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Old 05-15-2018, 09:12 AM
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Default First time setup. 12x12x18

Hi all,

After reading your forum for awhile I decided that I had absorbed enough from the wealth of experience here (there really is, a big tip of my hat to everyone that unknowingly helped me out, thankyou) to give a vivarium build a go.

Ive had a 12x12x18 vertical Exo Terra tank around for a few years now and after some half-arsed attempted at a terrarium and much research, I decided to go full monty on this one and do everything right.

So after a long period of collecting all the parts needed I sat down one Friday night with a glass of wine and got into it...

After finding right combination of pieces for the background I siliconed the Cork Bark and the plastic pot holders into place, I glued in the hardwood and filled in the gaps with PondMax expander foam.

This was then cut right back and the foam covered in black roofing silicon which was the only one I could find here in Australia that didn't seem to have a mould inhibitor. This was then covered with Canadian Peat that I had sourced for an aquarium project.

The result was better than i expected and once cured, a layer of clay balls were added as a base and a layer of mesh placed on top.

Soil was added, a mix of:
Orchid bark
Potting mix
Propergating sand
Sphagnum moss
Peat
and Charcoal

also Ive collected some Isopods or Pill bugs and added them for soil health, I am currently trying to get a Springtail culture going. After searching for Springtails everywhere, Ebay, Gumtree, forums, the garden with homemade and failed traps, Ive discovered that they are found naturally in my worm compost unit, huzzah!!
Springtails are extremely hard to buy here in Australia.

The lighting used was a 13w LED Jungle Dawn mounted into a light box made previously and a 12 volt 20cfm computer fan was added, this was added to the light box facing down and blows through the mesh Exoterra lid. The reason I placed it here was simply for visual reason as the tank was already getting crowded and I didn't know how to properly disguise it in the tank.

The plants collected were a mix of rather expensive and exotic orchids for my first attempt, some moss from a very dodgy Ebay seller, Anubias Barteri from my tank, lots of small terrarium plants from the local hardware store and a Nepenthes found at a local nursery.
The plants were put into the tank, orchids mounted to the wall into the pots with the substrate they arrived in and the moss blended into a "moss milkshake" (first I had heard of this method) with the moss and some water and painted onto the wood and background.
I found some dried Lilli Pilli leaves at a mates place during a BBQ and these were added to top of the soil to hopefully help the soil and to add to the natural look. They are great and because of their small size, the tank looks bigger than it really is.

The Mistking system finally arrived from your neck of the woods after a long 12 day trip half way around the world and has been installed in the front corner of the tank as it is to be seen on 2 sides and has plants mounted on 2 walls.

Everything seems to be working well, the misting system is faultless and worth every cent and hassle getting it shipped to Australia and the fan and lights are working in unison. Some of the plants are starting to show small signs of growth but I would like to get on top of any problems before I start seeing the plants suffer. I may add a small species of Australian tree frog at a later date, but this will all depend on how strong and stable the system becomes over the next 6-12 months.

What I have noticed is because of the mesh lid, the walls are drying out between mistings which I am worried will inhibit the moss from taking off but because of the fan position I can not put a glass lid on.

I would love anyone advise or tips on my setup, this is the first time I have attempted something like this and as it is early days I would love any info on light periods, watering times and durations, anything to give the tank the best chance of thriving.

I have attached some stats on the tank and also some pics of the build and where it is at the moment. Thanks for having a look and hopefully helping me out with any problems you see.

TEMP
daytime 70 fahrenheit (it is heading into winter down here and the tank is mainly heated by the ambient room temperature)
Nighttime 62.5 fahrenheit

HUMIDITY
Daytime 72%
Nighttime 99% (not sure if this is correct, the sensor is placed on the mesh under the fan outflow)

LIGHTING:
13w LED Jungle Dawn
10hrs/p/day

FAN:
80mm 20cfm computer fan
10hrs/p/day
runs with the lighting

WATERING:
Mistking
4 mists/p/day during lighting times
every 2 1/2 hrs
20 sec each time

PLANTS
bulbophyllum ramosii
bulbophyllum tingabarinum
bulbophyllum frostii
bulbophyllum sigaldiae
Oncidium croesus
Oncidium Equitant (Tolumnia)
Dendrobium dickasonii

Soleirolia Soleirolii 'babys tears'

Cryptocoryne wendtii
Anubius Barteri

Pepperomia Prostrata
Pepperomia 'Eden Rosso'


Nepenthes Alata

Vesicularia montagnei 'Xmas moss'
Taxiphyllum barbieri 'Java moss'
selaginella kraussiana 'aurea' Club Moss

Neoregelia Chiquita Linda
Vriesea Hybrid

tillandsia tricholepis
tillandsia ionantha v hamuimula 'mexico'

Fittonia 'Starlight'
Fittonia 'Jungle Flame'

[IMG]Vivarium_Build_004 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Vivarium_Build_005 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Vivarium_Build_006 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Vivarium_Build_009 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]Vivarium_Build_010 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180427_Vivarium by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_002 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_003 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_006 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_007 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_008 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_009 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180509_Vivarium_010 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180514_Vivarium_011 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180514_Vivarium_013 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180514_Vivarium_014 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]180514_Vivarium_015 by David Burgess, on Flickr[/IMG]
Tank as of last night with the tillandsia attached
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Last edited by DTB; 05-15-2018 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:29 AM
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Images are not showing.

As far as the tank drying out, a quick fix would be to purchase some acrylic or glass and cut it to the shapes of the mesh squares on the lid. You could just do half the tank, and if you need less/more ventilation, you can tweak it as needed. An even easier fix than this would be to simply use plastic or saran wrap over the mesh top. You can also put the fan on a seperate timer and have it not run all day, but maybe just for an hour after misting.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: First time setup. 12x12x18

Quote:
Originally Posted by xbrennan View Post
Images are not showing.

As far as the tank drying out, a quick fix would be to purchase some acrylic or glass and cut it to the shapes of the mesh squares on the lid. You could just do half the tank, and if you need less/more ventilation, you can tweak it as needed. An even easier fix than this would be to simply use plastic or saran wrap over the mesh top. You can also put the fan on a seperate timer and have it not run all day, but maybe just for an hour after misting.
ah bummer! Ill try and figure out whats happened with the images.
Thanks for the tip, I have glass here. I might cover half and see if it makes a difference. You wouldn't be worried about running the fan for such a short period? Ive never used fans before so have no idea how they will affect the orchids in the long term.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: First time setup. 12x12x18

They're showing just fine for me. I'm on a PC with Windows 10 (I think) and using Google Chrome for my browser at the moment. I don't know if that makes any difference.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodswalker View Post
They're showing just fine for me. I'm on a PC with Windows 10 (I think) and using Google Chrome for my browser at the moment. I don't know if that makes any difference.
I am on mobile, that's probably the problem.
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Old 05-17-2018, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: First time setup. 12x12x18

Yeah, sorry bout that. No idea why they are not showing on mobile. Im on a Mac and they are showing on that. Im using Flickr to host my images, maybe something to do with that.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:26 PM
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Default Re: First time setup. 12x12x18

I can see the pictures; looks great!
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Old 05-21-2018, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: First time setup. 12x12x18

I've always had problems with seeing pictures on mobile. I can see them just fine on PC, though, and they look great. I bet it was a real PITA trying to get certain supplies in Australia, so I commend you for that. Great looking tank.
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