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Old 08-06-2019, 04:35 PM
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Default Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

Hi Dendroboard!

I've been recently considering buying a grow tent to grow some vivarium-suited plants. I know I can get the kind of lights I'd need for growth, and I can probably make space for a rather large tent.

I have had difficulty, however, in understanding all the things one needs to factor in when making a grow tent setup. So I want to run some questions by the users here, as I do every week or so, in order to not make any big mistakes if I go down the grow tent route.

What is the deal with ventilation? I have seen so many different kinds of ventilation setups in so many YouTubers' tents that I can't reconcile them all into one rule. I know I need ventilation into the tent and ventilation out from the tent, but I see setups that involve just leading the ventilation duct into a chamber with the lights? with seemingly nothing blowing into the open air. I see setups that recommend passive ventilation in, but fans blowing out. I see setups that use a CO2 filter, but the instructor warns that most people use the filter wrongly.

Is there enough humidity in a tent with a ventilated setup for plants with high humidity needs? Or should I keep such plants in a domed propagator even inside the tent?

Can a MistKing be used to water plants inside the tent? That is, supposing I am able to attach the nozzles to a rigid surface. Does the mist cause any problems, as with the lights, the ventilation, etc.?

Is there any kind of "programming" setup needed, as with a timer or timed outlet for a misting system? I'm not 100% sure, but I believe someone I watched said that several devices were needed outside the tent.

Thanks for your consideration!
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Old 08-08-2019, 03:11 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

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Originally Posted by Kinstrome View Post
What is the deal with ventilation? I have seen so many different kinds of ventilation setups in so many YouTubers' tents that I can't reconcile them all into one rule. I know I need ventilation into the tent and ventilation out from the tent, but I see setups that involve just leading the ventilation duct into a chamber with the lights? with seemingly nothing blowing into the open air. I see setups that recommend passive ventilation in, but fans blowing out. I see setups that use a CO2 filter, but the instructor warns that most people use the filter wrongly.
You're not getting many hits on this, so I'll start something off just to get things rolling.

CO2 filter -- do you mean carbon filter? I can't find reference to a CO2 filter online, but I do use a carbon can filter in my reptile room. These are used to remove odors from the exhaust air for folks who are growing pot in areas where it isn't legal to do so.

I suspect that some of the venting differences you are seeing are because pot growers have different venting needs than everyone else (mostly because of the odor, I suspect) but folks who inject CO2 will -- I would guess -- vent differently than those who don't inject CO2.

Just some thoughts -- I don't use a grow tent, so I can't be too much help. I would sure imagine there's a grow shop in your area. I go to one in Madison once in a while, and the people there strike me as very willing to help orient someone.
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Last edited by Socratic Monologue; 08-08-2019 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 10:07 AM
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Default Re: Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

Passive ventilation would be sufficient. Just a small fan on the exhaust will create negative pressure in the tent drawing air through the intake port.

Most of the information online is for growing Cannabis. The fan size needed for the tent volume will be much lower for you than what you will find recommended online. High humidity is not good for growing cannabis and will damage a carbon filter. A carbon filter is unnecessary unless there are any smells that you don't want escaping from the tent. That is its only purpose.
Definitely get a fan speed controller as this will help to fine tune the humidity!

Theres no reason why you couldnt use a Mistking if they are mounted below the lights. Maybe if there was no ventilation at all there would be problems.

Mistking have a timer so that you can set multiple times that you would like the mister to come on and for how many seconds.

There is a device called the SHT2000. This controlls humidity and temperature keeping it in the ranges that you specify. Google it...I think it would be useful for your needs.

Hope this helps
Freddie
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:36 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

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Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
You're not getting many hits on this, so I'll start something off just to get things rolling.

CO2 filter -- do you mean carbon filter? I can't find reference to a CO2 filter online, but I do use a carbon can filter in my reptile room. These are used to remove odors from the exhaust air for folks who are growing pot in areas where it isn't legal to do so.

I suspect that some of the venting differences you are seeing are because pot growers have different venting needs than everyone else (mostly because of the odor, I suspect) but folks who inject CO2 will -- I would guess -- vent differently than those who don't inject CO2.

Just some thoughts -- I don't use a grow tent, so I can't be too much help. I would sure imagine there's a grow shop in your area. I go to one in Madison once in a while, and the people there strike me as very willing to help orient someone.
Thank you for the information. I must have conflated CO2 injections with carbon filtering while I was researching.

I have indeed gotten the impression that the majority of people using tents grow them for cannabis, as the majority of information has been related to its propagation.

I do not know enough, however, about the propagation of plants in general to distinguish whether or not this or that item is needed. I did suspect that higher humidity wouldn't be a problem for vivarium-suited plants, though.

I also don't really understand whether or not a grow tent is ideal for the seller trying to mass produce many different plants. The main things drawing me to grow tents are the light preservation through reflective walls, and the (possible?) preservation of humidity negating the need to limit plants to domed propagators.

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Originally Posted by Freddie9990 View Post
Passive ventilation would be sufficient. Just a small fan on the exhaust will create negative pressure in the tent drawing air through the intake port.

Most of the information online is for growing Cannabis. The fan size needed for the tent volume will be much lower for you than what you will find recommended online. High humidity is not good for growing cannabis and will damage a carbon filter. A carbon filter is unnecessary unless there are any smells that you don't want escaping from the tent. That is its only purpose.
Definitely get a fan speed controller as this will help to fine tune the humidity!

