A few Aerangis biloba culture questions
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  #1  
Old 12-05-2008, 10:30 AM
andrew__ andrew__ is offline
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Default A few Aerangis biloba culture questions

So I've been doing a lot of reading and I've found a source for Aerangis biloba.

As I understand it these plants...

...are "warm to intermediate" (Slightly warmer than room temp or where should I be aiming?)

...should be mounted. I have some cedar slab type stuff I could use, is this good or should I try to track down something else? Mount with or without moss on the roots?

...needs high humidity with good air movement. I have a 20 gallon aquarium I have empty at the moment I was going to use. For air movement I was thinking a CPU fan or similar. I'm going to have a lot more questions about wiring that I'm sure (too bad "CPU" & "Fan" are both too short to search in the forums)

...needs low to medium light. I should be able to handle this. Would a spiral CF bulb or three do the trick, especially if I'm only going to have the one plant (haha, for now ) or should I get a T5 unit?

...has long flower spikes. Being optimistic here but how far from the bottom of the mount to the bottom of the spike do I need room for under good conditions? I can have my tank standard orientation (16" tall) or tall (24" tall), makes no real difference to me but will depend on how much room I need to leave for the spikes once space is taken up by the mount etc as well. Standard orientation might be easier to light and I'd be able to fit a few more plants in than tall but that's not a big deal for me (right now).

And I think that should be enough to start building my setup. More questions to come I'm sure
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2008, 01:15 PM
Ross Ross is offline
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I would suggest the cedar is a great material to mount your Aerangis. Temps aren't that critical. Mine go from approx 30C in sumer to 23-25C in winter as highs. Overnight they will see approx 16C. And they do just fine with that. Moisture will be the biggest factor (well, along with a steady diet of weak fertilizer.) The fish tank should be fine for now. The plants can get fairly large (up to 18cm long leaves) but the spikes can possibly get 40cm long. I would mount the plant near the bottom of the cedar. It will naturally grow upwards. The spikes will grow upwards to start, then as the buds elongate and weigh down the spike, the spike will become pendant. If you stand the fish tank on end and cover the top (now the face) with Saran Wrap, leaving a loose area to get into the tank, then that will work. Yes you'll need a small PC fan or any small (8cm) 12 volt fan such as Coralife Aqualight 3 1/8 Cooling Fan Kit and let it run 24/7 inside the tank. Moisture won't hurt it. Light needs to be 1000-1500 foot-candles (10,000-15,000 lux). CF bulbs might do that if strong enough.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2008, 01:32 PM
Jorch Jorch is offline
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if you only have 1 plant for now, a 42W CFL should be enough, cheaper and less likely to fry the plant than T5. biloba does not like high light at all.
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  #4  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:03 PM
andrew__ andrew__ is offline
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I didn't realize it got quite so big! I might still give it a try because that actually sounds like a pretty impressive plant!

What first got me into this group of orchids though was actually Aerangis fastuosa which I understand is a much smaller plant (and harder to look after - especially with the higher temp requirements).

That fan looks like a good idea, I don't trust myself not to burn my house down if I had to wire up my own CPU fan

Last edited by andrew__; 12-05-2008 at 03:05 PM..
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  #5  
Old 12-05-2008, 03:06 PM
Ross Ross is offline
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Aerangis fastuosa is much smaller, and yes it can be tempermental, but still worth the challenge. I have two of them. One has two spikes slowly growing.

This is the older plant last spring.

Last edited by Ross; 12-05-2008 at 03:09 PM..
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  #6  
Old 02-08-2009, 10:48 PM
entropy82 entropy82 is offline
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Anyone doing A. biloba in s/h with PrimeAgra or mounting with EpiWeb? I used two recently recovered ones to experiment with by trying both medias. Anyone have any feedback on using those specific medias for A. biloba?
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2009, 12:17 PM
Bird Song Farm Bird Song Farm is offline
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Sorry, I have two, one on cork, one on a stick. Both doing fine in a terrarium. I am just getting into S/H so may move the one on cork as it hasn't had time to settle in to deeply.
AL

Quote:
Originally Posted by entropy82 View Post
Anyone doing A. biloba in s/h with PrimeAgra or mounting with EpiWeb? I used two recently recovered ones to experiment with by trying both medias. Anyone have any feedback on using those specific medias for A. biloba?
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2009, 05:56 PM
andrew__ andrew__ is offline
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So I finally picked one up today, a little on the small side but it looks like a pretty healthy plant, lots of root growth.

