Perlite Question

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Perlite FAQ  -    

By Bobby (Bobby) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 04:28 pm:

So let me get this straight: you put a layer of Perlite on the bottom of an aquarium pour Water to make it damp. Put your Cakes on top of the perlite, then seal it and the only thing you have to do is fan the CO2 everyday? That seems too easy. Why doesn't everyone do this. Why is there a big discussion on Humidifers, Fish Tank Bubblers, Spraying the aquarium. If its that easy why doesn't everybody use this method? Whats the catch?

By Lichen (Lichen) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 04:43 pm:

There isn't a catch...but don't put the cakes directly on the perlite; put them on their lids. Double-end Case as per PF Tek, meaning fill the jar lids with moistened Vermiculite, and put a bit of moist verm on top of the cakes, too. I use perlite, it works just fine :0)

By Bobby (Bobby) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 04:53 pm:

When you say double-end casing You mean the PFTEk, wright? Wet verm. then dry verm in jar. That is double end casing? What are the cons of the perlite method. It just seems to easy!!!!!!!!

By Kooka C. Burra (Kookaburra) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 05:04 pm:

Well, you've got a bunch of wet perlite sitting there...bacteria will grow in it, and it will start to smell. You're gonna have to replace the perlite periodically (though I read someone used the same perlite, with some H2O2 mixed in, for 4 months without contamination problems).

No automatic gas exchange, and potentially more mess (or at least not as tidy looking) than a humidifier or hand misting...those are the only drawbacks I can think of.

By Lichen (Lichen) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 05:05 pm:

take the cake out of the jar, hold in your hand.Scoop the lid full of verm. Put cake on top of verm-filled lid. Add a few teaspoons of verm on top of cake. Moisten. I use a syringe to moisten the verm, it actually takes 30-50 cc's. This is the double-end casing. Your cake is in the open, in the fruiting chamber, not in the jar. It's sitting on moist vermiculite.
The perlite humidifier is very very easy, man. I have been using this method for more than two years, and it works great. Trust me, you don't need an expensive humidifier. I have 1 1/2 inches of perlite in the bottom of a 10-gallon acquarium, and I haven't changed or treated the perlite for at least three flushes, a couple months.

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 05:13 pm:

Bobby it really is easy. Double-end casing in a growing chamber is simply filling a jar lid with verm, soaking it with water, placing a cake on top of it, then sprinkling a few tablespoons of verm on top of the cake and soaking the top verm down: doubled-end cased.

As for it does not contam that readily. It really is not that much of a problem if you keep it clean... Perlite is puffed rock, contams do no grow on rock unless they have food. Verm is puffed rock also, same story. If you don't let spores drop in the grow chamber, don't let dirt, aborts, etc. fall to into the Perlite you will have minimum problems: in between flushes (when you clean off your cakes) rinse the Perlite in Iodine Solution and dump it back in. In most cases this is all you need. Replace the perlite when you replace your cakes.

By Black Star (Mr_Bug) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 05:59 pm:

Should you mix some H202 with the water that soaks the perlite? I've never tried it either. I suppose if you use distilled water to soak the perlite you would rarely have to worry about unwanted biology.

When I double-end case, I always cut a sliver off the top and bottom of the cake before casing. Then I spread some damp verm on top of the cake. Is all this unnecessary?

By Bobby (Bobby) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 06:37 pm:

Thanks guys. I will try it. I just can not believ people would try anything else(except for the mess) once again thaks alot. Happy shrooming. I will put some pics on the board as soon as the are ready.

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 06:50 pm:

Cleaning perlite may be a bit messy...but that is really the only drawback that I see with it.

Nanook is right... it rarely contams.

I get cakes and casings to fruit just fine with perlite.

To Black star, yes you can put a little peroxide in the water with the perlit itself... but if you do , just be sure that the cakes do not touch the perlite at all.

