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  #11  
Old 03-25-2019, 09:47 AM
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Didn't know this was even a thing - I'll definitely give it a shot. What's the typical dosing interval, once a month, as needed, every watering?
3 tablespoons/gallon, once a month. I just add it to my normal water/fertilizer solution. A periodic spritz from a hand-held sprayer with double that concentration if you see a developing issue. (I recently cured a Phal. parishii of a beginning infection that way.)
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  #12  
Old 03-25-2019, 08:51 PM
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Inkbird Humidistat arrived early and I worked on getting the sensors and equipment plugged in. Everything worked on the first shot. Only took a few seconds for the tank to hit 90% and it stayed there for about 6 hours.
https://www.orchidboard.com/communit...1&d=1553560676

Shot of the top where the corrugated hose mates into the PVC distribution channel. I also installed some grommets to feed the temperature and humidity sensor leads through. Oh and yes I know that the protective sheet is still on the lexan panel. I don't have all the holes mapped out and have changed my mind a few times, so once I have the last hole drilled and everything installed, I'll pull the wrap off then ;D
https://www.orchidboard.com/communit...1&d=1553560676

This shot is the v1 tank that I built that has an arduino nano controller plugged into a breadboard and a collection of mosfets. This board controlled, heat, light, a little cup sized humidifier, and 2 10cm computer fans. I bloomed my Taineophyllum Obtussum in that tank before the spider mites killed everything in it. I couldn't proceed further with that build because my water was so hard, it fouled up the ultrasonic transducer in the humidifier and rather than buy a new one and repopulate the tank, I took a break. Now that I have an RO filter, I might revisit that build.
https://www.orchidboard.com/communit...1&d=1553560676

This last photo is the 130PSI pump I bought from banggood for $11 hooked into 3/8 tubing, a series of reducers and a 1/4 pushfit connector that hooks into a misting manifold I slapped together from some rainbird irrigation kits I had left over from the summer. I was afraid I'd blow up the manifold at 130psi, so I attached the whole assembly to a variable voltage regulator so I could test lower voltages before going full power. Everything held at 12v, but this WAY overpowered for a tank. I may repurpose this for a larger misting area, but it's too big for the tank as it is. Before I install it though, I need to pick up a 1/4" diamond hole saw so I can grind a drain hole into the base of the tank, so that part's on hold until I make my 10th trip this week to Home Depot tomorrow
https://www.orchidboard.com/communit...1&d=1553560676

I did hit one stumbling block that I'm not sure how I'm going to address in the near term. The temps in the orchid room can drop to about 65/70 degrees, and for optimal growth, I want to maintain a temperature of about 85 degrees. The PTC heating element I bought is not really the right tool for heating this tank, and I'm going back and forth between adding in some sort of an air handling bypass that I can hook the UV sterilizer inline to in addition to some sort of resistive heating element paired with a fan (preferably one that I won't be concerned will burn down my house).

I ordered a 100W COB full spectrum light from Amazon that I'll use for the time being until I can fabricate a less "blurple" hue. I get that plants primarily use the red and blue spectrums, but I don't want to stare at a blurple plant for the next 5 years.

So made a lot of progress today. If I can figure a way to heat the tank's interior safely this week, I may attempt to deflask the ghost orchids and get them mounted on the hickory bark slabs I'd bought for the occasion

More to come soon!
Attached Thumbnails
My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1155-jpg   My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1156-jpg   My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1157-jpg   My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1158-jpg  

Last edited by Mochaboy; 03-25-2019 at 08:56 PM..
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2019, 07:52 AM
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Tank Heating: Either a seedling heat mat, inside the tank under the medium, or a reptile heating pad that's glued to the outside of the bottom of the tank.
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  #14  
Old 03-26-2019, 08:58 AM
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I don't know if you've caught these posts before, but there are old posts about a former member here who went on excursions to the Fakahatchee and have regularly found Ghosts. You should be able to find them using the search engine.

Here's an example of one of the older posts:

I've counted over 100 Ghost Orchids

I would also add to mind the wet and "dry" seasons. They seem to be more sensitive to being overwatered during the "dry" season. By "dry" I mean they don't get watered as often, but they still get watered. It's not truly dry. Versus wet is when they get watered more regularly.

They also don't like it perpetually wet. Humid is one thing, but if they are staying too wet for way too long, they will die from rot. This goes for all the "leafless" orchids. They must dry out completely between waterings. They must also dry out in less than 1 day. The way they retain their moisture and don't get dehydrated is because of the high humidity.

BTW, if you've never been to FL at all, just know that even at a place like the Miami Airport, just going outside for the first time and even during the winter months, you'll be surprised by how warm and very humid it is down there. I still remember to this day what it was like to walk out of the Miami Airport having come from Los Angeles during late winter/early spring. It felt like I walked into an oven set to preheat that was just turned on. You can also feel the humidity - it is noticeable for someone coming from a place as relatively less humid like Los Angeles.
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Last edited by King_of_orchid_growing:); 03-26-2019 at 09:16 AM..
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  #15  
Old 03-26-2019, 10:11 AM
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Tank Heating: Either a seedling heat mat, inside the tank under the medium, or a reptile heating pad that's glued to the outside of the bottom of the tank.
I tried a reptile heating pad and in a 62 degree basement, the pad was only capable of raising the internal ambient temperature by 2 degrees. I think the way they work is they create a heated substrate area, but I need something that can raise the ambient temperature inside a tank that big and quickly.

I think the seedling mats work the same way, they warm the substrate but not necessarily the ambient temperatures. The orchids will be suspended so I'll need something to heat the air inside the tank.

