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A few questions about using an air pump


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DrDankness

Hey guys. I have my jars colonizing right now and this is my first time doing a bulk style grow. Ive only fruited in bags before (once). I bought a kit that is a monotub style but uses an air pump for FAE. Theres also a hydroponic humidifier add on that i got with it as well. Sounded like it would work great but was told yesterday by someone to just abandon anything electrical. Like dont use the air pump or humidifier at all. Would it really not be good to use this setup? Instructions say to run it 4 times a day for an hour each time during the spawn run then once i "turn on the light" (i planned on having indirect light on throughout the whole grow, suggests leaving it in the dark for 10 days after mixing spawn and sub) then on for an hour then off an hour constantly from the start of fruiting. Seems the more info i receive the less confident i am that my plan for my setup will work. :( Anyone have experience using an air pump in this way? Also does the spawn/sub once mixed need to be in dark? I always see people covering it with foil and saying DO NOT FUCK WITH IT. Is the dark needed for this period? BTW the pic is my setup for reference, im still colonizing in jars at this point. 

IMG_0014.JPG

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DrDankness

Awesome. Thank you! This kit i bought says to use the air pump during spawn run and that seemed weird to me. About how many holes would you say i should drill and i should drill them all the way around and they should be about pencil size?  I bought micropore tape today to do this if i needed. The kit also said to case it at the beginning of the spawn run and not at the end of the 10 days. It says something like once myc is poking through the casing, thats when you initiate pinning which is also different from what i seem to be reading. It sucks to buy this kit and have my run all planned out and now im having to modify that plan a lot due to the companies incorrect guides. I was just wanting a setup that would create a consistent enviroment and make it as automated as i could get it.

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El_Piraña

Definitely don’t run the air pump during the spawn run!  If you want, you can try messing with it during fruiting, but it can take a bit of trial and error, lots of adjustments to get it dialed in. And truthfully, cubes just don’t require that much FAE...if you were growing certain exotics or edibles then setting up a grow tent or large tub as a fruiting chamber with an automated humidity and air flow control would make more sense.

My monotubs have two holes on each long side near the sub level, and one hole on the short sides near the top. There are other designs that work too. I cover the holes w/ duct tape during spawn run then replace the tape w/ polyfil for fruiting. During spawn run, I keep a small opening on the lower holes that I then cover with micropore tape for gas exchange.

Once you get all the way thru a grow, all these steps will sink in and each time you grow you’ll understand more, it gets quite a bit easier.  I’m not really familiar with instructions from grow kits, maybe there was some good info in there, but who really knows what their experience is.  Fortunately it’s easy enough to ask questions on a forum.

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DrDankness

Thats just what i needed to know. Theres SO much info floating around its hard to know whats true or not. Will micropore tape work to cover the holes in the tubs? Or is polyfill the only real option while fruiting? And what size are your holes? Ive failed colonizing bags 3 times in a row and id REALLY like to get through atleast one harvest. 

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DrDankness

Also i hear to run indirect light throughout the whole grow. But i see a lot of people cover their spawn run with foil and poke holes which means its in total darkness, so this confuses me some as well.

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El_Piraña

Yeah, there’s a lot of info out there. Some is old growing methods that keep getting repeated, and then there is just plain bad info. 
 

As for your particular grow, I can give you suggestions based on my experiences, but some of it will be tailored to your particular growing conditions.  It can depend on the temperatures in your room, the relative humidity, the amount of light, etc. As I grow, I watch what’s going on...is the tub getting too dry? Too much airflow? Not enough airflow? Etc. then on each subsequent grow I try to incorporate that knowledge into solving the problem. 
 

My tubs have large holes, maybe 1.5 inches diameter, I can’t remember for sure but I can check tomorrow. But like I said, you can also go with a bunch of small holes, like 1/4” dia.  The size and number of holes can be adjusted by the size of your tub.

During fruiting, I always use polyfil. I can stuff it tighter or looser to adjust airflow. I’ve seen people use micropore tape during fruiting, but I think it restricts air more and you can’t adjust it. To tell the truth, with cubensis you can get away with an unmodified tub (no holes) if you’re able to fan a few times a day. Cubensis are pretty forgiving.

