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  #1  
Old 09-02-2022, 10:46 AM
Myrtle Myrtle is offline
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Planning my 60x45x90 tank
Default Planning my 60x45x90 tank

In a couple of days I'm picking up a second hand exo terra 60x45x90 (24x18x36 for those imperial users!). It already has a MistKing system and fans which saves me sourcing those should I need them. The last ones I built were kind of thrown together with little planning but a good lot of background research, mainly as a test to see if I could do it, but I want to plan this one out properly, particularly as I want to include miniature orchids (hence posting this here!)

I'm in the UK, so we rarely have to deal with extremes of temperature for any length of time, at least that's what I thought before this summer! However, relative humidity is pretty high, at least at night at this time of year - in the last month we've been as low as 27% and as high as 98%. I've ordered a low/high hygrometer to get an idea of the humidity indoors (mainly as my other tank is open fronted) but I'm sure that will give me some assistance when organising a misting schedule!

In terms of design/planting I haven't got anything fixed in my head yet, other than epiphytic miniature orchids and other epiphytes/lithophytes. All my other tanks have water features of some kind (mainly because I'm crap at remembering to water stuff and drip walls solve that!) but I haven't decided whether to be 100% terrestrial or whether to have water in there yet... open to ideas!
I have a horticultural background but have little experience with orchids so I'm planning to start out with the safest (hardest to kill!) ones as, to be honest, I haven't got the spare cash to throw away on plants that I don't have the skill or environment needed for them to thrive.

The biggest problem right now is where the Hell am I going to put it in my tiny house? 😅
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  #2  
Old 09-11-2022, 04:15 PM
Myrtle Myrtle is offline
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The tank now has a background a waterfall and a bog area (yes, I ended up over complicating it). Obviously there will be few terrestrial orchids but I'm hoping that Jewels will be ok in the upper terrestrial areas where it is more free draining. This area is raised on a non-wicking platform though undoubtedly wicking will be something of a given.

The misting system has yet to be trialled and lighting is still subject to investigation but it's coming along nicely

Sorry the image is sideways
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2022, 06:15 PM
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Lovely!!! I have 3 tanks in a very small space. Is even better for the conections ans all. Check them in my links
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2022, 06:53 PM
manurespreader manurespreader is offline
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Planning my 60x45x90 tank
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you might have trouble with the height, you have to realize these tanks have not been designed for orchids but more reptiles or amphibians. They like to climb.

If I was designing an orchid tank so small, 40x60 is big enough to house 4-6 mini phals then I would not make it so tall. You probably don't realize why this is a problem for you. It's the light that is the issue. Light from led bulbs deteriorates exponentially the further it has to travel so lower powered Led's produce a lot of light power really close to the bulb but can dwindle to nothing usable over a meter away. Considering there are misting nozzles attached to the top you can't place the lights half way down either because it would be a fire hazard. So one option you could consider is 2 led bars, you can get some on amazon if you search for led grow light bar. I'd suggest you get the "Amazon's choice" one as a lot of options will come up, avoid blue and red lights, go for full spectrum which is a white or yellow light, then hang them on the outside along the sides of the tank. That way your maximum light distance will be 30 cm compared to 90cm if you place the Light on top. Always place the highest light requiring plants nearest to the light and the lowest light requiring plants furthest away. Twice the distance to light means you need 4 times the light power. It has a big effect where and how far you place each plant.

Last edited by manurespreader; 09-11-2022 at 06:56 PM..
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Old 09-12-2022, 09:29 AM
Myrtle Myrtle is offline
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I have a cunning plan for the lighting deficit near the bottom. Well, it's not very cunning really, I was going to install a small growlight on the side to light the lower level (outside the glass) but I'm not sure if the glass will affect the light reaching the plants? The other cunning plan is to use the lower level for lower light plants which i know limits orchids to the top half. I figure that's where they'd be naturally mostly and as it's a kind of mixed paludarium now as opposed to exclusively orchids, I'm hoping it'll work
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Old 09-13-2022, 07:15 AM
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The water in the bottom of these get nasty fast. I have to clean mine out once a week to satisfy my O.C.D. for clean.

I wet vac it out and replace the water with fresh water weekly.

The water will get stinky.

Swamp Gas is explosive too
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Old 09-13-2022, 09:16 AM
Myrtle Myrtle is offline
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I have a cunning plan for that too! I'm treating the water section as I would an aquarium; filtration and aquatic plants. If I can get the balance right between the organic matter and the usage of the plants it should stay ok...
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Old 09-13-2022, 03:28 PM
manurespreader manurespreader is offline
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sounds good.
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  #9  
Old 09-14-2022, 05:40 AM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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Very nice find, and it sounds like afun project! I'd love to do the same but i don't know where I'd put in and my significant other has a strong opinion about my orchid addiction branching off into terrariums...

That background is going to look fantastic once there are some plants (and maybe moss?) going over it. Please keep sharing some photos as you progress with the build, it's nice seeing projects like this.

I don't think the height of it should be an issue. Get some decent lights for it, and then plan your plant purchases and positioning within the tank accordingly.
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Old 09-14-2022, 06:40 AM
Myrtle Myrtle is offline
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Thanks! I've had to sell a chair to fit it in! Luckily I don't have a significant other to interfere either! I have a moss mix that I plan to paint on and see what grows which should do well while ventilation is limited (it's averaging 95% humidity right now!
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