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60cm x 60cm x 45cm Vivarium with drip feature, emersed aquatic plants and inhabitants.

louis_last

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23 Nov 2008
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266
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Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
Just some pictures of my vivarium and the inhabitants. There are some emersed aquarium plants growing very well in here, I've just trimmed back all the java fern but it will be back in no time. There's also emersed Bucephalandra, Bolbitis heteroclita, Anubias nana, and Anubias congensis on the left which is a particular favorite of the geckos and flowers often.
On the left hand side there is a very low flow dripping water feature to help maintain humidity.
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Wookii

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That looks fantastic. Do you have any set-up pictures?

I'd really like to do something similar on the rear and sides of an aquarium, above the water level - I have so many questions . . .

Is that Epiweb you have used for the background? What is the misting system you have used?
 

louis_last

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Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
That looks fantastic. Do you have any set-up pictures?

I'd really like to do something similar on the rear and sides of an aquarium, above the water level - I have so many questions . . .

Is that Epiweb you have used for the background? What is the misting system you have used?
The background is made from treefern panels with their grain running horizontally so they wick slightly less moisture from the substrate. You could use them in this way on the rear and sides of a paludarium but they would definitely leak some tannins into your water. The little pool at the bottom right is very much a blackwater pool.
It's a mistking misting system so fairly expensive but on a par with some equipment we might buy for an aquarium like a decent co2 system. The tank has a wet and dry season, it's just coming out of dry season now so you can see some dried out mosses on the back panels. As the misting and humidity increases these green up again.
Vivariums like this in some ways are much easier than an aquarium but in others they are a bit tricker.
Very happy to answer any questions, if anyone else has tried something like this you're probably assuming I've cleaned the condensation off the glass to take pictures but actually there's a really fantastic little product that solves that problem called a 'solar raptor heat strip'. It fits very discretely beneath the bottom vent below the front glass doors and warms up just enough to get air flowing over the front glass so that it remains condensation free and provides a useful amount of air exchange for the orchids.
 

X3NiTH

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13 Apr 2014
Messages
1,336
It's a mistking misting system so fairly expensive but on a par with some equipment we might buy for an aquarium like a decent co2 system.

I’ve been looking at these systems over the last month or so for a Buce viv, binged a bunch of stuff on Aeroponics. I’m going to attempt to DIY an HPS hopefully getting a good Fog, I already have a D-D RO Booster Pump to hand that outputs 1.2lpm @ 125psi so that should be sufficient for at least getting an ultra fine mist with the appropriate nozzle, a fog is what I want, I’ve already sourced 0.2mm filtrated Stainless nozzles and if this isn’t sufficient I’ll have to look at a >200psi pump and 0.15mm nozzles, fogging and cooling at the same time would be great, I only need two outputs so the pump can be small. My only concern with the D-D booster pump is overpressurising the unit trying to force 1.2lpm through an 0.2mm aperture so may ultimately have to source a unit with overpressure protection.

Do you get a nice fog with the MistKing, what about flow pulsation from the pump, do you think the unit would perform better with an accumulator plumbed in? Do you know what the TDS of the feed water you are using and if there is any extra added fertiliser in the feed water have you had any clogging problems with the nozzles?

Good looking Viv btw!

:)
 

mort

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15 Nov 2015
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I love more info and pictures as well please. Particularly interested in your lighting and what make the vivarium is.
 

Wookii

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Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
2,286
Location
Nottingham
I’ve been looking at these systems over the last month or so for a Buce viv, binged a bunch of stuff on Aeroponics. I’m going to attempt to DIY an HPS hopefully getting a good Fog, I already have a D-D RO Booster Pump to hand that outputs 1.2lpm @ 125psi so that should be sufficient for at least getting an ultra fine mist with the appropriate nozzle, a fog is what I want, I’ve already sourced 0.2mm filtrated Stainless nozzles and if this isn’t sufficient I’ll have to look at a >200psi pump and 0.15mm nozzles, fogging and cooling at the same time would be great, I only need two outputs so the pump can be small. My only concern with the D-D booster pump is overpressurising the unit trying to force 1.2lpm through an 0.2mm aperture so may ultimately have to source a unit with overpressure protection.

Do you get a nice fog with the MistKing, what about flow pulsation from the pump, do you think the unit would perform better with an accumulator plumbed in? Do you know what the TDS of the feed water you are using and if there is any extra added fertiliser in the feed water have you had any clogging problems with the nozzles?

Good looking Viv btw!

:)

Do me a favour and start a thread with your build will you @X3NiTH - I might be interested in building something similar!
 

louis_last

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Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
266
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
I’ve been looking at these systems over the last month or so for a Buce viv, binged a bunch of stuff on Aeroponics. I’m going to attempt to DIY an HPS hopefully getting a good Fog, I already have a D-D RO Booster Pump to hand that outputs 1.2lpm @ 125psi so that should be sufficient for at least getting an ultra fine mist with the appropriate nozzle, a fog is what I want, I’ve already sourced 0.2mm filtrated Stainless nozzles and if this isn’t sufficient I’ll have to look at a >200psi pump and 0.15mm nozzles, fogging and cooling at the same time would be great, I only need two outputs so the pump can be small. My only concern with the D-D booster pump is overpressurising the unit trying to force 1.2lpm through an 0.2mm aperture so may ultimately have to source a unit with overpressure protection.