Light is ok during the spawn run, but not necessary. It doesn’t hurt anything.  The only time I use a light is if I’m fruiting the tub inside a closet where there’s no light. I prefer fruiting out in the room rather than in a closet since the daylight from the window works just fine (don’t put in direct sun though!) The reason for the foil over the sub in the spawn run is not to block the light, if I remember correctly it’s to increase carbon dioxide, then removing the foil at fruiting is supposed to help induce pinning. I used to use foil on all my tubs. Last couple years I stopped using foil. I’m not sure how much a difference it makes, there are so many variables that affect the grow, I just can’t say from my own experience if it’s much of a difference.

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DrDankness

Thank you for all this info! I am able to fan my tubs as often as needed. Mine are in a closet and i cant put them anywhere else. If i ran an unmodified tub, would fanning 3x a day for 2 minutes each do it you think? Ill probably not run foil since im doing them in tubs and the top being on should be enough to hold in all the co2. During the spawn run, they dont need any kind of ventilation or airflow? I should block all holes with like duct tape until fruiting? Also should i run a dub tub setup or just keep the tops on the tubs instead? I could use the bottom tubs they are sitting in to cover the top after spawn run but wouldnt the double tub give it too much FAE due to the cracks between the tubs?

 

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El_Piraña

During spawn run, it needs minimal airflow, similar to the gas exchange required when growing out the grain spawn. In my case, I try to use the existing holes in my tubs.  Here are a couple examples of holes that are partially covered in micropore tape and partially covered in duct tape:

386E45B1-DA95-4B26-814F-8341B1B914BC.jpeg.5d2bebd61d322db6266bb97b613fcae1.jpeg

299D0CE4-BB64-4C78-AF2F-53F65B8A8E53.jpeg.ca0f0071477c682d570fea9647e50f94.jpeg

Tgis seems to work really well for me, although I don’t know if anyone else does it quite the same way.

 I discovered once, when growing several dubtubs at the sale time, stacking one on top of the other, that the weight on the lid of the lower tubs didn’t allow enough airflow and the growth stalled. Once I changed to this method, I didn’t have any more stalled tubs.  
 

Here are a couple dubtubs, no holes cut in the sides. In this case the lid fits loose enough that it shouldn’t stall. 
5F7B78C1-5DF0-409E-AB3B-E2884D3095B0.jpeg.f6ff0f9a047017cc5b9cc087624a9acc.jpeg

My preference is the first method because I know that the micropore tape is allowing some airflow without contaminants going through.

I checked, I use 1.5 in diameter holes in full-size monotubs. 0.5 in dia in shoebox size, then scale up or down from those based on exactly what you’re using.

 I would think misting & fanning 3 times a day is a good start.

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DrDankness

Ok cool. Im really leaning towards the unmodified tub since i can fan it as many times as i need throughout the day. You recommend i leave the top loose and not snapped all the way on for airflow? Wont that increase the chance for contams a lot? My tubs are 15 x 12 x 10.5 so it sounds like if i did drill holes they would need to be about 1 inch? Sorry if im asking basic questions but i dont have much longer till my jars are 100% done and im trying to hurry to get a plan together.

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DrDankness

II was going to do the dub tubs but it seems my tubs are tall enough to fruit in. They are 11 inches tall and i only need 3 inches of sub/spawn from what i understand. Also one more question, do i case right after mixing in the spawn or after the recolonization right before i fruit? And should i case with the coco mix im using or use straight verm?

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Mush Zombie

good advice here. if no one said it thank you for helping!

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El_Piraña
7 hours ago, DrDankness said:

Ok cool. Im really leaning towards the unmodified tub since i can fan it as many times as i need throughout the day. You recommend i leave the top loose and not snapped all the way on for airflow? Wont that increase the chance for contams a lot? My tubs are 15 x 12 x 10.5 so it sounds like if i did drill holes they would need to be about 1 inch? Sorry if im asking basic questions but i dont have much longer till my jars are 100% done and im trying to hurry to get a plan together.

Well, my lids are snapped down...but they are not air-tight.  Some tubs actually have foam gaskets built into the lids, and with those tubs there will not be any airflow at all.  Or on a normal tub (like I showed above) you can press down on the lid to make it seal better.  I guess it just depends how tight the lids are on your tubs.

If you really don't want to worry about contamination or the right amount of airflow, then drill holes and cover in micropore tape like I showed you.  If you do this, it will surely get some airflow through the tape, which is enough.  Then once the spawn run is finished, if you want to use an unmodified tub, you can just cover the holes completely w/ duct tape.  Problem solved!