By whoever (Livedangerous) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 01:02 am:

do you just mix up pelite and water? add peroxide was it, to keep down contamination? how much water? how much peroxide? any sterilization of the mixture necessary? add how much water how often?

By Nanook of the North (Nanook) on Tuesday, October 02, 2001 - 12:45 pm:

Soak the perlite down until it floats, swirl, drain, dump into the grow chamber. Add 1/2 cup peroxide or Iodine Solution. No further attention is needed until the flush is done.

Once the flush is over, pour in some iodine solution, mix, pour off the excess, and you are ready for the next flush and so on. That's about the extent of it.

Shroom Glossary

By Kevin Smith (Canshroom) on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 09:48 pm:

Does it really matter what type of water you use with the perlite? I'm prepared to use spring water if need be, but if tap water is good enough, I'll just use that. Isn't it all the same when it's evaporated in the air?

By quote: (Quote) on Sunday, December 09, 2001 - 10:30 pm:

you are absolutely correct,
just use tap.
you might add a couple splashes of peroxide as well, to keep things nice and clean.

By Brad Overton (Euphorius) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 08:22 am:

I was reading over a posting on PF's site and saw some very nice fruiting pics with classic cakes (well, actually reservoir cakes) seated on damp verm. And it said, and I quote, "Vermiculite might be better than perlite-period. One can conceivably become 'perlite free'..."
It may have already been covered within this forum(if so, tell me where), if not, what are the disadvantages if any to this?

By quote: (Quote) on Wednesday, December 12, 2001 - 02:02 pm:

the only disadvantage i know of off-hand is that verm. contams easier than perlite.

By Mr. B (Argonaut) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 02:11 pm:

As most of us already know, a good, accurate Rh meter will cost you a good chunk of change. I have one of these "Cigar Perfect" things that I have calibrated no less than 10 times and I still don't trust it. The method I used was a tsp of salt in a plastic bottle cap with 3 or 4 drops of water in it, seal that and the meter in a tupperware for a few hours and set the meter at 75%. Sounds good in theory.
My grow chamber isn't that tightly sealed so I don't maintain Rh levels for long. I was able to maintain "82%" but I got tiny droplets on the mycellium so I knew that that would not be the case at that level since the sides of the chamber were barely moist. The top of my casings look VERY dry and I was wondering if I'm too late to address this situation. They are getting plenty of moisture from below since they rest upon a layer of perlite and H2O/H2O2. I hope I'm not too late!

BTW I'm using an ultrasonic

By quote: (Quote) on Thursday, January 17, 2002 - 04:02 pm:

not exactly sure what your question is...
if it's the dry looking surface of your casing, then you should wet it down some, dribble some water out of a syringe onto it everywhere until it looks damp.
as for your chamber's humidity, any droplets show you have 100% humidity, so i wouldn't worry too much, maybe try to seal it better.

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 01:44 am:

you prolly wouldn't want direct contact between the casing and the perlite... or the H2O2 for that matter

By Mr. B (Argonaut) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 01:51 pm:


except for the H2O2, of which I have used very little, maybe a capfull or two for each casing, this is the PF casing tek to lay the cakes on a bed of perlite. And up to 4 days ago, they were growing nicely, now growth has stalled and they are still not pinning.

BTW, perlite and Peat/verm were nuked for 15 min and allowed to cool to room temp before using.

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 02:16 pm:

i don't remember anything in or around pf's site talking about putting the cake or casing directly on perlite... he reccommends, actually, placing them on a lid on the perlite to avoid direct contact.... peroxide slows growth considerably... stalling may be a sign that they are getting ready to pin, though... mine usually seem to take a break just before the fun begins... good luck man

By quote: (Quote) on Friday, January 18, 2002 - 03:22 pm:

pf's casing uses vermiculite, not perlite.

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 09:32 pm:

I just read over the Perlite FAQ, and I've got a couple questions.

