After a month or more of looking at the green slime growing in the bottom of the tank and the old dead blossoms on the screen, I finally got the energy to clean the orchidarium. First I had to string up ropes to hold all the mounts and try to avoid bumping them with my head (I am 6'7")!
Now this isn't as easy as it might seem at first. The tank walls had warped, so removing the shelves was a chore (had to push and prod things to get the shelves out.) Just sucking up all the algae that had developed proved to be a real task. And I was hoping all along that I could prevent new algal growth for a few weeks. The algae in the drippage at the bottom had grown to the point it was using all the water from the misting system. The tank was slowly drying out!
Finally I got all that goo out of there and used my Novus 1 Acrylic Cleaner to clean off all the interior surfaces as well as the outside. Several passes, just to be sure. It turns out the hardest part of the whole task was cleaning out the squares of the grid material with a toothbrush and cleaner. That took the longest time. I just know it (the algae) will be back, but the tank should be good for a few months and now I know what it takes to clean it up. I feel sorry for the folks with "planted in place" plants like frog tanks. I guess you just live with the algae?
Below is the final result
Not sure where that booger at the left came from. It wasn't there when I put the screen back in. So something fell off somebody.
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it's looking great, i really love that setup.
i'm surprised to hear the walls had warped. that acrylic looks thick.
actually it looks even better if you've just dropped one of the top glasses inside the tank and witnessed it crashing into tiny pieces. fortunately only a new leaf was damaged as there were 18 buds on the "drop zone" proximity.
I checked for "before" pix but must have been too embarassed to post them I didn't think to take detailed pics before the cleaning today. Now you have to understand me.... If I decide to do something (rarely) then I just get up out of my chair and do it. If I think about it, it doesn't get done So I just got up and said "today is the day"
The Acrylic will warp no matter what. I was advised of that before construction so I was aware of it. It's really not a big deal if one allows for it, but if the tolerances are too close, then things might get "testy".
The reason I wanted to go through all this process is that I inherited the Shore Fly somewhere. This little guy doesn't do any harm to the plants. It eats only algae. But it gets obnoxious with the flies running around, the little black larvae, and just the thought that the plants aren't clean. The only way to get rid of it is to get rid of the algae. Thus the attack today.
Your orchidarium is very beautiful I was just wondering if anyone had ever tried to create one of these out of a glass display case? I guess it would be about the same as using an aquarium but I think the size ranges would differ quite a lot and if you can find a store going out of business you can pick them up cheaply. I have a good sized one here, maybe if I ever get the hang of orchids I will give is a try, LOL...that's a big "if" I think
Thank you for sharing your beautiful environment with us