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jbell1981

Growing an Indoor Tropical "Garden"

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I am trying something new and wondering if anyone has any input here even though this is a little different. I have a 300 gallon stock tank filled with dirt with a 4wx8lx4h wood enclosure on top of it just sitting around (it was originally used to house large reptiles). My goal is to create a tropical environment in there. This is in an area of the basement that gets little to no sunlight. Without sunlight can I grow stuff by hanging a florescent light fixture and putting some of those "Plant" bulbs in there? I am guessing it is a little more complicated than that and am hoping some of you who grow/start plants indoors may have some input. Also, FYI, there is a misting system in there for water and has a fan/vent system to keep the air from getting stagnant.

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I guess I don't know exactly what you mean by tropical garden but if you are thinking of using a misting system I'm envisioning a warm moist garden.

Where does the fan system vent the air to? Does it vent into the basement or outside of the house?

I could be wrong but I'm envisioning a lot of excess moisture being created by a inside garden like you are talking about. You may need to find a way to vent that outside of the house.

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I am not really concerned about the moisture. as the space is unfinished. It's just a couple of computer fans on each end. It was used previously with 100+/- air temps and 50-60% humidity without a problem. But if that does become a problem it would be easy to vent it outside.

By tropical garden I mean it will be planted with tropical plants, have ambient temps around 80 and a humidity of around 75%.

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You'll be fine with the grow lights, just make sure you getting the right size for the amount of area that needs to light up. The humidity should not be an issue.

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So what kind of "tropical" plants are you trying to grow?....lol. Is the wood enclosure just wood? Like no light or air getting through or is it framed with wood and some type of see through glass/plexi covered?

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It's framed with wood and has windows on 2 sides.

This is an old picture when I was originally building it.

a4910452-c64a-4510-acab-c56c195376a6.jpg

DSCN8009.jpg

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Oh yeah, that'll work real nice. You'll want to add some reflective grow film. Hydrobuilder dot com will have what you need.

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Reason why I asked and it looks like you got it covered....is to paint the inside white or line it with reflective material. Like Juice mentioned, make sure you provide enough light. There are charts out there with wattage and lumins and stuff for each different type of light like halide, sodium vapor, florescent ect. One thing that maybe an issue is that it will get too hot in there with the proper amount of light and might want to consider keeping some of the ballasts of whatever light source on the outside of the chamber. I don't think you would need any type of misting equipment. If anything would be worried about too much humidity and would look into upgrading to more or bigger fans.

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