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  #41  
Old 04-09-2019, 03:28 PM
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DarkDragoness DarkDragoness is offline
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I also have ghost orchid babies but I don't have such a fancy setup for them. They hang out on a piece of onion bag mesh in my shower and I just take a shower to water them. Yes, I water my plants with tap water(course, Seattle's tap water has a reading of around 30 ppm. Yes, I know someone with a ppm measuring tool.). They've had this setup since I got them over a year ago and they're still alive and growing(I don't even use fertilizer at all.).
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  #42  
Old 04-09-2019, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkDragoness View Post
I also have ghost orchid babies but I don't have such a fancy setup for them. They hang out on a piece of onion bag mesh in my shower and I just take a shower to water them. Yes, I water my plants with tap water(course, Seattle's tap water has a reading of around 30 ppm. Yes, I know someone with a ppm measuring tool.). They've had this setup since I got them over a year ago and they're still alive and growing(I don't even use fertilizer at all.).
That's awesome. What kind of light do they get?

---------- Post added at 04:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:44 PM ----------

1 week check in point

The collection got their first feeding. A diluted solution of MSU that clocked in somewhere around 100ppm. If you read existing guides, the recommendation is for around 75ppm and at that level you can load them in a mister and feed them all the time if you want.

I had to pull 3 of the clusters out including one that had about 3 inch roots as they were rotting from the protocorm. I had spotted these inside the flask and they were already on their way out, so the deflasking event just sped up the culling process.

Quite a few of the albino clusters seem to be settling in, neither withdrawing nor showing signs of active growth, but across the board, clusters that had what I would consider borderline viability are starting to show signs of decline. The clusters that had yellowing or blackened protocorms are moving on. The roots still seem to be intact so I'm going to hold on to them until the roots show signs of decay.

The good news is the robust clusters are still robust and the roots are continuing to show signs of growth so that's a good thing. You get so many seedlings out of the flask that you can afford to lose a few (though I hate the idea of losing any of them no matter how small they are).

By my last count I'm down to about 17 or 18 viable seedlings, which all things considered is astonishing. One thing I've had to do is to back off on the watering a bit and allow for more drying time. Apart from that - everything else seems to be proceeding along as I would have hoped.

I'm going to keep them in these conditions for another 30-40 days, at which point I believe they will have properly acclimatized. At that point I'll moving them into their permanent enclosure. I think for that next stage, I'll be increasing the light levels from 500FC to 4,000 FC over the span of a month, increasing by about 1k FC every week. I'll also be experimenting with different mounting options.

I have on deck...
* mockernut hickory bark
* driftwood (boiled to leech out the salts)
* burlap
* terracotta pots
* some DIY bark things I'm working on (orchiata siliconed to some surface to simulate a bark slab)

I will also at that point, attempt injecting CO2 into the chamber. I'll start at 1,500PPM and slowly increase up to 3,000 to match the attempts that have been made in the past with this very same injection technique.

So yeah...still going on strong and thinking about picking another flask so I have more different things I can experiment with
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  #43  
Old 04-09-2019, 05:18 PM
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DarkDragoness DarkDragoness is offline
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Umm, a south facing frosted glass bathroom window. As do all of my other orchids since they all live together. Apparently lepanthes love that spot and bloom. A lot.

---------- Post added at 02:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:13 PM ----------

You might want to try an onion bag, they seem to like it a lot. It lets them get a bit of air movement and traps water droplets for them. I don't have any tools for my plants 'cause I have no money(and I would forget to use them as well.). I've had these guys since November 5, 2017.
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  #44  
Old 04-10-2019, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkDragoness View Post
Umm, a south facing frosted glass bathroom window. As do all of my other orchids since they all live together. Apparently lepanthes love that spot and bloom. A lot.

---------- Post added at 02:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:13 PM ----------

You might want to try an onion bag, they seem to like it a lot. It lets them get a bit of air movement and traps water droplets for them. I don't have any tools for my plants 'cause I have no money(and I would forget to use them as well.). I've had these guys since November 5, 2017.
That's awesome and a great data point - I'll be sure to include those growing area details in the wrap up video.

Apparently the team at UofF managed to grow them directly off burlap cloth, so growing them on an onion bag wouldn't be that far off and yours are still alive so you're doing something right!

Any chance you can post photos of your ghost orchids?
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  #45  
Old 04-11-2019, 05:33 PM
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AAAAAnnnnnd....here's a research paper

I updated the first post with a link to that research paper for anyone else daring enough to try this.

Mini update - I had some concerns on the moisture of the sphagnum bed of moss. I had trouble drying it out in a timely fashion and I believe that accelerated the rotting process of some of weaker clusters.

I've moved everything over to a scrap of burlap now and will see if that improves the wet/dry cycle.
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  #46  
Old 04-11-2019, 08:02 PM
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Mochaboy Mochaboy is offline
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After reading the research paper, I'm switching up my strategies a bit and changing the lighting setup yet a third time. I'm now using a VIPARSpectra 450W to light the tank. This grow light is special as you can control the exact ratio AND intensity across the PAR spectrum, of light being delivered to the plants, which is handy for taking photos as I can shut the red and blue off and just have the white light

You can see the light settings that I settled on in the descriptions. For the next week or two, I'm raising the FC levels from 250 FC to 1kFC which clocks in about 225 PPFD on the PAR Meter.

