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Go Back   Orchid Board - Most Complete Orchid Forum on the web ! > STYLES, SETUPS & ENCLOSURES > Growing Under Lights
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  #1  
Unread 01-10-2013, 02:20 AM
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Default What can I grow under a T5 Hydrofarm 4' x 4 bulb light fixture?

I'm planning my first indoor grow shelf for some mini phals, paphs, african violets and some small aquariums. The plan is to contain everything on one 5 shelf 48"x24"x72" Gorilla Rack, though I may need to remove one shelf to fit everything.

For the low light plants listed above I want to use four 48" T8 32 watt bulbs + reflectors for each 48"x24" shelf. Does that sound like the right amount of light?

Now onto the title question: Will a T5HO Hydrofarm 4' x 4 bulb light fixture allow me to grow orchids with an medium-high light requirement? I want to add some mini dendrobiums, mini oncidiums (Twinkles), and possibly some mini cattleyas to my collection. Or would I be better off getting the 6 bulb fixture instead? I've never grown plants under lights before so please excuse my ignorance and attempt to simplify matters.
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  #2  
Unread 01-10-2013, 06:47 AM
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I can flower catts under T5's. I have mine on an 18" deep shelf with a 4 bulb unit and all areas of the shelf get sufficient light.

Bill
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  #3  
Unread 01-10-2013, 09:35 AM
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Bill is right. The higher the light requirement, the higher they need to be. I grow only Phals using T5, and they grow at anywhere from 20-28" below the bulb. Oncs and Catts will need to be closer, 16-20" to give them their high light requirements.
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  #4  
Unread 01-10-2013, 04:04 PM
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If you are planning on mixing african violets into the bunch...you need to make sure they are getting enough of the red spectrum or they will never flower.(Full spectrum lights or grow lights just don't cut it...big beautiful leaves, but no flowers) Also, they need at least 8 hours of dark in order to bloom. Just some considerations to think about when mixing them into the bunch.
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  #5  
Unread 01-11-2013, 07:17 AM
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Alright thanks for the confirmation everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddle_grl View Post
If you are planning on mixing african violets into the bunch...you need to make sure they are getting enough of the red spectrum or they will never flower.(Full spectrum lights or grow lights just don't cut it...big beautiful leaves, but no flowers) Also, they need at least 8 hours of dark in order to bloom. Just some considerations to think about when mixing them into the bunch.
Thanks for the tip. The African violets will most likely get their own shelf so I will make sure to cater to their needs.

Here's the outline I've made for each shelf.
1. African violets (mostly variegated types)
2. Phals, maudiae type paphs, miltonias
3. Planted aquariums
4. Planted aquariums
5. Mini oncidiums, mini dendrobiums, mini cattleyas

I'll probably end up getting a second rack because I doubt I can actually fit that much onto just one without making plant maintenance troublesome. At least with a second rack I can have a shelf dedicated to blooms since a lot of these plants have tall spikes, and even more room for tanks and plants.
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  #6  
Unread 01-11-2013, 02:07 PM
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I've flowered a Pot. Burana Beauty and a Onc. Sherry Baby under a regular 2ft T5. The Beauty had 7 flowers last blooming and is working on 3 new pbulbs right now. The Onc. only had 1 spike but it was its first blooming and is growing 3 new pbulbs as well.
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  #7  
Unread 01-13-2013, 01:22 AM
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I grow all my indoor orchids under the same system as yours with only grow bulbs and they bloom very nicely. No need to get fancy!
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  #8  
Unread 01-13-2013, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
I've flowered a Pot. Burana Beauty and a Onc. Sherry Baby under a regular 2ft T5. The Beauty had 7 flowers last blooming and is working on 3 new pbulbs right now. The Onc. only had 1 spike but it was its first blooming and is growing 3 new pbulbs as well.
I also have a Sharry Baby. It was on the porch for the summer but late in the season it got scorched by the sun just as it was sending up a spike. The bulk of the leaves were severely damaged and I also lost 3 pbulbs on the exposed side of the plant. The spike has been half an inch long for the last few months and I doubt it will result in any blooms, but at least I still have 5 new pbulbs coming along.

Exactly how have you been lighting your plants?
Quote:
Originally Posted by isurus79 View Post
I grow all my indoor orchids under the same system as yours with only grow bulbs and they bloom very nicely. No need to get fancy!
Are you using high output t5 bulbs?
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  #9  
Unread 01-13-2013, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seaj View Post

Are you using high output t5 bulbs?
Yes
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  #10  
Unread 01-13-2013, 07:09 PM
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Just to give some input, I got an enviro 4' x 6 bulbs unit and its fantastic. Wow are t5s so much brighter!!! My Tolumnia and Vandas are already soaking in the rays.
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