Theres no reason why you couldnt use a Mistking if they are mounted below the lights. Maybe if there was no ventilation at all there would be problems.

Mistking have a timer so that you can set multiple times that you would like the mister to come on and for how many seconds.

There is a device called the SHT2000. This controlls humidity and temperature keeping it in the ranges that you specify. Google it...I think it would be useful for your needs.

Hope this helps
Freddie
Thanks for the info about the passive ventilation. My next question --- and maybe the most important question --- is: Is it logically necessary to have the air flow out of a house? Or will the heat / humidity that's circulated out of the tent, and into the house, be simply "fixed" by the house's A/C?

Thanks for the advice about the SHT2000 and the explanation of the carbon filter. Before these two posts I had been curious why people had the carbon filter for outgoing air rather than ingoing air ... I didn't think that the plants would have any noticeable smell just growing in a tent. (I don't know much about cannabis.)

EDIT: Also, regarding the SHT2000: Is this the kind of humidity sensor that wears out over time when it's constantly in a high-humidity environment?

Last edited by Kinstrome; 08-08-2019 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:00 PM
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If you’re trying to grow low elevation equatorial plants, you probably don’t need additional CO2.

You’re better suited to making sure you don’t cook shit in a tent. They get steamy w a light and humidity. An exhaust to vent that moisture (and heat) out will be important for a NOLA basement(?).

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I also don't really understand whether or not a grow tent is ideal for the seller trying to mass produce many different plants.
You’re going to be selling the mass produced plants? What are you trying to grow?
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Old 08-08-2019, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

I have a 4' x 2' x 4' tent that I've used for a number of viv-appropriate plants, and it works very well. I use a small supplemental exhaust fan, and the tent came with several intake vents, which I leave open or closed depending on humidity required. No CO2 was needed for my situation, and a couple of t5HO bulbs were enough for each shelf.
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:59 PM
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Yeah, I would be trying to sell plants if I went that route. But I'm trying to figure out whether it's worth it or not before making a commitment.

I don't think there are any basements in NOLA due to the sea level issue. (Even our cemeteries are aboveground.) So it's either an un-A/C'd attic, outside with about 75% ambient humidity, or inside with A/C. (But no way to blow air outside.)
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Old 08-08-2019, 06:40 PM
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Do you have outdoor space? Leave a hi/low thermometer in your attic. Add 15 to that recorded high temperature and that should allow you to evaluate what can grow up there.

Doesn’t sound reasonable to me. I’ve spent the last 15 years of my life growing tropical plants in greenhouses. It’s only been in the last couple years that I no longer have an incentive to produce, market, and sell plants. Those years I had to sell plants were not lucrative years.

Take that with a grain of salt etc. maybe you have a shitload of the valuable Marcgravia or some other plant that is worth your effort to return. It’s not impossible, but I know many greenhouse owners who do it because that’s their life you know?

If money isn’t your incentive to do it. I encourage you to keep asking questions and pursue this. If you’re trying to make an income through this, the joke among orchid growers is you make a million dollars by starting with two million. Again, grow things, do it better than the next person but expect it to be a second job.

Sorry if I’m assuming, but I surmise you’re late teens, early twents?
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

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you make a million dollars by starting with two million
You can pretty much generalize this joke to pecuniary business with any organism that doesn't intentionally wind up dead soon after sale.

My observation is that pretty much the only way to "make money" selling pet / companion / specimen animals or plants is to treat them and/or the customers like shit. If you're growing food, or feeders, or I suppose intoxicants, it's a different matter. The volume demand is high and steady. Quality is appreciated & compensated. Relationships matter.

At best you can offset some of your expenses, or subsidize your own activities, propagating live things and treating them and people as well as you ought to. Really though, I recommend just accepting the inherent costs of doing what you like. Meet some people, create a community who like doing the same stuff, treat them well, and do a lot of gifting and bartering and sharing information. I promise you, your personal and mutual satisfaction will be much higher.

good luck!
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Old 08-08-2019, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Has anyone had success using grow tents for vivarium plants? Some questions.

I re-read my sentence, and the term "mass produce" made it sound like I want a factory- or mill-like setting.

I don't have any fairy-tale delusions of being the Bill Gates / Steve Jobs of the plant world. Mostly, I want to offset the costs of what is becoming an increasing hobby for me, that and obviously offset the cost of the materials and overhead I would need to pay for in order to "mass grow" the plants in the first place. I do not expect this ever to become a full time job, although I wouldn't be opposed to it in the unlikely event it ever became viable.

And no, I'm definitely not early-twenties. (Although I can see why my questions would lead someone to believe that I am.)

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Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
At best you can offset some of your expenses, or subsidize your own activities, propagating live things and treating them and people as well as you ought to. Really though, I recommend just accepting the inherent costs of doing what you like. Meet some people, create a community who like doing the same stuff, treat them well, and do a lot of gifting and bartering and sharing information. I promise you, your personal and mutual satisfaction will be much higher.
Yes, I understand this.

This is not a bad way for any business to help itself get started, either, although it isn't any guarantee that it will take off to great success. I used to make clay models in a nearby Starbucks, and I had so many people come up to me daily that it started to be hard to get things done. I don't think there was a whole 30-minute period of time across five months that I didn't get someone saying something to me. The important thing, though, is that I made a ton of connections and learned a ton of useful business or sales related information. There is no overstating the value of making connections.
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