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Old 09-17-2023, 01:16 PM
Aleksa91 Aleksa91 is offline
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My transformed aquarium tank
Default My transformed aquarium tank

Hello everyone!

I would like to share with you my tank which I initially wanted to be a paludarium/aquarium. It did kind of work out, but I constantly had algae issues (despite the fact that I did not have fish) and the humidity in the room was too high from all the evaporation. It was too much hassle, so I ditched everything and decided to go for orchids only. I already had experience with them so it had better chance of success.

Here it is. I have a Mistking system with two nozzles (tank is 60cm/23in x 45cm/18in x 58cm/23in), but I do not use it unless I am away since it is hard to control the amout of water each plant gets. I spray them manually every morning. Tank is at room temperature, but I keep the window open during the night to have some temperature fluctuation. I live in Germany, so typically room temperature rarely goes above 25C / 77F. Humidity in the terrarium fluctuates from >90% after spraying but by evening it falls to ~80%. It rarely drops below 80%. I have two fans: one on top, below the ventilation hole, constantly pushing fresh air inside and one at the bottom which circulates the air within the tank. The LED light is actually intended to be used for aquatic plants (Chihiros WRGB II). It is one of the pricier ones, so I assumed it's good enough for the orchids as well. I keep it at 70k Kelvin and I started it at 30% intensity and gradually increased to 70%. I will probably keep increasing it slowly because my experience with orchids is that they grow best in a highest tolerable light.

Plants in the tank:

Angraecum: leonis, distichum
Aerangis: calantha, mystacidii, luteoalba var. rhodosticta, kirkii, ellisii, biloba, articulata
Ascocentrum miniatum
Dendrobium: jenkinsii, hekouense, tetragonum, unicum, Hibiki (def. not a miniature, but could not resist)
Bulbophyllum: bolsteri, thiurum, habrotinum
Cattleya(Sophronitis): cernua, riograndensis
Chilochista parishii 'Sakura'
Potinara C.T. Goldenorange 'Golden boy'
Diplocaulobium abbrevatum
Dinema polybulbon
Schoenorchis tixierii (absolute cutie, even without flowers)
Leptotes bicolor
Neofinetia falcata
Mediocalcar decoratum

Lepanthopsis astrophora
Masdevallia nidifica
Anathallis pabstii
Pleurothallis grobyi
Restrepia trichoglossa

These pleurothallids are still holding on, but they are definitely not vigorous and I may eventually move them to the separate tank.

Plants that did not do well and had to leave the tank:

Lepanthes: uxoria, caprimulgus, reticulata
Trisetella hoeijerii (I desperately want this beauty to be happy)

Lepanthes calodictyon and telipogonifera (they should be more warm-tolerant but they are neither dying nor growing for 6 months already...)

Dendrobium mohlianum x cuthbertsonii (just got it last week, let's see what happens).

So, as you see, I underestimated the requirements for cold temperatures of some species. I plan to keep them in a separate, small tank in the kitchen which is unheated and gets chilly during the winter. Winters here are quite long, so I hope these cold-loving species will recover until next summer. I really do not know where do people grow these here in Germany, since we sometimes have summer temps close to 30C...

I made a stupid mistake of mounting A. calantha and A. mystacidii with sphagnum and keeping them in a very humid terrarium. They started to rot and drop leaves. Mystacidii dropped all of them, but there is a keiki which strives to grow from the stem and a relatively preserved root system. Calantha is still kind of holding on. Other Angraecoids are doing good without any moss, so that by evening their roots get fully dry.

I still keep some moss below Angraecum distichum. This plant hated mounting and grows suuper slow. I have a feeling it needs a bit more moisture since the roots are thin.

Other plants seem to be happy. I am especially surprised that Sophronitis riograndensis grew well this summer despite high temperatures and poor day-night fluctuation.

Some of the plants need winter rest. I will probably keep them where they are, but stop misting them.

Any comments, advice, suggestion, criticism is welcome!
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My transformed aquarium tank-20230908_213101-jpg   My transformed aquarium tank-20230908_213113-jpg   My transformed aquarium tank-20230908_213048-jpg  

Last edited by Aleksa91; 09-17-2023 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 09-17-2023, 01:25 PM
Aleksa91 Aleksa91 is offline
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My transformed aquarium tank

Some photos are rotated, and I did not manage to fix them... Not sure why this happens. :/
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Old 09-17-2023, 02:14 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Originally Posted by Aleksa91 View Post
Some photos are rotated, and I did not manage to fix them... Not sure why this happens. :/
A "feature" of the old software of the Board. (In my IT days, the joke was, when someone found a bug in the software, document it and call it a "feature")
If you save the photo, rotate it 90 degrees, save it again, then rotate it back and save it, that often fixes the problem. But we're all accustomed to looking at photos sideways.

Great terrarium environment!

Which plants need a winter rest? I have found that many that supposedly need a dry winter rest do fine if they just have an opportunity to get cold. I grow outdoors, winter night temperatures typically in the 3-5 deg C range, occasionally lower. They get rain, they get watered when it doesn't rain, and they bloom anyway. (Including a bunch of deciduous Dendrobiums) You have a few warmer-growers (like some but not all of the Aerangis, and the Angcm. distichum) but the majority of your collection will do fine getting chilly in winter, and likely will benefit.
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Last edited by Roberta; 09-17-2023 at 02:26 PM..
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Old 09-18-2023, 07:40 AM
Aleksa91 Aleksa91 is offline
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My transformed aquarium tank

Hi Roberta, thanks for the feedback! Yes, I remember your remark from one of my previous threads regarding the winter rest... The thing is, my terrarium is in the living room, so there will be ~6-7 C drop overnight if I keep the window open, but not more than that. For those Pleurothallids, I have a kitchen where it gets more chilly during winter. I plan to give Sophronitis riograndensis some cold treatment in a separate room, as well as to D. jenkinsii and maybe Den. unicum. I also read somewhere that Neofinetias bloom more profusely if they get cold during the winter, although it's not necessary. Everything else gets constant conditions + some diurnal temperature variation.
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:00 AM
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DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is offline
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My transformed aquarium tank

super cool- i find the terrariums to be a balance between wanting them to be awesome nature scenes with integrated plants vs the reality of that and how much better the ability to control conditions is in a box like you have.

I tried the vivarium route and had to bail as it was too hard to play god to that many factors.

well done

weird that Lepanthes calodictyon and telipogonifera werent happy- i grow them both in my bathroom and they are quite happy there with similar conditions as your tank.
All the ways I grow are dictated by the choices I have made and the environment in which I live. Please listen and act accordingly
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:53 AM
Aleksa91 Aleksa91 is offline
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My transformed aquarium tank

I also imagined a closed and self-sustainable ecosystem in a paludarium. I wanted it primarily to grow plants. But no one warns about balancing the health of all the plants. Some always take over and some sulk. Also, I don’t really think that paludariums are healthy to be kept in a space where people live. A huge amount of humidity is created, and the mould inevitably starts growing on the woody hardscape. So many fungal spores floating in a living room are quite problematic.

My favourite plants are healthy and vigorous plants, so this fulfils the purpose better.

I am also not sure what’s behind the problems with L. calodyction and telipogonifera, but I suspect that slugs ate the roots. I had a small slug infestation at the beginnning and especially telipogonifera suffered a lot of damage and did not recover. L. calodyction grew one a bit distorted leaf in the last 6 months, despite the high humidity and a decent light and that was it…
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calantha, mystacidii, plants, summer, tank

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