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DrWurm

Californian in DC
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
1,169
Location
DC Area
After graduating college and taking a full-time job recently, I decided to get serious about growing plants again! My office has way more desk space than I need, so I figured I would start a little grow op! For lighting, I chose a 4-bulb, 2ft T5HO fixture from Apollo Horticulture. It comes with bulbs and 2 steel cable loops for hanging. Above my desk is a set of sheet metal cabinets which hang over by about 18 inches. I picked up two 50lb strength neodymium magnet hanging hooks to use for hanging the light. The sheet metal isn't thick enough to really couple a lot of magnetic flux, so I put a steel baking sheet in the cabinet above the magnets. Now I can push down hard on the top of the light without the magnets failing. Since the lights glare pretty strongly off the glossy desk finish, I picked up a yard of black velvet and cut it down to cover the back wall and the desk. Not only does this significantly cut down on stray light, but the black/green contrast makes the display look awesome!

One lingering issue is that the magnetic ballasts in the lights emit a pretty noticeable buzz. This is bugging me, so I ordered some electronic ballasts to replace them. Once they're in, the lights should be nice and quiet!

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Right now I've only got a D. venusta, N. x Lorraine, and N. x Wrigleyana under it (with a D. scorpioides under a separate CFL lamp). I'm hoping to get it nice and crowded as time goes on! I'm toying with the idea of bringing the light a few inches higher and having a low and high growing tier beneath it. This would make it easier to grow some taller plants.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 27, 2014
Messages
46
Using magnets to hold up your lights is really interesting! I would've never thought of that. Looks good :)
 

DrWurm

Californian in DC
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
1,169
Location
DC Area
Starting to get pretty crowded under that light!

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Close up of the combination water tray and U. gibba growing container. The sand/sphag slopes up towards the back , allowing me some control over how deep the rear pots sit in water. Up front is U. bisquamata, U. gibba, and U. sandersonii. Hoping for a nice flower display!

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Also have a D. Venusta which is sending up a flower stalk. I put it under my CFL lamp so I can aim the stalk away from any hot lights.

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Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Messages
170
Location
North QLD Australia
Why don't you just setup a 2 or 3foot tank there?, it would be easier, provide better growth due to higher humidity and takes less than an hour to set one up.
Plus you don't have to be paranoid of spilling water on anything (e.g. laptop, books or paper work).
 

DrWurm

Californian in DC
Joined
Nov 24, 2007
Messages
1,169
Location
DC Area
There are several reasons. For one, I've never had any issues growing plants in typical indoor humidity. I also spend a lot of time considering how well I'll be able to grow a plant before I buy it. For instance, all of those neps are hybrids, many of which are a HL/LL cross or have a parent (or parents) which is known to be very adaptable and resilient. Honestly, I think people in our hobby tend to make way too much of a fuss over most of their plants. 90% of them just need water and light and will adapt to everything else. Sarracenia Northwest's position on terrariums is something I identify with.

Secondly, a tank is big, unwieldy, and reduces the amount of space I have for plants. I'm very doting when it comes to my plants; I like to touch them, rearrange them, feed them, etc. A tank would make it a lot harder to interact with them, and would make showing them off more difficult too. Without hard, rectangular borders, I'm able to arrange the plants however and whenever I feel.

Do I have an interest in setting up a highland terrarium where I can grow all the sick-awesome, toothy neps? Sure. And I plan on doing that because I believe a terrarium really is necessary for those plants (though, ElGecko's windowsill hamata might disagree). But that's not something I plan on doing at work!

Cheers,

Jason
 
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