Do you get a nice fog with the MistKing, what about flow pulsation from the pump, do you think the unit would perform better with an accumulator plumbed in? Do you know what the TDS of the feed water you are using and if there is any extra added fertiliser in the feed water have you had any clogging problems with the nozzles?

Good looking Viv btw!

:)
The mistking systems definitely produce mist rather than fog. I believe you can aquire misting nozzles that produce droplet sizes rated as fog that the mistking system is sufficiently powerful to work with but I'm not an expert - I would probably lean towards using an ultrasonic fogger if what I really wanted to achieve was clouds of fog. You might be overcomplicating things and creating more points of failure by trying to achieve the same effect with a misting system although it can be done. I think the best high pressure fogging system will still produce larger droplets than an ultrasonic fogger though and, depending on whether you wan't to keep animals in the tank, you're not restricted to models designed for use in animal enclosures either, there are larger multiple disc foggers designed for aeroponics and ponds that produce far more fog.
I use distilled water with no fertiliser in the mistking reservoir and I've never had to clean any of the nozzles in several years but if you did it's easy enough to remove them and soak in vinegar. I use a product called 'orchid myst' occasionally on two of the orchids but the only other fertilisation any of the plants get is from insect and gecko droppings and occasionally a soaking with some aquarium water from water changes.
I actually do have some bucephalandra growing in here on the drip feature but this tank only gets misted once a day as the geckos don't like walking on wet surfaces and the air is slightly drier than the Buces would like. They grow just fine and even produce flowers but the leaves tend to get a little crispy round the edges at which point they become vulnerable to attack by a small species of semi-aquatic slug that lives in here.
If you're curious I can upload a video of the misting system in action so you can get a sense what it looks like but the mist settles almost immediately.
 
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louis_last

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Joined
23 Nov 2008
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Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
I love more info and pictures as well please. Particularly interested in your lighting and what make the vivarium is.
It's an exo terra glass vivarium but I also have zoomed glass vivariums and there's not much to differentiate one brand as being obviously superior to the other. The main thing I'd say is that if you're keeping species as small as this they all tend to require modification to make them escape proof, particularly for the babies but also to try and prevent the very small insects you're going to be feeding from escaping. I think some of the newer models of 'InSitu', 'biopod' and 'Greendeep' glass vivariums don't have quite the same problem but are more expensive and have other shortfalls in my opinion.
You can mitigate the issue by not buying online though, some of the exo terra and zoomeds have pretty huge gaps in the doors for example whilst others have literally no gaps. It's a manufacturing flaw that wouldn't be an issue for anything but the smallest animals however just by choosing the tank carefully you can reduce the amount of modification necessary.
The lighting is an exoterra lighting hood at the back with a 25w UVB bulb as well as two 25w exo terra 'natural light' bulbs. In front of that there is a 34w arcadia jungle dawn LED bar and actually it's slightly TOO bright for some of the plants. I may replace it soon as it's really overkill for what I'm growing in here.
I think I actually took this picture with the LED bar turned off.
 
Last edited:

Wookii

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13 Nov 2019
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Location
Nottingham
The mistking systems definitely produce mist rather than fog. I believe you can aquire misting nozzles that produce droplet sizes rated as fog that the mistking system is sufficiently powerful to work with but I'm not an expert - I would probably lean towards using an ultrasonic fogger if what I really wanted to achieve was clouds of fog. You might be overcomplicating things and creating more points of failure by trying to achieve the same effect with a misting system although it can be done. I think the best high pressure fogging system will still produce larger droplets than an ultrasonic fogger though and, depending on whether you wan't to keep animals in the tank, you're not restricted to models designed for use in animal enclosures either, there are larger multiple disc foggers designed for aeroponics and ponds that produce far more fog.
I use distilled water with no fertiliser in the mistking reservoir and I've never had to clean any of the nozzles in several years but if you did it's easy enough to remove them and soak in vinegar. I use a product called 'orchid myst' occasionally on two of the orchids but the only other fertilisation any of the plants get is from insect and gecko droppings and occasionally a soaking with some aquarium water from water changes.
I actually do have some bucephalandra growing in here on the drip feature but this tank only gets misted once a day as the geckos don't like walking on wet surfaces and the air is slightly drier than the Buces would like. They grow just fine and even produce flowers but the leaves tend to get a little crispy round the edges at which point they become vulnerable to attack by a small species of semi-aquatic slug that lives in here.
If you're curious I can upload a video of the misting system in action so you can get a sense what it looks like but the mist settles almost immediately.

