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Tiny orchids for a terrarium?

This is a discussion on Tiny orchids for a terrarium? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I purchased a few nice looking bottles a couple months ago intending to make terrariums ...

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  1. #1
    tcatl is offline Member
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    Default Tiny orchids for a terrarium?

    I purchased a few nice looking bottles a couple months ago intending to make terrariums for ferns. I cannot seem to get my hands on any maidenhair ferns here, so I was wondering what types of orchids could go in thier place. These bottles are about 18 inches tall, the widest part of them is 8-10 inches. Probably about 1 1/2 gallon volume with a 2 1/2 inch top opening. So something that starts out rather small, and also stays rather small.

    On another note...I also have a couple larger aquariums (30 and 125 gal) that have been considered for terrarium use. To make these more interesting for the kids a frog or gecko or lizard of some type would be neat. Are there any particular ones to get or not get? What about feeding the critters, would crickets that jump all over everything be ok, or stick to grubs?

    Any input is geatly appreciated!

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    Firstly, I wouldn't put orchids of any sort into the bottles. There wouldn't be enough air movement. They do need ventilation in combination with humidity. For the larger terrariums, as long as there is adequate air movement, there are lots that would work....one that sticks out in my mind is pleurothallis grobyi. It certainly stays small. I can't speak about the animal addition. Hopefully someone can help you with that and give you more plant recommendations. You could always try to google terrarium forums.

  3. #3
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    Terrariums are fantastic. Look up vivariums too - that's the official name for terrariums with animals in it (like a poison dart frog - the toxins come from their diet, so captive bred frogs are not poisonous). There are lots of sites with good info on how to set up either a terrarium or vivarium.
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    tcatl is offline Member
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    Primarily a terrarium, possibly turn into a vivarium. Looking on more specifics like what kind of geckos will smash any orchids placed in there, or bacteria off live crickets that will harm plants....I've looked all over the web, and just can't find this specific info. Maybe I should stick to a theme, like plants and amphibians from Ecuador, or Borneo, or ??? If they are compatible in nature they should be just fine in captivity too.

    I was hoping for something a little nicer for the bottles. Guess those orchid bottles I saw for $200 are a bad idea to replicate!

    Thanks guys

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    PaphMadMan is offline Senior Member
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    In general, there is no need to worry about bacteria from small animals or their food insects harming plants. They would never survive in the wild if there was. If you are going to add any kind of lizard or frog or whatever to a terrarium, please make sure you have good information about the specific diet and environmental needs of the animal and know you can provide them BEFORE you acquire one. I'm not an expert, but some lizards eat plants, and many would probably prefer a warmer drier environment than a terrarium suited for orchids - not good choices. I'm sure there are many good choices, just make sure you aren't going to kill the animal or the orchids.

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    Moxi is offline Junior Member
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    Tcal - are these by any chance the orchid jars you are looking to replicate? Minus the geckos



    ~ M ~

  7. #7
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    Those are beautiful jars!

  8. #8
    Moxi is offline Junior Member
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    @ Cindiras - No doubt! I love love LOVE them. But with a price tag of $179each... I'll be trying some plantings in a less expensive version.

    ~ M ~

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    tcatl is offline Member
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    No, I saw one with a lovely red Paph as a display by some designer. It had a price tag of $250!!! These are very nice too! Similar to what I had in mind. I bet a skilled hand with a diamond tipped drill or a torch to melt a hole could solve air flow and drainage problems. I just don't think I trust my handyman that much knowing that if he messes up it is a hour and a half drive to get a new bottle.

  10. #10
    e.muehlbauer is offline Junior Member
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    Bottles are fine for jewel orchids. They need low light, and don't need much air movement. I'd recommend Macodes petola...its available and inexpensive, and will do fine in that set up.

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