Help with New Enclosed Setup Temp Control
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  #1  
Old 01-28-2023, 10:44 AM
orchidgeek orchidgeek is offline
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Help with New Enclosed Setup Temp Control
Default Help with New Enclosed Setup Temp Control

Hello,

I recently decided to build my own orchid case after having purchased an "orchidarium" to grow miniatures in last year. While that case served me well for a bit, it was very small, and I did not like the acrylic. I grow miniatures that fall within the cool to intermediate range, including d. cuthbertsonii that I have had much success growing in the orchidarium (lots of new growth, reblooms, etc.).

For my new case, I purchased a custom made reptile enclosure from REPTIZOO, specifically to fit on a sturdy table in a smaller space. The dimensions are 30" tall, 30" wide, and 15" deep. This has a waterproof bottom that I fill with water and an atomizer is on a timer to help generate additional humidity. I built a custom removable bottom, using black eggcrate and netpots, that sits above the water. At the back top left and right corners, I have two AC Infinity muffin fans (37 CFM each), mounted approximately 2-2.5" from the top of the case, which pull air up from the bottom of the case and create good air movement. For lighting, I have 4 x 24W Barrina T8 LED full spectrum grow lights.

The new challenge I am facing is temperature control. In my previous smaller setup, the inside temperature rarely climbed above 74/75F during the day; however, in my new setup, it's approaching 80F. I also crack my window at night, and in the old setup, would get the internal temperature down to the very low 60s or just at 60, but in the new setup, I'm only getting down around 64F. For my d. cuthbertsonii, the temp drop is critically important, and I'd like to try and get to 60F, or just below it, in my new setup. My d. cuthbertsonii seem to be fine right now, but when summer rolls around, I'm concerned that the internal temperature may climb even higher during the day, and our central a/c will only bring the ambient temp down to about 66/67F at night.

I have two Govee temp/hygrometers in the tank, one at the top and one toward the bottom, and noticed an average ~3F temp differential. I need to position my d. cuthbertsonii closer to the top, so they receive sufficient light, so moving them to the bottom of the tank is not really an option.

I had three cable passthroughs added to the enclosure for equipment but also to help me manually regulate temperature and humidity levels as needed. Opening the top one seems to help lower the temperature a bit, but obviously at the expense of humidity (which I try to keep 80-85%). My biggest challenge right now is getting the tank temperature to drop overnight--the ambient temperature drops quite a bit from the window being cracked, but it's not dropping the tank internal temp where I'd like it to be.

Has anyone been here before? Any advice for tips/tricks or additional equipment? Would consider going the evaporative cooler route if small enough. Photo attached for reference--just finished setting it up and moving my orchids at the beginning of the week. Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2023, 12:00 PM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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No advice here, but I sure think it's a great setup to play with. Nice build orchidgeek.
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2023, 01:20 PM
orchidgeek orchidgeek is offline
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Help with New Enclosed Setup Temp Control
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Thanks! I seem to have found a decent solution in placing a couple PC fans on top of the lights, blowing on the glass, and itís been holding steady since at just about 77. I think I just needed a way to move some of the hot air off the glass from the lights. 😄
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Old 01-31-2023, 08:00 PM
Dendrobates33 Dendrobates33 is offline
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Help with New Enclosed Setup Temp Control
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Your set up looks great, I'm envious of the black egg crate, very stealthy!

How do you like the fans drawing air up, do you still get a decent amount of movement?
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  #5  
Old 01-31-2023, 08:06 PM
orchidgeek orchidgeek is offline
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Help with New Enclosed Setup Temp Control
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Thanks! The fans pointing at the ceiling seems to be working well; however, the air movement obviously drops a bit as you head toward the bottom of the case. I've been experimenting by placing pieces of kitchen twine on orchids at the bottom, adjusting the fans, and observing how they stay still or move. I've ordered a third (smaller) fan which should be here tomorrow--thinking about placing one blowing toward the front glass, not ON to any orchids, to see if that eliminates the couple dead zones I seem to have. Delicate balance between too much/too little air movement, I think!
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