Planning my first Vivarium (and first orchids)
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Old 12-20-2013, 06:34 PM
Kudaria Kudaria is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Planning my first Vivarium (and first orchids)
Question Planning my first Vivarium (and first orchids)

I've done planted aquariums and decided to get into vivariums.

I'm trying to decide between a tropical one with perhaps using CFL's to bring up the temps to around 80 F or so or just use LED lights and have a vivarium that averages 74 in the summer/early fall and between 65 and 72 in the winter/spring/fall.

The vivarium I'm planning on purchasing is an medium Exo-Terra 18x18x24. I was planning on using the tropical setup suggested by NE Herps, using their recycled glass drainage layer and their NEHerp Substrate mix (NZ sphagnum fiber, coconut fiber, charcoal, fir orchid bark, and tree fern fiber) along with springtails and 'dwarf purple' isopods.

I might or might not eventually get dart frogs to go in this enclosure, I haven't decided.

I was thinking about trying out some epiphyte miniature orchids and maybe a jewel orchid as a background/centerpiece plant.

I had a few questions before I even begin to make purchases for this past the terrarium itself.

Drainage bulkhead, how far from the bottom of the enclosure should I place it? 1/2 inch?

Misting system - I was thinking of getting the Mist King Value system, should I get an additional mist nozzle and how far apart should they be placed?

Air Circulation - I was planning on replacing the screen top with a glass pane and then installing a fan/fans. My question was should I install more than one fan? If I get computer fans can I hook them to the Mist King pump as I see it has a suitable power connection for a case fan?

Monitoring and controls - does the misting occur only on a preset time or is there a way to control it via a solenoid setup tied to a humidity monitor?

Lots of questions I know but I'd really appreciate any insight offered from people who already have successful vivariums/terrariums.

Edit: Lighting...I was planning on buying the Exo-Terra compact top which fits 2 23W CFL's or 2 13W LED bulbs.

Last edited by Kudaria; 12-20-2013 at 07:50 PM..
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