6 hours ago, DrDankness said:

II was going to do the dub tubs but it seems my tubs are tall enough to fruit in. They are 11 inches tall and i only need 3 inches of sub/spawn from what i understand. Also one more question, do i case right after mixing in the spawn or after the recolonization right before i fruit? And should i case with the coco mix im using or use straight verm?

Those tubs are probably a good size.  It's not too big a deal if mushrooms hit the lid, they'll just bend over.  Won't look as pretty lol.  But I've done this in dub tubs before.

 

ok, here's the procedure:

1) inoculate grain jars.  After completely colonized:

2) Mix colonized grain spawn into substrate of your choice.  If you want to add foil over it, this is the time to do it, but not necessary.

3)  Spawn run:  Allow the mixed grain spawn and substrate colonize for a minimum of 10 days.  Ok to go over a little, but generally a bad idea to go less in case it's not fully colonized.

4)  After the substrate has completely colonized (step 3 above) then add a casing layer.  If you have a modified tub, this is the time to place polyfil into the holes in the sides of the tub.  Put the tub directly into fruiting conditions now...so you can start the mist/fan cycle.

 

Now, a good casing mix is 50/50+, which is equal parts peat and vermiculite, add some crushed oyster shells.  Also, I add pickling lime to the casing.  I think there's a tek that tells how to do this.  Some people use Jiffy mix, I think it's the seed starter mix, but I haven't used it yet so...just double check the ingredients on the bag.

you can use use vermiculite only for a casing, but I don't think it's as good a casing.  I used some recently, after years of growing I tried this for the first time on some recent tubs...I didn't like it.  Seems like it is not fluffy enough,  and it's a mess, especially when harvesting.  I'm not sure how much it helped my pinset vs no casing.

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Mush Zombie

50/50+ is the key in all cases where rh is less than 95% (measured with an accurate device).

vermiculite alone requires more downward air-force. More than the regular arm can practically provide. It can be done but with much effort, or an electric fan and close attention to moisture content.

More attention than is needed.

work smarter, not harder.

If you’re from the mountains, or other rocky zones, fine shale (etc) can work in place of crushed oyster shells.
 

Tek incoming on alternative materials to oyster shells. There are many that can be found naturally.

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DrDankness

Well i bought three 5 pound bags of casing mix from a company as i wanted to learn to grow first then nail down how to do everything myself. It is coir and verm mixed. 2 of them are like 2 months old, but have been kept in the fridge in a vacuum sealed bag so im thinking the moisture would still be fine. Or should i get fresh ones? Will i case as soon as i mix or add the casing layer after the spawn run? These tubs dont have gasket on the tops so there will be some gaps i would assume. I bought some micropore tape the other day that ill use. I just dont want to risk contams anymore than i absolutely need to. Thank you guys so much for all the help!

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Mush Zombie

Coir verm is substrate. Your mycelium will simply colonize it and take a long time to pin, unless you mist and fan the absolute shit out of it until you see pins. 6x a day at a minimum until you see pins.

musbroom supply companies are absolute garbage. I swear they just are dirt dealers from mushroom caveman times that don’t know how to get a decent pinset with the shit they sell.

You can do it with what you have, but don’t be lazy.

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DrDankness

Ok thanks! I was just looking to learn the basics then learn the DIY part later.  I guess fingers crossed it works out...

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Mush Zombie
1 hour ago, DrDankness said:

Well i bought three 5 pound bags of casing mix from a company as i wanted to learn to grow first then nail down how to do everything myself. It is coir and verm mixed. 2 of them are like 2 months old, but have been kept in the fridge in a vacuum sealed bag so im thinking the moisture would still be fine. Or should i get fresh ones? Will i case as soon as i mix or add the casing layer after the spawn run? These tubs dont have gasket on the tops so there will be some gaps i would assume. I bought some micropore tape the other day that ill use. I just dont want to risk contams anymore than i absolutely need to. Thank you guys so much for all the help!

Dunk the 2 month old cultures like brf tek

the tubs with no gaskets will require misting and fanning. Tubs with gaskets will sometimes require misting and fanning due to environment or elevation.

I almost always mist and fan personally. More air makes for smaller mushrooms. I grow for personal use these days, and smaller mushrooms are the best to me. If that is not your goal then let them be. You will have bigger mushrooms but fewer numbers.

psilocybin production between flushes is an interesting subject. 

