Orchid cool vivarium - drip system modificationOrchid cool vivarium - drip system modificationI have got to admit… growing orchids is easy compared to growing moss! Well, my moss is doing just fine actually, but not without effort. All the time on the brink of drying out, and dry moss equals dead moss, so it has been a bit of a challenge. Providing enough water for the moss on the EpiWeb walls without over watering the orchids mounted on the very same walls is not easy. I believe that once the moss is established the problem will more or less solve itself, but until then I have to figure out how to make everyone happy.

Originally I wanted to water the whole vivarium using only the rain system, and although it works beautifully for the orchids, it is not keeping the walls hydrated enough. Unfortunately the drip watering system I installed to resolve this issue is not quite cutting it… The concept is simple, a PVC pipe with tiny holes drilled into it and water is supposed to drip out of the holes to water the wall. My pump is supposed handle vivariums up to 2 meters, mine is just under 2 meters tall including the stand, and even though the water makes it all the way up to the top it does not seem to have enough pressure to make it over to the far end of the approximately 2,5 meter run very effectively.

The right wall is getting a lot of water and the back wall is working ok too, but the left side is always drying out. I know water makes it over that far, but I guess there is not enough pressure left to push it out the holes. I have tried drilling the holes larger, without results, so now I wanted to give gravity a go. I decided to cut down the EpiWeb wall panels at an angle at the top, from about the middle of the back wall down towards the left side. To do this I had to pull the vivarium out from the wall and undo the carriage bolts holding the EpiWeb panels up then carefully cut them with a hacksaw blade. I made the left side about 2 cm lower than the right side in total. The water is definitely flowing a little bit better now so I think I am on to something, but hardly good enough to be worth all that effort. Damn. I will try to make the holes on the left wall slightly larger to see if that helps. I humbly welcome more ideas on this…

Still a lot of dialing in…  this is a big build… but that is all part of the game – and the fun. At least all the orchids in there are thriving and that is definitely reward enough!