Photos of terrarium

dfourer(z5 Chicago)December 8, 2004

The photos are in. This is the terrarium with all the bugs that I am enjoying. Gee it was a lot of work figuring out how to get these photos on the internet! You have to cut and past the URL's (me)

48" wide and 24" high, 12" deep, with two 48" flourescent tubes.

No background decoration. Next time I'll attach bark and rock to back with silicone, paint above that.

Potting soil and peat moss one inch deep in front, little more in back.

This is a "stagnant" terrarium--no waterfall or pump. Don't over-water! I'd like to try a waterfall terrarium some day.

I used some medium density fiberglass shower surround, sold in 4x8 ft. sheets, for three sides, to keep it cheeper and lighter. There is a crack about 1/8 to 1/4 inch along the top for ventilation. The shop light humms a little.

Pitcher plant Nepenthes on the left.

Some begonias and impations left over from summer garden

small moth orchid hard to see, in the tree.

One fern.

Mosquito fern Azolla sp. is floating on the water.

Here is a link that might be useful:

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dfourer(z5 Chicago)

PS. the photo files were too big for the gallery

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 1:20AM
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nathanhurst(VIC Aust)

I couldn't see where you sit in the terrarium? Next to the ferns?

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 3:47AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

looks very nice even without a background. i would think that fiberglass material should be great for a terrarium ,Certainly much lighter and cheaper than glass or acrylic. Water features add a lot of interest besides providing some air movement and extra humidity.
Thanks for the pix!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 6:38AM
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sahoyaref(Alberta z3a)

Augh, please disregard what I said in my post on the other thread! I feel so dumb now. . . though I still think that you should at least add some more brackets, or get stronger ones. I love azolla; it's so pretty! Too bad it's so invasive! Get that nep out of the dirt though! They actually prefer sphagnum moss, live or dried. Besides, it's too low to the ground for the hanging pitchers to be appreciated. It is probably too soggy, which is why it has no pitchers, even though it looks large enough that it should be pitchering. You should put it in some sphagnum moss and hang it from one of your cork-bark panels. The pitchers look really pretty hanging down. Nice terr. though!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 7:25PM
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dfourer(z5 Chicago)


I read an article on Nepenthes rafflesiana on the web. Turns out they grow from the ground in very sandy poor soil in SE Asia. They are vines (weeds?) when mature and grow to 30 feet. By putting the plant on the ground I avoid worrying about it drying out. It's actually not soggy anywhere in the terrarium, and gets rather dry in a couple of weeks during winter. I'm using distilled water or rainwater. A gallon should last three months. I try to keep things low maintenance when I can. I used sand and peat moss around that one plant. Problem is I learned later that our sand here is Chicago is high in calcium minerals, which turns soil alkaline and makes water hard over time. I should ask people at the Nep site what they think.

I really wish I had done something with the background but I have to be pleased with the overall effort. I've learned so much from reading on the internet.

I used fiberglass even on the bottom and it's stronger for being light. Actually quite ridgid after it's put together. Material is about 1/16 inch thick and very tough. Put the rough side inside for a more natural look. Sold at Lowes or Home Depot near the lumber section. I will use a three-bulb 48' shop light for the next one instead of two-bulb. I'll make a full backdrop of natural materials stuck on with silicone. I can hardly wait to make another ter but don't need two in my own home.

-----David F

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 9, 2004 at 4:28PM
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