Hot-shade terrarium for Notylia: How to?
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Hot-shade terrarium for Notylia: How to?
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:11 PM
tropterrarium tropterrarium is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Los Angeles
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Hot-shade terrarium for Notylia: How to?
Default Hot-shade terrarium for Notylia: How to?

I've been running an intermediate terrarium for a few years. I am getting interested in Notylia, many of which are hot shade growers. I want to bounce off some ideas for a hot-shade terrarium with the collected wisdome here.

- Glass terrarium, possibly 24 x 36 footprint, 48 or 60" tall, with bottom reservoir (Protean terrariums, possibly. Any feedback? Other sources?).
- Chameleon style: swinging front doors, or side sliding door?
- Indirect heating through water pool in bottom and aquarium immersion heater, with fans distributing heat to air - rest of terrarium. Target minimum temperature: 70F?
- Cooling should not be necessary. Our house gets to 95F inside on peak summer days, but that should be ok with hot growing orchids.
- humidity: should be quite high with warm water tub at bottom, so not too worried about it (i.e., no additional fogger).
- Watering with one long (2-3 minute) morning "rain" from a Mistking system.
- Light: that is the big problem.
A) Top light could be placed straight on glass case, and heat will be just fine. But light fall-off over 4-5 feet will be significant.
B) Andy's-style vertical T5 bulbs in two front corners would provide more even light, but as my idea is more permanent, there are issues with water getting into light fixtures, and questions about replacing bulbs without dismantling entire set-up.
If I go full custom, then I could have front corners at 45deg angle, and put a 90 degree reflector there that can be serviced from the outside. Possible, but might take some careful planning.

Light levels: most Notylia are full shade to 3/4 shade growers, so in the 500-2000 fc range for natural light, so in the 250-1000 fc for constant artificial light. Using T5s may produce too much light. But first producing a lot of light to then filter it out with diffusor or ND filter seems a bit backwards.

Looks: I don't want a NASA prototyp with all kinds of wires sticking out. I want rather a museum exhibit, very clean, all infrastructure hidden. So all wires will run behind, and the terrarium will be on a wood cabinet with water reservoir, timers etc. hidden.

Earthquate safety. I life in an earthquake zone, so will have to bolt the tall terrarium against the wall. Any known ways of how to do that?

Thanks for any opinions and pointers on any of the above.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:04 PM
Wjs2nd Wjs2nd is offline
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Location: Minnesota
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Hot-shade terrarium for Notylia: How to? Male

LEDs might be a good option for you. If you decide to go custom you could build everything out of plexiglas and then just drill threw the back to bolt to the wall.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:21 PM
tropterrarium tropterrarium is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Los Angeles
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Hot-shade terrarium for Notylia: How to?

LED may be an interesting option to dose light more finely. Not sure what happens to color temperature when one modulates intensity.

The light-fall-off will still be the same for a top placement, but a strip of LEDs in one or two corners may work. Would still need to be water proofed, and has the same access issues (though LEDs last longer).

Interesting thoughts ...

Plexiglass is certainly easy to drill, but not sure about the visual quality. May have to look at some particular examples. Plexi also scratches more easily.
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