Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build
Login
User Name
Password   


Registration is FREE. Click to become a member of OrchidBoard community
(You're NOT logged in)

menu menu

Sponsor
Donate Now
and become
Forum Supporter.

Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build
Many perks!
<...more...>


Sponsor
 

Google


Fauna Top Sites
LOG IN/REGISTER TO CLOSE THIS ADVERTISEMENT
  #1  
Old 06-11-2019, 02:52 PM
orion141's Avatar
orion141 orion141 is offline
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jan 2014
Zone: 7a
Member of:AOS
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 223
Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build Male
Default Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build

Hi all,

So I have been growing orchids (not always successfully hahaha) over the past ~7 years. Mostly outdoors (when I lived in florida) or now mostly under lights since I have moved up to New England.

I for some reason have gotten the idea in my head that I would really like to build a terrarium (orchidarium). Towards this end I have been reading here and on dendroboard to get some ideas, however I have many questions that I would like to get your advice/opinions on prior to spending money in vain.

First with regards to plants:
I have a few mounted plants (bulb. moniliforme, dendrobium limpidum, bulbo. thalorum, pleurothalis leptifolia, haraella retrocalla, and phal parishii) that I would like to incorporate into the orchidarium. Most of these are relatively versatile with temperature (with most tolerant of temps into the upper 70's/low 80s). I also live fairly close to J&L orchids so will likely add a few more from there.

1. For the tank I am going to purchase an ExoTerra 12x12x18.

2. For lighting I was looking at the Jungle Dawn 13W LED bulb vs the spectral designs light strip panel. My only hesitation regarding the spectral design panel is that I am concerned it might interfere with a MistKing Nozzle Entry as well as the placement of a fan that I was planning on mounting on the lid to draw in external air (with the use of a hygrostat to control it if humidity exceeds a certain level). With these caveats which would you all recommend? Also I would likely want to add some plants that will require light on the order of cattleyas so would these lights be able to supply this?

3. I will likely purchase a MistKing Starter Kit to automate the watering process

4. Regarding ventilation I was thinking of have a small computer fan mounted internally to run constantly for air movement and a fan mounted on the lid (clear acrylic lid) controlled by an hygrostat to kick in if RH exceeds 80-85% (ish). I got this idea from: Building an Orchidarium - Pumpkin Beth Do you all think this is reasonable and if so what size fan would work well?

5. For the base substrate I was going to use LECA, and an ABG substrate on top. Sound ok?

6. For the background I was going to follow instructions as per the following link: NEHERP - Custom Vivarium Background Tutorial . Essentially, silicone, foam, texturing with a mix of coconut husks, peat moss and coconut fiber. Is this mix ok, or should i use something else more durable (like hygrolon or a cork background)? For the hardscaping is cork (cork rounds) a durable/reasonable choice or would you all recommend ghostwood/driftwood or something different?


5. Lastly do you all add in an live moss or is this a no no as it may choke out orchids eventually?

Thanks a lot! Also if there's anything I'm missing let me know!!!
Orion

Last edited by orion141; 06-11-2019 at 10:06 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-15-2019, 12:04 PM
Paul's Avatar
Paul Paul is offline
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2006
Zone: 5b
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,055
Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build Male
Default

1) As far as purchasing a tank goes, if you aren't in a rush, I would suggest checking out CraigsList and even your local thriftstores -- Salvation Army/GoodWill. (The latter are less likely to be of use but your never know.) I scored a 24" x 17.5" x 18" and an 18" x 18" x 18" off of Craigslist a few years back. Both tanks were in great condition and I got them a LOT cheaper than I would have at a store. (Been a long time but I think I got the former for $45 and the latter for $35.)

2) No matter what you use for lighting, you will have the same issue. Just depends upon how you have your setup. If you do not seal your tank, than too high of humidity will not likely be an issue. If you use a light hood, then the lights should not be in the way of the misting system or the other way round. The Jungle Dawn should work fine.

Most catts will get far too large to be a viable option. High light plants will simply need to be much closer to the lights and you may need more lights to meet their needs.

4) I would say just mount your fan(s) inside the tank to circulate the air that is there. Bringing in additional outside air won't be necessary -- as long as the tank isn't sealed, some air exchange will happen without help.

