Grow Chambers & Clean Rooms

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By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, October 13, 2001 - 04:51 am:

I am going to go ahead and make a case that the cheapest, simplest, way to get a good first flush from PF cakes is to buy a foot high clear plastic storage bin that will hold at least 6 jar lids. They are cheap on sale.

Buy a bag of Perlite. Soak it in tap water. Drain it. Layer 1 to 1-1/2 inches of the drained, wet, Perlite in the bottom Birth the cake... Dunk... then follow PF Tek Double End Casing.

Place the cased cake in the Perlite Humidified chamber. Mist only the walls of the container with a spray bottle full of Purified Water whenever condensation inside the walls dry out.

You can purchase bins on sale for under $4.00 that hold six cakes. A bag of perlite will layer 2-3 six cake containers for about $5.00. A gallon of purified water costs $1.00 and a plastic spray bottle another.

Total cost for fruiting a case of jars = >$20.00
Setup time = 30 minutes

Related Archive Links:
PF Tek - Dual Chambered Terrarium : Humidifier Tek : Cakes : Sanitizing : Pickle Jar Humidifier/Heater : Perlite

By Nan (Nanook) on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 06:30 am:



By Black Star (Mr_Bug) on Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 01:31 pm:

My terrarium of choice is the Richmans Terrarium .

It's very air tight and elegant. Looks great on a desk, and takes up very little room. Problem is, of course, that you have to pay for it. I contacted a company called Next Day Gourmet. They are a restaurant supply store that will ship to you. Unfortunately, I could not buy less that four at a time, but I got a great deal! I was able to buy four $90 terrariums for $150. I sold the extras to my friends. Call 411 if you're interested. I don't know what information is in Canada. I think they're a Baltimore company. You could dial either 1-410-555-1212 or 1-301-555-1212.

Good luck

By Hatcher Milburn (Hatcher) on Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 06:48 am:

Three letters..UTH. Under-tank-heaters. With a stable climate-controlled environment, like the closet in this apt., use a couple inches of perlite and however many layers of cardboard or whatever to hit the ideal temp., 75 degrees, right??? Unplug it to shock 'em a little..
I've never misted..and Nanook is right, analog hygrometers are totally unreliable..Oregon Scientific wireless is on my wish-list! biggest shroom to date is a 10 1/2" B+..:)

By theodore genisis (Ntheo) on Thursday, September 27, 2001 - 11:34 pm:


Instead of perlite, 4" sterile water with submersible aquarium heater in it is placed in aquarium. The lid is left slightly ajar for air circulation.

The mycelia are in a tray sitting on a brick, so they are just above the water.

By Regular Expression (Xeger) on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 06:03 am:

Well, the happy day is almost at hand: my monkey will soon birth his first batch of Cakes.

Rather than go with the tried-and-true PF Dual Chambered Terrarium,

he's decided to be bold and adventurous, and use an ultrasonic humidifer tek he read about elsewhere. The reasons for using a humidifer seem to make sense.

So far, I've purchased a big plastic storage tub, a humidifier, and a hefty length of clear vinyl tubing plus some fittings. I plan on running about 2 feet of tubing from the humidifier's output to the top of the storage tub, where the tube will connect to a plastic fitting designed to keep the seal airtight.

As soon as I can get hold of a Hygrometer I plan on adjusting the humidifier and the length of the tubing until I can get a sustained humidity level of 95% inside the tub. (The idea of using a long length of tubing, is that some of the water vapor condenses onto the tube, which keeps too much water from forming on the inner surface of the tub.) Air exchange will be manual at first, but I may later set up a system with a computer fan, a Kleenex filter and a timer. I'm casing the cakes individually for neatness' sake.

My specific stupid newbie questions are:

1) Is this humidifier tek a good idea for a newbie, or am I setting myself for heartbreak?

2) How Sterile does the Terrarium need to at first? I plan on swabbing it down with hydrogen peroxide, then rinsing it with Distilled Water. The humidifier will receive the same tratment.

3) How sterile does the terrarium need to stay, after the cakes are living there? Can I put a small amount of hydrogen peroxide into the humidifier's water supply, to help cut down on contamination? If so, how much is a "small amount?" I don't want to hurt the little guys.

