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  1. #11
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    I guess it would probably have helped to describe the overall goal... lol.

    Basically I'm wanting to use this for small heliamphora and potentially germination purposes. So I'll need humidity pretty stable in the 90-95% range, but without frequent misting. Especially in terrariums, these plants are pretty prone to fungal growth when misted very often. So, the reason I want the flooding is to root water the plants, as well as providing oxygen exchange in the root zone when the water drains out.

    Actually your mention of african violets is pretty close to dead on. That's exactly the sort of thing I'm going for: high humidity while keeping the plants themselves dry. Really, in the end, I'm hoping to rarely have to open the top of the terrarium except for feeding/filling the pitchers from time to time.

    I'm thinking that if I use a substrate of clay pellets, that will allow me to place the pots at different levels based on watering needs vs. size of pot. The pellets along with a fan should help keep humidity up. The last thing is really to figure out how to introduce fresh air without killing the humidity level. Hence the "slot on one (or both) side(s)" vs. "series of holes" quandry. I'm still pretty new at the terrarium thing, so it's hard for me to predict the pros vs. cons of both.
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  2. #12
    ;sup' dog? ;woof and a wwwoof! dundadundun's Avatar
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    http://www.hydrogalaxy.com/hydroponi...kit-w-adapter/
    http://www.mistking.com/3-4-Drain-Bu...-Slip-Kit.html

    just a couple examples of smaller bulkheads.

    ideal ventilation would be an inlet near the substrate layer in the front of the setup and an exit in the top/lid at or near the rear of the setup. this will tend to draw the air in and up along the front glass to keep it from fogging up/condensing and allow hot air to be released out the back minimally reducing any drying that may be caused from air exchange and heat accumulation from your lighting/etc. that can sway tank parameters.

    do you know what environmental parameters you're shooting for and what your inhabitants (flora and/or fauna) will be? "european style" viv ventilation will necessitate modification in an aquarium based palu. no matter what your ventilation may be it may best to be able to adjust the amount of ventilation you have to control your environment. once you have it in place, you may want some way of variably plugging those holes as necessary to achieve your desired rh.

    depending on your plan for circulation and your desired rh, you likely could get away with controlling rh via your circulation fans or air stones place in the water column inside the terra. this route will make viewing through the front pane more difficult, especially if your need for increasing rh is significant since you than have to focus your circulation for humidity sake instead of for keeping the front glass clean.

    another thing you may want to consider is a drip irrigation manifold... http://www.blackjungleterrariumsuppl...old_p_925.html

    all in all... looking at your current progress and thinking minimalistically, it might be best for you to put any ventilation in your top glass in the front of the terra to help with keeping the front glass clear.

    but enough of me rambling on and thinking out loud... what do you have to work with? what are your goals? what's your budget? what's your level of DIYness? tell me a little about yourself, lol...
    Regards... Done.

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  3. #13
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    Let's see: budget... pretty much nil atm. But I know enough people that I can get basic materials if need be. On hand I have some glass, and bits of tubing, fans and electrical components. As far as DIY goes... I haven't had an idea yet that I haven't been able to put into action with a little bit of ingenuity and my dremmel. =) Goals are really pretty simple: 90-95% humidity, good air exchange, as little human interference inside the terrarium as possible. I guess I should state too that the terrarium will be for potted heli's. No critters, no planted substrate, etc.

    Your first paragraph made a lot of sense, Dun; and it's almost exactly like the advice I got on TF. So what I'm thinking is probably 4 holes about halfway up one side with the fan mounted inside that and pointed slightly down to blow across the substrate of expanded clay pellets. I figure they should hold/wick enough water to keep the humidity up. Then another series of 4 holes in the top, back corner of the other side. If I put the fan in the front of the terrarium like you recommended and the outlet holes in the back, that seems like it should do the trick.

    What do you guys think?

    This way, I could just make a solid top. That would make that part of it a bit easier. Thanks again for the help, guys. It's totally appreciated.
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  4. #14
    Seafood Lover mellowvision's Avatar
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    ugh. I just typed a long reply and got a server error!

    basically what I said was, http://www.zoomed.com/db/products/En...D=2&SearchID=1 you could use 2 of these to run 2 airpumps, 1 that pushes air through the water column to raise humidity, the other to just pump fresh air into the viv to lower.

