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  #1  
Unread 11-10-2008, 06:29 PM
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Default My new Exo Terra tank

After my little project of trying to convert a small aquarium into a mini-orchidarium didn't pan out as I had hoped, I began to search for other ideas for a new creation....a place to keep a few miniatures. I wanted my "mini-orchid-house" to be very simple, and very inexpensive, so I bought a 12x12x12 Exo Terra glass terrarium tank and basically copied an interesing post: http://www.orchidboard.com/node/89/

I set a 12v pc fan on one of the two sides of the screen top (which left about 1/2 of that side of the top uncovered--pictures attached ). I then cut a small piece of clear plastic and placed it across the other side of the screen top, so bottom line, approx. 1/4 of the top of the tank is uncovered.....nothing but screen. I also cut a piece of sheer curtain material and attached in to the back of the glass tank then finally filled the bottom portion of the tank with water (about 1/2-2/3"). When the sun shines directly in the window on the tank, I partially pull the window shade down in order not to place my plants in direct light. I placed a somewhat supplemental lamp with a 60 watt plant light above the tank for cloudy days. I bought a hydrometer/thermometer and have been keeping it in the tank which leads me up to my question to you. I have been monitoring the conditions and the temp. has been between 75-80 degrees in the day, and the humidity has only been approx. 45-50%, which is not what I had hoped for. I was hoping for about 70% humidity.

I would appreciate any help from you as to how I can increase the humidity without causing the air inside the tank to be stagnant.

Thank you in advance,
Vicki
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My new Exo Terra tank-orchidarium4-small-.jpg   My new Exo Terra tank-orchidarium3-small-.jpg   My new Exo Terra tank-orchidarium2-small-.jpg   My new Exo Terra tank-orchidarium1-small-.jpg  
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  #2  
Unread 11-10-2008, 06:32 PM
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Drop the fan into the tank and cover it more. The fan will move the air around so it won't be stagnant, but a mostly covered tank will keep the moisture in longer.
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  #3  
Unread 11-10-2008, 06:41 PM
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Vicki, interesting project!

If you ask me you do not need to exchange the air inside the cabinet as you do with the fan! Mount it inside the cabinet and just use it to get air movement! Do not let it blow on or from the ventilation net. just create a circulation of the air inside the cabinet!
This will hopefully raise the humidity!

For the light, it is very dangerous to let the sun shine directly on the cabinet! It will act as a miniature greenhouse and the temperature will raise very fast and you get boild orchid. My advice is to put it outside the sun reach and use artificial light only. Much more secure!

Good luck!
Magnus
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  #4  
Unread 11-10-2008, 06:58 PM
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I'm agreeing with Magnus. I have 2 fans in a much larger tank and they are totally sealed inside the tank. They run 24/7 and blow down the length of the tank. Your tank is pretty small but the one fan should do it. Just aim at a spot where there are no plants and let it run 24/7. Forget the screen. You don't need it. Use a total acrylic top (or glass).

I use t5 lights exclusively on mine. Mine is in basement with no outside light.
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  #5  
Unread 11-10-2008, 08:02 PM
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Vicki, I have an 18 x 18 x 24 Exo-Terra. I too had problems keeping the humidity up. So what I did was I took the screen off and bought a piece of acrylic at Home Depot (it was a little thinner then I wanted) and then my hubby (bless his heart) cut the piece of acrylic down to the size I needed and rounded the corners a tad so they wouldn't be so sharp. I then mounted my fan from this to hang on the inside of the tank. So it is completely sealed on the top. My light fixture then rests on top of the acrylic and the frame of the exo-terra (I have an 8 bulb T5 fixture that is 2 ft long). It over laps my tank perfectly and the bulbs don't actually touch the acrylic or the frame. This has helped enormously! I am not sure if you have the same feature, but I have little vents that are closable that run along the door. I keep these open and maintain about 70% humidity during the day.

Oh, and if you take the screen off you will see a spot in the frame of the Exo-Terra that will allow a cord to fit through for your fan!

Hope this helps!
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Last edited by Becca; 11-10-2008 at 08:06 PM..
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  #6  
Unread 11-10-2008, 08:44 PM
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Great description, Becca. I knew you had done something with one. The point, though, needs to be that a fan needs to run 24/7 inside tank. Doesn't need to be through-the-wall or anything like that. Yours sounds fine. Mine work great.
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  #7  
Unread 11-11-2008, 10:32 AM
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Yes my fans run 24/7 as well!
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  #8  
Unread 11-11-2008, 11:33 AM
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Hi Vicki,

I have the same exact tank but I use the light canopy that goes with it. This covers half the top, and I have a small fan sitting on top of the screening as you do. I found a small 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" battery operated fountain that sits in the middle of the tank and all the Masdies in there are doing great.

The first pic is the side view so you can see the top and the second pic is from the front so you can see the fountain.
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  #9  
Unread 11-11-2008, 11:55 AM
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Sue, with the LECA down in the bottom of your Exo-Terra, do you have to take it out to clean it, and if so how often?
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  #10  
Unread 11-11-2008, 12:31 PM
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Sue, which temps do you have in your tank? I am just curios because of your Masdevallias..
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