Fighting off "The Black Death"

Nan's Nook : Archives : Contams : Bacteria : Fighting off "The Black Death"
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By Brad (Raze) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 06:19 pm:

Well, sadly my cakes are starting to be over run with what I have dubbed "The Black Death"
Now, a few days back I posted about losing a cake to a contam. I tossed it, but before doing so I disected it. The contam didnt reach the inside, rather it only lived on the actual mushrooms, and not the mycillium. I dont think its a mold, I think its maybe bacteria.
Basically, on the first cake some aborts would get pitch black (maybe dark brown, not sure on that) in no time at all, before I even knew they aborted. If I didnt pick them quick enough, the mushroom would liquidate and the dark goo would start to run down the cake. It ran down the one cake and hit a large mushroom, one ready to be picked, and it ate right thru the base and the mushroom fell of the cake.
So, after I tossed the cake I prayed that the others would be fine. The cake which was closest to it is now starting to show symptoms, so far its under control, I picked aborts quickly, but I'm still a little worried. I've sprayed it with 10:1 H2O:H2O2 and it fizzed like crazy, but it didnt die.
So last night I sprinkled some baking soda on it, because someone said that would raise the pH and maybe kill the contam.
Anyone know exactly what this is attacking my cakes, and how I could stop it?

By quote: (Quote) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 06:43 pm:

i've seen that one.
it's a real killer.
first, you need to set up a fresh clean terrarium to move your remaining cakes into.
then you need more air exchanges, and less humidity.
let things dry out for awhile, that'll help slow it down.
and be very diligent about picking everything quick as it's ready, or aborted. don't leave fruits sitting unattended without air exchanges every few hours until you're past this crisis.
be extra sure to get any stumps, strands of tissue that might remain after picking.

By Brad (Raze) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 07:02 pm:

After picking my cakes I clean them off with an exacto knife, so the top layer is pretty much removed in total. They fluff up nicely in like 2 days.
Now, I do have a second terranium, and have already moved my two strongest cakes there, they're both just starting their second flush. They look healthy as can be. In my other terranium is one plagued with black mold (two large mushrooms died on it today, like 3 inch mushies), there's another cake with like 5 pins on it (really slow for some reason, its not healthy I think), and one that is fruiting well, but has had one abort attacked on it, so its not going in with the totally healthy ones.
My second terranium has a lower rH because there is no weather stripping on the seal. And there's also a lower temp (my main one is on top of my incubator so it catches some escaping heat).
I'm quite saddened now because one of my main objectives when I started growing was to have mushies ready for my ski trip, which is tomorrow. Too bad, at least I had my new years trip, and one hell of a trip for that matter.

By Brad (Raze) on Friday, January 04, 2002 - 10:53 pm:

Just an update here, on my sick cake all of the mushrooms are falling off, they're black at the base and look all around gross.
On the healthier cake I tapped a mushroom and it fell off, it couldnt have been health. There's three cakes in my main terranium the two sicker ones have a half a 2L pop bottle on them to isolate it a bit.
My healthy cakes (I hope they're healthy at least, I'd hate to have done all of this work for only 5 grams of mushrooms) are in the low rH terranium, should it be the other way around? I figured the other one would probably have contams floating around in the air and perlite.
Any other ideas what I can do? I see a bluish spot on the really sick cake, just like I saw on the first cake before I tossed it.
Should I take the sicker cakes and cut off the contams, maybe dunk them with a bit of H2O2 and then case? I really want to salvage what I can here, as it took me a month to colonize these jars. And out of the 18 I started only 6 ever made it to being birthed.

By quote: (Quote) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 01:15 am:

sadly, your best bet is to toss any cakes that have been hit.
otherwise, it's just going to spred.

By Brad (Raze) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 02:20 am:


By onediadem (Onediadem) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 04:38 am:

I mourn with you on this one Brad. Crash and burns are a total bummer. Am there with ya right now. I do however know where my problems are, which is good. Enjoy your ski trip, come back refreshed and ready to go to battle again!

By Brad (Raze) on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 05:45 am:

I'm thinking monday I'm gonna pick up a crapload of BRF, then next oportunity I get (dont know when that will be, with my mom no longer needing to xmas shop) I will prepare 24 jars of substrate. I have a ton ready now, but none of the ones i've tried have germinated. I think the homeground BRF is filled with fungicide or something.
Plus I'm gonna grab some 500mL jars, and some millet and try some shakers on the side. Any links to some good birdseed shaker TEKs? I've never seen one for shakers, just read about it on forums.

He he... Better read the Sanitizing FAQ and get out the rags and Clorox first - Nan