This may be a stupid question as I know nothing about vivariums, but do the ultrasonic foggers actually result in the leaves becoming wet then? Are they a workable alternative to the misting system if you place them at the top of the plant/moss wall?
 

louis_last

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This may be a stupid question as I know nothing about vivariums, but do the ultrasonic foggers actually result in the leaves becoming wet then? Are they a workable alternative to the misting system if you place them at the top of the plant/moss wall?
It's quite hard to give a straight answer here because it really depends on how you use them and in an ideal world I would actually use both. The misting system less frequently but with heavier mistings to act essentially as an irrigation system, and a fogger to bring up humidity every day in the morning or as necessary. Comparisons between the two get very complicated because you have to consider relative as well as absolute humidity at whatever temperatures you keep the tank but also at different points along the temperature gradient within the tank.
With a terrarium for Bucephalandra you would have several options, all of which would work.
Ultrasonic foggers are actually really under appreciated in my opinion. You can run them until the tank is entirely filled with swirling fog in which case it will also be much more saturated than with a misting system as the fog really penetrates every crevice of the tank - or you can have them come on only temporarily to create a low lying layer of fog that gives you a nice humidity gradient. A lot really depends on your plants and animals, some plants require very high humidity but hate water standing on their leaves in which case a fogger combined with a fan is priceless whilst others really appreciate a good soaking or require that the water that gathers in their leaf axils be periodically flushed through with fresh.

I can only tell you that if I was planning on building an attractive terrarium for bucephalandra I would 100% use a fogger in the tank rather than a misting system. I actually had a setup exactly like this once for growing some filmy ferns and emersed Fissidens that required essentially close to 100% humidity and the fogger was absolutely perfect. I just had nice big pieces of driftwood sitting in shallow water with a hydroponic fogger running on a timer. The end result was beatiful green hardscape pieces emerging from a sea of fog and the plants loved it.
 

X3NiTH

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13 Apr 2014
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Yeah I’ve looked at Ultrasonic fogging via piezo and have partially discounted them for fertigation due to the ceramic becoming contaminated and units failing, I see there are ultrasonic pressure nozzles but I always get discouraged by ‘call for a quote’ translating as ‘too expensive for you’.

Yeah definately I’m way overthinking this but if I underthink it then it’s a guarantee of ‘built to fail’. Flexing all options until I settle on an optimised system, firstly it will be suck it and see with D-D pump and the 0.2mm nozzle, then go from there.

There will be no animals in the tank so all nutrition needs to come via the feedstock and may have to dose anti fungal at the outset to reduce the chance of oomycota obliterating the plants in near 100% humidity, I have lots of reared tissue culture Buce I’ve been cultivating/neglecting for the last couple of years and it’s time to get them out the tubs and do something with them.

I still think even with misting/fogging using HPS I’ll be investing in something like a Reptifogger (with neat RO/DI to prevent clogging the piezo) for the fog aesthetics but also put on a humidity controller rather than the pump to prevent excess wear if it’s constantly cycling.

Thanks for the reply!

:)
 

louis_last

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Thread starter
Joined
23 Nov 2008
Messages
266
Location
Edinburgh / Dunbar - Scotland
Yeah I’ve looked at Ultrasonic fogging via piezo and have partially discounted them for fertigation due to the ceramic becoming contaminated and units failing, I see there are ultrasonic pressure nozzles but I always get discouraged by ‘call for a quote’ translating as ‘too expensive for you’.

Yeah definately I’m way overthinking this but if I underthink it then it’s a guarantee of ‘built to fail’. Flexing all options until I settle on an optimised system, firstly it will be suck it and see with D-D pump and the 0.2mm nozzle, then go from there.

There will be no animals in the tank so all nutrition needs to come via the feedstock and may have to dose anti fungal at the outset to reduce the chance of oomycota obliterating the plants in near 100% humidity, I have lots of reared tissue culture Buce I’ve been cultivating/neglecting for the last couple of years and it’s time to get them out the tubs and do something with them.

I still think even with misting/fogging using HPS I’ll be investing in something like a Reptifogger (with neat RO/DI to prevent clogging the piezo) for the fog aesthetics but also put on a humidity controller rather than the pump to prevent excess wear if it’s constantly cycling.

Thanks for the reply!

:)
You might be prematurely dismissing the ultrasonic foggers for fertigation, they're quite widely used in aeroponics where they are specifically fogging a nutrient solution. When I had one set up for emersed aquarium plants I was dosing the water too and never had any issues. The ceramic discs can be cleaned and also cheaply replaced - particularly if you avoid items branded for use with pets. Replacement discs are about 1/3rd the price from THIS hydroponic shop when compared to branded replacement discs from exo terra.
In my experience fungus destroying plants is usually a function of air exchange rather than humidity. You can have very high humidity with no issues or fairly low humidity with poor air exchange and big problems. I've experience both. Ultimately as with an aquarium sometimes you just have to go for it and gradually dial things in as your system matures. The plants themselves have a huge impact on humidity once they're growing well, in this tank I have to mist way more after a big trim.
I would probably have a fogger in this tank down in the puddle at the bottom right if I could get one with a cable long enough.
 
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