My 65 gallon terrarium

chrisaggie(10 FL)September 20, 2005

About 5 months ago I started my first terrarium. It is a 65 gallon terrarium with a false bottom. I used cork, cypress and foam for the back and cypress wood for the middle of the tank. I have a variaty of plants including ant plants, broms, vanilla, orchids, shingle vines, and lycopium. The tank has 2 65w pc 10k bulbs. I used peat for the substrate with a top layer of sheet moss. I have been misting by hand, but will put my new mistking misting system on the terrarium tomorrow. Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions.

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I think you tank is outragous! That is truly an awsome tank! I would like to have one that looks like that some day, I think that I spend to much time worrying about the background and not enough time learning about plants, where do you get your plants? They look really good! Is this a pic of the tank just after you finished it? or after five months? and my suggestion is to leave it just the way it is! =) I really like it....a lot! =)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 11:42PM
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chrisaggie(10 FL)

My tank is far from perfect. The moss is struggling a little, but is befinning to green back up since i have been watering more. I would eventually like moss to cover a lot of the exposed wood. I got my plants here and there. Some from friends, some online, and some from places like home depot. The picure was taken about 5 months after I set the terrarium up. I am constantly adding plants and am still looking for s few to fill in some empty spaces. I am installing my misting system tonight. I forsee that I may need to drain water from the false bottom sometimes as it will build up. I'll post a few pics of the misting system after it's installed.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 9:53AM
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I use 2-65w (each) 12k daylights and 2-65w (each) actinic blues in my 55 viv, I am going out to look for some interesting plants as I have just trimmed down the wondering jew and pothos and replaced the sheet moss two weeks ago and it seems to be doing great, Im going to look for something to replace both the pothos and wondering jew as they have taken over my viv to many times! They end up blocking the light from other plants and making the viv look all around "messy" I was wondering what you use as a cover for your viv? all glass? nylon mesh? please let me know =)

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 2:48PM
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chrisaggie(10 FL)

I currently use a custom made acrylic cover which has a hinged door for easy access. There are a few problems with this though. The door is great, but the small gap around the door does not let enough fresh air in. I have a small problem with mold growing in the terrarium. I just finished installing my mist king ( misting system. With 4 nozzles it uses 200mL/min. I plan to have this system come on 3 times a day for 1 minute each. I also plan to install 2 small fans to come on twice a day in between the misting cycles. This should give the terrarium a little fresh air and will hopefully solve my mold problem. I highly suggest the mist king system!

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 4:56PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

What are the dims of the tank?? I'd always wanted to try a misting system but the normal humidity runs 85 percent and has no cover at all !! Air movement will help the mold problem. Looks very nice right now though.
The tough part of terrariums is keeping everything in proportion.. I finally decided to let everything fight it out. Some of my ferns are standing 2 feet above the
I just use a box fan which blows accross the top.Moves the heat from the lights away but doesn't do much for the interior.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 6:12AM
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My house is very dry in the winter and dusty all year round! We have to dust a lot! So I have to have a cover to keep the humidity in and dust and cat/dog hair out, they do not really shed that much at all, but what does shed manages to get into most places, so I need a cover, right now I just have a nylon screen, but will be moving up to an acrilic cover hopefully soon,I am also looking into a mist king system for my 55, everone loves them and it gives one less reason (misting) to remove the cover, I mist my viv three times a day too, to keep the moss nice and green

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 9:38AM
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akheadbanger(z?? OH)

Now all you need are some Nep's in their!! Tropical Pitcher plants ;-) just one more addition? lol! Looks wonderful that has got to be a hassle to take care of!!


    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 3:39PM
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chrisaggie(10 FL)

The tank is 36"x18"x24". I have the nenthes covered already. :) I have 4 baby nepenthes that I am growing out. The misting system is still working great. Keeping everything nice and moist. I put together a list of plants that I currwently have in the terrarium. I'm sure I missed one or two, but it'll give you an idea. I am planning of getting a couple dart frog in a month or so. Does anyone see any problems with any of the plants? Will the ric rac cactus be ok with frogs. It does have a few small hair like needles.

West Indian tufted airplant
Vanilla planifolia 'Tetraploid' Â giant vanilla
Vanilla planifolia - variegated vanilla
Vanilla phaeantha  regular vanilla
Hydnophytum formacarium  ant plant
Dischidia pectinoides - Ant plant vine
Shingle vines
Earth stars
African violet
Ghost orchid
Butterfly orchid
Ric Rac cactus  ok with frogs?
Rhipsalis  thin branching
Various ferns
Scindapsus pictus
Other small orchid
Lycopodium hamiltonii
Sheet moss
Spanish Moss
Variegated creeping ficus
Small nepenthes
Various tillandsia
Small bromeliads
Jewel orchid
Corsican mint
Pepperomia  unknown species

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 8:30PM
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Wow, wonderful... would you mind going over how you constructed the false bottom and back... thanks Sherry

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 10:33PM
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copy and paste this link to black jungle,they give you step by step instructions on the background,with great pics!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 11:56PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

About the only one I can see a problem with is the Vanilla. They must get at least 6 feet long to flower. This is also true of the creeping ficus but can be pruned as needed.
Have never been able to keep Av in terrarium they rot on me. Many other types of gesneriads do very well I always recommend episcia "flame of the forest" Actually grows better in a terraium.
As to orchids have not had much luck. They all grow better in the shadehouse including the jewel orchids which are always recommended. I think the problem in my case is not enough light and air circulation. There are several specie that would probably appreciate the atmosphere.
can't help with the Cactus question .

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 4:50AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

One question i forgot to ask.The shingle vine. This is not the fabled New Guinea epi fern that grows in a circle. Often referred to as Shingle plant?? If so where did you find it ?? Have been hunting for years for a start!!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 5:21AM
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Amazing setup! Quick question: how did you post a pic like that to your entry?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 7:38PM
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mistiaggie(z9A Tx)

Here are a few recent pics.

Tank Shot

Left Side


Right Side

Top open looking down

Looking up inside terrarium

Entire tank with top open

    Bookmark   October 2, 2005 at 1:54PM
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Wow, nice. Your tank is basically how I want mine to look like when I'm done building my current one, good job!

    Bookmark   October 3, 2005 at 7:56PM
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