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mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
My addiction has returned.

After quitting CP's (and plants in general) a few years back to put more effort into my other hobby, fish tanks, I decided a few months back that I wanted to get back into CP's (nepenthes in particular) and I've slowly been rebuilding my collection since. The main issue I had when I'd consider keeping neps again was, where am I going to grow them? I used to grow them in household conditions under T-12 shoplights, with some success but many sensitive species (of course the ones I enjoy the most) just couldn't adapt and slowly wasted away. I was temporarily keeping the plants in an enclosed rack system with T-12's, it was effective but was just plain unsightly and I really wanted to move them somewhere they'd be enjoyed by the rest of my family. I actually found my solution on Black Friday when a local aquarium shop had good deals on new tanks, I ended up buying a new 125 gal aquarium as an upgrade for my fish which freed up my 100 gal cube. i was originally thinking I'd set it up for more fish but then it dawned on me that this would be a perfect terrarium.

After it was cleaned (literally 6 straight hours of work), the tank was moved upstairs and has been outfitted to act as a highland terrarium for my plants. I wanted to keep this setup as simple as possible, the equipment i ended up using is as follows.

-A small window AC unit to provide that all important nighttime temperature drop
-DIY ultrasonic humidifier, made from a 5 gallon bucket, a ultrasonic fogger and a PC fan
-2, 4 bulb T-5 HO fixtures
-2 heavy duty PC fans in the tank itself for air movement

The terrarium was setup for a few days to make sure everything was working properly and today the plants finally moved into their new home. I was originally planning for this to be a nepenthes only setup but the pleurothallid orchids have always interested me and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to grow these little beauties. So here begins my journey with this new setup! I'll be sure to document any changes to the setup itself or its inhabitants. As usual, I forgot to charge my camera today so i was only able to snap one picture before it died, so here's how the terrarium sits today. The plants were quickly placed in today, I'll probably rearrange them tomorrow.

Thanks for looking,

-Mike

DAY 1
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
Yes, there is a tiny rajah in there. It's slow as molasses but that's fine with me, there's no way I could handle a large one!

I'm going to try and get some pics of the individual plants tomorrow before work, I really want to document their growth over time and see how slow they really grow lol
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
I finally had time to snap a few pics of the nepenthes this morning before I went to go see some family. Sorry for the lackluster pics, but it’s rather difficult to get good pics when the terrarium looks like this in the morning (though I’m sure the plants love it!). Next time I’ll turn the humidifier off for an hour or two before I try and take pictures.



I tried my best to keep the plant tags in frame but I’ll put the names of the plants in each photo underneath as well.


N. alba, N. pelata, N. edwardsiana (it really suffered this summer but is finally looking good again) and N. macrophylla


N. mira, the two attenboroughii that almost froze to death and a N. jacquelineae


N. robcantleyi, N. jamban, N. truncata (g) and N. petiolata


N. chaniana, N. glandulifera, N. palawanenesis, my older attenboroughii with rajah photobombing in the bottom right.


N. platychila, N. rajah and N. aristolochiodes


N. vogelii and N. hamata

Next update should be when I get the rest of my orchids repotted and into the terrarium, after all the holiday craziness of course!
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
It's been a little over a month since I set up the terrarium and so far I'm pleased with the results!

The plants have all responded well to the stable conditions and are beginning to pick up the pace, I've seen great growth on pretty much everything in there, besides a few of the newly acquired orchids that are still sulking. I did end up changing and adding some equipment, most notably I moved the AC unit from the window into the stand of the tank. Honestly, I was just sick of looking at a 3' long silver metallic duct stretching from the window to the tank, I felt it really took away from the otherwise 'clean' look of the setup. The other big equipment addition was a humidistat that now controls the DIY humidifier. I was actually having issues with too much humidity (basically 99% all the time) so now the humidity ranges from 75-95% which is much better, plus I can actually see into the terrarium most of the time! I will say, my conditions are still not what most would consider perfect. The window AC unit can't get the tank below 60 degrees most nights but it seems that the plants really don't care that much, as my macrophylla and other UHL plants are doing great. So my average temp and humidity ranges for the last month are as follows.

Temperature-73-75 day/59-61 night
Humidity- 75-95% RH

Now for some pictures! I switched to Flickr, so the plant names should all be displayed on the pics.

Terrarium Overview (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. macrophylla SG (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. aristolochiodes SG JH (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. aristolochiodes SG JH (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. truncata (g) EP SG (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. palawanenesis SG NE (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. attenboroughii 1650m SG JH (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. peltata? TC BE (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. peltata? TC BE (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. rajah TC NE (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. edwardsiana TC NE (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
N. robcantleyi SG (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
And my first masdie flower in quite a while is almost ready to open
M. veitchiana 'Peach Fuzz' (1/26/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2016
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What happened to your four tier greenhouse? Do you still recommend it?

Sent from my LG-H815 using Tapatalk
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
I'm going to be doing a full update of the terrarium in a few days, I have some stuff in the works that will likely change the setup a bit. For now though, we finally had some sun so i took some of the plants out and got some better photos! I guess it helps when you're not trying to take a photo through water-spotted glass!

N. robcantelyi SG BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

This was hiding in the back of the pot, what a nice surprise!
N. robcantelyi SG BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. robcantelyi SG BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. jamban TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. jamban TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. petiolata TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. petiolata TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. truncata (g) SG EP by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. truncata (g) SG EP by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. vogelii TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. vogelii TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. mira TC BE by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. deaniana SG JH by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. deaniana SG JH by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
65
Could I ask where you got your Robcantleyi from? Also what is the BE number that came with it? That was a great surprise with the hidden pitcher!

