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  #1  
Old 04-26-2018, 09:36 PM
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Default Exo Terra nano cube

I have been kicking around the idea of a tiny terrarium. I have several small terrariums of one size or another, even use a glass orb for a small orchid. I have a 12x12x18 Exo Terra that I love and have kept for a couple of years.

Now it seems the 8x8x8 nano cube is something Iím wanting to try. I have orchids to use, low light to shade requirements. Iím talking micro minis like Trisetella strumosa, Macroclinium aurorae and maybe Zygostates alleniana, Lepanthes calodictyon. This small cube wonít hold many.

Anyone have this size terrarium? I have looked around online trying to find a light fixture other than the Exo Terra as it is too large and looks overwhelming on this little cube. I wish Exo Terra had supplied an appropriate size fixture. Any ideas for something smaller, low profile maybe? I guess I could locate the cube in a bright area and forget about adding light? Hmmm, still thinking. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old 04-26-2018, 11:22 PM
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Have you tried Josh's Frogs?

Exo Terra NANO Compact Top (8” x 3.5” x 5.9”) - LED Lighting | Josh's Frogs

LED Lighting | Josh's Frogs
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2018, 11:56 PM
wisdomseeker wisdomseeker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattywack View Post
I have been kicking around the idea of a tiny terrarium.

Now it seems the 8x8x8 nano cube is something Iím wanting to try. I have orchids to use, low light to shade requirements. Iím talking micro minis like Trisetella strumosa, Macroclinium aurorae and maybe Zygostates alleniana, Lepanthes calodictyon. This small cube wonít hold many.

Anyone have this size terrarium?

No Exoterras, but I do grow miniatures in similar sized enclosures (6x6x8 glass cubes). Managed to keep about a half dozen of these empty cubes from a retired fishroom (several years ago) when I was working with Betta channoides and Betta imbellis.

I figured I would put them back to use with some small orchids. Nothing fancy/no frills. I use a single Cree CXA1304 5,000K 95CRI LED (they are small & efficient cobs with about a 1/2" footprint, driven around 350ma with a forward voltage of about +/- 10 volts, mounted in a small DIY pendant fixture) for light. This light source has proven to be favorable for my plants (on-off via a timer ~ lights on for about 10 hours). Light sits on a glass pane that is directly on top of the cubes.

I keep a good 1" plus substrate of hygro balls covered with distilled water. I like tree fern (that's just me), so I
usually use these for mounts. A glass pane sits on top of the cubes, with about a 1" gap near the back for ventilation. Have not encountered any problems thus far (even with what I consider to be stagnant air) . Algae on glass and substrate is almost non-existent (might have to clean a little off the glass every 4-6 months, and maybe a quick rinse of the hygro balls if necessary).

Stays nice and humid inside of the cubes (usually mist my plants, or I guess what I should really say: dampen & fertilize the moss around my orchids about once a week). Might have to top off the substrate (hydro balls) about once a month or so. These cubes are a lot of fun, and require little maintenance and effort. Started growing Taxiphyllum barbieri on the bottom of a couple of my cubes (on top of the hygro balls) with good results. I will probably do this with all of them... I like the way it looks. Here's an example (photo below) to give a visual idea, if it is of any help.

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Old 04-27-2018, 08:00 AM
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Leafmite, thank you for your response! Joshfrogs was actually my first stop when shopping online and later their expert emailed me asking if I needed assistance. I explained my issue with the chunky Exo Terra fixture and they were going to get back to me. Nothing yet from them.

The Exo Terra fixture is just loo tall, overwhelms the little cube imo. It is the same fixture as I use on my 12x12x18.

On the other hand, the Zoo Med is much more compact and actually what I am looking for. Thanks for that! The dimensions show that fixture as 7.125 wide + rails so Iím thinking it could just sit on top of the tank without the rails? Not sure the rails are removable. That light is LED which Iíve not used before, 6500k could be a bit strong though I could manage some sort of shade cloth addition at the top. I really like the look of this light! I had planned to use glass or plexiglass at the top with an inch left open for circulation. Iíll see what I can do, I appreciate your suggestions, thank you!

---------- Post added at 08:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:50 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by wisdomseeker View Post
No Exoterras, but I do grow miniatures in similar sized enclosures (6x6x8 glass cubes). Managed to keep about a half dozen of these empty cubes from a retired fishroom (several years ago) when I was working with Betta channoides and Betta imbellis.