The goal will be to see how far I can push the light levels beyond the 358 PPFD recorded in the UoF Research Paper. Above a certain level, you have to introduce elevated levels of CO2, so that should be a fun experiment.

For now, I'm happy enough that they look alive and are happy

IMGUR ALBUM
Ghost Orchid Seedlings Week 2 - Increasing Light Levels - Album on Imgur

Fun facts learned from the research paper:
* stagnant air - myth
* symbiotic fungus - apart from germination, no benefit
* Burlap's a decent medium to grow them on!
* they spritzed every 2 hours for 30 seconds during the day - I'm spritzing like once or twice and so far so good.

Last edited by Mochaboy; 04-11-2019 at 08:18 PM..
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  #47  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:21 AM
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Akhenaten Akhenaten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mochaboy View Post
For now, I'm happy enough that they look alive and are happy
Great job! Amazing!
How do they do today?
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  #48  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:55 AM
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Mochaboy Mochaboy is offline
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I've been manually spritzing the collection daily and I'm happy to report that the robust ones are still robust and showing active signs of growth. I have a misting system ready to go in, I've just held off since I've been having fun visiting them everyday and spritzing them. But I'll need the automated misting soon for those times when I go on vacation.

To be honest - the tank worked out so well that I shoved a bunch of other smaller orchids in there that weren't doing so well and now they're thriving in there as well.

So as ironic as it is, what started out as a ghost orchid tank is now home to about 17 orchids.

Couple of fun observations at the 5 week mark...

* the rumors about its slow growth are 100% true. I'd say the more robust nodes have new growths that are probably 3-4 mm long after 5 weeks. While that's promising (in that I didn't kill it), at the current rate, we're talking like an inch of growth per year. These new growths are the key to allowing the de-flasked orchids to eventually thrive as the flasked roots were optimized for a sealed environment, whereas the new roots will adapt to the tank environment.

* I'm getting a tiny bit of algae buildup at 125ppm but it's nothing too concerning at this point. I may drop the solution down to 75ppm but I want to see what I can get away with first.

* against my better judgement, I put what I thought were pest free orchids in with the seedlings. Imagine my horror at the 4 week mark when I was doing weekly microscope inspection and discovered spider mites If you've been following along, spider mites were what killed my first tank. But I was ready this time. As an experiment, I tried 1% permethrin soaked in a cotton rag then circulated in the tank for an evening - surprisingly, it did nothing. So dropped an Azamax bomb on everything in the tank and I haven't seen any creepy crawlies since). I only discovered them because they were munching on my sigmatostalix radican's roots and causing some of its leaves to yellow and fall off...Nasty little bugs. so happy to be rid of them.

* If and when I do this again - I'll skip the sp moss and grow them straight off the burlap. Burlap has a nice balance of water retention and aeration.

* I DID get rot because I overdid the watering, but I caught in time. I'm on a 1-2 spritz per day cycle for watering, and a weekly feeding @ 125ppm of MSU

* I haven't done a recent tally, but just since the last update, I lost 5 to 6 more of the non viable clusters. They were already on their way out as the protocorms were dead anyway. Out of the original 30'ish, I think I have about 10-12 that may make it to the mounting process. On future attempts, I hope to improve that percentage by not overwatering as I did on this pass.

* For lighting - I replicated the FSU growing conditions using a dimmable VIPAR Spectra 450W at about 18" and a 45-50% duty cycle. That's in the 300-350 PPFD range (verified with an apogee quantum meter) on a 14 hour photoperiod. Actually - in reality, that's simulating max intensity greenhouse sunlight for 14 hours straight with no ramp up so it's actually more moles/day aggregate than the FSU experiment. But they seem to be doing fine, so I have no intention of backing down on the lighting.

I'm working up plans to build a 4 foot wide terrarium using knock down acrylic kits to house the mounted ghosts, but that's going to be a long term project. I don't have enough mockernut hickory to mount all the specimens, so I'm going to try to simulate some using some slabs slathered in silicone caulk and medium orchiata. That technique works as a backing for terrariums and vivariums, so there's no reason it wouldn't work for this application (I think).

I'll get some photos this week and see if I can get started with the wrap up video. There are a lot of details to share along with successes and failures.

Last edited by Mochaboy; 05-13-2019 at 04:04 AM..
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  #49  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:28 AM
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125 ppm N weekly is WAY too much for such slow-growing plants. I think they'd be better off with 50.

Have you considered any additives? KelpMax will accelerate growth, and Concentric Ag Garden Solution will enhance survival tremendously.
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  #50  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:09 PM
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Akhenaten Akhenaten is offline
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Thank you for so much interesting research.
I'll wait continue
And I saw burlap with Ghost Orchids at asian vendors, you are not alone
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