Succulent/cacitus plants open vivarium...indoor - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Succulent/cacitus plants open vivarium...indoor

Is it doable? I have done some reading on it and many suggest that I would need some powerful light setup for the plants to mature. I am thinking about using two homedepot lights with 2 13w or 15w cfl bulbs each. Many recommend that I would need at least 100w per square foot for the plants like cacitus to mature and thrive.


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 10:27 PM
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Depends on the species of cactus you get. Some require high direct light while others require shade and indirect light. 15w bulbs are probably no going to cut it. You need a minimum of 20 watts per square foot and even higher for more demanding species. Figure out your species then you can figure out light.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 02:50 AM
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fwiw succulents will adjust better to lower light than cacti. jungle/forest succulents usually live in more under-growthy areas and are also better suited to lower light. epiphyllum, spring/christmas cacti, hoya are a few examples. i've seen tons of crassula species adapt to lower light as well. they get leggy and dont grow quickly, but as long as their soil is allowed to dry out appropriately between waterings, they can do.


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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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I went to Homedepot to see what cactus and succulent plants they have. They have some really small one about 2", $2. The 3" is about $3. The 4" is about $5. I picked up about 6 total to see if they would thrive.

To keep the cost down, I ended up using 1 flood light with 2 23w 65k CFL. At about 6" above the plants, with a square shroud almost covering the entire 11x15 tray, I am getting late afternoon sun intensity. Verified by my camera light meter using the sunny 16 rule (A bright afternoon sun overhead would give you iso 100, 1/100s, at F16 exposure setting). I need to use f10 and at 1/80s to get the proper exposure. Meaning that I am getting the late afternoon or early evening light intensity. That's the best I could without spending loads of money on lighting.

For the soil, I used about 1/4 of regular potting mix, 2/4 of perlites, and 1/4 of regular fine aquarium gravels. These I have left over at home and didn't need to buy anything extra. Originally, I wanted to add some orchid barks and mixing with some bigger white gravels. That's another extra $25 total I didn't want to spend.

Just watered the new soil and I poured in more than a half a gallon of water. No water is dripping from the drain holes and I assume the soil is pretty dry before.

DSC_4993 by vracing, on Flickr


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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 03:27 AM
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I've had a desert setup for about a year and its doing pretty well. 10 gallons with a single large hole in the bottom with the dirt sitting on egg crate and window screen. It's outside in the summer, and during the winter in a south window with an led fixture. I ordered my plants online and was careful to get ones that stayed small. All stapeliads and a couple lithops.
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