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Aquarium Greenhouse.....Will it work???

This is a discussion on Aquarium Greenhouse.....Will it work??? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; ...

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  1. #1
    scopinox's Avatar
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    Default Aquarium Greenhouse.....Will it work???

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  2. #2
    RSJ
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    Praveer,

    It will probably work, but depending on the size (I didn't see where you said how many gallons) you don't have to go to so much trouble to grow hybrid paphs and phals in there.

    I grow small warmth-loving things in my 10 gal aquarium without a fully enclosed hood, with a full-spectrum tube (will likely go up to 2 compact tubes) and pumice or tank gravel in the bottom. I add water to the bottom just enough to moisten the pumice (overflow on watering day often does it for me), turn on a fan only on hot days or when the tank is really full of plants leaf to leaf, and keep the lights on 12-16 hours per day depending on natural light availability. This set-up actually provided too much light to my phal and I had to take it out. I have a tank heater in a large jar of water inside the tank for the coldest winter days and the warm water core keeps the temps in winter pretty stable. The rest of the year, the heater is off and home heat is stable daytimes with a standard 5 degree Farenheit drop at night.

    I hope that you enjoy this project, as the complexity is half the fun!

    RSJ

  3. #3
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    LJA
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    Praveer, I'm impressed--well thought out! I'm curious about the aquarium's size too. As far as the plants, if you're growing sedlings out of flask, it'll be a while before you have to worry about whether the conditions in there will bloom them. I'm imagining that your tank is about 10 gallons, like RSJ's, in which case it would be perfect for seedlings. Recomendations? I'd personally add a second fan.

    (About being a thread killer--I haven't seen this yet?)

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    I've actually tried this. Not exactly the top you have planned but it was close. I simply put saran wrap on the top and would leave a corner open to vent and I used an oscillating fan on a table a couple feet away. I suspended the lamps above it so they were hanging. Here is the problems I ended up having that made me abandon this. The aquarium is heavy yet is limited on space. They grow and will become too big for that aquarium. Even paphs will get too big. Especially when they spike.

    I have recently come up with an alternate method that has been working very well so far. I used one of the opaque or clear storage containers that you find at boxstore so they are very cheap. You can get whatever size you need since they come in larger sizes. They are fairly light so they are easy to move even when full. I recently bought a flask of Transvaal x Sanderianum. I deflasked and made 5 compots from it. I put them immediately in a plastic container and kept them moist and the lid on it for at least a week. I also had to keep it out of any strong light. The second week, I moved the container out for a few hours a day and started venting the container by placing the lid on crooked. I then started taking them out of the container for a few hours a day. I slowly acclimated them to room air so to speak. Here they are now a month out of flask:



    I haven't lost a single plant from the flask. The white opaque plastic actually bounces light back onto the plants if you have an overhead lamp. You can also drill holes into the sides to allow for ventilation if you want. I didn't do that but considered it. You can also drill holes in the bottom for drainage.

    If you need a pic of the container I used, let me know. I have pics I took when I first placed them in.

  5. #5
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    Maegg, that sounds like a great setup, and from the looks of the seedlings, has obviously worked very well for you! Thanks for posting that.

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    The tank is in fact a 10 gal/ 45 litre tank. Since its going to house all my warm orchids (for the time being) my phal, see below for link, is also going in, with another phal i plan to save from my friend's bin. So i know that space is going to be pretty limited.

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...ead.php?t=2298

    The prob Maegg, is that there is absolutely no space in the house for a container that will house my seedlings. The only space i can find is very dark, which is where i plan to put it. Thats the reason why im using the aquarium - so that it can be used to create light where there is none, and because the aqqarium is doing jack for me outside (other than gather dust).

    Wait a second. I've just realised that there is a smaaaall amount of space behind one couch were no-one will bother the seedlings. The walls of the corner face east and north, and the windows are about 50cm from the floor and wall. Everything is white. See pic. Its to the left. The only difference is that there's a window on both walls. Will this place do??

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...ead.php?t=2348

    Btw Maegg, i assume that those are roths. do you suggest i buy a flask of them cos they take soooo long to grow and flower. If i time it well, the'll be in flower for my graduation.

    Do any of you know whether the light conditions are okay??

    Also, Maegg, could you pretty please with a cherry on the top, post pics of the container. i think i know what you're talking about, but i just want to be sure.

    One last thing. I plan to deflask only in september, when spring arrives. Can i leave the flasks in the aquarium for the winter months, or should i deflask when i get them?

    I'll try getting light readings using my father's ancient light meter if that will help.

    Btw Louis, i was originally planning to have two fans, but got afraid that the wind would dry the seedlings out. anyway, should both of the fans be outside blowing in, or should they be inside circulating the air, or one of both?

    Will try to get pics.

    Thanx sooo much.

    Praveer

    PS. Sorry i ask so many questions.

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    I'd put the fans inside, circulating the humid air. One might be just fine, depending on how strong it is. You don't want a situation where, as you said, the seedlings get dessicated, nor do you want one that's so dripping-wet humid and stagnant that you encourage rot.

  8. #8
    maegg's Avatar
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    The area behind the couch which is rather sunny and won't work for awhile. They are coming out of flask where they had 100% humidity. The biggest challenge is to keep them from frying.

    The rule to use as to when to deflask is when the leaves hit the lid. Pretty much you are expected to deflask when you receive it and they are ready to go. I deflasked within 2 days. If you want to deflask in september, I wouldn't purchase the flask until september or late august. Here is the flask that I received for reference:



    Here it is open:



    These aren't roths btw....much worse they are transvaal x sanderianum. It will take them forever to bloom, maybe when you retire

    Here is the container pic:


    The blue cup had water in it to help with humidity. Hope this all helps.

  9. #9
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    Maegg, that's a great looking set-up... I'm gonna try again with the roths or maybe insigne's in spring (down under) and will set up something like yours... I have a couple of those plastic containers already, full of my camping stuff but they can get tossed in the cupboard for this much better use of the container! Thanks for showing that pic!

    Cheers
    Tim

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    Thanx a mill Maegg. I have decided to buy plants at the show. There is another one in sept, so i'll buy my flasks then. However, if the devil pays me a visit, i'll buy maybe one to experiment on.

    This gives me a chance to build the gh/aqaurium in the june hols. I'm swamped with work right now. I should in fact be doing my psyc essay now.

    That was very similiar to the container i had in mind. It will replace the cat when that goes outdoors for the summer.

    Sorrry bout the question about the "roths". Must be the smoke from lil' jamaica coming into the computer room. :lemmetell

    Jus to ask, are those clay pots? Is there any advantage in growing in clay pots? If there is, ill have to make some. Oh yes, what size are they?

    Does anyone know of something called supersphag?? I've read that it's really awesome for phals and disas. Do you think it will work for phals and others. Check this site and tell me what you think.

    www.disas.com

    thanx

    Praveer

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