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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm building a double rack of vivs in my office with four top ones that are approx 38" cubed (230 gallons) and eight on the bottom that are approx 19" cubed (30 gallons). I would like to keep orchids like phals, phrags and dendrobiums healthy in the top vivs, please help me with your ideas and criticism.

I'm creating two climate zones per viv with a log/branch/tube across the length of the viv about a foot off the bottom, roughly diagonal with side branches. The plastic pipe has holes in the top and filled with orchids that need lower humidity. The large orchid leaves help divide the viv into a top zone with more ventilation and a lower zone with less ventilation.

Each of the pipes is supplied with air where the log contacts the wall. A muffin fan supplys low humidity office air into the tube at the root zone of the orchids. The orchid roots and stem have a constant low flow of low humid air.

A rheostat controlls fan speed. I could use an arduino with humidity feedback, but the first month of operation will probably give me a working idea of appropriate air flow.

Foggers come out the back/bottom of the log and aim downward to the tank floor to mist the frogs.

The intent is to create high humidity at the floor for the frogs and low humidity in the top for orchids. The room air passing through the pipe flows through orchid roots, up and out through the leaves to exit the top of the viv. If too much air flow dries out the viv, foggers would kick on more often.

I need a barrier around the plant holes so inquisitive frogs could not squeeze into the log. I think perforated plastic can be wrapped closely around the orchid stem to prevent frogs, but stretchable enough to to not choke orchid stem growth. The low humidity air rises up the perforations and passes through the leaf and stem zone.

I could even get crazy and experiment with aerosol delivery of fertilizer to the orchids because each end of the pipe could drain condensed water. This might not be any harder than using an aquarium air pump to supply air which is itself placed in a sealed bucket filled with nitrate water and using an airstone to create an aerosol. Perhaps this craziness is best left for another thread.

The rack is now framed but not hardscaped. Even while working at home it will take weeks to frame up the stumps/roots and other features. I will take pics to clarify my wordy narrative.

Please give your thoughts and advice!

Thanks in advance. I live near Washington, D.C. and kept frogs for a long time until family illness made me give them up. It's exciting to get back into them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay, so it's now been a week and a hundred views with no response. Either it's a complicated idea hard to get one's head around, or a completely crazy idea and everyone is too polite to say so.
 

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Sounds interesting, why would you want low humidity air at the roots? I think you need high humidity at the root zone.
 

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That is an overly generalized stAtement very untrue for many Viv appropriate orchids. Not only that, but creating a low humidity environment for humidity loving plants seems like a bad idea
 

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Frogparty keeps a lot of orchids in his vivs successfully and is a good source of info for viv friendly orchid keeping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That is an overly generalized stAtement very untrue for many Viv appropriate orchids. Not only that, but creating a low humidity environment for humidity loving plants seems like a bad idea
I didn't mean to imply low humidity, I meant lowER humidity. The Phals like 50% to 70% humidity at the root zones, the frogs like 90% to 100% humidity. So frog humidity rots Phal orchid roots. So it's not like I'm trying to circulate 10% humid air at the orchid roots, just a 60% humidity level to prevent rot and still give the orchids what they need while existing in a frog tank with 90% humidity.

Sometimes I get a little wordy. Sorry if my description doesn't come across as clearly as intended.
 

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Gotcha. I guess if you can control the humidity to your liking then it sounds good, bit to me it sounds over complicated. I think a few well placed exhaust fans at the top of the Viv could accomplish what you need.
 

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That is an overly generalized statement very untrue for many Viv appropriate orchids. Not only that, but creating a low humidity environment for humidity loving plants seems like a bad idea
For viv appropriate orchids yes. But don't phals and phrags prefer to dry out a little between waterings, or the roots may rot? I didn't mean it as a blanket statement for all orchids.

Please correct me if I'm wrong. But be gentle I'm fragile :)
 

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Phals yes, many phrags do require more moisture than that. Phrag bessae does well in standing water. Most phrags will get much larger than that set up will allow. Mine have leaf spans of 24" or more, except for bessae and bessae hybrids
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gotcha. I guess if you can control the humidity to your liking then it sounds good, bit to me it sounds over complicated. I think a few well placed exhaust fans at the top of the Viv could accomplish what you need.
Because I have 4 large vivs, I can try both ways to see which works better. One will just have circulation fans, the other will flow air through the root zone which is at the 60% or so that the orchids need. The vivs are about 44" tall so I should be able to set the plants above the frog zone and still have enough space for a 24" bloom spike.

I've just had my fill of beautiful cheap phals, phrags, dendrobiums and oncidiums that are in bloom when I buy them and then sit around and never bloom again. A viv should give them everything they need to rebloom but a lower humidity than the frogs.

And there is probably a lot to be said for more circulation at the top of the viv while the foggers kicked on much more often at the bottom of the viv.

So we will see. Thanks for the advice. I will get pics out as soon as the rack looks presentable.
 

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do you have to have phals and phrags in all of the vivs? a nice hardscape with some mixed mosses and ferns with a nice collection of minis and tropicals would make for a spectacular display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The vivs aren't ready yet, and I think each of the four large ones will be different. Perhaps one will be wall to wall Phals and Phrags and the others will be less. After the vivs, I will build another one just dedicated to orchids so if the orchids in the frog vivs don't rebloom well I can go with the concept of cycling orchids into the frog tanks as bloom spikes occur in the orchid box.

