What's new
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
And I'm not *entirely* sure what I'm doing, but I'm trying! I wanted plants in my room at work, but it has no windows. I ultimately decided on a terrarium with artificial lighting, and carnivorous plants because they always seemed really awesome.

10 gallon terrarium with some sort of tropical nepenthes. I wanna put a few sundews in here later on as well.
rfJWaVA.jpg


Close up. No traps, but I'm really hoping they grow.
dxe0FuK.jpg


It is in a mix of peat and sphagnum with a bit of perlite mixed in for good measure. The bottom inch and a half or so is coarse sand. I have distilled water, but want to find a way to tap into our building's RO system and use that. I have heard that even with this pure water, dissolved solids will still eventually accumulate and become an issue. (Is this true?) So, I figured I would make room for a small PVC pipe going to the bottom of the tank that I could siphon water out of every now and then to get the solids outta the tank.

I'm a bit concerned about the lighting. It's fairly close, about 10" to the substrate, but I don't know if it'll be bright enough. It's a 2 lamp T5HO fixture from Aquaticlife. This is the manual, which includes spectral output graphs. http://aquaticlife.lifetimeproducts.netdna-cdn.com/sites/default/files/specsheets/420014.pdf

So... That's what I got I reckon. There's always more to learn. I'm glad to be here, and if anybody has any suggestions for improving this little terrarium of mine, I'm all ears.
 
Joined
Jul 1, 2015
Messages
3
Well I'm not sure if directly planting it into the soil will work. It's best to have it in a pot. And yeah make sure you have a strong enough light, especially if you want to put some dews in there. Idk what species it is you'll have to wait until the experts reply because depending if it's highland or lowland it'll need certain temps in the day and night.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
Thanks for the reply. Would you mind expanding on why directly planting would be an issue? Pot or no pot, it's still sitting in a nutrient poor mix.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
But it still sits at the same height in the tank, and I read that roots grow out of the bottom of pots. I have 1.5" coarse sand on the bottom of the terrarium for drainage, and will be putting a PVC tube vertically reaching down to the bottom, so I can stick a siphon down there for flushing the tank from time to time. Is this insufficient?
 

SubRosa

BS Bulldozer
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
1,484
It's tedious and overly complicated imo, but you're the one who's going to have to do it.
 

Zath

Enthusiastic Enthusiast
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
584
Location
VA, USA
But it still sits at the same height in the tank, and I read that roots grow out of the bottom of pots. I have 1.5" coarse sand on the bottom of the terrarium for drainage, and will be putting a PVC tube vertically reaching down to the bottom, so I can stick a siphon down there for flushing the tank from time to time. Is this insufficient?

If the sand is courser than the peat mix, it's not going to drain like you think it will. The ability of peat to hold moisture is very high, and you might just end up forming a kind of water table above the sand unless you absolutely flood it.

Generally speaking, peat is not the recommended substrate for Nepenthes because it holds so much water. 100% dead lfs works for many, including myself, while others get a little more involved with their mixes. The one thing that seems to be the same in all of them is the ability for air to get to the roots.

It doesn't look like you put very much perlite into the mix, and there was no mention of sand. You'll need to watch carefully to make sure the soil doesn't become anaerobic.

It would be best to put it in a pot (I use net-pots and orchid-pots ((the ones with the holes in the side))) for mine. Nepenthes (from what I know), appreciate well-draining soil that will dry within 3-4 days or less.

Giving your plants their own pots will also allow you to keep a larger variety in the same tank (allowing for temperature requirements if it's a finicky Nep), since you can more easily control their individual water needs.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
Is it much worse than something like siphoning and replacing water in an aquarium? I do that all the time and don't mind it a bit.
 

Zath

Enthusiastic Enthusiast
Joined
May 24, 2014
Messages
584
Location
VA, USA
Is it much worse than something like siphoning and replacing water in an aquarium? I do that all the time and don't mind it a bit.

If there's enough water to even get a syphon going, you've got WAY too much in there (for Nepenthes). You're not going to be able to access the excess water that's present in the peat. You're just setting yourself up for lots of bad things to happen. :/
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
If the sand is courser than the peat mix, it's not going to drain like you think it will. The ability of peat to hold moisture is very high, and you might just end up forming a kind of water table above the sand unless you absolutely flood it.

Generally speaking, peat is not the recommended substrate for Nepenthes because it holds so much water. 100% dead lfs works for many, including myself, while others get a little more involved with their mixes. The one thing that seems to be the same in all of them is the ability for air to get to the roots.

It doesn't look like you put very much perlite into the mix, and there was no mention of sand. You'll need to watch carefully to make sure the soil doesn't become anaerobic.

It would be best to put it in a pot (I use net-pots and orchid-pots ((the ones with the holes in the side))) for mine. Nepenthes (from what I know), appreciate well-draining soil that will dry within 3-4 days or less.

Giving your plants their own pots will also allow you to keep a larger variety in the same tank (allowing for temperature requirements if it's a finicky Nep), since you can more easily control their individual water needs.

I see... That is a good point. Well, I'm not opposed to pulling everything out of this and redoing it. I like the look of a planted terrarium over a potted one, but live plants beat sickly/dead ones any day.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2014
Messages
495
Location
New Jersey, US
Planted terrariums just set you up for big trouble, IMO. They never worked for me, and this whole thing will be irrelevant soon because that plant is very close to outgrowing the terrarium.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
Planted terrariums just set you up for big trouble, IMO. They never worked for me, and this whole thing will be irrelevant soon because that plant is very close to outgrowing the terrarium.

Very true! It's going to have to go in it's own pot somewhere else soon regardless. That'd be a good opportunity to redo the tank.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 1, 2014
Messages
207
What I'd do is have a potted terrarium with live moss on the ground around it to catch water and eventually grow up around the pots. It looks great with my drosera tray, and I'm eventually going to put moss around my nepenthes.
 
Joined
Aug 25, 2015
Messages
8
What I'd do is have a potted terrarium with live moss on the ground around it to catch water and eventually grow up around the pots. It looks great with my drosera tray, and I'm eventually going to put moss around my nepenthes.

That does sound cool. I might have to do that.
 
Top