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Old 01-27-2019, 12:08 AM
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Default 17g Cylinder Vivarium

Hello!

I wanted to post a larger project I've been working on. I'm relatively new to the hobby and this is by far the largest planted set up I've put together, a 17 gallon custom built cylinder. This project is obviously inspired by Bunsincunsin's awesome cylinder projects as well as others I've seen online although mine is a bit rougher around the edges in terms of construction. Still seems to be working out well though!

Small epiphytic Peperomias are some of my favorite plants and I wanted to put a bunch in here. Ended up with 5 (plus one terrestrial variety) and I like how theyre growing in. Ive also been wanting some carnivorous plants, so I put a Nepenthes in here as well. So far its doing great and has put out 2 large pitchers with more on the way.

Everything seems to be growing in well although I'm a bit unsatisfied with the overall layout. I like the hardscape, but I'm feeling like my plant placement is a bit unnatural. I'm thinking about moving some things around/taking some things out, and perhaps adding another plant in the gap at the top where the two pieces of grape wood meet, and/or in the larger gap in the center at the bottom. All the random little sprouts you see everywhere is Dichondra, I often just toss a handful of seeds into whatever I'm working on as it sprouts very quickly and is super hardy. I feel like a may have gone overboard this time though and might end up trimming it back, especially where its growing higher up. Any advice or suggestions you guys may have would be greatly appreciated as again this is my first time with something at this scale.

Plant list is as follows:

-Begonia Prismatocarpa
-Dichondra (not sure what variety)
-Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides (Pennywort)
-Masdevalia Nidifica
-Nepenthes (not sure what variety)
-Peperomia Eburnea
-Peperomia Emarginella
-Peperomia Guttulata
-Peperomia La Laja Trace
-Peperomia Prostrata
-Peperomia Rana Verde
-Pilea Repens
-Rhaphidophora Pachyphylla
-Trichosalpinx Chamaelepanthes

Photos are both with and without the cylinder and in a few different lighting setups. When I update this I'll try to get a better background and lighting.

Thanks for looking!



























Encyclia and IncogPollywog like this.

Last edited by casbsp; 01-27-2019 at 12:41 AM. Reason: picture re upload
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: 17g Cylinder Vivarium

Canít see the pics
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: 17g Cylinder Vivarium

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Originally Posted by Eiffel70 View Post
Canít see the pics
Oh no! Reposted the pictures from a different site, hopefully that helps.
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:48 AM
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Default Re: 17g Cylinder Vivarium

It looks really nice, Casey. I especially like the round wood base that you've got it on - it seems a little more streamlined compared to the square bases that I typically do. What diameter and height is it?

My only recommendation would be to plant with fewer species overall, or at least limit yourself to species with differing growth habits; for example, I might only use one trailing Peperomia unless things like leaf size and shape are drastically different between species. It's difficult to know what plants to use until you become familiar with their growth habit and appearance under different conditions, so you might consider removing or replacing some as time progresses.

I think that terrestrial Peperomia looks really nice in there and it will look great as it grows in if it keeps that compact growth habit along the floor.

The upper sections of hardscape can be a challenge to get going in a taller cylinder if you're not diligent with watering, but if you stick to a regular watering schedule you should be able to get some moss established up there and then you can slack off a bit. If you can keep some moisture in the mid-to-upper sections, that Masdevallia could make for a nice center piece - especially once it begins to bloom. Of course, the Nepenthes will make for a nice centerpiece as well once it grows in and spreads out a bit.

Something that comes 'out' of the hardscape a little might give a little more definition to the overall look - something like Asplenium fragrans or a similar fern, or maybe a Selaginella.


There are always lots of decisions to make, but I think you're off to a good start. It's always worthwhile to have a little patience before deciding how you want your display to look.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: 17g Cylinder Vivarium

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Originally Posted by Bunsincunsin View Post
It looks really nice, Casey. I especially like the round wood base that you've got it on - it seems a little more streamlined compared to the square bases that I typically do. What diameter and height is it?

My only recommendation would be to plant with fewer species overall, or at least limit yourself to species with differing growth habits; for example, I might only use one trailing Peperomia unless things like leaf size and shape are drastically different between species. It's difficult to know what plants to use until you become familiar with their growth habit and appearance under different conditions, so you might consider removing or replacing some as time progresses.

I think that terrestrial Peperomia looks really nice in there and it will look great as it grows in if it keeps that compact growth habit along the floor.