Mark
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
Could I ask where you got your Robcantleyi from? Also what is the BE number that came with it? That was a great surprise with the hidden pitcher!

Mark

This plant has quite the story behind it. It's one of the original SG plants that BE released, well, a basal from one. The main growth point of this plant was up to almost 16" in diameter before I stupidly left it (and some of my orchids) outside when the first frost hit about 2 years ago. The leaves/stem turned black and mushy so I hacked the stem back to almost soil level, I thought it was a goner but after about 6 months of no growth it finally formed a basal rosette. Early last year I separated the basal from the old stem and now it's finally growing normally again. Goes to show how tough nepenthes can be!

As for where to get one, it seems some find there way on to eBay occasionally but other than that, I haven't seen many for sale. This particular plant was from Anthony Paroubek, but it appears he's now out of business.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
Messages
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Thank you very much for the detailed info, I received 2 rob sg in 2012, which was the last batch of seed grown to come from BE, unfortunately my electric failed when I was away for 2 months in the dead of winter, came home and they were completely dead, I replaced one last year at the ICPS conference, but it is just one of the random 550 clones of Robcantleyi. Really well done with the trials you've had with yours!

Mark
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
Update time!

Out with the old... by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Obviously, some things have changed...

The terrarium was a great idea in theory but after using it for about two months I realized it just wasn't for me. It had a few shortcomings but the biggest problem for me was the lack of space, I was able to completely fill the tank within 2 months and with the existing plants growing and more nepenthes on the way (and two orchid shows over the next two weekends ;) ) it just wasn't going to work out, even short term. So I decided to upgrade...

...and in with the new! by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

My local hydroponics store had a sale going on, so I picked up this 55" x 55" x 78" Agromax growtent and some new lights for a really good price. Besides the extra space, I now have ducts that can route cool, outside air in or hot air out as needed which has allowed me to maintain near perfect highland conditions, I also hooked up my window AC unit for hot summer nights when I'm not going to be able to cool the chamber with outside air. A Mistking misting system is now being used to better maintain humidity as my old DIY humidifier just wasn't cutting it. Overall, I think this setup should be able to better suit my needs and should also work out better for my plants as they grow. I'll need to get some update pics of the individual plants as everything is growing quickly but for now, heres a pic through the window of the tent.

Tent overview by Mike Fallen, on Flickr
 
Joined
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1,846
The constant battle for space is all to familiar. Soon enough you'll be upgrading grow spaces again.
 
Joined
Jun 29, 2015
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65
I've got one of these tents gathering dust, i really should be it at to again as side is becoming a massive issue! Love your masdevallia?s, i used to have a stunning one called midnight plum, from my local orchid society, i lost it years ago and the last that created it no longer grows orchids and can't find anywhere.

Mark
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
I've got one of these tents gathering dust, i really should be it at to again as side is becoming a massive issue! Love your masdevallia?s, i used to have a stunning one called midnight plum, from my local orchid society, i lost it years ago and the last that created it no longer grows orchids and can't find anywhere.

Mark

Yep, those are all masdies, the ones pictured are my current 'project' plants. They're mostly new divisions that have just recently established themselves, I'm starting to see new growth so hopefully I'll get some blooms soon too. You should get the dust off your tent and get it set up, especially if your having space issues!

The constant battle for space is all to familiar. Soon enough you'll be upgrading grow spaces again.

I'm certain this is not the last upgrade. I was looking at the possibility of an actual greenhouse but due to the fact that I'm moving next summer, that option wasn't too feasible. This should at least last me a year or two (hopefully...)
 
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mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
Update time!

Tent overview (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Nepenthes shelf (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

EP really does breed some awesome plants, this trunc is getting redder with each new pitcher. I can't wait too see how it looks when it starts producing more mature pitchers.
N. truncata (g) SG EP (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

robcantleyi after darkening up
N. robcantleyi SG BE (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. attenboroughii (1700m) SG JH by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

eddy with a huge leaf jump
N. ewardsiana SG JH (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Some nepenthes 'companion' plants LOL

Dracula bella (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

It looks like my Masdevallia coccinea are going to put on a huge show
Coccinea corner (4/2/17) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

M. coccinea alba by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

I'm still not sure wether this Phragmepedium is besseae or dalessandroi, both the shape of the flower and the fact that both spikes are branching seem off for besseae. Pretty little thing nonetheless.
Phrag. besseae(?) by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

I have a large order coming from wistuba this week, so I'll probably do another update once it arrives!
 

mikefallen13

Mr. veitchii
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
829
Location
North of the equator
Update time!

Other than a bunch of new plants, the only thing I've changed setup-wise is the cooling system. The window AC unit just wasn't cutting it so now I'm using an 8" Ice Box heat exchanger coupled with a DIY water chiller to cool the tent. It's easily able to get the tent to 55 degrees at night and doesn't strip all the humidity from the air which is a huge plus!

Tent Overview 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Top Shelf 1 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Top Shelf 2 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Top Shelf 3 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Top Shelf 4 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Lower Shelf 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. rajah TC NE 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. vogelii TC BE 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. petiolata TC BE 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. chaniana TC BE 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. jamban TC BE 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. RHH SG JH 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. robcantleyi SG BE 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

N. robcantleyi SG BE 5/23/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Some non-nepenthes pics

M. veitchiana 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

M. welischii 'Rip Hoff' AM/AOS 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

D. cuthbertsonii orange 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

This particular bloom has been open for 3 months and still looks perfect
D. cuthbertsonii 'White Tips' AM/AOS x self by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

D. regia 5/26/17 by Mike Fallen, on Flickr

Thanks for looking!
 
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