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  #21  
Old 11-18-2014, 03:53 PM
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FairyInTheFlowers FairyInTheFlowers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subrosa View Post
There are units of both types that function that way, and also units that have probe which gets very cold and chills the water simply by being submerged in it.
Hmmm, it's an interesting idea, but I have a feeling keeping the air cooled and humid will be my biggest challenge, but the most rewarding. I would assume that there is a point where further cooling to the water being wicked to the pots begins to have no additional cooling effect. Although it would be further complicating things, if I were to get a cooling probe, I could connect the water reservoirs of both the plant tank and miniature AC unit, therefore removing the need for constantly icing the tank and AC unit. . . although I don't know how well it would be able to cool that volume of water. I'd probably have the plant tank be about 24" x 36", and the connected AC about 8" x 14". Considering I'd keep about 2" of standing water in both units, that's about 2,000 cubic inches of water if I did my math right. I'm not a rich kid, so I'm definitely trying to figure out the best and least expensive way I can get this up and running. I'm pretty sure Ecuagenera is coming to my city early next spring, so I need something cheap enough to leave me with money to still buy the plants to fill it!
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  #22  
Old 11-18-2014, 04:30 PM
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Units are available in fractions and multiples of horsepower. A 250 gal tank I maintain has either a 2/3 or 3/4 hp unit. A 6000 gal tank I used to maintain ran a 5 or 6 hp unit. Smallest flow throughs are 1/10 hp, suitable for maybe 40 or 50 gal depending upon ambient temp and heat sources in the system.

---------- Post added at 04:30 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:28 PM ----------

If you go smaller than that a thermoelectric unit is what you want.
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  #23  
Old 11-26-2014, 06:24 PM
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Ok, so I drew up a little diagram on Paint to illustrate the latest idea I was talking about.



So, this is an aerial view looking down on the tank. On the left is the portion that the plants would be in. My plan is to have the tank made out of a foam insulation board that I will seal together with some sort of waterproof glue/epoxy. The tank will be constantly filled with two or so inches of water, which will be free to flow between the two chambers by two tunnels that I can drill through the board. The water will be chilled by the Ice Probe and/or ice. The air chiller will be a sealed off chamber with air flowing in from the tank, and back out into the tank. The concept is to have the cooled water filling the chamber, and slabs of clay that are from top to bottom of the unit, in a zigzag pattern, wicking up the water. Hypothetically, the air would be drawn through the unit, pass by all the moist clay, cooled and moisturised, then pushed back into the growing tank. Hopefully the Ice Probe and added ice would be enough to not only counter the produced heat from the LED lights I would use, but also enough to cool the tank to acceptable temperatures. Oh, and the plants would be in clay pots on clay saucers that were sitting in the water. I don't know if the fact that this will be relatively thermally insulated will mean that the temperature will drastically plummet or sky rocket. I'm debating whether I want front access via a plexiglass door I could install on the front, or just have the top foam panel just be able to open like a chest.
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  #24  
Old 12-01-2014, 01:14 AM
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86 F, (30 C), for a summer-time high is rather cool! There are tons of Masdevallias that tolerate this high extremely well. I would think that that goes for Masdevallia decumana too, if they really do come from an elevation range of 1,000 m to 2,500 m. I don't think you need to worry much at all.

Most of the times, other than temperatures getting too warm, (which is a huge problem here with our summers), the problem with Masdevallias is that people are growing them too wet, or they let the potting media break down too much. This is particularly true if your growing areas are cool, but they still fail to thrive. The roots still need to breathe. They don't like it sopping wet.

Even over-fertilization is a problem.

If your tap water is high in TDS, it will cause them problems in the long run as well.

Masdevallia ayacabana, Masdevallia princeps, and Masdevallia reginae are really sturdy Masdevallias. Have you considered trying these out as your first Masdevallia instead?

The following list of examples will give you an idea of what's possible...

