12x12x12 Exo Terra ideas?
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  #1  
Old 08-11-2017, 01:58 PM
Fishkeeper Fishkeeper is offline
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12x12x12 Exo Terra ideas?
Default 12x12x12 Exo Terra ideas?

I've found an Exo Terra mini cube on Craigslist, cheap, and I'll be picking it up later today. I'm thinking of making it kind of a bog setting, and I want to use components that will never degrade, with the idea that it will never be necessary to take it down.

My plan is to put a layer of stones in the bottom, then put a mat of live sphagnum moss on it. I know a lot of little bog plants, like sundews, grow in pure live sphagnum, and I'd imagine there are some small orchids I could use as well.

I also plan to use pumice as the background and hardscape. People grow pinguiculas on it, and it should be suitable for orchids and other epiphytes (and not-quite-epiphytes) to grow on if I keep it in some water so it stays wet.

Would an enclosure this small make a decent bog terrarium, or is it too little? I'd want a mini orchid or two, maybe something else that will flower, and a few other small plants that were either bog plants or liked it in bog conditions. Lighting permitting, I'd add a couple of sundews or a butterwort, and probably a bladderwort somewhere.

The lighting for this is going to be similar to my other project. It has a P. emarginata doing well under it, so the lighting isn't terrible, but it's not high-light.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2017, 04:22 PM
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12x12x12 Exo Terra ideas?
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It is not too small if you are careful with what you grow. Small plants that do not need too much air circulation would probably be best. The important thing is to make certain that all your plants need the same care and conditions. Some good choices with tropical pings would be Lepanthes gargolya, Leptanthes telipogoniflora, Lepanthopis astrophora 'Stalky', Haraella rectrocalla, Specklinia picta 'Gigi'(none of these need much in the way of fertilizer or air movement). There are some very small Bulbophyllum that would work. I grow the above listed and Bulbophyllum.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:51 PM
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12x12x12 Exo Terra ideas?
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Oh yeah- I plan to stick a computer fan in here somewhere. The top is mesh, and I plan to cover at least a portion of that in acylic to keep things nice and humid, but I could lay a computer fan flat on top so that it was blowing down into the terrarium.
That, or I could try to build something I've seen on dart frog forums. You make an acrylic lid with a hole cut out right under the light, and you make part of the lid a raised box. The fan goes under the box, with enough space around it that air comes up from inside the terrarium and circulates through the fan, and that way you have air movement that doesn't let the humidity out.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:14 PM
Joseia Joseia is offline
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Good idea about the fan on top of the acrylic in a box - think I will try that in one of mine. Thanks!
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Old 08-12-2017, 01:58 AM
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Look through the Terrariums forum here. Other people have done this, and made detailed reports of what they have done.
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Old 08-12-2017, 11:00 PM
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After some looking around, I think I'm going to make this something more towards a rainforest cliff, rather than a bog. Background made of rock, soft gradient between moss floor and moss on rocks. Several different kinds of moss, a handful of mini ferns, a tropical ping or two, and whatever little orchids I can get ahold of that might like the conditions. Definitely high-humidity, plenty of air circulation, decent light. I can't be certain on the temperature, but I won't be aiming for any sort of nighttime drop, just steady warmth.
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:37 AM
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My problem with terrariums has been that moss is usually high light while orchids that small are low light or medium light. The problem with chosing plants is that they all must need the same (or very similar) lighting, expecially in a very small space.
With all the watering, drainage is also needed, and so you need to "drill" and put an aquarium bung in the bottom of the exo terra, which means a raised platform. Also, you need to somehow hang a fan in or on the glass or have another "hole" drilled.
a mister; or fogger is needed. You can get the expensive (and way too small) frog mister, or get a regular cool air ultrasonic cooler, and jerry rig a series of tubes. All these extra machines attached really mean a pedestal of some kind like a fish tank has. And then there is lighting. You can put yours next to a natural window. Lighting is about the easiest thing, really.

It's a mess. But if you can get over these hurdles, a terrarium is great.
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Old 08-16-2017, 02:04 PM
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just a question, as I have never tried much in this category....

can you cut into the acrylic walls and inset the tiny computer fan?
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Old 08-16-2017, 09:35 PM
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I think the walls are glass, I wouldn't want to try it. The fan I have is 3" square, so we're not talking about a tiny hole.

I put it on top of the screen lid, blowing down into the terrarium, and put a loose box over it so it's mostly sucking up humid air. Seems to be working so far, I can feel it blowing inside the terrarium. If that isn't enough, I'll cut a hole in the screen to allow for better aeration.

The substrate is going to be entirely live sphagnum moss and large lava rocks, and I won't put any plants in the substrate unless they like those conditions. No drainage needed, sphagnum likes to be soaked. If the water gets too high, I can siphon a bit out with a large turkey baster.

My solution to the moss/orchid light imbalance is to provide shade. I have a couple of smallish bulbos, leaves about 2.5" long, that I picked up from a local greenhouse. That way, I can plant mini-mini orchids under them, maybe even try to plant some between/around the bulbs, and they won't be hurt by the light. It's bright enough to grow sphagnum and java moss, I know from experimentation, but not too terribly bright.
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