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  #1  
Unread 04-12-2009, 12:07 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Locust Grove, Ga
Posts: 94
Default Same old aquarium to orchidarium trick............

Hey All,
Built an orchidarium out of a 29 gallon aquarium I had in the garage. Just the basics. Egg crate all around with the bottom coverd with window screening to keep from getting my drain plugged. Drilled a hole in the glass for the drain hose (I thought this would be difficult, it wasn't with a diamond crusted bit). Hung a small coralife fan inside to keep the air moving. No misting system yet, however I enjoy watering my orchids anyway. Get to look them over often this way. Mistking system will be ordered when I can. The light fixture is made out of two mailboxes and holds three large CFLs (85 watts each). I am going to monitor the enviroment for a day or two before I put the kids in. After being on for 12 hours I am maintaining 90%+ huidity, 87-90 degrees at the top, and 78 to 83 degrees on the bottom. Need to add better venting to let fresh air in and drop the temps some. Will get on that tomorow. Posted the basic idea of my homemade light reflector under the "Growing Under Lights" section. Can't wait to move my minis into their new home.
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Same old aquarium to orchidarium trick............-img_5443-medium-.jpg   Same old aquarium to orchidarium trick............-img_5448-medium-.jpg   Same old aquarium to orchidarium trick............-img_5450.jpg  
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  #2  
Unread 04-12-2009, 12:06 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Zone: 5b
Member of:SOOS
Posts: 29
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thats pretty sweet
I love your homemade reflector....nothing wrong with a little ghetto-tech. What kind of bulbs are you using, and what kind of plants do you have that need that much light. I have mini-cats under 25w full spectrum compact floros that have waaaay better growth (reddish pigment) then when I had them under brighter light. If you have full spectrum with that wattage.....you should have a great time growing.

But the venting will be a delicate pain in the ass. Just spend a few weeks tweeking it, and eventually you'll get it so that everything stays moist, but never goes crispy. I water daily with a spray mister, and sometimes I wist it was on auto, but it is nice to watch them develop every day.

and natural features to be added?
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  #3  
Unread 04-14-2009, 08:21 AM
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Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Age: 28
Posts: 834
Default

GREAT setup and use of home-made materials - I'm very interested in how you've got your drain hose setup, as I am thinking of doing something similar in my tank and have been apprehensive about drilling into the glass.
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  #4  
Unread 04-14-2009, 11:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Zone: 3a
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 1,488
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yes a was going to ask...really 3 85W lights? I don't have an orchidarium, though I've never used that much light in a small area.

What is the recommending light for an orchidarium of this size? I have an empty aquarium that might just turn into a project
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  #5  
Unread 04-14-2009, 09:51 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Locust Grove, Ga
Posts: 94
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Hey,
I was really worried about drilling into glass as well and thought this might be the biggest problem of the project. However, it was the easiest thing I did. Home Depot and Lowes sell a diamond crusted bit that is used for drilling into glass and marble. There are directions on how to do it on the box. Use a cordless drill because you will need to have a steady stream of water flowing on the cut to keep it cool and keep the glass from floating up and into your lungs. I used my little liter mister with the trigger on lock to provide the water. Start the bit at an angle and once it starts to cut rotate the bit up to make full contact. Use the slowest speed you can on the drill. I did this by simply pressing the trigger on the drill a 1/4 of the way. The bit may want to jump around once you get started so press firmly. Pressing the bit hard against the glass is scary but neccesary. Once you get going just let the drill to the work and about a minute later you have a clean cut hole. Sorry I didn't take any pictures of this process, but most of this was done after the kids and wife went to bed. I used the 3/4 inch bit and bought some vinyl tubing from Lowes. I didn't use a bulkhead in the hole just the tubing and some silicone to seal it. Wherever you live you should be able to find the bit at any decent hardware store. Feels good to DIY it sometimes.
Neil
Quote:
Originally Posted by calvin_orchidL View Post
GREAT setup and use of home-made materials - I'm very interested in how you've got your drain hose setup, as I am thinking of doing something similar in my tank and have been apprehensive about drilling into the glass.
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  #6  
Unread 04-14-2009, 10:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Locust Grove, Ga
Posts: 94
Default

Hey,
As far as the lights go, I have been growing under T12 and T8s for a long time with success. However, I wanted to go over the top with this one. Also, I wanted to have a reflector that could be moved one day if I want to increase the growing area. Each socket can hold up to 250 watts. On the other hand I can lower light if neccesary. I just got tired of not having enough light to bloom some of the orchids I love. To me humidity is the biggest issue for orchids like many of the Aerangis I have.
Neil
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartie2000 View Post
yes a was going to ask...really 3 85W lights? I don't have an orchidarium, though I've never used that much light in a small area.

What is the recommending light for an orchidarium of this size? I have an empty aquarium that might just turn into a project
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  #7  
Unread 01-14-2012, 01:56 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Location: Austin, Texas
Age: 34
Posts: 6,035
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Any update on the orchidarium?
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Catasetums, Stanhopeas and Cattleyas?? Yes please!!!!
For all my pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/isurus79/
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