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  #1  
Old 01-25-2021, 12:40 AM
varda.elentari varda.elentari is offline
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Looking for advice on orchidarium for Paphs and Phrags Female
Default Looking for advice on orchidarium for Paphs and Phrags

Hi folks,

I haven't logged in since 2016 apparently! I stepped back from the hobby for several years but I'm getting back into it and would like to make a small terrarium for Paphs and Phrags to raise humidity and to provide a sort of buffer should I forget a watering.

The plants consist of an unknown mottled-leaf Paph, an unknown Phrag and Phrag Hanne Popow.

I plan to use a small fan for air circulation inside only. The tank is small and I'll be hand misting for now so I think a second fan bringing in air, even occasionally, from the outside, would be too drying. Which leads me to my main question:

Should I add a reservoir of water below some egg crate at the bottom or can I do without? (I'll have lots of moss in the tank so that will also hold moisture and maintain humidity.) The tank is 45cm tall - tall enough for the plants but short enough that I'd rather save the vertical space. Plus I'm trying to repurpose materials I already have as much as possible for this project instead of buying new ones and I don't have egg crate.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as I continue to read up on orchidariums and begin putting mine together so any advice on growing Paphs and Phrags in terrariums would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2021, 08:01 AM
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If you donít completely cover the top, a fan for air flow may be unnecessary. I have a couple of plants in a cylindrical glass vase (20 cm diameter by 30 cm tall) and use a piece of plexiglass as a cover. There is a crescent-shaped gap of about 1 cm in the middle, yet even with that small opening, the plants are dry within about an hour of being sprayed.

However, I think 45 cm is entirely too short for any phrag spike, and for some paphs as well.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2021, 09:19 AM
varda.elentari varda.elentari is offline
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Thanks for your response! My two unknown plants have bloomed on very short spikes in the past, hence why I decided to use this tank. The Hanne Popow is a new plant for me though and I haven't found any info online about how tall the spikes get. Does it get very tall?
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Old 01-25-2021, 02:31 PM
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Neither parent is particularly large, but they will throw flower spikes in the range of 30-45 cm above the foliage.
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2021, 03:28 PM
varda.elentari varda.elentari is offline
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I see. I might hold off on putting the Hanne Popow in this terrarium then or plan on moving it to a larger one in the future.

In the meantime, should I include a water reservoir in the bottom of this small tank you think? I'm also planning on adding some miniature orchids to this tank eventually if that makes a difference.
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Old 01-25-2021, 05:00 PM
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Welcome back to the hobby and orchidboard!

I am relatively new to terrarium growing, but I think that the false bottom will serve two purposes from my understanding. 1) it will help to keep humidity elevated (maybe not as important if you have moss). 2) it will serve as an area to accumulate water that is excess from watering, etc and allow it not to continually saturate your substrate and allow for you to drain this as needed.

Therefore I have chosen to include a small false bottom area in my two tanks. It doesnt need to be 3-4" deep like the froggers use, but ~2" would likely suffice. Just my opinion though
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Old 01-25-2021, 06:18 PM
varda.elentari varda.elentari is offline
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Thank you kindly!

I didn't think about potential excess water so thank you for pointing that out. What if I use 2" of gravel instead, then medium (with netting underneath so that it doesn't mix with the gravel)? Any pros or cons to either method?
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varda.elentari View Post
Thank you kindly!

I didn't think about potential excess water so thank you for pointing that out. What if I use 2" of gravel instead, then medium (with netting underneath so that it doesn't mix with the gravel)? Any pros or cons to either method?
I (and I think many others) have used LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) rather than gravel for this purpose. I think it helps to wick moisture, etc more efficiently than gravel (although Iím sure Ray may be able to explain more than I) among other benefits. Amazon and NEHERP sell leca for relatively cheap. In essence you are exactly correct: leca, then a screen material to keep the substrate out of the leca and then your substrate. Check out neherp for some pretty great tutorials for how to do this (again I would ignore the part about leaf litter, etc as you arenít housing frogs).
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Old 01-25-2021, 11:53 PM
varda.elentari varda.elentari is offline
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That certainly sounds much better than either egg crate or gravel. Thanks again!
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2021, 08:11 AM
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LECA will work well. So will egg crate with a void below. What I like about egg crate is being able to stick a hand pump suction in to suck up excess water if ever needed. But you could also have same effect with a little barrier from LECA in one corner.
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