I'm leaning towards a ceramic heater sealed by some water and heat proof rtv silicone.

---------- Post added at 10:11 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by King_of_orchid_growing:) View Post
I would also add to mind the wet and "dry" seasons. They seem to be more sensitive to being overwatered during the "dry" season. By "dry" I mean they don't get watered as often, but they still get watered. It's not truly dry. Versus wet is when they get watered more regularly.

They also don't like it perpetually wet. Humid is one thing, but if they are staying too wet for way too long, they will die from rot. This goes for all the "leafless" orchids. They must dry out completely between waterings. They must also dry out in less than 1 day. The way they retain their moisture and don't get dehydrated is because of the high humidity.
Thanks for this info - this matches my experience. Your comment was timely because just last night I was trying to work in a drying cycle into the overall environmental parameters.
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2019, 02:20 PM
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Couple of quick updates.

I cracked the bottom of the tank while attempting to drill the hole for the drain pipe. My fault completely, just over estimated how much force I needed to push through.

That part of the process was done with a 1/2" Milwaukee diamond tipped hole saw. You use a 1/2" spade bit to drill a hole in a piece of wood that will serve as your drilling jig. Place the jig on top of the work piece, drop water on the area you want to drill and more importantly brace a spoiler board below too. I skipped the spoiler board and unfortunately chipped the edges when I popped through also cracking some of the glass. I'm going to smear the area with some 5 minute epoxy then just cover the floor with a false bottom so I'm not staring at the cracks for the next 5 years.

I also went out to the pet store and picked up a 100W ceramic heater. Then a quick trip to Lowes to pick up a DIY bulb base made out of porcelain or some other ceramic. I wasn't sure how hot the element would get and I didn't want to risk a plastic housing melting, so I opted to go for the more robust base.

The photos show the element heating up. It takes about 5 minutes to get to 425F. After 10 minutes, the internal temperature of the tank rose about 8 degrees so this is already performing better than the seedling and reptile heating mats.

I also picked up some fireproof silicone sealant. The plan will be to encase the bulb base and a portion of the bulb so that no water can get into the fixture. Because the heating element is topping out at 425F, I'm going to have to encase it in some sort of rocket mass heater style thermal mass. I'm thinking a tin coffee can with some sand in it should do the trick. I just can't risk the misting system dropping water on a 425F surface, but it should be reasonably safe if the heating element is at least protected. The original idea was to make a rock out of cement, and I still might, but then that means the unit won't be serviceable, so for now going to stick to sand while I work out the rest of the variables.

Quick edit - dropped the temperature set point to 80F. It took the heater less than 20 minutes to get to that internal temperature, so going to call this part a success. Next thing to do will be to encase the base in a water and fireproof silicone sleeve. The ambient temps in the basement hover around 55-58F and the tank starts to struggle around 78F so might need to add some insulation too.

One little production note/observation. I ran the humidifier to show my daughter and the temps in the tank dropped 10 degrees in just 30 seconds...crazy. Granted it was pulling cold air from the basement and injecting it into the heated tank. So far the inkbird controller's doing a great job, but I'm starting to see some limitations that I hadn't thought about earlier...

In other words, I figured out how to heat up the tank, but I don't have a quick solution for cooling it without adding another piece of equipment so that'll be a challenge for another day but for now it's going on the list.
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My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1175-jpg   My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1179-jpg   My Ghost Orchid Project-img_1180-jpg  

Last edited by Mochaboy; 03-26-2019 at 04:22 PM..
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2019, 03:52 PM
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Good idea on the heater. I used two 13W heat mats in my 3' x 6' x 3' "grow box" and it was VERY warm. However, we must consider that three sized and the top were foil-faced foam, so it was well-insulated.

Next time you drill glass, drill through water, as that not only cools the cut, but it chemically "shields" the glass structure to relieve stresses better.
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2019, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Good idea on the heater. I used two 13W heat mats in my 3' x 6' x 3' "grow box" and it was VERY warm. However, we must consider that three sized and the top were foil-faced foam, so it was well-insulated.

Next time you drill glass, drill through water, as that not only cools the cut, but it chemically "shields" the glass structure to relieve stresses better.
Sorry - yeah I forgot to mention I was using water too (youtube to the rescue again). It was working beautifully until I got to the other side. I just put a little TOO much heave ho into what should have been a very delicate grinding exercise Was just a little too excited to see this all coming together...

Once I finalize the equipment installation, I'll move it from the basement to the grow room where it's a little warmer then start setting up for the big show. When I get to the deflasking part, I'm sure I'll have questions.

By the way, I checked in on the flask today and I started to notice some of the bigger specimens yellowing at the root tip I think the stress of getting shipped in the cold then being in a coldish room took a little toll on them

Whatever the case, as soon as the grow light gets here tomorrow I'm going to get them deflasked, washed, sterilized and mounted into the tank.
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2019, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochaboy View Post
y the way, I checked in on the flask today and I started to notice some of the bigger specimens yellowing at the root tip I think the stress of getting shipped in the cold then being in a coldish room took a little toll on them

Whatever the case, as soon as the grow light gets here tomorrow I'm going to get them deflasked, washed, sterilized and mounted into the tank.
Why sterilized?

They are totally sterile now. The application of such chemicals do not impart future protection, but do add stress!
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  #20  
Old 03-26-2019, 04:56 PM
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Why sterilized?

They are totally sterile now. The application of such chemicals do not impart future protection, but do add stress!
Ah ok...will skip that step...You're right about the stress, I was just mentioning that from experience where I waited too long to deflask the seedlings and what I thought was a sterile flask was anything but.
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