I had no problems with Masdevallia caudata when our spring time temperatures were your summer-time highs, (86 F/30 C), until our summer-time temperatures rose up into the 90's F, (32.2 C) and then eventually to over 100 F (37.8 C). Masdevallia caudata is no slouch in the show department, and it's fragrant, (yup, I bloomed this sucker all by myself, I didn't buy it in spike, in bud, nor in bloom; when I got it, it was just a bunch of leaves and roots).

I didn't have a problem growing Masdevallia dynastes either, (same thing, when I bought it, it was just a bunch of leaves and roots, I bloomed this out on my own).

I bloomed Masdevallia estradae without a problem.

I bloomed Masdevallia campyloglossa multiple times at your summer-time high.

I even bloomed several individuals of Masdevallia andreettaeana repeatedly at your summer-time high temperatures.

I've even had Masdevallia prodigiosa bloom at your summer-time high.

Then there's Masdevallia vietchiana and Masdevallia coccinea, both of which held on until it got well over 90 F, (32.2 C), to 100 F, (37.8 C).

Even Masdevallia eumeliae held on until it got over 86 F, (30 C)!

I probably would've even still had Masdevallia lilacina had I just sucked it up and put in the effort to water the orchid with RO/DI water from a somewhat messed up RO/DI system, (I'm getting a new RO/DI system in a couple weeks, so hopefully it won't be a massive chore to water with the RO/DI system anymore).

I'm naming a lot of the popular ones. I haven't even touched the ones I don't even grow!

My point is - you can grow Masdevallias with a summer-time high of 30 C, no matter if it stays that way for 1 or 2 months - you're fine.

Just don't make the mistake of over watering them. Their roots can still get waterlogged and rot out.

Btw, Masdevallia coccinea, Masdevallia davisii, Masdevallia eumeliae, and Masdevallia vietchiana actually grow more like lithophytic orchids. They like air going to their roots. To illustrate what I mean, Andy from Andy's Orchids can grow Masdevallia davisii mounted on a piece of wood. These are probably better grown in a good, fresh bark mix where the roots can get lots of air. I'm not sure if Masdevallia ignea grows the same way as the others I mentioned do, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

While many Masdevallias can grow just fine at a high of 75 F or 78 F, it is not necessary to keep it this low even for some of the more popular, high elevation Masdevallias.

If you still have plans for a special setup, that's cool too.
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  #25  
Old 11-09-2015, 02:43 PM
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We must be lucky down under as my Masdevallia seem to thrive. I do appreciate it is not always the same for every one.
I have them in a double skin (plastic) house with 70% shade on the roof apart from during the mid winter I tend to leave the door open and an 8" fan going all the time. During the summer months I water/ fertilize every second day ( Little and often) and if I feel the temps are too high I will around mid day mist the house. This keeps the temps around the mid 20's. I have attached a photo showing some of the collection although there is nothing to reference it the steams on these are around an average of 18" long.
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  #26  
Old 11-13-2015, 12:51 PM
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Wow those look wonderful.
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  #27  
Old 06-02-2018, 11:16 AM
dethswatch dethswatch is offline
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I've tried that, here's what I found.

I dropped the "2 box" solution (1 cold box, 1 plant box) early on because it was hard to get everything insulated enough to stay cool enough when you piped the fluid over from cold to hot.

Even the pumps (that I was using) added heat since they aren't designed to insulate the heat from the motor from the fluid lines.

Also- since the pump speed wasn't adjustable (on the crap aquarium pumps I was using), getting the dwell time of the fluid high enough to cool it significantly before pumping to the hot side was difficult to control without a large reservoir.

You have the same problem with dwell time on the hot side- you want it to spend enough time there that, ideally, it reaches the temp of the interior of the box thus absorbing as much heat as it could.

So-- if I was to go down that path again, I'd buy a small freezer, put a reservoir in there as big as I could, probably use antifreeze (or higher viscosity low freezing point liquid, or if the pump doesn't like the viscosity, possibly something like alcohol?) and then look at CPU cooling pumps rather than aquarium pumps.

I also found a lot of aquarium pumps are "submersible" which means they -want- to be submerged because they leak all over the place.

You could buy an aquarium chiller, as suggested, but for my box of roughly 36x18x36, I don't think they'd cool enough unless I bought a very expensive one.
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