Finally there is a new large terrarium standing in the orchid room. Empty as of yet, but full of promise. This is truly a Valentine’s Day gift right up my alley, much better than roses!

I will convert this terrarium into a cool vivarium and create my own little orchid cloud forest in there. Well, perhaps “little” is an inappropriate description since it measures 175 cm wide, 160 cm high and 65 cm deep. A significant space in other words, and I plan to fill it with (mostly) Pleurothallids! I found it used online after many months of searching. There are usually many terrariums for sale, but it has been hard to find one this large.

So, yesterday dear husband and I drove a couple of hours south with a large trailer in tow to pick it up.  The terrarium is a few years old, but is in very nice shape. The guy I bought this from has had large boas in it, and he obviously he took good care of it. While cleaning it up I found a sticker on the aluminium frame with the name of the glass company who made it, so it is a professional build.

The build is a light weight aluminium frame with 4 mm glass both on the sides and for the sliding doors on the front. A really smart solution for this build is the double walled polycarbonate used for the back wall. It is the same plastic often used for greenhouses instead of glass. It makes the terrarium much lighter and less fragile. I will still have to get a new cover for it since the guy had a wooden ceiling before. I had checked the price of building a brand new one, but it’s really, really expensive. To find one this nice used is a great deal. Especially since it will cost a lot more to actually outfit.

I am now researching the equipment for it… rain systems, foggers, a fan system to draw cool air in from the outside, hygro/temp thermostat, good light fixture for the Dulux 80W CFL’s I want… This is going to be a long, but really fun project.

Cool vivarium - day 1
Cool vivarium - day 1