Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Some Like It Cold - My Fridge Wardian Case.

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by s1214215, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    I recently converted a fridge into a wardian case. An electrician friend put a variable thermostat on it so I can manually change the temperature for now. Eventually I will automate it so that it varies from 10-12c to 20-22c and back over the course of 24hrs.

    I just added a mesh cage to hang mounts on and for stepped shelves. I also added a pane of glass sealed in with bathroom silicone at the bottom. This serves to catch water run off, as well as boost humidity. I will add a fogger soon.

    If any of you are on Facebook, I run this group. I direct members back to this group too as there is so much good info to share here. https://www.facebook.com/groups/301381213230652/

    Here are some pics from before I started adding plants.

    Brett
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    I did a little deflasking yesterday.. These are flasks just done;

    Telipogon thomasii
    Fernandezia maculata
    Lepanthes ophioglossa
    Lepanthes grandiflora
    Lepanthes caprimulgus
    Lepanthes escobariana
    Lepanthes effusa
    Lepanthes ophioglossa
    Dracula chiroptera yellow

    Since I added the plants on aquamat, I am getting around 95% humidity.. I dont know if I will need a fogger with that amount of humidity.

    Flasks I have yet to do;

    Lepanthes ingridiana
    Lepanthes nicolasii
    Telipogon thomasii - got one more flask to do, but waiting to see how the first one goes with aquamat and a little live moss.
    Fernandezia maculata - got one more flask to do, but waiting to see how the first goes with a little live moss and aquamat.

    I have moved some plants, Den. cuthbertsonii, Chrytroglossa Ben Berliner, Neocogniauxa hexaptera and Lepanthes tsubotae into the fridge too. I am seeing an improvement on the first three in only a week. Its obvious they love the 10c night time drop. The Den. cuthbertsonii has even started a new growth, and the Chrytroglossa are plumping up and looking happier. The Neocogniauxa will take longer as they didnt like my intermediate case.

    And these are flasks I have coming courtesy of Ecuagenera and Pepe Portilla. As you can tell, I need to grow these seedlings on the fridge case and move some on to new homes fast so I have room for more hahah;

    Epidendrum escobarianum
    Epidendrum kockii
    Masdevallia decumana
    Masdevallia lucernula
    Masdevallia maxilimax
    Dracula hirtzii 'xanthina'

    Brett
    [​IMG]
     
    annabanana1987 likes this.
  3. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,516
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    That is great Brett! Congratulations and carrying if off.
     
  4. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    288
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, BC
    Excellent project! Does your setup have fresh air intake?
     
  5. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    The fresh air intake mechanism is me Alexey. I open the door in the morning to water the plants, so it gets a refresh then and I open it again at night. I am debating if I will use CO2 dosing.

    Marni, my only irritation now is it seems the fridge's compressor is not good and I need to replace it.. It will still be cheaper than buying a new fridge, but I am mad at the shite who sold it to me for not being honest.

    Brett
     
  6. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Nice, Brett. Do you caulk a piece of plastic at the bottom to catch water? That's how it looks like in the 3rd photo, but I'm interested in learning how you are dealing with water.
     
  7. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Hi Naoki

    Yes, I got a piece of glass cut to size and used bathroom silicone to fix it into place. Bathroom silicone has anti-mould properties and can also bond to plastic and glass. You just cant put fish in there hehe..

    I also blocked the water duct at the back of the fridge that would take water outside into the catchment pan above the compressor. The fridge produces too much water run of for that pan to hold it all..

    I just siphon off the excess water when needed.

    Brett
     
  8. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Thank you for the info. I'm looking forward to seeing how well your plants do! If you get a chance, I'd like to see the photos of deflasked Telipogon and Fernandezia. I'm curious how they look when they are young.

    I've been using ZooMed Hygrotherm to control humidity and temp. It can do night and day temp differential. The price is going up recently, though (it used to be around US$50), so there are probably cheaper options. The RH sensor went bad after 1-2 years, but they have great customer support (they gave me the replacement sensor for free even though it was out of warranty).
     
  9. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    94
    Location:
    no longer Chicago
    I appreciate you posting your progress Brett. Do you think there is room to create a drainage spot through the bottom? I have my eye on a fridge and I would like to keep access water from off the bottom.
     
  10. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Thanks Naoki

    I am wondering about the Zoomed Hygrotherm, if it could be wired to the refrigerators thermostat to control it. Also, does this product control the temperature hour by hour, or only have two settings for a day and night temp? The way I plan to have my fridge thermostat controlled is that it will have about 10 staged controllers, this will enable me to set them to 2c incriments for a set period. It will then rise by 2c until it reaches 10c from 20c and then head back the other way over a set time. I guess I am trying to make it as natural a climate as I can.

    Chad you could put a drain in the bottom of the fridge, but I find by having a reservoir full of water there, it helps balance the temp in the fridge. When you run a fridge, it is normally full of food items. They hold the temperature. Plants take up a lot less volume and hold less cool. So the compressor has to work harder to cool the space. I have found with this fridge that the compressor comes on every 10 mins at night when set to 10c (this is less than when I had the reservoir) and it comes on every 30 mins at 20c during the day (that was more too before the reservoir). You could put a drain in no problem as long as there are no cables etc in the way, but a reservoir does make a huge impact to cooling, and that will make a difference to your electricity bill.

    Brett
     
  11. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    The Telipogon thomasii
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    The Fernandezia maculata
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  13. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,468
    Likes Received:
    1,194
    Location:
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Brett, thank you for the photos. They both look like good size seedlings.

    Hygrotherm is day/night only (I think it's light mediated, so you don't have to program), and they don't have the gradient mode. The AC outlet of the fridge simply plugs into the Hygrotherm-cotrolled outlet, and simply turn on or off to maintain the set point. If you find a good controller which does what you are planning, please let us know. It is probably too expensive for me, though (I know Arduiro can be used for this purpose, but I haven't stepped into Arduiro world yet). Raising the temp in a controlled way could be difficult without a heater, though.

    Do you think gradient temp makes difference? Plants can be highly tuned, so it could make difference. But they may easily acclimate to 2-step control. With regard to light, I recently learned that plants get some stress when they transition from gradual change (like natural light) to on-off environment (artificial light). But plants do acclimate to the on-off environment after a while. Here is the page to describe this phenomenon:
    http://www.controlledenvironments.org/Light1994Conf/1_1_Geiger/Geiger text.htm

    So, similar acclimation could occur with temp.
     
  14. Alexey

    Alexey Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Likes Received:
    288
    Location:
    Vancouver Island, BC
    It would be great to fine tune light and temperature parameters in the controllable growing environment to the such level of details! As a note: diurnal light fluctuation (with its maximum at noon) is not the same as a diurnal temperature fluctuation (with its maximum at 3-5 pm and its minimum at ~ 5 am).
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  15. s1214215

    s1214215 Member

    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Some videos of the fridge since I put new fans in. Click the image to open.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,516
    Likes Received:
    3,316
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    That is great!
     
  17. pacome

    pacome Active Member

    Messages:
    296
    Likes Received:
    101
    Location:
    Belgium
    Wow these are very nice sized seedlings! quite exciting to know they managed to get good flasking of at least one Fernandezia species! when I saw the flasks one year ago (still in mother flasks) they were still very small, and noone could tell if they would manage to get decent plantlets. F. subbiflora has proved so far extremely slow and difficult.
    But maculata is a far easier species in greenhouse, and so it seems it's also easier in flasks!
    I'm quite excited as I have 3-4 pods growing on my maculata plants ;-)
     
  18. JohnsonS

    JohnsonS Active Member

    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    100
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Any updates on this, Brett?