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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have any recommendations for plant species for a 24''x18''x36 cloud forest type vivarium? It will have internal air circulation and LED lighting, so it should be nice and bright.
 

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You keeping it biotopic and neotropical? Tons of pleurothallids, most anthuriums, blueberries (Macleania, Disterigma, Themistoclesia, Sphyrospermum), begonias such as B. sp. Pacto and Lita....


From Asia ya got epiphytic Rhododendrons and Impatians, begonias, nepenthes, hoyas, the usual orchids...

Depends how high in elavation you want to go. Most of Ecuageneras tropicals are fairly high elevation cloud forest plants, however many will die if warmer then 70 or so....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd like to keep it neotropical. I think temps will typically be in the low-mid 70s, although I have considered installing a chiller to the misting water source (depends on how much I want to play with this setup).
 

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At Monteverde in Costa Rica every tree was covered in a thick layer of mosses and Peltapteris peltatum. Orchids galore along with some cool peperomias, anthuriums, bromeliads, marcgravias, etc...

As Josh said, Ecuagenera has some ideal plants for a set up you're planning. I'll PM you.

Here are some pictures from Monteverde to give you an idea:




 

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Discussion Starter #5
That branch in the last photo is basically what I'm trying to emulate. This will probably be the last 'in-depth' vivarium for me for awhile (I won't start it until a few other projects are finished up), so I'm in no hurry to get this thing done.

Do you think I'll be able to plant the vivarium to look like that while maintaining it at room temperature? I can add a chiller to the ultrasonic humidifier and misting water source if need be, but I wouldn't mind avoiding the extra cost if I can.
 

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For orchids, look into the Pleurothallid Alliance. Some warm growing genera/ species off the top of my head... many types of Pleurothallis, Restrepia, Masdevallias like floribunda and discoidea, many Scaphosepalum, Lepanthes such as telipogoniflora and calodictyon. You may also want to check into the genus Trichoceros. They're in the same subtribe as Telipogons, but they are reportedly much easier to keep. They also seem to be much more tolerant of a wide temperature range.
 

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For orchids, look into the Pleurothallid Alliance. Some warm growing genera/ species off the top of my head... many types of Pleurothallis, Restrepia, Masdevallias like floribunda and discoidea, many Scaphosepalum, Lepanthes such as telipogoniflora and calodictyon. You may also want to check into the genus Trichoceros. They're in the same subtribe as Telipogons, but they are reportedly much easier to keep. They also seem to be much more tolerant of a wide temperature range.
Exactly what I was thinking. Oh don't forget Stelis sp. or Porroglossum sp.

Zach you can definitely keep some of the species at room temperature, but a little cooler would be ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Besides cooling the water source for the vivarium, what are some easy ways of cooling down a vivarium? Any suggestions?
 

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There are smaller aquarium chillers that insert through a bulkhead that I think would be perfect for your needs
 

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have you ever thought of doing a Peruvian cloud forest with a group of variabilis? you could do a lot of nice mini orchids, mosses/ferns, a few broms. if i were to do a biotopic display, that would be it.
 

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I completely forgot about this exhibit when I visited the ABG. Talk about some inspiration!

I love that room...refreshing after spending hours in the big conservatory looking for frogs. Excited to see how the build turns out.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
This build is going to be one of those ongoing, slow projects. I'm thinking how I can incorporate a small chiller, misting system, ultrasonic humidifier, temp/humidity control, and air circulation all in the cabinet. I want this as a stand-alone display - it'll reside in the frog room for now, but I want to be able to move it in the future. I've got plenty of 'cool' ideas bouncing around in my head now ;)

Anyone have any idea what genus/species a lot of those pendant type ferns seen in pictures are, and how big they actually are?
 

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I actually think they are epiphytic bryophyte species, the fern most prevalent in the forest that I noticed was Peltapteris peltatum (fine leaf).
 

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If you want true "cool" cloud forest conditions, lower 70s in the day and a night drop to middle 50s, at least from an orchid standpoint. With the orchids ash and I mentioned, upper 70s for the day down into the middle to lower 60s should be ok.

I was just reading on a European CP forum how they've cooled highland Nepenthes tanks using an aquarium chiller hooked up to a water cooled radiator.

One of these: Water Cooling Radiators at HeatsinkFactory.com

They mount a computer fan to the radiator blowing warm viv air in and run the chilled water through it. It results in cool air being blown out of the radiator into the viv.
 
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