In my 90gal tank, I have 3 PC fans -- 2 in the right back corner oriented so they blow air across the back wall of the terr, and the other in the left back corner facing the front of the tank. The fans run 24/7 at a low speed. (NOTE: An easy way to have control over fan speed is to use a variable AC/DC adapter.) Arranged this way, the fans create a barely noticeable (but still useful) "cyclone" movement of air in the tank.

5) Should be fine though the Leca is probably unnecessary. Both of my terrs have straight sphag as the substrate. If you are considering a water feature in the tank, then you will most likely want to create a false bottom. (A lot of YouTube videos and other resources on the web pertaining to that.)

6) What you use for the background is up to you. GreatStuff and similar products have the advantage of being sculptable which in turn gives you greater flexibility with what you create.

All woods are subject to decay. Cork bark tends to be very durable as well has heavy woods like Mopani. Drift wood would be a crap shoot. Depends upon what type of wood it is to begin with.

7) Moss will likely show up on their own over time.
__________________
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it”
-- Albert Einstein
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-15-2019, 12:04 PM
RoryOMoore RoryOMoore is offline
Jr. Member
 

Join Date: Jun 2019
Zone: 7a
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1
Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build Male
Default

Hi,

I just set up one of these the other day. I am only awaiting the orchids that are on order. I have a Mistking starter set hooked up for misting. (I have 2 vivs on it. Working great) For the light I am using a Fluval Plant 3.0 Nano. I have a 32 watt Plant 3.0 on my converted 35 gal hex tank and my fireball Neo is a deep red and my orchids are growing like mad (no flowers yet but fingers crossed). So I went with the nano plant 3.0 for its size. Not a perfect fit but close enough. I only had to put some acrylic bumpers (purchased at Home Depot) on it to keep it from directly sitting on the glass top.(Glass is actually pre cut inserts from NE Herp) The Jungle Dawn light looks awesome except the price made my wallet cry in pain. LOL

I have a 40mm AC Infinity fan in the upper corner for air circulation. (unfortunately no longer available on Amazon )

I did the foam/silicone background method. I mixed a little coconut choir in with tree fern fiber on the background and ABG mix for the substrate. I made a false bottom from egg create light diffuser with a good quality weed fabric between the false bottom and the substrate. I mount the orchids straight to ghost wood that is part of my hardscape and only plant terrestrial plants in the ABG.

Good Luck with the build!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build-121218exotera-jpg  

Last edited by RoryOMoore; 06-15-2019 at 12:08 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-16-2019, 10:27 AM
orion141's Avatar
orion141 orion141 is offline
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jan 2014
Zone: 7a
Member of:AOS
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 223
Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build Male
Default

Hi thanks for the info!

Any thoughts on a specific fan to use? (it seems most people recommend the AC infinity fans, but their 40mm versions are not available for at least another month )

I searched on amazon and find things like:

https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NF-A4x...ct_top?ie=UTF8

but they only have about 5 cfm rating (as apposed to 10-12 for the ac infinity).

If you all have specific recs for 40mm fans I would be very appreciative!!

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-16-2019, 08:59 PM
Paul's Avatar
Paul Paul is offline
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2006
Zone: 5b
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,055
Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build Male
Default

The fans in my tank are simply PC fans I removed from dead computers. They have been running 24/7 for 5+ yrs now. Not bad for a bunch of fans which had already seen prior use in the computers before being repurposed for my terr. (Added bonus: they were CHEAP ... ie free.)
__________________
“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it”
-- Albert Einstein
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
add, fan, lid, mounted, orchids


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Jungle - ExoTerra Large DTB Terrarium Gardening 42 06-04-2019 02:34 AM
My 12x12x18 mini-orchid terrarium soobie Terrarium Gardening 22 12-14-2017 09:18 PM
Orchid heavy ExoTerra Trollsvans Terrarium Gardening 28 09-11-2015 01:52 AM
Need advice for a newbie build ValorieBoyer Growing Under Lights 1 08-12-2014 10:50 PM
Fertilizer build up on s/h medium question Becca Semi-Hydroponic Culture 8 11-25-2007 02:58 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:48 AM.

© 2007 OrchidBoard.com
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.37 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Clubs vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.