The upper sections of hardscape can be a challenge to get going in a taller cylinder if you're not diligent with watering, but if you stick to a regular watering schedule you should be able to get some moss established up there and then you can slack off a bit. If you can keep some moisture in the mid-to-upper sections, that Masdevallia could make for a nice center piece - especially once it begins to bloom. Of course, the Nepenthes will make for a nice centerpiece as well once it grows in and spreads out a bit.

Something that comes 'out' of the hardscape a little might give a little more definition to the overall look - something like Asplenium fragrans or a similar fern, or maybe a Selaginella.


There are always lots of decisions to make, but I think you're off to a good start. It's always worthwhile to have a little patience before deciding how you want your display to look.
Thanks a lot for the advice! Your builds were super informative for this, and if you remember the Peperomia Eburnea came from you on eBay! It was a funny coincidence when I got the package and saw the info on it as I had just been looking at your thread on here. (the other pieces are doing well in another smaller set up I have by the way)

To answer your question the cylinder measures 14 inches across by 22 inches high. I was going to put it on a square base, but when I went to the hardware store they had these wooden rounds that were the perfect size. Ended up just attaching the bottom ring directly to it and waterproofing it with silicone.

I do agree that it could use fewer species. When I first put it together my issue was that I had a bunch of plants and no where to put them so I ended up just putting them all in here. As much as I like all the Peperomias individually, I do think there are too many. I think I'll definitely move the P Prostrata and the P Rana Verde to a new home once I have something put together, and might end up putting the P Emarginella and the Rhaphidophora somewhere else as well.

I've got a much larger Masdevalia Nidifica somewhere else that I think I might place in the central gap after I cut back the Dichondra thats growing there. Either that or I'll pick up another Nepenthes at some point.

I think I might remove the few straggling plants that are growing near the top and just leave that part of the wood bare. If anything makes its way up there I woundnt mind, but I think it'll look fine on its own.

I do like the idea of adding some kind of fern, perhaps an Asplenium Scolopendrium right in the middle.

A lot to consider for sure, but I'm taking my time with it now. Thanks again!

By the way, does anyone have any suggestions for a ready made lighting setup for a cylinder like this? At the moment I just have two grow lights in floor lamps over the top but I'd eventually like something a little more elegant. I'd make something myself but I know next to nothing about wiring lights. Maybe ill get to learning some day!
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Old 04-21-2019, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: 17g Cylinder Vivarium

Its been a few months and this setup has been doing really well!

I did decide to remove a lot of the plants, and I think its looking a lot better now. Removed the P Emarginella, P Prostrata, P Rana Verde, Dichondra, and the Pennywort.

I'm especially happy with the way the Nepenthes and P Eburnea have been growing in; the Nepenthes has put out a bunch of new pitchers with more on the way and looks really healthy. One of the new pitchers is starting to come around to the front of the setup and I'm looking forward to seeing how it looks when fully developed. The piece of P Eburnea growing on the left side is looking great, its a deeper green than my photos are showing and its got really well defined silver stripes and red mottling on the underside of the leaves. I'm also really happy with the growth of the P Guttulata and with the way the P La Laja Trace is intermingling with the Nepenthes.

I do have a few issues though that I'm hoping you guys might be able to help with.

First, Im getting really confused by the lighting. As you can see in the first picture I've got a pretty strange lighting set up with two floor lamps with IKEA grow lights. (Note that only the first couple pictures have the lights positioned the way they usually are, I moved them around as I was taking photos)

At first I had both lamps centered pointing straight down, but there was a lot of evidence showing that I had too much light so I shifted the lights to the position they are in now. I'm wondering though if I still have too much light coming in on the right side. As you can see, the growth of the P Eburnea on the right side is completely different from the left; its pretty small/stunted and is a much paler green. For a time I also had a Masdevalia Nidifica mounted in the gap in the wood right in the center of the setup. I removed it after it also showed characteristics of getting too much light.

Heres the thing though, I measured light levels all over the set up and as far as I know theyre pretty normal. The area that I had the Masdevalia Nidifica in gets between 2000-2500 lux, and the area right under the light measures in around 7000-8500 lux. Let me know if you think the lighting is the issue or if something else might be the culprit!

Any comments/suggestions/advice is greatly appreciated as I'm still pretty new to this.

Also, If anyone has suggestions for an epiphytic orchid that would do well placed in the center gap please let me know!

Thanks for looking!























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