Sorry for being inactive on here for so long, graduating college and getting a job kind of took up most of my time since last winter haha. Well, my highland terrarium from one of my older posts worked well for what it was, but my girlfriend killed most of my helis and my hamata from my wistuba order when she took care of them for a few weeks. I still have 2 helis that are struggling to recover almost 6 months later. Also, in between me graduating college and starting work in Columbus, I moved home for a month and a half and had to keep my terrarium in the basement for temperature reasons. My nepenthes hated this, and my temporary lighting setup must have been way too much for them because my larger ones that were closest to the light and lacked any cover burned pretty bad. My singalana x dubia started vining at this point and reached the glass top of the terrarium, burning it's growth point till it's almost completely black (it's putting out two new ones now though). Now that I finally have my own place and I don't have to worry about moving every 9 months, I decided to invest in a more permanent grow shelf setup that will satisfy the needs for all of my plants, including the harder to grow nepenthes.
The full shelf
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The shelf is the same one that I used before, with the same covers on the side to reflect light. I added two extra long clear shower curtains to the sides to keep in humidity.
The highland chamber
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The bottom portion is my highland chamber. It is lit by four 4 ft Sunblaster T5HOs on a 16 hour photoperiod. The humidity is controlled through several measures. First, I have everything sitting on egg crate light defusers over standard pot trays filled with water. Secondly, I have a crane drop humidifier controlled by a Zoo Med Hygrotherm.
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Once it gets cold enough outside, I plan on having this power a small computer fan blowing cold air from an open window through a dryer vent hose and into the chamber for more of a night time temperature drop. As of right now though I'm still pretty happy with the temperatures and humidity levels I'm getting considering it's 92 degrees f out right now. I expect to get into the mid to low 50s easily in the fall/winter.
Humidity and temps from the far side of the terrarium
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Average daily highs are around 77-81 degrees f with humidity hovering anywhere from 70% to 80%. At night, just from my central AC and it's location near the floor I can get the chamber down to 60 degrees f, although it usually hovers around 62-64 f. Humidity during the night is 95%.
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I have a 6-inch clip on fan that I got for like $7 at Target that is currently running 24/7. I do this because it seems to help the humidity rise faster by blowing the mist around the chamber and for air movement. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to hook this up to a timer eventually, but I might have it only kick on for 15 minutes every hour or whenever the humidifier turns on.
Fan and rescue orchids
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So far my highland nepenthes have definitely responded positively to their new environment. It's only been 3 weeks, but the new leaves that they are putting out are nice, bronze, and waxy vs the burned leaves of the past several months. My rajah x mira and my burbidgeae x robcantleyi seem most happy about this, and my singalana x dubia is even starting to inflate some pitchers on old tendrils that haven't died off yet. My little lowii, inermis, and robcantleyi are all happy, with a nice leaf jump on the lowii (although that started before I put it in here). I also have a N. singalana Belirang and an N. diatas on the way from Native Exotics, and I plan on taking part in the Exotica Plants update in a few days!
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Inermis, Burb x eddie, and sibuyanensis x aristolochioides
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rajah x mira
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Spectablis x hamata and burned burbidgeae X robcantlyi
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burbidgeae X robcantlyi
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[(lowii x veitchii) x boschiana] x [(veitchii x maxima) x vietchii]
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As for the rest of the shelf, I have two grow areas. One is lit by two 4 ft 2 bulb T8 utilitech shop lights. I plan on this being my seed starting shelf, as well as maybe a pinguicula and a sphagnum propagation area.
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The top shelf is going to be my main drosera grow area, which is lit by an agrobrite 4 ft 4 bulb T5HO fixture. All of these guys are outside enjoying the summer weather, but I plan on bringing them inside for this shelf soon after repotting them.
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I plan on running both of these shelves on 16-hour photoperiods like the bottom shelf, and also adding small 4 inch fans for air circulation. If anyone has any ideas on how I can improve this setup or would like to know more, feel free to comment!