I figured I would put them back to use with some small orchids. Nothing fancy/no frills. I use a single Cree CXA1304 5,000K 95CRI LED (they are small & efficient cobs with about a 1/2" footprint, driven around 350ma with a forward voltage of about +/- 10 volts, mounted in a small DIY pendant fixture) for light. This light source has proven to be favorable for my plants (on-off via a timer ~ lights on for about 10 hours). Light sits on a glass pane that is directly on top of the cubes.

I keep a good 1" plus substrate of hygro balls covered with distilled water. I like tree fern (that's just me), so I
usually use these for mounts. A glass pane sits on top of the cubes, with about a 1" gap near the back for ventilation. Have not encountered any problems thus far (even with what I consider to be stagnant air) . Algae on glass and substrate is almost non-existent (might have to clean a little off the glass every 4-6 months, and maybe a quick rinse of the hygro balls if necessary).

Stays nice and humid inside of the cubes (usually mist my plants, or I guess what I should really say: dampen & fertilize the moss around my orchids about once a week). Might have to top off the substrate (hydro balls) about once a month or so. These cubes are a lot of fun, and require little maintenance and effort. Started growing Taxiphyllum barbieri on the bottom of a couple of my cubes (on top of the hygro balls) with good results. I will probably do this with all of them... I like the way it looks. Here's an example (photo below) to give a visual idea, if it is of any help.

Wisdomseeker, WOW that is beautiful! You certainly have managed to reuse these tanks well. The glass top adds to the unique finished look.

I have looked at dome fixtures as well, not really loving the top of them with the cord but Iíve not ruled them out completely. Yours looks great! I just cannot go with the Exo Terra as it is almost goofy looking on a 8Ē cube.

Thanks for posting your picture, that is quite the little display and your plants seem perfectly happy!

Seems Iíve got a decision to make yet. Thank you very much!
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Old 04-27-2018, 12:50 PM
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Not the setup you are using, but does address the plant question somewhat:

My "satellite dish"
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Old 04-27-2018, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
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Not the setup you are using, but does address the plant question somewhat:

My "satellite dish"
Paul, yes this helps quite a lot. I have a setup similar to yours without a lid. I cut plastic wrap to fit the opening and it works very well. At one time I was growing a Lepanthes calodictyon along with a Lepanthopsis astrophora stalky in that set up. The astrophora outgrew the set up and I had a bad experience with fungus gnats that practically killed the calodictyon. At this time, my ball tank is empty. The astrophora is growing like a weed and the calodictyon is slowly recovering. I really miss the teenie flowers on the calodictyon and hope to see it flower again one day.

I had been plant shopping with my daughter for small Tropicals and Iím just sure those plants brought the gnats. By the time I realized what was causing the calodictyon to fail, it was almost too late. I hate those gnats and normally donít have issues with them.

What do you use for light on your setup? I had mine sitting alongside my Exo Terra in a bright kitchen, no extra light. This nano Iím considering may not need a light depending on where I set it up. I am learning towards the Zoo Med as I like the low profile. The small tanks just scream for micro minis! I may have to add a satellite dish myself.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattywack View Post
I hate those gnats and normally donít have issues with them.
That's what carnivorous plants are for ... or mosquito dunks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pattywack View Post
What do you use for light on your setup?
Currently it sits on the end of my lighted plant stand which uses daylight spectrum fluorescent tubes. Thinking of moving it a little further in as the caly. looks a bit etiolated. (The light quality at the last 6inches on either end of a fluor. tube is greatly inferior to that of the rest of the tube.
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Last edited by Paul; 04-28-2018 at 09:30 AM..
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Old 04-28-2018, 10:25 AM
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Thank you Paul. I added CPs last summer after the gnats, Iíve not had any issues since. They are great little bug catchers though theyíve not eaten any in some time. I may pop them outside on my porch once in awhile now that the weather is warming, certain to grab a meal.

Iím still on the fence about a fixture, leaning towards the Zoo Med. Otherwise I may just pick a bright location near a window and go from there. The nano tank is calling my name, Iíve got to try one.

Your input is much appreciated thanks!
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Old 04-28-2018, 11:13 AM
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Good luck with it! I have a table top greenhouse but it is under my other lights, partially shaded by a Piper and the vanilla. I haven't had to get any dedicated lighting for it.
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:07 PM
DesignerofBeauty DesignerofBeauty is offline
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You could make your own custom top using LED light strips. Find a suitable material to place on top of the tank. The LED strips are adhesive. You could get the strips in a variety of color temperatures as well. You could cut the strips and then solder the connection (not sure if I'm using the right terminology here). I have successfully grown cattleyas and my Dendrobium laevifolium with LED strips (which I've attached to the inner perimeter of my T5 fixture).
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