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DrDankness

Well i was saying i just have bags of coir/verm substrate that is like 2 months old, not cultures. As long as they drip a tad when i squeeze a handful, that should be correct moisture right? Also it sounds like from your post above that my substrate should be different than the casing layer? I was under the impression you just cased with the substrate youre using. And im still curious if i case at time of mixing or after it recolonizes. I hear the flushes tend to get smaller each time but Im interested in psilocybin levels per flush as well.

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DrDankness

I assume with my setup my humidity will be like 90-95% since ill be misting often, so should i even run casing? I saw in one of your responses on another post casing is only needed if you have low humidity.

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Moonphase

Reading all this brought back a lot of memories on just how confusing all the different "attempts" made the learning process.    Practice practice practice.   Glad I started with BRF jars.    KISS   :hippie:

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Moonphase
19 hours ago, DrDankness said:

I assume with my setup my humidity will be like 90-95% since ill be misting often, so should i even run casing? I saw in one of your responses on another post casing is only needed if you have low humidity.

Get an analog hygrometer for a cigar box $8.99 on Amazon.   If relative humidity in the fruiting chamber is below 80% you should case your substrate after the spawn run.   You will find that your local environmental conditions will have an impact on what you can maintain and how.   Dry climate or A/C with humidity control will make it difficult compared to one with more relative humidity.   FAE is needed but the fanning 3 times a day is sufficient to not have holes in your fruiting chamber.   Holes are counter productive to maintaining Rh in the fruiting chamber unless the room Rh is 80%.   Also, once cased to not over mist.   Barely keep the top, not dry, and the underneath moist to promote primordial growth.   The cake underneath losing water, evaporation, is what creates and stimulates pinning.   Keeping it simple stupid KISS is something I try to remember and leave them alone so they can do their thing.   Patience is a virtue.  I have no more words of wisdom.   I grow great fungus especially the green stuff.   :hippie: 

Just now, Moonphase said:

Get an analog hygrometer for a cigar box $8.99 on Amazon.   If relative humidity in the fruiting chamber is below 80% you should case your substrate after the spawn run.   You will find that your local environmental conditions will have an impact on what you can maintain and how.   Dry climate or A/C with humidity control will make it difficult compared to one with more relative humidity.   FAE is needed but the fanning 3 times a day is sufficient to not have holes in your fruiting chamber.   Holes are counter productive to maintaining Rh in the fruiting chamber unless the room Rh is 80%.   Also, once cased to not over mist.   Barely keep the top, not dry, and the underneath moist to promote primordial growth.   The cake underneath losing water, evaporation, is what creates and stimulates pinning.   Keeping it simple stupid KISS is something I try to remember and leave them alone so they can do their thing.   Patience is a virtue.  I have no more words of wisdom.   I grow great fungus especially the green stuff.   :hippie: 

 

Screen Shot 2021-02-05 at 11.07.30 AM.png

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Mush Zombie
48 minutes ago, Moonphase said:

Get an analog hygrometer for a cigar box $8.99 on Amazon.   If relative humidity in the fruiting chamber is below 80% you should case your substrate after the spawn run.   You will find that your local environmental conditions will have an impact on what you can maintain and how.   Dry climate or A/C with humidity control will make it difficult compared to one with more relative humidity.   FAE is needed but the fanning 3 times a day is sufficient to not have holes in your fruiting chamber.   Holes are counter productive to maintaining Rh in the fruiting chamber unless the room Rh is 80%.   Also, once cased to not over mist.   Barely keep the top, not dry, and the underneath moist to promote primordial growth.   The cake underneath losing water, evaporation, is what creates and stimulates pinning.   Keeping it simple stupid KISS is something I try to remember and leave them alone so they can do their thing.   Patience is a virtue.  I have no more words of wisdom.   I grow great fungus especially the green stuff.   :hippie: 

 

Screen Shot 2021-02-05 at 11.07.30 AM.png

The advice about the analog hygrometer is the best advice anyone could give about proper RH readings. 95% is actually relatively hard to achieve.

As long as the humidity is not less than 90% you can use no casing. You dont want to use a casing if RH is 90% or higher, in fact. Cobweb mold is a very real threat to your culture with that high of RH. Would be difficult to prevent, and if you even make it to pinset, the pinset would likely be lacking without precise technique to create even evaporation from the casing.

