Slippers for a paludarium - total beginner!

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Hi guys, I'm a total beginner - I don't even own a slipper orchid yet.

I'd like to try growing one in one of my paludariums so I'm doing as much research as I can to see if there's one that might enjoy this environment. Please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or point me in another direction & many thanks in advance for any guidance!

From what I've read I think a phragmipedium might be the most appropriate slipper as they are happy in moist environments.

I've done a bit of reading re the sizes of the various phrag species & have come up with the following:

Pearcei - inflorescence approx 14cm
Andreetae - inflorescence approx 13-16 cm
Schlimii - inflorescence approx 30cm
Besseeae - inflorescence approx 40 cm
Fischeri - inflorescence size - can anyone help me with this?
Caricinum - Inflorescence approx 30 to 60 cm
Are there any other small ones I've missed? Smaller is better because of the size of the tank.

My paludarium sits at approx 70% humidity & temp approx 20 Celsius during the day. I haven't worked out how much it drops at night (I'm asleep :( )

Water pH is 7-8 so I'm guessing a hybrid with Fischeri influence might be most happy? Having said that I can add some peat to reduce it if needed (I can't fit in any more drift wood so that's not an option) or if this would be harmful to the plant, I could change the gravel which is what currently brings the pH up. I also have the challenge of water that comes out of the tap with pH 8.2 so I'll have to think about this.

Current light levels are low but I'm planning an upgrade soon because of the addition of orchids & will make my choice according to the orchids needs. I currently have a sarcochilis & Haraella retrocalla mounted in there & am planning to add a phal parishii. These will be approx 20cm below the light source & the Phrag another 20cm below that (40cm below the light source)

I have a couple of questions - you would very much help me in my learning if you are able to answer:
Do all phrags need a temp drop at night or will they manage without?
Do phrags need a 'rest' / temp change at any particular time of year? If so are there any that are happy without seasonal change?
I've read not to let water accumulate in the crown with phrags? How is this avoided in the wild? From what I've seen in the 'available via google' photos they do not, like phals grow with leaves hanging down. Is it just that they grow in areas where there's enough wind to dry the leaves?

Thanks for the help!:)
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Pearcei - inflorescence approx 14cm - gets big clumps, try ecuadorense
Schlimii - inflorescence approx 30cm - gets big!
Besseeae - inflorescence approx 40 cm - gets big and is generally stolonous.
Fischeri - inflorescence size -
Even miniature paphs (chinese/vietnamese species) will work. If you mount it in a piece of cork it should do well.
I think caricinum is a small plant.

I can only speak from my experience: Phrags, like most orchids, do best when the nights are cooler than the days by at least 14ºF. They might do OK growing, but I doubt they will bloom.

I also think you are making a mistake by choosing species Phrags as your first one. They are typically a bit trickier than hybrids.

I don't know of any orchid that like to have water sitting on any part of them for a lengthy period of time. The best plant for that is a bromeliad.

And Welcome to Slippertalk!
Thanks for your feedback NYEric, Dot and Slipperfan!

NYEric thanks for the details on growth habits for these species & the suggestion of Pearcei ecuadorense & Andreetae - the latter being a species I hadn't heard of & will look into more.

Eggshells thanks for the idea of miniature paphs (chinese/vietnamese species). I had assumed it might be too wet for Paphs but as I said I'm a beginner & learning! I can mount the plant I choose - can they be mounted on types of wood other than cork? I currently have malee root & grape vine in the tank.

Dot many thanks for the welcome and the suggestion of caricinum. Another for me to learn about.

I'm sure the tank does cool down at night as the temperature of the room it's in definitely drops and I run a fan in the tank in the evening. I'm always in bed before this happens so I'm just not sure exactly my how much.

Thanks for the tip re species plants - I was planning to go for a hybrid as I had heard the same but as hybrids can have names totally unrelated to the species plants they are bread from & it is therefore difficult to work out what conditions they will like / how big the will grow, I'm trying to learn about the species plants first so I can look for hybrids bred from plants that like appropriate conditions & very importantly won't get too big.

With regards to plants having water sitting on them, what I was trying to work out is that in the wild plants are watered by rain which falls from above. I use a sprinkler system in my tank which does the same. When plants are grown in pots, water can sit between their leaves (not to the degree that it occurs with broms which have a reservoir there as you pointed out). Phals - one of the orchids that don't like this happening naturally grow epiphytically with their leaves hanging down so water runs over them but can't collect between them. From the pictures I've seen, Phrags grow with their leaves pointing upwards. I'd love to know how careful one needs to be about watering phrags from above (like rain does)? Do the leaves grow in such a way that water can't collect between them?

Thanks again - I'm enjoying this learning process! :)
It's all about the air movement. Rain does drop on everything but in most places there is at least a large volume of slowly moving air (or not so slow) which removes stagnant standing water. Also I'm assuming that in nature to some extent there see other microbes that may inhabit leaf surfaces if damp enough that may shield the plant
FYI, I built an enclosed grow area for Pleurothalids and stewed a valuable number of them. The only chance paphs and phrags would have is with a very strong air flow system.

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