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: Chronic Tek
The Chronic Tek is a quart jar, mini terrarium technique that was developed to be as maintenance free as possible. It is a very simple tek that if followed properly will show the grower many of the benefits of a terrarium while eliminating the need for misting, fanning, and other such maintenance work.
*keep in mind that this is a very open ended tek; the purpose for each piece of equipment will be noted and if you see fit to complete that piece's function with some other piece of equipment, that is your choice. I would however recommend completing this tek once as written before expanding as you will get a better feel as to how your mini terrariums will react to your changes.
We will be making some very simple modifications to a quart jar that will enable the cake placed inside to create and maintain its own fruiting environment. The quart jars will also be acting as contamination buffer zones; holding contamination to one cake instead of spreading throughout the terrarium.
A few little things we will need :
1. Wide mouth quart jar and normal dome lid with ring as used in PF jars.
2. Piece of 2" wide PVC pipe any length 2” or over will do.
3. A 1/8" thick nail
OK, let’s get started. First off our mini terrarium will be sitting upside down with the lid on tightly. To allow the cake to create a nice fruiting environment for itself we will allow airflow through four 1/8" holes equally placed around the lid. The temperature must be held as near to 76 degrees as possible for the proper fruiting environment to be maintained. I cannot stress this part enough folks; to hot and the cakes will dry out, to cold and you will not have proper humidity. Don't be fooled either, water condenses when humid air cools, this will give you the look of being humid but the water will be on the jar instead of in the air. Keep it near 76 degrees and you will be happy. The cake will be suspended on a 2" long by 2" wide riser to keep it out of pooling water and keep it from plugging our air exchange holes. Here is a quick picture of the finished product from the side so you can have a mental picture as I describe a few things more in depth.
The Lids: The screw on lid is the main factor in your mini terrarium that controls the environment inside. Many experiments were done with different hole sizes but 1/8" has most definitely proved to be the best. Four holes should be punched with your 1/8" nail around the dome lid just as in the PF TEK. If the holes are too large the jar will not be able to hold good humidity and the cake will dry out causing small and aborted fruits. If the holes are too small the cake will not be able to "breathe" efficiently and will begin graying and eventually die. As you can obviously tell by now the lids should be tight as air should only be entering or exiting through the holes. It is also very important to make sure the holes do not become covered which leads me right to the risers and surface on which your mini terrarium will be sitting.
Risers & Surface: The Risers we will be using to keep the cake from covering the holes will be 2" long pieces of PVC, cut from a 2" wide PVC pipe. The result will be a 2" long by 2" wide riser that will sit between the cake and the upside down lid of your mini terrarium. As well as keeping proper air flow throughout the jar, the riser will also be keeping the cake suspended from the water that will eventually pool inside the lid because of high humidity(you may also get some dripping from the top of your terrarium, but I have never seen any significant negative results from this). Do not worry if your PVC risers look as if they are covering your holes, the jagged edges from where you punched your holes will keep the riser from sitting flush on the lid and effectively blocking airflow (this is why I prefer nails over drilling for making holes). Having your jar lid sitting flush against a smooth shelf is equally as bad as having your cake sitting on the inside of the lid. Some sort of platform must be devised in order to allow airflow under your terrarium. You can get creative here, but as you can see from the picture below, the bottom part of a standard screen door works great when sitting on some horizontal 1/2" PVC pipe.
That is pretty much all there is to it. You can expect terrarium type yields with the ease of Quote’s Invitro tek(The tek from which this one has evolved, great stealth tek)
Now that you've built your mini terrarium it's time to test her out. So here are a few tips.
1. Dunking is a great tek. If you don't know anything about the dunk tek look it up and read away. I give a 16-20 hour dunk at birth and between every flush. Contamination is rarely a problem while using this tek so I just stack 3 cakes into one quart jar and throw a riser on top to hold the top cake under water and screw the lid on. Dunking is also great because your cakes have to be properly hydrated in order to create good humidity.
2. Keep temp as close to 76 degrees as possible. Hole sizes and all other factors are based off 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. If you are only doing a few jars PVC connector pieces can be bought as pre-made risers at Home Depot or other similar stores. If you plan on doing many jars cut your own to save money.
4. All pictures are of PF classics but remember your jars are mini terrariums and should work for all strains. I currently have Hawaiians doing great in my mini terrariums.
5. Give your PF cakes light through the entire colonization process to speed up fruiting. If you are inoculating 1 pint jars make sure to cut them in half before dunking and placing into mini terrariums since the ratio of air to space taken by cake in your jar is also a big factor.
6. I know cakes can be dunked safely with pins intact but I have realized greater success when cakes are scraped before being dunked right after birth. This may be just coincidence but you can find out for yourself.
Well that’s all folks. You should be seeing results like the below picture in no time.
Have fun and be safe.
Very nice Chronic. Great pics too. I am almost ready to birth my jars, cant wait!! Hope I can get my temps right for this.
Chronic, Hers a new twist for you. Instead of having to mess with all the jars, how about drilling holes in the lid of a rubbermaid box, setting it on something so the holes arent blocked, and setting 20 or so cakes on the risers, and then covering it with the clear box part? Surely with that many cakes the humidity would be ok? Same Idea, but less time consuming? I Just bought quarts for my go at your tek, so I wont be trying it. Just thought it might save some time, not having to mess with that many jars.
Ya that is definetly the next step. The air space to cake space ratio definetly plays a role in the equilibrium of the environment so I think the best step in that direction would be a Gallon Jar with 16 holes and four cakes and risers. Then I'll move on from there. But as for the archives I think the above compilation of the tek will suit newbies just fine. I mean I wish it was there when I was doing my initial research. Hey quote, could you let me know that you put this in the archives or what I need to do to it before it can be inserted. Thanks a bunch. Onediadem..... Keep me updated on your progress. Good luck although you won't really need it.