21 hours ago, DrDankness said:

Well i was saying i just have bags of coir/verm substrate that is like 2 months old, not cultures. As long as they drip a tad when i squeeze a handful, that should be correct moisture right? Also it sounds like from your post above that my substrate should be different than the casing layer? I was under the impression you just cased with the substrate youre using. And im still curious if i case at time of mixing or after it recolonizes. I hear the flushes tend to get smaller each time but Im interested in psilocybin levels per flush as well.

If its just substrate and the moisture content is still good then use it. I apologize. I misunderstood and thought you meant it was colonized already.

When you are going to spawn to the substrate, just grab a handful and squeeze hard to test moisture content. Should be a wet spot on your hand from it at a minimum. Post some pics of your hand after you squeeze it. we will help you.

If moisture content is not correct, you will have to add more water and re-pasteurize or sterilize it somehow. If you don't have a PC we can figure something out.

 

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El_Piraña
37 minutes ago, Mush Zombie said:

The advice about the analog hygrometer is the best advice anyone could give about proper RH readings. 95% is actually relatively hard to achieve.

As long as the humidity is not less than 90% you can use no casing. You dont want to use a casing if RH is 90% or higher, in fact. 

 

I’m curious about keeping relative humidity up around 95%. At that point the air is nearly completely near saturation. If I understand correctly, warmer air can hold more water vapor than cooler air, so if it was really this high of RH, then if the temperature drops even a little, will you get too much condensation and pools of water forming on the top of the substrate? I guess I don’t generally see people talking about maintaining a very stable temperature when growing at such high relative humidity. 
 

my tubs generally get a casing, so I don’t need as high RH. I guess the moisture in the casing allows a very high humidity level right at the top of the substrate where it meets the casing and allows some evaporation to occur during fanning and maybe to a lesser extent slow evaporation while it waits for the next fanning.

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Mush Zombie
22 minutes ago, El_Piraña said:

I’m curious about keeping relative humidity up around 95%. At that point the air is nearly completely near saturation. If I understand correctly, warmer air can hold more water vapor than cooler air, so if it was really this high of RH, then if the temperature drops even a little, will you get too much condensation and pools of water forming on the top of the substrate? I guess I don’t generally see people talking about maintaining a very stable temperature when growing at such high relative humidity. 
 

my tubs generally get a casing, so I don’t need as high RH. I guess the moisture in the casing allows a very high humidity level right at the top of the substrate where it meets the casing and allows some evaporation to occur during fanning and maybe to a lesser extent slow evaporation while it waits for the next fanning.

Good question. I love RH drill downs.

Yes, you are correct about warmer air being able to hold more moisture, relative to the size of its container. The molecules expand as they get warmer, and therefore hold more water. Because RH is relative to the space of the container and the temperature, this is also why it is harder to maintain a high RH at warmer temperatures. There will only be so much moisture available in that space to fill the molecules.

When the air cools, it is easier to fill with moisture, and therefore easier to maintain a high RH.

Condensation, however, is a phenomenon related to dew point. Condensation usually occurs when the sides of your container are colder than the air inside of the container. Like a cold beer on a warm day, the moisture in the air will condense on the cooler surface, if it is below the dew point.

When condensation is occurring this will reduce the RH of the container, since moisture is condensing from the air on the walls of the container.

I have always used condensation as an indication that the air inside of a container is too warm. The goal should be no condensation. Mycelium produces its own heat and c02. Being too hot in the container can cause several different issues, from not-so-potent mushrooms to cobweb mold, and as you said, uneven pinsets.

I prefer low RH tubs with a good casing that holds a good amount of moisture. 50/50+ comes to mind. I do not mist the tubs until the casing is almost dry. That is how you know you're getting good evaporation, which is what causes the mycelium to pin in the first place. Leaving a casing too wet too long causes many other issues.

So with a casing: low RH 70%-85% (never above 85%), good air flow to allow casing to dry out mostly before misting again. Doing it this way you don't really have to fan unless airflow has decreased and the casing isn't drying out fast enough. With experience this formula will make a lot of sense and your eyes will be able to judge on their own if conditions are correct. You will also be able to experiment with speeding drying of the casing, and slowing it down so you don't have to mist often. Finding the middle ground between misting and not misting is what I try to achieve these days. I don't fan much, if at all.

Drying out the casing too quickly once pins have formed will cause very small mushrooms, so tighten up airflow once you see pins to get some (relatively) larger mushrooms with a big pinset.

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