    I'd used stepped eggcrate for your floor, and place plants on the different height steps. Under the eggcrate I'd install a float to actuate refill when the waterline drops, or I'd use a floor drain with a stand pipe to the waterline, and have a pump on a timer that pushes freshwater from a reserve into the tank every day, and flushes old water out through the stand pipe into a waste bucket.



  5. #15
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    That's an awesome little unit, Mellow! I'm going to have to keep that in mind.

    I think I haven't been clear about something. I don't really want to have a "water column" per se. Really what I'm going for is to only have water in the terrarium for a little while every day. Basically enough to water the plants and soak the substrate. Then it will drain and the terrarium will essentially be dry. This way, I can avoid (as much as possible) the risk of fungal growth, etc as well as avoiding root rot.

    I do like the idea of stepped eggcrate a lot, and have thought of doing something like that with some long fiber sphagnum moss to keep in the humidity. I may have to play around with both substrate theories to see what works best.

    Dang, you guys have great ideas. Mellow, you just gave me an idea for another terrarium set up for pygmy sundews!
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  6. #16
    Seafood Lover mellowvision's Avatar
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    well, the only challenge in what you're looking for is expense really. you could have it fill and drain daily, but you'd need an electronically controlled valve for the drain, so that you could close while filling. something like this might work http://www.google.com/products/catal...MAA#ps-sellers

    so basically, you'd have a timed pump to fill, with a timed valve to open and close at the appropriate time, and you'd probably still want a stand pipe to floor drain so that you never run the risk of over filling.



  7. #17
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mellowvision View Post
    well, the only challenge in what you're looking for is expense really. you could have it fill and drain daily, but you'd need an electronically controlled valve for the drain, so that you could close while filling. something like this might work http://www.google.com/products/catal...MAA#ps-sellers

    so basically, you'd have a timed pump to fill, with a timed valve to open and close at the appropriate time, and you'd probably still want a stand pipe to floor drain so that you never run the risk of over filling.
    But I have that part of it covered with the pump and return lines. The pump fills the tank until the water gets up to the level of the return line and gravity takes care of the rest. I've got the pump hooked up to a timer so I can set it to run for as low as 15 minutes depending on what's appropriate for watering the pots properly. It's not as elegant as what you're describing, but it's functional for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaffy View Post
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  8. #18
    ;sup' dog? ;woof and a wwwoof! dundadundun's Avatar
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    i like your drilled holes plan for a budget setup, personally. you may find your front glass doesn't clear up perfectly along the whole length... especially with a tank to room temp differential that favors a warm tank. which is highly likely. i suspect it won't be a huge issue, though. for super cheap and adjustable, you could use the plugs you cut out of the glass as guide rails for a vent cover cut out of a thin strip of lexan. a couple dabs of silicone should hold the plugs in place. stagger a second plug on the first on to make a rail, let dry and you're done. then again... the same can be done with scotch tape, lol.

    if you're going with leca, i'm going to suggest putting pots in and maybe adhering them lightly to the floor for you to put your plant pots into. this way you can use whatever you want to control the height of each individual pot and if you ever feel the need to remove any of them for any reason, putting them back exactly as they were is as simple as dropping them back into the pots they were in. if you don't go hog crazy with glue, pulling your stationary holder pots should be fairly easy as well. maybe a dab of silicone squished through a hole on one corner. on the other hand, if you're going to jam pack the tank with pots, that'll make things tough to get to the leca should you ever want to clean things up a bit.

    i totally agree with bills point on the waste and reservoir buckets, but you certainly could change the water in the bucket weekly and that should suffice. i would aerate it and consider an opaque cover should it ever get algae.
    Regards... Done.

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  9. #19
    this is bat country jbradt's Avatar
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    My plan is to do periodic water changes when the ppm of the water in the reservoir gets too high. That water will likely go to watering the neps in the other rack since they can handle a little less purity. I hadn't thought about algae in the resevoir. The opaque bucket idea is definitely going to happen. I've also been thinking about adding an airstone for aeration in the reservoir. That totally validates that thought.

    Dang, I'm getting excited about this!
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaffy View Post
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  10. #20
    Seafood Lover mellowvision's Avatar
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    you might consider putting a heater in the bucket too, so that when you flood the tank it's not with cold water.



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