4) In your past experience, how important is air exchange? I've heard replies from "virtually irrelevant" to "the total volume of air in the terrarium should be replaced every 3 hours."

TIA for your answers, all who deign to answer.

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 06:19 am:

I would not start out with a humidifier. You can fruit a case of jars for about $15.00 with a couple of 'maid storage bins, a bag of Perlite, and a hand sprayer misting once or twice a day. Well proven, minimum setup hassle... And while your cakes are on top O'Perl, you can be tinkering with humidifier tek. I always advise the cheap and easy solution, don't see any need to complicate things beyond reasonable.

I start out with trays very clean... Of course they get dusty and dirty outside, but I try to keep the insides clean and picked up. I rinse Perl with some H2O2 sol. between Flushes, replace it when the cakes go.

Air exchange is something to pay attention to. They love fresh air, and I don't consider 4-5 good fannings a day excessive, twice is enough, three times is better. This is especially important if the container with the cakes does not have a hole somewhere on the bottom to pass off C02 waste gas from the cakes. Cakes that can't breath cannot fight against contams.

By NapsterSux (Napstersux) on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 07:00 am:

A: A:pic1.jpgpic1.jpg

By NapsterSux (Napstersux) on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 07:14 am:

Perlite works just fine, do dbl ending tek and you will get better than the ones above, thoes arnt even the biggest just a few mushys to write nooks name, they were grown using perlite and they got to be a nice size, Ill post more pics later.

snoopdogs.jpg (21 k)

birdcactus.jpg (18 k)

Best WishZ

By jim brown (Shrhobbyist) on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 07:18 am:

Regular, deviation from the PF tek is the worst thing a newbie can do. Also, humidifiers can be a big hassel for a novice. You mention that you will have two feet of tubing between the humidifier and the terrarium for water to condense in. What is likely to happen, especially if the tube is thin, is that water will condense so much it will plug the tube. To avoid this, make sure the humidifier is above the terrarium and the tube run down. I am sure almost everyone will agree, if you are starting out, start simple. It is essential that you know firsthand how the mushroom works before you try new or complicated stuff. Besides, perlite and misting can be as good as any humidifier and practically hassel free. Good luck.

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, October 20, 2001 - 07:46 am:

Love the photo guys What can I say? Wow. Thanks!

Shroom Glossary

By Nan (Nanook) on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 06:44 am:




(click pic)

By onediadem (Onediadem) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 09:30 am:

I have seen alot of pics of people using those big tupperware containers to grow in, I mean, as the container for the substrate cased, instead of a container put into these. I am not planning on doing this, just curious as how well that works? Seems like an awful lot of lost jars if you got a contam on something this big. Does the mist running down the sides mess with the substate?
just curious, and Im not sure if this should go here or in general.

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 04:53 pm:

It works pretty well. As far as losses from contams... Not as bad as you would think. I make the substrate layers in these bins pretty thin with the idea that they are going to contam and I am going to pitch them... But we usually get 2 good flushes before they go to the composter.

The mist and condensation do run down the sides, but a layer of dry sterile casing placed along the walls soaks up the drippage and keeps the excess water from being a problem

Flat Beds : Wafer Tek

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 07:05 pm:

I love growing like that, and I do include a layer of verm in bottom.

Like Nan said, I count on two flushes and out.

You can do it wisth any substrate, but I have always used cased rye in my endeavors.

They are really cool in the summer, I keep it put in the middle of the office like a houseplant during the day(so it can get some indirect sunlight). and then back into the closet when people are home.

In the summer, room temp is all it needs to do nicely(here in Cali, anyway).

By MushroomStu (Mushroomstu) on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 03:59 am:

I'm just wondering (and thus far not gotten a specific answer) can a fully colonized cake become contammed ? The bottom line is how sanitary does a terrarium have to be? This is my first shot at this and I need all the info I can get. Thanks.

By relic (Relic) on Thursday, February 07, 2002 - 04:26 am:

it is possible, but unlikely. you can increase the risk by not airing them for 2 or more days, excess humidity(i.e. condensation on cakes), dirty hands, etc.. by in large they are pretty much impervious to contamination once colonized. keep the terrarium as clean as possible within reason. don't leave standing water in it for to long, rinse it out between grows or if it gets real bad. wash it if you get contamination.

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