them ( google for suppliers as I actually can't remember where I sourced them from)

Orchidlover - I use ecozone CFL daylight bulbs which are brilliant. I replace them every year. They don't give off too much heat ( I have some plants growing just a few inches from them) and are very dependable.


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 11:59 am 
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Oh Orchidlover - sorry, meant to say the Exo Terra tank I have has specific light hoods that you can buy that fit perfectly on top and the bulbs fit in these. It's a great combo and saves having to build things yourself (unless you are into that sort of thing!) There are a lot of good deals about at the moment online, and I'd defenitely recommend buying the biggest you can afford, as they fill up so fast :lol:

I have hydroleca and water in the base, with the white plastic egg crate supported by 8 pint glasses ( the other two are for me ;) ), but the majority of my humidity comes from watering and a Lucky Reptil SuperFog which I would not be without. I work long hours, so I know my plants are being kept in optimum conditions whilst I am out of the house. Everything is run on some cheap timers I bought from B&Q.

Hope that helps!


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 12:25 pm 
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thanks for the good advice cambar! hopefully going to get the tank set up soon, so cannot wait to give these things a try!
excellent work again!
regards :)

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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:32 pm 
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Please post lots of photos - I love reading about/seeing other folk's setups!


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:45 am 
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Wow, this is definitely giving me some ideas... I love it. I would want to grow warm growing orchids as well; vandas, catts, paphs etc etc. I wonder do you need long arms though to reach into it? Or do the panels slide off :laughing-rollingyellow:


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:07 pm 
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Lol - the doors open up at the front completely, making it easy to get in and potter and water. It's ideal for orchids!


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:25 pm 
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That is good to know then. I was thinking about getting a little greenhouse for the windowsill where I live. I saw one in Ikea and I was seriously tempted. I know that you can't get much in there but I thought that it would look nice -even if it did rot my plants as I can see no space for a fan!

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/70186603/

I will think about it a bit more now that summer is coming.


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:59 pm 
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Oh Susie, to be honest that's a bad idea - I can see lots of rot and/or overheating happening! Pretty as it is, I think your plants would be miserable in there unless it has some airflow. The larger an enclosure, the more easily controlled the conditions. If it's that small, things could go wrong pretty fast. I think you'd be better saving your pennies!


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:12 am 
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Yeah that's what someone else said as well. I shal;l just stick to the windowsill for now until I can move to somewhere bigger with a conservatory and large greenhouse!! :)


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:47 pm 
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I really love what I see! Well done!

I built a small 8x8x10 inch orchidarium, but my orchids seem to dislike it. I wonder why, and need assistance. I have a little "creek" inside, and a fan blowing permanently. Humidity is there, the glass walls show. Maybe it is the temperature..?

At this moment (still getting more and more required items together), I use one PL light bulb (energy-saving, equals traditional 130 W).

Photo URLs:
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0538.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0539.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0540.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0541.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0542.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0545.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000
http://www.SvenLittkowski.name/p/Image.php5?What=../v/Lib/Projects/Orchidarium/2013-07-13/Photo0546.jpg&Width=800&FXs=B-00C%2000A%2000%2000%2000S%2000

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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:07 pm 
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Hi!

I wonder fs your orchids aren't drying out enough and are therefore rotting? Or perhaps the temperature is too high? The problem with very small cases like yours is that conditions can vary hugely over a very short space of time. It certainly looks very damp in there. Could you give me some information about your watering regime and temperatures (maximum and minimum would be useful) and also what orchids you are trying to grow.

Cam


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 Post subject: Re: My orchidarium
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:09 pm 
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I am with Cam on this one.

Small growing cases can overheat very quickly, or be too humid, or too dry.

I think it does look like it is very humid in there, and I think I could see a Cattleya? I don't grow Catts, but I think they really need to dry out between waterings?

I'd say that growing cases are better suited to either cool growing orchids (i.e. Pleurothallids and the like) or the ones that need warm and plenty of humidity (i.e. Phalaenopsis and other orchids like those).

Just my thoughts.

Francis

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