1. Has anyone successfully used Perlite in a terrarium with holes for CO2 escapage?

2. Have there been any generally agreed upon "additions" to the Perlite tek since the FAQ?

By saluras (Saluras) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 09:36 pm:

never used escape holes, just fanning 2 times a day. no complaints. i'm sure the tek says to add H2O2 to the perlite, i add a little bit.

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 11:17 pm:

you don't want the holes because the perlite kinda depends on a tight seal to create humidity

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Monday, January 21, 2002 - 11:32 pm:


you can still have small holes AND humidity.
For example a heat pad under soaked perlite will create MORE than enough humidity..

My friends glass terrarium seals with plexi and duct tape, duct tape has not worked properly ( got wet several times ) and leaves a half inch gap
at top of tank... Still LOADS of humidity, though, a lot of that is probably also under the drip shield...

Fanning two times a day... YUCK!! WAY to much trouble. Don't even look inside that terrarium more than once every two days... And about every three, hit it with a hair dryer on a cool setting... Fruiting still comes along just fine...

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:05 am:

Dr. Cube-

Tell me more about the duct tape getting wet. Will duct tape get wet and fall apart if it is in a humidified terrarium?

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 12:26 am:

it won't fall apart...

But it will cease to stick.

As in, place tape in a humidified terarium and within a month or so the sticky side will be a lil waxy and loose it's stickiness, in my friends experience anyway. He has two pieces holding plastic bars ( which prop up drip shield ) in his terrarium that he replaces once a month. Any longer than that and continued lifting of the drip shield eventually pulls the tape from the glass and needs to be replaced anyway. Otherwise, drip shield falls on caks and shrooms...

But be advised that this terrarium of my friends
that I speak of is INCREDIBLY tropical inside...
even with the gap up top. He leaves the gap because the fish tank air thingie blows in clean air, so it's not like contam air is flowing in...
Always flushing the tank out little at a time...

By Kman (Kman) on Tuesday, January 22, 2002 - 01:16 am:

DR. cubensis, I like that idea about hitting the perlite with a hair drier for a little extra humidity. I'm gonna go try that. I guess one could even hook it up on a timer if humidity was a problem. I think a lizard pad might be better though.

More Temp & RH Discussion

By Mr. Tambourine Man (Tambourine_Man) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 07:10 pm:

How can you tell if there's enough humidity inside your perlite-humidified terrarium? I know condensed water on the sides will tell you, but what if the temperature outside of the terrarium is about the same as the inside. No condensation then right? I hear nothing but bad things about humidity meters? Do they work?

By Kman (Kman) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 07:27 pm:

well I have a terrarium lined with perlite and a cool-mist pumping in 24hrs/day. There is very little condensation inside the terrarium, but it still fruits well.

By Nan (Nanook) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 07:34 pm:

A good hygrometer

By Arevewe (Arevewe) on Monday, January 28, 2002 - 05:14 am:

AFOAF showed me his "chamber." It's a simple clear rubbermaid container about 10"w x 16"l x 8". On the bottom he puts about an inch and a half of perlite, and then puts in an inch of water (so it doesnt reach the top of the perlite, which will wick up the water into the air). The double-ended casings sit on the jar lids on the perlite. After a couple of flushes he will replace some of the perlite and make sure the water level is still good. There is always a good condensation level on the sides and lid, and with this size container you can hold six cakes and only have to fan every couple days. He has not had any contamination problems, even when leaving the container closed for as long as 5 days (and what you see after 5 days of not looking is true beauty). Having a generally clean environment helps attribute to this and also improves your karma. If you are having problems with low condensation, add more perlite and water and be sure the perlite is not covered by the water. More indirect lighting will help to raise the temperature inside the container as well.

hope this helps. if theres an easier way please share :)

Dunking : Grow Chambers & Clean Rooms : Double-ended Casing Tek : Flushing : How Long Does It Take To Get Shrooms??? : More Humidity Discussion : Shroom Glossary