Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build (newbie) - Dendroboard

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Old 06-11-2019, 09:12 PM
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Default Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build (newbie)

Hi all,

So I have been growing orchids (not always successfully hahaha) over the past ~7 years. Mostly outdoors (when I lived in florida) or now mostly under lights since I have moved up to New England.

I for some reason have gotten the idea in my head that I would really like to build a terrarium (really an orchidarium). Towards this end I have been reading here and on Orchidboard to get some ideas, however despite many many hours reading here I have several questions that I would like to get your advice/opinions on prior to spending money in vain.

First with regards to plants:
I have a few mounted plants (bulb. moniliforme, dendrobium limpidum, bulbo. thalorum, pleurothalis leptifolia, haraella retrocalla, and phal parishii) that I would like to incorporate into the orchidarium. Most of these are relatively versatile with temperature (with most tolerant of temps into the upper 70's/low 80s). I also live fairly close to J&L orchids so will likely add a few more from there.

1. For the tank I am going to purchase an ExoTerra 12x12x18.

2. For lighting I was looking at the Jungle Dawn 13W LED bulb vs the spectral designs light strip panel. My only hesitation regarding the spectral design panel is that I am concerned it might interfere with a MistKing Nozzle Entry as well as the placement of a fan that I was planning on mounting on the lid to draw in external air (with the use of a hygrostat to control it if humidity exceeds a certain level). With these caveats which would you all recommend? Also I would likely want to add some plants that will require light on the order of cattleyas so would these lights be able to supply this?

3. I will likely purchase a MistKing Starter Kit to automate the watering process

4. Regarding ventilation I was thinking of have a small computer fan mounted internally to run constantly for air movement and a fan mounted on the lid (clear acrylic lid) controlled by an hygrostat to kick in if RH exceeds 80-85% (ish). I got this idea from: Do you all think this is reasonable and if so what size fan would work well?

5. For the base substrate I was going to use LECA, and an ABG substrate on top. Sound ok? Again my concern is that since this will be relatively moist, the more durable the better.

6. For the background I was going to follow instructions as per the following link: NEHERP - Custom Vivarium Background Tutorial . Essentially, silicone, foam, texturing with a mix of coconut husks, peat moss and coconut fiber. Is this mix ok, or should i use something else more durable? For the hardscaping is cork (cork rounds) a durable/reasonable choice or would you all recommend ghostwood/driftwood or something different?

5. Lastly do you all add in any live moss or is this a no no as it may choke out orchids eventually?

Thanks a lot! Also if there's anything I'm missing let me know!!!
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Old 02-15-2020, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: Help with ExoTerra 12x12x18 build (newbie)

Have you done it yet? Sounds like you had a great plan. I am just starting my first one

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