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Evaporative Cooler Mold Problem

Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
I recently built an evaporative cooler in my Nepenthes tank that I have been surprisingly pleased with. It gets the nighttime temperature drops that I need for highland and intermediate species. Below is a picture of the setup. I essentially use a reservoir located inside the tank with a humidifer pad that wicks the water up as it evaporates, and a computer fan to force dry air from the room over the pad and into the tank. There is a gap in the lid on the other end of the tank that allows for the humid air to escape, allowing for good airflow over the pad and through the tank. One problem that has cropped up after about a week is the not completely unexpected issue of mold on the filter. I also noticed a pitcher on one of my plants that suddenly blackened overnight with what appears to be the same mold. Because the filter acts as a wick and sits in the water in the reservoir inside the tank, there is little drying in between times when the fan is on. I've thought up two potential solutions for this, but I would like some input first before trying them. Ideally, I would use some sort of synthetic wicking material (e.g. not cellulose based) to reduce the amount of mold that can grow directly on the pad, although I am unsure about what sort of material this would be exactly. Alternatively, I was considering using some sort of sterilizing agent in the water reservoir to control mold growth on the pad. I do have access to Clearys 3336, and had also considered just using household bleach in the water, although I am unsure of whether this could impact the plants in some way. Have any of you dealt with these kinds of issues before or are there any recommendations? As always, thank you for your advice and expertise. It is greatly appreciated!
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Joined
Oct 28, 2018
Messages
2
Has this help you increase humidity significantly? What are your condition before and after adding a evaporative cooler?


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Joined
Jun 26, 2019
Messages
39
Location
North Carolina
The humidity in the reservoir container is likely always at 100%, or close to it. In the tank the humidity is 75-80% all the time, even when the cooling system is active. Temperatures during the day are a consistent 77 F, and drop to the low 60's at night with the cooler running. I've decided to use a combination of Clearys on the plants as well as a weekly cleaning of the pad with bleach. Apparently dilute bleach can degrade fairly quickly, and the plants *should* not be harmed as long as there is air flow removing any potential residual fumes from the tank after a cleaning.
 

adnedarn

I'm growing CPs in the Desert of Tucson, Az
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Joined
Jul 12, 2001
Messages
9,103
Location
Tucson, Arizona USA
I used those self wicking humidifiers many many years ago. They did not last long before they got mushy/spongy/gross. I believe there was a solution you could buy to put in the water that would help keep them clean specifically for use in those wicking style humidifiers, but I never used it. The recirculating style of humidifier lasted much longer and worked better.
 
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