Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 20 of 20
Like Tree12Likes

orchidarium growing question regarding fans

This is a discussion on orchidarium growing question regarding fans within the Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hi HRW, Let me see if I can answer all of your questions addressed to ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #11
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    34,003
    Member's Country Flag
    Recipes
    15

    Default

    Hi HRW,
    Let me see if I can answer all of your questions addressed to me.

    I neither purchased nor built my orchidarium. Instead, I inherited it from a man I only met once (maybe twice) in my life and had not see or spoken with in over two years. He was a college professor of botany and a member of the orchid society I used to attend. Just before he passed, his brother contacted me and asked if I would take his collection as he wanted to ensure that his orchids survived. I packed up a couple of cardboard boxes and drove to the man's home. I was surprised when he wanted me to take the orchdidarium as well as the orchids. That said, I did replace the light. The light that was in the unit was damaged and only about 60 % working. I purchased a new 125 W Full Spectrum Daylight Fluorescent lamp (under 50.00 dollars with shipping). The new lamp produces much less heat than the damaged one and it is so much brighter. I have been able to bloom several of the orchids and even one of the miniature bromeliads he was growing.

    Name:  A02D_129963468060199858YWaU8wgtpr.jpg
Views: 519
Size:  5.8 KB

    (If you build your own unit, you can even build the hood for the light - you should keep in mind that this lamp has a base that is larger than normal Type A mogul screw bases. It will need a socket that is about 1.25 inches across insead of the standard 1 inch socket. The lamp can be placed horizontal or vertical so you could put it on top or the side depending on your setup.)


    The orchidarium I have is a professional one that was purchased, however, I do not recommend purchasing one if you are in any way handy. I could easily have built this one and the parts - light fixture and fan are individual pieces that can be purchased separately.

    The case of this orchidarium front, sides and back is a single, rigid piece of plastic-cardboard for lack of the proper term. It is a white color and opaque. The top is a piece of clear plexi glass with a 5 or 6 inch wide hole in the center about 20 inches long. There are two more pieces of plexi-glass that are used to 'shutter' the opening closed to allow for different fans and air flow. The door of the unit is a final piece of plexi-glass that is about 18 inches wide and the height of the unit. Currently it is covered by aluminum foil - I suspect it was used to reflect the light back inside the case after the lamp in his original fixture was damaged. I left the foil simply because I wanted the increased light and I don't look into the orchidarium other than when I spray/mist/soak the orchids. The bottom of the orchidarium is a tin pan coated in plastic where the wall sit. Inside the case I have used some old plastic shelving material and a couple of plastic containers to create two levels for the orchids that sit in pots. On the walls hangs three pieces of 1/2 inch square 'wire' mesh - like you would use for a small animal cage. The mounted orchids hang on the mesh from their mounts. The fan is installed in the top of the unit and pulls air inside from the opposite side and expells it out on the side where it is mounted. The fan is the same fan I have in my gaming pc except it doesn't have any LED lights on it.

    Regarding humidity. Well, that was the first thing I learned about having an orchidarium. I puchased a small, digital thermometer and humidity device that I set inside the case to monitor the humidity. I noticed that the orchids seemed to dry out too fast and that I was having to water up to three times a day. (In the summer months when I am home more - that isn't a problem, but for the nine months out of the year when I teach and travel, that would be an issue.) So, I created a way to increase the humidity inside the orchidarium. I purchased a tall glass vase about 12" wide and probably 10 inches tall. I also purchased an aquarium pump and some tubing and air stones. I placed the aquarium pump on the floor outside the case and ran the tube through the opening in the top down into the vase which I placed on the right side of the orchidarium (under the opening where the air is being pulled into the system). This 'bubbler' produces a boiling or rolling water effect in the vase and keeps the humidity around 75% throughout the day and night. I water now first thing in the morning. I ocassionally open the case during the day to check for blooms and changes and when I do, I spray water again - increasing the humidity back up to 99% before closing the case.

    Since adding the new light and the 'bubbler' I have seen many more blooms and my stress level has gone down. (Nothing like the fear of letting down someone who trusted you with his prize orchid collection as he was dying!) Anyway, I too priced the cases because I could see building a larger one. The only changes I would make would be 1. to the outsides of the case. I would use Lexan like we used when we built our greenhouse - simply because I have no idea where to get the plastic-cardboard looking stuff that the pro-company used to build this orchidarium. And 2, I would make a drawer in the bottom that could slide out for the removal of spilled media and dead leaves, etc.. As it is, when I clean this case out, I must remove all the orchids stacked on the 'shelves', remove the shelves and then I can use a sponge and clean the bottom to remove the debris.

    As for costs, I have not seen an increase from running it though I'm sure there has been some increase. The light is on a timer that runs it about 11.5 hours a day. The fan runs 24/7 along with the bubbler.

    Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to answer your questions. Let me know if I you have additional questions. I'm glad to help.

    cheers,
    BD

  2. #12
    hrw115 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    13

    Default

    BD - Thank you for your rather thoughtful and extensive response!

    Inheriting someone's orchidarium seems like a nice problem to have. I might have to think about building one based on some of the comments you have made above. I have unfortunately never had an opportunity to see an orchidarium in person, so I am always curious when I see people posting images such as yours where you can actually see the "heart" of the appliance.

    Out of curiosity - were you finding that your plants were drying out prior to adding in the bubbler because of the lamp and the fan - and as such, you needed to add in an active humidity source?

