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  Terrariums - where to get?
From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.11.06 at 17:54:21(1586)
An employee in my department will be having a surgical procedure performed
this next week. A collection was taken and it came up with approximately
$250. (She's obviously well liked.) I've been put in charge of trying to
find an appropriate get well gift. She's interested in plants but lives in
a small apartment. I thought that a terrarium with built in lighting would
be the perfect gift. I could then put in some of the miniature aroids that
so many are discussing.

I've looked through the web but am finding very little. Can someone in
this group help direct me towards a terrarium with built in lighting
(decent lighting, not a dim 10 watt lavender "plant light").

In fact, is there such a set up? If not, this might be a golden business
opportunity for one of you out there.


From: ERTELTJB at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu on 1997.11.06 at 21:43:46(1589)
Lester - Your friend is indeed well liked to warrent such a collection. . .
unfortunately, a complete terrarium set-up with good lights (generally
on a timer) and such are outrageously pricey. What I would suggest is
shopping about a bit to see how prices are on aquariums, and combine that
price with a two foot, 4 bulb unit from Lowes or home Depot or the like,
along with a pice of thick plexi-glas or regular glass with the edges smoothed
or lexan to fit the top of the aquarium. You cold likely get a good sized
aquarium (that is, you _could_), a piece for the top, and the light fixture for the money you suggest, and probably have some left over to invest in gravel,
soil, etc. You might want to look into building a stand for the light fixture,
maybe from PVC pipe material. This would be the route that I would suggest,
unless you know a cabinetmaker/carpenter that can build a case for the
fixture to go into - that might be another avenue to explore.
Good luck with this project - a wonderful gift for your friend.
- Jonathan Ertelt

From: IntarsiaCo <IntarsiaCo at aol.com> on 1997.11.07 at 18:41:30(1592)
In a message dated 97-11-06 14:04:58 EST, you write:

<< Can someone in
this group help direct me towards a terrarium with built in lighting

From: stacy holtzman <sholtzma at sunflower.bio.indiana.edu> on 1997.11.07 at 21:42:14(1596)
>Lester - Your friend is indeed well liked to warrent such a collection. . .
>unfortunately, a complete terrarium set-up with good lights (generally
>on a timer) and such are outrageously pricey.

Could you simply buy the aquarium setup that already includes an aquarium
light (in its plastic casing) that fits over the top? It may not be enough
light, but for not very much money you can buy another florescent light set
that usually fits well along the top of the aquarium. Also, check out a
company called Mail Order Pet Shop - they may have the lights you're
looking for at a reasonable price.

From: Sue Haffner <sue_haffner at csufresno.edu> on 1997.11.07 at 23:36:24(1598)
Slightly off subject, but a friend got a real
good deal on some slightly damaged aquariums
that a pet store was selling real cheap.

While they were not suitable for fish anymore
(must have had some subtle leaks), they worked
find as plant terrariums.

Ask at your pet store.

Sue Haffner

From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.11.08 at 18:22:52(1599)
Well after totally failing to find a pre-fab terrarium with strong
lighting, I managed to find a quadruple light fixture for a 36 x 18 tank.
The fixture allows a total of 4 twenty watt bulbs. Assuming that the tank
I put it on isn't very deep, I predict that 80 watts of lighting will be
adequate. It'll just barely come into budget. The fixture alone is
running about $170 through a discount aquarium supply house. The full hood
will supply the necessary water retention.

Now to find appropriate plants in the near freezing November weather. It's
too late to ship tropicals, so I'll have to depend on cuttings and local
nurseries for plant material.

This may be such a great present that I may have to purchase one for myself.

From: ERTELTJB at ctrvax.Vanderbilt.Edu on 1997.11.10 at 21:18:58(1601)
Les - Your 4-bulb fixture sounds excellent for the 36x18 tank. My only
caution would be that a fixture like that could produce a lot of heat for the
plants - for some certainly more than they would prefer. I would offer several
suggestions. Even though you wrote suggesting your lack of interest in
constructing anything yourself, 4 pieces of 1x3 or 1x4 could easily be put
together to form a rectangular "stand," raising the lights up and supported
by the aquarium/terrarium walls. This alone would put the heat source
further from the plants, and likely still provide enough light for most
tropicals you would have in a terrarium that size. Another option would be to
get into the fixture and remove the ballast (of course keeping the wiring
correct) so that the ballast can be located a bit further away - the ballast
being the main heat source with flourescent fixtures. A third alternative
whaich was suggested on this or another of the plant list-serves to whichI
belong is the possible introduction of one of the small square electronics
cooling fans used in computers and such to keep the equiptment cool. This
might be difficult to install into this set-up without doing a raised stand
i.e. my first suggestion. I recently put one into a large plexi terrarium
I have, and I have it hooked into a 24 hour x 1/2 hour increments timer, and
it comes on 4 times a day. After some initial adjusting on the part of the
plants, I think that all are doing better now, with minimal reduction in
humidity levels.
From: Lester Kallus <lkallus at earthlink.net> on 1997.11.11 at 14:49:18(1603)
Good point about that heat! I guess I'll have to try it out before I give
it to that employee. A mass of boiled aroids might not be the get well
present she'd like (although if I pick carefully, they might be tasty).

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