Styrofoam fruiting chamber (styrofoam cooler)

Nan's NookArchives : Grow Chambers : Projects : Styrofoam fruiting chamber (styrofoam cooler)
  Subtopic Posts Updated Creator

By Organism (Organism) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:09 am:

I will be birthing 3 cakes next week and I am in a situation where I really can't have an aquarium to 'properly' fruit my cakes. So, I guess I am going to use a styrofoam cooler with the top of the lid cut out, replaced with plexiglass to allow for light and a plexiglass spray shield exactly like you would have for a normal PF tek aquarium. This will work for 3 or 4 cakes, right?

The styrofoam is very porous and this allows for contamination to occur in the inner walls, but I think I will get buy for the lifetime of these cakes. Am I right?
I could buy a new cooler for each batch cause they are cheep!
Thanks guys

By Rhiz Lamellae (Annulus) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:37 am:

People have successfully used worse for a fruiting chamber. A friend of mine was going to use the exact setup that you described for his casings, but it was too small. Instead he got a cheap plastic storage box that wasn't clear or white. He's had problems with grow chambers that were white because the light reflection makes the mushies grow in all directions, not just up.

I honestly don't believe that you'll have too many problems with the setup you described. Make sure that there isn't any standing water on the bottom and I think it'll work out for you.

You may want to wait for some seasoned growers to reply as I am somewhat new to the field of mycology.

By Kman (Kman) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:40 am:

why not use a rummermaid container of some sort, they come in hundreds of differents sizes and are a little more permenant. In fact I turfed my glass aquarium for a rummbermaid.

By Snoopy (Snoopy) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 01:58 am:

Yep I use all rubbermaid containers and they work wonderfully. As for Rhiz's comment my rubbermaid containers are translucent and all my mushies grow in every direction imagineable but does it really matter what they look like? Who cares is my opinion they are grown for 1 purpose.... education research, and a warped mushy serves that purpose just fine.

By Kman (Kman) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 02:04 am:

aah Snoopy you share my love for higher education!

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 05:36 pm:


My buddy used styrofoam coolers and they work great. Much more insulated than a rubbermaid...
BUT, heating them is a little trickier...

Good luck!!

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 07:32 pm:

I've never used anything except for various sized rubbermaid tubs, they work great.

I know Organism is fruiting cakes, but one of my favorite things to do is to make a casing in one of the medium sized , tallish, clear tubs, and just hand mist the thing. The moisture in the casing itself, supplemented by the hand-misting, holds the humidity nicely.

Just supply light, do air-exchnge, and keep it warm.

In the summer I do 'em with no heat at all, and just keep the container where it can get some indirect natural light in the daytime, works great.

Fun stuff.

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 07:58 pm:

Geez you are the Brettie!

This last summer I was merely LOOKING for what my friend is now wildly successful at growing now!!

Just like MLK. Live the dream

By plinkerdink420 (Plinkerdink420) on Wednesday, January 23, 2002 - 11:11 pm:

amen to that dr.

By Organism (Organism) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 05:40 am:

It will work good for my number of cakes. I think it is my best shot right now. I will also sterilize it with ethanol before I put my cakes inside it. I got a good grasp on what I'm doing, I think..

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 06:24 am:

Dude, I think ethanol will dissolve styrafoam.

I hope you read this before you try it.

By Hatcher (Hatcher) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 07:35 am:

Snoop and Brettie, U guys use drip shields in your rubbermaids?... Water pourin' off the plastic-sheet lid of my first ten gal. aquarium unit, when lifting it off, prompted me to invest in custom-cut plexiglass.
(A square of reebarb welded bigger that the tank, the 4 mil sheeting "Goop"ed to that, so that the weight of the steel pulls it down for a tight seal.)
Luv my 10 gal. units, but one of my mottos..'Never limit your options'...:)

By Dr. Cubensis (Shroomzilla) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 06:09 pm:

Funny, I thought it went " Never Option your limits" No wonder I lost money in Enron... :(

By Organism (Organism) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 08:49 pm:

brettiejams, ethanol will not dissolve styrofoam that is acetone, benzene and other extemely volitile solvents containing a benzene ring srtucture (aromatic hydrocarbons) that eat styrofoam. Gasoline will also do that. Sorry, I'm an organic chemistry major learning the ropes of an new hobby!

By paul whisper (Soma) on Thursday, January 24, 2002 - 11:13 pm:

I have holes in the bottom of my styrofoam cooler, and every week or so, I take every thing out, clean it and spray it with lysol. So far so good. SOMA

By Brettiejams (Brettiejams) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 02:38 am:

Cool Organism, I wasn't sure, but I knew some of that stuff dissolved styrofoam, and I wanted to save you a little grief, if I could.

Grow on, Bro...

By Fishy1 (Fishy1) on Friday, January 25, 2002 - 03:15 am:

....Organic Chemistry!!!
I took THAT one twice...just to be sure!
Good to see you are around, Organism. The cooler will be fine. And best of luck with the cakes....its easy, eh?

By Joe Dirt (Mushroombandit) on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 12:18 am:

I've got my money on stryofoam, dammit... great insulator, should keep heat & humidity pretty well. I'm currently growing in my closet in my dorm room... the entire thing was wired with ceramic heat elements, coated with clear plastic, a 1.5" layer of perlite added to the bottom, and 5 20x20 styrofoam cooler casings put in that sum bitch, with a digital kenmore humidifier to keep humidity at LEAST a balmy 87%. There is a dual-action fan that acts as both intake and exhaust. The intake duct is rigged with a high-intensity UV light to destroy any would-be contaminants, and light baffles are used to keep the UV away from the shroomies. The entire system is completely automated with timers, digital sensors, and lots of weather stripping. Wish me luck?