    When your plants do bloom, do you leave them in the orchidarium? I have a habit currently of removing blooming orchids from the terrarium they live in and porting them over to my dining room table where I can enjoy them once they are in bloom. When the blooms are done, I return them to the terrarium. I wonder however, if in the case of an orchidarium where I could maintain a high humidity environment, if the change in climate (high humidity of an orchidarium to lower humidity of my dining room table) might be too hard on the plant. My plants are not currently receiving any additional humidity/moisture in the terrarium I keep them in - so any "shock" they might feel is certainly lessened.

    Thank you again for taking the time to respond. Very much appreciated!

  3. #13
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    34,003
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Don't get me wrong, I am happy to have the Orchidarium, but sad about the passing of the owner. He was so young and cancer is so awful. It has been a new challenge growing both in an orchidarium and growing orchid species that I've never attempted to grow and bloom. I'm learning something about them all the time. I enjoy looking up the plants and reading about their culture. I still have several that I will need to match the tags too when they bloom, so I keep a close eye on them - especially since the blooms are sometime the size of a pin-head.

    To answer your questions: The plants were drying out because of the fan. Even after the new light (which was cooler temp wise), the orchids were drying out too fast. So, I added the bubbler to help maintain humidity.

    As for moving the orchids out of the case when blooming- No, I do not. Almost all of the orchids growing in this case are tiny, minatures. The blooms are very tiny also and I have to use a magnifying glass to see some of them. If I were growing larger orchids in there, I guess I would take them out when blooming if I had company. I grow about 1500 orchids in my greenhouse and rarely ever bring in a blooming orchid unless we are having guests or a special event at the house. (I may not be the best person to quiz about this since I would rather enjoy the orchids out in the greenhouse rather than moving them inside.)

    All that said, I do not think your orchids (or mine) would suffer any distress from being moved from the greenhouse or orchidarium when in bloom so they could be displayed for several days in the house. No worries. Once they bloom, you just want to water at the pot level anyway - never on the flowers or you will get spots.

    Good luck to you and if you decide to build that orchidarium, be sure to take lots of photos and share them here. I'm sure others would love to see how you do it.

    cheers,
    BD

  4. #14
    hrw115 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    13

    Default

    It amazes me how diverse the orchid species is. With blooms which require a magnifying glass to see, I can only imagine! I have never seen such a thing personally. It must feel rather spectacular to know that you have succeeded in getting these plants to bloom. I suppose these little triumph explain is how this hobby becomes so addicting. While I may be able to build myself a small orchidarium with some success and grow a few more diverse species of orchids - I am not sure that I will ever reach greenhouse level in my collecting.

    Thank you again for your responses! Much appreciated! I will certainly share photos if I can get something pulled together for an orchidarium.

  5. #15
    mazlani's Avatar
    mazlani is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    mazlan
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7.
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    bulbophyllum
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Selangor, Malaysia
    Posts
    2,869
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Sorry can't answer your question but I sure do love your orchidarium. Super cool .

  6. #16
    nicki is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    don't know yet
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    pittsburgh Pa
    Posts
    803
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Bruce thanks for describing how you increased humidity. I'm always looking for different ideas on what to do that would work best for my situation. I had not known what air stones were til a few weeks back. I had wondered if I could use one to somehow increase humidity. I think I will try your idea with the vase and see if it will work for me.

  7. #17
    Elize is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Gender
    Female
    Posts
    1

    Default

    Hallo All,

    I am new to the site and orchids. I have built a vivarium to house the Draculas that I purchased. My question is about the air circulation. Do you pull fresh air from outside ( I read somewhere that it will kill the orchids) or do you circulate the closed in air? How do you provide fresh air? Thanx Elize

  8. #18
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
    Real Name
    Bruce Brown
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleyas & Slippers
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    34,003
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Air is pulled into the orchidarium from outside. There are two openings. One that has a fan pulling air out of the case, the other to allow air to be pulled into the case.

    cheers & welcome!

    BD

  9. #19
    Xara's Avatar
    Xara is offline Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Strängnäs, Sweden
    Posts
    211
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    My fans run 24/7 and they actually make it quite windy inside the cabinet :-o (I hope the orchids interpret it as "good air circulation"). I water manually so far, but it's getting strenuous... ;-). Not being handy, I'm buying a rain system/misting system as soon as I decide on what kind I should have. Manually, I keep the humidity at 60% which is hard work and doesn't allow weekend trips ;-), so an automatic system is really wanted! I have about 1-2 cm of water in the bottom of the cabinet in the gravel, constantly, but it doesn't seem to help much with the humidity above the compost. But it's good drainage with the gravel, at least! I like all the wall-mounted plants in your cabinet: I'm trying to get more and more up on the walls myself. But those that I keep in pots standing free are sooo much easier to water and manage :-). In my dream cabinet, though, all the orchids are growing "naturally" without any pots :-)!

  10. #20
    ksriramkumar is online now Senior Member
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Vanda, Phals & Dendrobium
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Bangalore,India
    Posts
    6,790
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Hi BD,

    your orchidarium looks great. Just got a couple inspirational ideas from your space which I could use. (the metal grid that you have used as a medium to hang your orchids)

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Vanda Patchara delight blue Orchid Growing question
    By stargazie in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: May 25th, 2013, 10:52 AM
  2. A question about fans
    By Katherine in forum Semi Hydro / Lights / Greenhouses / Accessories
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: April 17th, 2013, 07:24 PM
  3. Succulent growing question
    By nicki in forum The Jungle
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: May 11th, 2012, 09:54 AM
  4. phal lobbii growing habits question
    By Phyrex in forum New Growers: Ask the Senior Members
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: May 3rd, 2009, 08:57 PM
  5. For you fairieanum fans....
    By IdahoOrchid in forum Orchids For Sale / For Trade
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: April 25th, 2007, 06:45 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.