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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sooo, I was walking around goodwill because you can find awesome stuff there (fact), and I stumbled across this 3"W x 3"D x 5"H hinged, front-opening glass display case - I thought to myself, that looks like a miniature version of my vivarium at home... idea clicked - this is my approach to the nano, pico, micro viv. Yeah, it's that small. lol I just wanted to share and see what people think.


Here is the display case before I touched it:



I then googled nano vivariums, pico vivariums, micro this, tiny that, etc. All I could find are the really cool mini "vivarium" jars and odd containers and whatnot. But I didn't want a small container of dirt and moss to sit near the window; I wanted a small vivarium with a false bottom for proper drainage, it's own dedicated light, etc... and maybe I can hunt down a nice small orchid. Actually, it's official, that's the plan: track down teeny tiny anchoring orchid species.

Anyways, I first drilled a ~1/16" hole in the bottom corner of the tank for draining and made a plug to ppplug it. Next, the false bottom was constructed using a container that carried corn huskers... I know, random, but it was a perforated sturdy plastic material that looked perfect for holding some hydroton above sea level. Drainage stuff:



The following step involved making the barrier for the front, like so:

I used super expensive clear flexible plastic from the wrapping of some AA batteries. Cut to fit. Silicone in place. And then silicone the crud outta the bottom cause there are tiny imperfections (holes/crevices) all over this thing. It was leaking incessantly prior to 'dipping it in a vat of silicone'.


Step 3 or 4ish, add single layer of the smallest lecca balls I could find:



And now for the scape... I'm a fan of wood cause it looks naturalish, and I wasn't trying to spend $, so I went with a 20 dollar grapevine branch thing. I ended up cutting a tiny 2" x 4ish" piece of of it and positioning it into the scape like this (filling out with peat moss of course):

Tight fit - somehow managed to cut it perfect the first time... phew!


Last step: plant.
hemianthus callitrichoides; found it at local fish store submerged. Emersed it:

Try not to pay attention to the the excess HC around the viv... hehe - bought too much.



Final product:





Container: 3" x 3" x 5" front hinge-opening, glass and brass display case with
vent slits along door (top and bottom). Drilled with removable plug; sweet!

Light: 26W CF - 1625 lumens - 6500K

Temperature: 81 - 82F at top, 79 - 80F at middle, 77.5 - 78 at substrate.

Humidity: 80 - 100%

Water schedule... undetermined



Total Cost: tank $2, wood $20 lol, random stuff around house $free, HC $8, light and bulb $20 - - - - Cost remained under $60 - I did better than I thought haha!


I decided that I will go with both barbosella handroi and barbosella trilobata as my centerpiece orchids for this viv - hopefully I can pull off some nice clusters on that grapevine; I will order them online soon, but for now, the waiting game.... GrRrRooowWw!
 

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Before you get too far... the solder used to hold that case together may be lead, which I know would affect animals negatively, but I'm not sure if plants will be okay in the long run. I would have suggested covering the corners in a bead of silicone. Looking good though, I've always liked mini vivariums/ terrariums, but there's too much clutter around my house already.
 

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Before you get too far... the solder used to hold that case together may be lead, which I know would affect animals negatively, but I'm not sure if plants will be okay in the long run. I would have suggested covering the corners in a bead of silicone. Looking good though, I've always liked mini vivariums/ terrariums, but there's too much clutter around my house already.
I know lead doesn't hurt grass all that much b/c Ironite has a bunch of it in there---it's a fertilizer. Not sure on other plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys

It's appreciated that you point out stuff like the lead thing, I'm bound to overlook plenty. No worries though; I had already beaded up the bottom half or more of the little guy. I'll go back and seal it all up in a little.

On the animal/inhabitant note, I don't think I will be keeping any critter in this one... a bit too teeny.

Bananaslug - I was originally looking into platystele jungermannioides. I'll do some more research.
 

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That's going to be so cool!

Perhaps you could keep a couple of Doug's Giant Orange Isopods in it...I've heard they are pets in themselves. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
haha Thanks - latest update: just ordered (1) barbosella trilobata from J&L.com and (2) barbosella handroi from andysorchids.com - overnight shipping on both orders - I'll be posting shots upon arrival.
 

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there are a lot of little glass cases similar to this at Marshall's and/or Ross. I made a 'begonia in a jar' setup the other day dorking around w/ my girlfriend. cool little setup for your desk. I've always wanted to make one w/ a tiny waterfall and LED lighting for my desk at work.

nice job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks - I was thinking a water feature would be pretty epic on such a tiny scale... I might just have to light up the tek light and do a whole bunch of different eco-types of setups hahaha... nooo, gotta keep control of myself lol...

Let me know if you end up doin one - I'd definetly follow along
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My order of (2) barbosella handroi from Andy's arrived today:

Both plants arrived safe and healthy (yep, I took one off it's mount before even thinking about the camera). I'm still waiting for the barbosella trilobata from J&L.com; I was told the BTwill ship out monday.


So I sat in front of the little vivarium for and hour or so lol - and this is the outcome:



I used straight pins to 'politely' hold the runners down to the wood (and any large roots). Using tweezers, I stuffed tiny amounts of peat moss where ever I saw exposed roots; closer look:



Got the back side of the grapevine, too. Top down:



Final result for today:
 

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Haha fun little project! Love the miniature orchid also.

Im running ou of space in my house, so something like this might be my only option in the future :D
 
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