Planning a terrarium
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Old 12-07-2017, 02:15 PM
Jakob Jakob is offline

Join Date: Dec 2016
Zone: 7a
Location: Ljubljana
Age: 23
Posts: 43
Planning a terrarium Male
Default Planning a terrarium

becuse it seems that my obsession with small, cool growing and moisture loving orchids won't go away by ignoring it, (and I got material for building one for free, and I'l probably have too much time in the begginig of 2018), it would seem the period of time in my orchid life has come, when i should start growing in "terrariums" too.
I dont yet have the plants (well, except a few i got before i wasn't even aware there were things to be aware of), but I'm talking Masdevallia, Dracula, Lepanthes, Restrepias + other Pleurothallids, and I started recently flirting with Dendrobium cuthbertsonii (i know I might get burnt (well, it might ;D I'll be Ok with those temps)) and I'm sure I'll find some more.

All those pretty plants are connected by:
1) need for pure water
2) high reltive humidity
3) don't like/survive too high temperatures

1) is relatively easy for me to solve - i'll just use pure rainwter, so for that i dont need a terrarium,

but, for 2) and 3) it might be useful.

Since moisture and cold and stagnant air aren't generally good conditions for anything, let alone orchids, I assume some sort of ventilation shouldn't go amiss.
From reading up on the interwebs I got some confusing information; is it necessary to have exchange with the outside or is it enough to mix it up inside?

Here's what i've come up with:
Planning a terrarium-terarij-jpg

The blue layer is the aquarium filter sponge, i'd use as the base, to separate the watercontainer (catcher) below. On it I'd try to persuade some mosses to grow.
The grey ovaly shapes are ventillators. The top one would suck the air outside, and the air would be let in on the sides under the aquarium sponge and would have to pass through, and hopefully get very humid in the process. I think this could be also used to cool the terrarium down, if I put cold objects under the sponge (icepacks or something). This cooling system probably won't be super efficient, but It might provide relief in the hottest summer days? I don't know.
The one on the side would ensure the inner circulation.
Red arrows & line show how the airflow is supposed to go.

I intend to put the terrarium outside during the non freezing months, on the ground under a kiwi plant, so in shade, relatively cool and humid spot. Maybe i could even dig it in a bit, to use the cooling effects of the ground? In the hottest days I'll have the possibilty to move them inside in a cool cellar (it never gets above 20°C).

I don't know, would this be a good plan? This is kinda long term thing, i think I'll sart to build the terrarium in two months and test it on what I have now. If my M. nidifica doesn't stop to grow in the summer I'll proceed to
stage two, slowly acquiring new plants and adding racks to hang them on, and think about lighting in the winter.
Is this a good way to grow let's say Masdies and the rest of the Pleurothallis gang?

(I know I said slowly, but I think i'm in serious danger to blow the same amount of money i spend in three months on groceries on an order at Ecuagenera next autumn. but what is one supposed to do, when they have 200+ Masdies availible? the orchivirus got me bad)
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:50 PM
estación seca's Avatar
estación seca estación seca is offline
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Planning a terrarium

Join Date: Jun 2015
Zone: 9b
Location: Phoenix AZ - Lower Sonoran Desert
Posts: 8,550
Planning a terrarium Male

Read through the Terrariums forum here on Orchid Board. There is a huge amount of information right here. Your new thread is in this forum so you know where it is.
It's a dry heat.
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cool, grow, months, plants, terrarium

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