Co2 Baths

When shooting carnivorous plants I started running into bug problems again. Unfortunately the carnivorous plants are very easy to kill. Tap water kills them. Fertilizer kills them. Everything freaking kills them.  One day I was looking for solutions when somebody on a terrarium board had a genius idea. He had a problem with centipedes in his terrarium, so he gave the terrarium a dry ice bath.

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The concept is simple. Put the plants in a big tub, throw in some bowls of Dry Ice and water. The dry ice will evaporate and fill the tub with Co2. Since the Co2 weighs more than oxygen, it pushes the oxygen out of the tub and causes the bugs to asphyxiate and die.

Absolutely brilliant!

However in my case, it seems to be sort of a temp solution, as i was battling white-flies and I think the eggs are somewhat  resistant to this problem, so they DO come back, but it does a darn good job of keeping the infestation to a minimum, and if you do this each time between filming sessions it does a good job keeping them at Bay.

The steps are simple.

Put the plants in the  container, as well as anything else you plan to have on the set.

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Next, get some Dry Ice, this can normally be purchased at your local grocery store such as Krogers, Safeway, or King Soopers.  I found it is a good idea to put it in some sort of a bin to keep it from sticking to the tank or bin.  There does seem a legitimate risk that if you drop it right in the tupperware bin that it may freeze/crack the tupperware and end up dumping water all over your kitchen

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Put the Dry Ice in with the plants, then start filling the tank/bin with some water. Remember, if using Carniverous plants you MUST use distilled water, NO TAP WATER! it will  KILL your plants.

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You should also try to fit anything else you plan to have in the set or that may have become infested in with the plants. DSCF8629

Seen here the dry ice fills the tank with haze. This will eventually dissipate but the tank will be full of C02, no oxygen. If you are really curious to see if it is working you can light a match and lower it into the bin, it should immediately extinguish as soon as it enters the tank. DSCF8628DSCF7592

I will also put some covers over the bins/tanks to prevent any air currents in the room/house from blowing the Co2 out of the tnak.

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I then set a timer for about an hour and let them sit like this. The plants seem to fare the experience very well. Once this is done any live bugs will be dead. It may not get rid of any eggs, so it should not be viewed as a permanent fix, but it will keep the bugs to a minimum and prevent them from getting out of control.

Depending on how you built the set, you may even be able to put it directly in the set. Seen here on the carniverous set, i have small tubs that i can place the plants in. BE CAREFUL though, i did crack 2 of the tubs being a bonehead and throwing the dry ice directly in there.

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