I am in the Fairfax area, where in Virginia are you?
 

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Hello,

I'm building a double rack of vivs in my office with four top ones that are approx 38" cubed (230 gallons) and eight on the bottom that are approx 19" cubed (30 gallons). I would like to keep orchids like phals, phrags and dendrobiums healthy in the top vivs, please help me with your ideas and criticism.

I'm creating two climate zones per viv with a log/branch/tube across the length of the viv about a foot off the bottom, roughly diagonal with side branches. The plastic pipe has holes in the top and filled with orchids that need lower humidity. The large orchid leaves help divide the viv into a top zone with more ventilation and a lower zone with less ventilation.

Each of the pipes is supplied with air where the log contacts the wall. A muffin fan supplys low humidity office air into the tube at the root zone of the orchids. The orchid roots and stem have a constant low flow of low humid air.

A rheostat controlls fan speed. I could use an arduino with humidity feedback, but the first month of operation will probably give me a working idea of appropriate air flow.

Foggers come out the back/bottom of the log and aim downward to the tank floor to mist the frogs.

The intent is to create high humidity at the floor for the frogs and low humidity in the top for orchids. The room air passing through the pipe flows through orchid roots, up and out through the leaves to exit the top of the viv. If too much air flow dries out the viv, foggers would kick on more often.

I need a barrier around the plant holes so inquisitive frogs could not squeeze into the log. I think perforated plastic can be wrapped closely around the orchid stem to prevent frogs, but stretchable enough to to not choke orchid stem growth. The low humidity air rises up the perforations and passes through the leaf and stem zone.

I could even get crazy and experiment with aerosol delivery of fertilizer to the orchids because each end of the pipe could drain condensed water. This might not be any harder than using an aquarium air pump to supply air which is itself placed in a sealed bucket filled with nitrate water and using an airstone to create an aerosol. Perhaps this craziness is best left for another thread.

The rack is now framed but not hardscaped. Even while working at home it will take weeks to frame up the stumps/roots and other features. I will take pics to clarify my wordy narrative.

Please give your thoughts and advice!

Thanks in advance. I live near Washington, D.C. and kept frogs for a long time until family illness made me give them up. It's exciting to get back into them again.
Hey there! I was flipping through the pages and saw "orchids" and thought you could use some suggestions. I happen to own Small Hill Orchids and have several hundred orchids and a small handful of frogs. Here are a few ideas:
I know of some folks who get really into what you are doing with the controlling of the enviroment to that exstent; however, I have found that if you place the right orchid in the enviroment very little needs to be done to care and maintain them properly.
For terestrial orchids I suggest Ludisia disolor. They are shimmery and travel via rhizome across the surface of the ground. Try the alba form and other forms of the "Jewel Orchids" as well like my favorite Macodes sanderiana. Also known as the Lightning plant because of it's glittering zig-zag streaks through the leaves.
I would not recommend Phrags as they get humungo! And often have bloom spikes 2 -3 feet tall. The smaller ones like the Phrag Besseae MAY do ok, but they can still get quite tall and may need a cooling period to bloom well.
Paphilopediums also tend to grow large, I would recommend Paph fairrieanum in the drier section of the tank and you could try Paph delenatii a cute tiny pink pouch slipper that has beautiful foliage.
As far as orchids that would grow on branches and on the back wall (cork or tree fern) there are many many many tiny to medium orchids that do excellent in terrariums. These are some I have in my tanks with my Tinctorius Oyapocks: Phalaenopsis deliciosa, Phal equestris and manii are excellent medium sized plants. Phal lueddemanniana would probably do well too and the bonus is a wonderful fragrance. My Epidendrum porpax blooms nearly all summer long, and spreads to cover the back of my tank. Dendrobium loddigesii also loves my high humidity; infact many branches have even grown into the waterfall! It produces masses of pink blooms. Ornithocephalus myrticola will always draw attention with its strange leaves. There are so many more.... I hope this is a good start. I highly recommend that you check out the book Botanica's Orchids by Laurel Glen Publishing. It's my orchid "bible". Just make sure that the orchids that you get do not need dry periods or cool seasons to rebloom and always check the size of the entire plant it doesn't take long so some to out grow a small encloser. If you have any other orchid questions please ask! Good Luck and have fun -Erin
 

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I like all other jewels better than Ludisia. I really like Cyclopogon and Sarcoglottis the best. I like the silver foliage and the rosette growth habit better than the rambling habit of Ludisia
 

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I like all other jewels better than Ludisia. I really like Cyclopogon and Sarcoglottis the best. I like the silver foliage and the rosette growth habit better than the rambling habit of Ludisia
how would a sarcoglottis do in a terrarium though? I understand that they need a drier winter period
 

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Nah they do fine. I had one for three years in an old Viv that did great. Cyclopogon is smaller but similar looking so I recommend it as a more versatile plant. I think my S. Sceptrodes was over a foot wide when I tore down the tank it was in. The flowers aren't very showy, but people dont like jewels for their blooms
 
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