It's mounted but the board it's on is pretty small, should I try moving it now before it gets too well established to move later? Other option would be to just attach the current mount to the new one so it wouldn't need to be moved, assuming I can find a way to do that that doesn't look terrible.
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2009, 12:14 AM
andrew__ andrew__ is offline
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Ok... so since this thing is so small right now I'll be using the 20gallon tank I mentioned earlier (Building something later on once it gets bigger, and big enough to hold multiple plants, right now getting it to live is my goal and outgrowing it's enclosure is only a good sign )

I've been looking into lighting recently and at first I was expecting T5s to cost a fortune but I've recently found a few leads on some good deals. I could manage a single 2' T5HO (Or a 4' unit and setup a shelf or similar for future purchases) with highly reflective parabolic reflector for less than $50 (cheaper if I go for a cheaper reflector which I'd probably do if I needed more than one bulb). Would a single T5HO bulb be enough?

For water & fertilizers... Frequent misting (daily?), watering (dipping) every how many days approx? How often to fertilize and when (ie does it need a rest period)?

Going to pick up that fan ($20+ shipping), will play with placement in the tank based on how fast the plant is drying after misting. Should the tank be completely sealed (air exchange when open for misting) or should some gaps be left open for ventilation
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  #10  
Old 02-16-2009, 09:44 PM
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calvin_orchidL calvin_orchidL is offline
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Hey Andrew
Congrats on your purchase and welcome to the awesome world of angraecoids. As Ross said, this one does get a bit large (in comparison to other angs), but it's also very forgiving. It's the first aerangis species I have ever rebloomed!



No rest period needed (I don't think..someone correct me if I'm wrong) [EDIT] - just looked at some old posts, and noticed a past post by a rather experienced Ang specialist saying that most species benefit from a 3 month resting period. But he also says that growing healthy root tips should be seen at all times, so since I usually use root growth as a judge of watering, I'm not sure what to make of this information!

After growing a few mounts, I've seen that humidity and moisture might have an affect on how the roots grow...I grow in an enclosure which is quite humid and regularly misted, so I'd say about 75% of the roots that have grown since I bought the plant a year ago simply dangle in the air (with active growing tips), with around 25% grabbing the mount. Sometimes, I forget to dunk and my mount gets quite dry (bad, I know) but the roots still derive moisture from the air...which I think leads them to grow more in the air than on the mount. However, if you're in a drier environment, and you dunk frequently, then the roots might tend to grab hold of the mount. I would keep it moist...although drying out a little between watering hasn't done any damage in my experience. I would refrain from keeping it dry for long periods of time though.

Not sure I can picture the T5 + parabolic reflector - most T5 tubes have fitted reflectors that are quite close to the bulb (less than 2 inches), which is important for optimal reflection. Parabolic reflectors are typically for HID lights or CFLs perhaps.

If you plan on eventually going to a large enclosure, then either hold off on the T5s (get a 4 tube fixture when you get your larger enclosure) and use a (few) CFL, or get it now and use it over the smaller tank. The single strip T5s are not too effective, because in my humble opinion, part of the advantage of T5s is their slim tube size, which enables packing several of them over a smaller area (thus giving you more light).

As for sealing the tank or not, I believe air exchange with the outside is important. My 80 gallon tank actually has no fans inside (naughty, I know ) because I had some problems with the adaptors and never got around to getting new ones. It's been running fan-less for about 5 months now, and not a single spot of rot or mold or fungus, despite 5 misting cycles daily. I do, however, have an opening at the top, where air can escape. This results in a cycling humidity, with 90% post misting, to 65% lows in between. This works out well cause things have a chance to dry off. I don't know if it's the ideal system and many members have amazing orchidariums and enclosures, but it's worked for me so far

Enjoy! And you might want to consider joining the Angraecoid social group for fun too
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Last edited by calvin_orchidL; 02-16-2009 at 10:41 PM..
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